One million Foxconn robots outsource human work

By Freddie Pierce
Taiwanese electronics company Foxconn has taken a step to replace its maligned workforce with robotic technology. Following a rash of incidents involvi...

Taiwanese electronics company Foxconn has taken a step to replace its maligned workforce with robotic technology.

Following a rash of incidents involving its workers, the company will replace some of its 1.2 million people with more than 1 million robots, according to a state news report. It’s not clear how many people will lose their jobs due to this new form of outsourcing.

Foxconn makes laptops, mobile devices and other electronics hardware for Apple, Hewlett-Packard, Dell and Sony. The new robotic workers could help repair the image of the electronics company that’s been stricken by bad publicity lately.

Just two months ago, an explosion occurred in a Foxconn polishing workshop in China, killing three people and injuring 15 others. The blast reportedly affected the sourcing of parts for Apple’s sought-after iPad 2.

Earlier this year, the company made workers sign contracts saying they would not commit suicide. Since 1020, at least 16 workers have taken their lives at Foxconn’s Shenzhen factory in China, and another three have attempted to kill themselves while on the job site.

The company recently announced that they would install “suicide nets” to discourage employees from jumping off buildings.


HTC combats Apple claims with supply chain

Sony’s supply chain hit hard by Japan disaster

Check out August’s issue of Supply Chain Digital!

The suicides come as a response from brutal working conditions. Last year, one employee died from the effects of exhaustion following a reported 34-hour shift.

At a factory in India, 250 Foxconn workers had to be hospitalized after suffering from pesticide poisoning.

All of these examples have made it pretty clear that Foxconn doesn’t care too much for the working conditions of its employees. While the robots will likely mean the outsourcing of thousands of jobs, robotic workers can work as long as they’re supplied with power, and you don’t have to worry about the safety of the robotic workers.

All good things if you’re as careless as a Foxconn executive.


Featured Articles

IBM CSCO & COO survey shows tech & sustainability key areas

IMB Institute for Business Value (IBV) study surveyed 1,500 CSCOs and COOs, and they are ramping-up investment in automation, AI and sustainability

Suppeco and Market Dojo partner on e-sourcing solution

Supplier relationships platform Suppeco & digitised procurement solution Market Dojo join forces to provide embedded on-demand e-sourcing service

Pitney Bowes Index shows China breaks 100bn parcels barrier

Latest Pitney Bowes Parcel Shipping Index Global shows parcel volume hit 159bn in 2021, or 5,000 parcels per second, with total carrier revenue of $491.5bn

CPG packaging supply problems sees Lidl buy paper mill

Supply Chain Risk Management

CPG & retail IT talent quest 'is driving tech investment'

Digital Supply Chain

Value chain, tech, logistics and procurement news round-up