From education and sports to financial markets and various industries, everyone has been shut down thanks to a virus that is hundreds of times smaller than a human hair. The spread of the virus, which was not taken seriously at first, soon engulfed Chinese industry. The closure of Foxconn and many other companies, large and small, delayed the supply of laptops, smartphones and other gadgets, and halved sales of these products.
While Corona control in China and the partial reopening of the factory had given everyone hope that the situation would return to normal, this time the virus penetrated the Western world, closing factories, closing companies, sports leagues, and eventually complete quarantine in some countries. Led. Even in Britain, which initially resisted the closure, there was ultimately no choice but to enforce strict rules for social avoidance.
Although maintaining public health these days is the highest priority by breaking the chain of transmission and staying at home, it is not easy to simply ignore the long downtime as it severely challenges the major players in the hardware industry.
Today’s hardware, even at its simplest level, has its own complexities. Hundreds of moving parts work together to produce each of these components, and they simply cannot move lines from one country to another.
During the Corona crisis in China, it became clear that there was almost no warehouse to store parts, and of course, companies are not interested in mass storage for the reasons described below. These factors caused the laptop supply to experience a 48% drop compared to last year, shortly after the crisis.
This even affects products that have already been purchased and it is not possible to replace or repair some products. The most obvious example was the closure of all Apple stores around the world except China, which meant that it was not possible to replace or repair defective MacBooks and iPhones in dealerships.
As we have seen during this period, the production system is much more fragile than it seems from afar. Current manufacturing processes may rely on advanced systems, but the overall routine focuses on speed and cost reduction. This trend is the result of years of breathtaking competition between large companies and is rooted in mass production. To better understand this issue, we need to go back a little.
The founder of mass production in the industry can be considered Henry Ford, who nearly 90 years ago, by implementing this method, was able to reduce the price of his cars to one third and increase the assembly time of each car from 12 hours to 90 minutes. About a century ago (1923) he relied on this method to produce 2 million cars in one year. For comparison, it is enough to know that Iran Khodro, Saipa and Pars Khodro have produced a total of 798,928 passenger cars during 1397.
In Ford’s art system, 80 packages of auto parts were sent daily to each factory, and production had to be done in a specific sequence. As a result, the lack of any parts could completely shut down the assembly line. In order to avoid any problems, Ford asked managers to estimate the exact number that could be produced each day, but apart from the difficulty of predicting the required number, even if the managers did their job properly, sometimes Ford had to The warehouse was a large number of surplus parts or machines that had not yet been sold.