Anecdote about Automation

This is the Case IH 8000 Series Austoft sugar cane harvester: According to CNH Industrial, which owns Case, in Brazil, where equipment like this is used, sugar cane harvesting, which had once been a labor-intensive process (as had been the production of cars and components), workers had been able to cut cane at a rate of up to 500 kg per hour.

This is the Case IH 8000 Series Austoft sugar cane harvester:

case

According to CNH Industrial, which owns Case, in Brazil, where equipment like this is used, sugar cane harvesting, which had once been a labor-intensive process (as had been the production of cars and components), workers had been able to cut cane at a rate of up to 500 kg per hour.

However, the country is making a transition to mechanization. In Sao Paulo, approximately 95% of the sugar cane is mechanically harvested and there is a requirement that calls for all cane on lands with a gradient of 12 degrees or less to be worked by machines by the end of the year.

The Case equipment can strip and separate leaves from plants at a rate of up to 100,000 kg per hour.

According to a piece on the Case website, the Usina da Mata farm, which produces 2.5-million tons of sugar cane annually, uses CNH harvesters, tractors, graders, loaders, excavators, and trucks. It is 100% mechanized. (Yes, people need to drive the equipment, just not wield scythes.)

Newton Antonio Chucri, manager of the farm, said, “Cutting by hand was not a job for humans. We used to have to do it, but now we don’t.”

So, going forward in this industry, as new factories are being built, just how much hand work will their be?