The origins of the Industry
According to the web-site Global Education, The car manufacturing industry has been a major employer and over the last 100 years, provided safer and more accessible transport for increasing numbers of people including newly industrialized countries (Commonwealth of Australia, 2012). The Automobile industry has changed from an industry that was highly impacted on manual labour, to an Industry which has recently down sized, is primarily dependent on robotics and although downsized still exports cars. (Motor Authority, 2016).
History of Car Manufacturing
Automotive production on a commercial scale started in France in 1890 and has evolved dramatically. In those days, the European industry consisted of a large number of small independent firms. These firms would turn out a limited quantity of cars using precise engineering and handcrafted methods. As the industry evolved production was assisted by moving conveyer belts, machines and cranes. But remained highly reliant on manual labour. It was not until 1961 that the first industrial robots started helping to build cars for General Motors and years later, robots with sensors and computer vision started to become commonplace.
By the 70’s the number of independent manufacturers decreased to double digits and today a small number of large global firms are dominating the majority of the industry. The 1970’s oil crisis created significant change in the industry away from the “gas guzzling” cars typically produced by the American makers to smaller, fuel-efficient ones originating in Japan. The rising labour costs along with the rise of other industrialised nations such as Korea, Thailand, India and China have seen several Japanese manufacturers move some of their manufacturing to lower cost geographies. (Horton, n.d.)
Today the assembly of the modern mass production car is done by sophisticated robots, which carry out specific, repetitive tasks in all aspects from assembly, to welding and painting. For example, Kia has 4 times as many robots than humans working in its welding department (Commonwealth of Australia, 2012). Companies investing in the use of robotics may find an initial large financial outlay but will save them time and money in the long turn. In the future of car manufacturing will we start to see more modern electronic cars that are more stainable and energy efficient to run.
As we can see there is meny advantages and disadvantages from the interdiction of robotics to car manufacturing.