Originally Posted by lapengu
Honestly this is no good. This is why the economy is failing. People get rich by taking other people's jobs away. Say good-bye to the middle class.
Yea, because nobody designs, builds, installs, operates, maintains, or repairs the robots.
All automation does is raise the jobs up a skill level. As long as we have machines and computers the demand for unskilled labor will fall as the demand for skilled labor rises faster.
Here's some info as to the automation installation process:
First off you have the engineers that design the damn things. These guys work for companies like Fanuc(the yellow ones) or Kuka(the orange ones). This includes mechanical, materials, and electrical engineers. You also have things like motors and harmonic drives which are sourced from companies like Allen-Bradley; they also have plenty of paid engineers. You need some way of programming the robot, so plenty more engineers are needed to design the control pads.
Next up you get assembly. Metal parts have to be forged, motors have to be made, sensors have to be built/bought. Next someone has to assemble the thing. They also need to be tested. Then the barebones arm with no head/mechanical attachment is shipped out to an automation contractor.
Now we get to the automation contractor. Few companies have in house automation teams, so companies contract automation contractors to do all the work. The client tells an engineer what they need the robot to do, and they have to design the entire system. They take the barebones arm and design the mechanical head piece, all the electrical systems, all the pneumatics, and the interfaces with other machines. Then they throw everything in a truck and fly the assembly team to the location.
Next up you have the assembly. The guys on the assembly team are mechanic-construction worker-computer programmer hybrids. They build and install the whole setup, interface the robot with the other machines they will be working with, and rewrite a lot of the automation program based on new information from having the thing set up.
Now that everything is set up, someone has to show up and turn the thing on. An operator is needed to observe errors, correct faults, and sometimes change the program. Someone has to maintenance the robots regularly-those things need a lot of grease. If you are somewhere like a powdered metal plant someone has to clean it out to prevent damage. Also if anything breaks you need a readily available maintenance staff on hand.
All of these people are needed just to keep a few robots running. 1 million of them-that would take a massive workforce.
Here are some cool demos of heavy industrial units:
http://www.youtube.com/user/AutomatedCellsEdited by dustandechoes91 - 7/31/11 at 10:06pm