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A U.S. Apple factory may be robot city

#1 User is offline   Macworld 

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Posted 07 December 2012 - 02:30 PM

Post your comments for A U.S. Apple factory may be robot city here
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#2 User is offline   leskern 

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  Posted 07 December 2012 - 08:13 PM

Robots.
Okay then.
Maybe they'll have some 10 buck an hour janitor jobs.
Window washers?
Forklift drivers?
Nah, all automated.
Could re-name this story "Apple Hires Five People For New US plant".
So, what, am I supposed to be happy about this?
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#3 User is offline   gochugogi 

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  Posted 07 December 2012 - 11:31 PM

Quote

Robots. Okay then. Maybe they'll have some 10 buck an hour janitor jobs. Window washers? Forklift drivers? Nah, all automated. Could re-name this story "Apple Hires Five People For New US plant". So, what, am I supposed to be happy about this?


So they should build everything scratch using hand tools and charge 10 large a pop?
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#4 User is offline   Bucko 

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  Posted 08 December 2012 - 04:28 AM

Cool. Jobs are jobs, whether they're held by robots or humans -- at least the work would be done here. Anyway, even if the facility were to be mostly automated, humans would still be needed to build, maintain, and oversee the operation. If the robots evolve in complexity and capability, then there will be paid opportunities for humans to observe and learn from robot operations.

Plus, at the end of the day, the fact is, humans will still have a place in the system as consumers and members of various consulting groups that will steer the robots' efforts.
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#5 User is offline   pubb 

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  Posted 08 December 2012 - 10:33 AM

I'll take the operation jobs over assembly line work any day. The tool and die makers who make the cutters and assemblies, the electronics technicians who maintain the equipment, the electricians who manage the electrical equipment, the quality control technicians, the human resources staff managing the on-site employees. Sure beats assembly line work any day.
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#6 User is offline   GadgetGav 

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  Posted 09 December 2012 - 05:01 AM

"First, a robot loads the aluminum block into the robo-machine that has a range of tools for cutting and drilling shapes to produce the complex chassis as a single precision part, Sweet said."

Oh please! If you're going to do a piece about factory automation for machining, at least get a quote from someone who knows machining and not automated warehousing. What the hell is a "robo-maching that has a range of tools"..? I think you mean a CNC machining center. These things have existed for decades and having automated loading and unloading of them is not uncommon. No one in the industry calls them "robo-machines" though.

A basic lack of understanding by the author in going to Symbotic for a quote and then mentioning Amazon buying Kiva. Both those companies make automated warehousing equipment. I'm sure Apple would use that in the distribution side of things, but neither company is relevant to the point he's trying to make about manufacturing automation.

I know the entire piece is speculation, conjured up from one comment by Tim Cook in a TV interview, but if you're going to try to offer some background and education to your readers, at least do some basic research yourselves.
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#7 User is offline   GadgetGav 

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  Posted 09 December 2012 - 05:05 AM

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Cool. Jobs are jobs, whether they're held by robots or humans -- at least the work would be done here.

Huh? A job that is done by a robot doesn't move the needle on human unemployment.

Quote

Anyway, even if the facility were to be mostly automated, humans would still be needed to build, maintain, and oversee the operation.

OK, yes. There are support jobs associated with robots, but that's not the same thing. Those are highly skilled jobs. The robots take the low-end jobs away.

Quote

If the robots evolve in complexity and capability, then there will be paid opportunities for humans to observe and learn from robot operations.

What? Who do you think taught the robots in the first place? We're not talking about sentient automata here. Industrial robots are programmed by humans. The humans won't learn anything more by watching their robots do what they've been told to do.
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#8 User is offline   icerabbit 

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Posted 09 December 2012 - 10:46 AM

View Postleskern, on 07 December 2012 - 08:13 PM, said:

Robots.
Okay then.
Maybe they'll have some 10 buck an hour janitor jobs.
Window washers?
Forklift drivers?
Nah, all automated.
Could re-name this story "Apple Hires Five People For New US plant".
So, what, am I supposed to be happy about this?



I welcome any company to bring back jobs to the US.

Who do you think will construct the building & maintain it, install the assembly line and maintain it, install the robots and program them, etc. ?
And, as soon as you have a certain number of technical staff, you have all kinds of additional staff. There's a heck of a lot more going on to get a product out the door than pushing the parts together ... and that's the least favorable job. In my younger years I have done assembly line type work and in-factory transportation. I was offered a permanent job more than once and politely declined. I couldn't see myself do it long term, let alone decades like some of the older line workers. They were great at what they did, but I just didn't enjoy it. I need variety, creativity, challenges, ...
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#9 User is offline   photoshop61 

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  Posted 09 December 2012 - 07:17 PM

Quote

Robots. Okay then. Maybe they'll have some 10 buck an hour janitor jobs. Window washers? Forklift drivers? Nah, all automated. Could re-name this story "Apple Hires Five People For New US plant". So, what, am I supposed to be happy about this?


They should build your by hand and charge you 3x what I pay for mine (made by a robot).
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#10 User is offline   talmy 

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  Posted 10 December 2012 - 10:35 AM

My understanding is that back when Apple manufactured computers in the US their factories were highly automated and used robots. No reason not to expect this with Apple's return.
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#11 User is offline   beigemac 

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  Posted 10 December 2012 - 08:19 PM

What a bunch of crap! Every time I see a product that says "Made in China" I get mad. What the f%^^&^ is wrong with the western world these days? Can they not see the big picture? Of course, when the US finally becomes a third world country they will just move their assets to the new economic power in the world, China, and abandon America to it's fate. I think communist countries would know what to do in these situations. If it was up to me, I'd make it illegal for American companies to produce their products in foreign countries, and if they then decided to move out of the country, I would seize their assets, all of them. They could walk out with the clothes on their backs. Capitalism is a system that is now being abused, and the once greatest country in the world is rapidly becoming a third world country. Just like people no longer know how to raise and discipline their children, nobody knows how to punish criminals, and that includes the big corporations.
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#12 User is offline   TimothyA 

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  Posted 10 December 2012 - 09:12 PM

This is the whole point of the book Race Against The Machine
By Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee. Those who think that bringing manufacturing back to the US will also bring back jobs are fighting a war that has already been lost. It’s now fairly simple to bring production of many items back to the US, because of automation and robotics, but a factory filled with robots doesn't employ many people. Advancing artificial intelligence is going to eliminate even more jobs in the not too distant future. Get ready for it: we're entering a very different era.
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#13 User is offline   hagen 

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  Posted 12 December 2012 - 10:23 AM

>What the f%^^&^ is wrong with the western world these days?

You are what is wrong with the western world today: you want to buy a product at the lowest price. That drives companies to find the lowest cost, whether it be cheap components or cheap labour.

>Capitalism is a system that is now being abused,

What? Capitalism is not being abused. This is the logical end result.
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