Author Topic: Skynet!  (Read 436 times)


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« on: July 02, 2015, 06:02:38 AM »

Very regrettable incident in itself but you gotta love the coincidence with the Financial Times reporter's name.


Dave Winfield

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Re: Skynet!
« Reply #1 on: July 02, 2015, 08:46:14 AM »
A technician has been killed by a robot at a Volkswagen plant near Kassel, Germany.
A 21 year old external contractor was installing the robot together with a colleague when he was struck in the chest by the robot and pressed against a metal plate. He later died of his injuries, reports Chris Bryant, the FT's Frankfurt correspondent.
Prosecutors have opened an investigation into how the accident occurred.
Robot-related fatalities are rare in western production plants as robots are kept behind safety cages to prevent accidental contact with humans.
In this instance the contractor was standing inside the safety cage when the accident occurred.
The second employee was outside the cage and was unharmed.
A Volkswagen spokesman stressed that the robot was not one of the new generation of lightweight collaborative robots that work side-by-side with workers on the production line and forgo safety cages.
VW said the robot had not suffered a technical defect.

So, apparently this was one of the older robots,
probably unhappy about all the younger robots coming in and taking all the good jobs.
Its no wonder it lashed out against the "man" .
Those older T-800 models can be unstable.


Kevin WS

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Re: Skynet!
« Reply #2 on: July 02, 2015, 04:56:55 PM »
This I am guessing would have been at Wolfsburg, the main VW plant near Hanover.

It is an amazing place - I have been there several times! Most of the Robots there are also not caged.

The plant has the largest private railway in Europe, the largest single sausage factory in the world (for workers sausages), 75kms of roads (mostly in the factory) and 50 gp's for the staff.

Interestingly enough they also have two separate types of production lines serving the same purpose, one partly with robots and the other with only a few. I will explain about the latter and reasons why another time as it is after midnight here now!

On, and a lot of the factory buildings date from WW2. They used to make tanks here and VW beetles. On one of the buildings is, amazingly, there is still a swastika and eagle perched high up and carved in the stone! Must be one of a goodvery few in Germany left..


Kevin WS

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Re: Skynet!
« Reply #3 on: July 03, 2015, 03:13:36 AM »
I said I would explain about the two different production lines.

The last time I was at the factory was about two years ago and that this time they had two separate production lines running.

In the first, the components are all basically moved using anoverhead railway, with the operations then being performed on the various components by the robots  (with human workers in attendance to monitor the various operations). Basically there is one worker to every robot.  So, the workers and robots are in stationary positions, and the components move down the line throughout the factory, past these positions where each component than undergoes assembly.

In the second assembly line the process is different.  Here the components placed on a moving belt, and they then move throughout the factory accompanied by the workers, who remain on the moving belt alongside the component. These workers then perform a whole series of assembly processes, and basically when they have finished a set, they then walk down the moving belt to the next vehicle and continue with the same set of process again. They basically perform the same role as the robots butt undertake multiple tasks to the same time, instead of just one!

However the interesting thing here, is that the workers on the belt are all physically separated from the rest of the factory's workforce by tape barriers. They also have to wear orange one piece overalls while in the factory.

When I questioned this I was told that the workers on the belt in the orange overalls were part of a social responsibility project.

The project works like this.

These workers are ex-prisoners and they are hired by VW as part of this project. However (and this is allegedly done because of resistance from the established workers' councils), they are employed only under special conditions.  These conditions are that they already paid a flat basic minimum wage, may never receive increases, do not receive the standard employees benefits, and may not make use of the standard employees subsidized facilities for stock they also have separate canteens and facilities. 

Hmmmm. Draw your own conclusions here!