Missouri S&T’s Peer to Peer


As technology advances, fully automated manufacturing processes become more and more feasible as the norm; that is, the advantages of the technology outweigh the disadvantages for use by the majority of manufacturers. Many in the manufacturing industry have spoken about the dangers technological advancements could pose to the economy and employment in the future. This prompts the question: Could fully automated processes become the norm in the next five to ten years? The answer to this question affects the livelihood of manufacturing workers, as stories of machines replacing humans fill the news. This review considers scholarly and news articles covering lights-out technologies, manufacturing technology initiatives, and the effect of automation on jobs. The purpose of this review is to empirically determine if total lights-out technology, or technology that can function practically without any human input, can become the norm in the near future. This review determines that total lights-out technology will not become used by the majority of manufacturer’s in the near future.

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