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RECENT VIDEOS

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05.9.2012
20 mins
ILP Video

The Role of Labor in the Manufacturing Economy After the Financial Crisis

Cindy Estrada
Vice President, United Auto Workers
From Cindy Estrada's perspective as Vice-President of the UAW, this talk will explore labor's role in the manufacturing economy in the wake of the financial crisis, and in particular the transformations in the UAW relationship with the major auto companies since then. She will suggest some of the important challenges for labor and management to address together, including competing in the global economy while maintaining good jobs and enhancing American competitiveness.
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05.9.2012
57 mins
ILP Video

Panel Discussion: "Workforce of the Future"

William D. Green (Moderator), Denise Johnson, Cindy Estrada, Thomas Kochan, Diana Tremblay
How have the economic downturn and recovery impacted labor-management relations, K-12, vocational, and university education, and other factors that shape the ongoing development of an effective American manufacturing workforce? How are the interests of multinational corporations aligned with the objective of maintaining vibrant manufacturing employment as a key element in the U. S. economy? Can the U. S. learn from the important role of vocational education in other developed economies? The panel will address the roles of different stakeholders?government at all levels, industry, unions, and educational institutions?in contributing to dialogue around the key challenges in creating more high-wage manufacturing jobs, especially in the advanced manufacturing sector.
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05.9.2012
44 mins
ILP Video

Wrap-up

Charles Fine
Chrysler Leaders for Global Operations Professor of Management and Engineering Systems
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05.8.2012
50 mins
ILP Video

Will Our Consumer Goods Always Be Manufactured By Hand?

Rodney Brooks
Panasonic Professor of Robotics Emeritus, MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory

Joel Jacobs
Marc Overhage
Karl Pessinis
Anurag Srivastava
Recent economics have dictated that our lowest-cost goods for mass consumption are, literally, largely made by hand in developing economies. The primary locations of that hand labor have been on the move for sixty years as economic development fueled by manufacturing has lead to the labor pricing itself out of the low end manufacturing market. In 1961 robots came to the rescue of manufacturing labor costs in the United States. Or so it seemed at first, when a GM factory in New Jersey was the site of the first installation of industrial robots. Their task was to help build automobiles. But two unexpected things happened. The ideas and early companies involved in the technology had all started out in the United States, but over time, through competition and acquisition the robot industry moved to Japan and Europe and the distribution channels became stultified. But worse, the players all started competing on precision and repeatability, rather than ease of use and flexibility. When sensors and computation became cheap enough to be incorporated into industrial robots they were applied to competition in the former criteria, rather than the green new fields of the latter.

Thus far, robots in manufacturing have turned out to be very capital intensive, hard to use, dangerous to be around, and of very little use to either small, flexible, or low-volume manufacturers. Meanwhile non-industrial robots which were developed later in time for fresh markets in the military, fulfillment centers, floor cleaning, and in medical fields, have the reverse of those characteristics. They are low cost, easy for people to use, safe, and have found favor in homes and small companies. These new robots capitalize on advances in IT, sensors, and intelligent algorithms.

The pressures for responsive short supply chains, for keeping innovation close to manufacturing, for protection of intellectual property, for battling high oil costs in transporting finished goods, and for protecting the US balance of trade, all provide opportunities for those same advances to be applied to manufacturing and replace the by-hand methods that can never again be economic in the US. There is a reboot of how robots and smart machines can be used in industrial settings, with the potential to change the economics of manufacturing worldwide and to again change the loci of manufacturing. There are many small companies working on a large variety of ideas in technologies and channels to market. It feels a lot like the early days of the transition from mainframes to personal computers.

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05.8.2012
58 mins
ILP Video

Panel Discussion: "Challenges and Opportunities in Manufacturing"

Daron Acemoglu (Moderator), James Breen, David Hardt, Narendra Mulani, William Ruh
The panel will lead off the conference with a view of the overall context for manufacturing in the U.S. and trends that will shape it over the coming years. What are American structural conditions that may support or hinder manufacturing located in the U. S.?and is a Federal ?manufacturing policy? needed to revitalize the sector? Panelists will discuss policy issues including taxation, environmental regulation, education at all levels, and infrastructure planning. The group will also discuss broad industry and economic trends that impact manufacturing, such as supply chain complexity and disruptions, offshoring/onshoring, regional manufacturing strategies, energy pricing, trade regulations, currency interventions, and the rise of emerging market economies.
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