PlayStation’s Secret Weapon: A Nearly All-Automated Factory

According to Nikkei Asian Review, much of the PlayStation’s success can be attributed to an unassuming factory in Japan that is almost entirely operated by robots. From the report: On the outskirts of Kisarazu, a large, white building towers over an otherwise suburban landscape. Once inside, visitors are greeted by the whirring of motors as dozens of robots seamlessly churn out PlayStation 4 consoles. Just a few humans were present to deal with a handful of tasks — two to feed bare motherboards to the line, and two to package the finished consoles. But the actual assembly is done entirely by articulated robots, supplied by Mitsubishi Electric. The 31.4-meter line, completed in 2018, has the ability to churn out a new console every 30 seconds.

The Kisarazu plant is operated by Sony Global Manufacturing & Operations, or SGMO, the group’s manufacturing arm. The unit has worked with video game unit Sony Interactive Entertainment to bring cutting-edge technologies to the facility. One of the plant’s crowning achievements is the use of robots to attach wires, tape and other flexible parts to the consoles. Twenty-six out of 32 robots at the Kisarazu plant are dedicated to the task, deftly handling materials most robots would find too finicky. “There’s probably no other site that can manipulate robots in this manner,” said an engineer. Every process — all the way to final packaging — is automated. The blend of robotic and human labor is painstakingly optimized with a priority on return on investment.

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Source: Slashdot