Factories for robots, not for men

Employees or workers, humans will no longer be needed to work in the future. An article in the New York Times explains how the man can be replaced by the machine. John Markoff's article opens with the example of the Tesla plant in Fremont, where robots can take care of welding, riveting, bonding and the assembly of new components.

In many other factories, hundreds of workers use their hands and specialized tools. In the factory Philips Electronics on the Chinese coast, workers grab their equipment and make electric razors. In a sister factory in Drachten, Holland, 129 robotic arms are making those razors that operate more skillfully than humans.

In this type of factory, man only has a supervisor role. The arm of the robot it is enclosed in a glass dome because its movements are so rapid that the supervisor approaching it could inadvertently injure himself. So i robot they work without any coffee break, 365 days a year.

This seems to be the future, a wave of robot much more efficient than humans. Robots are now commonly used in the automotive industry but are slowly replacing workers across the globe. The example of the sister factory of Philips Electronics, where mechanical arms assemble razors, is completely opposed to that of Apple, where factories in Asian countries employ hundreds of thousands of low-skilled workers for the production of Consumer electronics.

“Thanks to these machines we can produce any consumer device“Said Binne VIsser, an electrical engineer who runs the assembly line at Philips in Drachten. There Foxconn, the company that makes the iPhones for Apple's commission, plans to install more than one million robot within a few years so as to integrate its workforce given by Chinese workers.

This breakthrough is possible thanks to the sharply decreasing costs and the growing sophistication of robot. This raises many questions about how quickly human jobs will be lost. But how much electric energy will it take to meet the needs of all these mechanical units? From an economic point of view, the factory could gain: it increases production efficiency, decreases the number of wages, increases the electricity bill, increases CO emissions "and the need to exploit new renewables.

Street | New York Times

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