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Robotics Apple Hardware

A US Apple Factory May Be Robot City 602

Posted by Soulskill
from the rise-of-the-iMachines dept.
dcblogs writes "Apple's planned investment of $100 million next year in a U.S. manufacturing facility is relatively small, but still important. A 2009 Apple video of its unibody manufacturing process has glimpses of highly automated robotic systems shaping the metal. In it, Jonathan Ive, Apple's senior vice president of design, described it. 'Machining enables a level of precision that is just completely unheard of in this industry,' he said. Apple has had three years to improve its manufacturing technology, and will likely rely heavily on automation to hold down labor costs, say analysts and manufacturers. Larry Sweet, the CTO of Symbotic, which makes autonomous mobile robots for use in warehouse distribution, described a possible scenario for Apple's U.S. factory. First, a robot loads the aluminum block into the robo-machine that has a range of tools for cutting and drilling shapes to produce the complex chassis as a single precision part. A robot then unloads the chassis and sends it down a production line where a series of small, high-precision, high-speed robots insert parts, secured either with snap fit, adhesive bonds, solder, and a few fasteners, such as screws. At the end, layers, such as the display and glass, are added on top and sealed in another automated operation. Finally, the product is packaged and packed into cases for shipping, again with robots. "One of the potentially significant things about the Apple announcement is it could send a message to American companies — you can do this — you can make this work here," said Robert Atkinson, president of The Information Technology & Innovation Foundation."
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A US Apple Factory May Be Robot City

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  • by Black Parrot (19622) on Sunday December 09, 2012 @03:31AM (#42231627)

    Robots are replacing workers everywhere and we need a new economy to deal with the situation.

    I suggest zombies. They're more cost-effective than robots, cheaper to replace, and on their off hours can do even more to reduce the number of unemployed.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 09, 2012 @03:32AM (#42231633)

    Robots are replacing workers everywhere and we need a new economy to deal with the situation.

    Don't worry. As soon as the US robots unionize the jobs will move overseas again.

  • by stenvar (2789879) on Sunday December 09, 2012 @10:23AM (#42233241)

    I do envy the progress of Europe

    What exactly do you envy? The lower wages? The smaller houses? The lower retirement benefits? The lower levels of education? The lower standard of living? The higher taxes? The religious and ethnic conflicts? Do tell.

    Imagine trying to sustain a European welfare system with that anchor tied around your neck.

    True: US military spending is a drag on the US. However, we've been getting something in return, namely peace in Europe and Asia. After centuries of vicious wars and disruptions to the global economy originating there, that's been money well spent. Of course, it's debatable whether we need to continue spending it, but until a few years ago, it was absolutely necessary.

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