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Integrating robots in manufacturing

Published: 8 January 2018 - Sarah Mead

Following a recent BBC news story, announcing that the increased national living wage will lead to businesses being forced into hiring robots, the Chartered Institute of Ergonomics and Human Factors (CIEHF) has commented about some of the report's findings. This could have a massive impact on the manufacturing industry, which is a sector that's predicted to suffer the second largest number of job losses in the UK.

The CIEHF conducts a lot of work into the impact of robots in the workplace and has conducted extensive research in this area, which we were in touch about last year. Interestingly, it's research revealed that robots are not stealing jobs and that they can be massively beneficial if they are designed and integrated into the workplace in the right way.

Steve Barraclough, CEO of the CIEHF, said: “It is inevitable that our working and living environments will involve increasing levels of automation and robotics. However, this will also result in the upskilling of many staff as robots are used for the more repetitive tasks.

"Most importantly though, we must remember the critical role that human factors will play in this transition. Human skills are essential for many tasks, making the marriage between humans and machines vital to success, so it is essential that we fully understand how to best design and operationalise both human and technological functions.”

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