Robots lead reshoring revolution

Chicago—Could robotics hold the key to a reshoring revolution in the U.S.? Reshoring has achieved buzzword status, with anecdotal tales of work returning from overseas increasingly accompanied by hard figures. Much of the focus has been on what's going on in places like China, where wages, as well as concerns about the security of intellectual property, are on the rise, but there are trends afoot in the U.S. that are driving the shift as well.

Fanuc Robotics Director Brian Rhoades points to increased adoption of automation in the U.S., especially in partnership with lean manufacturing techniques, as being a primary impetus for the U.S. reclaiming formerly offshored jobs.

"Manufacturing will go to those countries that embrace automation, use lean, and reduce production costs, while improving quality," Rhoades said. "We think North America is in the best position." Rhoades spoke at the Robotics & Animation Theater presented as part of UBM Canon's collocated advanced technologies shows at Chicago's McCormick Place (Sept. 10-12), including PLASTEC Midwest, Design & Manufacturing Midwest, ATX Midwest, Pack Zone, Quality Expo, and MD&M Chicago....

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