From McKinsey & Company: Human + machine: A new era of automation in manufacturing

news | January 10th, 2018

New technologies are opening a new era in automation for manufacturers—one in which humans and machines will increasingly work side by side…

Over the past two decades, automation in manufacturing has been transforming factory floors, the nature of manufacturing employment, and the economics of many manufacturing sectors.

Today, we are on the cusp of a new automation era: rapid advances in robotics, artificial intelligence, and machine learning are enabling machines to match or outperform humans in a range of work activities, including ones requiring cognitive capabilities.

Industry executives—those whose companies have already embraced automation, those who are just getting started, and those who have not yet begun fully reckoning with the implications of this new automation age—need to consider the following three fundamental perspectives: what automation is making possible with current technology and is likely to make possible as the technology continues to evolve; what factors besides technical feasibility to consider when making decisions about automation; and how to begin thinking about where—and how much—to automate in order to best capture value from automation over the long term…

To understand the scope of possible automation in the manufacturing sector as a whole, we conducted a study of manufacturing work in 46 countries in both the developed and developing worlds, covering about 80 percent of the global workforce…

Our study also looked at the automation potential for specific types of activities and jobs within the manufacturing sector…

Read the article on the automation in manufacturing study here.

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