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Industryweek 8230 Factory Robots

Factories Adding Robots at a Faster Pace

Feb. 10, 2015
U.S. factories are among the top adopters of robotic technologies along with factories in China, Japan, Canada, Russia and the U.K.

Factories in the U.S. and around the world are adding robots to their workforce at a faster pace. That pace is expected to pick up even more over the next decade.

A study from the Boston Consulting Group estimates among the world's 25-biggest export nations, robot use will grow by 10% a year at manufacturing and industrial companies through 2025.

Leading the robot charge is cost. The price to automate factory jobs has dropped considerably. The report notes the cost of owning and operating a spot welder is down nearly $50,000 a year from 2005, and should drop another $30,000 by 2025.

U.S. factories are among the top adopters of robotic technologies, but not as quick as factories in China, Japan, Canada, Russia and the U.K. Companies in South Korea, Thailand, Indonesia and Taiwan are also on the fast track.

In all according to BGC, the latest robotic revolution could lead to a factory workforce that’s several million workers smaller in 2025. Those losses will affect mostly low-skill workers, while higher-skill jobs operating and maintaining the new workforce are expected to increase.

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