David Simchi-Levi Manufacturing Prediction: Automation will increase considerably(Industryweek)

“First, the available technology, including growing capabilities of robots and sensors – the cost of sensors has decreased significantly, computer visioning has improved and the power of computers has increased.Second, increased labor costs and trouble with the labor force in China will accelerate the introduction of robots – one example is Foxconn’s foxbots; another is Apple’s $10.5B tooling investment. As the CEO of Foxconn told us, it’s easier to manage robots than people! But understanding manufacturing and supplier risks is lagging – it could blindside us. Companies will still be surprised by events that they cannot control for which they are not adequately prepared. My recent work with Ford’s supplier network showed that there are still many hidden risks and the biggest exposures lie in unlikely places.”

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