Foxconn to use 1 million robots by 2014 to replace workers

China Daily – Foxconn Technology Group plans to use 1 million robots to replace simple working employees over a three-year span, China Business News reported on Monday, citing tycoon Terry Guo, who owns Foxconn. They expect to have 300,000 robots in 2012. The robots will be used simple assembly line procedures

Foxconn is the largest original equipment manufacture (OEM) electronics company in China and currently employs 1.2 million people along with implementing 10,000 robots.

The company has established an automation robotics division and is hiring engineers to design and fix the robots.

Experts said about 50 percent of the production process of electronic devices could be done by robots in the future.

A total of 8879 robots valued at $577.8 million were ordered by North American companies in the first six months of the year. When orders from outside North America are added, the totals are 10,476 robots valued at $667.9 million. RIA estimates that some 205,000 robots are now used in the United States. More than one million industrial robots are used worldwide.

Foxconn could double the current number industrial robots used worldwide by 2014 all by itself.

Taiwan’s Foxconn Technology Group, known for assembling Apple’s iPhones and iPads in China They are also famous for workers suicides.

‘The use of automation is driven by Foxconn’s desire to move workers from more routine tasks to more value-added positions in manufacturing such as R&D, innovation and other areas that are equally important to the success of our operations,’ Foxconn said.

Foxconn plans to buy a set-top plant in Mexico from Cisco Systems and is looking into investing more in Brazil, where it is already making mobile phone handsets.

It has bought LCD TV plants from Japan’s Sony Corp in Mexico in 2009 and Slovakia in 2010 and is in cooperation talks with a number of top Japanese hi-tech firms, including Sharp, Canon and Hitachi.

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