Foxconn has been instrumental in helping Apple produce the millions of mobile devices it sells each year, but a new plan to assemble iPhones with robots is apparently causing issues for the company. A report out of China claims that Foxconn’s robotic arms simply aren’t precise enough to meet Apple standards.
It turns out that Apple demands an accuracy level of 0.02mm for its devices from manufacturers like Foxconn. For the most part that hasn’t been an issue for human workers, but the company’s new robots are only capable of hitting an accuracy level of 0.05mm. The report also notes that these robotic arms aren’t as nimble as human fingers, leading to even more production issues.
Foxconn’s robot plans are still in early stages, and the company hoped to assemble one million devices using robotic arms by the end of 2014. Looking forward, the first all-robot iPhone factory could open in another five to 10 years. The immediate goal for Foxconn is likely to save money by replacing paid workers with robots, but a new automated workforce could also help speed up production for future products.