A custom screw was the bottleneck in US Mac Pro production

2

Comments

  • Reply 21 of 58
    Some of us predicted this. The singular reason that it's difficult to move manufacturing in tech back to the US is the same as it is to move it to, say France or the UK: the supply chain for components is almost entirely in east and southeast Asia.

    This is what Jobs meant when he famously said in his (frequently misquoted) response to Obama's question on iPhone manufacturing in the US: "Those jobs aren't coming back."

    Washington DC needs to digest that fact.
    SoliStrangeDayswatto_cobra
  • Reply 22 of 58
    mac_dogmac_dog Posts: 909member
    The US needs to produce more babies. Apple needs to diversify its supply chain more. 
    …bcoz there simply aren’t enough people in the world. Hell, the planet can just take one for the team. /s

    Not to worry, business’ contempt for the American laborer—laborers in general—will soon turn this into a third world country. It’s well on its way. 

    Or, we could stop paying upper management obscene amounts of money, eliminate gold parachutes, and restructure our economy to something that is more sustainable and spreads the wealth a little more evenly. 
    dysamoriawatto_cobra
  • Reply 23 of 58
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 33,033member
    Some of us predicted this. The singular reason that it's difficult to move manufacturing in tech back to the US is the same as it is to move it to, say France or the UK: the supply chain for components is almost entirely in east and southeast Asia.

    This is what Jobs meant when he famously said in his (frequently misquoted) response to Obama's question on iPhone manufacturing in the US: "Those jobs aren't coming back."

    Washington DC needs to digest that fact.
    It’s only for some parts. Remember that Apple bought over $60 billion in parts and materials from USA companies in 2018 alone. That’s up from $50 billion in either 2016, or 2017. I forget which.

    here’s a reason it’s a problem for companies like Apple. Corning produces the glass for the phones. But despite Apple trying to get them to do it, they refuse to cut and polish it. So Apple has to buy it in sheets, and send it to a company in China that was set up for that very purpose by a woman in China who had worked for a Chinese glass manufacturer. Now, she cuts and polishes, using the latest computer controlled laser machinery, virtually all the glass for just about every phone manufacturer in the world.

    why doesn’t Corning want to do this?
    edited January 2019 muthuk_vanalingamapplesnorangeswatto_cobra
  • Reply 24 of 58
    Mike WuertheleMike Wuerthele Posts: 6,259administrator
    melgross said:
    That’s funny. I just read this story in the Times, and came here to see the same story, likely as a result of the Times story.

    anyway, it’s just not possible for robots to assemble phones. At least, not yet. Phones have parts put in in different ions. They require the phone to be picked up, turned around, etc. robot assembly stations can only do 2 dimensional work, while this is three. That’s one major problem, and there are others.

    we can be sure the manufacturers of automated assembly equipment have been working on this. When they’ll figure it out is the question.
    The Times is cited.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 25 of 58
    Notsofast said:
    Enough of the TDS, please.
    If Apple bring back manufacturing in USA it will have nothing to do with Trump or any other president. Apple tried to do it more than once, and Steve Jobs also tried it with NeXT Cube and Apple will probably try it again, not because somebody told them to but because they want to. I remember Steve Jobs in a video taking about how many engineers he would need to hire at it was part of the problem. I have the video somewhere but I found a 2011 link that talk about it. https://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2011/nov/22/michele-bachmann/michele-bachmann-says-steve-jobs-told-obama-he-mov/
    brianmdysamoriawatto_cobra
  • Reply 26 of 58
    brianm said:
    Notsofast said:
    Enough of the TDS, please.
    what the heck is TDS? I don't see anything that references that acronym in the story or comments.
    I try to avoid any semblance of discussion on these matters since it’s so frowned upon here these days, but you asked, I’ll answer.

    TDS = Trump Derangement Syndrome
    wow, I'll just leave it at that.
  • Reply 27 of 58
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 10,264member
    The story of the superior U.S.workforce is a myth -- and one of the major reasons industry left this country.

    The typical Asian worker is better educated, works cheaper and works harder than the equivalent U.S. worker.
    In the 70's and 80's as industry was picking up and moving to Japan and later, China, the U.S. tried to use protective tariffs to support and sustain American industry and its workers.   Unfortunately, it wasn't able overcome the superiority of the Asian workforce and American industry continued to migrate to Asia. 

    Today it is popular to blame Globalization.   But globalization was not the cause of the industrial migration to Asia, it was the response.

    Apple, with its superior products, pricing and margins may be able to bring some manufacturing back.   But generally, it is gone.
    dewmeradarthekat
  • Reply 28 of 58
    jasenj1jasenj1 Posts: 922member
    neilm said:

    Case Western Reserve University economics professor Susan Helper noted "China is not just cheap," as it is a country where the presence of an authoritarian government means "you can marshal 100,000 people to work all night for you."

    Yeah, nothing chilling about that...
    Graveyard factory shifts have exited in the US as well. There are generally three shifts in a max capacity plant. 
    My recollection is that at the big manufacturing companies like Foxconn the employees live in company owned dorms. So it is very easy to marshal a surge workforce - you go roust them out of bed. We don't live that way in the USA - and we don't want to.
    dysamoriarandominternetpersonGeorgeBMac
  • Reply 29 of 58
    So in other words, Apple got screwed?  (someone had to say it)

    And c'mon AppleInsider. Was it not possible to somehow find an image of the screw for context?
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 30 of 58
    Mike WuertheleMike Wuerthele Posts: 6,259administrator
    andyring said:
    So in other words, Apple got screwed?  (someone had to say it)

    And c'mon AppleInsider. Was it not possible to somehow find an image of the screw for context?
    We would if we knew which one it is. It isn't the tri-lobe or penta-lobe screws that are in the machine.
    king editor the gratedysamoriawatto_cobra
  • Reply 31 of 58
    dewmedewme Posts: 3,815member
    melgross said:
    That’s funny. I just read this story in the Times, and came here to see the same story, likely as a result of the Times story.

    anyway, it’s just not possible for robots to assemble phones. At least, not yet. Phones have parts put in in different ions. They require the phone to be picked up, turned around, etc. robot assembly stations can only do 2 dimensional work, while this is three. That’s one major problem, and there are others.

    we can be sure the manufacturers of automated assembly equipment have been working on this. When they’ll figure it out is the question.
    Not sure where you are getting the two-dimensional work reference. Even early pick & place machines worked in 3-axes. Painting robots from the early-mid 1980s would open the door on partially assembled cars, extend the painting arm into the 3-dimensional vehicle interior, manipulate the arm in 3 dimensions so as to apply the proper coating on all interior surfaces, including all the nooks and crannies, and then close the door when finished. Automated storage systems, which are essentially robotic cranes, have long worked in 3 dimensions to store all kinds of items, from small products to TV dinners to steel coils to fully assembled automobiles and boats into a 3-dimensional rack system that is often more than one cell deep. Automated tubing bending machines take a continuous linear feed of tubing and bend it into complex 3-dimensional shapes to fit very specific needs. That's all "old school" automation and robotics. Today's robots are much more advanced - and sadly, the US is behind the power curve with robotics compared to Asian and European companies. But we have totally awesome college football and basketball and cheap hamberders.
    avon b7roundaboutnowwatto_cobra
  • Reply 32 of 58
    SoliSoli Posts: 10,030member
    melgross said:
    Some of us predicted this. The singular reason that it's difficult to move manufacturing in tech back to the US is the same as it is to move it to, say France or the UK: the supply chain for components is almost entirely in east and southeast Asia.

    This is what Jobs meant when he famously said in his (frequently misquoted) response to Obama's question on iPhone manufacturing in the US: "Those jobs aren't coming back."

    Washington DC needs to digest that fact.
    It’s only for some parts. Remember that Apple bought over $60 billion in parts and materials from USA companies in 2018 alone. That’s up from $50 billion in either 2016, or 2017. I forget which.
    That’s an increase in sales, not an indication that manufacturering is shifting from Asia back to the US.
  • Reply 33 of 58
    mcdavemcdave Posts: 1,756member
    If Apple wants to repatriate manufacture, they need to massively simplify their products.  There are too many components requiring manual assembly.
    System-in-Package.
  • Reply 34 of 58
    We should be deranged about Trump....he and what he represents is a disaster

    At the same time, looking at what the Chinese actually do, we've got to understand that there's a very strong moral case (even if the economic case seems suspect) in favor of tariffs against Chinese goods. In no way is it acceptable in the US to have workers working as indentured servants, in corporate dormitories, ready to be woken at 2am, not for a fire call or some other actual emergency, but simply to produce more widgets at the beck and call of an executive. This has given China an enormous advantage; it has led to the collapse of entire supply chains in the US. And we need a national discussion about whether countries where this kind of thing is acceptable should have to pay a higher price to enter the US market. The implication of not dealing with this is that in order to fulfill basic economic needs we'd have to become as a country much more like China, no democracy, lots of exploitation, much less freedom, much more indebtedness to those with money and power.

    The sad part is Trump has not been at all smart about tariffs. Where they should have been applied to finished goods, they have instead been applied to raw materials, and that's had the practical effect of knocking down even more supply chains in the US and shifting even more production overseas, because US manufacturers need access to those raw materials if they are to assemble and build complicated components and especially finished goods here. Basically, when Trump hears a complaint from some friend of his that's in areas in which he's invested, so basically real estate, or raw materials industries like wood-pulp or mining, that's all he hears, and those account for a very small part of the economy. People that actually account for most of this country's economy, through manufacturing and services, simply do not have the ear of this president because he always believes he knows best and he does not bother to find out about anything he hasn't personally experienced.

    muthuk_vanalingamdysamoriaroundaboutnow
  • Reply 35 of 58
    flaneurflaneur Posts: 4,526member
    melgross said:
    Some of us predicted this. The singular reason that it's difficult to move manufacturing in tech back to the US is the same as it is to move it to, say France or the UK: the supply chain for components is almost entirely in east and southeast Asia.

    This is what Jobs meant when he famously said in his (frequently misquoted) response to Obama's question on iPhone manufacturing in the US: "Those jobs aren't coming back."

    Washington DC needs to digest that fact.
    It’s only for some parts. Remember that Apple bought over $60 billion in parts and materials from USA companies in 2018 alone. That’s up from $50 billion in either 2016, or 2017. I forget which.

    here’s a reason it’s a problem for companies like Apple. Corning produces the glass for the phones. But despite Apple trying to get them to do it, they refuse to cut and polish it. So Apple has to buy it in sheets, and send it to a company in China that was set up for that very purpose by a woman in China who had worked for a Chinese glass manufacturer. Now, she cuts and polishes, using the latest computer controlled laser machinery, virtually all the glass for just about every phone manufacturer in the world.

    why doesn’t Corning want to do this?
    And why didn’t RCA or Zenith jump into solid state radios and televisions like Sony and Matsushita did in the 1960s and 70s? Where were the US-made audio and video recorders for the mass market?

    And speaking of fine machining of fastening components, where was the US when it was time to make all the billions of personal mobile electronics like Sony Walkmans, camcorders, digital camcorders, and iPod hard drives? 

    The infrastructure for making all the microcomponents for modern electronics is in Asia. The US threw away these capabilities on the mass scale 50-60 years ago. Even the will to make fine things for the masses pretty much died in the US, except for Apple, notably, which is why I for one appreciate what they’ve accomplished continually in the face of US technical incompetence for the mass market. 
    edited January 2019 StrangeDayswatto_cobra
  • Reply 36 of 58
    dewmedewme Posts: 3,815member
    flaneur said:
    melgross said:
    Some of us predicted this. The singular reason that it's difficult to move manufacturing in tech back to the US is the same as it is to move it to, say France or the UK: the supply chain for components is almost entirely in east and southeast Asia.

    This is what Jobs meant when he famously said in his (frequently misquoted) response to Obama's question on iPhone manufacturing in the US: "Those jobs aren't coming back."

    Washington DC needs to digest that fact.
    It’s only for some parts. Remember that Apple bought over $60 billion in parts and materials from USA companies in 2018 alone. That’s up from $50 billion in either 2016, or 2017. I forget which.

    here’s a reason it’s a problem for companies like Apple. Corning produces the glass for the phones. But despite Apple trying to get them to do it, they refuse to cut and polish it. So Apple has to buy it in sheets, and send it to a company in China that was set up for that very purpose by a woman in China who had worked for a Chinese glass manufacturer. Now, she cuts and polishes, using the latest computer controlled laser machinery, virtually all the glass for just about every phone manufacturer in the world.

    why doesn’t Corning want to do this?
    And why didn’t RCA or Zenith jump into solid state radios and televisions like Sony and Matsushita did in the 1960s and 70s? Where were the US-made audio and video recorders for the mass market?

    And speaking of fine machining of fastening components, where was the US when it was time to make all the billions of personal mobile electronics like Sony Walkmans, camcorders, digital camcorders, and iPod hard drives? 

    The infrastructure for making all the microcomponents for modern electronics is in Asia. The US threw away these capabilities on the mass scale 50-60 years ago. Even the will to make fine things for the masses pretty much died in the US, except for Apple, notably, which is why I for one appreciate what they’ve accomplished continually in the face of US technical incompetence for the mass market. 
    The US can accomplish anything ... literally ANYTHING that it sets its collective mind to accomplish. But it rarely makes up its mind about what to focus on because it gets distracted by too many low value things like politics, sports, and celebrities. Imagine what the US could do if it had a collective sense of purpose about something meaningful, like health care for all citizens.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 37 of 58
    dewme said:
    flaneur said:
    melgross said:
    Some of us predicted this. The singular reason that it's difficult to move manufacturing in tech back to the US is the same as it is to move it to, say France or the UK: the supply chain for components is almost entirely in east and southeast Asia.

    This is what Jobs meant when he famously said in his (frequently misquoted) response to Obama's question on iPhone manufacturing in the US: "Those jobs aren't coming back."

    Washington DC needs to digest that fact.
    It’s only for some parts. Remember that Apple bought over $60 billion in parts and materials from USA companies in 2018 alone. That’s up from $50 billion in either 2016, or 2017. I forget which.

    here’s a reason it’s a problem for companies like Apple. Corning produces the glass for the phones. But despite Apple trying to get them to do it, they refuse to cut and polish it. So Apple has to buy it in sheets, and send it to a company in China that was set up for that very purpose by a woman in China who had worked for a Chinese glass manufacturer. Now, she cuts and polishes, using the latest computer controlled laser machinery, virtually all the glass for just about every phone manufacturer in the world.

    why doesn’t Corning want to do this?
    And why didn’t RCA or Zenith jump into solid state radios and televisions like Sony and Matsushita did in the 1960s and 70s? Where were the US-made audio and video recorders for the mass market?

    And speaking of fine machining of fastening components, where was the US when it was time to make all the billions of personal mobile electronics like Sony Walkmans, camcorders, digital camcorders, and iPod hard drives? 

    The infrastructure for making all the microcomponents for modern electronics is in Asia. The US threw away these capabilities on the mass scale 50-60 years ago. Even the will to make fine things for the masses pretty much died in the US, except for Apple, notably, which is why I for one appreciate what they’ve accomplished continually in the face of US technical incompetence for the mass market. 
    The US can accomplish anything ... literally ANYTHING that it sets its collective mind to accomplish. But it rarely makes up its mind about what to focus on because it gets distracted by too many low value things like politics, sports, and celebrities. Imagine what the US could do if it had a collective sense of purpose about something meaningful, like health care for all citizens.
    (Eyeroll)

    There are only individuals. There is no “collective” mind that speaks for all people.
    randominternetpersondysamoria
  • Reply 38 of 58
    In other words, it really wasn't about a screw not being available (since they could easily have sourced the screw from China).
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 39 of 58
    melgross said:
    Some of us predicted this. The singular reason that it's difficult to move manufacturing in tech back to the US is the same as it is to move it to, say France or the UK: the supply chain for components is almost entirely in east and southeast Asia.

    This is what Jobs meant when he famously said in his (frequently misquoted) response to Obama's question on iPhone manufacturing in the US: "Those jobs aren't coming back."

    Washington DC needs to digest that fact.
    It’s only for some parts. Remember that Apple bought over $60 billion in parts and materials from USA companies in 2018 alone. That’s up from $50 billion in either 2016, or 2017. I forget which.

    here’s a reason it’s a problem for companies like Apple. Corning produces the glass for the phones. But despite Apple trying to get them to do it, they refuse to cut and polish it. So Apple has to buy it in sheets, and send it to a company in China that was set up for that very purpose by a woman in China who had worked for a Chinese glass manufacturer. Now, she cuts and polishes, using the latest computer controlled laser machinery, virtually all the glass for just about every phone manufacturer in the world.

    why doesn’t Corning want to do this?
    That's one busy woman.  I hope she doesn't get hit by a bus (or win the lottery)!
    SpamSandwichwatto_cobra
  • Reply 40 of 58
    flaneurflaneur Posts: 4,526member
    dewme said:
    flaneur said:
    melgross said:
    Some of us predicted this. The singular reason that it's difficult to move manufacturing in tech back to the US is the same as it is to move it to, say France or the UK: the supply chain for components is almost entirely in east and southeast Asia.

    This is what Jobs meant when he famously said in his (frequently misquoted) response to Obama's question on iPhone manufacturing in the US: "Those jobs aren't coming back."

    Washington DC needs to digest that fact.
    It’s only for some parts. Remember that Apple bought over $60 billion in parts and materials from USA companies in 2018 alone. That’s up from $50 billion in either 2016, or 2017. I forget which.

    here’s a reason it’s a problem for companies like Apple. Corning produces the glass for the phones. But despite Apple trying to get them to do it, they refuse to cut and polish it. So Apple has to buy it in sheets, and send it to a company in China that was set up for that very purpose by a woman in China who had worked for a Chinese glass manufacturer. Now, she cuts and polishes, using the latest computer controlled laser machinery, virtually all the glass for just about every phone manufacturer in the world.

    why doesn’t Corning want to do this?
    And why didn’t RCA or Zenith jump into solid state radios and televisions like Sony and Matsushita did in the 1960s and 70s? Where were the US-made audio and video recorders for the mass market?

    And speaking of fine machining of fastening components, where was the US when it was time to make all the billions of personal mobile electronics like Sony Walkmans, camcorders, digital camcorders, and iPod hard drives? 

    The infrastructure for making all the microcomponen
    mmanyfacturing
    ts for modern electronics is in Asia. The US threw away these capabilities on the mass scale 50-60 years ago. Even the will to make fine things for the masses pretty much died in the US, except for Apple, notably, which is why I for one appreciate what they’ve accomplished continually in the face of US technical incompetence for the mass market. 
    The US can accomplish anything ... literally ANYTHING that it sets its collective mind to accomplish. But it rarely makes up its mind about what to focus on because it gets distracted by too many low value things like politics, sports, and celebrities. Imagine what the US could do if it had a collective sense of purpose about something meaningful, like health care for all citizens.
    I would agree if I thought the US could make up its mind on what to focus on. We never arrived at the state of having common purposes and values enough to decide what to do for our own benefit.

    Contrast with Germany, which has made constant efforts to sustain its systems of industrial competence. They still have a respectable world-class auto and truck industry; the US is still exploiting its customers with overweight, overpriced vehicles.

    The US shot its wad industrially, except for weapons/aerospace, in the 1950s/60s. We didn’t have to, but we were very far from making honest decisions about protecting and advancing our expertise in mass manufacturing. Too busy with fighting the cold war, and as you say, getting fat, lazy and postindustrial in front of our Trinitron TVs.

    Anyway, I agree, imagine what we could accomplish if we could put our minds to a benevolent collective purpose. I think the generation coming up now might have a chance at doing that. 
    edited January 2019 dysamoriaGeorgeBMacwatto_cobra
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