Apple's Attempts to Automate Product Assembly Have Met With Limited Success

published 04.06.2020 09:38

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The Information today published a detailed look at the difficulties Apple has faced trying to assemble its products with robots rather than humans.

The report claims that, beginning in 2012, Apple assembled a team of robotics and automation specialists at a secret lab in Sunnyvale, California to search for ways to reduce the number of workers on its production lines.

Apple uses screws so tiny that robots had no way to measure the force used to drill them in.

While many of the automated systems were abandoned or not implemented, the team apparently did have some success replacing workers with robots for simpler tasks such as testing of products like the Apple TV, Apple Watch, and iPad.

The report concludes that, while Apple has not had much success using robots to assemble its products as a whole, automation can be effective for specific parts.