Apple assembler Foxconn now has 40,000 ‘Foxbot’ robots working at factories in China

“The Foxconn Group has installed 40,000 robots for handling manufacturing jobs at a number of its plants in China, according to a Taipei-based Central News Agency (CNA) report, citing the group’s general manager of the automation technology department committee, Dai Chia-peng,” Alexandria Chou and Steve Shen report for DigiTimes.

“The industrial robots, namely Foxbot, are being rolled out from the group’s plants in Taiwan, Shenzhen and Jingzhen (Shanxi province, China), with total robot production reaching about 10,000 units a year, Dai indicated,” Chou and Shen report. “The Foxbots are currently being installed in a number the group’s factories in China, including an industrial base in Zhengzhou, a tablet plant in Chengdu, and computer products and peripheral plants in Kunshan and Jiashan.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Apple iPhones, iPads, and Macs are assembled by Foxconn in Zhengzhou, Chengdu, and Shenzhen, among other locations.

The robots will come eventually. There are too many benefits. They don’t get tired. They don’t make mistakes. They don’t jump off roofs. They don’t have tubs o’ lard lying about them in one-fat-ass plays. Etc. — MacDailyNews, December 5, 2014

Welcome to the future – finally! (Even though we’d prefer Fembots.)

SEE ALSO:
Apple supplier Foxconn replaces 60,000 factory workers with robots – May 25, 2016
Foxconn robots better, but still not precise enough to assemble Apple iPhones – December 5, 2014
Foxconn CEO disappointed with current-gen iPhone-assembling robots; next-gen ‘Foxbots’ in the works – September 22, 2014
Foxconn to deploy ‘Foxbot’ robots for iPhone assembly – July 7, 2014
Why Foxconn’s iPhone robots could create American jobs – February 2, 2014
Apple dives deeper into designing and inventing robots, other manufacturing tech – November 22, 2013
Whatever happened to Foxconn’s one million iPhone-assembling robots? – May 15, 2013
Robots made Apple switch to ‘Made in the U.S.A.’ Macs – December 11, 2012
Foxconn’s 2012 plan: More robots, no layoffs, zero suicides, new factories – November 22, 2011
Foxconn to replace some workers with 1 million robots within 3 years – July 31, 2011

15 Comments

  1. If anyone is counting, that is 40,000 jobs lost.

    Indicative of the future – no jobs, everybody on welfare, no one buying, no economy, we will then be right back to an agrarian economy.

    1. I have learned that nothing we do that could make anyone happy, Foxconn hires so many people then the media complains that Foxconn mistreated its employees to the verges of suicidal. Therefore, Foxconn just has to do what it got to do to reduce suicidal happening.

    2. Actually, more than 40,000 humans are replaced by 40,000 robots because it’s not a 1:1 trade. The robots can do the work of multiple people since not only are they faster, they also do not sleep.

    3. That makes absolutely no sense. From the beginning of industrial manufacturing (mid-19th century) until today, the continuous improvement in automation of manufacturing processes has consistently resulted in noticeable increase in standard of living of the societies where it happened (developed nations). Where market forces were properly regulated, the result was always a spontaneous shift towards service economy (health, engineering, research, science, etc).

      Automation of manufacturing made it possible for me to pay $25 for headphones (or a toaster) which had cost me $150 forty years ago.

      1. Some would argue that a move back to an agrarian society would be an improvement. BTW, automation way back then was to support a growing population. Thanks to population control, the markets (ie people) are drying up. Moving immmigrants from one country to another doesn’t solve the problem, it just shifts it until you run out of population.

        Let’s do a spontaneous shift towards a service economy which produces ZERO (that’s the problem). Now we have people sitting at a desk waiting for someone who has money to buy a policy with money they dont have because they don’t have a job except for what he sells his tomatoes to someone else who does not have a job.

        Another example: a landlord expecting to get money from a turnip. That aint gonna work.

        This does not make sense to you because you can’t look that far down the road. I don’t have a crystal ball either but I submit a society that produces wins. Service does not produce unless you change the definition of words.

        I know, this is real deep stuff that to many “makes no sense”, absolutely.

        1. You know little about things you are trying to talk about.

          You seem to be stuck in the old concept of barter trade. I have something physical I had made and that is worth something and can be sold/traded for something else of value.

          To sustain population, you need food, shelter and clothing and similar essentials. Beyond that, you need education, health care, transportation, etc. Then you need entertainment and other quality-of-life goods/services.

          In pre-industrial times, food production was by far the largest part of the economy. As the world entered the industrial age, non-nutritional production became a large part (textile manufacturing, then chemical, steel manufacturing, etc). This doesn’t mean that people suddenly went hungry; it just means that the agricultural industry reaped the benefits of mechanisation and modern tools, which allowed much fewer people to produce much more food. Cities, with their factories, started attracting farmers, offering well paid work for skilled labour. Improvement in automation allowed higher production yields, lowering manufacturing costs and making manufactured goods available to broader segments of the society. Increasingly more and more people moved up, from low-paid manufacturing to management, engineering and other higher-paid service jobs.

          Today, we have countries where manufacturing exists only to support the needs that can’t be otherwise met. In other words, when it is cheaper to make a car locally than to import it from China, the market will sustain automobile makers; otherwise, those workers will (eventually) move onto other line of work. And there will always be plenty of service jobs, for those who want it. Someone will have to clean the bathrooms, someone to wait tables, or cook meals. As the societies mature, and our quality of life improves, we turn into consumers of art and entertainment, which someone has to produce and deliver to us.

          Societies that stubbornly use inefficient and error-prone humans as physical labour to manufacture things will inevitably lose to societies that allow humans to do what they do best (use their brain) and leave repetitive, labour-intensive tasks to the machines.

  2. The world marches on. There is absolutely no way anyone can argue that the increasing automation of manufacturing (robots) is bad and that we should go back to manual labour and assembly of products. There are hundreds of plainly obvious reasons that support automation, from increased precision and accuracy (no human errors drastically reduces, if not eliminates manufacturing defects), to significantly increased output (robots can put things together faster), to significantly reduced cost (not paying several workers replaced by a robot that works around the clock, not needing a rest), to optimised manufacturing floor layout (which no longer needs special safety and climate control considerations for humans)…

    Economies of the world have been dealing with this shift for over 100 years now. The ones that did this well figured out how to shift their job markets towards service industry, stimulating development of industries where humans simply cannot be replaced by robots. Many developed nations (other than the US) have strong manufacturing output, but a rather small work force that is employed by it. Instead, their work force is predominantly in service, engineering, health and other similar fields. Humans aren’t as efficient (in terms of getting optimal use out of them) when they use their physical labour; they produce more optimal output when they engage their knowledge, rather than manual dexterity (or simple brute physical strength). This is why the robots will always easily outperform them in repetitive manual tasks, but why humans will always be the ones to manipulate those robots.

    No developed country would really want to have manufacturing jobs again, which doesn’t mean they don’t want to have manufacturing. The 1950s are long gone and humans are done assembling things manually.

    There is nothing unpredictable or unknown regarding the future of the society with automated manufacturing. It is easy to see where we’re going if we observe how we came to where we are today from the all-manual labour of 19th century and the first industrial revolution.

    1. I guess you are not familiar with the number of people in the US with no jobs and in poverty. Ask them why and they might say “I can’t find a job above minimum wage and I don’t want to clean bathrooms (a service job !!!!!)”. Oh, OK. The libs will increase minimum wage thus giving companies justification to buy more robots to replace the whinners. In the end – everybody is out of work.

      While moving from a manufacturing to a service economy sounds good, I can’t think of an example where that has been sustained. Oh, I know. Sweden maybe. Their economy comes from tourism. That money comes from countries that PRODUCE. Eventually, we run out of PRODUCERS and then we run out of tourists.

      1. I read your comments up and down the page and with certainty, I can say you pontificate really well, like the sound of your own voice and don’t understand the topics you speak of remotely as intricately as you think you do.

    1. How many Polacks does it take to fix a robot?

      Probably the same number as the number of govt workers to dig a hole.

      Another point: the only jobs the government can create are the people they hire (mostly to do nothing except vote for the incumbents). Govt does not create jobs at Apple. Only Apple does.

  3. Yep. Yesterday, October 3, 2016 was day 19 of iPhone 7/7 Plus sales. Yesterday saw approximately 1,700,000 iPhone 7/7 Plus units activated. Last year day 19 of sales/activations was on October 13. That day saw around 675,000 iPhone 6s/6s Plus devices activated. This means that day 19 of this year had 150% more new iPhones activated compared with day 19 of last year.

    Over 19 days of sales there about 35 million iPhone 7/7 Plus units activated compared with around 22 million iPhone 6s/6s Plus devices. This means there are about 60% more iPhone 7/7 Plus devices activated this year compared with last year’s launch.

    Obviously, Apple is producing many more phones than they ever have and my theory a few days ago was they are utilizing robots to do a base number demand and workers to fill-in any extra demand. And right now it appears there is a lot of extra demand.

    Notes:

    – Avtivation data is taken from Mixpanel
    – my estimated iPhone base start of 7 is around 550M
    – my estimated iPhone base start of 6s is around 450M
    – day 19 iPhone 7/7+ 6.42%
    – day 19 iPhone 6s/6s+ 4.94%

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