Production line automation can save manufacturers a small fortune in costs thanks to efficiency gains and a lack of human workers being required. Sony seems to have taken that to the extreme with PlayStation 4 console production, though.
As the Nikkei Asian Review reports, Sony’s production facility located in Kisarazu city in Chiba Prefecture, Japan, is capable of producing a PS4 console every 30 seconds. The whole process requires only four human workers and the rest of the work is carried out by robots on a production line that’s just 31.4 meters long.
The robots allowing for this speedy manufacturing process are supplied by Mitsubishi Electric and are capable of handling every stage of production including the most tricky of tasks: flexible components. So adept are the robots, they can attach wires, apply tape, and they work together for tasks such as attaching flexible flat cables that need to be twisted and pushed into place using the correct pressure.
If you’re wondering why humans are required at all, it’s only at the start and end of the process. Two human workers are present to feed bare motherboards on to the production line, while another two are there to place the finished consoles in packaging. Both tasks sound like they could be automated in future, though. Sony will be trying to achieve the same level of automation for its new console, the PS5, but we may have to wait a few years before we see one of those rolling off the production line every 30 seconds.