CNET reports that Foxconn, Apple's primary manufacturing partner for iOS devices, has recently begun adding in-line x-ray imaging machines to its production lines, seeking to improve quality control while also seeking to increase automation.

Foxconn Technology, which has about 1.2 million employees working at its myriad factories in China, has begun adding automated inline X-ray inspection systems to its plants, according to a source with first-hand knowledge of the change. With inline X-ray machines using software algorithms to inspect solder joints or printed circuit boards at production line speeds, a company is able to spot defects that humans might miss before the pieces get tucked into packages for resale.

The report points to Foxconn's announcement last year that it intends to add one million robots to its production facilities in an effort to increase efficiency and address rising labor costs. Foxconn has come under fire for its treatment of workers at its facilities, and recent wage hikes combined with other expenses associated with meeting labor standards and Apple's continued growth may be tipping the economic balance for Foxconn toward more automation.

foxconn iphone girl
Today's report does not specifically state that the x-ray machines are being used on production lines dedicated to Apple products, but with Apple being the manufacturer's largest and highest-profile customer it seems likely that the iPhone and iPad are part of its automation plans.

Top Rated Comments

Laird Knox Avatar
140 months ago
(Note: this is humor... I feel I have to point it out these days)

You probably need to point it out because it wasn't humorous. ;)
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
afin Avatar
140 months ago
I think everyone who talks about cancer from the x-rays is forgetting that china has no shortage of cheap lead... I'm sure they've shielded things properly.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Apple Key Avatar
140 months ago
I'm all for increases in quality control, just as long as the x-rays don't affect the employees. I hope they don't.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Laird Knox Avatar
140 months ago
You probably need to point it out because it wasn't humorous. ;)

Touché!

But seriously, in the last few weeks, I've gotten comments from people that didn't get it was a joke or sarcasm. Whether it is funny or not, that's another discussion!

Yeah people are generally pretty uptight.

If you can't laugh at yourself then you need to relax. :)
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Yvan256 Avatar
140 months ago
If it's all going to be automated anyway, couldn't Foxconn build factories in the USA, Mexico or Canada?
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
blow45 Avatar
140 months ago
Foxconn employes have a choice of poisons to pick, toxics, repeated strain injuries, slave working hours and now, introducing, cancer. Who said apple isn't about choice? And all that just for younger and older brats to play around with their itoys...
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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