A few weeks ago, I interviewed a textile company owner and a textile worker in New Jersey about how the textile industry in the US has changed over the past few years.
The conversation quickly turned to robotics.
The industry has been a magnet for robots for a while, but that trend accelerated after the announcement in March of a $5.2 billion investment by IBM, Intel, and a number of other tech giants to develop the IBM Watson supercomputer, the first of its kind in the world.
Watson will work on analyzing and predicting patterns in human patterns, which in turn will help textile manufacturers make more accurate garments and help cut costs.
The first IBM Watson machines will be delivered in 2019, followed by about 30,000 Watson-powered machines by 2021.
In addition to helping textile companies better tailor their products to fit specific needs, Watson’s power could also open up new business opportunities for those companies who want to do something more.
“There’s a whole other set of opportunities out there,” says Robby Renn, senior partner at the consulting firm McKinsey & Company.
“It’s really a game changer.
It opens up a whole new avenue for the textile manufacturing industry.”
“It opens up new opportunities for the [textile] manufacturing industry” Robots and the textile industries are already on a collision course.
In the past two years, as more automation has taken hold, robots have taken over from humans in almost every manufacturing job.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in the manufacturing sector, the share of jobs that are automated increased from about 12% in 2012 to over 18% in 2017.
But it is not just automation that is changing the textile market.
In 2017, the global textile industry was the biggest employer of both men and women, accounting for about 9.6% of the global workforce, up from just over 1% in 2011.
While there is no question that automation is changing how textile companies are doing their job, there are some major challenges that the industry still faces.
At the heart of the issue are the costs involved with automation, and how those costs are shifting toward robots.
For instance, in recent years, the cost of a machine has gone up by more than 200% compared with the previous decade.
According to Renn and others, the increased costs for factories to run new machines are partly due to the fact that a new machine can run faster and have higher-quality parts.
As more machines get smaller and cheaper, the costs for making that machine increase.
For instance, Renn points to a factory that had to make its first new machine for three years.
Today, the factory’s first machine runs $30,000.
That is a huge increase in cost.
And even with the price increase, the new machine costs $1,500 to make, compared to $1.25 for a second-generation machine.
If that price difference doesn’t seem high, it’s worth noting that the new machines in question cost more than the factory that manufactured them.
Additionally, the increase in the cost associated with robots has meant that factory owners have had to pay for their robots by making up the difference between the higher labor costs and the lower price.
Robot workers are also becoming cheaper to hire.
At the moment, it is still possible for robots to be paid $1 an hour, which is less than the average wage in the industry, but it is likely that wages for robots will eventually start to go down, which could be a good thing for textile manufacturers.
To be clear, the industry is not changing overnight.
While robots are replacing workers, the pace of automation is increasing.
The rate of growth in automation is higher than it has been in the past several decades.
But the industry needs to focus on the future.
While the industry may be changing, the future is not. Read more: