A Robot Revolution, This Time in China - Ford Inside News Community
  • 1 Post By Bloggin
  • 1 Post By Bloggin
  • 1 Post By 2b2
LinkBack Thread Tools
post #1 of 3 (permalink) Old 05-13-2017, 03:33 PM Thread Starter
FIN Staff Member
Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 7,893
A Robot Revolution, This Time in China

A Robot Revolution, This Time in China

HANGZHOU, China — Even a decade ago, car manufacturing in China was still a fairly low-tech, labor-intensive endeavor. Thousands of workers in a factory, earning little more than $1 an hour, performed highly repetitive tasks, while just a handful of industrial robots dotted factory floors.

No longer.

At Ford’s newest car assembly plant in Hangzhou in east-central China, at least 650 robots, resembling huge, white-necked vultures, bob and weave to assemble the steel structures of utility vehicles and midsize sedans. Workers in blue uniforms and helmets still do some of the welding, but much of the process has been automated.

The state-of-the-art factory exemplifies the vast transformation that has taken place across manufacturing in China. General Motors opened a similarly ultra-modern Cadillac factory in the eastern suburbs of Shanghai, as well as one in Wuhan. Other automakers are also pouring billions of dollars into China, now the world’s largest auto market.

Robots are critical to China’s economic ambitions, as Chinese companies look to move up the manufacturing chain. The Ford assembly plant is across the street from a robot-producing factory owned by Kuka, the big German manufacturer of industrial robots that a Chinese company bought last summer.

For carmakers, the reliance on robots is driven partly by cost. Blue-collar wages have soared because multinational companies have moved much of their production to China even as its labor force is rapidly changing. The combination of the one-child policy, which cut the birth rate through the 1980s and ’90s, and an eightfold increase in college enrollments has cut by more than half the number of people entering the work force each year who have less than a high school degree and may be willing to consider factory work.

Blue-collar wages are now $4 to $6 an hour in large, prosperous cities, though still far lower than in the United States.

Automation is also a competitive necessity. As carmakers jockey for customers’ attention, they have no choice but to deploy the latest technologies, even in research and development. The challenge is how to keep a competitive edge, while trying to prevent intellectual property from being copied quickly by Chinese rivals.

Read more and watch the video here
2b2 likes this.
Bloggin is offline  
Sponsored Links
post #2 of 3 (permalink) Old 05-13-2017, 09:41 PM Thread Starter
FIN Staff Member
Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 7,893
Re: A Robot Revolution, This Time in China

This should mean the new plant with even more robots, that will be making Lincoln models should have very tight and consistent parts alignment. And zero instances of missed welds.

Now the latest word was that a new Lincoln CUV/SUV will be built in China. I expect that to be the new MKC that's due.......(where is that new products timeline?).
2b2 likes this.
Bloggin is offline  
post #3 of 3 (permalink) Old 05-13-2017, 10:08 PM
Mercury C557
2b2's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: N NW of Atlantis (Reno)
Posts: 22,734
Blog Entries: 6
Re: A Robot Revolution, This Time in China

Originally Posted by Bloggin View Post
...(where is that new products timeline?).
Ford-Lincoln-Product-Forecast-UPdated thread, & chart, looks more like for U.S
kinda thought you've been making most of the China threads, Bloggin
CorpNews section
BrandNews-Global section: Changan-5th-factory thread

feel free to merge/shuffle threads as you see fit

Bloggin likes this.

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 0 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

Last edited by 2b2; 05-13-2017 at 10:33 PM.
2b2 is offline  
Sponsored Links

Quick Reply

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the Ford Inside News Community forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:


Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page

Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome