Foxconn has 10 lights-out production lines, aims to fully automate entire factories

“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,” Chia-Han Lee and Adam Hwang report for DigiTimes.

• Phase 1: Individual automated work stations for work that workers are unwilling to do or is dangerous.
• Phase 2: Entire production lines will be automated.
• Phase 3: Entire factories will be automated with only a minimal number of workers assigned for production, logistics, testing and inspection processes

“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,” Lee and Hwang report. “There are 10 lights-out (fully automated) production lines at some factories.”

Lee and Hwang report, “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.”

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.)

Apple iPhone production in the actually straightforward and not expensive – November 24, 2016
President-elect Trump tells Apple CEO Tim Cook that he’d like to see Apple make products in the U.S. – November 23, 2016
Could President Trump be the catalyst for an all-American iPhone? – November 18, 2016
Apple could make iPhones in the U.S.A. under President Trump, sources say – November 17, 2016
President Trump’s Made-in-America hurdle: Asia – November 16, 2016
Apple assembler Foxconn now has 40,000 ‘Foxbot’ robots working at factories in China – October 5, 2016
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
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


  1. We are living in remarkable times. The day is rapidly approaching when we will need very little unskilled labor. What happens when I can “program” a machine as easily as talking to it to do simple repetitive tasks. Siri and Google now are the beginning but soon (less than 50 years) we will have robots that clean hotel rooms, clean our homes, cut our grass, deliver our goods (truck drivers), harvest our food, care for the aged, paint our homes, and drive our cars. What will those people do for work and income? I am NOT saying we should not embrace the future but we need to be thinking about what Capitalism looks like in that world. Exciting times!

    1. This will happen in far less than 50 years. Meanwhile, the human race keeps blissfully procreating, with the apparent assumption that we’ll return to some “better time” from the past. Exciting times, indeed!

      1. I agree the worst thing that’s happening to planet Earth is the excess amount of human beings that sees no sign of stopping. A large enough natural calamity (Asteroid or meteorite, Yellowstone Caldera, famine, disease, etc.) would be enough to “reduce the surplus population” as Scrooge would say. Not a matter of if but when.

    1. When your hair turns green, that’s when Apple will be dictated to you friggin’ ignoramus and 3 year old truent TRUMP THE SKUNK.

      You ain’t nutin but a mentally imature Dick Donald.

    2. On the contrary, Apple could bring manufacturing to the US by building automated assembly lines in the US. What Apple will not be bringing to the US is the thousands of low skilled assembly jobs that Trump would like.

  2. Donald Dick can take credit for nothing that President Obama has done to turn around the biggest ever finacial metdown.

    The only thing Donald Dick can do is profit from bancrupcies. There’s not one bank in NY State that will lend him a penny becuase he’s stiffed them all by never paying his loans.

  3. Donald Dick can take credit for nothing that President Obama has done to turn around the biggest ever finacial metdown.

    The only thing Donald Dick can do is profit from bancrupcies. There’s not one bank in NY State that will lend him a penny becuase he’s stiffed them all by never paying back his loans.

    1. Uuuhhh what EXACTLY was it that Obama did while in office? Obamacare – nope actually wasn’t his. Neither he nor Polosi even knew what was in the bill.
      Get us out of all the wars George B sucked us into? Nope!
      Protected Civil Liberties? He actually still calls for Snowdens arrest.
      Ended Racism – not as far as I can tell, seems worse than ever.
      Obama was a mediocre president. He was no Bill Clinton nor Ronald Regan.
      Only areas I can give him credit on was marriage equality but that was inevitable and was more a function of the Courts than the presidency but at least he stood up on the right side of history on that one. And Cuba – was about time for that wall to fall.

  4. If dumping the employees and replacing them with automation is THE FUTURE, then there is NO reason that can’t be done directly inside the USA.

    I won’t be pretty! It won’t make the still-displaced workers happy! But it’s far better than laughably keeping the manufacturing over in China: Criminal Nation, where it never should have been in the first place.

    Feed The Beast. The beast will inevitably bite you back.

    1. Well….there still may be some reasons to keep even robotic manufacturing offshore.

      For example, more lax pollution law. Maybe cheaper energy costs. And of course, tax.

      Plus a factory has to be built in the first place (and maintained), so there’s still a labor component.


  5. Steve Jobs said those assembly line jobs were never coming back. Those of us who have experienced advanced manufacturing knew exactly what he meant. The job market will shift from manual processing and assembly to being able to conceive, design, build, and maintain autonomous machines of the future.

    This is why STEM programs in schools are so vitally important. You won’t learn how to compete in the advanced manufacturing era by reading a Bible in school. When I was a kid, that is what you did in Sunday School. Get a clue people.

    Jobs knew we were not focusing our educational system to address that needs of future manufacturing.

  6. Robots do make mistakes, at least their programers make mistakes, but their mistakes are consistent which makes catching them and localizing recalls much easier.
    This is not an Apple vs. Samsung statement or even a criticism against robots, just an observation.

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