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Foxconn may replace 'iPhone 6' assembly line workers with 'Foxbot' robots - Page 2

post #41 of 108

Will the ROBOTS self destruct/become suicidal if they fall behind on production?  :lol:

post #42 of 108
So if there's no more need for cheap Chinese labor, can Apple move production to the US?
post #43 of 108
Foxbots? So they're replacing Chinese workers with Fox 'News' viewers? Bad move, they'll quit as soon as they find out that Obama uses Apple products.
post #44 of 108
Quote:
Originally Posted by Grey Silvy View Post
 

Will the ROBOTS self destruct/become suicidal if they fall behind on production?  :lol:

Wow, the comments in this thread have been anything but P.C. These robots won't replace workers but increase production output, which means more workers will still be needed to put together the smaller more intricate parts in the assembly line. The working conditions at Foxconn have improved but only so much as to appease international criticism, the fact still remains that no self respecting westerner would ever work in a place like that. If it wasn't for the very publicized deaths at Foxconn in the first place, the fact of the matter is Apple, HP, Samsung and who ever else uses them would have continued to turn a blind eye. I would like to see manufacturing of these products brought back to their countries of origin. Even if we don't care about what is basically slave labor then maybe how about slowing down China's grab for world domination because at this point though it's only a matter of time when China will be using us for cheap labor. So enjoy those iPad's while you can.

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post #45 of 108
Quote:
Originally Posted by the cool gut View Post

I know journalists aren't the sharpest tools in the shed, but does anyone at AppleInsider know grade 3 math?

The problem is you don't know the implementation so you don't really know how many robots are required per line. Without better quotes it is just a guessing game as to what the output would be. I Actually think he was going out of his way to be a bit vague.

I'd love to see how theses new production lines are implemented. Further I suspect the reason for the robot's is the likely hood of advanced "circuit boards" and other components not suited for human hands.
post #46 of 108
Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post


But any Droid Army would run Android 2.3, and we all know Google can do no evil. 1wink.gif

 

Oops.  I meant Star Wars "Trade Federation" droids, not the cheap-copy-of-Apple Google droids.

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post #47 of 108
Well, at least all those Foxconn workers loosing their jobs can now go work for the robot factories.
post #48 of 108
Quote:
Originally Posted by IchLiebeApfel View Post

So if there's no more need for cheap Chinese labor, can Apple move production to the US?

My question exactly! Does Foxxconn realize that it's opening the door for Apple (or anyone else) to buy a few if these robots and install them in the US?

Then Apple can put a sticker on each unit that says "Designed in California. Made in the US. But not by Americans"
post #49 of 108
If fox can build robots to assemble iPhones then surely Apple can, and if they can they could move everything to America and cut out the chineese completely. But then who would assemble the robots?
post #50 of 108
"How do you tax a robot?" - American politicians in the back rooms
post #51 of 108

Well, one possible new use of unskilled labour might be looking after the elderly, with aging population issues?

 

Eventually the whole idea of identical mass produced devices will go by the wayside, because it is not ideal. It is the 1800/1900s way of doing things. Ideally, whatever situation you find yourself in, you want the ability to manufacture a custom device for that situation on the spot. e.g. your backpack contains a personal mini-factory.

post #52 of 108
Quote:
Originally Posted by iCarbon View Post

Anyone know what the cost benefit of running a fully automated line in china vs the us is? I thought the big draw in china was cheap labor -- get rid of that and is it only tax incentives?

The Robots still need to be serviced and repurposed, so the technical level of the worker is elevated while the number of workers is reduced. As I see it Foxxcon gains in being able to handle peaks and valleys of demand easier than with human workers. It's like the olden days when you had a horse you still needed to feed, water, exercise and etc. whether you were going anywhere that week or not. The car made it easier to save money and effort between needs and could go longer and further then a horse could when a higher need popped up.

Another advantage to robots is the high repeatability of results. They don't get bored, tired of have a bad day.
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post #53 of 108
Quote:
Originally Posted by DanielSW View Post

 

It simply goes back to the need for individuals to prepare themselves for new, possibly different jobs with different skil sets. This means re-education. There's absolutely nothing wrong or unfair about this. It's call progress. If companies can progress, so can and should individuals progress in acquiring new job skills.

 

I'm all for automatisation, but you forget something : robots are getting better at learning new things, it wont take a long time before it will take less time to automatize a new skill than for an human to acquire it. At this point you'll need to think about another solution to the problem than simple skill acquisition.

post #54 of 108
Not mentioned is the possibility, and IMO likelihood, that Google technology will now be assisting in the building of iPhones. 1bugeye.gif Foxconn has been working with them for over a year on this project.

... and without Apple's Foxconn business Google might not be ramping this project up yet. Yeah, they still need each other.
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post #55 of 108
Quote:
Originally Posted by mdriftmeyer View Post

Let them automate. The investment cost incurred buying, installing and maintaining such cutting edge equipment will outstrip any savings. They'll want to pass on that cost to their customers [Apple, etc] and Apple will walk to a competitor.

Full automation has never been successful at levels worth scrapping human oversight and coordination. Automated control systems are developed and flawed just like human beings. Kinematics is a great subject most M.E. programs never teach, and E.E. curriculum breeze over during a Robotics series.


Taking humans out of the loop is always a huge increase in development and time loss. Marrying the two is where you reach optimization points.

Attempting to extort your staff labor fees by threatening to obsolete humans is asking for your corporation to start churning out crap and later having mass recalls.

Um, you do know just how automated the manufacture of many of the components that go into a smartphone is, don't you? No human can solder the leads that connect a modern integrated circuit to its package, for example. Such tasks are performed by machines because they must be. The final assembly of a smartphone is actually a less demanding automation task than the creation of most of the subcomponents that go into it. It's foolish to imagine assembly cannot be economically automated to the same degree the manufacture of its subcomponents currently is. But you are correct that there will still be humans involved, just far fewer than there are currently.
Edited by RadarTheKat - 7/7/14 at 5:08am
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post #56 of 108
Quote:
Originally Posted by IchLiebeApfel View Post

So if there's no more need for cheap Chinese labor, can Apple move production to the US?

See my comment (#31).
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post #57 of 108
Ultimately, there is, of course, a simple solution to the problem of a reduction in jobs for humans. Less humans. Just slow down the manufacture of humans (see, China's one-child policy) until there is a balance between supply and demand in a future world. Hey, there's even a utopian aspect to this. Less humans means less demand for resources. Resources are more efficiently utilized in an automated manufacturing sector (no need for giant dormitories, cafeterias, food deliveries to said cafeterias, transportation of workers to/from factories (a daily fuel expenditure in contexts where workers commute from their own homes, like in Detroit's automotive factories, for example, etc). Fewer people means less demand for products, which means smaller factories and fewer resources used to supply the aggregate need. Fewer people means lower need for food production, meaning more land available for nature. There's no law that says we need to keep manufacturing humans at the rate we do. A planet with fewer is inherently more sustainable.
Edited by RadarTheKat - 7/7/14 at 6:17am
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post #58 of 108
Originally Posted by RadarTheKat View Post
Ultimately, there is, of course, a simple solution to the problem of a reduction in jobs for humans. Less humans. Just slow down the manufacture of humans.

 

Mmm, nah. That’s not how a sane species rolls.

 
Hey, there's even a utopian aspect to this.

 

Oh, so even more incentive not to do it.

 
A planet with fewer is inherently more sustainable.

 

Some people say, “We only have one planet; we can’t waste it.” Smart people say, “We only have one planet; LET’S GET OFF OUR HINDERS AND FIX THAT.”

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post #59 of 108
People will find a way to complain anyway.
post #60 of 108
This is both good news and bad news. Great that we the consumer should see less delays come launch day. Sucks if you are one of the 1.2 million that may see the bread line in that plant. Technology is great and all but the human toll will continue to hit us in the pocket as we head into the future. Not sure how sustainable our present situation really is.
post #61 of 108

Fox must have finally convinced the China government to allow robots or automation assembly systems. In China as far back to when they first started manufacturing stuff for the outside world outlawed the use of any automation which a human could do. China is all about putting people to work, not making it more profitable for companies. 

 

I can not see Foxconn replacing a large majority of the workers, since i would say the government is still against whole scale automation especially for tasks a human can do just as well.

post #62 of 108
Quote:
Originally Posted by Maestro64 View Post
 

Fox must have finally convinced the China government to allow robots or automation assembly systems. In China as far back to when they first started manufacturing stuff for the outside world outlawed the use of any automation which a human could do. China is all about putting people to work, not making it more profitable for companies. 

 

I can not see Foxconn replacing a large majority of the workers, since i would say the government is still against whole scale automation especially for tasks a human can do just as well.

 

That's the great thing about automation.  It frees the manufacturer from having to be located where there are large numbers of available workers.  The Chinese government, if it is taking an active stance in Foxconn's rollout of automated assembly lines, must be aware that those assembly lines could instead be located outside its borders.  And so a smart decision would be to allow the automation in order to retain the tax revenue and whatever jobs come along with it.

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post #63 of 108
Quote:
Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post

I think they should call them Foxy Bots.

Introducing the new FoxyBot!

800px-Robots_Attack.jpg

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GOA

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GOA

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post #64 of 108
Something tells me that it will be a while before there are no people on the lines. These robots will be used for selective functions that either don't really need a human, like boxing up the units, or might involve potentially harzardous chemicals, like polishing the screens before applying the oleophobic coating allegedly does.

There will also need to be humans for maintaining the robots and verifying that nothing goes wrong.

And then there's the other 100 or so clients. Just cause the iPhone lines are being filled with robots doesn't mean all the others are also

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post #65 of 108
Quote:
Originally Posted by Red Oak View Post

I'd like to see Apple using this effort to create a competitive moat. It is not clear from this that they are. If not, Foxconn will just flip the switch on for all vendors
http://blogs.wsj.com/digits/2014/02/11/foxconn-working-with-google-on-robotics/
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post #66 of 108

Screw the iphone 6, I want one of those robots(female version please)!

post #67 of 108
Quote:
Originally Posted by RadarTheKat View Post

This is, of course, exactly what Steve Jobs was referring to when he told Obama, "Those jobs aren't coming back." He, along with the rest of us with a brain in our heads, knew that, even should manufacturing of iDevices come back on shore, it would only be through application of fully automated factories. 

this.  When I read the headline I was thinking about Apple bringing production back to the US.  I think they want to strategically own and control all production for their products eventually.  If they own the whole value chain they get the whole pie :)

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by bdkennedy1 View Post
 

Robots put workers out of jobs. So now we have thousands of workers that only know how to put iPhones together, unable to support themselves and their families.

A company isn't obligated to provide a job for every employee it hires for the rest of their lives.  If a company can optimize it's operations it should do so, regardless of whether that means eliminating some jobs.  Companies are in the business of creating value in the most efficient way possible, not the business of charity or creating/maintaining jobs for jobs sake.

 

Should every product produced in the world today be done so by purely human labor?  Machines, including robots, are usually specifically designed to reduce manual labor, do things more efficiently, and "put workers out of jobs".  We shouldn't anchor ourselves to pre-industrialism just because someone will lose their job.  Efficiency is a virtue; needless inefficiency is not.

 

I feel for anyone who loses their job.  I still remember when my dad was 'downsized' from a company he spent 20+ years at.  It was the hardest thing I ever saw him go through.  But I also still remember how he worked his tail off to get another job that would pay enough to support our family.  It took him about a year, but his work ethic paid off.  People can find new jobs, and being let go isn't the end of the world.  It certainly isn't even close to wrong to let employees go when you no longer have need of their services.  It would be silly not to.

post #68 of 108
Quote:
Originally Posted by RadarTheKat View Post

Ultimately, there is, of course, a simple solution to the problem of a reduction in jobs for humans. Less humans. Just slow down the manufacture of humans (see, China's one-child policy) until there is a balance between supply and demand in a future world.

Why you gotta be hatin' on the human?  You ARE one!

 

In all seriousness though, if you're unaware of the problems caused by an aging population you are missing a critical social disaster built into such a 'solution'.  China's one-child policy is unsustainable in the short to medium term, whatever you think of long-term sustainability.  And the US will be feeling the impact soon enough.  This isn't a matter of politics or opinion - if there are far fewer people working and far more non-working people in an age bracket where health care costs are far greater it's a matter of simple math.  To ignore it because of politics or opinion is to bury your head in the sand.

post #69 of 108
Quote:
Originally Posted by ascii View Post
 

Well, one possible new use of unskilled labour might be looking after the elderly, with aging population issues?

 

Eventually the whole idea of identical mass produced devices will go by the wayside, because it is not ideal. It is the 1800/1900s way of doing things. Ideally, whatever situation you find yourself in, you want the ability to manufacture a custom device for that situation on the spot. e.g. your backpack contains a personal mini-factory.

The custom one-off concept is interesting. I recently customized my Nike shoes. They allow you to modify almost every aspect of the color and materials. Very nice and made in USA, Tennessee I think. And fast too. I received them in about a week. They also send updates every other day as the process continues.

 

http://store.nike.com/us/en_us/pw/shoes/brk

 

Look for the customize it icon.

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post #70 of 108
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post
 
Originally Posted by RadarTheKat View Post
Ultimately, there is, of course, a simple solution to the problem of a reduction in jobs for humans. Less humans. Just slow down the manufacture of humans.

 

Mmm, nah. That’s not how a sane species rolls.

He does have a valid point. China already addressed the issue by not allowing more than one child per couple. In the US for awhile there was a voluntary reduction of couples having children because women were building careers first and delaying parenting. Of course that all got thrown out the window with a mass illegal anchor babies crisis. The planet is actually overpopulated and we are already experiencing sustainability issues which will likely continue to deteriorate. The sanity of the specie may also be called into question. With all the wars and civil unrest around the world, the population may be drastically and suddenly reduced in a not so pleasant manner.

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post #71 of 108
Originally Posted by mstone View Post
The planet is actually overpopulated...

 

Nope. That’s where your argument falls to pieces.

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post #72 of 108
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post
 
Originally Posted by mstone View Post
The planet is actually overpopulated...

 

Nope. That’s where your argument falls to pieces.

Perhaps that is where your opinion differs.

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post #73 of 108
Quote:
Originally Posted by mstone View Post

The custom one-off concept is interesting. I recently customized my Nike shoes. They allow you to modify almost every aspect of the color and materials. Very nice and made in USA, Tennessee I think. And fast too. I received them in about a week. They also send updates every other day as the process continues.

http://store.nike.com/us/en_us/pw/shoes/brk

Look for the customize it icon.
Motorola is offering much the same fast one-off service, and also "Made in the USA". See Moto Maker:
https://www.motorola.com/us/designs

As an aside too much choice may not be good either. I've actually trimmed back some of my product options and found sales closing much faster.
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post #74 of 108
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post


Motorola is offering much the same fast one-off service, and also "Made in the USA". See Moto Maker:
https://www.motorola.com/us/designs

As an aside too much choice may not be good either. I've actually trimmed back some of my product options and found sales closing much faster.

Sorry but Motorola will be closing that factory in the US. I believe that announcement was made a few weeks ago.

 

Yes Too many option is costly to the manufacturer, give consumers too many choices and they will never make a decision, just go to a paint store and watch how long it takes people to pick a color to paint their walls. Paint is not a big deal since they mix it on the spot, paint out of the factory is all white.

post #75 of 108
Quote:
Originally Posted by Maestro64 View Post

Sorry but Motorola will be closing that factory in the US. I believe that announcement was made a few weeks ago.

Yes Too many option is costly to the manufacturer, give consumers too many choices and they will never make a decision, just go to a paint store and watch how long it takes people to pick a color to paint their walls. Paint is not a big deal since they mix it on the spot, paint out of the factory is all white.

It was widely published it will be closing the end of this year, but the example is still valid and the service still available for now. Unfortunate IMHO that management made so many options available, from the backplate color to the trim to even features, wallpaper and custom signature. Just too much really.
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post #76 of 108
Originally Posted by mstone View Post
Perhaps that is where your opinion differs.

 

Well, you said it as fact and the opposite is true, so I’m not sure this is a matter of opinion.

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post #77 of 108
Quote:
Originally Posted by RadarTheKat View Post
 

 

That's the great thing about automation.  It frees the manufacturer from having to be located where there are large numbers of available workers.  The Chinese government, if it is taking an active stance in Foxconn's rollout of automated assembly lines, must be aware that those assembly lines could instead be located outside its borders.  And so a smart decision would be to allow the automation in order to retain the tax revenue and whatever jobs come along with it.

Yeah I would tend to agree, but China never saw it that way. There is a definite break even point of automation over labor and how much you can sell the product for. China always love high complexity product with their low labor costs since labor cost were always less then automation costs especially if you could not use the automation across lots of different products over the years.

 

GE who was one of the largest producers of light bulbs in the world, looked at moving its bulb production to China, but it did not make sense since they had automated it back in the 80's and 90's and factory runs with little human involvement and if they moved it to china which did not allow automation at the time GE costs of production would have gone up not down and it would have been a margin hit to them to move it.

 

We also know that Foxconn bought the Amp/Tyco Manufacturing facility in Harrisburg PA and they said they plan to create a state of the art robotic factory there. Foxconn may be putting a large number of those foxbot at that location. They are also in partnership with CMU which is big into robotic automation.

post #78 of 108

China's issues belong to China.

Foxconn's decisions are not caused by the West

The government gave the population economic freedom but not personal freedom - 1 child / censor this / restrict access to that.

Economic opportunities have kept the population under control but take away economic opportunities & how long before we hear the cries for real democracy.

We have alot of workers in this country that would love to have those jobs if China's works can't step it up.

post #79 of 108
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post
 
Originally Posted by mstone View Post
Perhaps that is where your opinion differs.

 

Well, you said it as fact and the opposite is true, so I’m not sure this is a matter of opinion.

The World has 7.68 billion acres of arable land.
The Earth's population is 7.046 billion.
It takes about 1+ acres of land to sustain 1 adult.     
You can do the math.    

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post #80 of 108
Originally Posted by mstone View Post

You can do the math.    

 

If only it were as easy as you were pretending.

Originally posted by Marvin

Even if [the 5.5” iPhone] exists, it doesn’t deserve to.
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