January 2017



Regardless of the industry involved, manufacturing companies in Asia are facing the challenge of paying fair wages while still remaining competitive. Robotics is an essential key for achieving this goal.


We have been breaking new ground in our approach to this since late 2012. To begin with, manufacturing was developed so as to comply with all legal requirements (which is not the norm in China) and to guarantee decent wages for the employees. The key concept in this context is the “living wage” – denoting a wage that is significantly more than the prescribed “minimum wage” and basically refers to remuneration that allows employees to make a decent living by working 40 hours a week. Another example is the statutory upper limit of 58 working hours per week. Many companies in all industries greatly exceed this number of hours, some with exploitive wages and inhumane working conditions.


GSN is breaking new ground here, even if better working conditions generate higher costs at first

However, these extra costs are more than compensated for by taking two different approaches, thus ultimately increasing competitiveness.

Firstly, a substantial part of the dividend is made available for financing social concerns in the company. Secondly, focusing on flexible automation of the manufacturing process ensures that an ever increasing number of motion sequences during this process are carried out by machines, with robotics reducing pressures of output and time for production staff.


The general approach so far, however, has been to produce a fully automatic machine for each connector. Given the rapid developments in robotics, it will be possible in future to adapt just a few robots that can be programmed in different ways to reliably perform several motion sequences up to a moderate level of complexity, regardless of the product concerned.

As a result, more basic manual operations will in future also be performed by suitably programmed automatic machines. For instance, GSN uses adaptive automatic machines for the latest generation of connectors with a 1.00 mm pitch (between cable and PCB). Adapting them to different numbers of poles is so cost-efficient that they are economical to use even in medium quantities. 


In our view, the combination of a high degree of automation and decent wages for our employees in China is the strategy of choice in order to meet the financial and social challenges of the future in the best possible way.

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© GSN Electronics Ltd 2017