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Why Skilled Workers are Still Important in the Time of Automation in Manufacturing

American manufacturing has undergone significant transformations over the last few decades, but in recent years has made some of its most impactful changes yet. A result of technological innovation, recent strides can be attributed to the rise of automation, robotics, and machine-to-machine communication. Today, manufacturing and automation are synonymous, leaving many technicians questioning their relevancy on the production line. The reality: developments in robotics, additive manufacturing, IoT and other new technology all present increased demand for skilled workers.


It’s undeniable that developments in robotics have revolutionized industrial automation and it’s only expected to continue growing in the coming years. Most think of the robots used on assembly lines in major automotive manufacturers, but in reality, robots range in size and purpose throughout the industry. From machines that load and unload vehicles to flip-stations that rotate parts for the next stage of assembly, regardless of how small a robot’s task, evidence shows that automation increases production, improves quality, reduces manufacturing waste, and creates a safer workplace for workers.

3D Printers

3D printing provides similar promise to improve output and decrease waste. These machines are capable of creating complex parts from the same ingredients which can be quickly and inexpensively reconverted into other items. 3D printers also provide greater flexibility because one machine has near unlimited versatility with the kinds of parts it can create, compared to the specialization of a traditional robotic assembly line.

The future of 3D printers is vast. Rows of 3D printers will manufacture numerous complex parts using additive manufacturing; the machines print the liquified building material such as plastic, ceramic, and metal, one layer at a time. As parts are completed, they can be moved into the assembly line where traditional robotic assemblers will construct the 3D printed parts into the final product.


IoT systems have already improved efficiency between people and machines by automating the diagnostic and repair process. In addition, advances in software development and artificial intelligence are projected to drastically reduce downtime and wasted dollars in the coming years. As more manufacturers adopt IoT into their predictive maintenance systems, the cost of repairs will drop dramatically. By 2020, it’s expected that nearly $300 billion will be spent on IoT technologies, products, and services, with the majority of that money coming from the manufacturing sector.

New Technology, New Demand for Skilled Labor

History shows that advances in technology open doors for employees to new opportunities. For example, in the past decade, the need for skilled workers in metal forming, fabrication, service repair, and welding has increased. Studies show that by 2024, the U.S. will need an estimated 90,000 more welders alone. Where experts anticipate more and more collaborative relationships between man and machine as advancements continue, it becomes difficult to predict the number of jobs that haven’t been created yet. Every new machine or software brings with it the need for skilled workers to master the technology and keep it running efficiently.

With years of experience in high-tech spindle repair, GTI Spindle is perfectly suited to handle changes in the future of manufacturing. Contact us today to learn how your company can benefit from our years of experience and stay up-to-date on the latest in automotive, manufacturing, aerospace, and agriculture spindle repair services.

About GTI Spindle Technology

At GTI Spindle Technology, we specialize in high-quality spindle diagnosis and repair. Getting your business back into full operation and minimizing downtime is our mission. We offer in-house, on-site, and emergency assistance for machine tool spindle failure analysis, spindle repair, and complete spindle testing. With an extensive range and expertise in a diverse group of industries, our customers know that they are getting the highest quality of spindle repair and customer service. Click here to find out more.