One variety of the machines is a laser-guided vehicle that moves pallets of beer and materials around the factory, replacing forklifts driven by people. They look like a simplified knock-off of the Kiva robot system that now is the backbone of the Amazon warehouses.
Michael Othites, Senior VP of Operations: Our brew house is fully automated here. We run each shift with six people. We got maybe 58 robots. . .Those darn humans! The machines are so much more efficient and trouble-free!
We’ve got about 70 laser-guided vehicles, as we’re built out, we would have 250 forklifts to do the same work. And then, frankly, laser-guided vehicles, when they need a battery change, they go up, they pull up, they say change my battery. Employees need breaks, employees need lunches, employees call in sick. It’s just the human factor that with laser-guided vehicles, you don’t.
But hey, Mr. Senior VP, who will buy the beer after millions of workers have been made obsolete and no longer get paychecks?
Also, you have to wonder how many more Mexicans will illegally immigrate to El Norte after losing their jobs to automation. It could be a coming trend.