Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Robots

Today was the first ever "pastor day" at the Jeep plant here in Toledo--sponsored by chaplain leaders in the plant and the UAW, Toledo area pastors and parachurch leaders were invited to attend and tour the plant, myself included.


As I walked through the plant I was amazed at synchronicity of every component of the factory. I was even more amazed at the workforce...primarily robotic. In fact, in the body shop of the factory the workforce was composed of 479 robots and 80 humans. The lifelike fluidity with which was astounding, and slightly creepy at the same time. Like worker bees, the robots dutifully and faithfully complete their task 24/7. Robotic delivery vehicles scurry across the line, stopping and patiently waiting should a human counterpart intercept their path. So programatically precise are their movements, permanent ruts are etched in the concrete. At one point during the tour I spied two rogue robots break free from the bolts mooring them to the floor and embrace in passionate robot kissing. OK, that last part didn't happen...but could it?


I can remember sitting at the dinner table listening to my father, a Jeep employee and Chaplain, talk about the instillation of the first robots in the factory...now they out number humans. No lunch breaks, insurances of any kind, pensions, personality conflicts...just work.


It was really quite a sight. What are your thoughts on the robotic workforce?

2 comments:

Ken said...

eh....I think $30/hour is too much pay for threading nuts onto bolts anyway. Maybe I'm just jealous.

GO ROBOTS!!

Amanda Rickman said...

kinda scared to answer...GM has spies everywhere. the diminishing of work for the blue collared american is kind of sad...but then again...do they really employ people just so they'll have substantial work? probably not.

the almighty dollar wins.

At times, I don't even view motor vehicle plant work as blue-collar with all it's benefits & good retirement, etc. I'd be doing great with their benefits.

flashes of i-robot fill my head...that Sonny guy freaked me out.