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even in the robot age, manufacturers need the human touch

by:Zhenyu      2020-02-21
The robot has completely changed the manufacturing of cars, making the factory safer and the products more reliable.
And reduce the number of people involved in the process.
But walking into a modern car factory, you will soon realize that robots have little touch to replace humans.
At least not in some areas.
Volvo\'s car factory in Richville, United StatesC.
The course opened last year provides an object course.
The factory produces the luxury car S60 for the United States. S.
Market and export.
The beginning of the production line is highly automated;
Of the three large buildings, the number of robots in the first one exceeded 300 to 200.
But the end of the process is dominated by people.
Let\'s start with robots.
Half behind the security fence.
More than a dozen robot arms coordinate movement when found
Weld the body together and rotate gently.
The lights in this part of the huge building are darkened because the robot does not need much light to complete the work.
In some tasks, robots are undoubtedly better than humans.
They are precise and consistent, and they are good at repeating the same movement over and over again.
Jeff Moore, vice president of Volvo\'s Americas manufacturing, said that in deciding which jobs to assign to robots, the company first focused on monotonous, physically demanding jobs --
Especially anything that involves security issues.
\"With all the heat, Sparks, high current and stuff related to welding, it\'s a natural place where you can automate more,\" he said . \".
But in other parts of the line, Moore says, \"there are many advantages to humanization . \".
Or as Tesla CEO Elon Musk said last year, \"Humans are undervalued.
He admitted that it was wrong for Tesla to turn to heavy automation in Fremont, California. Assembly line.
After the installation of production problems, electric-
The car maker changed direction and began to return the task to people.
So, where exactly did the human race beat the robot?
Following the body on the Volvo assembly line, the lights eventually became bright as humans connected the hood, trunk, Fender and bumper.
Then quality control.
Robots with sensors test solder joints and people rub their hands on the surface of the metal body and feel defective.
The literal human touch can\'t be beaten here.
The body passes through a flyover and reaches another building where it is painted
Another task that robots are good.
It then went to the third building for final assembly, and thousands of parts from all over the world gathered together to form a finished car.
Humans rule here again.
People are better at handling complex shapes than robots and connecting them together.
For example, the skills required to connect the part to the engine.
These workers also handle different types of engines.
Full-gas or hybrid
Wheel drive or front-
No matter whether there is a turbo, in the future, even all the wheel drivesElectric motor.
Humans can easily switch between different missions and even find new ones in flight;
Not so many robots.
When Tremaine Smalls connects the drive shaft to the engine, a radio reporter occasionally gets in the way and dismisses the complexity of using different engine types.
\"It\'s the same process, it\'s just a different drive shaft,\" he said, showing how he checked the part number against a piece of paper to confirm that each engine was set up correctly.
Jason Dawkins works on the same line and used to be the leader of the bearing manufacturer.
There, he says, his job is to run a computer.
Control the machine.
\"This machine does a lot of actual labor,\" he said . \".
\"You\'re basically checking.
\"In contrast, working on this assembly line\" has more manual labor, \"he said \".
When the engine moves along this line, the division of labor between man and machine.
Two weeks later, Kayla James installed the exhaust system using a mechanical lift;
It eliminates the physical stress of the task.
Later, dozens of bolts were installed on a large machine at the same time.
But between every uncoordinated hit, Brandon Marshall holds all sorts of bolts in place.
Even if everything goes well, humans will surpass robots in these tasks, but they have special advantages whenever things go wrong.
In the modern car factory
Inspired by Toyota\'s revolutionary production concept
Workers are encouraged to stop queuing whenever there are any big or small problems. (
In a factory like Volvo, workers pull wires and play music.
There are different songs in each location, which indicates a problem. )
Robots can also identify certain errors, but humans have obvious advantages in solving these problems.
Consider the radiator for Volvo.
At a key point in the line, the body-
Wait on the elevated conveyor belt
Drop on the engine, the transmission, the axle, and other things that make the car actually move.
They got together at the wedding point.
Trey Yonce, who helped build a marriage, said: \"If this radiator is pushed far enough, it will collapse with the body . \"point line.
The initial production process required the rubber band to fix the radiator in the appropriate position at critical moments, but the laser sensor would often detect that the radiator was not in the correct position.
The machine can mark the problem to be fixed.
But human beings are not like robots, they will be troubled by repeated problems.
\"They just got tired of doing it, and a guy came up with an idea and it worked,\" Yonce said . \".
He pointed to a small piece of yellow plastic and more effectively fixed the radiator in place --
Process improvement.
Moore, vice president of Volvo, said the company had applied for multiple patents based on the idea of the new factory worker.
Compared with robots, humans have advantages in various workplaces --
Not just a car factory.
Generally speaking, it is best to work with robots, robots handle dangerous, monotonous work and precise work, while people handle tactile work, switch between tasks, make decisions --
And put forward creative ideas for improving things.
To some extent, there is a philosophy class here.
\"People often think that manufacturing workers are actually a bad alternative to robots,\" says Susan Helper, an economist at the University of the West reserve . \".
It\'s like a machine that complains, gets tired, and makes mistakes.
Historically, some factory trial images treat their workers the same way as robots, separate \"brain\" work from \"hand\" work, and push workers on assembly lines without thinking
In this setting, the robot is an upgrade for human workers: it will not complain or be tired.
\"But in practice these things are really difficult and assembly line workers are making a lot of judgments,\" Helper said . \".
\"It turns out that when you take that person away, you end up with some difficult problems.
\"This means that the best thing robots can do for manufacturing is not to replace people --
But let them work freely, just like people.
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