Taiwan-based Pegatron Corporation, which has long been Apple’s secondary product manufacturer after Foxconn, has begun automating production lines where gadgets for other companies are being assembled. As a result of increased automation at the Shanghai plant, the company cut back on new hires, said its chairman TH Tung according to Chinese media quoted Thursday by DigiTimes.
According to Tung, Pegatron has adopted Industry 4.0 concepts to automate production at the factory to reduce workforce while maintaining output. The Shanghai plant, he said, will be able to replace a hundred workers with only twenty people through automation.
Although it increased wages, Pegatron didn’t increase staff because its leadership figured it should outfit the company’s production lines with sophisticated robots. Rival Foxconn has been deploying manufacturing robots, dubbed FoxBots, for years now in an effort to optimize the cost structure, allowing it to reduce the number of workers at its Kunshan factory from 110,000 to just 50,000 employees.
I’m not liking the fact that these robots are putting many people out of work.
If all, or most of our manufacturing becomes automated, who’s going to buy these products given the impact on the economy through reduced buying power and increased unemployment? Welcome to capitalism!
Photo courtesy iFixit.