In a recent announcement Canon indicated the plan to build a manufacturing plant for its single lens reflex digital camera in Miyazaki Prefecture in Japan. This is the first plant being built by Canon in Japan since 2010. Since then Canon moved its manufacturing to low labour cost Countries, like India and Thailand.
The use of robots (along with the increase in labour cost in those Countries) makes domestic production more appealing (and economically viable).
The new plant will have robots taking care of up to 70% of manufacturing decreasing labour cost. The target is to go to full manufacturing automation in the next decade.
This is a general trend. Apple announced in 2012 the intention to move some MacPro manufacturing back to the US. This happened in 2013 but as 2016 several analysts felt concerned that production in the US was not au pair with the one in China in terms of labour skill. Indeed, having robots decreases the number of workers needed but increases the skill level required.
More recently Tim Cook announced a 1 billion funding for advanced US manufacturing.
This is an interesting trend to follow. Robots are clearly taking over manufacturing and shift the economic balance across Countries, making production in high salary level area economically sustainable since the number of workers involved is low. At the same time they require a much more sophisticated labour force that is difficult to find.
Education is lagging behind. Since manufacturing has been moving away from highly developed Countries, manufacturing education has faded away from these Countries and now there is a shortage of skill.