Historical Background of Impacts of Technology on Manual Jobs – Term Paper

One of the first technologically advanced countries was the United States; this was due to the availability of land as well as literate labor, the restige of the entrepreneurship and access to a literate and upscale free market. Furthermore, its legal system promoted the establishment of guaranteed contracts and business operations. The United States was considered as an independent country and this led it to encourage innovation and science. The result of this was the creation of new inventions like the internet, microchip, bar code, automated teller machine, Liquid-crystal display and others. The reason for the fast embracement of technology in their industries was due to the fact that they had insufficient workers which led to higher wages as compared to European and British workers; mechanization made completing industrial tasks easier.

A significant factor that stood out during the Industrial Revolution era was the advancement in the power technology. Before this era, the main power sources were channeled to the industries through animate power and the energy from water and wind as well as steam engines. The steam power eventually led to the development of electricity that promoted the idea of robotics and other technological tools in industries. As a result, there was a threat presented to the industrial labor sector, especially the manual workers because this meant that the technology tools and robotics would produce goods faster and more efficiently as compared to the human ability.

As the developed nations kept on using technological tools, the traditional manual workers became replaced and deskilled by more specialized engineers and workers that used the machines to replicate work in hours or minutes which would take a worker days or hours to accomplish. Cohn recognized the inefficiencies that were introduced by various production lines and proposed that the processes and motions have to be studied so that that the requirements of manufacturing specific products can be known (2007, 87). This would eventually help reorganize manufacturing and factory processes around the workers and the payment of the workers in an effort to attain higher gains in the process efficiency.

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An increase in the industrialization replaced the laborers supply as well as those that worked in the low-paying, dead-end and dangerous jobs. Nonetheless, the demand for the unskilled and low jobs increased wages and attracted immigrants from Russia, Poland, Italy, Ireland and Israel that were able to earn more while residing in developed countries rather that their countries. Evidently, the improvement in technology developed higher mechanization levels and this caused a shift in the work requirements for a factory employee.

Until five decades ago, automation remained to be a little synonymous to the mechanization process. The evolvement of machinery as well as other technical tools replaced the manual work. Moreover, the consequences are larger costs and rigid equipment. Before a product is produced, the entire production line has to be built again. As a result, mechanization became applied in the industries that had mass production such as the car industry. Most of the automation illustrations could be found during industrialization whereby the main theory was to mechanize manual work. Ford and Taylor are considered as an important part of automation history because of their scientific ideas on structuring a work base by splitting work into smaller parts. Ford’s factories had the car frames passed on to the assembly line from station to station and they were delivered on parallel belts. Every worker performed a single or more tasks in their stations. Nonetheless, this process was openly criticized by skilled workers that experienced decreasing demand in the jobs they were appointed to and this made their jobs boring for them. Thus, the main issue was the large exchange of the personnel.

Herman Hollerith was another individual who was seen as significant in automation history as well as robotics due to the fact that he initiated the introduction of computers. In 1886 the inventor introduced the Punch Card Machine for population census. These cards contained holes as well as non-holes and whenever these cards passed over the metal surface the wire brushes went through the holes and then closed the electrical circuits. The use of this invention contributed to the population count in America by hand; this was the first time it happened. Afterwards, this invention formed a basis for IBM computer making company where they applied this technology to form the visual machines.

In the 1950s, digital computers as well as the integrated circuit were inventions that led to manufacturing technology. In the past, it was just the material processing system that was enhanced. The computer age focused on the information-processing system in terms of the improvement and rationalization of work. Even though mechanization was suitable for the large-scale production, computer technology may generally be applied to the industrial activities. This production may be turned to something more flexible and nowadays it is essential to automate the large-scale production as well as attain production flexibility at the same time. Inventions have assisted in equipping more machines with immensely sophisticated units of digital control. In the past, the machines were solely independent, but the 1960s brought forth systems that were integrated with one another using a single central computer.

The early computers development made it easy to develop the controls of industrial robots. Once the powerful computers that had integrated circuits got developed, it helped in the development of robotics even more. The creation of the industrial robot or the automatic devices dedicated to serving humans has been in existence over a long period of time whereby they have been shown in tales, myths and stories. Some of the earliest robot mechanics applications came from liturgy (Greek science).