Earlier this year, it was reported that Foxconn, a major manufacturing partner of Apple’s, had replaced 60,000 of its workers with robots.
But the company is not stopping there. As DigiTimes reports, Foxconn has plans to phase out its human workers in three different stages. The first phase is to replace individual positions, the ones that are unpleasant and/or dangerous, with automated work stations. Meanwhile, the second phase will focus on automating full production lines.
Right now, Foxconn has 10 “lights-out,” or fully-automated production lines that handle non-Apple products:
“There are 10 lights-out (fully automated) production lines at some factories, including table one in Chengdu, AIO (all-in-one) PC and LCD monitor lines at a factory in Chongqing, western China, and a CNC line in Zhengzhou, Dai indicated.”
Foxconn has made it clear that, in its third stage, it wants to fully automate entire factories, with only a minimal human presence on site:
“In the third phase, entire factories will be automated with only a minimal number of workers assigned for production, logistics, testing and inspection processes, Dai indicated.”
A recent report went into detail over “iPhone City,” a gigantic Foxconn factory located in Zhengzhou, China.