What I mean by that is that a robust process with repeatable workholding and stable, consistent tool behavior basically becomes "Load and Go". You can probably can find/train workers and/or co-bots to do that, but getting the process to that point, finding someone to do the "Set-Up" is the challenge and where is the real shortage.
As Udo Jahn writes in this important article, his point #3, investing in new technology is vital to fill whatever kind of gap exists. Building custom fixtures is a specific art, but modular tooling and perhaps additive manufacturing (I have yet to see anything on this obvious application) is changing this.
Selfishly, our technology of Machining Dynamics removes the mystery of choosing speeds and feeds for milling tools. Simply tap-test the tool and you instantly know where it will run stable and where it will not.
There are technologies from companies like Caron Engineering, Inc. that will optimize feed rates automatically and detect tool wear or breakage.
There are already a lot of technologies around your shop that have replaced human "skills". The feel of a micrometer thimble, the issuing of a tool from a crib, the setting of tool offsets with a piece of paper and much, much more.
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