robots in manufacturing

Robots in Factories



pad race (2) impossible
vehicle container commercial (2)
push supplier button (2)
obey string (2) repetitive
inspect command procedure
toil massive backbreaking work
suction stage (2) automation
deploy brainchild manage (2)
pre- inspection generation (2)
invest artificial generation
post- institution intelligence (2)
sector mindless unpleasant
site involve automation
shift (2) research neck-to-neck
hope sense (2) monitor (2)
handy take over production line
weld pump (2) next to impossible
lift (2) optimize make sense





This robot uses suction pads to shift seventy-five kilogram container doors at commercial vehicle supplier, Bruggen Fahrzeugwerk in northern Germany.

The push of a button stops it immediately to allow workers to inspect the doors. The robot obeys software which is basically a string of repetitive commands and procedures.

Several workers used to toil eight-hours a day heaving these massive units. The new robot has put an end to their backbreaking work.

Automating this stage of production was the brainchild of Friedrich Wilhelm Paplow. He helped write the software.

Friedrich-Wilhelm Paplow, Bruggen Fahrzeugwerk: “We managed to optimize the workflow here and still use the same number of workers.

We were able to deploy them in pre and post production processes instead. They are largely involved in the inspection work now.”

The Reichenberg Arden Institute for Artificial Intelligence is working on the next generation of robots.

The focus is no longer just on individual automation — this is about machines that think for themselves, like Marvin.

He can work independently, learn and one day, he’ll probably be taking over a lot of people’s work.

Wolfgang Ertel, Institute for Artificial Intelligence: “A lot of jobs will be lost across many sectors.

One area where they won’t be lost is engineering. We engineers will be keeping our jobs. But all the simple, mindless, unpleasant tasks — heavy lifting jobs on construction sites and so on — they’ll all come up for automation eventually.”

But scientists need highly complex software to control the robots. Western industrialized countries are currently neck-in-neck in the race to come up with the best of that software.

US internet company Google is investing billions in artificial intelligence research.

Wolfgang Ertel, Institute for Artificial Intelligence: “I used to hope that one of the big German firms like Bosch and Siemens would pump a couple of billion into developing the first really good service robot.

But that’s remained nothing more than a hope — Google’s now busy doing it.

Family-owned Bruggen doesn’t have billions for that either . . . but it does have a few hundred-thousand handy for the next stage in production-line automation.

Robots will soon be welding here.

He says it’s now next to impossible to find skilled workers for the jobs. In the future, welders will be monitoring the robots.

Friedrich-Wilhelm Paplow, Bruggen Fahrzeugwerk: “I see it as a way of tackling the lack of qualified workers: automation at this point makes complete sense.”

A lot of companies think that way too. But they are not yet spending much time on artificial intelligence. They say that’s tomorrow’s world, and it will be expensive.

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1. At the Bruggen Fahrzeugwerk (container door) factory, robots and workers perform different tasks. True or false?

2. Do workers directly control the robots?

3. The company has laid off many of their employees. Is this correct or incorrect? Have the workers changed roles?

4. What does the engineer at the institute predict for the future of robots and workers?

5. Big German corporations are investing the most money in robotics. Yes or no?

6. Are companies interested in robotization only to replace current workers?

7. Does this video report have a positive, negative, neutral view of robots, both or it depends? Is it optimistic, pessimistic, neutral, both or mixed?


A. Are there robots in your or your friends’ company or organization? What are their functions?

B. There are tasks or positions in my industry can that be performed by robots. Yes or no?

C. What do you think will happen in the future?

D. What are the pluses, advantages and benefits of robots?

E. Are there any drawback, minuses or disadvantages of robots?

F. What do your friends and colleagues think of robots?

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