How Foxconn Achieves Black Light Factories: Factories that Turn Out Lights and Produce Normally

January 10, 2019

Genitec curve PCB splitter reveals how Foxconn realizes the black light factory. After the lights are off, SMT workshop can also produce normally and automatically, without affecting the operation. Let Chimao curve splitter take you to explore.


On January 10, 2019, Geneva Time, Switzerland, the World Economic Forum announced that FIFA's "Flexible Assembly Operation Intelligent Factory" (hereinafter referred to as "Turn-off Factory") has been selected as seven new members of the "Manufacturing Lighthouse Factory" network, and has become one of the five Chinese and sixteen future industrial intelligent factories in the world.


富士康 黑灯工厂


For the Fulian Shenzhen Power-off Factory, the World Economic Forum's evaluation is that the factory specializing in the production of smart phones and other electrical equipment components adopts fully automated manufacturing process, equipped with machine learning and artificial intelligence equipment automatic optimization system, intelligent self-maintenance system and intelligent production real-time status monitoring system. Under the premise of giving priority to the use of the fourth industrial revolution technology, the "light-off factory" is being realized, which will increase the production efficiency by 30% and reduce the inventory cycle by 15%.



At present, Foxconn has 10 lights-out production lines (fully automated production lines), deployed more than 40,000 "Foxbox" industrial robots developed and produced by the company. Foxconn already has the ability to produce about 10,000 Foxbox robots a year.



In addition to industrial robots, Foxconn is also developing medical robots. Despite the continuous improvement of robotics technology, industrial robots can not completely replace human beings, because human beings can switch from one task to another flexibly and quickly.




For this reason, the treatment of the relationship between man and machine has become the main criterion for judging the degree of automation in light-off factories.


Three Automation Phases of the Light-off Plant


The first stage is industrial automation, which can be understood as "point".


This is not to replace people in large quantities, but to replace people with robots to do jobs that people do not want to do, which are not interesting, or dangerous, such as lathe processing and grinding, the working environment is very bad.



The first thing we did was Polish robots, which gradually replaced manual work in the dust environment.


The second stage is the automation of the whole production line, which can be understood as "line". After optimizing the production line, the use of robots can be reduced.


The third stage is the automation of the whole field, which can be called "face". In the whole process of production, logistics and testing, it is unmanned or less manned.


Now, although intelligent robots have been used in some parts of the country, the automation of the whole field has not been achieved in most parts of the country.


Foxconn is already turning in this direction, including at factories in Chengdu. Now, Shenzhen and Zhengzhou factories are promoting automation, which is between the second and third stages.




Economic Benefits of Turn-off Factory


Taking the Shenzhen Turn-off Factory which was selected as the manufacturing lighthouse factory network as an example, 108 automation equipments were imported into the whole project, and the networking was completed.



In the process, SMT imports 9 equipments, saving 50 manpower, saving 96%; ASSY imports 21 equipments, saving 74 manpower, saving 79%; Test imports 78 equipments, saving 156 manpower, saving 88%. After the completion of the overall project, 280 people were saved, 88% were saved and 2.5 times more benefit was achieved.



In addition, in the long run, robots cost less than manpower. However, initial investment may be high, because developing 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 in order to remain competitive.


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