The trend towards the offshoring of manufacturing jobs to cheaper countries is set to be reversed, according to Peter Voser, the president of Zurich-based industry giant ABB group. The decades-long trend of outsourcing was based on the economies of scale which allowed large-scale production to be cheaper in low-wage countries, he said. Now, however, “products are increasingly tailored to individual customers”, and robots operated by specialists are enabling industry to produce smaller batches at a competitive rate.
He pointed to the 30% rise in productivity at the ABB plant in Mannheim (Germany), where robots allow for the on-site production
Voser nevertheless warned that education and training systems would need to be continually updated to keep up with digital advances. “Technological development is so rapid today that we have to retrain people at 35 or 40. And maybe later again when they’re 50.”
Source : SwissInfo