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+ - Humans Are Taking Jobs From Robots in Japan

Submitted by Hugh Pickens DOT Com
Hugh Pickens DOT Com (2995471) writes "Bloomberg reports that humans are taking the place of machines in plants across Japan so workers can develop new skills and figure out ways to improve production lines and the car-building process. “We need to become more solid and get back to basics, to sharpen our manual skills and further develop them,” says Mitsuru Kawai, a half century-long company veteran tapped by President Akio Toyoda to promote craftsmanship at Toyota’s plants. “When I was a novice, experienced masters used to be called gods (Kami-sama in Japanese), and they could make anything.”

According to Kawai, learning how to make car parts from scratch gives younger workers insights they otherwise wouldn’t get from picking parts from bins and conveyor belts, or pressing buttons on machines. At about 100 manual-intensive workspaces introduced over the last three years across Toyota’s factories in Japan, these lessons can then be applied to reprogram machines to cut down on waste and improve processes. In an area Kawai directly supervises at the forging division of Toyota’s Honsha plant, workers twist, turn and hammer metal into crankshafts instead of using the typically automated process. Experiences there have led to innovations in reducing levels of scrap and shortening the production line and Kawai also credits manual labor for helping workers improve production of axle beams and cut the costs of making chassis parts. “We cannot simply depend on the machines that only repeat the same task over and over again,” says Kawai. “To be the master of the machine, you have to have the knowledge and the skills to teach the machine.”"

Comment: Re:more pseudo science (Score 1) 854

Great post! I hope someone with points mods you up. We absolutely need to maintain rigorous objectivity if we're to address some of the big issues of our times; when the ranting volume goes up on hot-button issues it drowns out reason and eventually drives off the rational parties in the debate. Some even view this as a kind of victory, which is somewhat counter-productive (to put it mildly).

not only to mitigate against the risk of global worming

I have to confess to some nervousness at the prospect of this new threat! :-p

Comment: Re:more pseudo science (Score 1) 854

Thanks for the interesting reply and apologies for my delayed response.

You claim that we know what the deposition of CO2 does to the planet. No, that is precisely what is in dispute and why this author published this study. [snip]
Proxies might be well understood and they might be the best method that can be used, but that doesn't make them accurate, nor does that make the use of them good science

Well, I'm certainly open to being proven wrong. I've no desire to place any burden of proof other than where it belongs or play any silly games in an attempt to hide my ignorance, so I'm going to concede to you at this time.

I was under the impression that CO2-influenced greenhouse effects were pretty well understood and that the proxies we're discussing (such as tree rings, ice cores, etc.) are usefully accurate over very long periods

Your rational approach to the topic suggests to me that I ought to look further into any controversy over the efficacy of these proxies and the levels of atmospheric greenhouse gases. Whilst a ranty argument is always on the cards with this subject, I appreciate the opportunity you provided for a sensible conversation on the matter and thank you for the prompt that will hopefully see me slightly more educated by the time I'm done. :)

Comment: Re:more pseudo science (Score 1) 854

Let's suppose that you're right, and it can be ascertained what the CO2 levels were 500 years ago. How, pray tell, are you going to get the temperature data?

OK, I'm not an expert but my understanding is that prior to 1850 we must rely upon proxies for temperature data, which I know you're not happy with (see below). I also agree with your supposition that a conventional bulb thermometer probably isn't the most accurate device with which to record temperature.

All of this is beside my point which is that we've vastly more carbon dioxide in our atmosphere now than in all of our history on Earth as Homo Sapiens Sapiens. We know what greenhouse gases do to the climate and we know there's a degree of time-lag between cause and effect. Whilst I agree that getting accurate temp measurements is important, when we have such clear readings for CO2 levels your argument sounds like you don't believe Rome burned down because nobody recorded the name of the tune Nero was playing on his fiddle at the time. Ugh, it's late and my metaphor-fu is weak right now.

I don't need to provide you any competing data. This author relies upon the growth of tree rings and depositions of sediment to infer what temperatures were. You show me how his methods of gathering data are reliable, and perhaps I'll be persuaded by you.

As mentioned before we must rely on proxies as we were obviously not present millions of years in the past to record the actual temperature. If you have a problem with this method of analysis you may well be right but you're going to need to do better than 'I feel it's unreliable' to convince me there's a real issue. I asked for facts in my last post and you tell me you don't need to provide any - there's precious little room for debate if you won't enumerate your concerns.

You employ a classic trick of shifting the burden of proof.

I'm sorry you feel I am engaging in tricks or subterfuge to debate you, I thought I was just pursuing your line of discussion, honestly. I've no agenda besides a desire for the truth, however pretty or ugly.

The burden of proof is on the author of the study, not upon me to prove him wrong. He must persuade his audience, not the other way around.

Except that it is you yourself who is making extraordinary claims, as proxies are a well understood and commonly-employed scientific tool for measurement. What evidence do you have that these proxies are flawed and unsuitable for use in the models we're discussing?

Comment: Re:more pseudo science (Score 1) 854

I'm sorry, I don't believe you. If what you are saying is true, then this wouldn't happen.

I don't understand how you can so utterly refute the scientific method as you type away at a computer that wouldn't exist without science.

Comment: Re:more pseudo science (Score 1) 854

Well, let me approach this from a slightly different angle: I think we have available pretty good historic records of atmospheric CO2 levels that go back rather a long way.
Assuming you trust the veracity of these records (Wikipedia is a good start, mostly for the cites), perhaps you can point me to a period in the last twenty million years where CO2 levels were anywhere close to those of the present day?

If you have any new or competing data, I really want to see it. Screw politics, show me the science and you'll have my attention and my mind will be open to reviewing your evidence without prejudice. You'll also have my low level of tolerance for foolishness and quackery, but then that's par for the course on Slashdot.

Comment: Re:Buy a Prius as your next car... (Score 2) 854

Exactly. The solution to both the western dependence on oil and the contribution our nations make towards greenhouse emissions is nuclear power with a fuel reprocessing cycle. Perfect? Not by a long shot, but it would certainly have given us some breathing space; time enough to get our cars off oil, invest in solar, geo, tidal and wind power.

However it didn't work out like that because the no-nuke greenies stepped on the neck of nuclear power, effectively stopping it cold. We're resourceful buggers so we did the next best thing and focused our efforts on technology to yield significant energy savings and developed alternative energy sources to keep society moving along.

Oh, wait - that's not what happened at all - silly me. Instead, life went on. Growth went on. We built coal and gas-fired power stations to keep up with demand. Who could have predicted that outcome? Certainly not the no-nuke greenies anyway; likely they were off somewhere else by this time, busily chirping at people for eating McDonalds or some such.

Now we're at 400ppm atmospheric CO2 with 2-3 degrees of warming as a likely entrée to a much, much bigger problem. If the warnings are right then we should say thanks to the no-nuke NIMBYs. In the short term you've kept us all on the oil tit unnecessarily, but I really hope you all enjoy your true place in history as the motherfuckers responsible for Humanity's collapse back to the iron age and the destruction of countless species in the process.

Comment: Re:Asinine (Score 1) 322

Actually, I regret the acidity of my last post to you. I accused you of reading too much into the GP's post then went ahead and read a whole bunch of stuff into your reply. Sorry.

An awful lot of rational debate is severely constrained in my country (NZ) because there are a lot of people here ready to hit the 'racist!' button to derail the conversation. It pisses me off no end but it doesn't give me the right to assume these are also your characteristics nor attack you for same. My apologies.

Comment: Re:Asinine (Score 1) 322

Then you have poor reading comprehension skills. Read it again. Then read it a third time.

Yeah, that goes both ways pal.

You're reading into it such that you can be upset and are clutching at very feeble straws to maintain this annoyance. I've been unfortunate enough to have come across plenty of you do-gooder types before. What you all fail to realise is that your amazing ability to see racism, sexism and discrimination in every comment actually serves to make the situation worse for everyone.

Comment: Re:yes probably... (Score 1) 640

Nope, I'll subscribe to your newsletter. Furthermore, my opinion is that Seven's tits were absurdly overstated and looked ridiculous. Jeri Ryan may be a D-cup girl but her breasts are clearly quite normally proportioned to her body whenever I've seen her in other roles.

Comment: Re:Asinine (Score 1) 322

Huh? His words were:

My organization isn't known for beating black men to death, robbing people, raping women via searches, and harrassing people for no good reason.

He certainly seems to be including everyone in that statement - emphasis mine.

Are you sure you're not just looking for something to be upset about? I've found a lot of people who like to call others out for 'racism' seem to fit into this group.

The test of intelligent tinkering is to save all the parts. -- Aldo Leopold