We don’t know if robots will take over the world in the future, but it has already taken over more than half of the factory worker’s job in one of the world’s largest electronics manufacturer, Foxconn. According to South China Morning Post, the electronics manufacturer has replaced 60,000 workers in its factory in Kunshan, China, shrinking the workforce from 110,000 people to just 50,000.
Foxconn has confirmed to BBC that they have automated many manufacturing tasks in their operations, but states that this will not mean long-term job losses. The factory says that they have applied robotics engineering to replace repetitive tasks previously done by employees, so these employees can focus on other higher value-added elements in the manufacturing process such as R&D, process control and quality control.
“We will continue to harness automation and manpower in our manufacturing operations, and we expect to maintain our significant workforce in China.” – Foxconn Technology Group told BBC.
Let’s hope that the same vision applies to other companies because according South China Morning Post, Foxconn isn’t the only company interested in automation to reduce labour cost. The news site also reports that “more companies are likely to follow suit”, and that there are as many as 600 major companies in Kunshan with similar plans.