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Automation Will Not Kill the Need for Human Skills In Manufacturing, Says Allegion CEO

“Where you have a high variation you’re always going to have the need for human input,”  says Dave Petratis, CEO of Allegion. “If your manufacturing designs or products have very little labor input, let’s say like a cell phone, you can automate that. But where you add variation to the product that’s being developed or manufactured it requires labor. I can think of a variety of industries where automation will not kill the need for human skills in manufacturing globally.”

Dave Petratis, CEO of Allegion, discusses the impact of technology and automation on manufacturing jobs in an interview on Bloomberg Markets and Finance:

The Real Breakthrough That’s Coming is Digitization

We see the growth in manufacturing in technical jobs where people are able to manage those automation schemes at higher levels of pay. I’ve been a part of that manufacturing story over my 38 years and have lived that. I think there’s a great underlying story. American manufacturing is doing a great job of driving productivity inside the factory. That’s why the goods and services produced have never been higher, but the skills of those jobs are at a higher level.

That puts challenges on manufacturing like Allegion. At Allegion we have advanced the capabilities of automation in our style of product and it never ends. The real breakthrough that’s coming in the next decade is digitization. This is how we use information technology, artificial intelligence, and information to be smarter manufacturers.

Automation Will Not Kill the Need for Human Skills In Manufacturing

I challenge that (the assertion that technology will replace humans). Where you have a high variation you’re always going to have the need for human input. If your manufacturing designs or products have very little labor input, let’s say like a cell phone, you can automate that. But where you add variation to the product that’s being developed or manufactured it requires labor.

An example of that would be right here in the Indianapolis where we have manufactured here for over a hundred years and shipped globally. We produce 2,200 variations of an exit device which is in the building that you occupied today. It requires human input because of the variation. I can think of a variety of industries where automation will not kill the need for human skills in manufacturing globally.

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