Is Better Always Better?

Robots, machines, and automated systems are indispensable in modern manufacturing. We rely heavily on the benefits of industrial automation. Factory machines and automated systems offer several advantages over human workers: they keep costs low, reduce waste, increase efficiency, maximize profit, they improve consistency and quality, and they help keep workers safe. Manufacturers would not be able to meet consumer demand without automation.

Humans still have a place in factories at the moment. However, what will happen as automation technologies improve? We’re approaching a point where machines can perform almost all of the tasks in factories. If lights out manufacturing becomes standard practice for factory owners, will workers get shoved out of manufacturing altogether?

Robots are better than humans…

There are still certain types of work where humans outperform robots. Tasks that require versatility, adaptability, and creativity are safe from automation. People simply do these things better, more reliably, and more affordably than machines.

However, tasks that are easy to automate — the grunt work, so to speak — are almost always better left to the robots. Machines cost less than human workers, especially in the long run. They don’t require breaks, overtime, or holiday pay. They are more efficient, less wasteful, and more consistent than human workers. Machines can process information faster, they can lift heavier loads, move more quickly, they are more precise, and they can be used in conditions where humans would get sick or injured.

if you’re counting beans.

On paper, machines are better than humans for manufacturing and industrial work. If we get to a point where manufacturers, factory owners, or warehouse owners can automate nearly 100% of their production, they would be wasting money, sacrificing efficiency, and limiting their production if they chose to employ human workers.

But here’s the thing. Robots don’t have dreams, desires, or aspirations, they don’t get hungry, they don’t suffer, and they don’t have families to provide for. Machines might be better than humans at grinding out mindless, repetitive work, but that doesn’t means it’s always better to use robots than to hire human workers.

The future of automation and employment is a hot topic for debate at the moment. Some suggest a universal basic income and a robot tax to help prepare for high levels of automation.

You’re probably not in the position where you have to decide between humans and robots. You do need to make sure that your robots stay in good working condition if you’re an Indramat owner, however. Call 479-422-0390 for service, support, and repair for Indramat products.