Foxconn Receives 10,000 Robots to Replace Human Factory Workers
November 14, 2012 3:01 PM
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One of Foxconn's new robots
The electronics manufacturer will receive another 20,000 robots before the end of 2012
Foxconn plans to replace 1 million of its human factory workers in China with robots, and the first 10,000 have already been installed.
At least one Foxconn factory in China has received 10,000 robots for the purpose of replacing human workers. These robots, which were manufactured in house and are called "Foxbots," are capable of doing simple tasks like lifting, making selections and placing items where they belong. They will act much like assembly line robots.
, each robot costs about $20,000-$25,000.
Last year, Foxconn President Terry Gou said he wanted to replace 1 million factory workers in China with 1 million robots. This was likely due to the number of problems Foxconn has had with human employees over the years.
The company came under fire earlier this year when
The New York Times
published a massive article
on the working conditions of Foxconn factories. Apple was also targeted because the report mentioned Apple's lack of action when receiving reports on these poor working environments and overtime/pay issues.
Foxconn gave employees a pay boost earlier this year and is cleaning its act up slowly but surely to comply with audits.
But it seems Foxconn just doesn't want to deal with human employees at all anymore. While it will take a long time to replace all 1 million workers with 1 million robots, the electronics manufacturer will receive another 20,000 robots before the end of 2012 -- bringing its total to 30,000 for the year. Foxconn hopes to continue increasing this number over the coming years.
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RE: Building your replacment
11/14/2012 5:38:57 PM
That's exactly right. You're better off building a robot to do the monotonous job, training one of the workers to maintain the robots, and getting the rest of the workers to do something else that the robots can't do yet.
That improves progress, efficiency, and ultimately quality of life for everybody.
Imagine if we were still trying to hang onto the the middle-ages blacksmith concept, and things like shovels and wheels were manually created individually using a forge for the sake of saving jobs. Yeah, you'd have more people having something to do, but it would be a waste of time and resources relative to modern mass production.
RE: Building your replacment
11/14/2012 6:00:08 PM
Absolutely! I was a contractor at a GM powertrain plant fresh out of college. Easily 80% of the plant was automated, and there was basically engineers that replaced down machinery. It was very efficient.
This idea is not a new concept. There will always be people needed to fix and replace the machines, that is unless skynet really does take over....
RE: Building your replacment
11/15/2012 1:32:20 PM
The first industrial use robot was installed in a GM plant in 1961. They have slowly replaced human workers over the last 50 years and robots are now widespread. It is not surprising that Foxcon would automate. If instead of low wage workers, they were actually slaves, robots would still be cheaper. My father worked for a steel mill in the 60's and 70's. At the time, they had over 10,000 employees. Now they make almost twice as much steel with only 2,000 employees. None of these lost jobs were outsourced. They simply were replaced with robots. I consider it a good thing, because the place is a hell on Earth and many people were killed or injured there in really dangerous jobs. Likely you couldn't even find anybody who would dare to do those jobs now. That was a much tougher generation.
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