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Friday, December 13, 2013

Foxconn adding 100,000 Robots?

Foxconn currently has 1.2 Million employees in China, and will be adding in 2013 100,000 robots per a 2011 article. Foxconn does not plan on laying off any employees. Per  June 2013 article they had 20,000. So why are not 100,000 in place? Per this article Foxconn decided to build their own robots, and this is a huge capital cost, and Foxconn has very low margins so they did not have the capital for this huge project.

So why is Foxconn not going to lay off any employees? Because in China their is a labor shortage of people willing to work doing assembly. Assembly is seen as a job having a lower level status, and white collar jobs are desired. This is a result of China's improving economy, as well as an increasingly educated work force.

This is still a huge amount of robots, and the robots are designed to replace a worker. Current costs are around $20,000 per robot, but as more are produced the cost will fall. Per an article in the Wall Street Journal, costs could be as low as $10,000 by 2016. And I would guess Foxconn is going to install 100,000 robots

Robots May Revolutionize China's Electronics Manufacturing - WSJ

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