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

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

Uzhgorod is already producing 5G equipment, in the development of which our engineers also had a hand.The Jabil plant in Uzhgorod is the only one from the European hub that is not engaged in pure "outsourcing", but in a full production cycle.Within the group, it is one of the world's top three, where the latest technologies in the field of production are piloted.And now it's doubling its size.ggI visited production again and tells the most interesting things.

Directly from the station, Uzhgorod greets you with a “Jabil” board.your American dream." The plant has existed in the region since the time of the SES, since 2004, and during this time it has grown from a small rented premises into a production area of ​​47,000 sq. m (this includes warehouse and production premises). Jabil currently employs 3,000 people (of which 1,000 are engineers from all over the country). Plans for the near future include staff growth to 5,000 employees. It is one of the region's largest and best employers. And the president himself came to open the second line, and new personnel in 70% of cases enter production on the advice of old ones.

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Onggthere was already a report from the Jabil plant around two o'clockhalf a year ago, in which we talked in detail about working conditions and production features. But during this time, Jabil managed to grow further and acquire new achievements, areas and technologies. This will be discussed further.

In the world top

Jabil has 120 factories around the world, of whichonly nine have surpassed the 3,000 employee mark. Ukrainian is one of them. The company now has three largest hubs around the world. One of them is concentrated in the south of China, where there are factories with 30,000+ employees, from where products are sent primarily to the Asian market. The second is in Mexico, with factories supplying the needs of North and South America. The third is in Europe, which includes three factories, Uzhgorod is among them. 70% of our plant's products are sent to the European market.

The Ukrainian plant is not just a contractproduction. It is the only one in Europe from the entire hub where the development of the full cycle takes place - from idea to supply chain management. That is, the client sends 3D models, and they are completely transformed into ready-made solutions at the factory. According to Sergei Kartsev, General Director of Jabil in Ukraine, one of the Nespresso products created in this way received a world award. He doesn’t say which one and which one, because this information is under NDA.

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The main focus of the Uzhgorod plant istelecom equipment, accounting for almost two-thirds of production. A few years earlier, there were rumors that Jabil was assembling Nokia phones. The company mostly keeps information about clients secret, these are the conditions. The only thing that was confirmed to journalists is that Nokia telecom equipment is now assembled on Jabil. Also, according to Kartsev, the driver of orders is the development of new communication standards (Jabil is already working on 5G equipment), and among current consumer electronics, more and more devices with data transfer functions are appearing.

All decide frames

Over the past couple of years, Jabil has expanded its staff toUzhgorod for 1000 people, now it employs 3000 employees. After the opening of 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 that continues to grow. According to Jabil Vice Director of Operations Alessandro Parimbelli, costs in Ukraine are half as much as in Europe. Investments in the Ukrainian enterprise amounted to $75 million, of which $16 million was spent on expansion.

Kartsev says that staff is being recruited constantly, atThe question of which specialties are most needed is answered by everything. “The best mathematicians or people who understand physics are great at planning production and the entire flow of added value. The best graduates of the Faculty of International Relations have an easier understanding of the supply chain, we have many such graduates in the procurement department, but we also encourage people to develop horizontally,” explains Sergei.

Jabil is looking for mathematicians, international specialists,linguists, mechanics, electronics engineers, mechanical engineers and design engineers. The question of which specialist can count on the highest salary is also avoided. “Those who bring the most value and can have the most impact on productivity are valued the most,” Kartsev said.

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According to him, the company is so interestedin engineers, that she is ready to take on all household chores - food, accommodation, travel, insurance and assistance to non-residents in moving. Now engineers from Kyiv, Kharkov, Poltava, Lvov, etc. work for Jabil. Unless there is no one from Kropyvnytskyi.

The struggle for talent is also felt at Jabil.Its competitors are not only the neighboring contract manufacturing Flex, 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 that today it is cheaper to take a graduate with a good engineering education off the street and teach him everything than to hire a specialist with experience. The industry is dynamic, and a person must understand it well, make decisions independently, find ideas quickly - all this is easier to learn on the job.

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 at Jabilmaximally robotic. Starting from testing components that go into assembly to assembling boards. The latter is the opposite - custom assembly is mostly done by people. Retraining a person to work with other devices is much cheaper, faster and more efficient than retraining a robot.

However, robotization in board assembly is notends. Jabil boasts that the plant in Uzhgorod has become one of the first three in the concern to implement the principles of Industry 4.0 - that is, the automation of routine processes and routine decision-making. Robots are devoid of emotions, do not get tired or get sick, people are burdened by routine, and they are also prone to emotional decisions, so Industry 4.0 will free the latter from hated activities and allow them to engage in tasks of a different level.

The factory uses two robots thatexchange data with each other. One machine can “ask” another about the status of certain indicators and “ask” it to correct it, and then report the result. Jabil also collects data on production and decision-making in order to see in the future what can be automated. It’s too early to talk about what and how much you can save in the future.

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The decision to implement Industry 4.0 was accepted at the corporate level, the development was carried out by the best Jabil engineers from the three places where the project is being piloted. Kartsev says that the development of AI—which will be the next stage after pilots and data collection—will be handled by the 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 implemented fairly quickly within one plant with 3,000 employees.


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

Jabil as a contract manufacturer with a globalGeography favors this trend. The client doesn't want to go to China? Okay, they have something else to offer him, unlike companies whose capacities are concentrated only in the Middle Kingdom. The company is familiar with the cultures of many countries and has plenty to choose from. In addition, Chinese factories are its main competitors.

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