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Apple’s $10.5B on Robots to Lasers Shores Up Supply Chain

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Apple Inc. is putting a record $10.5 billion to work in new technology -- from assembly robots to milling machines -- that consumers will never see.

 To get a jump on rivals like Samsung Electronics Co. and lay the groundwork for new products, Apple is spending more on the machines that do the behind-the-scenes work of mass producing iPhones, iPads and other gadgets. That includes equipment to polish the new iPhone 5c’s colorful plastic, laser and milling machines to carve the MacBook’s aluminum body, and testing gear for the iPhone and iPad camera lens, said people with knowledge of the company’s manufacturing methods, who asked not to be identified because the process is private.

The spending, which Apple outlined in its fiscal 2014 capital-expenditure forecast, underscores how the world’s most valuable company is diving deeper into designing and inventing technology for its manufacturing process. Apple is increasingly striking exclusive machinery deals, said the people familiar with the work, outspending peers on the tools that it then places in the factories of its suppliers, many of which are in Asia...Read more on bloomberg.

Last modified on Friday, 15 November 2013 14:20

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