Apple iphone and Tiny Screw problem
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  1. #1
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    Default Apple iphone and Tiny Screw problem

    What do people here think about this article?

    A Tiny Screw Shows Why iPhones Won’t Be ‘Assembled in U.S.A.’ - The New York Times

    I'm skeptical on several points

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    What is the type, diameter and length of this "tiny screw"?

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    Quote Originally Posted by sandiapaul View Post
    What do people here think about this article?

    A Tiny Screw Shows Why iPhones Won’t Be ‘Assembled in U.S.A.’ - The New York Times

    I'm skeptical on several points
    This does have a ring of truth. Production for Apple in Texas has always had logistical barriers. Seems I noticed Apple changed feature design and needed quickly to have new items made and real quick.

    Seems China is able to gather the support to quickly supply Apple. I would bet the support being so solid in China that production could even keep ahead even if the first batch was defective.

    Why such a quick change was needed makes me wonder if the change targeted idle production in China to secure having Apple business. Maybe that just is not the case.

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    The New York Times? One of those newspapers that only tells one side of the story, and they are biased to the far left. Pretty sure that article isn't telling the complete truth if any of it.

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    The article, fails to mention several important details. What was Apple Inc. willing to pay for these custom screws? Did the screws involve outside services such as grinding or plating? How many twenty man shops were contacted? This sounds as if Apple Inc. is making excuses for its own internal management shortcomings. I cant believe in all of Texas, with it’s serious manufacturing base, Apple Inc. couldn’t find a suitable supplier(s) for 28K custom fasteners.

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    I just read the article and have to wonder what type of machine can only produce 1,000 small screws per day. That is something like 30 seconds each, probably quicker to use a hand file.

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    The comments by Tim Cook got my back up, no manufacturing engineers in this country indeed

    They picked the wrong supplier, they single sourced and it bit them it the ass

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    As design authority, Apple *could* do a design change and use standard off the shelf screws.
    IF they wanted to...

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    I suspect that a large part of the issue is just the procurement process here in the US. In China, Foxconn or whoever is a big huge company that Apple can deal with on equal terms and Foxconn handles the purchasing of these parts from thousands of suppliers from large to one man band.

    But, it sounds like here in the US, they contracted with a much smaller company to do the assembly work. That company in turn likely has some crazy hoops that prospective suppliers are jumping though.

    It seems that in China, you can be a tiny, possibly one man, company and sell right to the mother ship. But here in the US, the food chain just doesn't work that way. I guarantee that there is no way a company like Apple is buying anything directly from a 20 man shop. No way.

    There may well be a hundred 20 man shops in Texas that can make 28,000 screws. But, the ability to make the parts is small part of the puzzle. I'm sure they want ISO certs, material certs, a quality plan, an onsite audit or 10, sample parts, ownership of the tooling, NDAs out the ass, fixed pricing agreements, massive liability insurance, penalties for late or defective parts, and 100 days to pay.

    So, how many shops want to go through all the pain an suffering to fill what is probably a <$2000 order?

    I used to work for a 150 man foundry. We made parts for Cat, Allison Transmissions, Cummins, and some other huge evil corporations. Even with sales in the millions, it was often not worth it due to the massive amount of bullshit we had to deal with. We had several full time employees who did nothing but pointless paperwork for these big outfits.

    These big companies survive in spite of themselves.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dualkit View Post
    The New York Times? One of those newspapers that only tells one side of the story, and they are biased to the far left. Pretty sure that article isn't telling the complete truth if any of it.
    NYT to the far left? You need to get out more. Try reading The Nation or Mother Jones, listen to Pacifica radio. Believe me there are people who think the NYT is positively reactionary. To be clear I'm not one of them.

    David

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dualkit View Post
    The New York Times? One of those newspapers that only tells one side of the story, and they are biased to the far left. Pretty sure that article isn't telling the complete truth if any of it.
    but yet you know nothing to actually add to the conversation

    or you read breitbart which tells no side of the story just makes things up

    foolishness

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    Plus, the article goes on to mention that some of these workers in China make $3.10/hr, including their benefits, and they work all hours of the day.

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    Quote Originally Posted by gustafson View Post
    The comments by Tim Cook got my back up, no manufacturing engineers in this country indeed

    They picked the wrong supplier, they single sourced and it bit them it the ass
    Yeah I see that happen around here all the time. I bet in China Foxconn has so much investment in it that Apple made sure anyone doing their work would have what they need. This is a simple mistake.

    Even many owners will say things to get work. I have even seen lucrative contracts snagged by a vendor who out positioned another vendor who then had to pay the vendor who lost landing the contract to make the parts until they could secure their own capacity to keep production going.

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    you miss the point. not that we cannot make the screws its the price mostly.
    .
    in China i visited shop making plastic injection molded parts. i ask how much for the mold to be made $150.
    so i ask how much is plastic told its about $150 a ton.
    then they get a girl off the farm in a unheated building not much better than a barn, machine brought in(100 watt light bulb over it) she feeds plastic pellets in and put parts in burlap bag.
    .
    you want something plated like small metal parts like a door hinge. they got plating being done in building where walls are all garage doors., large open tanks at floor level they open the doors for air ventilation not something that would be osha approved
    .
    small metal parts punched out they got used machines places you can buy and cheaply setup a factory. stores full off all you would need for a punch press or injection molding or many other manufacturing methods.
    .... bigger cities there are easily 10 to 100x more stores than a American city where you can buy new and used machines and industrial supplies quite easy and relatively cheap. rent a shop cheap easy to do.
    .
    they got small town mayors actively asking government for help setting up town businesses and factories (or helping small town factory with a quality problem) and TV programs bragging how government saved the day and had college professor help out the small town factory (and save the jobs) to be able to make high quality products to compete world wide
    .
    to say other countries are very very business friendly is a understatement
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    Quote Originally Posted by barbter View Post
    As design authority, Apple *could* do a design change and use standard off the shelf screws.
    IF they wanted to...

    That would be a good option. I bet most of the female hookup is likely already done. If China can get them so quick if they want to they can place a order. Chalk this experience up to taking closer notice of vendor capabilities.

    The big big guys always take tours and basically if a vendor has increasing business with some large company they will visit about three times minimum for days at a time to be sure everything that is done mostly is how they want their work done.

    They could come up and ask anyone questions and handle anything you were using and look it over. If we did not know the answer to their question we were told to admit that and that you usually go to your supervisor. It put everyone on edge. Maybe that vendor has not reached to a high enough pay off.

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    I have no knowledge of how you make such a thing in volume, but I do know it takes seconds

    So, at an appropriate volume pay scale is unimportant.

    Even plating cost is minimal.



    I know a guy next town over used to do high volume srew machine parts, and when asked how many of a thing he would make, his reported reply

    'I'll take a job for a million [pieces], if it repeats'

    55 gallon drums of parts.
    parts you do not count, you weigh

    In Massachusetts[well, 10 or so years ago anyway]

    The key purchasing challenge is to find a guy who does just such a thing in just such a volume and then get them to make them with the silly pentalobe head or whatever

    wrong vendor wrong volume, obviously a problem with American manufacturing

    [shakes head]

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    Apple will design it with a weird head so owners can not take it apart unless they can source a trilobe screwdriver or such like tool. Then they will change it slightly for the next order just so it is a upgrade they can crow about.
    Several months ago Apple announced they would no longer provide sales figures for the different model phones they are selling. Thought was this is to hide the fact that the newest priciest phones are not selling that well and the lower priced models are providing most of the income stream. When a phone costs over $1,000 people start to wonder if upgrading is worth it and a older model phone is almost as good for 1/4 the price.
    Bil lD

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gordon B. Clarke View Post
    What is the type, diameter and length of this "tiny screw"?
    Given that its used by apple its probably 1.3mm diameter, whithworth threadform, 1/8” long and with pentalobe head that is 50% thinner than what you need.

    Anyone ever take apart old Iphone 4?
    That thing is a engineering and assembly nighmare...

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    Example of what iPhone 5 uses:
    iPhone 5/5c/5s/SE Screw Set - iFixit

    I couldn't find table of showing the thread sizes but there is different lenghts in 0.2mm increments and different diameters in 0.1mm increments.
    Use the 0.2mm longer screw and it will cut to the circuit board etc.

    Just forget about eyeballing or even measuring the screws if you ever work with iphone. What you need is a f*ng map and thirty small boxes.
    And assembly is designed for chinese children labor hands, forget about robots.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gordon B. Clarke View Post
    What is the type, diameter and length of this "tiny screw"?
    Does it matter? A screw is a screw is a screw.


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