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Foxconn Lights Out Factory: An Automated Plant that Can Make Lights Out


Source: China Machine Tool Business Network

The World Economic Forum has announced that the “Flexible Assembly Operation Intelligent Factory” of the Fujimoto Group, hereinafter referred to as “light off factory” , has been selected as seven new members of the “manufacturing lighthouse factory” network, becoming five in China, part of a global network of 16 Industry 4.0.

The World Economic Forum’s assessment of the FTU Shenzhen power plant is that it has adopted fully automated manufacturing processes in factories specializing in the production of components for electrical equipment such as smartphones, equipped with machine learning and artificial intelligence automatic optimization system of equipment, intelligent self-maintenance system and intelligent production real-time monitoring system, truly realize the “lights off factory” , with a focus on Information revolution technology, we can increase production efficiency by 30% and reduce inventory cycle time by 15% .

oxconn now has 10 lights out lines (fully automated), deploying more than 40,000″ Foxbot” industrial robots developed and manufactured within the company .” Foxconn already has the capacity to produce about 10,000 Foxbot robots a year.

In addition to industrial robots, Foxconn is developing medical robots. Despite advances in robotics, industrial robots can not completely replace humans, as they can be flexibly and quickly switched from one task to another. As a result, the relationship between man and machine has become the main criterion to judge the degree of automation in the light-off factory.

Three stages of automation in a PLANT WITH LIGHTS OUT:

The first stage, industrial automation, we can understand as the “point. “. It’s not about replacing people en masse, it’s about replacing them with robots, for jobs that people don’t want to do, jobs that aren’t fun, or jobs that are dangerous, like turning and sanding on a lathe, where working conditions are harsh. What we started doing was sanding the robot, and when we developed it, it gradually took the place of humans and worked in a dust environment.

The second stage, is the entire production line automation, we can understand as “line” . After optimizing the production line, the use of robots can be reduced.

The third stage is the whole field automation, which can be called “face “, in the whole process of production, logistics, process of production, logistics, detection and so on. Now, although intelligent robots have been used in some parts of the country, most of them have not yet been automated. Foxconn is already moving in this direction, including the plant in Chengdu. now, shenzhen and zhengzhou factories are pushing automation and are in the second and third stages.

Economic benefits of light-off factories:
Taking Shenzhen light-off factory, which was selected as the manufacturing lighthouse factory network, the whole project imported 108 automation equipment and completed networking. Process SMT import equipment 9, save manpower 50 people, save proportion 96%; ASSY import equipment 21, save manpower 74 people, save proportion 79%; Test import equipment 78, save manpower 156 people, save proportion 88%. After the completion of the overall project, manpower savings of 280 people, manpower savings of 88%, improve the efficiency of 2.5 times.

Besides, in the long run, robots cost less than manpower. However, initial investment may be high, as research and development of robots that can accomplish various tasks is costly, time-consuming and difficult. At present, the cost of human labor in China is much lower than that of robots. But in the face of rising labor costs in the future, Foxconn must transition to full automation to remain competitive.