Lat week wrapped out a successful 2013 Automate Show at McCormick Place, Chicago. Automation industry leaders gathered not only to show off their latest and most advanced tech, but also to talk about how automation is beneficial for companies of all sizes and how — for some of them — automation has saved their businesses.
Robot Makers Spread Global Gospel of Automation
by John Markoff
To buttress its claim that automation is not a job killer but instead a way for the United States to compete against increasingly advanced foreign competitors, the industry group reported findings on Tuesday that it said it would publish in February. The federation said the industry would directly and indirectly create from 1.9 million to 3.5 million jobs globally by 2020.
The federation held a news media event at which two chief executives of small American manufacturers described how they had been able to both increase employment and compete against foreign companies by relying heavily on automation and robots.
“Automation has allowed us to compete on a global basis. It has absolutely created jobs in southwest Michigan,” said Matt Tyler, chief executive of Vickers Engineering, an auto parts supplier. “Had it not been for automation, we would not have beat our Japanese competitor; we would not have beat our Chinese competitor; we would not have beat our Mexican competitor. It’s a fact.”
Also making the case was Drew Greenblatt, the widely quoted president and owner of Marlin Steel, a Baltimore manufacturer of steel products that has managed to expand and add jobs by deploying robots and other machines to increase worker productivity.
“In December, we won a job from a Chicago company that for over a decade has bought from China,” he said. “It’s a sheet-metal bracket; 160,000 sheet-metal brackets, year in, year out. They were made in China, now they’re made in Baltimore, using steel from a plant in Indiana and the robot was made in Connecticut.”
Read the full story at the New York Times. Did you attend the Automate Show? What were your favorite take-aways?