Executive Briefings

Old Tech Can't Help Re-shored Businesses, But Robotics May

When companies bring products back from off-shored manufacturing operations, such as China, the processes cannot be simply dropped back into place and configured with the same old machines and process flows from 20 years back. Most re-shoring operations include new and upgraded equipment, software and, in some cases, advanced automation that includes collaborative intelligent industrial robots.

Robots, says Jim Lawton, chief product and marketing officer at Rethink Robotics, offer the tremendous competitive advantage.

How fast can we bring in the new robots? Some early adopters feel that we can’t move fast enough, while others are finding that mixing old machines with new tech is too disruptive for on-going production.

Lawton is excited by the whole robotics movement, although it presents intimidating choices and decisions. “I think that as we’ve seen with many other technologies, people have become skeptical about whether the new systems will work as advertised. That’s healthy because lots of robotic solutions have been not-ready-for-primetime. People have all sorts of questions, and of course there is the fear factor — ‘Will I get fired if deployment doesn’t work?’”

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Robots, says Jim Lawton, chief product and marketing officer at Rethink Robotics, offer the tremendous competitive advantage.

How fast can we bring in the new robots? Some early adopters feel that we can’t move fast enough, while others are finding that mixing old machines with new tech is too disruptive for on-going production.

Lawton is excited by the whole robotics movement, although it presents intimidating choices and decisions. “I think that as we’ve seen with many other technologies, people have become skeptical about whether the new systems will work as advertised. That’s healthy because lots of robotic solutions have been not-ready-for-primetime. People have all sorts of questions, and of course there is the fear factor — ‘Will I get fired if deployment doesn’t work?’”

Read Full Article