AI Future : 90% of humans replaced by robots in a Chinese factory leads to increase in production
These days various techniques have emerged to develop the science of robotics and robots. It won’t be a surprise that sometime in future all of human jobs would be taken over by robots.
Looks like this hold true in the case of the new robotic workforce at the Changying Precision Technology Company that has an unmanned factory set up in Dongguan city which is nearly controlled and run by robots. According to the People’s Daily, the factory has been rapidly enlarging the facility’s production capacity from 8,000 items per worker to 21,000, which is almost three times the output. The result have been fascinating.
The Changying Precision Technology Company has replaced almost 90 percent of human workers with machines in an effort made to move towards fully automated production of cell phones. The company consisting a staff of 650 people has been reduced to only 60. Luo Weiqiang, general manager of the company, told the People’s Daily that the number of employees could drop to 20 in the future, in the not-so-distant future. At the same time, the number of robots will rise to close to 1,000. According to Chen Qixing, the company’s president, the goal is to reach 80 percent automation level at the factory.
Currently, there are 60 robotic arms, which work 24 hours a day on ten production lines, according to the Times of India. Almost every piece of machine equipment, including transporting of manufactured goods in trucks are unmanned, as the warehouse is almost exclusively run by robots.
However, there are still people working at the factory, though. Three workers check and monitor each production line and there are other employees who monitor a computer control system. According to the People’s Daily, there has been an 162.5% increase in output, as the production per person has increased from 8,000 pieces to 21,000 pieces.
The apprehensions by sceptics that the replacement of men by robots would lead to decrease in quality didn’t bear out, according to statistics. In fact, the quality has improved and the product defect rate has reduced from 25% to 5%
Changying Precision Technology is not alone in its goals. Earlier, a similar effort was announced by Shenzhen Evenwin Precision Technology also based in Dongguan in May 2015. Due to the high number of factories located in Dongguan, this region of China is often referred to as the “world’s workshop”. However, residents are facing a significant shortage of labor in the central Guangdong province of China.
Many similar companies in the area for quite some time have been working to make the shift towards automation. Back in 2011, the controversial manufacturer, Foxconn who has made many gadgets such as the iPhone and iPad had announced its robot initiative.
About an hour’s car ride north of Shenzhen, Dongguan is widely considered as one of the top regions in the world for gadget manufacturing. Harsh climatic conditions and strikes in the area has lead to the growth of robotics in the area’s factories. Only time will tell whether automation would make matters worse or put an end to some of the unrest.
“Made in China 2025? initiative that aims to increase the number of “unmanned workshops or factories” across the country, has brought some of the arrival of robotics in this region. The area would continue to see reduction in the number of manufacturing jobs due to automation. In addition, the Guangdong government in March 2015 had announced a three year plan to financially support the purchasing of robots in order to expand automation in the region.
Electronics production was one of the biggest growth drivers for the sales of industrial robots, according to the International Federation of Robotics (IFR). With selling nearly 60,000 robots, China was the largest market for industrial robotics in 2014.