DISADVANTAGES OF AUTOMATION - Production and Operations Management

What are the disadvantages of Automation ?

Following are some of the disadvantages of automation:

  1. Automation will result in the subjugation of the human being by a machine. Automation tends to transfer the skill required to perform work from human operators to machines. In so doing, it reduces the need for skilled labor. The manual work left by automation requires lower skill levels and tends to involve rather menial tasks (e.g., loading and unloading workpart, changing tools, removing chips, etc.). In this sense, automation tends to downgrade factory work.
  2. There will be a reduction in the labor force, with resulting unemployment. It is logical to argue that the immediate effect of automation will be to reduce the need for human labor, thus displacing workers.
  3. Automation will reduce purchasing power. As machines replace workers and these workers join the unemployment ranks, they will not receive the wages necessary to buy the products brought by automation. Markets will become saturated with products that people cannot afford to purchase. Inventories will grow. Production will stop. Unemployment will reach epidemic proportions and the result will be a massive economic depression.

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