App. B—Commissioned Background Papers .
Mitchell Hutchins Inc.
Longer-Term Trends: Automation Companies Will Likely be Large
While robots are often used in an initial isolated application
(primarily to gain experience)
evidence is clear that the robot is viewed as a piece of equipment
to be integrated into need of modernization
most important, force at a time
the mid-1980s demographic when the average skilled
shift will lead to a drop in the entry level machinist in this country is currently estimated
to be about just their
56 years old.
These fundamentals suggest that U.S. manufacturers
will have to ad- of capital for
labor or, in one word --automation.
The evolution of factory automation outside the U.S.
has an interesting characteristic.
of the companies in the forefront
of the emerges
technology are part of is that the knowledge
the organization that makes of the factory environment is
the key factor to the successful implementation of automation. was originally a subsidiary of a machine tool company (Toyoda)
cannot be sold externally without the car company’s approval.
In Japan, for example, Toyota and its machine tool technology Nissan has a machine tool com-
pany as does Hitachi and Komatsu, the sixth largest producer of transfer lines in Japan.
A similar phenomenon is developing around the world with respect to the implementation of
Robots, i.e. many of the companies a version for internal consumption. clude companies such as Volkswagen,
introducing robots into the manufacturing process produce Besides many Japanese concerns, #e list would also in- Renault and Fiat.
Alternatively, U.S. manufacturing
companies rarely produce equipment for their own use.
ever, as automation techniques begin to take hold, the phenomenon has begun to change. In robots, for example, companies like General Electric, Texas Instruments and IBM all produce robots for internal use and General Motors recently announced its own paint spraying robot. Further, strategic planning within many corporations has led to the identification of the
field of automation as bath a strategic internal operation
opportunity. service this
This has led to significant acquisitions
requirement and a future business internal studies as to how to best