Michigan’s Manufacturing Industry Brings Manufacturing Back to the USA
The Fourth Industrial Revolution
It’s hard to believe that we are already on our way to the fourth industrial revolution, but we are. Past mechanization, mass assembly, and then the digital age, the way that the entire world manufactures things has changed several times over. The inclusion of robots into the manufacturing world are changing it yet again. Tom Kelly, a writer for Michigan Radio, describes the fourth industrial revolution as a mix of “cyber-physical systems – basically, systems that create a digital copy of the physical world that can be manipulated with little to no risk.” This change is bringing manufacturing back to the USA at a critical time. But why?
Chinese Goods Do Not Make Sense
When one considers how robots have recently been included in the manufacturing world, it begins to become clear why Chinese-manufactured goods do not always make the most sense. The return on investment decreases with increased shipping costs, which previously discounted labor made up for. That will not continue to be the case. The Chinese are already struggling to keep up with manufacturing, worldwide. Robots do the same amount of work regardless of the factory’s location, and China lacks the natural resources to even make their own robots, let alone to manufacture the goods to export elsewhere.
Michigan’s Time to Shine
Should Michigan adapt to the change in times and implement factory automation in a timely manner, they stand to be the forerunners for manufacturing in America. Factory automation marries robots with human skills, such as software development and cyber security. Michigan already is the place known for making things, not just inside the US. Furthermore, the US has all of the raw materials and talent needed to become a manufacturing giant once more. It’s up to small, medium, and large factories to all implement the technologies necessary and transition to “smart factories”.