Auto manufacturers are learning that automation has the potential for becoming a more cost efficient way of producing automobiles. Using robotic technology in the place of human workers would mean that the company would no longer have the expense of paying wages and associated costs such as health insurance, sick leave and other benefits and taxes. This move will amount to billions of dollars saved within the industry and for many, it is an attractive proposition.
Currently, there are already robotic machines set in place to conduct manufacturing of parts and assembly of vehicles. Some of the latest technology in the manufacturing arena is based on computer driven software that works from blueprints which are pre-programmed. Although there is still the need for machine operators, the jobs are very different from what they once were. Instead of making parts by hand, the workers must understand how to operate the new high tech equipment.
The same is true for diagnostics on newer vehicles which work from a centeral computer within the vehicle. Here are ten auto industry jobs that will die due to automation.
1. Production line workers
The Toyota company is a good example of how automation has already replaced jobs once occupied by humans. Robots have been used over the past several years in the production of axles, crankshafts and auto chassis parts. Robotic assembly lines significantly reduces the need for workers and it out over one hundred jobs in one plant alone. This company in particular noticed some flaws with the robotic system and in order to increase the quality of the parts under production, brought approximately ten percent of human workers back into the equation.
There was a noticeable difference in the quality with less waste and fewer defects. It's only a matter of time before robotics will be perfected as technologies advance, and once again, the workers will be replaced with automation.
This job consists of putting parts together in order to make sub-components of vehicles on an assembly line in an automotive manufacturing plant. Soon, the job of assemblers/fabricators will be completed by automated systems. These are entry level jobs that pay on average, $21 per hour with minimal training requirements.
3. Welders, Solderers and Brazers
Robots are now capable of performing most welding tasks through automation. This makes the work on assembly lines go much faster than if a human were performing the tasks. Jobs that involve welding, soldering and brazing are disappearing gradually as new technology is being introduced in the industry. New job descriptions will appear and replace the old ones with the additional requirement of knowledge of the equipment which is being used in the new automated process.
This means that workers who do not have this specialized training will become obsolete. Spot welding machines can accomplish the same tasks for approximately $8 per hour that costs $25 per hour when humans are on the line.
CNC machinery now has the capacity for creating any type of part and producing them flawlessly en masse with each piece being identical to the other. This reduces the need for metal fabricators who once used labor intensive methods for accomplishing what can be done more faster and more economically. While there will need to be a human in charge of the controls and for supervision of the machinery, this type of technology will now require workers who are well trained in the safe operation of this type of machinery.
5. Automotive marketers
Some of the marketing jobs that are currently performed by people will be replaced with automated systems that involve internet technology. Ordering a vehicle is now possible online through automated ordering systems. While people will still be used to finalize orders, new technology is currently being used to process order information.
6. Automotive diagnosticians
Newer automobiles have a computer system onboard that generates error reports. When plugged into a diagnostics machine, the error codes are read and the problem is now diagnosed through a computerized system that uses sophisticated software. The data generated allows technicians to accurately diagnose mechanical issues in an automobile.
Although there will always be a need for auto mechanics on some level, many of the tasks will be replaced with automated systems. Similar to the diagnostician, software has the capacity to reset error codes in vehicles after diagnostics have been run and parts have been replaced. Often, after mechanic work has been done to a vehicle, error codes still remain and must be cleared. The new technology has the capability of automatically resetting the computer within a vehicle versus the traditional manual resetting methods which will cut down on the number of tasks assigned to auto mechanics.
8. Automobile tester
Automobiles are routinely testing through automated systems to assess their overall quality and performance capacities. Computerized systems give readouts of data for later analysis. Instead of taking a new vehicle for a test drive to ensure that it meets the minimum standards, this can now be performed within the factory walls.
9. Taxi Drivers
New self driving vehicles are a part of the wave of the future. When perfected, this technology will not rely upon human drivers and it is believed that Uber drivers and taxi drivers will become obsolete within the next several decades.
10. Truck Drivers
The jobs currently held by FedEx, UPS and many other delivery service are likely to be replaced in time through self driving vehicles. Instead of driving established routes, the jobs are most likely to morph into freight handlers because the vehicles themselves will have the capacity for automatic programming and driving, thanks to artificial intelligence and highly sophisticated navigational systems.
The world is changing and making a shift towards automation. The main driver behind this evolution is economics. Although some automation still needs perfecting before it can realize its full potential with regard to economy and efficiency, steady forward progress is being made. We are at the experimental stage right now and technicians and developers are busily making the needed adjustments and enhancements that will perfect automated systems that will eventually replace an estimated two billion jobs on a global scale.
Written by Garrett Parker
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