“There’s a lot of fear in these sectors [aerospace and manufacturing] that people are going to have their jobs replaced by robots,” says Dr Rikki Coles of AMRC.
Dr Coles is the technical lead for the Integrated Manufacturing Group of AMRC, part of the University of Sheffield. The non-profit organisation works with government and companies within aerospace and manufacturing, delivering solutions and identifying trends.
AMRC takes technology-ready concepts from academia and promotes them to the point where they can be deployed within industry.
“There are a lot of things can humans do that technology will never be able to replace,” he said, “So one of the things we aim to do through the use of industry technology is to empower and inform people how to do their jobs more effectively.”
Passing on knowledge through the generations
One area AMRC is particularly looking to address is the challenges of an ageing workforce - transferring the skills and experience from highly experienced operators to younger generations.
Dr Coles explains: “It’s capturing the skills of your more experienced operators and calcifying it in a digital form, so that information is there and it’s consistent. You can then use it to instruct your less experienced operators.”
He adds that by learning how to use a software programme, team members could be enabled to grow their skills base into a number of different areas.
Dr Coles added: “ A lots of people who have been in their jobs for many years have perfected their craft, it's then very hard to transfer that information, skills and learned knowledge to the younger generation.”