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Robots could threaten China's growth? [Copy link] 中文

Rank: 4

Post time 2005-7-26 15:19:38 |Display all floors
Brought to attention by one of our local resident of CD, iluv2fish, I would like to implore to everyone here to discuss on the veracity of an assertion by Dick Morris that the advent of robots could eliminate most manufacturing employments.

But this race to the bottom of the global economy will be won not by the lowest-wage economy but by robots. In the coming decade, the growth of robotics will end most manufacturing employment. Manufacturing will go the way of farming, a few percentage points of the global work force will produce all our products, just as it now grows the bulk of our food.

China's impoverished workers will lose out to American and Japanese robots, and the source of its economic growth with likely wither in the coming decades.

If it's true in some sense, how to overcome such an imminent threat to China's growth?

That would make the time for China to grow which relies on low-cost labour is very limited. And that, China should start to make plans by switching to invest in other areas for growth.

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Rank: 8Rank: 8

Post time 2005-7-27 14:25:40 |Display all floors

Robots, as it is now available is "Expensive".

There are many competitive disadvantageous for using Robots in manufacturing.

(1) The need for "talented and expensive programmers and service technicians" to set the robots and high capital cost.

I give you a "case study".  In 1989,  IBM contracted out a "high end"  printer electronic assembly in Singapore. In this line 50,000 units of the printer were made annually - robots being a "dumb" creature could only make repetitive movements and soldering.

The subcontractor could programme its "soldering robot" to pick & solder onto the circuit boards...but calculated it was cheaper to hire S$600 + overtime workers to do the same (total pay S$1,200 inclusive of salary, pension fund contribution + medical/other benefits - in 1989) decided to use a "robotic" - impress the IBM customer + human assemblers.

Then there is the cost of the robot itself....
The trouble was Recruiting and keeping two expensive "rogrammer" and a few technician to "trouble shoot" the "robot"! (The programmer would cost S$4,000/month  while the technicians cost S$3,000/month)

(2) Robots has trouble "seeing and recognizing" components in "rapid change" short product cycle products.

The days of the "I Robot" kind of machines are still far away. Robots using "fuzzy mathmatics algorithm" is still unable to differentiate objects. At best, it could only "guess accurately" 90 to 95% of vision received by an inbuilt robotic eye.

there are more points but....what i meant to say, robots is a "play thing" or a device needed in a high income, high priced products society....

at the moment, we are not able to reproduce a robot which cause less than a human assembler for most product class.
Human eyes and brains remains "top notch" in most assembly work with small production runs like 100,000 units or less annually!

Maybe might work in high taxation societies in Switzerland or Germany but the unit cost of the products is way to expensive for ordinary consumer.


Game master
Lord of the code.

Note: By the time robots becomes affordable, China would have already achieved the Producer/Consumer society and would not rely on an export fact, it is already preparing for such a NEW WORLD....

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Rank: 4

Post time 2005-7-27 16:45:46 |Display all floors

I knew I could rely on you!!

Nice one.

Just as I thought.

The cost of procurement and maintenance is very high for now.

We can hardly maintain a low cost computer solutions in a company nowadays.

In order to have IT and machines up and working for a company, we need programmers and technicians. Very talented ones costs very high. Mediocres might costs even more for some companies as they need to hire more staff to handle sophisticated machines and softwares.

Not to mention recurring costs of hardware maintenance.

In the case of hardware/software failure, operations do not stop. Because humans can easily switch to manual work/procedure.

Failure in robots would render the whole company non-functional until they are fixed.

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Post time 2005-7-28 10:48:53 |Display all floors

China should not rely on cheap labor.

Reminder: Author is prohibited or removed, and content is automatically blocked

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Rank: 8Rank: 8

Post time 2005-7-28 12:36:06 |Display all floors

Mr. Liang, robots are a misnomer!

In the past, what is called "robot" was in fact "automation"!

Just like the "Exoskeleton" is proposed for the aged in STIC, and now implemented in "America" and "Japan"...robotic is still in the expensive play toy.

What China might need especially on "more expensive" consumer products - would be "automation"...example..

(1) Automation arm in "Engineering Plastic" injection moulding machines.
(2) Automation arm in "Metal stamping" device.
(3) So Called "robotic arm" in "hazardous spray painting" etc. etc.

However, we do have 700 million Chinese, 400 Million ASEAN natives still "living in the agricultural age". There is still lots of "Cheap hands" available that are "more efficient" than "Automation" or "robotics".

Once we have "Labour shortage", then "Industrial automation", "robotics" will be "feasible".....Mr. Liang, step by step...don't be too hurried!

As a whole, the New MIddle Kingdom is a very strong has for example an annual vehicle market of some 15 million units.(China 5M, ASEAN 2M, Japan 4.5M, Korea 2.5M Taiwan/HK 1M) expected to rise to 40 million units sale by 2030 latest!!!

take it easy! Mr. Liang, it takes time


Game Master
Lord of the code.

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Rank: 4

Post time 2005-7-28 20:46:31 |Display all floors

From cheap-labour to high-tech society

I think both of you are equally having relevant points.

Due to the underdeveloped condition which still exists in most part of the old country, it has a massive idle workforce willing to be utilized. The people are hungry to improve their life which the current state of the nation's economy could not fully support and quickly spur its growth.

Therefore, China CAN rely on cheap-labour at this moment of time.

However, we must not overlook what lies ahead of us. China must not be complacent by its current state which is temporary.

We need to remember the lesson from Great Leap Forward (Da Yue Jin).

Too many human resources were allocated and diverted into industry thus, depriving the agriculture sector which resulted in catastrophic failure. They did surged forward. The people did leaped forward. But plummeted half way.

Therefore, Liang1a has a point. China has to at the same time, improve (buy from outside) and develop (create own solution) its technology in order to move forward while slowly and safely shedding its old model of hard labour.

I might be wrong in my understanding. If so, please show me.

I do believe the coming of robots might open up other areas or types of employment opportunities.

Like the existence of car. We now have mechanics, factories producing lucrative car accessories, car wash...etc.

I think, with high-tech societies, China could focus on venturing or explore other areas such as the outer space. In terms of military, we might need "space force" a branch out of "air force". Space miners mining minerals in asteroids or the moon, colonizing Mars...etc.

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Rank: 4

Post time 2005-7-28 21:37:13 |Display all floors

the only way out

is for china to develop robots itself that are sufficient and more advanced and advantageous or else economy will die

this is the only method i can think of

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