The First Automated Non-Human Factory
Recently China has unveiled a new factory that is full automated by machines. Few humans actually work there and all task are completed by robots. The new factory, located in Dongguan city has all its operations performed by robots. The factory is owned by Changying Precision Technology Company and they are currently producing cell phone modules. The work force went from 10 lines with 650 employees to just 60 and 60 robot arms. The company has future place it increase the arms to 100 and reduce the people to 20. This is a growing trend that has started in small part of the factory mega city but the trend can only grow from there.
Here is a link to the article in The Economic Times.
Now this is both a good and bad revolution. Good in that general costs of having human employees are greatly reduced, and goods can be produced at faster rates and the factory can work be left working for 24/7 without having to change shifts or breaks. The cost of human error is gone down significantly, as the article says, the defect rate has gone down by 20%. Unlike humans who age and slow down the production line, the robots can work quickly and throughout the day. It is bad because now the potential to employ actual humans is now gone. This could affect the economy in a negative way since there isn’t any employment (of humans).
China may have been the first to implement a fully robotic factory, but the rest of the world is following suite. An example would be Amazon, in one of the facilities they have around 2000 robots that help with the organization and moving of products. In their facility, humans and computers work in tandem to increase productivity.
Of course this may be the natural progression of the industry. As technology advances, it becomes cheaper and easier to buy and maintain. Soon computers will become the norm in factories, and this could be a good thing as long as we can find a new niche that computers cannot perform optimally in and we humans that would have worked in the factories, can find work there. As long as nothing is produced for or by Skynet we should be safe.