Chinese factory replaces 90% of human workers with robots; production rises by 250%, defects drop by 80%

“After a factory in Dongguan, China, replaced most of its workers with robots, it witnessed a spectacular rise in productivity,” Mihai Andrei reports for ZME Science. “It’s been long discussed that robots and computers will start taking our jobs “in the near future” — well that near future is upon us and we’re not really prepared to deal with it. Of course, some jobs are more at risk than others, are few are as threatened as factory jobs.”

“According to Monetary Watch, the Changying Precision Technology Company focuses on the production of mobile phones and uses automated production lines,” Andrei reports. “The factory used to be run by 650 employees, but now just 60 people get the entire job done, while robots take care of the rest. Luo Weiqiang, the general manager, says the number of required employees will drop to 20 at one point. Despite this reduction in staff, not only is the factory producing more equipment (a 250% increase), but it’s also ensuring better quality.”

“I’ve got some very mixed feelings about this. Firstly, this is indeed exciting. We’re entering a new age of automation, and technology is truly reaching impressive peaks. The process is better and it’s also more resource efficient, which is also good,” Andrei reports. “I’m also happy that humans don’t have to work repetitive, unchallenging jobs and can instead focus on other things. The problem is … there might not be other things. In fact there most definitely aren’t. Those people are out of a job, and there’s a good chance they’ll have a very difficult time finding new jobs. Simply put, our society isn’t prepared to integrate these people in different jobs and naturally this will cause huge problems.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: For better or worse, here we go!

If only the world’s average IQ were 5 points higher. It must be God’s cruel joke.MacDailyNews, June 23, 2009

The human body generates more bio-electricity than a 120-volt battery and over 25,000 BTU’s of body heat. Combined with a form of fusion the machines have found all the energy they would ever need. There are fields, endless fields, where human beings are no longer born, we are grown. For the longest time I wouldn’t believe it, and then I saw the fields with my own eyes; watched them liquefy the dead so they could be fed intravenously to the living. And standing there, facing the pure horrifying precision, I came to realize the obviousness of the truth. — Morpheus

The robots will come eventually. There are too many benefits. They don’t get tired. They don’t make mistakes. — MacDailyNews, December 5, 2014

SEE ALSO:
Can President Trump bring Apple iPhone factories back to America? – February 4, 2017
Foxconn has 10 lights-out production lines, aims to fully automate entire factories – December 30, 2016
Apple iPhone production in the U.S.is 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

32 Comments

  1. So, what is the best stock to invest in regarding the future of robotics? Google (Alphabet). Yep, sad to say, once again, Google is better positioned for the future than Apple. *sigh*.

    1. You ARE kdding right! Google is a one trick pony. They got lucky and KILLED IT in search, created an almost unimagable amount of profit but they will eventually blow though all of it. That pond is slowly drying up. In 10 – 15 years Google will look like Yahoo.

      1. TinT: huh? Google has been making robots for over a decade…for the military. The do have one trick that does them very well, but they ride other ponies pretty well. I only wish the like-Yahoo transition would be true, but I’m not holding my breath.

  2. I demand higher pay (minimum wage + specialty efficiency bonus), vacation, breaks, and health benefits for robots. They also can’t work more than 40 hours per week, before earning 1.5 x Pay on overtime and 2 x Pay after 12 hours of consecutive work. Retirement plan still pending. Robots may not work until they are 18 years old or older.

    Say no to child robot labor.

  3. Also there is always safety – robots don’t get hurt, don’t file for workman’s comp or sue . In the next 30 years hotels and offices will be cleaned by, fruits and crops will be picked by, and trucks will be driven by, goods will be delivered by, and lawns will be tended by ROBOTS. Up to that I will not debate the point, its clearly going to happen. I for one WELCOME our robot overlords and am thankful for the bliss they will bring! – (Trying to get on their good side now as I am sure thanks to the NSA they will have access to all our past and present communications).

  4. What does a society do when there are far more people than jobs left that humans can still do?

    And I’m not talking about cycles of unemployment – this is when the human requirements to produce goods and services are well below what they used to be; the tertiary sector, which normally acts as a buffer, can’t take more workers because it, too, is being automated.

    1. One theory is that we start moving to a post-scarcity society. I.e. people literally start being paid to do nothing. Currently its “Star Trek Mumbo Jumbo” as far as some are concerned, but something has to happen.

      I’m more concerned with what happens to the spirit of humanity when robots create everything. We already see the negative effects of unemployment on people.

      View at Medium.com

      1. This is one of the reasons that I, as a conservative, strongly support arts, music, and other creative parts of schooling, as well as alternatives to your typical public schools. What we are going to need is not more of the same, but new and creative thinking – we need environments that encourage students to think outside the box.

      2. It is one theory. Another theory is that as population grows, the ability to sustain the independent attitude that many Americans have come to expect will have to be tempered by the limitations that come with increased population density. The technology available in the foreseeable future will have limited ability to relieve the resource demands of the world’s population and there will be conflict. We are already seeing mature societies decline in their affluence and quality of life, going into deep debt to sustain military presence to protect natural resource supply chains. Emerging societies keep striving to take what they understandably feel is their share of the pie, and the physical pie isn’t growing. Only artificial monetary constructs have deceived people into believing that the pie is growing. Economically, anything can look bigger and better on paper in the future. Reality has shown that for every shiny new Chinese factory, an old world town was added to the rust belt.

        All that said, automation can be a good thing if implemented correctly. If humanity paused to reflect on what is important, we would soon realize that cheap disposable junk is not freedom. Machines can make higher quality, lifetime value products and they can be affordable to all. Instead of accelerating the process of turning raw materials into landfill fodder, humans need to learn to do other meaningful activities. The workers who in generations past used to toil in sweatshops need new job opportunities. They will not all be programmers doctors and lawyers, nor do we need more of those. Physical labor in the future will be elder care, lifetime education, proper maintenance of infrastructure, restoration of habitat, etc. None of these are areas where corporations have been highly effective or even interested. It takes societal pressure through government representatives to demand clean well maintained infrastructure and a clean healthy environment for the long term health of everyone. If widespread prosperity is the goal, will people be willing to work more for their community and the greater good instead of working for short-term profit seeking corporations?

        I hope so. We need a reset of what it means to “work” and a redefining of the lines between private and public sector. That doesn’t mean government largesse. The two need to work in partnership instead of at cross purposes. In an era when the divide between rich and poor continues to grow to insane levels, perhaps some philanthropic initiatives could spark the transition. Wouldn’t it be great if some billionaire sponsored, in partnership with a national government, widespread urban WiFi networks designed and built by under-employed former factory workers? After training hundreds of thousands of soldiers to rebuild Iraq, could those same people go to work providing clean water to people in Flint Michigan (and the thousands of other towns with unsafe drinking water)?

        With new manufacturing technology, fewer workers have to go to a factory to produce goods or grow food, the surplus of human capital will demand different and new infrastructure that our current captains of industry have no clue how to deal with today. A corporation has no interest in maintaining health or prosperity to the community. But people do need this. Society will have to rethink the 40-hour work week and hell of commuting on crumbling roads to offices and plants. Society overall would do better if corporations gave back workers that commute time and adopted a 35 hour work week, with the balance devoted to community initiatives. Or allow global freedom of movement so artificial borders to telecommuting can fall once and for all, free from the tyranny that demands walled military guarded borders. Global distributed knowledge organizations need happy employees not people stressed out by crappy communities with crumbling bridges.

        The governments of the world would help by establishing a universal global bill of rights which would limit child labor, slavery, labor trafficking, maximum hours in a work week, etc. The most forward thinking countries should lead the way into creating more citizen involvement to fill the huge community organizational gaps in left unfilled as companies fled America. Sorry, but a crazy patchwork of charities has done little to solve the epidemic of poverty, drug abuse, and psychological issues linked to underemployment.

        But in our lifetimes the dream of a Star Trek like post-scarcity just doesn’t appear plausible. For one, humankind has more takers than givers. Greed and fear are the dominating characteristics of Wall Street, which has come to dominate all work in all corners of the globe. Humans have become economic slaves but very unhappy and fearful for the future. When will they revolt against corporate domination? The sooner they take back government from the likes of Goldman Sachs, the better. Citizenship in a republic should require some kind of mandatory community service for the greater good, not just high quarterly profits.

        Unfortunately humankind cannot agree on simple measures to sustain its own health and long-term viability. Wall Street demands short-term gains and infinite growth. Unfortunately the planet is finite in size and resources. At some point soon, humans will have to agree on how to restrain population, learn how to live without burning through all accumulated fossil fuels in a mere 4 generations, and clean up the toxic messes it has created.

        I am not optimistic. The serious wars over scarce resources will occur in the near future. The early skirmishes for control of oil and water have already begun.

          1. That’s not what I read. Mike offered some interesting perspective, as he often does. I agree with him that a post-scarcity future is not likely and society has to adapt for a more automated future. The sad thing is that America just elected an idiot who promises to turn back the clock 50+ years via isolationism and blocking free trade. I think Mike offers a much better vision for how America could set itself up for a better future — embracing technology and trade.

        1. You can thank corrupt representatives like Grassley for that. Agricultural lobby has turned America’s diverse farms into monoculture factories for some of the least healthy products humans can eat — more high fructose corn syrup anyone?

  5. Someone should explain this to the Donald .
    The industrial output of the US is at an all time high with industrial jobs going away .
    Guess it’s better politics to blame other people and countries

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