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Inside the Apple iPad factory

At the weekend, M.I.C. Gadget posted a background story on Foxconn’s facility which gave many people a peek inside one of the factories responsible for the tech goods we use today.

The factories were built in record time, specifically to meet demand for Apple’s latest wonder gadget, the iPad 2. With the Shenzhen factory churning out 2.5 million iPads a month, Foxconn (and Apple) needed a new production line capable of building 40 million iPads each year.

Workers on a Chungdu assembly line. Photo: M.I.C. Gadget

Foxconn were at the center of suicide stories over recent months, due in part to moving a lot of young workers from small towns into the big industrial city of Shenzhen.

Chungdu really were eager to get some industrial attention.

“Sichuan’s governments and officials,” writes Chang in somewhat fractured English, “have provided fast-tracked approval for Foxconn to set up their factory plant in Chengdu city, including clearances for fiscal subsidies and preferential corporate income tax rates. Foxconn has requested the inland governments to support for the plant construction at the initial stage, they have to build an area of several 10 thousands square meters for the factory for less then 90 days, and within half a year, the plant has to be expand to an area of 1.7 million square meters. Foxconn has also lined up all nearby component makers and supporting enterprises in a short period of time, with the help of local officials. The government even asked local vocational schools to provide student to take internships in Foxconn factory to ensure a plentiful workforce for the future.

“While everything has prepared ready for the new plant’s production, Foxconn need Apple’s approval for manufacturing iPad in Chengdu, and the Apple’s inspection team only take two days to visit Chengdu’s factory. The team has inspected all the production lines and facility, especially the worker’s dormitories. … Finally, Apple approved Chengdu’s factory to produce iPad. It took about 70 days from setting up the production lines, 8 huge factory buildings were built and it has set a record on the shortest period of time to set up a factory plant. The officials from Chengdu has also arranged to increased cargo flights to Hong Kong and set aside the biggest block of land in its tariff-free zone for the company to help cut costs.”

Would you fancy living here? worker dorms for Chengu works. micgadget.com

Foxconn issued a statement on Sunday which read “Foxconn can confirm that, sadly, a third employee has died from injuries from the May 20 explosion at one of the polishing workshops at our company’s Hongfujin Precision Electronics (Chengdu) Co. Ltd. facility in Chengdu.”

Apple were quick to respond to the story “We are deeply saddened by the tragedy at Foxconn’s plant in Chengdu, and our hearts go out to the victims and their families. We are working closely with Foxconn to understand what caused this terrible event.”

KitGuru says: It certainly is a tough life and one we don’t envy.

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