Manufacturing Miracle

Yesterday, when I was visiting the electronics’ store to see the latest gadgets, Anand had mentioned of the Apple’s Brick and its manufacturing process. As reported, Apple will build the notebook out of a single piece of carved-out aluminum-a brick.

A radically different production method might well boost costs, at least at the outset. However, the savings from the change are clear too. An analyst at market research firm says, “If you’re working with one single unit of metal, you’re reducing a lot of the materials costs and also a lot of labor time on assembly.”

The advantages may be following:
– Carving out of aluminum eliminates the need to bend the metal and create weak spots or microfolds and rifts.
– There are no seams in the final product, so it is smooth.
– Screws aren’t needed to tie the products together.
– The shell is one piece of metal so it is super light, super strong and super cheap.
– You can be a whole lot more creative with the design if you don’t have to machine it.

Apple and its chief executive, Steve Jobs wish to keep its lead and remain distinctly different.

But coring out a block of aluminum, while fairly common in some products is a slow process. As the analyst says, “The issue for Apple, which would presumably be doing it millions of times, would be speed.” “It’s very time-intensive.” Presumably, Apple has brought in the innovation aimed at streamlining the manufacturing process.

While some call Brick a revolutionary manufacturing process, some doubt.

The manufacturing engineers keep on using processes to provide better quality and reduced cost. Years ago, Boeing started making aluminium frames from solid aluminium blocks cutting down the number of parts and reducing the assembly errors. Before Tata’s Nano was launched, there were many rumours about some revolutionary manufacturing processes going in its making.

Perhaps Apple Brick may reconfirm the might of innovative America. Why should it not remain leading the manufacturing? It must start the renaissance of American manufacturing.

I am sure the dream of the future cars with 100 miles or more a gallon can come out of some similar innovative approaches in manufacturing.

If India is to take a lead, it must take manufacturing more seriously. Its prowess in IT will make it easy to excel in manufacturing. I wish those who matter will listen to the call.

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