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Automation. Taking jobs aways from the skilled

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Forum topic by bruc101 posted 01-23-2017 11:22 PM 3959 views 0 times favorited 54 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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bruc101

1181 posts in 3232 days


01-23-2017 11:22 PM

Maybe not this particular one but this is where jobs are going and not coming back as rapid as technology is improving.

My wife and I visited a large distribution warehouse recently. 5 yeas ago it had over 300 employees and today, only 5 employees that monitor the robots. Only a few lights on in this huge building.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fb4j51Mor20

-- Bruce Free Plans http://plans.sawmillvalley.org


54 replies so far

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UncannyValleyWoods

542 posts in 1554 days


#1 posted 01-23-2017 11:28 PM

It’s time for everyone to re-read Player Piano by Kurt Vonnegut.

Aside from that, I think it’s very important to alter the importance of “jobs” in this world and in our lives. Just look around here. There is talent and art flowing like a river through this place and none of that talent is valued in the same way a “job” is valued. It’s true that jobs give meaning and purpose to people and there is value in that, but jobs are not the be all and end all in life. If automation opens a world for us to each explore one’s creative abilities or to do absolutely nothing at all (if that’s what you get off on) then so be it. Like anything else, we just need balance.

-- “If Jesus had been killed twenty years ago, Catholic school children would be wearing little electric chairs around their necks instead of crosses.” ― Lenny Bruce

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Tony_S

704 posts in 2773 days


#2 posted 01-24-2017 12:16 AM

Just think how thrilled I was when I saw this!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m_sQPcMgrc0

10 years ago 3 and 4 axis CNC routers weren’t all that common in small and med size shops, and 5’s even less so.
Couldn’t afford….couldn’t justify…..what can it do that we can’t…blah blah.
Now, they’re everywhere.

Today, the woodworking industry dictates that if you want to progress…you MUST conform, or you’ll be left behind in a huge way.
I can’t say I like it….but I have to embrace it(ain’t that effed up?) I’ve got a shop full of guys that have bills to pay.

Hopefully…in my industry anyway, It’ll work out the same way as it did in the past/present. I’ve never had to lay anyone off BECAUSE of the CNC work we do….it just allowed us to take on a lot more work.
Granted….one drawback is the fact I’ve had to hire a lot less as well.

It’s the future, like it or not.

-- It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it. Aristotle

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Ger21

1074 posts in 2821 days


#3 posted 01-24-2017 05:08 AM

In the woodworking industry, robots and CNC machines don’t replace skilled workers. There’s a serious shortage of skilled woodworkers.
If you have skills and experience, you can find a job at 10 different shops in my area.

That robot cutting the stair stringer was cool. In the comments, someone mentioned that it was a $20,000 machine. That’s far more than $20K. Probably much more than $200K.
But the stairway is probably around $20,000.

-- Gerry, http://www.thecncwoodworker.com/index.html http://www.jointcam.com

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Tony_S

704 posts in 2773 days


#4 posted 01-24-2017 11:34 AM



In the woodworking industry, robots and CNC machines don t replace skilled workers.
- Ger21

In the custom stair industry, that’s just simply not true. Particularly with custom straight stairs. MANY skills have been shifted away from the guys on the floor, to the point where probably 75% of the straight stairs we build, are built by employee’s that I would call ‘unskilled’ in wood working. I can pay them half the wage, and they can assemble 2 to 3 times faster.
Most of the previous skills that these guys had to know in the past haven’t necessarily just disappeared, but been shifted to skilled draftsmen, programmers and operators who can perform these same tasks in a fraction of the amount of time it used to take by hand with far greater accuracy, and in most cases, fit and finish as well.
Today, I can produce the same $10,000 dollar straight hardwood staircase, better quality, in half the amount of time, all hands included, without what I would call a ‘skilled stair builder’ ever laying a hand on it.

Curved staircases haven’t been effected to nearly the same degree, but that’s changing all the time.
The video you watched of the robot cutting out the curved stringer…..It’s been sped up, but more than likely took no more than 15-20 minutes max(and that’s a stretch). What it executed in 20 minutes would take a skilled stair builder 3-4 hours at best.
I definitely still need highly skilled builders on the shop floor, and on site. Just not as many as I would have in the past.
I stay fairly close with a couple (one in particular) large(70+ on the floor), high end cabinet shops that do both residential and commercial work. Much of the high end(high skilled)detailed architectural millwork, corbel’s column’s etc. is done with a 5 axis cnc now.

-- It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it. Aristotle

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TravisH

519 posts in 1625 days


#5 posted 01-24-2017 12:57 PM

It is rather simple. If the task can be done through automation it will be done so once it is cheaper to produce the product than using skilled or non skilled labor. So many in today’s society are grasping to time period of manufacturing that has and will continue to diminish.

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OSB

147 posts in 216 days


#6 posted 01-24-2017 04:16 PM

I don’t want to be a Luddite but this is true and we should figure out a way to slow this process and at some point halt it because it does not seem sustainable. It’s not just the loss of jobs but the fact that we live in a disposable society and we are accelerating on that path from durable goods to single use and chuck it.

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clin

695 posts in 686 days


#7 posted 01-24-2017 04:48 PM

Automation has the potential to replace ALL jobs over the next few decades. Some estimates have computers thinking as well as humans in less than 15 years. This snowball started rolling down the hill decades ago, but it is really picking up speed now. Ultimately no one’s job is safe. It’s only a question of time.

How does an economy work when human labor has no value?

This is not like previous technological revolutions. In the past, automation, or more generally increases in production efficiency, freed people to do more complex tasks. This is probably the biggest part of mankind’s continued improvement in quality of life. But, once machines can do everything we can do, there is no next level.

There’s no stopping this. Businesses will continue to improve efficiency via automation because this lowers their production costs. While business can see that this reduces their customer base, there’s no direct connection to a specific business.

Perhaps it will require laws that require businesses to spend X% of revenues on human labor. In the end, I don’t think it will be up to us. Eventually the computer (yes one large, distributed computer) will control us. It will be up to this computer what happens. However, I suspect it will be benevolent, and probably will let us think we are still in control.

-- Clin

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bigblockyeti

4359 posts in 1411 days


#8 posted 01-24-2017 05:40 PM



cking up
Eventually the computer (yes one large, distributed computer) will control us. It will be up to this computer what happens. However, I suspect it will be benevolent, and probably will let us think we are still in control.

- clin


I was under the impression this had already happened?

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Pezking7p

3213 posts in 1342 days


#9 posted 01-24-2017 06:44 PM

I, for one, welcome our new computer overlords.


I don t want to be a Luddite but this is true and we should figure out a way to slow this process and at some point halt it because it does not seem sustainable. It s not just the loss of jobs but the fact that we live in a disposable society and we are accelerating on that path from durable goods to single use and chuck it.

- OSB

What about a world where EVERYTHING is performed by a computer/robot. What would people do? Permanent vacation? That can’t be all bad.

-- -Dan

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bigblockyeti

4359 posts in 1411 days


#10 posted 01-24-2017 07:03 PM

That kinda sounds like the movie WALL-E

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Tony_S

704 posts in 2773 days


#11 posted 01-25-2017 12:00 AM

Build you a house?
http://www.blueprint-robotics.com/video/

How about a timber framed house?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DV9InsDwao0

Need a brick layer?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SQ2PdpLEAG0

Make no mistake, it’s here, it’s now.
You can stand in the corner with your arms crossed in disgust and a fowl look on your face if you choose….the tech world doesn’t care.

-- It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it. Aristotle

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patron

13572 posts in 3031 days


#12 posted 01-25-2017 01:11 AM

everyone looked to the day they could relax and enjoy life
first it was going to be 35 hour work weeks
then more credit to buy better
now we got automation to ease the workload
and many don’t have work
or can’t keep up with the joneses anymore
not even the joneses

things will proceed along this way

then they will have robots to take over football and basketball
some will object
but many will be ok with it
as many spectacular plays will be exciting

until they come up with a robot

that drinks their beer for them

-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

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TravisH

519 posts in 1625 days


#13 posted 01-25-2017 02:56 AM

I don’t think we have to fear of not being able to work. Individuals just will have to redefine what they considered “skilled” labor. If a job entails essentially being an able body yes you should be concerned. Unfortunately a segment of the population falls into this category. Based on the assemblies I attended at the high school, with my oldest, and the career days they presented they are pushing a vast majority of kids into these “skilled” areas….future government dependent masses or those that will struggle to get ahead not understanding why they don’t make more for stamping widgets and why they would be replaced by a machine.

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SuperCubber

974 posts in 1975 days


#14 posted 01-25-2017 03:09 AM

We’ll have to leave the U.S. in search of opportunity! How ironic is that?!

-- Joe | Spartanburg, SC | "To give anything less than your best is to sacrafice the gift." - Steve Prefontaine

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OSB

147 posts in 216 days


#15 posted 01-25-2017 06:36 AM

Permanent vacation, I doubt it.

I predict sky high unemployment, major class separation and collapsing social services.

This ain’t Star Trek.

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