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The factory is “unmanned”, where is the new position?

Release time:2018-07-27 Browse:997

At present, the integration of new technologies and manufacturing industries represented by robots and artificial intelligence has promoted the development of intelligent manufacturing. For traditional manufacturing, “unmanned” will greatly reduce costs and increase efficiency.




The new round of scientific and technological revolution and industrial changes are constantly deepening, and we are changing our lives in a way that is “smooth and quiet”, and our future is full of opportunities and challenges. "Unmanned" is a term that has appeared in high frequency in recent years, constantly impacting our eyes and challenging our nerves. “Unmanned supermarkets”, “unmanned driving”, “unmanned hotels”, “unmanned restaurants”... Some people predict that “unmanned” is like a butterfly storm, which will lead from lifestyle to job employment to Great changes in economic transformation.






Unmanned work is a big trend. Nowadays, more and more enterprises are trying to build “unmanned workshops” and “unmanned factories”. Well-known management professor Warren Benes told a joke: There is only one person, a dog in the factory of the future, the person is to feed the dog, the dog is to see the person, not let him touch the machine.


In the factories of the future, is there a “foothold” for workers? When workers no longer need workers, where are the workers going?


"Unmanned" is the trend of the times



"Unmanned factory" is essentially a microcosm of industrial manufacturing intelligence and high-end. At present, the integration of new technologies and manufacturing industries represented by robots and artificial intelligence has promoted the development of intelligent manufacturing. For traditional manufacturing, “unmanned” will greatly reduce costs and increase efficiency.



An unmanned chemical plant, an automated factory, refers to a factory where all production activities are controlled by electronic computers, and the first line is equipped with robots without workers. In 1952, Ford Motor Company of the United States built the world's first fully automated factory to produce engines. But the real unmanned chemical plant emerged after the great development of robots, computers, electronic technology, etc., such as the "unmanned factory" of Volkswagen in Germany, a production workshop with only a few workers.



The disappearance of the demographic dividend and the rising costs of raw materials have made it necessary for China's manufacturing industry to transform, upgrade, improve quality and accelerate smart manufacturing. Various fields of the industry began to improve the level of automated production, vigorously promote intelligent upgrades, and have launched pilots of “machine substitution” to build demonstration production lines, demonstration workshops, and demonstration factories. Foxconn announced last year that it will invest 1 million smart robots in the next three years at the speed of thousands of robots per day. The CNC full-servo manipulator independently developed by Gree was successfully put into use last year, with a total of more than 1,200 units. Haier Connected Factory adopts the robot community unmanned operation. It is different from the intelligent production workshop of German BMW. It is also different from the “unmanned factory” of Tesla in the United States, forming a unique intelligent manufacturing mode.



In a factory in Qinhuangdao that produces frozen dumplings, there are no workers who work in the production workshop. Instead, the robots that keep moving back and forth are interspersed with orbital tracks. From dough, stuffing, kneading dumplings, to plastic packaging, palletizing, etc., it is a clean and tidy line: soft pneumatic grippers, especially soft dumplings can be safely picked up, and accurate positioning from grabbing to placement; With more than 50 degrees of freezing, the robots on the assembly line can handle it freely; the sorting robot has a gripper with a suction cup, which will not damage the fragile quick-frozen dumplings at all; the palletizing robot repeats simple movements without stopping, if it is early It was dizzy. Where are the workers? A few workers are working in the control room.



In the polishing workshop of a Precision Technology Co., Ltd. in Dongguan, 60 robots are working on the frame structure of the mobile phone in the day and night. A robot can replace 6 to 8 workers, a workshop that originally required 650 workers, and now only 60 people are responsible for watching and checking, and will reduce to 20 in the future. Compared with skilled workers, the newly-launched robots are “newcomers”, but the quantity and quality of the products produced are far more sophisticated and skilled.



The data shows that since the machine was on duty, the product defect rate has dropped from more than 25% to less than 5%, and the production capacity has increased from 8,000 per month to 21,000 per person. This is just the first step in the company's “machine substitution” program, which will increase the number of robots to work in the next two years to 1,000. After the "machine substitution" program is completed, the entire mid- and back-office operators will not exceed 200 people, and 80% of the processes will be unmanned.



It is foreseeable that in the near future, factory production will be a scenario where all processes are operated by computer-controlled robots, CNC computer processing equipment, unmanned vehicles and automated warehouse equipment, and technicians are free to sit in the computer. Next, the production information of the workshop is monitored in real time through the central control system. There is no doubt that there will be more and more “unmanned” smart factories, and they will be getting closer to the goal of “no one”.




What kind of workers do you need in the future factory?



A strong adult man can't afford to pick up 100 kilograms of sacks, while a crane can easily grab dozens of tons of cargo. From the perspective of development law, machine replacement manpower is an unstoppable trend and a manifestation of productivity progress. "Machine substitution" is aimed at human weaknesses and limitations, or to find some pain points in traditional industries. For example, workers on the assembly line can't work 24 hours a day without stopping, and then they can't work well and the robot can be easily realized.


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