Word is that soon chicken farming factory operations, with as many as 3 million chickens in one location, will be tended and maintained by robots. China’s CP Group, one of China’s largest poultry producers, has installed 18 automatons to fight outbreaks of bird flu and food-borne illnesses. These automatons will be covered with sensors to help detect and nip outbreaks in the bud. These robots will begin to eliminate human error and enhance safety levels in many different ways. China’s foray into robotics comes about as its population rapidly ages and the country recognizes the importance of a homegrown robotics manufacturing base.
Last year, China’s Midea Group entered a robotics joint venture agreement with Japan’s Yaskawa Electric company. Midea Group also established a joint venture with a 13.5% stake in German industrial robot manufacturer Kuka AG and followed that up with an acquisition proposal for the company valued at €4.5 billion. One of China’s biggest robotics industry stalwarts is electronics company Hon Hai Precision Industry Co., Ltd., also known as Foxconn, located in New Taipei City, Taiwan. Foxconn has 12 factories in nine Chinese cities and is its largest manufacturing base. There are also manufacturing facilities in Brazil, Hungary, Slovakia, Turkey, India, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, South Korea, and the United States.
Foxconn is the world’s largest contract electronics manufacturer, providing parts and finished products for companies including:
- Acer Inc. (Taiwan)
- Amazon.com (United States)
- Apple Inc. (United States)
- BlackBerry Ltd. (Canada)
- Cisco (United States)
- Dell (United States)
- Google (United States)
- Hewlett-Packard (United States)
- Huawei (China)
- InFocus (United States)
- Intel (United States)
- Microsoft (United States)
- Motorola Mobility (United States)
- Nintendo (Japan)
- Nokia (Finland)
- Sony (Japan)
- Toshiba (Japan)
- Vizio (United States)
- Xiaomi (China)
The above list is important because last year, Foxconn began to invest heavily in robotics to improve productivity at Chinese factories and to save money by replacing humans with automated machinery and robots.
China’s push to automate as much manufacturing as possible is underlying a steep increase in industrial robot revenue which is expected to triple by 2025 at a year-over-year (YOY) growth rate of nearly 20%.
China and Israel have just launched the Joint Robotics Institute at the Sino-Israeli Robotics Institute (SIRI), part of Guangzhou’s International Robotics Center (ROBOHUB). The Joint Robotics Institute will serve as a base for Israeli robotics companies in China.
The following video shows a robotic assembly system for electrical wire harnesses.