Jabil in Uzhgorod with my own eyes: how the Ukrainian plant became the American dream

Despite the fact that Ukraine, among the last in the world, began construction of 3G and 4G, on the outskirts of the country, under

Uzhgorod, already being done5G-equipment, to the development of which our engineers had a hand. The Jabil plant in Uzhgorod is the only one of the European hub that deals not with the “outsourcing” pure water, but with the full production cycle. As part of the concern, he is among the top three in the world, where the latest production technologies are being piloted. And now it is expanding twice. gg again visited the production and tells the most interesting.

Straight from the station, Uzhgorod meets with a board “Jabil -your american dream. The plant exists in the region since the time of the SES, since 2004, and during this time has grown from a small leased premises into a production area of ​​47,000 sq. M (this includes storage and production facilities). Currently, Jabil employs 3,000 people (1,000 of them are engineers from all over the country). The plans for the near future - the growth of staff to 5,000 employees. This is one of the largest and best employers in the region. And the president himself came to open the second line, and new personnel in 70% of cases get into production on the advice of the old ones.

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On gg there was already a report from the Jabil factory about twohalf a year ago, in which we talked in detail about the working conditions and features of production. But during this time Jabil managed to grow up and acquire new achievements, areas and technologies. This will be discussed further.

In the world top

Jabil has 120 factories worldwide, of whichonly nine have surpassed 3,000 employees. Ukrainian - among them. Now the company has three largest hubs worldwide. One of them is concentrated in the south of China, where there are factories with 30,000+ employees, from there the products are sent to the Asian market primarily. The second is in Mexico, with factories serving the needs of North and South America. The third is in Europe, where three plants are included, Uzhgorod is among them. 70% of the products of our factory are sent to the European market.

Ukrainian plant is not just a contractproduction. It is the only one in Europe from the whole hub where the development of a full cycle takes place - from idea to supply chain management. That is, the client sends 3D-models, and they turn completely into ready-made solutions at the factory. According to Sergey Kartsev, CEO of Jabil in Ukraine, one of the Nespresso products created in this way received a world award. What and what - does not say, because this information is under the NDA.

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The main direction of the Uzhgorod plant istelecom equipment, it accounts for almost two thirds of production. A few years earlier, it was rumored that Jabil was assembling Nokia phones. The company basically keeps the information on clients in secret, conditions are those. The only thing that was confirmed to journalists is that Nokia’s telecom equipment is now going to Jabil. Also, according to Kartsev, the development of new communication standards is becoming a driver of orders (Jabil is already working on 5G equipment), and more and more devices with data transfer function appear among current consumer electronics.

All decide frames

Over the past couple of years, Jabil has expanded its staffUzhgorod for 1000 people, now it employs 3,000 employees. After opening the queue, they plan to gradually expand the staff to 5,000, if the economic situation is favorable. This is the only plant from the European hub, which continues to grow. According to the operational vice-director of Jabil Alessandro Parimbelli, the cost in Ukraine is half the cost than in Europe. Investments in the Ukrainian enterprise amounted to $ 75 million, of which $ 16 million was spent on expansion.

Kartsev says that the state is recruited constantly, onthe question of which specialties are most needed is answered, that's all. “The best mathematicians, or people who understand physics, are famously planning production and the entire flow of value added. The best graduates of the faculty of international relations are easier to understand in the supply chain, we have many such graduates in the procurement department, but we also encourage people to develop horizontally, ”explains Sergey.

Jabil is looking for mathematicians, internationals,linguists, mechanics, electronic engineers, mechanical engineers and design engineers. From the question of which specialist can count on the highest wage, is also leaving. “Those who bring more value and can have a greater impact on productivity are most appreciated,” said Kartsev.

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According to him, the company is so interestedin the engineers that is ready to take on all the household chores - food, accommodation, travel, insurance and help of non-residents in moving. Now engineers from Kiev, Kharkov, Poltava, Lvov, etc. work at Jabil. Is that from Kropyvnytsky no one.

The fight for cadres is felt on Jabil. The competitors in it are not only the neighboring Flex contract manufacturing, but in fact, the entire industry plus migration processes that began after the abolition of visas by the European Union. "We compete with the entire industry for personnel: with FMCG, metallurgy, etc." Jabil says it is cheaper to take a graduate from the street with a good engineering education and train everything else than to take a specialist with experience. The industry is dynamic, and a person should be well versed in it, make decisions on their own, quickly find ideas - this is all easier to learn in the workplace.

However, Jabil also works with universities (although the company does not name which ones). He says that some universities have already changed the program for the needs of the plant.


Thanks to Moore's law, the race for which stimulated the development of components to reduce transistors. But today they are so small that it is impossible for a person to work with them manually.

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Therefore, the first stage of production on Jabilas robotic as possible. Starting from testing components that fall for the assembly, ending with the assembly of boards. The latter is vice versa - mostly people produce customized assembly. It is much cheaper, faster and more efficient to retrain a person to work with other devices than to reconfigure the robot.

However, in the assembly of boards robotization is notis ending. At Jabil they boast that the plant in Uzhgorod has become one of the first three companies in the group who are implementing the principles of Industry 4.0 - that is, automating routine processes and making routine decisions. Robots are devoid of emotions, do not get tired and do not get sick, people do routine rituals, and they are also prone to emotional solutions, so Industry 4.0 will release the latter from hateful occupations and will allow them to work on tasks of another level.

The plant uses two robots thatexchange data between themselves. One car can “ask” another about the status of certain indicators and “ask” it to correct it, and then report on the result. Jabil also collects data on production and decision making in order to see later what can be automated from this. It’s too early to talk about what and how much can be saved in the future.

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Decision on the implementation of the Industry 4.0 was taken at the corporate level, the development was done by the best Jabil engineers from three places where the project is being piloted. Kartsev said that the development of AI - which will be the next stage after the pilots and data collection - will already be engaged in a partner. Actually, when the company during the last press tour spoke about its readiness to invest in Ukrainian projects, this was implied. Software solutions can be quickly implemented within a single plant for 3,000 employees.


If earlier in the field of production was observedthe trend towards globalization, companies moved factories to China, where logistics are cheaper and better, now the situation is changing, says Parimbelli. It suddenly became important for people where their equipment was developed and manufactured (more precisely, it becomes more and more important that it be produced outside of China). “Supply chains are becoming more local. Products for Europe are manufactured in Europe, for the USA - in the USA, for Mexico - in Mexico. For Asia, in Asia, ”he says.

Jabil as a contract manufacturer from the worldGeography this trend is more at hand. The client does not want to China? Okay, they have something else to offer him, unlike companies whose power is concentrated only in the Middle Kingdom. The company is familiar with the culture of many countries, and there are plenty to choose from. In addition, it is Chinese factories - its main competitors.

However, production in China has decreased so far.only 3%, and the Asian electronics market is still the largest. By the way, the situation around China is one of the reasons why Uzhgorod production has grown right now.