Sharp said to take lead role in $7 billion US manufacturing plant construction

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A long-discussed manufacturing plant, said to be built by Apple manufacturer Foxconn or its subsidiary Sharp, may break ground as soon as the summer of 2017 with Sharp at the helm, according to a new report




According to a new report by Reuters, Foxconn and Sharp have hashed out who will be the head of a potential U.S. factory, with subsidiary Sharp taking the lead. The announcement may come as soon as Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe makes a state visit to the U.S, bringing with him an investment proposal that could bring up to 700,000 jobs.

Sources familiar with the Prime Minister's visit claim that "the investment will be by a Japanese consortium that will also include manufacturing equipment makers." Both Sharp and Foxconn have refused comment on the matter.

The job package is unlikely to be entirely related to any potential Sharp manufacturing plant, with discussions already underway between the Japan Prime Minister and Toyota on similar matters.

Foxconn and Sharp were considering building an LCD manufacturing plant in the U.S., but which aspect of the same company would lead the effort hasn't been clear. The option for either to be the prime mover was being discussed as recently as January, with an unnamed Foxconn executive said such a decision must be made "carefully."

While rumors are still swirling, the plant still may not be built at all. If it does happen, funding is likely a result of SoftBank's $50 billion investment in the U.S., aimed at creating 50,000 jobs. SoftBank is a partner of Foxconn.

If a U.S. LCD plant from Sharp and Foxconn were to come to fruition, it is reportedly slated to be about the same size as a recently announced display manufacturing plant in Guangzhou, China. That facility, scheduled to open in the fall of 2018, has a price tag of $8.69 billion.

Foxconn officially acquired Sharp for $3.5 billion in March 2016.

Apple chipmaker TSMC also has recently noted that it was examining the possibility of building a chip foundry in the U.S., according to DigiTimes. As with Foxconn and Sharp, import taxes expected to be levied on goods manufactured overseas is leading to the discussions.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 6
    ceek74ceek74 Posts: 315member
    700,000 jobs?!  That's a BIG factory.  Are they sure it's not more like 7,000,000 or 7,000,000,000 jobs?
    rob53
  • Reply 2 of 6
    rob53rob53 Posts: 1,880member
    The US doesn't have 700K people who would be willing (or qualified) to work as robots assembly line workers in this facility. We're talking about assembling small electronic items, not cars and trucks. Our colleges are only teaching people how to use a keyboard so they can become desk workers, not teaching them how to build things. Once these facilities have been built, I'm sure real robots will take over the majority of the assembly work, relegating the humans to menial tasks. I doubt there would be anywhere near this amount of people employed although we could recycle the military into these jobs. 
    dysamoriaRayz2016
  • Reply 3 of 6
    flaneurflaneur Posts: 4,457member
    This Foxconn plan to make (presumably) big displays has been under discussion since 2012, according to this 2014 story in Bloomberg:

    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2014-01-10/whats-new-in-television-more-tv-sets-are-being-made-in-the-u-dot-s

    So let's give credit where it's due, to the business and economics case for manufacturing big pieces of glass in the USA rather than shipping them in. The America First Administration can be played for better tax and land deals, but the credit must go to the experts in global electronics strategy, Terry Guo, the Japanese IGZO LCD veterans, and by extention, Tim Cook and Apple.

    We may yet see an Apple TV, and a return of the Apple Cinema Display.

    The negative is that the production machinery has to be imported, along with the engineering and the expertise, from Asia, since there has been no TV or display manufacturing in the US for 30 years.

    Edit: the Bloomberg story is misleading in that it doesn't reveal that Element just adds a few parts to Chinese and Korean-made TVs. So "assembled in USA" is more like it.
    edited February 2017 dysamoria
  • Reply 4 of 6
    rob53 said:
    The US doesn't have 700K people who would be willing (or qualified) to work as robots assembly line workers in this facility. We're talking about assembling small electronic items, not cars and trucks. Our colleges are only teaching people how to use a keyboard so they can become desk workers, not teaching them how to build things. Once these facilities have been built, I'm sure real robots will take over the majority of the assembly work, relegating the humans to menial tasks. I doubt there would be anywhere near this amount of people employed although we could recycle the military into these jobs. 



    There is so much misunderstanding of the benefits of bringing manufacturing back home.  This is because most people have no idea of modern manufacturing and have a 1950's image of workers in a line  That's not how it works folks and isn't how it has been for a long time..  Of course there's is huge automation, but there is still a large need for engineers to maintain and run the production process.  Indeed, Steve Jobs said the biggest impediment to manufacturing here was a shortage of engineers.  We will have to up our training and education programs to meet this need if these efforts of President Trump bear fruit.  And no, we are not talking about everyone needing a four year degree, there are many type of industrial engineers and other high skill jobs that, as the WSJ pointed out, "Many higher-skill factory jobs require only a year or two of vocational training. That allows young people to start earning money sooner and avoid running up big college debts. In some cases, they can go back for more education later, after building up nest eggs and awareness of their best career opportunities."
  • Reply 5 of 6
    flaneurflaneur Posts: 4,457member
    Notsofast said:
    rob53 said:
    The US doesn't have 700K people who would be willing (or qualified) to work as robots assembly line workers in this facility. We're talking about assembling small electronic items, not cars and trucks. Our colleges are only teaching people how to use a keyboard so they can become desk workers, not teaching them how to build things. Once these facilities have been built, I'm sure real robots will take over the majority of the assembly work, relegating the humans to menial tasks. I doubt there would be anywhere near this amount of people employed although we could recycle the military into these jobs. 



    There is so much misunderstanding of the benefits of bringing manufacturing back home.  This is because most people have no idea of modern manufacturing and have a 1950's image of workers in a line  That's not how it works folks and isn't how it has been for a long time..  Of course there's is huge automation, but there is still a large need for engineers to maintain and run the production process.  Indeed, Steve Jobs said the biggest impediment to manufacturing here was a shortage of engineers.  We will have to up our training and education programs to meet this need if these efforts of President Trump bear fruit.  And no, we are not talking about everyone needing a four year degree, there are many type of industrial engineers and other high skill jobs that, as the WSJ pointed out, "Many higher-skill factory jobs require only a year or two of vocational training. That allows young people to start earning money sooner and avoid running up big college debts. In some cases, they can go back for more education later, after building up nest eggs and awareness of their best career opportunities."
    Correct. And the best part of production engineering happens on the job in a working factory, not in the classroom.

    This presents a problem in the US, because of the lack of manufacturing here. If we lived in a cooperative world, such as the one Apple and Foxconn already inhabit, we could maybe send engineering students to Asia, where they could work and learn in state of the art factories.
  • Reply 6 of 6
    flaneur said:
    Notsofast said:
    rob53 said:
    The US doesn't have 700K people who would be willing (or qualified) to work as robots assembly line workers in this facility. We're talking about assembling small electronic items, not cars and trucks. Our colleges are only teaching people how to use a keyboard so they can become desk workers, not teaching them how to build things. Once these facilities have been built, I'm sure real robots will take over the majority of the assembly work, relegating the humans to menial tasks. I doubt there would be anywhere near this amount of people employed although we could recycle the military into these jobs. 

    There is so much misunderstanding of the benefits of bringing manufacturing back home.  This is because most people have no idea of modern manufacturing and have a 1950's image of workers in a line  That's not how it works folks and isn't how it has been for a long time..  Of course there's is huge automation, but there is still a large need for engineers to maintain and run the production process.  Indeed, Steve Jobs said the biggest impediment to manufacturing here was a shortage of engineers.  We will have to up our training and education programs to meet this need if these efforts of President Trump bear fruit.  And no, we are not talking about everyone needing a four year degree, there are many type of industrial engineers and other high skill jobs that, as the WSJ pointed out, "Many higher-skill factory jobs require only a year or two of vocational training. That allows young people to start earning money sooner and avoid running up big college debts. In some cases, they can go back for more education later, after building up nest eggs and awareness of their best career opportunities."
    Correct. And the best part of production engineering happens on the job in a working factory, not in the classroom.

    This presents a problem in the US, because of the lack of manufacturing here. If we lived in a cooperative world, such as the one Apple and Foxconn already inhabit, we could maybe send engineering students to Asia, where they could work and learn in state of the art factories.


    This presents a problem in the US, because of the lack of manufacturing here...
    Yes, but where the hell are you going to find this level Engr. student willing to work for $0.90/hour, 10-12 hours a day, 6 days a week. Of course that is the wage in China (varies by region) and I do understand they are paying $7.40/hour in some jobs in the US (whoopee thats about minimum wage). Thats not even a living wage!
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