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Apple supplier reports 61 injured in explosion at metal case factory

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
Apple supplier and manufacturing partner Pegatron said 61 workers had been injured as a result of an explosion at a subsidiary's metal casing factory in Shanghai, China.

Pegatron Chief Financial Officer Charles Lin reported the incident, noting that the facility in question was still under construction, according to Reuters. 23 workers were hospitalized after the gas explosion, which occurred on Saturday at a metal casing factory belonging to Ri-Teng Computer Accessory Co.

"The factory has not started operations yet. Part of the facility is still under pre-operation inspection and part is running trial production," he said.

Apple responded that it was looking into the matter.

"Our hearts go out to the people who were hurt in Songjiang. We are working closely with Pegatron to understand the cause of this accident," said spokeswoman Carolyn Wu.

Taiwan-based DigiTimes reported that Ri-Teng was expanding the facility in order to compete with rivals Catcher Technology and Foxconn over metal notebook casing orders. Industry sources told the publication that Pegatron will spend $300-400 million procuring computer numerical control (CNC) machines next year in hopes of becoming one of the top-three suppliers.

Notebook makers are said to have been frustrated by the limited supply of CNC machines, as Apple has commandeered most of the available capacity for its unibody Macbook chassis. Vendors have especially been interested in utilizing metal chassis for Intel's new ultrabook standard, but reports suggest that many have been unsuccessful in acquiring the necessary capacity.

Catcher has experienced its own recent setbacks to its China-based metal chassis production operations. In October, local officials ordered a factory in Suzhou to temporarily close because of odorous gas emissions. The supplier's Suzhou factory reportedly supplies 60 percent of the unibody enclosures bound for Apple's MacBook Pro and MacBook Air portables.

Apple's supply chain in China has come under scrutiny as a result of several recent high-profile incidents. In May, three employees were killed and 16 injured at a Foxconn factory producing iPad 2 units in Chengdu, China when a dust explosion occurred at the facility's "polishing plant." Foxconn has also been criticized because of the growing number of employee suicides that have occurred on its property.

Chinese environmental protection groups have been meeting with Apple to discuss concerns that its suppliers are taking advantage of loopholes to get away with excessive pollution. The Cupertino, Calif., company subsequently agreed to ask each of its suppliers that have been identified as gross polluters to reform. Pegatron, in particular, has been called out by environmental groups as being a flagrant polluter.
post #2 of 17
Normally you dont think of casing as requiring gas when being CNC machinesd. Since gas is involved it sounds more like a smelting, extrusion or casting operation.

Having worked in a foundry I know just how dangerous they are. The one I worked in was feed with a ten inch gas line. So you can imagine how quickly leaks can get out of hand.
post #3 of 17
Thankfully it wasn't operational, so nothing important was damaged.
post #4 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacVicta View Post

Thankfully it wasn't operational, so nothing important was damaged.

"61 workers had been injured"
post #5 of 17
In addition to the 61 human casualties, stand by for heavy rolls in AAPL today. It won't sink the ship but I guarantee it'll take on water. Over an explosion in a subsidiary plant that wasn't even in production yet.
post #6 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

Normally you dont think of casing as requiring gas when being CNC machinesd. Since gas is involved it sounds more like a smelting, extrusion or casting operation.

Or, being that the factory isn't in production yet, it could be unrelated to it's production purpose. We could be talking about natural gas used for heating and hot water supply. That, or it could be related to the construction process and the term gas is being used loosely to refer to acetylene or propane.
post #7 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacVicta View Post

Thankfully it wasn't operational, so nothing important was damaged.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SaltWater View Post

"61 workers had been injured"

This is the kind of article that will elicit all manner of sarcastic, moribund, hateful, talking-point FUD from the resident trolls. It's just getting started.
post #8 of 17
Like the use of the term comandeered. As if Apple sent in the army to seize the facilities...
post #9 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wings View Post

In addition to the 61 human casualties, stand by for heavy rolls in AAPL today.

Yep, you can thank the websites that call it an "Apple Factory" etc. For all we know, the building in question was actually being set up to create the next Galaxy Tab parts and had nothing to do with Apple but since the company does some kind of work for them, it becomes linked as if Apple owns and operates it.

A non tech's thoughts on Apple stuff 

(She's family so I'm a little biased)

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A non tech's thoughts on Apple stuff 

(She's family so I'm a little biased)

Reply
post #10 of 17
Why would the author of this piece once again bring up the suicides at the Schenzen Foxconn facilities when it has already been shown that the suicide rate is actually statistically very low, even lower than the overall suicide rate in the US. The fact is that their facilities where these tragic deaths took place house and employee over 400,000 workers. The suicide rate there is actually lower than for high school students in the US and I don't see anyone condemning the US education system because of it.
post #11 of 17
Apple has nothing to do with this.

It is up to Pegatron to ensure the safety of it's workers. The workers who were injured should sue Pegatron, their employer.
post #12 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by lkrupp View Post

This is the kind of article that will elicit all manner of sarcastic, moribund, hateful, talking-point FUD from the resident trolls. It's just getting started.

Naah. I don't think anyone here really cares. They just want their products by Xmas.
post #13 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by muddybulldog View Post

Or, being that the factory isn't in production yet, it could be unrelated to it's production purpose. We could be talking about natural gas used for heating and hot water supply. That, or it could be related to the construction process and the term gas is being used loosely to refer to acetylene or propane.

A construction accident is always possible. I only mentioned metal melting processes because the factory I use to work in seemed to have somebody going to the hospital every month. Chinese factories only look bad in the context of the fact that we have closed down so many in the USA.
post #14 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacVicta View Post

Thankfully it wasn't operational, so nothing important was damaged.

The 61 workers can be replaced.

Thank God Apple manufactures in China. These could have been Americans!




/s
post #15 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

I only mentioned metal melting processes because the factory I use to work in seemed to have somebody going to the hospital every month. Chinese factories only look bad in the context of the fact that we have closed down so many in the USA.

Good point. It's so easy for people to think: "oh, that's China for you". When the reality is, certain types of manufacturing requires use of dangerous chemicals, gasses and materials. And no matter where that manufacturing happens, or how many regulations you put in place, a certain level of risk will be involved.
 
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post #16 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by auxio View Post

Good point. It's so easy for people to think: "oh, that's China for you". When the reality is, certain types of manufacturing requires use of dangerous chemicals, gasses and materials. And no matter where that manufacturing happens, or how many regulations you put in place, a certain level of risk will be involved.

but in china corner cutting and lack of safety is common.
post #17 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe The Dragon View Post

but in china corner cutting and lack of safety is common.

And it isn't in other areas of the world? I just watched a report on Canadian news about how dangerous goods are transported across Canada by companies without proper permits or handling expertise, and it's downright scary. In one case, a shipping truck completely disintegrated on the road because it was carrying corrosive acid and its container wasn't the proper type for that.
 
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