Automation has been going on in the manufacturing industry for generations, to the point where 10 people can now be as productive as what 100 people could do 50 years ago, at least in most industries. This then begs the question of how much further this can go, and how soon can we expect it.
For businesses engaged in the manufacturing industry, the answer to this question is never clear. If we were to make a concerted effort to see it happen, then it could probably be done now in most businesses, with the exception being a worker who looks after the equipment, but at this point in time it is uneconomical. As the costs of employment do periodically rise, we could see this change and it may also be impacted by improvements in technology which could also make it more economical.