With the development of technology and machinery across the industry, it would appear that there are two distinct opinions of the changes taking place. It would appear that one party feel there there is opportunity to be found in what is being referred to as the fourth industrial revolution, and the other opinion leading to a feeling of threat through the increasing advancement in technology. Lead Consultant of Jonathan Lee Recruitment, Dan Plimmer, has been looking into how technological advancement could impact the manufacturing workforce in the future.
The continued development of artificial intelligence is the area of technology that is being seen as a threat to jobs and workers in the industry. However there have also been significant developments in the automation, 3D printing and the idea of the digital twin.
These areas, as part of Industry 4.0, another reference to the idea of modern advancement being equivalent to the fourth industrial revolution, have also received a great deal of media coverage, with speculation suggesting there will be a hemorrhage of jobs in the industry as the implementation of High Level Machine Intelligence is incorporated and replaces some labour jobs. These HLMIâs are considered to be able to carry out tasks faster and to a better standard that humans as well as being more cost-effective.
However, those that see the implementation of advanced technological solutions believe that the manufacturing jobs landscape could simply alter the market and offer more wide ranging and interesting job prospects as opposed to threatening employment. In order for HLMI machines to function at their best, they are in need of an upskilled and more diverse workforce, meaning that there will be an opportunity for training in a range of disciplines such as robotic engineering, scada engineering, data analytics and multi-skilled maintenance.
Businesses that are wanting to make the most of the changes in the industry, will be making changes to their workforce and adopting new practices. Making changes sooner rather than later will allow businesses to thrive as technological innovation continues to impact on manufacturing operations.