quarta-feira, 2 de agosto de 2017

7- The new world`s factory and the industrial automation

Yesterday I watched an interesting talk entitled “The new world`s factory”, and surprise! Africa has its chance now. Nothing certain, but if Africa countries chose the right policies, they will get there. 

The industries started in Europe, moved to the United States and nowadays are in China and far-east countries. In this moment, China has the power and the money to decide which region is the best to be promoted and they decided by Africa. In her talk to HarvardBusiness Review, Irene Yuan Sun goes deep on this topic.

As interesting as this topic and the future possibilities and changes in the world are the automation involved in new factories. What will be the benefits to people if the workers would be machines? When a couple of questions about robots and automation arose, Irene Yuan Sun explained that after visit between 50 and 60 factories in China, she was surprised with the speed of production line changes. Every 6 months the production line must be adapted because the products are updated. Not only the machines but also the workers change some of their tasks.

Nowadays, robots are not able to do very sophisticated tasks compared with human abilities. They are not resilient to a dynamic environment like humans. New factories in Africa, China or other countries don’t stop to hire people. The costs of re-design machines/robots or even re-program robots are higher than hire people to do the tasks.

This is the link with previous posts 4 and 5. It is likely that the robots will be present in all areas of industry and will do the repetitive jobs, remaining to humans the creative tasks. That is the next step. But maybe, it will not happen as fast as expected. We can divide the robot`s revolution into 2 stages. The first is already taking place in those more static production areas. The second, in the future, will include those industries that demand fast flexibility to adapt to new tasks.

The turning point to the second stage is sparkling of technology advances, which is pushed by how much money the robot`s companies save and what are the incentives to enter into new markets.
In my opinion, the stimuli are high for either one: capital accumulated and perspectives of new markets to robot`s companies. Even with this promising future, don’t expect that the robots will take all the factory`s jobs so fast.