By Lorraine Luk
TAIPEI--Hon Hai Precision Industry Co. (2317.TW) Chairman Terry Gou said Monday that, in a few years' time, automation will replace all 'monotonous and repetitive' tasks performed at the company's plants in China, including those assembling Apple Inc.'s (AAPL) iPhone and iPad.
Speaking to shareholders at the company's annual general meeting, Mr. Gou said the first fully automated plants in China will likely become operational in five to 10 years.
The world's biggest contract manufacturer of electronic products, also one of the biggest employers in China, will provide training to assembly line workers and hopes to upgrade them to product designers or engineers, he said.
Mr. Gou also said Hon Hai has set up a new unit to develop a special glue which will enable the company to produce thinner and lighter electronic devices. It is also developing a technology to produce frameless, or bezel-free, televisions, he added.
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