Robot takeover imminent: Canon aims for human-free production by 2015


posted Monday, May 14, 2012 at 5:32 PM EST

Canon's logo. Click here to visit the Canon website!Imaging giant Canon is working to fully automate its camera production, according to an article from Associated Press journalist Yuri Kageyama, published today on Yahoo News. The move could see humans completely removed from Canon's assembly lines, perhaps as soon as the next three years or so.

Canon spokesman Jun Misumi, whose official title isn't stated, is quoted as stating that such a move wouldn't result in job losses. According to Misumi, staff whose jobs were taken over by machines would simply be transferred to other tasks. With that said, in a company that no longer needed a manufacturing staff, it seems unlikely that the entire manufacturing workforce could be moved into other roles without significant retraining. As Kageyama notes, almost all of the main Japanese camera manufacturers have now largely moved their manufacturing outside of their home country, seeking less expensive labor in other countries. That suggests that if there were to be an impact on manufacturing staff, it would be most felt outside of Japan.

Camera production at Canon's Nagasaki factory. Photo provided by Canon Inc.
Camera production at Canon's Nagasaki factory. Photo provided by Canon Inc.

Scenes like these at Canon's Nagasaki factory could soon be a thing of the past, if the company's plans to completely automate its camera production over the next three years come to fruition.
Photos provided by Canon Inc.

More details can be found in the Associated Press article, 'Canon seeks full automation in camera production'.

(via Engadget)