Plants of Hon Hai, Wistron named 'Lighthouse' factories by WEF

03/20/2021 04:48 PM
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CNA file photo
CNA file photo

Taipei, March 20 (CNA) Two China-based production sites of iPhone assembler Hon Hai Precision Industry Co. and it's smaller rival Wistron Corp. have been named "Global Lighthouse" factories by the World Economic Forum (WEF).

Hon Hai, known as Foxconn on the global market, said one of its factories, located in Chengdu in China's Sichuan Province, has been chosen by the WEF among 15 factories worldwide on its 2021 Global Lighthouse factory list.

The Chengdu plant is another production base of Hon Hai to be included on the WEF's list after the manufacturer's Shenzhen plant, which was chosen in 2019.

In 2018, the WEF and consulting firm McKinsey recognized nine manufacturing plants from a survey of more than 1,000 as "lighthouse" factories for their digital transformation.

The term refers to production plants that have adopted four industrial revolution technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI) and the Internet of Things (IoT) in their daily operations.

Since 2018, only 69 factories have been included on the WEF's Global Lighthouse factory list.

Hon Hai said the choice of its Chengdu plant reflected the company's efforts to boost the factory's efficiency by 200 percent by adopting mixed reality (MR), AI and IoT technologies at a time when the company saw rapid growth in business but suffered a lack of skilled workers. MR refers to the merging of real and virtual worlds to produce new environments and visualizations.

In recent years, Hon Hai has been keen to transform itself from a pure contract manufacturer into a company that is able to integrate its hardware and software capabilities.

The group has been engaging in emerging technologies such as 5G applications, electric cars and digital health care to boost its profit margins in a competitive market.

For its part, Wistron said one of its factories located in Kunshan, in China's Jiangsu Province, was also chosen as a Global Lighthouse factory by the WEF. Wistron said the Kunshan plant rolls out AIoT (AI plus IoT) devices.

Wistron said the inclusion on the WEF's list represents a milestone for the company as it has been keen to use digital technology for production upgrading and to lay down a foundation for corporate sustainability.

(By Chung Jung-feng, Jeffrey Wu and Frances Huang)

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