Reshoring and the Supporting Key Technologies | Robotics

Reshoring and the Supporting Key Technologies

A factory in China. Source: Rosemary Coates, Institute

Industrial automation can not only help businesses of all sizes become more efficient, but it can also help bring production back to the U.S. But will robotics and reshoring reverse a decades-long trend of moving manufacturing to China and other countries?

In this webcast, Rosemary Coates, executive director of the Reshoring Institute, describes how wage and other disparities led to companies moving production offshore to be competitive. She recalls how she helped with this before she had a personal realization of the costs.

Rosemary Coates, executive director, Reshoring Institute

Rosemary Coates, executive director, Reshoring Institute

The national mood has shifted, according to Coates, who explains how political and economic concerns reflect that shift. She also describes the concept of “economic patriotism.”

In addition, Coates outlines the role of advanced , including robotics, 3D printing, and the Internet of Things, in relocating production.

Looking ahead with reshoring

At the same time, Coates notes that no amount of reshoring would restore U.S. manufacturing to 1960s levels, but that’s no cause for despair. Thanks in part to and machine learning, factories offer opportunities for “new-collar workers,” she says.

Coates also describes the relevance of trade restrictions such as tariffs between the U.S. and China, as well as sourcing initiatives by major retailers such as Walmart.

From managing risks to redeveloping supply chains, Coates discusses what manufacturers need to do as they consider moving work back to the U.S. The process is evolutionary, and responsiveness is , she says. Although such relocation is not yet widespread, debate about its value continues.

In this webcast, Coates also shares three real-world case studies illustrating successful — and unsuccessful — reshoring efforts.

Chief robotics officers and other executives can learn about how to go through the decision-making process for sourcing, how they can save on costs, and more about what the Reshoring Institute does.

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