Foxconn to increase robotic workforce

Gadget manufacturer aims to use one million robots in assembly by 2014

Tags: ChinaFoxconn Technology GroupIPadTaiwan
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Foxconn to increase robotic workforce Foxconn aims to increase its use of robots for assembly. (Getty Images)
By  Mark Sutton Published  August 2, 2011

Mobile device manufacturer Foxconn has announced plans to increase its use of robots in assembly plants.

The Taiwanese company, which assembles devices for Nokia, Sony and Apple, including the iPad, aims to increase its robotic workforce from 10,000 at present to 300,000 by the end of next year, and 1 million robots by 2014.

Terry Gou, chairman and founder of Foxconn, was quoted in local Chinese media saying that workers would be move to "more value-added positions in manufacturing such as research and development, innovation and other areas that are equally important to the success of our operations".

Foxconn currently has 1.2 m employees, mostly in mainland China. The company has been criticized for abusive work practices and poor living conditions for workers, which have been blamed for a number of employee suicides.

Earlier this week it was revealed that Foxconn had not secured the contract to produce the third version of Apple's iPad 3, after losing out to Taiwanese rival Pegatron. Foxconn had manufactured both of the previous versions of the iPad.

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