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Thread: News - Canon camera production to go fully robotic

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    News - Canon camera production to go fully robotic

    Skilled labour replaced to cut costs, robots only by 2015.
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    Re: News - Canon camera production to go fully robotic

    I'd much prefer to buy products made in first world countries by robots than in emerging economies by low paid, poorly treated workers. Yes, I know that's the way of the world and even these crappy jobs are appreciated by those filling them, but I still don't care for how it works and don't want to be a part of it if I can avoid it. I also feel the products are of a slightly lower quality than "made in Japan" or "made in Germany", etc. ones.

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    Re: News - Canon camera production to go fully robotic

    It is socially irresponsible not to automate as much as possible. Production efficiency, quality and duration are increased and as the spokesman said people can be transferred to doing new kinds of work, perhaps work that requires creativity. Perhaps the savings made by having an automated factory would allow them to employ the same amount of people with similar wages working for less hours, that would be a massive improvement in those workers lives having more free time to relax and most importantly de-stress.

    Keeping the same or more jobs on your balance sheet but having them overseas is definitely not beneficial from a human standpoint.

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    Re: News - Canon camera production to go fully robotic

    Canon cameras are still selling extremely well and Canon have increased their 2012 profit forecast by 16 per cent recently in the face of competition from ever more capable smart phone camera facilities. Adapting while in this position of strength shows good proactive planning. It’s a shame about de-skilling their workforce though.
    Not sure I agree with the deskilling bit - yes, you're replacing human assembly workers with robots, but then again presumably someone @Canon has to maintain those robots? Maybe it's me being a total snob, but surely the highly skilled jobs are those in design - and these aren't affected.

    As to the first bit though, kudos to Canon for being good enough to fend off the tide of cameraphones - at the end of the day I would have thought that even a "budget" decent digicam would be able to hold it's own against a smart phone's camera purely because the digicam has a a good optical stage (zoom etc) whereas your smart phone doesn't.

    That said, I quite like Canon gear - despite both of my cam's having to get repaired. At least in those case (a) I could take it to a local camera shop to get fixed, and (b) because it was a sensor issue I got it done under warranty, despite both devices being pretty ancient. Unfortunately I can't say the same for my Panasonic Lumix - if that blows a fuse then I'll have to mail it off somewhere. So this particular consumer is quite happy to pay a small price premium for Canon's "premium" product.

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    Re: News - Canon camera production to go fully robotic

    “I, for one, welcome our new robot overlords"
    Chrome & Firefox addons for BBC News
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    Re: News - Canon camera production to go fully robotic

    in two minds of whether this is a good thing or not.

    Business wise it clearly is - staff are a blight on every single business, whilst simultaneously being the most important part of it, so replacing your staff with something that will work 24/7, never complain, never get pregnant, never get sick, never sit on facebook etc is huge.

    The problem is that jobs will be lost - sure numerically the number of jobs may not change (it may even go up) but the salaries/skills will drop massively, especially when you are in a precision engineering sector. Yes you will need maintenance engineers but not as many as you may think, and certainly not enough to replace the jobs the factory workers will have lost.

    That said however if they were going to move production to China anyway, then it's no big deal as those jobs would have been lost regardless - this move is better as it at least keeps some of the jobs.

    Tough one but a brave move by Cannon imo

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    Re: News - Canon camera production to go fully robotic

    Yes, we lose jobs, but we're hamstringing ourselves if we don't do this eventually. Robots, as of yet, also can't form unions which is a great boon.

    However, this is happening in Japan. It's rare for people to move jobs so I would expect Canon to re-purpose rather than retire their staff.

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    Re: News - Canon camera production to go fully robotic

    I feel this is a good thing as robots don't have emotions and thus cannot underperform if they've had a bad night the day beforehand and build substandard parts.

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    Re: News - Canon camera production to go fully robotic


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    Re: News - Canon camera production to go fully robotic

    Quote Originally Posted by Noxvayl View Post

    Keeping the same or more jobs on your balance sheet but having them overseas is definitely not beneficial from a human standpoint.
    Well it kinda is beneficial, from the view of the populace of the less fortunate nations And, trying to be objective, that's who I'd be standing up for tbh.

    Personally I'd like more skilled jobs to migrate to lower cost countries. I know this is an unpopular viewpoint but however uncomfortable it gets in the over-privileged and pampered '1st World' there are more opportunities and safety nets here. We just need to be more innovative and not keep complaining about the people who make the goods that keep us in the (largely undeserved) style to which we've become accustomed...

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    Re: News - Canon camera production to go fully robotic

    Quote Originally Posted by Pleiades View Post
    Well it kinda is beneficial, from the view of the populace of the less fortunate nations And, trying to be objective, that's who I'd be standing up for tbh.

    Personally I'd like more skilled jobs to migrate to lower cost countries. I know this is an unpopular viewpoint but however uncomfortable it gets in the over-privileged and pampered '1st World' there are more opportunities and safety nets here. We just need to be more innovative and not keep complaining about the people who make the goods that keep us in the (largely undeserved) style to which we've become accustomed...
    <RANT>
    Sorry, that's just a total load of ...

    I take it you've been ignoring the news reports that show that the "safety nets" in the 1st world are being slashed - literally and figuratively. E.g. pensions are being cut all over the EU. As to more opportunities - try telling that to university grads, qualified teachers, etc who've been on the dole long term. And remember this is China we're talking about - a country that, with little exaggeration, it is said could probably buy the US - if they haven't already by stealth.

    And as someone who's been a victim of these "migrations", let me tell you, the driver is SOLELY to save money for the multinationals concerned and jack up the bonuses for the boards making these "socially aware" decisions. Sure the folks in the Far East get a job where they perhaps wouldn't have otherwise, but don't think for a femtosecond that they're being paid much more than minimum wage for the country. Heck, I've actually seen jobs moved from the UK to India and then moved a year later to China (because it was cheaper) and the (now trained) Indian colleagues lose their jobs.

    No, if you want to bring up the "developing world", far better to get the governments in those countries to encourage local entrepreneurs. In the case of Canon, it'd be better for the Chinese govt to encourage a local biz to start making their own top end camera (hopefully not by doing the usual and ripping off someone elses IP). After all there's evidence like Lenovo that it works...
    </RANT>

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    Re: News - Canon camera production to go fully robotic

    I suspect a lot of people aren't going to like this attitude, but for me, a new digital camera (which usually but not exclusively means a new DSLR) is a fairly major expenditure, and as a result, what I, as a consumer, want is the best possible product I can get at the best price. To be honest, whether it's made by a person in Japan, a person in China, or a robot (anywhere) is not even on the distant horizon of my buying criteria.

    I literally do not care.

    I am not subsidising a social services program for Japanese workers, or any other workers for that matter. I'm buying a product, and I expect a blend of quality and functionality for the price, and who made it is not an issue unless it impacts on price or quality.

    So .... if Canon can maintain or increase quality, and or maintain or decrease price, robots it is.

    We've seen so many manufacturing jobs in this country go abroad, and in both car and technology industries, one hell of a lot of them have gone to Japan, that I have to say I'm absolutely and utterly indifferent to the impact on Japanese workers, not least because I didn't hear them declining jobs at the expense of British workers over the decades, so you won't hear me sympathising much if jobs are exported to China, or to robot production. That is merely the way of the world. So be it.

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