Sony‘s factory can produce a new console in thirty seconds.
Nikkei Asian Review gives us a sneak peek into the Kisarazu factory in Japan. The production line is 31.4 metres long, and it was completed in 2018. It is almost entirely automated with just a few employees being involved by feeding motherboards to the line, and packaging the consoles. Everything else is handled by robots, supplied by Mitsubishi.
Nikkei’s Yuji Nitta claims that 26 of the 32 robots are ding complex tasks, such as attaching wires and tapes to the console: „Attaching the flexible flat cable – a tape-like electrical cord – requires one robot arm to hold up the cable and another to twist it. The cable then needs to be attached in a specific direction using just the right pressure, which may seem simple for a human but is an extremely complex manoeuvre for a robot,” Nitta wrote. It’s still showing the advancements of automation, as the Kisarazu factory doesn’t need to hire a lot of people, and over time, the robots can perform even better.
Still, it is a massive surprise from Sony to introduce us to the production processes. It’s the first time that someone from the public (or the media) was allowed access to look behind the closed doors. However, some parts of the production line – according to Kitta – are still off-limits even to Sony’s employees. „There’s probably no other site that can manipulate robots in this manner,” an engineer told Nikkei. „I created profitable production lines,” added Sony Global Manufacturing & Operations architect, Hiroyuki Kusakabe.
The production line is regularly improved to keep the manufacturing profitable (this is once again pointing to the advancements in automation), even when a console is nearing its end of the life cycle, which in our case could be the PlayStation 4.
Have a look into Nikkei’s graphics-rich version of the article. While they did not mention the PlayStation 5, they will likely shift to produce that console.
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