Gigaset Smartphone Production I: Soundscape of U-Production Line
Since 1941 Siemens has been producing telephones in the small town of Bocholt, Germany. Today there are still 550 workers making cordless telephones for Gigaset, which separated from Siemens in 2010. In 2018 Gigaset started producing the first smartphone made in Germany.
While the individual electronic parts for the GS185 smart phone are still being imported from Asia the finished product is put together in Bocholt. The special thing about the production is that the phone is put together by 8 employees at a time in a U-production-line with the help of robots or “cobots” by the company Universal Robots. These digital colleagues work collaborative, which means that they are involved in some of the production processes that need high technical precision. Employees execute the tasks that require more sensitivity. Thus robots and employees work hand in hand.
This is a soundscape recording of the entire u-production line with 4 employees working in there. There is room for up to eight workers. The most dominant sound in the recording is the air conditioning. But it also includes beeping when a phone is scanned, clicking noises, the jingle when a phone is switched on and the loud swish of a machine that lasers the company name into the back of the smartphones. You can also hear the murmur of people talking and footsteps in the hall.
Sound Recordist: Kathinka Engels
Photographer: Inke Pickhardt