Menu
Foxconn expects robots to take over more factory work

Foxconn expects robots to take over more factory work

In three years, Foxconn will probably use automation to complete 70 percent of its assembly line work

The electronics industry may still be reliant on human workers to assemble products, but Apple supplier Foxconn Technology Group is hopeful that robots will take over more of the workload soon.

In three years, Foxconn will probably use robots and automation to complete 70 percent of its assembly line work, said company CEO Terry Gou on Thursday in news footage circulated online.

Although the Taiwanese manufacturing giant employs over 1 million workers in mainland China, it has also been investing in robotics research. Previously Gou said he hoped to one day deploy a "robot army" at the company's factories, as a way to offset labor costs and improve manufacturing.

Foxconn's biggest client is Apple, but the two companies have faced criticism over labor conditions in China, following a string of worker suicides in 2010. Labor watchdog groups have complained that Foxconn workers have in the past faced long hours and harsh treatment from management.

Both Apple and Foxconn have vowed to improve the labor conditions. But increasingly, robots are replacing human workers at the manufacturing giant.

Last year, Gou said that the company already had a fully automated factory in the Chinese city of Chengdu that can run 24 hours a day with the lights off.

Gou declined to say more about the factory, or what it produced, but Foxconn has been adding 30,000 industrial robots to its facilities each year, he said in June.

Despite the increasing automation, certain Foxconn facilities in China still heavily rely on human workers. The factory in Zhengzhou, China, assembling Apple's iPhone for instance, has been known to employ 300,000 workers.

On Thursday, Gou said his company needed to adopt more automation, due to the potential for labor shortages.

"I think in the future, young people won't do this kind of work, and won't enter the factories," he said.

Follow Us

Join the New Zealand Reseller News newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags Electronics manufacturingFoxconn Technology Groupenvironment

Slideshows

Top 50 defining moments of the New Zealand channel in 2016

Top 50 defining moments of the New Zealand channel in 2016

Reseller News looks back on a tumultuous 12 months for the New Zealand channel, assessing the fallout from a year of sizeable industry change. Whether it be local or global mergers and acquisitions, distribution deals or job changes, the channel that started the year differs somewhat to the one set to finish it - Reseller News assesses the key moments that made 2016.​

Top 50 defining moments of the New Zealand channel in 2016
​Hewlett Packard Enterprise honours high achieving NZ channel

​Hewlett Packard Enterprise honours high achieving NZ channel

Hewlett Packard Enterprise honoured its top performing Kiwi partners at the second running of its HPE Partner Awards in New Zealand, held at a glitzy ceremony in Auckland. Recognising excellence across eight categories - from distributors to resellers - the tech giant celebrated its first year as a standalone company, following its official split from HP in 2015.

​Hewlett Packard Enterprise honours high achieving NZ channel
Nutanix treats channel partners to Christmas cruise

Nutanix treats channel partners to Christmas cruise

Nutanix recently took to the seas for a Christmas Cruise around Sydney Harbour with its Australia and New Zealand staff, customers and partners to celebrate a stellar year for the vendor. With the sun out, they were all smiles and mingled over drinks and food.

Nutanix treats channel partners to Christmas cruise
Show Comments