Are macs made in a factory or an assembly.

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by FatGuy007, Aug 12, 2012.

  1. FatGuy007 macrumors 6502

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    #1
    By factory, I mean machines that put it together themselves. By assembly line, I mean people putting pieces one by one.
    i remember seeing a picture of an iPhone factory where people were wearing gloves, hairnets, and said something of a dust free room, just wondering if macs are the same.
    And I think they make all there products in shanghai.
     
  2. thermodynamic Suspended

    thermodynamic

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    #2
    Assembly line in a factory.

    By people and machines.

    Soon to be done by more machines (some technical site articles said Foxconn would switch in 2013), but maybe the machines can put on proper quantities of thermal grease, not strip as many screws, etc (check out iFixit for more on those quaint issues)...

    Since Macs are slopped together in the same factories that slop together Dells, HPs, and everyone else's, there is nothing technically special about the Mac. Except the appearance and operating system within.
     
  3. FatGuy007 thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #3
    Thanks, but aren't rMBP's glued, how do they do that?
     
  4. thermodynamic Suspended

    thermodynamic

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    #4
    They are glued. Probably with some epoxy compound... iFixit, if I recall, had an article on the rMBP.

    IMHO, there is no practical or logical reason for gluing so much in the chassis. It makes repairs harder to do, especially the batter as - all things being equal - it will be the first thing to fail in a completely solid state device. Maybe the SSD is not glued and can be transported to another unit (I've not checked to that level of detail), but Time Machine comes in handy... and by gluing in the SSD, it's just another incentive for you to buy a Time Machine or other drive (and stimulate the economy in the process, preferably Apple's of course...)
     
  5. FatGuy007 thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #5
    The ssd is not glued from what I heard, and its a micro-ssd which ifixit said they may be able to replace it.
     
  6. Krazy Bill macrumors 68030

    Krazy Bill

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    #6
    Not sure what your point is.

    The reason Apple products are assembled in China is because human labor "over there" is cheaper than any kind of assembly process in the U.S.
     
  7. Dangerous Theory macrumors 68000

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    #7
    Materials and manufacturing process is better than most.
     
  8. flipnap macrumors 6502

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    #8
    as far as i know the only thing secured with epoxy is the battery.
     
  9. Mal macrumors 603

    Mal

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    #9
    The only epoxy used is for the battery, and when trying to maximize space while reducing the risk of shock and puncture to a bare minimum, glue/epoxy makes a great deal of sense. It was an intelligent design decision that's been lambasted by those with no idea that glue doesn't mean the paste that they used to eat in elementary school.

    jW
     
  10. Aodhan macrumors regular

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    #10
    With all due respect, the use of glue seems utterly inexplicable, to me at least. Screws would not have taken considerably more space. There is also thin double sided tape they could have used. Instead, they used a glue, which requires them to replace the battery, upper case, they keyboard, the multi-touch pad, the mic, and I think the speakers as well. This is profoundly inelegant and so unnecessary. I mean really, THIS is the best solution Apple could come up with? I predict they will change this in future revisions.
     
  11. calderone macrumors 68040

    calderone

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    #11
    Little hard to screw directly into battery cells.

    We don't know if Apple has a means of removing the batteries. But, they don't have to replace the upper case, keyboard, etc to put a new battery into your machine.

    They can simply take the SSD out place it into a replacement, re-serialize and pop your bottom case back on. Done. Same serial, same data. Who cares what Apple does behind the scenes, rest assured they are tossing the machine into the garbage as some would have you believe.
     
  12. flipnap macrumors 6502

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    #12
    the level of fear and ignorance (and i dont mean that as an insult) since the ifixit article is staggering. Stories of apple using elmers glue to patch together the machine, batteries causing entire machines being thrown into landfills and "destroying the environment", soldered ram stripping away our liberties, etc.

    We are in a strange time when simple design choices by a computer company has spawned an entire community of fear mongering, worry, anger, ignorance and sheer panic. its truly bizarre.

    The battery is secured with epoxy (as is half your automobile) because its a safe, light, and effective measure to keep it from being punctured and its secure (keeps the battery from breaking loose and chafing, causing fires or explosions- it IS a tight fit in there you know). Its not a conspiracy theory to force you into buying a new machine, or an evil attempt by apple to poison the land. Screws require brackets, which require welds which have space requirements, safety issues, etc.

    Lastly, i dont understand the entire "User servicability" issue. why would anyone want to go into their machine and service it? i dont do it with my washing machines, my car engine, my television set, etc. Did it ever occur to anyone that apple is using custom pentalobe screws because they dont want people going into the box with a steak knife trying to pry the battery out and then file a lawsuit against apple because they ended up blowing their eyebrows off?
     
  13. calderone macrumors 68040

    calderone

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    #13
    Serviceability is relevant beyond the standard warranty of the machine. RAM keels after the warranty period means shelling out for a new logic board. Whereas in a standard MBP you can just swap it out.

    With that said, that is the only new component that is now completely fixed and luckily RAM rarely just goes bad after some time. It is typically bad from the start which is within the initial warranty.

    The SSD presents a unique challenge since it is non-standard and no suitable replacements. For most people more space is the reason for swapping as opposed to it simply dying.
     
  14. mobilehaathi macrumors G3

    mobilehaathi

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    #15
    Made in Shenzhen.
     
  15. Aodhan macrumors regular

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    Jun 16, 2012
    #16
    None of that stuff is any concern to me, I just think it's stupid. My 2009 MacBook Pro had a panel that allowed me to pop out a battery at will. That was great, it made sense. My 2012 MacBook Pro has no door, but at least the battery can be easily removed and replaced.

    The Retina? No you are going to have to take it in or mail it in, and wait for them to perform major surgery on it, all to change a battery. It takes a special kind of fanboy to give that the thumbs up. There are a lot of things to love about the Retina, that isn't one of them.
     
  16. leman macrumors 604

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    Oct 14, 2008
    #17
    If a capacitor or something else (like your CPU) blows, you will have to replace the logic board on the standard MBP as well. In rMBP, the RAM is simply part of the logic board and its durability is the same as with any other chip. With no mechanical contacts and custom engineering, the probability of RAM to fail is not any higher then that of CPU or other electronic circuit on the logic board. BTW, usual failure cause of RAM on desktops is unstable power delivery (either from the PSU, mainboard or RAM slot itself). So the only time soldered RAM becomes an issue if you want to upgrade it. And by the time 8/16GB will become a limiting factor you will probably want to update your CPU/GPU as well.

    ----------

    Well, on the other hand rMBP is incredibly fast and rivals some ultrabooks in regards to size and weight, while featuring 8 hours battery life. All this won't be possible with a replaceable battery (as the size of the battery would need to be increased significantly). I will gladly endure the minor inconvenience of giving my laptop away for a battery change to get all the above convenience features. After all, I change the battery once per 4 years at earliest, but I have to carry the computer around every day. The only people who are really suffer from this engineering choice are those who used to switch spare batteries to prolong the laptop charge (for instance, when working in environment with no electricity).
     
  17. calderone macrumors 68040

    calderone

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    #18
    I absolutely agree, I wasn't arguing for upgradability. I actually cut my post a bit short as I wanted to enjoy the lovely day here in Seattle.

    To add though, I used to be in the crazy upgrade camp. I actually bought a regular MacBook Pro after this latest update. Tossed in dual SSDs, 16GB, it was a beast. I then used a Retina MacBook Pro for a few days and decided to return the classic and purchase a Retina.

    Given I change change machines every 1-2 years, I am not concerned with upgrading the machine beyond the current offering.
     
  18. Beta Particle macrumors 6502a

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    Jun 25, 2012
    #19
    You don’t want to open it up, but the lack of a removable battery or servicable parts is a problem for a lot of people. We don’t yet have battery technology that lets the machine run for 12 hours, and if you need to get a whole day’s work done on the road, you could just sleep the machine and swap out the battery with the older portable Macs. Carrying around a couple of spares wasn’t a big deal.

    Batteries often under-perform and fail to live up to their advertised spec. Having a problem with the old Macs? Walk into an Apple store, explain the problem, and walk out with a replacement battery.

    Now you have to leave the machine with them while they replace the battery. Or maybe they treat it like an iPad now, so they swap out the hard drive and give you a new machine, who knows‽

    Or maybe after a couple of years your battery dies, and you just decide to replace the machine because you can’t do without one for a couple of weeks waiting for them to swap out the battery?

    It absolutely leads to more waste.


    And as for upgradability, I’m using a MacBook right now that came with a 60GB 5400RPM hard drive, that how has a 120GB SSD inside it—SSDs weren’t even a thing you could buy for it five years ago!

    At the time, we could only afford to buy the base-spec machine, and now it’s been upgraded to 2GB RAM. (maximum it takes) We have another MacBook that got upgraded from 1GB to 4GB at the same time. Both of them were starting to feel very slow, and we were considering replacing them with new machines, but the upgrades have made them fast enough to be useful again.

    I've also replaced the optical drive in one of them, which was a half-hour job for me to do, but would have meant sending the machine off to Apple for a couple of weeks and paying significantly more to get the same job done.

    While I was at it, I also cleaned out the fans and applied some better thermal paste, because Apple’s factory application was very poor and the machine was now running with the fans up high all the time.

    It’s possibly more expensive in the long-run, but far less wasteful, and cheaper in the short-term to keep them in a useful state, especially if you do it in stages rather than upgrade everything at once.

    Over the years, I think I’m approaching having had six or seven battery replacements spread over various Apple notebooks. (not counting having spares on-hand) Now I don’t know what I would do if the battery fixed inside one of our newer machines died.
     
  19. eas macrumors member

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    Oct 7, 2005
    #20
    It's pretty clear to me that all the things that Apple did that people bitch about, like the soldered RAM, non-user serviceable battery, proprietary SSD form-factor and lack of an optical bay they did so they could make the thinnest, lightest, most sturdy laptops with the best possible battery life without charging a larger premium.

    Soldered RAM means more flexibility in laying out the logic board, which they clearly used, since the RAM is soldered to both sides.

    Proprietary SSD form-factor allowed them to ship 768GB SSDs without working around the bulk of a 2.5" form factor.

    Eliminating the optical drive saved both the weight of the drive, and the weight of making a case thick enough for the drive.

    Glued in battery means no extra bulk or weight for a sub-assembly to hold the cells, and, I'm guessing, that the cells themselves can contributed to the overall rigidity of the case.

    Taken together, you get a speedy machine that is significantly lighter than its predecessor, sports a retina display and delivers great battery life.

    And finally, I suspect that the fact that Apple can capture all the upgrade revenue helps with their overall profit margins for the product line, and may be why Apple can sell the base model for the same price as a similarly specced retina macbook pro.

    Personally, I would have liked the option of user upgradeable RAM, and I would love it if I could take advantage of commodity pricing for a larger SSD in a year or two, but in the end, I think Apple's compromises were the right ones. I'm going to order an rMBP tomorrow. I'm not ordering a cMBP, and I doubt I would even if they were available with a retina display.
     

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