Robot factory

ABB, the Swiss multinational technology company, has announced that it will open a factory in Shanghai (China) where robots will create other robots. The factory will open its doors at the end of 2020 and will build robots for China and the rest of the Asian market.

The company has made this decision considering that China is its second market after the US. The construction of the factory will cost 150 million dollars; that is, approximately U$S 150,000,000. A large investment that will result in the "most advanced, automated and flexible robotics factory in the world".



Obviously, the robots do not do the job completely alone; they work together with humans. The new factory will feature units of YuMi, the robot world famous for conducting an orchestra; However, its main function will be to assemble small parts to manufacture ABB robots.

The SafeMove2 software will also be used in the factory, which allows people and robots to work safely; that is, preventing machines from harming humans. In addition, the highest levels of productivity and flexibility are achieved.

During the year 2017, one of every three robots sold in the world went to China, which bought approximately 138,000 units. The figures do not deceive and show that in the Asian country is committed to technology at another level.

Ulrich Spiesshofer, executive director of ABB, explains that China should be taken as an example in the rest of the world by the way to transform the manufacturing process. AI, advanced robotics and cloud computing are the pillars of this progress.

Surely many do not like that the machines are subtracting so many jobs from humans; however, there is no doubt that productivity and flexibility increase significantly.

It is a matter of time before humans disappear almost entirely from the factories. The few humans who remain in them will be dedicated simply to supervise that the tasks are executed correctly.



I would dare to say that for this to happen there are a couple of decades left; but, I have no doubt that it will take place. This huge change will also have repercussions in other areas of life and the human being will have to devise new jobs that we still do not know.

The robots are already present and will be the future of the factories and of our life in general.

Robotic automation and employment

A couple of weeks ago came the new book by Andrés Oppenheimer, Sálvese quien puede. The future of work in the era of automation, which poses the challenges that will be imposed in times of automation. The truth is that in this book Oppenheimer unlike what he did in others like Create or die, or the same Enough stories, does not raise many developments in terms of trends in automation for those of us in this world. We must recognize that in his previous books the Argentine raised thesis on innovation, technology and education that were quite revealing, opening a great discussion in our country on the role of technology, new startups, the education system, in short, books in its moment forced for those of us who are in the CTi areas, businessmen, politicians and educators.




However, his new book brings some novelties in his approaches and I must admit that it is pleasant to read and can be an interesting guide for those who seek to understand the impact of disruptive technologies on the current and future workforce. Through its pages it is evident how some of the new technology companies today only manage to hire around 10% of the total of people who at the time employed companies that were also in disruptive businesses. Such is the case of AT & T that managed to employ 758,000 people versus Google, which today employs 55,000. Another case is that of Bluckbuster, now defunct, which had more than 60,000 employees, versus the current giant, Netflix, which only has 3,500 people and is worldwide.

Robotics and automation arrived and are growing by leaps and bounds. Countries like Japan are subsidizing large companies with 50% of the value of the robots they acquire and small companies with 69% through a fund of more than US $ 1,000 million. To tell the truth, this type of government strategies will give them a huge competitive advantage, lower the cost of production dramatically, reduce errors and productivity will be of a very high level. In fact there is already talk of production plants where humans are scarce and do not exceed the figure of 10 versus 400 or 500 robots operating perfectly 7 days a week and 24 hours a day.

Oppenheimer also argues that robots are not only for the industry, likewise, colonize with services, in the case of call centers it is estimated that the percentage of humans will be less than 50%. In fact it is one of the most threatened sectors, but it will also happen with drivers, teachers and many other professions that will be automated in a high percentage such as the accounting, the surgeries of doctors, insurance agents, bank tellers, lawyers, investment advisers, receptionists, store clerks, cameramen, fast food chefs will not be the exception, as will reporters who will have robot helpers to pick up and write tedious and recurring news.




For this and many other reasons, it is necessary to quickly structure programs to support the productive sector in robotics and training in new labor trends, not for lack of vision and understanding of technological trends end up with a languid productive sector and agonizing.