Tim Linsenmeyer, chief technology officer at Clover Environmental Solutions, takes a moment out of his hectic schedule to talk with Peggy Smedley, editorial director, and president of Specialty Publishing Media about the future of manufacturing.
Tim is a visionary IT executive and digital transformation thought leader who enjoys explaining that technology is a journey, not a destination. While the conversation was brief, Tim hit on some very poignant trends that are on the minds of many manufacturing IT executives and the workforce of tomorrow.
What does the plant of the future look like?
Tim Linsenmeyer: The plant of the future will be a blend of humans and robots working together side by side collaborating, sharing, and leveraging data to address issues quickly as they arise. AI (artificial intelligence) and ML (machine learning) models will continually learn from extremely large data sets and dynamically provide realtime feedback while predicting issues and results before they occur. Humans and robotics will work together capitalizing on the collective strengths of each other.
How prevalent are robotics today?
Linsenmeyer: Robotics are already having a significant impact in many industries and countries around the world, and it is rapidly transforming our world. In our operations, robotics are an integral part of our everyday processes. We use robotics in manufacturing, packaging, managing our supply chain, and optimizing our warehouses.
What role will robotics play in the future?
Linsenmeyer: As labor shortages and costs continue to rise, robotics’ usage will continue to accelerate. Robots can work around the clock maximizing productivity. Quality will improve, safety will go up, and costs will go down. Continuous technological advances will make leveraging robotics more affordable, enabling robotics to be used by more companies and industries.
How will jobs change in the future with the rise of new technology?
Linsenmeyer: Leveraging robotics in plants will reduce or eliminate many of the repetitive and mundane, precision, and dangerous jobs. Plants will go 24/7. Selected jobs will be replaced by robotics and new jobs will be created for the creation, maintenance, support, and programming of robotics.
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