Industrial automation improves a company’s turnover by significantly increasing the production rate. The concern is that this approach has serious consequences related to the systematic automation of manufacturing processes. These industrial machines are becoming more flexible and efficient.
The energy challenges of industrial automation
The disadvantage with industrial automation is that the work will gradually be replaced by machines. To be ever more competitive, the number of industrial machines used in most manufacturing processes is multiplying exponentially. The multiplication of machine tools implies an increase in energy consumption. The increase in production leads to the implementation of systems related to environmental issues.
The growth of electricity has a direct impact on the cost of production. Since electricity prices are very high, it is sometimes profitable to invest in new energy sources. For example, for Germany, electricity expenditure for companies benefiting from industrial automation is 8% lower than in France for the paper sector and 21% for the steel sector. The fact is that the German government largely supports the use of renewable energies compared to France.
Industrial machines that replace man
The problem with the advent of the computer numerical command or CNC is that it is now possible to control a machine from a computer. By directing the actions of the robots in this way, this could result in the elimination of the jobs of many employees, especially those employed to operate the machines and verify that operations are running properly.
The consequences of industrial automation are worrying, since according to a study carried out by researchers at Oxford University, in the space of 20 years, nearly 47% of the jobs currently in use are about to disappear. Industries rely mainly on highly qualified technicians and engineers to program robots to meet new market conditions.
The effect of industrial automation on employment
Automation is certainly beneficial for the company because by investing in these sophisticated devices, we benefit from a machine tool capable of mass production in large quantities, while reducing the number of defective products. Some industries operate entirely with an internal communication system that guarantees synchronization of all equipment. This era of robotization heralds a great wave of technological unemployment. The digital revolution is a phenomenon that is leading to the loss of many jobs.