Most people my age remember how the Japanese “lost” the second world war to then immediately take over most American manufacturing and markets most particularly the car industry. Quality assurance and the dedication of the Japanese worker was generally the main reason proffered for out-competing the United States in electronics manufacturing and motor vehicles – but there is a much more fundamental reason behind it all. It was robotics that gave rise and substance to the Japanese and with robots doing most of the repetitive tasks, the dedicated Japanese worker was able to commit to the highest quality standards – which stood in stark contrast to the very poor quality output of the apathetic American workforce.
Robotics became such a powerhouse for the Japanese and within a relatively short few years, the major brands like Sony, Panasonic, Toyota and Mitsubishi all took leadership positions in their respective markets and essentially bankrupted the poor quality American factory output in many cases. With most United States producers on their knees, in many instances they quickly fell on their swords and sold out to the Japanese who “lost the war”.
The essential component of robotics is the command and control computers that direct the precision work that is performed, and like all computers they operate by using memory chips. Computerized number controls are the heart and soul of robots and by increasing their memory, the machines run more smoothly with stability being a principle concern. And as robot manufacturers like Fanuc, Yasnac, Mazak, and Mitsubishi develop more complex manufacturing routines; it often becomes necessary to upgrade the memory of the computerized number controls.
Personally, having been living in China for the last 4 years and with China now having overtaken the Japanese as the second largest economy in the world I sincerely believe it will now be the Chinese who bring the true power of robotics to their manufacturing operations as labor costs increase here and as higher technology products become the mainstay of export production.