Foxconn to replace tens of thousands of factory workers by robots

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foxconn-workersTaiwanese electronic giant Foxconn, the world’s largest contract manufacturer for consumer electronics including iPhone, iPad, Kindle, Playstation and Xbox, as well as many types of computer and IT components, said it will replace tens of thousands of manufacturing jobs by robots in the coming years.

The company, which employs 1.2 million workers, of them one million in China, and has factories around the world, including in Malaysia and Vietnam, says it will replace a large number of workers and automating production at its factories starting in China in three phases.

The target is to fully automate entire factories eventually, according to general manager Dai Jiapeng of Foxconn’s Automation Technology Development Committee.

In the first phase, Foxconn aims to set up individual automated work stations for labour that workers are unwilling to do or is dangerous, Dai said. Entire production lines will be automated to decrease the number of robots used during the second phase, he noted.

In the third phase, entire factories will be automated with only a minimal number of workers assigned for production, logistics, testing and inspection processes.

The company said last year that it had set a benchmark of 30 per cent automation at its Chinese factories by 2020. The company can now produce around 10,000 robots (which it calls Foxbots) a year, all of which can be used to replace human labour. In March, Foxconn said it had automated away 60,000 jobs at one of its Chinese factories, including the iPhone plant in Zhengzhou.

Foxconn’s Zhengzhou factory, its largest and most capable plant that produces 500,000 iPhones a day and is known locally as “iPhone City,” is on track to become fully automated in a few years’ time.

While the initial investment in complex manufacturing robots can be costly, in the long term, they are cheaper than human labour, the company says.

However, the company will ultimately end up putting hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of people out of work which comes as a concern for the Chinese government which granted Foxconn generous incentives to transform semi-urban areas in China into industrial powerhouses.

It is also unclear how Donald Trump might react when he learns about great American iPhones being fully produced by robots in China.

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Reading Time: 2 minutes

Taiwanese electronic giant Foxconn, the world’s largest contract manufacturer for consumer electronics including iPhone, iPad, Kindle, Playstation and Xbox, as well as many types of computer and IT components, said it will replace tens of thousands of manufacturing jobs by robots in the coming years.

Reading Time: 2 minutes

foxconn-workersTaiwanese electronic giant Foxconn, the world’s largest contract manufacturer for consumer electronics including iPhone, iPad, Kindle, Playstation and Xbox, as well as many types of computer and IT components, said it will replace tens of thousands of manufacturing jobs by robots in the coming years.

The company, which employs 1.2 million workers, of them one million in China, and has factories around the world, including in Malaysia and Vietnam, says it will replace a large number of workers and automating production at its factories starting in China in three phases.

The target is to fully automate entire factories eventually, according to general manager Dai Jiapeng of Foxconn’s Automation Technology Development Committee.

In the first phase, Foxconn aims to set up individual automated work stations for labour that workers are unwilling to do or is dangerous, Dai said. Entire production lines will be automated to decrease the number of robots used during the second phase, he noted.

In the third phase, entire factories will be automated with only a minimal number of workers assigned for production, logistics, testing and inspection processes.

The company said last year that it had set a benchmark of 30 per cent automation at its Chinese factories by 2020. The company can now produce around 10,000 robots (which it calls Foxbots) a year, all of which can be used to replace human labour. In March, Foxconn said it had automated away 60,000 jobs at one of its Chinese factories, including the iPhone plant in Zhengzhou.

Foxconn’s Zhengzhou factory, its largest and most capable plant that produces 500,000 iPhones a day and is known locally as “iPhone City,” is on track to become fully automated in a few years’ time.

While the initial investment in complex manufacturing robots can be costly, in the long term, they are cheaper than human labour, the company says.

However, the company will ultimately end up putting hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of people out of work which comes as a concern for the Chinese government which granted Foxconn generous incentives to transform semi-urban areas in China into industrial powerhouses.

It is also unclear how Donald Trump might react when he learns about great American iPhones being fully produced by robots in China.

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