TABLE 1-2 Human Resource Requirements for Metal-Cutting Operations to Make the Same Number of Identical Parts

 

Conventional Systems

Flexible Manufacturing Systems

Operation

United States

Japan

Japan

Engineering

34

18

16

Manufacturing overhead

64

22

5

Fabrication

52

28

6

Assembly

44

32

16

Total workers

194

100

43

NOTE: At the time of this study, no U.S. machine tool producer had a flexible manufacturing system on line.

SOURCE: R. Jaikumar. Post-industrial manufacturing. 1986. HarvardBusiness Review, Vol. 64.

modes of production obsolete. Firms that hope to compete in the world market have no choice but to adopt it and learn to use it to their greatest advantage.

A 1988 Department of Defense report2 found serious, if irregular, indications of decline in sectors of the industrial base that are critical to continued U.S. leadership in advanced technologies and, by extension, to national security. The report finds particularly devastating the erosion of production technologies and equipment in vitally important sectors such as machine tools and electronics manufacturing equipment (see Table 1-3 and Table 1-4). Noting

TABLE 1-3 Top 10 Merchant Integrated Circuit Makers

Rank

1976

1986

1996

1.

Texas Instruments

NEC

IBM

2.

Fairchild

Texas Instruments

NEC

3.

Signetics

Fujitsu

Fujitsu

4.

National

Hitachi

Hitachi

5.

Intel

Motorola

Toshiba

6.

Motorola

Toshiba

Texas Instruments

7.

NEC

Philips

Matsushita

8.

GI

National

Mitsubishi

9.

RCA

Intel

Samsung

10.

Rockwell

Matsushita

Seimens

SOURCE: Microelectronic Engineering at RIT: Manpower for Tomorrow's Technology.



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