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How the World's Biggest Companies Are Fine-Tuning the Robot Revolution

According to the Wall Street Journal (May 14, Wilkes), "automation is leading to job growth in certain industries where machines take on repetitive tasks, freeing humans for more creative duties." For example, auto maker BMW AG automated some of the physical labor at its Spartanburg, S.C., plant while retaining tasks involving judgment and quality control for human workers.  Electrolux AB, meanwhile, has spent millions of euros on automating the production of washing machines and other devices, which are now assembled almost entirely by machine.  The company reports that robots have freed up technicians to spend more time on creative tasks that are impossible to automate. Furthermore, the Journal adds, "the company said it tweaked hiring and training so that its workforce could successfully operate with robots, including a month of robotics training when hired and bimonthly half-day sessions."

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