A little-known pinch-point in the world’s supply chains SHORTAGES AND bottlenecks have been a source of constant frustration for manufacturers around the world for two pandemic-afflicted years. For a handful of companies in the business of keeping factories running and supply chains intact, these frustrations have been a source of cheer—and profits. Japanese makers of industrial equipment, in particular, have seen orders surge as companies turned to automation, first amid the disruption wrought on human workforces by covid-19, then as a result of tight labour markets and rising wage costs. The world’s stock of industrial robots has tripled in […]