The use of robotic automation has had an incredible impact on China’s ability to feed the international supply chain. Production output has greatly improved, making it possible to produce more, much quicker. However, this reality has only been improved by the fact that there are fewer operating costs and increased product quality. The manufacturing environment has become safer, requires less space, and with a smaller workforce, there’s less turnover.
The Role of Automation & Artificial Intelligence
Automation and artificial intelligence have created robots capable of decision-making tasks, making the benefits of industrial robots remarkable. They greatly reduced the growing cost of labor. In fact, the benefits of using robotics have been too powerful for China to walk away from. The demand for these industrial robots is projected to double by 2018. In fact, industrial tools like the ribbon mixer may be positively affected by changes in automation that improve manufacturing. Although robotics has proven to be a successful tool for China, their impact on the supply chain will have effects that will reverberate all over the world in both positive and challenging ways.
The Big Picture
China started to look to automation as a way of compensating for the decline in the labor force. Manufacturers increased their use of industrial robots in response to the shrinking work population. As of 2013, China is the world’s largest market for industrial robots as well as the fastest growing market in the world. Most Chinese manufacturers use industrial robots to increase productivity. Robotic automation has become China’s answer to staying competitive with other cheap labor countries because China’s labor costs are not nearly as cheap as they used to be.
The Benefits of Automation
Automation allows Chinese manufacturers to keep mass manufacturing costs low, making it possible for them to produce more without spending more. Most multinational supply chains run through China which means that shifts in the Chinese industry will affect the world on a global level. As a response to changes in the Chinese industry, businesses will need to assess their relationship with suppliers and workers.
China’s economic shift has been fueled by the growing cost of labor which has risen by 15 percent since the year 2000. As a result, China is no longer a market for the cheap production of goods. The Made in China 2025 plan addresses many of the ways that China plans to increase productivity and improve its manufacturing sophistication in order to bypass Germany, Japan, and the United States. China’s robotic revolution stands to make all this possible by freeing up more revenue for technological upgrades and more industrial robots. For example, the manufacturing hub of Guangdong plans to automate 80 percent of its factories by 2020.