May 16, 2020

Foxconn, Apple’s contract manufacturer, to manufacture own products

Foxconn
Apple
Taiwan
China
Sophie Chapman
2 min
Foxconn to target smart manufcaturing
The contract manufacturer based in Taiwan, Foxconn, has announced its new business model, Reuters reported.

The company, which is known for producing i...

The contract manufacturer based in Taiwan, Foxconn, has announced its new business model, Reuters reported.

The company, which is known for producing iPhones for the US-technology giant, Apple, wants to combine hardware and software in its integrated solutions, such as cloud computing.

The news was announced on 6 June at the launch of Foxconn’s three-day-long event to mark having worked in China for 30 years.

The firm has worked with autonomous vehicle startups as well as producing display screens following its Sharp Corp acquisition.

The firm has made several other deals recently, such as Sharp’s plan to acquire Toshiba Corp’s personal computer unit for US$36mn.

SEE ALSO:

The new business model follows the news that Foxconn’s stock had fallen by almost 20% since the end of 2017.

“We have built data centers for many of our customers, but we're not known to provide data center services,” Louis Woo, Special Assistant to Terry Gou, Chairman of Foxconn, informed Reuters.

“In the future since we're having all these pieces, we can put them together to provide a technical service to a business customer.”

Share article

May 12, 2021

Gartner: Leaders Lack Skilled Smart Manufacturing Workers

SmartManufacturing
DigitalTransformation
DigitalFactory
ConnectedFactory
2 min
57% of manufacturing leaders feel that their organisations lack the skilled workers needed to support smart manufacturing digitalisation

With organisations rapidly adopting industry 4.0 capabilities to increase productivity, efficiency, transparency, and quality as well as reduce cost, manufacturers “are under pressure to bring their workforce into the 21st century,” says Gartner.

While more connected factory workers are leveraging digital tools and data management techniques to improve decision accuracy, increase knowledge and lessen variability, 57% of manufacturing leaders feel that their organisations lack the skilled workers needed to support their smart manufacturing digitalisation plans.

“Our survey revealed that manufacturers are currently going through a difficult phase in their digitisation journey toward smart manufacturing,” said Simon Jacobson, Vice President analyst, Gartner Supply Chain practice.

“They accept that changing from a break-fix mentality and culture to a data-driven workforce is a must. However, intuition, efficiency and engagement cannot be sacrificed. New workers might be tech-savvy but lack access to best practices and know-how — and tenured workers might have the knowledge, but not the digital skills. A truly connected factory worker in a smart manufacturing environment needs both.”

Change Management

Surveying 439 respondents from North America, Western Europe and APAC, Gartner found that “organisational complexity, integration and process reengineering are the most prevalent challenges for executing smart manufacturing initiatives.” Combined they represent “the largest change management obstacle [for manufacturers],” adds Gartner.

“It’s interesting to see that leadership commitment is frequently cited as not being a challenge. Across all respondents, 83% agree that their leadership understands and accepts the need to invest in smart manufacturing. However, it does not reflect whether or not the majority of leaders understand the magnitude of change in front of them – regarding technology, as well as talent,” added Jacobson.

Technology and People

While the value and opportunities smart manufacturing can provide an organisation is being recognised, introducing technology alone isn’t enough. Gartner emphasises the importance of evolving factory workers alongside the technology, ensuring that they are on board in order for the change to be successful.

“The most immediate action is for organisations to realize that this is more than digitisation. It requires synchronising activities for capability building, capability enablement and empowering people. Taking a ‘how to improve a day in the life’ approach will increase engagement, continuous learning and ultimately foster a pull-based approach that will attract tenured workers. They are the best points of contact to identify the best starting points for automation and the required data and digital tools for better decision-making,” said Jacobson.

Long term, “it is important to establish a data-driven culture in manufacturing operations that is rooted in governance and training - without stifling employee creativity and ingenuity,” concluded Gartner.

Discover Gartner's Five Best Practices for Post COVID-19 Innovation' in manufacturing.

Image source

Share article