Longtime Apple partner and primary manufacturer of iPhones and iPads, Foxconn is planning to employ new work force over the next three years, reducing not only costs, but also suicide rates.
Over the course of three years, the Asian factory chain will be replacing an unspecified number of human workers with 1 million robots that will be used to do simple and routine work such as spraying, welding and assembling, reports the English version of xinhuanet.com.
These activities are now mainly carried out by workers.
The company also has 10,000 robots currently handling such tasks. Their number will rise to 300,000 next year and, eventually, to 1 million after three years.
The news came directly from Foxconn CEO, Terry Gou, at a workers' dance party Friday night.
One can only imagine how the workers received the news, but it is obvious that these changes are for the best.
For once, there will be fewer suicides. For years, Foxconn has been criticized for enforcing harsh working conditions that eventually led to the self-inflicted death of some workers.
Second, there will be less human exposure to the various toxic chemicals and materials used in the manufacturing process of Apple’s portables, (such as aluminum dust).
As avid Softpedia readers may recall, a Foxconn plant in Chengdu blew up earlier this year because of too much aluminum dust floating around.
Not only did the workers inhale the toxic dust, the facility was prone to blowing up, something that eventually happened on May 20th.
Finally, there will be less costs and even higher yield rates, as machines don’t get sick, go on vacation, sleep, or stop work in order to eat.
Of course, if you ask those who are currently applying for a job to assemble iPads, the switch to robots is most likely not welcomed.
Foxconn currently employs 1.2 million people. Their great majority is based on the Chinese mainland, according to Xinhuanet.
In related news, Foxconn is said to have failed to land an exclusivity contract with Apple that would allow it to handle the entire workload of assembling the third generation of iPads.
According to reports, Pegatron Technology will be handling the entire iPad 3 production, as well as craft some 15 million iPhone 5 handsets.
Foxconn currently produces the iPhone 4 and the iPad 2.