How Robots Create Jobs

by Adil Shafi , President, ADVENOVATION, Inc.
ADVENOVATION, Inc. Posted 04/04/2012

No army can stop an idea whose time has come ~ Victor Hugo

In 2011, the International Federation of Robotics commissioned a report on how robots create jobs. The findings report that, “One million industrial robots currently in operation have been directly responsible for the creation of close to three million jobs… A growth in robot use over the next five years will result in the creation of one million high quality jobs around the world.”

Further, the market research firm Metra Martech wrote, “In world terms three to five million jobs would not exist if automation and robotics had not been developed to enable cost effective production of millions of electronic products from Phones to PlayStations.” The report actually covers several markets in the automotive, electronics, food and beverage, plastics, chemicals and pharmaceutical industries and focuses on countries like Brazil, China, Germany, Japan, Republic of Korea and USA. The complete report is available at

It is sometimes said in the media that robots take jobs away. Actually the opposite is true. The companies that hire and thrive and have cars in their parking lots are the ones that have embraced automation and used robots to create financial efficiencies and created jobs. This fact has been marginalized in the past by such opinion makers as organized labor and “headline seeking” media. Fortunately, after the recent recession, both are now realizing that this myth is busted and are routinely embracing the long term benefits of robots.

So, how do robots create jobs? Before we review the math and dynamics of robot jobs, let’s look at a similar perception problem that occurred one hundred years ago.

Robot ROI

How to properly calculate the payback or return on investment of a robot installation into the mold build process.

Industrial robotic automation is a manufacturing solution that becomes more mainstream each year. Robots can work 24 hours a day, seven days a week in dangerous and undesirable areas for human employees or in lights-out facilities. The idea of adopting robotics for industrial applications seems to have obvious value and is more common than most industrial companies may comprehend.
Common areas moldmakers apply robotics include: machine tending, part transfer, deburring, polishing, welding, spray arc hard-facing or inventory handling. Companies that supply integrated solutions to customers may also propose robotics as part of their product.

Automation Justification

When justifying the investment, it is important to complete an accurate estimate of the potential cost savings for automating an area. Robotic automation offers many direct benefits to the bottom line of the manufacturing operation. Replacing manual operations reduces obvious factors like labor cost including overtime, benefits and taxes. Choosing automation for growth opportunities increases productivity with the same workforce. Savings are also realized from reduced rework and scrap, and increased production rate. Reducing need for consumables can be significant. For example, a manual knife trimming operation may require items like safety gloves, safety knives and replacements for broken blades.

Less tangible savings are usually present as well. Factors like improved product quality can generate increased sales, but are sometimes difficult to link to hard numbers. Embracing leading-edge technology improves corporate image and can improve understanding the needs of customers using robotics.

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