Foxconn Boosting Automated Production in China
Foxconn Electronics is automating production at its factories in China in three phases, aiming to fully automate entire factories eventually, according to general manager Dai Jia-peng for Foxconn's Automation Technology Development Committee.
In the first phase, Foxconn aims to set up individual automated work stations for work 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, Dai 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, Dai indicated.
Foxconn's factories in Chengdu, western China, Shenzhen, southern China, and Zhengzhou, northern China, have been brought to the second or third phase, Dai said. There are 10 lights-out (fully automated) production lines at some factories, including table one in Chengdu, AIO (all-in-one) PC and LCD monitor lines at a factory in Chongqing, western China, and a CNC line in Zhengzhou, Dai indicated.
Foxconn has deployed more than 40,000 Foxbots, industrial robots developed and produced in house, at factories in China, Dai said. Foxconn can produce about 10,000 Foxbots a year. In addition to industrial robots, Foxconn is developing robots for use in medical care, Dai said. Although robotic technology keeps improving, industrial robots will not be able to completely replace workers because humans have the flexibility to quickly switch from one task to another, Dai noted.
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