The growing pressure on organizations to increase efficiency and quality intensifies process automation. Manufacturers have to manage knowledge consciously to understand processes and to transfer knowledge into automated machinery. Knowledge management in Information Systems research focuses on the effects of automation on operational knowledge in the short-term but not on in the long-term. We propose that by automating processes, less knowledge is required for manufacturing and that the knowledge will diminish in the long run, impacting an organization's innovation potential negatively. We refer to three scenarios: (1) manual manufacturing, (2) automated manufacturing, and (3) outsourced automation of manufacturing. We analyze the impact of process automation on the location of knowledge, the carrier of knowledge, knowledge base, and access to knowledge. Preliminary results show that automating manufacturing processes and especially outsourcing the automation requires high efforts for accessing knowledge.