App. B—Commissioned Background Papers
It should also be noted that one of the most important future sources of technological competitiveness in manufacturing industries -- the development of increasingly encompassing systems of programmable automation -- has not yet advanced sufficiently to minimize the possibility that intensified domestic
efforts might not only match be recognized, however, that make substantial investments
but might even surpass foreign progress. vendors of particular components are not
It should likely to
in developing they are more
broadly comprehensive systems of pro- likely to resist any such developments
which might generate requirements for components with characteristics different
from their own offerings.
Moreover, few manufacturers are likely
to develop own unique
seem to be:
what span of operating and
functional coverage would be applicable
it worth making such manufacturing plants
to develop government
such systems in aircraft
firms have joined in developing some common components of such systems.
comprehensive review of what needs to fectively organized efforts might be,
done, or what the available at this
benefits of more ef-
another area in which governmental support may yield valuable contributions to advancing the competitiveness of domestic manufacturing.
On the Adequacy of Diffusion Rates
The impact of technological advances on market competitiveness is determined not by the location or rate of their development, but by the rate of their dif-
fusion and the extent of their utilization.
Although some observers claim that
Japanese industry has grammable automation
surpassed the United States in systems as well as of robots,
utilization of pro- applications still account
in Western Europe,
Accordingly, there is still a wide open opportunity for
manufacturing to overcome its improvements in its productive
current lags in this area and thereby efficiency and cost competitiveness.
What factors have retarded the more rapid diffusion of these technologies? Perhaps the most important influence has been the basic unawareness of most in- dustrial managements of the far-reaching potentials of this burgeoning revolution