An artificial intelligence (AI) program developed by Hon Hai Precision Industry Co (鴻海精密) has cut defect inspection labor by 50 percent on some production lines, the company said on Thursday.
The company has named the program Foxconn NxVAE, which stands for Foxconn Next Variational Autoencoder.
Variational autoencoders are artificial neural networks that can learn without supervision.
Photo: David Chang, EPA-EFE
“The yield rate of our production lines has exceeded 99 percent,” Hon Hai semiconductor subgroup vice president Gene Liu (劉錦勳) said in a news release.
The company has used the technology in the production of some handheld devices in its plants in China, it said.
Using cameras on production lines, the program detects defective products by comparing them with a “golden sample” — a perfect product sample — and then removes them from the lines without human intervention, it said.
The program is capable of detecting “the 13 most common types of defects accurately, without errors,” Hon Hai said.
In addition to reducing labor costs, the program would make it easier to switch from one product to another on a production line, the company said.
“Its self-learning ability does not require collecting, categorizing and labeling of the visuals, allowing for a more significant buffer in the usually tight production timeline,” it said.
It took the company eight months to develop Foxconn NxVAE, which is just one of the in-house AI solutions it has built to facilitate manufacturing, Hon Hai said.
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