” Manufacturers will significantly accelerate their use of robots in U.S. factories over the next decade as they become cheaper and perform more tasks, constraining payroll growth, according to a study out Tuesday.
The development is expected to dramatically boost productivity and slow the long-standing migration of factories across the globe to take advantage of low-cost labor, says the Boston Consulting Group report.
” Advanced robotics are changing the calculus of manufacturing,” says Harold Sirkin, a senior partner at the management consulting firm.
A handful of nations, including the U.S. and China, are poised to reap the biggest benefits of the automation wave.
About 1.2 million additional advanced robots are expected to be deployed in the U.S. by 2025, BCG says. Four industries will lead the shift — computer and electronics products; electrical equipment and appliances; transportation; and machinery — largely because more of their tasks can be automated and they deliver the biggest cost savings.
About 10% of all manufacturing functions are automated, a share that will rise to nearly 25% in a decade as robotic vision sensors and gripping systems improve, BCG says.
That’s prodding manufacturers to replace workers. BCG says manufacturers tend to ratchet up their robotics investment when they realize at least a 15% cost savings compared with employing a worker. In electronics manufacturing, it already costs just $4 an hour to use a robot for a routine assembly task vs. $24 for an average worker.”