Artisans of the Future
An artisan is someone who is qualified in a trade to do skilled work using their hands. Over the years hand skills have been replaced by tools and machines. In more recent year’s tools and machines have become more and more automated. In future we are looking more and more at machine learning as part of Industry 4.0.
As machines are becoming more computerized and automated the skills required to operate and maintain these machines will also need to adjust. The skills required by artisans in the future will be different to the skills required of artisans in the past.
In the online job adverts posted today we see more and more ads for artisans and who have technology-based skills. Skills in design using computers (CAD), in automation (using CNC machines) and even in 3D printing are more in demand now than ever.
Listed below are just a few innovations which are already transforming the way in which products are manufactured. How will technologies such as computerised systems, and electronic operating systems using sensors and automated controls impact on the work of an artisan? What are some of the skills artisan can cultivate to offset the impact of technology?
Let’s have a look at just a few innovations:
Computer Aided Design (CAD)
Using computer-aided design software (CAD) artisans are able to design and render products in 2D or 3D design which can then when rotated to be viewed from various angles and perspectives. Designs can save and adapted when needed, or transferred to a CNC machine or a 3D printer to be manufactured.
CNC machining is a process in which pre-programmed computer software automatically controls the movement of factory tools and machinery. First the CAD drawing is translated to computer code for the CNC system to execute. When a CNC system is activated, the desired cuts are made by machines which have been programmed to carry out the dimensional tasks like a robot.
3 D Printing
A 3D printing device builds objects by printing layer upon layer of materials. The printer builds according to the specifications provided from a computer model created using CAD. Using this process and artisan may design any number or type of products from various materials.
The rapid pace of change means that artisans will need to becomes more innovative and creative to offset the impact of technology.
Soft skills cannot be automated!
Artisans are known for working with things and not people. Yet in future, people management skills and the ability to work in teams will be increasingly important. The World Economic Forum Future of Jobs report says that, complex problem-solving, critical thinking, creativity, people management and emotional intelligence would be among the most important skills required in the workplace.
The 4IR will require that the artisan of the future will need to continually update their skills to stay relevant. Prepare yourself for the future, be ready to adapt and change always be willing to learn.