The Production Model of the Future, Unmanned Production, and Dark Factories !!!
Automation has been changing factory jobs for years. But now things are getting faster than before. Many manufacturers monitor their factories by setting up “dark factories” technology, without any human workers. Just turn off the lights and you can close the door, leaving the work to be done to the robots working with their endless energy. If you think this is a distant future built on science fiction, then you’re wrong. In reality, it’s a lot closer than you think.
Changing precision technology companies could be the model for the future of manufacturing. The Cell Phone Factory employed 650 workers. It only needs 60 now. The company eliminated 90% of the human workforce and replaced it with 60 robot arms. The results are mind-blowing. Efficiency increased by 250%, product defects decreased by 80%. Robots run 10 production lines that go 24/7. The only human worker left keeps everything running smoothly. However, Changying Precision Technologies believes the number of people can be reduced to as little as 20. And it is not the only Chinese manufacturer that puts itself forward this way.
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Cambridge IndustriesGroup (CIG), another company, is looking to replace two-thirds of its 3,000 human workers with machines this year. It has to keep up with rivals in Germany, Japan, and the United States. At the same time, wages in Shanghai have doubled over the past seven years. And since 2001, wages in China have increased by an average of 12% per year. People have priced themselves on the market. So companies like CG and Changying Precision could see the vast majority of the workforce replacing machines in the next few years.
The country takes the route that the USA has made. The scale is exponentially larger.
There are about 100 million production employees in China. For comparison, there are about 12 million manufacturing workers in the US Of course, during World War II, almost a third of US jobs were in manufacturing. It was 8.7% in 2015. This is because of robots and automation, but that doesn’t mean US production is struggling …
Doing more with less
In 1990, China accounted for about 3% of global manufacturing output. Today it is closer to 25%. More than 60% of the world’s air conditioners, mobile phones, and tennis shoes are produced in China.
But China is staying in the robot revolution, so the investments of the next few years will be in automation. Once again, using the US as a benchmark, there are 164 robots for every 10,000 workers. The highest robot-worker ratios in the world are found in South Korea (478) and Germany (292). China only 36. So the number of production workers is 10 times that of the United States – but uses a quarter of the number of robots. This is the potential. Now, US production output has doubled since 1984.
However, the number of production jobs has decreased by 30% in the last two decades. We produce more goods. But we don’t need it anywhere in terms of manpower. In the next two decades, 47% of jobs in the US are at risk of being automated, according to a study by Oxford University and the Oxford Martin School. Last year, Amazon’s (Nasdaq: AMZN) robot workforce increased by 20% to 45,000 in 50 order fulfillment centers. Amazon’s robot army is now larger than Holland’s real army. But Amazon still currently employs 200,000 full-time and seasonal human workers.
Robots are much more cost-effective and efficient. A study by Deutsche Bank estimates that Amazon’s Kiva robots cut costs by 20% or $ 22 million per the warehouse. And at the same time, robots increase inventory capacity by 50%. In 2010, China surpassed the US as the world’s largest manufacturing economy. But this is just the beginning. The country wants to have the most sophisticated manufacturing industry by 2049
This means it should adopt millions of robots. And the Government is helping that happen. Actually, I can say that if we prepare the robots well for the future, you will realize that there is nothing really worthy of fear.