May 25, 2016

Apple And Samsung Suppliers in China Replace 60,000 Workers With Robots; McDonald's, ADIDAS Too

[From article]
Apple and Samsung supplier Foxconn has reportedly replaced 60,000 factory workers with robots.
One factory has "reduced employee strength from 110,000 to 50,000 thanks to the introduction of robots", a government official told the South China Morning Post.
Xu Yulian, head of publicity for the Kunshan region, added: "More companies are likely to follow suit."
China is investing heavily in a robot workforce.
[. . .]
"We are applying robotics engineering and other innovative manufacturing technologies to replace repetitive tasks previously done by employees, and through training, also enable our employees to focus on higher value-added elements in the manufacturing process, such as research and development, process control and quality control.
[. . .]
Economists have issued dire warnings about how automation will affect the job market, with one report, from consultants Deloitte in partnership with Oxford University, suggesting that 35% of jobs were at risk over the next 20 years.
Former McDonald's chief executive Ed Rensi recently told the US's Fox Business programme a minimum-wage increase to $15 an hour would make companies consider robot workers.
"It's cheaper to buy a $35,000 robotic arm than it is to hire an employee who is inefficient, making $15 an hour bagging French fries," he said.

Foxconn replaces '60,000 factory workers with robots'
May 25, 2016

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A battery-powered robot serves dishes up to 8 hour a day in a restaurant in Shenyang, capital of northeast China's Liaoning Province

[From article]
A former McDonald's CEO warned that robots will take over staff jobs at the fast food empire - because it's cheaper than employing humans.
Ed Rensi has said that buying highly skilled robotics is a cheaper alternative than employing people on minimum wage to work in the company's worldwide restaurants.
He warned that huge job losses are imminent, and commented that it would be 'common sense' to replace humans in the workplace.

Building robot McDonald's staff 'cheaper' than hiring workers on minimum wage
10:18, 25 MAY 2016
UPDATED 17:32, 25 MAY 2016
The worrying forecast could threaten jobs at the fast food franchise, a former CEO of the company warns

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[From article]
Adidas is relocating some of its shoe production from Asia to the company's homeland — but Germans shouldn't expect a jobs boom.
What is currently done by hand will soon be carried out by robots as part of what the firm calls an "automated revolution."
The sportswear giant unveiled its prototype "Speedfactory" on Tuesday — a 3,000-square-foot, high-tech facility in the southern German town of Ansbach.
The first 500 robot-made high-performance running shoes are scheduled to be rolled out later this year.
"We believe that this is pioneer work for a fully automated production process," Adidas spokesman Jan Runau told NBC News, adding that the facility will mean the firm "will be able to get the desired product to the customer much faster."
[. . .]
A 50,000-square-foot "Speedfactory" is due to be finished in Ansbach by the end of 2016. A second is expected to open in the U.S. next year while a third is also in the pipeline, according to Adidas.

MAY 25 2016, 9:50 AM ET
Adidas Shifts Production — But Robots Get the Jobs

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