132 . Exploratory Workshop on the Social Impacts of Robotics
Mitchell Hutchins Inc.
Rapid Robot Industry Growth Projected
cisions is high and could easily be catastrophic for smaller entrepreneurial concerns.
As in most high technology industries,
the cost of being wrong in product and/or market de-
One potential future market development is the growth of the robot leasing business. the computer business, small companies may never have adequate capability to implement
As in robots
Leasing robots, along with full support from
smaller companies with limited nology readily available.
suppliers, could employees, making
make sense for the latest tech-
ROBOT INTRODUCTION A SIGNIFICANT IMPACT ON MANUFACTURING OPERATIONS
is no doubt that robots will revolutionize the workplace.
Even if no further techno-
a place in the manufacturing process.
it is impossible to ignore the awkward
of realignment that must precede the robotics revolution.
is clear that technology system of the factory.
period is far
Robots wards of
are threatening to the existing work force.
Recent estimates have suggested
that up- This in-
cludes four million assembly workers, two million machinists, welders and flame cutters and six million machine operators.
one million painters, two Retraining is believed to
million be the
major social problem created by rapid robotization,
In both the U.S. and Sweden, for example, many unions have come to accept robots as a method of easing the most burdensome manufacturing tasks and increasing productivity, both viewed as
a route to a higher standard gerous or monotonous jobs as
Swedish unions have actually classified certain dan-
The UAW has. been quoted in publications as stating that higher wages and in hand and technology, automation and new methodology are a major way to
productivity go hand increase productivity.
The method of robot of selling an initial
introduction into a unit to a company.
manufacturing organization tends The sale by the manufacturer has
Extensive customer support, including back-up support and technical
services, simple repairs and parts replacement.
Comprehensive training programs and customer education,
users often do not have the technical background or expertise to make
a robot work on the plant floor.
The first installations tend to be most important,
for they are the ones watched most care-
fully by both management and labor. multiple orders follow, but the need future, robot producers will have to out the world and offer a variety of
As companies become more comfortable in using robots,
for continuing manufacturers’
face the problem of services, including
support networks education.