Industrial automation robots offer more than just labour saving productivity. According to robotics industry insiders, robots can bring jobs back to the US, improve factory productivity, and help manufacturers adapt to changing consumer preferences.
Ulrich Spiesshofer, CEO of robot maker ABB, is excited about the potential for reshoring—bringing manufacturing back to the US from low cost countries. He thinks automation technology can help US factories get production costs to Chinese levels.
When it comes to the topic of assembling iPhones in America, Apple representatives said the company spends US$50bn annually in the US, but wouldn’t comment on its long term manufacturing plans. Most iPhones are currently assembled in Shenzhen, China. Apple’s partner Hon Hai Precision Industry, also known as Foxconn, has broken ground on a plant in Wisconsin that is supposed to build smartphone displays.