When we think of robots we think of the androids in Hollywood movies and on television. But in reality most robots don't look like C3PO or the Terminator. Most of the robots created today are just a series of mechanical arms or wheels with tools and sensors built in. They don't fit the usual stereotype image of robots that most people have. In the United States, 90 percent of the robots in existence are for use in the manufacturing field assembling and building products for consumers around the world. Of all of those robots more than half of them are being used in the automobile industry.
Over the past thirty-five years or so, robots have completely changed the automobile industry in many ways. Sadly, the use of these robots has also led to many people losing their jobs through cost effectiveness. But the robots have improved the industries with a job efficiency that just couldn't be duplicated by humans. Robots have made assembly lines and factories safer by handling jobs that are too dangerous or too difficult for humans to perform without risk. Cost effectiveness, job efficiency, and safety are the three main reasons that robots have become a big part of the automotive industry.
Cost Effectiveness - The use of robots in the manufacturing area of the automobile industry has saved millions of dollars over the years. By replacing employees with robots, the automobile industry was able to double and triple their production times. In some ways it came down to simple money saving issues like robots not needing lunch breaks or bathroom breaks. Robots never call in sick or take vacations. Robots also don't require health insurance or request raises. A robot can work twenty-four hours a day without a break, and continuously perform the same mundane tasks over and over again virtually non-stop. Even with the expenses of maintenance and occasional breakdowns, robots just make more sense economically for the automobile industry.
Job Efficiency - By replacing human workers with robotic workers, the automotive industry was able to assure that certain jobs would be performed specifically to their expectations. Robots are not limited like humans when it comes to performing many assembly jobs like painting, finishing, welding, riveting, and installation. Robots also don't have restrictions with moving heavy objects or issues of fatigue. Barring any computer errors, robots will almost always get the job done quicker and more efficiently than a human possibly could. Robots are able to be programmed to perform precise intricate duties at much faster speeds than any human could be expected to.
Safety - One of the benefits of robots in the automobile industry is the elimination of humans needing to perform jobs that are dangerous or pose health risks. Because the robots are so efficient, there is no issue with human errors causing accidents or injuries to themselves and others around them. Robots are able to withstand exposure to extreme heat, chemicals in the air, and general physical contact with parts and structures. There are a lot of jobs that pose high risk to a human in the automotive industry that simply make more sense to have a robot perform. The use of robotics in crash-test dummies is also a job that a human would never be able to perform safely. Robots have simply made the work place a safer place by taking over these jobs.
While it is a shame that many jobs that humans could perform are being taken by robots, it does make sense in a business environment to use robots to improve cost effectiveness, job efficiency, and safety. As technology continues to improve, so do the possibilities of more robots being used in the automobile industry.