Robots Help Return the Age of Productivity

Mar 17, 2016

Industrial robots are bringing back the productivity the economy needs for growth. Robots are being seen on a wide range of production lines across the globe and truly helping to increase throughput and decrease production costs. If you are interested in boosting the productivity on your production line, contact experts today.


Glob­al pro­duc­tiv­i­ty has not had much of any growth nor any hints at a recov­ery since the millennium…until now. In a paper by John Fer­nald called Pro­duc­tiv­i­ty and Poten­tial Out­put before, dur­ing, and after the Great Reces­sion,” it says that between 1995 and 2005 pro­duc­tiv­i­ty aver­aged around 2.9 per­cent. After that, pro­duc­tiv­i­ty start­ed it’s slow demise, aver­age labor pro­duc­tiv­i­ty growth in mature economies slowed to 0.6 per­cent in 2014 from 0.8 per­cent in 2013.” This report­ed 0.2 per­cent decrease in labor pro­duc­tiv­i­ty growth in just one year made Fer­nald fear­ful of glob­al stagnation.

While this may not seem like a lot, Tyler Cowen’s recent For­eign Affairs piece, Is Inno­va­tion Over?” reports that it is. In the medi­um to long term, even small changes in growth rates have sig­nif­i­cant con­se­quences for liv­ing stan­dards. An econ­o­my that grows at one per­cent dou­bles its aver­age income approx­i­mate­ly every 70 years, where­as an econ­o­my that grows at three per­cent dou­bles its aver­age income about every 23 years — which, over time, makes a big dif­fer­ence in people’s lives.”

For­tu­nate­ly, pro­duc­tiv­i­ty is on the up and up again, which makes Cowen’s log­ic a ben­e­fi­cial real­i­ty. ARK Invest reports that because of incre­men­tal pro­duc­tiv­i­ty from automa­tion, real GDP per U.S. work­er will more than dou­ble from $113,000 this past year [2015] to $236,000, com­pound­ing at an annu­al­ized growth rate of 3.4 per­cent through 2035, and at an accel­er­at­ed rate of almost 5 per­cent from 2025 to 2035. In the absence of automa­tion, pro­duc­tiv­i­ty would increase at rough­ly half that rate, or 1.8 per­cent, and real GDP per work­er would reach only $167,000.” In the­o­ry, the U.S. would return to the days where each gen­er­a­tion pro­vides a bet­ter life to the next.

Although robots have been fix­tures in fac­to­ries and ware­hous­es for decades, indus­tri­al automa­tion, with the influx of the col­lab­o­ra­tive-robot rev­o­lu­tion is now in a trans­for­ma­tion phase of robot-dri­ven automa­tion.” Some are deem­ing this the age of new” pro­duc­tiv­i­ty. This new pro­duc­tiv­i­ty” is help­ing indus­tri­al robots move into a world on track to trans­form com­pa­nies around the globe by open­ing up new oppor­tu­ni­ties for eco­nom­ic growth and com­pet­i­tive­ness by inter­sect­ing peo­ple, data, and [intel­li­gent] machines. Some may even call robots the next Gen­er­al-Pur­pose Tech­nol­o­gy (GPT) that can affect an entire econ­o­my and dras­ti­cal­ly alter soci­eties in a pos­i­tive way, such as was seen with the steam engine, com­put­er, and internet. 

Indus­tri­al automa­tion appears to be con­stant­ly expand­ing and evolv­ing into a greater union with infor­ma­tion tech­nol­o­gy that will soon allow robot-dri­ven automa­tion to rein in man­u­fac­tur­ing and logis­tics. All of this data indi­cates that the return of pro­duc­tiv­i­ty is head­strong, not a brief blip, and being enabled by per­haps one of the things that was first feared so much, robot-dri­ven automation.

if you are inter­est­ed in keep­ing up with the pro­duc­tiv­i­ty trend, increas­ing your ROI, and mov­ing towards automa­tion, con­tact Robots​.com, a cer­ti­fied inte­gra­tor for Fanuc, Motoman, KUKA, Uni­ver­sal Robots, and ABB, at 8777626881.

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