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Author Topic: Robots 1 - Humans 0, Canon Going all Robotic by 2015?  (Read 3992 times)

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Robots 1 - Humans 0, Canon Going all Robotic by 2015?
« on: May 15, 2012, 12:08:27 PM »
Canon to let robots build you camera.
Canon has announced it will take all the humans off the production line for cameras, and replace them with robots. This switch could happen as early as 2015. Fear not though, the production line employees will move to other areas in the company and not be laid off.

No mention of lens manufacturing, I’m sure that sort of things does need human interaction.

No word on when Canon will replace the photographer with robots.

Source: [EG]

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Robots 1 - Humans 0, Canon Going all Robotic by 2015?
« on: May 15, 2012, 12:08:27 PM »

nebugeater

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Re: Robots 1 - Humans 0, Canon Going all Robotic by 2015?
« Reply #1 on: May 15, 2012, 12:26:29 PM »
I just loged on to see if this was posted yet.  I saw it referanced in at Manufacturing Business Technology that I get email updates from.  Here is the link.


http://www.mbtmag.com/news/2012/05/canon-eyes-robot-only-camera-production?et_cid=2649161&et_rid=212106313&linkid=http%3a%2f%2fwww.mbtmag.com%2fnews%2f2012%2f05%2fcanon-eyes-robot-only-camera-production



Ray Padden

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Re: Robots 1 - Humans 0, Canon Going all Robotic by 2015?
« Reply #2 on: May 15, 2012, 12:31:44 PM »
I can see Marvin as the night foreman.

distant.star

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Re: Robots 1 - Humans 0, Canon Going all Robotic by 2015?
« Reply #3 on: May 15, 2012, 12:32:40 PM »
.
And here's what they were saying two months ago:

"With a surging yen and a struggling Europe, Canon is looking to cut costs — and it's doing it with robots. According to Japanese paper Nikkei, as reported by Reuters, Canon wants to save 400 billion yen ($4.82 billion) over the next four years. And to do that it will be increasing its use of industrial robots, which will be used to produce printer toner, and possibly camera lenses. No other cost-cutting measures were revealed, and it's unclear how this move will affect the company's current workforce. In addition to reducing costs, Canon is also reportedly hoping to boost sales by around 41 percent over the next four years."





http://www.theverge.com/2012/3/13/2868581/canon-reduce-costs-industrial-robots
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RyanCrierie

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Re: Robots 1 - Humans 0, Canon Going all Robotic by 2015?
« Reply #4 on: May 15, 2012, 01:06:34 PM »
This also means better repeatability; and less human error in the manufacturing process; important as DSLRs continue to become more and more high performance, requiring ever tighter tolerances.

Positron

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Re: Robots 1 - Humans 0, Canon Going all Robotic by 2015?
« Reply #5 on: May 15, 2012, 02:00:19 PM »
I think it's a good idea because it means lower cost to the consumer, tighter manufacturing tolerances, and higher production output.

However, "the production line employees will move to other areas in the company and not be laid off" is the most blatant lie I've ever heard. Generally those people are there because they don't have the necessary training (be it academic or vocational) to do the other jobs, and moving those people around in the company doesn't save money. The only way they could reduce production costs without laying off those people would be to increase the scale of production to the point that the number of employees they already had is the same percentage of the overall company in whatever jobs they are reassigned to. Which requires more market share, a resource which is both scarce and difficult to obtain (if it were easy, every company would be successful and there would be no need to compete).

I'm all for progress, but I also like honesty.

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Re: Robots 1 - Humans 0, Canon Going all Robotic by 2015?
« Reply #6 on: May 15, 2012, 04:59:49 PM »
What Canon is really saying here:
 
Its good, because we will make more profit and can turn out cameras and lenses faster.  Oops, I meant to say that the customer will get a better quality product without having to pay (Much) more. :)

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Re: Robots 1 - Humans 0, Canon Going all Robotic by 2015?
« Reply #6 on: May 15, 2012, 04:59:49 PM »

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Re: Robots 1 - Humans 0, Canon Going all Robotic by 2015?
« Reply #7 on: May 16, 2012, 07:17:54 AM »
This also means better repeatability; and less human error in the manufacturing process; important as DSLRs continue to become more and more high performance, requiring ever tighter tolerances.
Not to mention the fact that Japan's population is aging fast (in Japan they now sell more adult diapers than infant ones) - so the pool of talent that can make things by hand is diminishing fast.
The only human 'touch' of next-gen Canon cameras in 10 years time will be that of the designer.
A Camera. Some Lenses. Some accessories. Talent on back-order

sanj

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Re: Robots 1 - Humans 0, Canon Going all Robotic by 2015?
« Reply #8 on: May 16, 2012, 09:31:53 AM »
"Computerized photographers" :)

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Re: Robots 1 - Humans 0, Canon Going all Robotic by 2015?
« Reply #9 on: May 16, 2012, 12:39:22 PM »
Going robotic means a really big departure from the current designs.  Cameras currently are designed to be as compact as possible, and this has resulted in a nightmare assembly and repair job.  Redesigning a camera to be robotically assembled will be a challenge, and I'm sure they won't want the product to get larger. 
 
Lenses will be a issue as well.  Right now, for the high end lenses, only the most experienced workers can finish the grinding to the tolerances required.  There is no way to directly measure the few millionths of a inch tolerances, its done indirectly using interferomety.  Low end lenses don't have the same tight tolerances, and can likely be built by machine.

Positron

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Re: Robots 1 - Humans 0, Canon Going all Robotic by 2015?
« Reply #10 on: May 16, 2012, 01:45:11 PM »
I disagree that robots don't have the same manufacturing tolerance capabilities as humans. Precise movements, measurements, and other "mechanical" things are very easy for machines to perform. Where humans completely smoke them is in cognitive thought, adaptation to circumstances, ability to infer details that are not directly visible, and so on. When it comes to repeating a motion over and over with extreme accuracy, robots have humans beat.

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Re: Robots 1 - Humans 0, Canon Going all Robotic by 2015?
« Reply #11 on: May 16, 2012, 03:18:24 PM »
Automated is great but but usually only up to a point & then there are always trade offs. We do not yet have robotic engineers and maintenance personnel not yet. For now you increase automation and you also increase the need for more maintenance personnel and quality control personal.

 I believe it's still generally the most -effective- having work cells with human elements.

 Sadly skilled trade workers are often replaced with totally incompetent & untrained so called production workers.

 No insult meant for any of you mechanical engineers out there but....... ::)
I've seen far too many cases of engineers wanting show off or impress and end up totally totally screwing up production lines.  :'(

 Sometimes the better mousetrap is quite simply still a cat.

 I'm guessing - I'm hoping that Canon will do it right and do a good job of it. I also doubt that it's actually going to be completely automated. Not like they're making pop bottles................. :-\

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Re: Robots 1 - Humans 0, Canon Going all Robotic by 2015?
« Reply #11 on: May 16, 2012, 03:18:24 PM »