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How PC cases are made: In-Win Factory Tour

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BioSniper 7th June 2009, 11:04 Quote
Cheers for the write up Rich, always appreciated when stuff like this is done.
I'd actually quite like to see Lian-Li's plant toured just to see how different it is and how they can afford to charge such eye watering prices :P
logan'srun 7th June 2009, 11:30 Quote
+1 on Lian Li

I actually thought this read like they let Nelly do half of it. . .

But for Taiwan factories, it looks above par and pretty clean. Rich should have gotten some more pics of the safety conditions for the workers and for being a factory of 5-600 ppl, didn't see alot of them in the pics. Was it a Saturday? Did you get to eat lunch in the cafeteria with the workers?
DarkLord7854 7th June 2009, 11:39 Quote
That was a really cool article :D
Turbotab 7th June 2009, 13:12 Quote
Thanks for the article, always interesting to see how the items that we use are made; any possibility of a processor fab tour in the future? Bindi, who are you going to get to sit on your suitcase, so you can cram in all the goodies that you must be accruing:)
DragunovHUN 7th June 2009, 13:20 Quote
Not trying to be an ass but, did anyone proofread this?
Yemerich 7th June 2009, 13:56 Quote
A pitty there are no movies, but really nice article nonetheless.

Thanks ;)
yodasarmpit 7th June 2009, 14:00 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by DragunovHUN
Not trying to be an ass but, did anyone proofread this?
Can you specify areas of concern?
This will allow the team to amend any inaccuracies.
CardJoe 7th June 2009, 15:43 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by DragunovHUN
Not trying to be an ass but, did anyone proofread this?

Three different people, actually. Any typos you point out will be corrected though.
sear 7th June 2009, 16:02 Quote
For some reason, seeing factories and similar always depresses me. At least the workers here don't look entirely unhappy.
DragunovHUN 7th June 2009, 17:01 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by yodasarmpit
Quote:
Originally Posted by DragunovHUN
Not trying to be an ass but, did anyone proofread this?
Can you specify areas of concern?
This will allow the team to amend any inaccuracies.

Gladly. I guess i should have done this sooner, instead of complaining. But it's so much easier to just complain.

First page:
Quote:
In-Win's head offices are can be seen in the picture on the left
Quote:
the building doesn't even have a company logo on the front of the building
Quote:
In the UK a factory building of this side
dylAndroid 7th June 2009, 18:09 Quote
I really like seeing factories and manufacturing processes -- thanks for the article!

Like others, it would be neat to see some other case manufacturers for contrast.

Out of curiosity, did you get any figures on what the factory costs? It would be interesting to hear some ballpark numbers from them for what their stamping, painting, and other equipment costs up front, as well as what the labor costs are to support a worker there. Part of the reason why I'm wondering this comes from seeing the guy working on dusting & deburring by hand, whereas there are machines that could have been purchased for this task instead. Most likely after factoring in the direct and indirect costs, quality, and whether or not this task bottlenecked the production line, employing the guy made more sense, but I'd like to see their numbers explaining why.

Also, as for the China vs. Taiwan costs, it may actually be more costly to produce in China. This could show up through quality -- if quality suffers, the company will likely sell fewer cases in the long run, and also have to pay more to address defects in their products. Further, the article suggests that the company believes that the workforce in Taiwan brings a better capability to produce these cases, potentially meaning less cost to train them and possibly less supervision. Then there's also general transaction costs relating to operating in a region -- how much must be payed to the government, what it will cost to reliably get input materials of satisfactory quality supplied, security, etc.

The truth is that for some situations, going for a cheaper sticker price on labor will cost more. Infact, for products that are done with high automation, it may make more sense to just build a factory somewhere you would think would be expensive, such as in the U.S. Processor manufacturing is a good example of this.
C-Sniper 7th June 2009, 18:33 Quote
Any chance of a Lian Li or Coolermaster case factory visit?
Javerh 7th June 2009, 22:03 Quote
This kind of production looks so old-school nowadays. No signs of lean production or six sigma. And those are old stuff! The fact that a guy is doing deburring by hand in a factory producing thousands of similar parts speaks volumes of their level of automation. I feel sorry for them.
DragunovHUN 7th June 2009, 22:17 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Javerh
This kind of production looks so old-school nowadays. No signs of lean production or six sigma. And those are old stuff! The fact that a guy is doing deburring by hand in a factory producing thousands of similar parts speaks volumes of their level of automation. I feel sorry for them.

Well at least they have jobs. Think about it. If their factories were automated, THEN you'd have a reason to feel sorry for them because they'd be unemployed.
logan'srun 7th June 2009, 22:49 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by DragunovHUN
Quote:
Originally Posted by Javerh
This kind of production looks so old-school nowadays. No signs of lean production or six sigma. And those are old stuff! The fact that a guy is doing deburring by hand in a factory producing thousands of similar parts speaks volumes of their level of automation. I feel sorry for them.

Well at least they have jobs. Think about it. If their factories were automated, THEN you'd have a reason to feel sorry for them because they'd be unemployed.

Six Sigma? ORLY? Been to many factories in Asia? I doubt it. What you see is a fact of life in SE Asia and most factories still save money by using hand labor instead of buying an expensive machine. Most factories are so basic that the owners close after one bad season. Just lock the doors and disappear leaving an empty shell of a building. Then you'd really have something to be sorry about.
Let's see what happens in the next few months as all factories are taking orders now for Q1-2 2010 and see who survives the backlash of the 'crisis' .
Bindibadgi 8th June 2009, 02:29 Quote
[QUOTE=logan'srun]
Quote:
Originally Posted by DragunovHUN

Six Sigma? ORLY? Been to many factories in Asia? I doubt it. What you see is a fact of life in SE Asia and most factories still save money by using hand labor instead of buying an expensive machine. Most factories are so basic that the owners close after one bad season. Just lock the doors and disappear leaving an empty shell of a building. Then you'd really have something to be sorry about.
Let's see what happens in the next few months as all factories are taking orders now for Q1-2 2010 and see who survives the backlash of the 'crisis' .

That's exactly what they do. Factories are disposable - three to five years and they move out and build another, mostly because the heat and humidity make the cost of upkeep too much. Then people come along and strip it of everything to sell, then eventually it's demolished and started fresh. This process is in China though where there is ample space, but Taiwan doesn't have this luxury.

I've also got a Seasonic factory tour too - a little of the same lines of workers etc, but with far more detail on the PSU process. I'm trying to find a way to write it without sounding like I'm their biggest fanboy. Their level of QA/QC is beyond excellent.
Javerh 8th June 2009, 05:54 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by logan'srun
Six Sigma? ORLY? Been to many factories in Asia? I doubt it. What you see is a fact of life in SE Asia and most factories still save money by using hand labor instead of buying an expensive machine. Most factories are so basic that the owners close after one bad season. Just lock the doors and disappear leaving an empty shell of a building. Then you'd really have something to be sorry about.
Let's see what happens in the next few months as all factories are taking orders now for Q1-2 2010 and see who survives the backlash of the 'crisis' .

That's just why I feel sorry for the workers.
Quote:
Originally Posted by DragunovHUN
Well at least they have jobs. Think about it. If their factories were automated, THEN you'd have a reason to feel sorry for them because they'd be unemployed.

Some of them would lose their jobs, but some of them could be able to have a job for decades. In addition to that, lots of asian factories consider their workforce to be expendable. It doesn't comfort a permanently injured ex-factory worker to know that others have a job. Especially if they have a job until they too get injured.
dylAndroid 8th June 2009, 09:16 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by DragunovHUN
Well at least they have jobs. Think about it. If their factories were automated, THEN you'd have a reason to feel sorry for them because they'd be unemployed.

The fear of technology and automation taking away jobs actually goes back over a hundred years, such as when mechanical weaving loom was introduced.

In general, adding machine capital allows a given number of people to get even more things accomplished. In the long run, instead of putting people out of work, people shift jobs to new positions made possible by the leverage that the added machine capital has added. For example, a car company could provide higher safety and more design features in each car, with the same number of workers. Or in a larger perspective, society can support the creation of new companies, as well as push its economy further past basic survival industries (food, shelter, etc), and improve quality of life for most people if not everyone.

In the short run, adding technology creates change, which can be painful. People may need to train themselves in new skills to make a shift, and some people may find themselves out of work and unable to properly care for their families for a while. But this sort of thing happens even in the regular battling of organizations anyway, showing up strongly at times like right now. So factoring in all the good aspects of technology, machinery is quite a good thing, when economically and strategically appropriate to implement.

People and employment is more a conversation about education, health, rule of law, etc., than it is about technology. Well, until/unless society gets to the point of computer intelligence mixed with pervasive automation that individual work is no longer necessary to society. I ran across a section of books in a basement storage area of one of my school's libraries, arguing furiously with each other about whether that would be awesome or the doom of us all.
SARTH 8th June 2009, 11:59 Quote
Taiwan has one of the lowest unemployment rates in the world - under 5% and highest literacy rates - over 95%. Their per capita income is just under 32K which is just below Germany and Canada !!! I wouldn't worry so much about automation and such. And obviously, no disrespect to bit-tech.net, but I highly doubt, they went out of their way to clean the factory up before the tour.
Bindibadgi 8th June 2009, 12:18 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by SARTH
no disrespect to bit-tech.net, but I highly doubt, they went out of their way to clean the factory up before the tour.

No they didn't. I just turned up!

The second factory isn't even online yet and they are preparing it and generally the first is very well organised.
HourBeforeDawn 8th June 2009, 19:09 Quote
Wow this hardly shows visually at least how a computer case is made but I guess it can be no "How Its Made" type episode, what I would love to see would be a walk through of Lian Li production line.
tbea 8th June 2009, 21:21 Quote
There was an article earlier this year at AnandTech regarding Lian Li factory and had tons of photos taken there. According to those photos I would consider that Lian Li's products are no doubt better than In Win's, because theirs simply look more high-tech and automated, whereas the In Win factory somewhat feels like a typical Asian factory in my imagination though due to that I've never been to any.

http://www.anandtech.com/weblog/showpost.aspx?i=545
Horizon 10th June 2009, 05:06 Quote
beat me to it, but i disagree there is less automation and a lot more of a guy manually stamping some odd bit.

couldn't find the article these came from, the caption gave some insight to what you were looking at, there is also a picture where there are a row of stations machinist would work at and someone working a brake.

http://www.anandtech.com/Gallery.aspx?id=361
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