App. B—Commissioned Background Papers .
demands for increases in wage rates to match increases in their
to production capabilities.
But it does mean that
some foreign it possible
contributions managements -- to work with
domestic labor in ways which yield high quality products,
high productivity and dig beneath superficial
generalizations to come more closely to grips with the factors which are most influential in various sectors of industry, and under different conditions.
Potential Contributions of Robotics and Programmable Automation to Improving International Competitiveness
The potential contributions of robotics and programmable automation to improving the competitiveness of domestic manufacturing industries must be examined within the context of the preceding complex of influential factors.
Increasing the utilization of progressively improved robots to have a positive effect on technological competitiveness.
would obviously But the re-
sulting gain is likely to be of only modest proportions in most plants and industries unless such advances are integrated with simultaneous advances
other determinants of technological competitiveness.
Roboticizing manual op-
erations in old plants using
old machinery to make major advances likely
old products has obviously to result from improving any changes underlying significant
progress in technological competitiveness.
stantial contributions to such progress, but only program to improve technological competitiveness.
can undoubtedly make sub- part of a comprehensive
Such programs must encompass carefully co-ordinated plans seeking to improve the capabilities and attractiveness of products, to adopt advanced technologies,
to embody them in modern equipment of a scale deemed close to optimal for the level of output and product-mix to be provided, to provide for progressively ad- justing input factor proportions and equipment utilization practices so as to maximize production efficiency, and to ensure continuing efforts to improve
It would be impractical,
of course, to attempt to advance on all
of these fronts simultaneously.
But it would also be frustrating and wasteful
to attempt to make major advances along any prospective interactions with, and possibly other components.
of these channels without considering offsetting pressures from, these