It’s not a glamorous business, logistics. Doesn’t make the mainstream news very often. And it’s not likely to be the top career choice for most people.
It’s understandable. After all, how interesting can it be to move boxes from point A to point B?
Put like that, it’s not much to write home about. But now, with driverless vehicles everywhere, augmented reality glasses and exoskeletons for warehouse workers, and robotics and automation technologies of all kinds promising to transform the industry worldwide, logistics is about to get much more interesting. Continue reading DHL could stop Amazon from taking over the world. Probably
Kiva Systems was a company that built a mobile robot for logistics operations, mainly for use in warehouses. It was a basically a small platform on wheels, and proved popular throughout the industry.
But then it got bought out by Amazon, which initially said it would still sell it to the rest of the logistics industry but actually didn’t. Instead it rebranded Kiva as Amazon Robotics and turned it into a business unit of its own.
The online retail giant now has one of the largest number of robots in operation of any company in the world.
Industrial giant ABB is reporting a 3 per cent growth in total orders across its operation, but most of it seems to be coming from robotics.
Net income was $525 million – for the second quarter ending July 6. Gross profit, however, was down 5 per cent, and was only $1 billion. Total revenues were up 1 per cent at almost $8.5 billion.
ABB CEO Ulrich Spiesshofer says: “In Q2, ABB continued to build its growth momentum as our targeted initiatives are delivering. Order growth was broad-based and across all regions.
“Our industry-leading digital offering, ABB Ability, is taking off and starting to contribute to growth.
“Operational performance in the power grids and industrial automation divisions was solid in the quarter. Electrification products and robotics and motion improved margins sequentially, but were not able to fully compensate commodity price headwinds and overcapacity during the quarter. Continue reading Robotics and automation news is good for ABB, says CEO
Despite slowdowns in certain industries, Vietnam’s automation and control systems market is witnessing stable growth, according to a report by Frost & Sullivan.
Robust expansion in the manufacturing and construction sectors plus increased foreign direct investment, growing end-user need to optimize processes and improve efficiency, and development of special economic zones are factors fuelling growth.
A combination of higher wages in Asian countries and a trend for bringing back manufacturing to the US could dismantle large parts of Asian economies, many of which depend on the textiles and clothes manufacturing trades for huge portion of their national income.
An interesting video report by the Financial Times points to this possible future, but adds that in practice, for now, “almost all of the world’s T-shirts and jeans by millions of cheap workers, mostly women, watching over sewing machines”.
About half of all jobs in America could be replaced by robotics and automation systems, according to a news story on CNBC.com.
And as pointed out by CNBC.com, approximately one in four American jobs are at risk of being shipped overseas, which puts three-quarters of all jobs in the US at risk of disappearing or at least changing.
Rethink Robotics has signed deals with nine distribution partners throughout the United States and Europe to extend the availability of its smart, collaborative robots.
With an extensive network throughout the world – including partners in the US, UK, Germany, France, Spain, China, Korea, Japan, Mexico and Australia – these distribution deals are part of Rethink’s efforts to meet growing demand across the globe, bringing flexible automation to the global manufacturing market.
Despite an endless stream of stories in the media warning of humanity’s impending irrelevance in an automated future, it seems American workers remain rather blasé about the prospect of being automated out of existence in the workplace.
New research by Randstad US contradicts many reports that American workers fear losing their job due to automation.