Monday, October 17, 2016

Interesting Apple post about Supply Chain

Interesting Background on supply chain issues.

Supply chain issues can be very complex, and spooling up to mass production can be very troublesome. There is a lot to pay attention to, and multiple supply chains must cooperate to produce a single product.

If Apple were to go a ceramic case -- a huge amount of work will be done to make it happen. 

It's also interesting that one of the biggest rumors is almost certainly shot down by this information. (Or this is a distraction -- I don't put anything past companies trying to maintain secrecy.)


It has taken time to build up the experience (and the machinery) to accommodate the current production line. Moving to ceramics would mean starting again from scratch. Machinery would need to be manufactured, acquired, and installed; the volume of ceramic parts produced would need to be running at new iPhone levels of demand; and the floor space required would not be easily hidden in the supply chain. Koenig writes:

In fact, if we scale the numbers used in the booklet up to iPhone size devices and cycle times, Apple would need 2 football field’s worth of kiln space for each ceramic iPhone to sinter for the requisite 36 hours. For the 2 hours of hard ceramic machining to finish the case details, Apple would need to go from 20,000 CNC machines, to 250,000. They would need another 200,000 employees to perform the 2 hours of hand polishing to “bring out the strength and luster.”

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