After Toyota, Mercedes replaces robots by humans

Mercedes-Sindelfingen while sales of industrial robots are the fixed beautiful, Markus Schaefer, the Director of the production of Mercedes has announced that German industry would turn back for automation in its model factory in Sindelfingen.

Robots will have to give way to humans on the S class assembly line, far more versatile than their Cyber liners. An ad shock but not unprecedented. Toyota had arrived at the same conclusion a year earlier. Be careful however not to draw hasty conclusions.

The evenge of the blue-collar about robots

Those who see the future plants completely robotic and without human presence will have to reconsider their opinion. Mercedes will replace robots by workers on the Assembly line of the S-class, the top of the range of manufacturer prestigious. A detail that is not a catalog of options of this model is particularly rich and… Infinite Combinatorics of these options. D Mercedes-Sindelfingen-ouvriers erve of robotize in order to oversimplify the fitting of such a vehicle, which pushed Markus Schaefer to declare: “robots can manage the customization and multiple versions we have today. We earn money and preserve our future by employing more people.”

Mercedes revises its approach to its luxury vehicle Assembly, but the decision of the head does not cause the robotization of the production of less complex vehicles.

Toyota has shown the way in 2014

Toyota had made the same announcement of replacement of a few robots by workers at the Japan, but advanced reasons here a little less than a year its quite different. This is not the vehicles excessive customization that led the Japanese automaker to reconsider its approach to robotization. Mitsuru Kawai, veteran of the company, is to maneuver. Toyota-plant commissioned by Akio Toyoda to relearn ‘profession’ to young workers who swear by the robotisations and automata, it seeks to reinstate in the factories the spirit of the “Kami-sama”, these highly skilled workers able to hold multiple workstations and especially improve processes they mastered completely. These workers “gods” and the continuous “Kaizen” improvement approach are part of the House culture that allowed Toyota to become world number 1 and Akio Toyoda seeks to restore in its factories.

Shift from an approach where the worker is no longer only feed a machine or a robot an approach where humans can promote genuine knowledge and demonstrate initiative and flexibility, it is perhaps also the 4th industrial revolution.

Translation : Bing Translator


“Why Mercedes Is Halting Robots’ Reign on the Production Line”, Industry Week, February 25, 2016

Mercedes Boots Robots From the Production Line”, BloombergBusiness, February 25, 2016

“Toyota Veteran Rises to Corporate Office From Factory Floor”, The Wall Street Journal, March 27, 2015

“Toyota is becoming more efficient by replacing robots with humans”, Quartz, April 7, 2014

Humans Replacing Robots Herald Toyota’s Vision of Future”, BloombergBusiness, April 7, 2014

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