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  1. #41
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    these screws are actually a torx head, but they are a cheese head shoulder screw, which is a bit odd.

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    You know it could be the equipment and expertise were not a good match for that job. I would trust since for so long now China has built up and stepped up for Apple at very low cost. I'll bet Apple don't want to have to pay import duties for stuff from China.Sort of like H1-B applications "We can't possibly find anyone here in the US of A that can doo this here job".When in actuality, they can't find anyone that will work that cheaply in the USA.

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    Quote Originally Posted by stargrit View Post
    You know it could be the equipment and expertise were not a good match for that job. I would trust since for so long now China has built up and stepped up for Apple at very low cost. I'll bet Apple don't want to have to pay import duties for stuff from China.Sort of like H1-B applications "We can't possibly find anyone here in the US of A that can doo this here job".When in actuality, they can't find anyone that will work that cheaply in the USA.
    I’m not so sure re your last sentence. It isn’t about how High your wage is but more about how much you can buy with your wage. Wage differences for machinists seem to vary very much in the USA judging by what I read in many posts.

  4. #44
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    This was not about finding people to work cheap.
    This was the most expensive product Apple makes, and it was an attempt to return some manufacturing to the USA, not to make a profit.
    It was an experiment- one that has more or less worked- but the article, about the screw, is not an admission of defeat- its an illustration of the real world problems we have when we try to "Reshore" manufacturing.
    We will never be able to retake the tube sock market- the high volume, low cost products that China has the corner on- because the expense of retooling to make, say, fifty cent cigarette lighters, would never pencil out, even if you had ZERO labor costs.

    What we can, and should, do, is manufacture things here that are high value added, smaller volume.
    And this particular computer was a good choice for a pilot run, because its exactly that.

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    I am pretty sure anyone (== aka lots of us shops) could make the screws, no problem, for about 1$ each, qty 30.000.
    Any of the fancy multiaxis machines should make them to excellent accuracy and be pretty consistent.
    A 500$ custom broach is acceptable in that case.

    A multi-axis might make them at 30 secs or 120 pcs/hr, == 250 hours of run time.
    120$/hr, more or less.

    The real problem imho is if apple wanted them for 0.10$ each, qty 30.000, resulting in just 3000$ worth of work and custom tooling included.
    Which 3000$ is very little for a multi-axis machine, especially for a nit-picky apple and very extended apple liability.
    No-go.

    Option 2:
    Anyone with a fast stamping/coining press could upset/stamp the heads, after a hand-built tool was made.
    The difficulty is not doing them (well), but certifying the quality.

    This would probable need an edm cut press tool, or a fancy t&c cutter grinder (5 axis) op.

    Again, easy enough IF apple was paying NRE charges on the tooling to start up.
    And only IF.

    Make the stamp tool.
    Make go, no-go gages.
    Have apple accept them. Formally.

    Then run the screws (maybe 10 secs each on a gang tooled cnc lathe or similar).
    Op2 - Stamp them, maybe 5-10 secs each or less.

    Now the screws only cost maybe 0.30$ each, qty 30k, but the NRE costs approach maybe 30k.

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    Quote Originally Posted by hanermo View Post
    I am pretty sure anyone (== aka lots of us shops) could make the screws, no problem, for about 1$ each, qty 30.000.
    Any of the fancy multiaxis machines should make them to excellent accuracy and be pretty consistent.
    A 500$ custom broach is acceptable in that case.

    A multi-axis might make them at 30 secs or 120 pcs/hr, == 250 hours of run time.
    120$/hr, more or less.

    The real problem imho is if apple wanted them for 0.10$ each, qty 30.000, resulting in just 3000$ worth of work and custom tooling included.
    Which 3000$ is very little for a multi-axis machine, especially for a nit-picky apple and very extended apple liability.
    No-go.

    Option 2:
    Anyone with a fast stamping/coining press could upset/stamp the heads, after a hand-built tool was made.
    The difficulty is not doing them (well), but certifying the quality.

    This would probable need an edm cut press tool, or a fancy t&c cutter grinder (5 axis) op.

    Again, easy enough IF apple was paying NRE charges on the tooling to start up.
    And only IF.

    Make the stamp tool.
    Make go, no-go gages.
    Have apple accept them. Formally.

    Then run the screws (maybe 10 secs each on a gang tooled cnc lathe or similar).
    Op2 - Stamp them, maybe 5-10 secs each or less.

    Now the screws only cost maybe 0.30$ each, qty 30k, but the NRE costs approach maybe 30k.
    Where does the excess material to from stamping?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ries View Post
    This was not about finding people to work cheap.
    This was the most expensive product Apple makes, and it was an attempt to return some manufacturing to the USA, not to make a profit.
    It was an experiment- one that has more or less worked- but the article, about the screw, is not an admission of defeat- its an illustration of the real world problems we have when we try to "Reshore" manufacturing.
    We will never be able to retake the tube sock market- the high volume, low cost products that China has the corner on- because the expense of retooling to make, say, fifty cent cigarette lighters, would never pencil out, even if you had ZERO labor costs.

    What we can, and should, do, is manufacture things here that are high value added, smaller volume.
    And this particular computer was a good choice for a pilot run, because its exactly that.
    Seems like if their motivation to bring manufacturing back as it has been said and not being concerned about making a profit is confusing. This reaction that they can not find anyone to produce these screws only means that they have not found a source. Everyone can run into that problem. When Apple can easily get them made in China then Apple becomes inpatient and says there is no one that can supply them. I do not buy it. They can buy the screws they need from China to complete their product then sell and ship it.

    Then they can do a more serious search here in the US for a good vendor. Plus too the whole thing can be a effort to influence the environment in the favor of Apple. It makes me suspicious when Apple says they can not find anyone skilled enough and equipped enough to do them. It is like a emplo
    yer firing off Machinist who are capable and telling them that skilled labor is needed to see later the labor hired is paid less with little skill. They should just say we do not need skilled workers anymore and be honest.

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    Here is a video from a guy who had trouble with these little screws holding the mount of some sort of Apple computer screen. Evidently the tiny screws are made of zinc, he says.

    YouTube

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    Quote Originally Posted by JoeE. View Post
    Here is a video from a guy who had trouble with these little screws holding the mount of some sort of Apple computer screen. Evidently the tiny screws are made of zinc, he says.

    YouTube
    I got a big kick out of this. It made me smile and laugh. I have always been the go to guy to remove broken taps , bolts, and screws. When Inremoved them it gave great relief to those requiring the removal. I never received more than praise for it and after they knew I could do it they took it for granted. That is human nature. I have been in that situation many times when something needed to be done and no one knew how to do it.

    I would not have liked that to happen to me if I had bought said computer in fact it would infuriate me with what the buyer found out about Apple approved fix diy vs substandard open junk used in production. I am sure it saved money for Apple.

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    Stamping == coining == upsetting are similar.
    No excess material is created.

    Quote Originally Posted by camscan View Post
    Where does the excess material to from stamping?

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    Quote Originally Posted by hanermo View Post
    Stamping == coining == upsetting are similar.
    No excess material is created.
    If you stamp/coin/upset the drive system in the head of an already made screw then you are moving material,surely it has to go somewhere.

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    Quote Originally Posted by camscan View Post
    If you stamp/coin/upset the drive system in the head of an already made screw then you are moving material,surely it has to go somewhere.
    The “Secret” is in the difference between move and excess. Material isn’t being added, it’s being formed into a new shape. As with rollin a thread instead of cutting.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gordon B. Clarke View Post
    The “Secret” is in the difference between move and excess. Material isn’t being added, it’s being formed into a new shape. As with rollin a thread instead of cutting.
    You have a screw which now needs a drive system so you punch a shape in the head. This must move material to another area. Where?

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    when round head or pan head screws are made, the punching process to make an allen or torx drive socket makes the heads either slightly larger in diameter, or slightly taller. If its a surface mount head, this usually doesnt matter.
    With a shoulder screw, or a cheese head like these, where the head diameter and head height are very tightly specced, my guess is there is a secondary machining process after stamping the torx "slot". Or, when these are made in gigantic quantities, the dies are very precisely made to allow the minute expansion of the material to result in exactly the specified head diameter and height.
    Its unlikely to have been the case for such a small run as this- meaning, secondary machining after broaching the torx slot.
    Another reason that some shops may have declined to bid, or bid quite high.

    This was a very odd screw, with very specific and unusual dimensions, which are a pain to make without spending a lot on special tooling. A million a week, no problem. 20,000 - a job many shops would turn down.

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    +1.

    My main point was that using *machining* vs coining the screws are readily made, fast, with excellent quality.
    By endless shops in the us.
    And they end up costing in the region of 1$ each for 30k qty.

    Shooting for lower costs / unit increases the NRE initial cost, and time, by perhaps around 30k$.
    Again, a tlar (that looks about right) estimate.

    A china shop already doing work for apple, in qty 100M$+ per year, would just assign one guy on a modern t&c cnc to make gages, stamps, broaches whatever, and in a few days the tools would be made, and cheap(er) production at 0,30$ could begin.

    A US shop already doing 100M$+ per year work for apple, would probably do exactly the same.
    In any sane relationship, the US shop would charge apple for the nre, in some way.


    Quote Originally Posted by Ries View Post
    when round head or pan head screws are made, the punching process to make an allen or torx drive socket makes the heads either slightly larger in diameter, or slightly taller.

    If its a surface mount head, this usually doesnt matter.
    With a shoulder screw, or a cheese head like these, where the head diameter and head height are very tightly specced, my guess is there is a secondary machining process after stamping the torx "slot". Or, when these are made in gigantic quantities, the dies are very precisely made to allow the minute expansion of the material to result in exactly the specified head diameter and height.
    Its unlikely to have been the case for such a small run as this- meaning, secondary machining after broaching the torx slot.
    Another reason that some shops may have declined to bid, or bid quite high.

    This was a very odd screw, with very specific and unusual dimensions, which are a pain to make without spending a lot on special tooling. A million a week, no problem. 20,000 - a job many shops would turn down.

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    Quote Originally Posted by hanermo View Post
    +1.

    My main point was that using *machining* vs coining the screws are readily made, fast, with excellent quality.
    By endless shops in the us.
    And they end up costing in the region of 1$ each for 30k qty.

    Shooting for lower costs / unit increases the NRE initial cost, and time, by perhaps around 30k$.
    Again, a tlar (that looks about right) estimate.

    A china shop already doing work for apple, in qty 100M$+ per year, would just assign one guy on a modern t&c cnc to make gages, stamps, broaches whatever, and in a few days the tools would be made, and cheap(er) production at 0,30$ could begin.

    A US shop already doing 100M$+ per year work for apple, would probably do exactly the same.
    In any sane relationship, the US shop would charge apple for the nre, in some way.
    Are you saying that turning the screws would be cheaper than cold heading them?

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    Quote Originally Posted by stargrit View Post
    You know it could be the equipment and expertise were not a good match for that job. I would trust since for so long now China has built up and stepped up for Apple at very low cost. I'll bet Apple don't want to have to pay import duties for stuff from China.Sort of like H1-B applications "We can't possibly find anyone here in the US of A that can doo this here job".When in actuality, they can't find anyone that will work that cheaply in the USA.
    People get duped by the cost.If you don't yet know the kind of cabinets or appliances you want.

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    The USA had all the tools it needed right after WW2 to do Literally Everything that Anyone needed to live. We raised the bar in terms of how to get things done. We were tooled up for a massive global war. We had to supply not just guns and ammo, but everything Everyone needs to survive and carry on fighting in a total global war. We made a pistol that took longer to reload than it did to frikking manufacture, and we made Millions of the things Months from the word Go. Try and do that now a days...
    Our standard of living and wealth came from all of that production ending for a war effort and then switching to non war products. Re-tooling was cheap at the time, and our standard of living as well as the economy boomed. in the 50's to 70's Tech that was just being developed/discovered or was shelved due to expense/lack of resources during the War was free to be expanded on.
    Then in the 80's we sold the country out to hedge fund sharks who gutted the industrial base to feed their coke habits.
    We sold off our industry and japan then china and now the rest of the far east has taken up the mantle...
    I'm only 34 so this is just what I've picked up on from what I've read/listened too/watched in movies...
    Cheers!
    Clif

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    Quote Originally Posted by camscan View Post
    You have a screw which now needs a drive system so you punch a shape in the head. This must move material to another area. Where?
    If you can't see it from this video I don't know how to explain it.

    YouTube

    Making screw heads on mass production isn't done separately.

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    Quote Originally Posted by PlasmaOnTheBrain View Post
    I'm only 34 so this is just what I've picked up on from what I've read/listened too/watched in movies...
    Cheers!
    Clif
    I'm wondering what you read and what movies you've picked up your info from. In movies I thought the good guys always won.


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