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Robotics use linked with increased employment, A3 report finds

A report from the Association for Advancing Automation has found that increasing the use of robots is associated with increased employment in the USA. The whitepaper entitled ‘Robots fuel the next wave of US productivity and job growth’ took data from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics and a wide range of manufacturing firms.

Since 2010, the robotics industry in the United States has grown substantially. During this period of record-breaking robot sales, US employment also increased. Machine vision is tied to greater automation and use of robotics in manufacturing.

‘We are seeing concrete shifts in the factors that resulted in cuts to the US manufacturing work force over the past few decades,’ said Jeff Burnstein, president of A3. ‘Manufacturing automation increasingly provides the flexibility in the variety of tasks robots perform to drive improvements in overall product quality and time to market.’

The International Federation of Robotics estimates in 2014 the global market value for industrial robots was US $32 billion, and that global sales will grow 15 per cent on average year-on-year until 2018.

Burnstein added: ‘One of the biggest challenges we now face is closing the skills gap to fill jobs. Robots are optimising production more than ever, increasing global competitiveness, and performing dull, dirty and dangerous tasks that enable companies to create higher-skilled, better-paying, and safer jobs where people use their brains, not their brawn.’

As companies seek to bring manufacturing operations stateside while remaining cost-competitive, they continue to turn to automation to help lead the new wave of productivity and job growth in the US.

‘The whole premise for our company is to bring manufacturing back to this country, and our new robot fits perfectly with that master plan,’ said Geoff Escalette, CEO of faucet-maker RSS Manufacturing and Phylrich in Costa Mesa, California. ‘Our robot not only makes it possible to increase production speed without buying additional CNC machines, but also helped us open up 30 per cent more capacity on existing machinery.’

Robotics also helps companies stay competitive when seeking new talent, particularly those who are interested in long-lasting careers working with technology.

‘It’s really an opportunity for us to grow,’ reported Matt Tyler, president and CEO of Vickers Engineering, a contract precision engineering manufacturer in Michigan. ‘Because we have robotics and are able to compete on a global scale, it makes the US more competitive in manufacturing, and that’s good for all of us.’

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Robots fuel the next Wave of US productivity and job growth


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