Foxconn Reopens Polishing Workshops as Explosion Investigation Concludes [Updated]


The Wall Street Journal reports that Apple's manufacturing partner Foxconn (also known as Hon Hai Precision) has reopened its polishing workshops that had been closed since an explosion that killed three people and injured 15 others nearly two weeks ago.

Hon Hai Precision Industry Co. said Thursday its polishing workshops in China resumed operation this week after an investigation into a deadly combustible dust explosion that killed three and injured 15 workers last month.

The company didn't disclose findings of its investigation.

The comments came after Hon Hai, an assembler of Apple Inc. products and the world's biggest contract electronics manufacturer by revenue, had closed the workshops that handle polishing for electronic parts and products due to an investigation into the explosion.

Foxconn opened the Chengdu facility where the explosion occurred late last year, seeking to diversify production away from its main facilities in Shenzhen, China. But analyst Brian White of Ticonderoga Securities reports that iPad production at the facility has been held back due to supply issues related to components used in the devices. Those issues had reportedly slowed the ramping up of production there even before the explosion, thus mitigating the acute affect of the workshops being taken offline following the explosion even as Apple and Foxconn continue to work to meet demand.

Update: All Things Digital has published a statement from Foxconn noting that the explosion was in fact due to an accumulation of combustible aluminum dust in a ventilation duct and that the company has made changes to its ventilation systems and dust disposal policies to address the issue going forward.

While the investigation into the tragic explosion that took place at our facility in Chengdu is ongoing, we have addressed the preliminary finding, that the accident was likely due to an explosion of aluminum dust in a ventilation duct, by putting in place improvements in workshop ventilation, a total revamping of the policies and practices related to the disposal of that dust, and through the application of new technologies that will further enhance the safety in these workshops.

Top Rated Comments

(View all)
Avatar
123 months ago

Poor workers, they are treated like slaves.

Apple should do something about this!


Here is a novel idea....how about letting the workers decide their own fate. They are free to leave AT ANY TIME. If they don't like their treatment, all they need to do is to leave.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
123 months ago

Not to sound cold hearted, but Apple's job is to make money for the shareholders (and Steve's pocket), not to solve human rights issues.


The funny (sad?) part is, it's not one or the other. You can actually achieve both. And I'm fairly confident that Apple's bottom line, and Steve's pockets, are doing just fine.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
123 months ago

Poor workers, they are treated like slaves.

Apple should do something about this!


Why don't you mention all the other companies that use Foxconn to manufacture their products? Do you think only the ones working on Apple products are treated bad?
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
123 months ago

Here is a novel idea....how about letting the workers decide their own fate. They are free to leave AT ANY TIME. If they don't like their treatment, all they need to do is to leave.


and go across the street to work longer hours for less pay, in a company that doesn't have journalist doing stories about it every month.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
123 months ago
So many people on here, many of whom have never left their own state and certainly their own country, profess to know so much about the horrible work conditions and 'sweat shop" life of these workers on the other side of the globe. I wonder how work in this air conditioned factory compares to the toils of a rice paddy worker? These very well may be premium jobs in their society. I admit to not knowing. I just find it amusing how "damning" some people are of Apple and this factory while we have jobs that are actually more dangerous, dirtier and pay no more compared to the cost of living within our own nation. And probably not a one of us that doesn't have multiple products from a similar or same factory in China, be it the digital controls on your microwave, the guts of your car stereo, your artificial Christmas tree or $12 sunglasses. We should stop blaming Apple and start blaming ourselves (myself included), or just get over it.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
123 months ago
Combustible dust explosions

[...]" the accident was likely due to an explosion of aluminum dust in a ventilation duct, "[...]

That's really scary. Even materials that normally aren't explosive can create huge blasts if their dust is fine enough, it's at a high enough concentration in the air, etc.

The canonical dust explosions happen in coal mines and grain silos. At least now there are technologies for instantly detecting and suppressing the explosions as they occur:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dust_explosion

And, as an aside, aluminum dust is very nasty stuff even when it isn't exploding. During the filming of the "The Wizard of Oz" (1939), Buddy Ebsen was the original Tin Woodsman. His makeup contained aluminum dust, which got into his lungs and caused an allergic reaction. He got so sick that he was unable to breathe and was taken to a hospital to recuperate.

Jack Haley replaced Ebsen, and the makeup was reformulated with aluminum paste instead of aluminum dust. (And you can still hear Ebsen's voice in all of the "We're Off to See the Wizard" numbers.)
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

Early iPhone 12 Tests Show Ceramic Shield is Stronger and More Scratch Resistant Than iPhone 11 Glass

Friday October 23, 2020 1:21 pm PDT by
Apple's new iPhone 12 models are protected by a Ceramic Shield cover glass that has nano-ceramic crystals infused right into the glass to improve durability. According to Apple, Ceramic Shield offers four times better drop protection than the glass used for the iPhone 11 models. YouTube channel MobileReviewsEh conducted some tests on the iPhone 12 using a force meter to compare its performance ...

First Impressions From New iPhone 12 and 12 Pro Owners

Thursday October 22, 2020 4:20 pm PDT by
It's already Friday, October 23, in Australia and New Zealand, which means some customers who purchased an iPhone 12 or 12 Pro already have their new devices in hand. We've seen dozens of reviews of the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro from media sites, but now first impressions from regular Apple customers are available. Image via MacRumors reader Boardiesboi New iPhone 12 and 12 Pro owners are...

iPhone 12 Pro Allows You to Measure Someone's Height Instantly Using LiDAR Scanner

Saturday October 24, 2020 11:12 am PDT by
iPhone 12 Pro models feature a new LiDAR Scanner for enhanced augmented reality experiences, but the sensor also enables another unique feature: the ability to measure a person's height instantly using the Measure app. You can even measure the seated height of a person in a chair, according to Apple. When the Measure app detects a person in the viewfinder, it automatically measures their...

Apple VP Kaiann Drance Interview Addresses Battery Life, MagSafe, and Power Adapter Concerns

Friday October 23, 2020 3:37 am PDT by
Apple's Vice President of iPhone Marketing, Kaiann Drance, has provided a new interview to Rich DeMuro on the Rich on Tech Podcast, to discuss the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro. Although much of the interview repeated points from Apple's "Hi, Speed" event, there were a number of interesting tidbits regarding the affect of 5G on battery life, MagSafe concerns, and the lack of a power adapter in...

iPhone 11 Pro Outlasts iPhone 12 and 12 Pro in Extensive Battery Life Test

Friday October 23, 2020 8:36 am PDT by
Arun Maini today shared a new side-by-side iPhone battery life video test on his YouTube channel Mrwhosetheboss, timing how long the new iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro models last on a single charge compared to older models, with equal brightness, settings, battery health, and usage. All of the devices are running iOS 14 without a SIM card inserted. In the test, the iPhone 11 Pro outlasted both ...

Apple Distributing New Heated Display Removal Machine for iPhone 12 Repairs

Thursday October 22, 2020 6:20 pm PDT by
Apple is providing Genius Bars and Apple Authorized Service Providers with a new heated display removal fixture for iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro repairs, according to information obtained by MacRumors from a reliable source. To open iPhone 12 models, technicians will be required to slide the device into a specialized tray, and then place the tray into the high-temperature fixture for two...

Apple Warns MagSafe Charger Can Leave Circular Imprints on Leather Cases

Friday October 23, 2020 3:23 pm PDT by
If you keep your iPhone in a leather case while charging with Apple's new MagSafe Charger, the case might show circular imprints from contact with the accessory, according to a new Apple support document published today. Apple's leather cases for the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro are not available until November 6, but a MacRumors reader has already shared a photo of a circular imprint on...

MagSafe Charger Teardown Reveals Simple Design With Magnets and Charging Coil Encircling a Small Circuit Board

Friday October 23, 2020 7:50 am PDT by
iFixit has today shared a teardown of Apple's new MagSafe charger for the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro. An X-ray of the MagSafe charger courtesy of Creative Electron reveals the internal charging coil surrounded by a circular arrangement of magnets within the puck. The only seam that iFixit was able to leverage to open the device was where the white rubber circle meets the metal rim,...

PSA: Non-iPhone 12 Models Charge Super Slowly With MagSafe Charger

Friday October 23, 2020 4:11 pm PDT by
Alongside the iPhone 12 models, Apple introduced a new $39 MagSafe Charger that's meant to work with the magnets in the iPhone 12 Pro models to charge them up at a maximum of 15W. The MagSafe Charger is technically able to be used with older iPhones, but it's not a good idea because the charging with non-iPhone 12 devices is so slow. We did two tests with the iPhone XS Max, draining the...

New Photos Offer Better Look at iPhone 12 Color Options

Tuesday October 20, 2020 2:34 am PDT by
As we wait for the iPhone 12 review embargo to lift later today, more pictures are circulating of the devices in real-world lighting conditions, providing a better look at the different colors available. Leaker DuanRui has shared images on Twitter of the iPhone 12 in white, black, blue, green, and (PRODUCT)RED. The black and white colors are similar to the iPhone 11 colors, but the other...