A four-part look at how robots are changing the way we work. First up, robots aren’t killing jobs, they’re creating new ones and more of them — at least at a GE Aviation plant in Quebec
By Drew Hasselback in Bromont, Que.
About 180 robots here are doing work that humans used to do at a GE Aviation plant that makes parts for jet engines. But they haven’t replaced the humans. Indeed, the opposite is true. Since a new, automated section of the plant ramped up at the start of the decade, the number of people working here has risen to more than 900 from 600.
“A machine is not replacing three jobs,” said Eric Bouchard, senior operations manager at the Bromont plant. “It is reopening those jobs somewhere else because of production.”
The economics are simple. Since GE Aviation’s Bromont plant started using automation in the 1990s, the number of human hours needed to produce output has dropped an average of five per cent per year. That led to the decision to invest heavily in 2010. It’s also led to higher overall production and higher employment. More