Foxconn's manufacturing efforts employ hundreds of thousands of people, creating a massive expense that the company would love to do without and is actively working to get rid of. Dai Jia-peng, general manager of Foxconn's automation committee, says there is a three-phase plan to automate its Chinese factories.
The factories will end up primarily operating with the use of software and Foxbot robots.
It initially plans to automate jobs that are particularly dangerous or repetitive. In the second phase, Foxconn will streamline its production efforts to minimize the number of robots required. In the third phase, entire factories will be running on the backs of robots "with only a minimal number of workers assigned for production, logistics, testing, and inspection processes."
Last year, Foxconn announced 30% of the work at its Chinese facilities would be automated by 2020. Jia-peng says the company is building around 10,000 Foxbots annually.