Manufacturing in North America was supposed to be dead decades ago. However, the number of manufacturing jobs has trended upwards over the last few years. This surge is not a blip on the radar — this is a revival.
The North American manufacturing sector has added more employees every year since 2011. Ironically enough, the catalyst for this change has been the very thing that was supposed to be the deathblow: automation.
Please keep reading to learn more about how automation helped to save factories in North America.
From the Brink of Death
It’s no secret that North America was a manufacturing superpower right up until the 1980s. However, around that time, more and more multinational companies moved their plants overseas to take advantage of cheaper labour and operating costs.
Globalization posed challenges as the US closed the 20th century with over 17 million manufacturing jobs. However, advances in technology and a major financial crisis were significant factors in that number dropping to a new low of about 11 million jobs in 2010.
However, those numbers have steadily climbed over the last 20 years, and automation has been vital.
Machines Helping People
There has been a widely-held theory for years that machines will someday replace humans in factories or industrial settings completely. However, sometimes the opposite has been the case.
The addition of automation, such as CMM, has helped companies keep their costs low while helping them keep their facilities (and the jobs that go with them) on North American soil.
Machines are not replacing humans. They’re making operations more affordable and efficient, which keeps jobs here while creating new ones. To find the machine you’re looking for now, visit a CMM equipment dealer authorized by the MDNA.
The manufacturing sector is at the cusp of another massive shift that will change how goods are produced yet again. Industry 4.0 (also called the Fourth Industrial Revolution) will put an even higher focus on things like:
- Smart manufacturing
- Smart Factory
- The Internet of Things
The companies that can incorporate the four elements above will prosper and survive, and the shift has already begun.
For years, CMM machines have performed quality assurance checks on every part that comes off the production line to ensure they’re flawless. However, human intervention was required if irregularities or defects occurred.
Now, if there’s an equipment breakdown on the production line, CMM technology can identify it immediately and diagnose what went wrong. This saves companies valuable time by making machine inspection unnecessary while ensuring quality control remains reliable.
The current state of automation is not the decisive ending that anyone predicted in the man vs. machine script. For the foreseeable future, manufacturers and their employees need to rely on this equipment and vice versa. CMM machines helped to save North American manufacturing before. As society emerges from the pandemic and any other global challenge, automated equipment will undoubtedly play a prominent role once again.