Hon Hai displays ‘smart plant’ innovation in China exhibit

Hon Hai Precision Industry Co., the world's largest contract electronics maker, attended the ongoing World Internet Conference held in Wuzhen, in China's Zhejiang Province, to showcase its "smart plant" innovation, local media reported Wednesday.

According to the reports, Chien Yi-pin (???), general manager of Foxconn Technology Group, which Hon Hai is known as outside Taiwan, said that his company displayed its efforts in the conference in upgrading its production base through Internet applications, aiming to transform its factory into unmanned "smart plants."

The three-day third World Internet Conference kicked off Wednesday with a theme of "Innovation-driven Internet Development for the Benefit of All -- Building a Community of Common Future in Cyberspace."

According to the reports, Hon Hai, an assembler of iPhones and iPads that employs about 1 million workers in China, is planning to develop its 28 factories in China into smart plants.

To reach this goal, Hon Hai announced in early November that it will work with U.S.-based semiconductor giant Intel Corp. to help the Taiwanese manufacturer go through the transformation, the reports said.

Chien said that Hon Hai has been working on unmanned smart plants where robots will take care of many of the tasks on production lines. Through the Internet of Things (IoT), a machine-to-machine (M2M) conversation in Hon Hai plants will become real in all of Hon Hai's plants in China, Chien said.

The Hon Hai executive said that Hon Hai has introduced the M2M function in its Chongqing plant, while the M2M efforts have been also seen in computer numerical control manufacturing in its Zhenzhou plant.

He said that the M2M function has also been seen in more than five plants in China so far and soon will be expanded to 10.

Hon Hai also displayed its achievement in "smart home" development by presenting a "Home Assistant" jointly developed with Japan's Sharp Corp., in which the Taiwanese firm owns a 66 percent stake after an acquisition deal completed in mid-August. In the Internet conference, Hon Hai displayed an 85-inch screen to allow visitors to get a closer look at its efforts in Internet applications.

To diversify its business and boost its profit margin, Hon Hai has been gearing up to enter the IoT and robot production, while building its own big data system to integrate its efforts in hardware production and software development.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel