[美国媒体] iPhone制造商富士康计划用机器人更换几乎所有的人类员工

编辑: 2017-01-04 170 次围观

外文链接:http://www.theverge.com/2016/12/30/14128870/foxconn-robots-automation-apple-iphone-china-manufacturing


iPhone manufacturer Foxconn plans to replace almost every human worker with robots


iPhone制造商富士康计划用机器人更换几乎所有的人类员工


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Foxconn, the Taiwanese manufacturing giant behind Apple’s iPhone and numerous other major electronics devices, aims to automate away a vast majority of its human employees, according to a report from DigiTimes. Dai Jia-peng, the general manager of Foxconn’s automation committee, says the company has a three-phase plan in place to automate its Chinese factories using software and in-house robotics units, known as Foxbots.


据DigiTimes消息,台湾制造业巨头,苹果IPHONE以及多家知名电子产品的代工厂富士康打算以自动化取代大量人工劳动力。戴佳鹏,富士康自动化委员会总经理说富士康的三步走计划已经就位,富士康中国工厂将以软件配合室内机器人,也就是FOXBOTS来实现自动化


The first phase of Foxconn’s automation plans involve replacing the work that is either dangerous or involves repetitious labor humans are unwilling to do. The second phase involves improving efficiency by streamlining production lines to reduce the number of excess robots in use. The third and final phase involves automating entire factories, “with only a minimal number of workers assigned for production, logistics, testing, and inspection processes,” according to Jia-peng.


富士康计划第一阶段将首先替代人力不愿意做的危险工作或者高重复性工作。第二阶段是精简产线削减多余机器人提高生产效率。第三阶段是将整个工厂都自动化。 “只留极少数员工来做生产,物流,测试和检查。”


The slow and steady march of manufacturing automation has been in place at Foxconn for years. The company said last year that it had set a benchmark of 30 percent automation at its Chinese factories by 2020. The company can now produce around 10,000 Foxbots a year, Jia-peng says, all of which can be used to replace human labor. In March, Foxconn said it had automated away 60,000 jobs at one of its factories.


在富士康,制造自动化进程已经缓慢稳步的实施了多年。富士康去年声称已经设定目标,在2020年之前中国工厂实现30%自动化。戴佳鹏说现在公司每年生产1万台foxbots,足够取代人力。三月时,富士康说在一家工厂实行自动化后少用了6万人。


In the long term, robots are cheaper than human labor. However, the initial investment can be costly. It’s also difficult, expensive, and time consuming to program robots to perform multiple tasks, or to reprogram a robot to perform tasks outside its original function. That is why, in labor markets like China, human workers have thus far been cheaper than robots. To stay competitive though, Foxconn understands it will have to transition to automation.


长远看来用机器人比人力便宜,不过初始投资会很多。给机器人编程然后让它完成多种任务,或者重新编程让它更改原来设定的功能无一不是费力,费时,费钱。所以像在中国这种劳动力市场人力远比机器人便宜。然而为了保持竞争力,富士康知道他必须完成自动化升级。


Complicating the matter is the Chinese government, which has incentivized human employment in the country. In areas like Chengdu, Shenzhen, and Zhengzhou, local governments have doled out billions of dollars in bonuses, energy contracts, and public infrastructure to Foxconn to allow the company to expand. As of last year, Foxconn employed as many as 1.2 million people, making it one of the largest employers in the world. More than 1 million of those workers reside in China, often at elaborate, city-like campuses that house and feed employees.


中国政府让事情更加复杂化了,因为它正在刺激就业。在成都,深圳,郑州,当地政府拿出数十亿美元用于奖金,能源合同,公共建设,允许富士康扩张地盘。到去年为止,富士康雇员120万人,跻身世界最大雇主行列。而其中超过一百万人都在中国,他们吃住都在城市一般的工厂生活区,里面应有尽有设施齐全。


In an in-depth report published yesterday, The New York Times detailed these government incentivizes for Foxconn’s Zhengzhou factory, its largest and most capable plant that produces 500,000 iPhones a day and is known locally as “iPhone City.” According to Foxconn’s Jia-peng, the Zhengzhou factory has some production lines already at the second automation phase and on track to become fully automated in a few years’ time. So it may not be long before one of China’s largest employers will be forced to grapple with its automation ambitions and the benefits it receives to transform rural parts of the country into industrial powerhouses.


在昨天发表的一则深度报告中,纽约时报详尽讲述了郑州政府的刺激政策,富士康郑州工厂是其产能最大规模最大的工厂,日产iPhone50万支,被当地称作苹果城。根据戴佳鹏的说法,郑州工厂也已有某些产线进入了自动化第二阶段,并且将在未来几年稳步迈进全面自动化。所以用不了多久富士康就将面临抉择,是实现自己的自动化野心呢,还是继续收好处帮这个国家实现农村地区工业化。


There is, however, a central side effect to automation that would specifically benefit a company like Foxconn. The manufacturer has been plagued by its sometimes abysmal worker conditions and a high rate of employee suicide. So much so in fact that Foxconn had to install suicide netting at factories throughout China and take measures to protect itself against employee litigation. By replacing humans with robots, Foxconn would relieve itself of any issues stemming from its treatment of workers without having to actually improve living and working conditions or increase wages. But in doing so, it will ultimately end up putting hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of people out of work.


不过自动化对富士康而言有一个很重要的附带好处。糟糕的工作条件和高自杀率经常困扰富士康,以至于富士康现在在各地工厂都安装了防自杀网并采取各种手段应对员工的法律诉讼来保护自己。换上机器人,富士康就可以解脱了,不需要提高员工生活条件,不需要涨薪水。不过这么做的后果是,他会让很多人失去工作,就算没有几百万,也会有几十万人将丢掉饭碗。


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