Foxconn has decided that it might be easier to replace human workers with robots. That’s because robots don’t let feelings and suicide attempts get in the way of making components for Apple.
According to Xinhua News, the Taiwanese technology giant will replace a portion of its human workers with automatons. They want to bring in 1 million robots in the next three years to minimize the rising cost of labor and improve efficiency, said Terry Gou, founder and chairman of the company.
The robots will complete simple tasks like spraying, welding and assembling which are currently carried out by people, said Gou at a workers’ dance party Friday night.
Also robots don’t need dance parties to be happy employees. Maybe cutting a rug hurts the bottom line, who knows?
Right now the company has 10,000 robots and they will bump the number up to 300,000 next year and they want 1 million in three years.
Foxconn is the biggest manufacturer of computer components in the world and they make parts for Apple, Sony and Nokia. They’ve constantly been in the public eye because of the numerous suicides at its giant plants in China. Many observers feel that the suicides are linked to the harsh working conditions.
As of now the company has 1.2 million people working for them, and 1 million of them are situated in China.
Financial Timesreported that the move away from traditional workers could also be related to how China is apparently running out of cheap laborers.
“This is part of a broad automation push among China-based manufacturers. It signals that the cost of labor is no longer lower than the cost of capital,” said Alvin Kwock, head of hardware technology research at JPMorgan to Financial Times.
When robots start becoming the newest form of cheap labor that’s when you know that technology really has changed the way we do business.