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Report: Foxconn Move to Automation Will Boost Linear Motion/Motors Markets
Sep 8, 2011
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Plans by massive consumer electronics producer Foxconn to increase automation in its Chinese factories has increased expectations for the market for linear motion products and linear and torque motors used in factory automation equipment, according to IMS Research.

Foxconn is the biggest consumer electronics manufacturer in the world, including making Apple iPods, iPads, and other products, as well as tablets and computers for Dell, HP, and other companies.

IMS reported that electronics manufacturing accounted for nearly 9% of the linear and torque motor market and more than 6% of the linear motion market in 2010. Foxconn announced plans to increase the automation in its Chinese plants. It has about 10,000 industrial robots now but intends to have 300,000 in place by the end of 2012 and to have one million in place by the end of 2013.

IMS said this would give a boost to the industrial automation machinery industry and points to a wider trend.

IMS quotes the following hourly compensation costs for manufacturing in China:
• 2003: $0.62 (source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics)
• 2008: $1.36 (source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics)
• 2010: $1.98 (estimated)

IMS pointed to evidence of worker shortages in Wuhan, Hubei province, China:
• the city hosted eight job fairs in one day in February 2011
• Foxconn Technology Group set up booths at the railway station to hire migrant workers as they arrived in the city
• 80% of enterprises in the city raised salaries to entice potential employees

IMS said it sees factory automation growing in Chinese plants across industries. The market for linear motion products and linear and torque motors, it predicts, will expand over the next several years.

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