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App. B—Commissioned Background Papers

11

such additional expertise. ation of proposals for the

Because of acquisition

such threshold requirements, the evalu- of more complex robots should cover the

planned program to be carried out over several years rather than charging the whole of such basic service manpower requirements against the first robots

acquired. As was indicated earlier, unit manpower costs depends on

the effects of increasing the use of robots on resulting changes in the volume of direct and

indirect manpower per unit of output and in their respective rates of payment. In the case of relative simple robots which replace labor and involve quite minimal demands on existing maintenance and set-up personnel, the result tends

to be a sharp was affected.

reduction in In the case

the unit wage cost of the particular of adoptions of more complex robots,

operation which such reductions

in direct unit wage costs would tend to be at least partly offset by increases

in the higher depend

number of needed maintenance and other specialists as well as by their

average

earnings.

then on

the output

The net effects on total unit manpower costs would levels over which these larger indirect costs were

distributed.

Thus, because

for

such

service

personnel,

significant

effect

on

total

of the decreased flexibility in employment levels attendant changes in output levels may have a unit manpower costs as well as on total unit capital

charges.

But the introduction of robots is not likely to affect output levels

except, as was noted earlier, where carefulness have resulted either in capacity, or in higher reject rates

operator limitations of effort, fatigue or under-utilization of the related equipment

(thus

involving

higher

unit

material

costs

as well) downtime

  • --

    or where

for repairs

robots are subject or readjustments.

to

significant

periods

of

unexpected

Expected changes, in the total unit costs of the operation directly affected can then be readily calculated by weighting the estimated percentage change in unit materials, labor and capital costs by their respective proportions of total

costs, as shown in Fig. 3.

In the case of more complex robots, however, as

exemplified by processing and assembly robots, a broader evaluation framework may be necessary if the effective functioning of such robots requires modifications

in prior operations in order to provide more precise

or higher quality parts to

enter such processes.

A broader evaluation framework may also be necessary if

such robotized operations significantly subsequent stages of operations, or the affecting prospective demand or prices.

affect the quality of

productivity and costs of the final product in ways

  • ‚óŹ

    101

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