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Lenovo Announces Grand Opening of US Manufacturing Facility

timothy posted about a year ago | from the unstealing-our-jobs dept.

Businesses 153

Kohenkatz writes "Chinese PC maker Lenovo had a ceremony [Wednesday] to mark the official grand opening of their new manufacturing facility in Whitsett, North Carolina. The 240,000-square-foot facility, located approximately 10 miles east of Greensboro, NC, was already being used as a Logistics Center, Customer Solutions Center, and National Returns Center, and is now also being used for Production. While actual line operations began in January 2013, the facility is on track to reach full operation by the end of June. The facility is equipped to build several types of Think-branded products, including desktops, tablets, and ultrabooks. Note that due to the extensive use of automation, the factory only adds 115 manufacturing jobs at the facility."

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lets try to get rid of the 115 jobs as cost 2 high (0)

deysOfBits (2198798) | about a year ago | (#43924451)

I rally see no reason to hire the 115 people At least hire illegal aliens if yo have to hire someone

Please increase automation further to eliminate the 115 jobs

Thank YOU.
Kilgore Trout

Re:lets try to get rid of the 115 jobs as cost 2 h (0)

TemperedAlchemist (2045966) | about a year ago | (#43924487)

Well that's the hope.

A fully automated factory would be totally awesome.

Re:lets try to get rid of the 115 jobs as cost 2 h (2)

syntheticmemory (1232092) | about a year ago | (#43924585)

Next step, build robotic consumers to buy the products.

Re:lets try to get rid of the 115 jobs as cost 2 h (3, Funny)

SirGarlon (845873) | about a year ago | (#43924659)

With Bitcoins.

Re:lets try to get rid of the 115 jobs as cost 2 h (2)

nozzo (851371) | about a year ago | (#43924671)

Next step, build automated factories to build automated factories to build laptops and robotic consumers.

Re:lets try to get rid of the 115 jobs as cost 2 h (1)

Synerg1y (2169962) | about a year ago | (#43926831)

I'll supervise.

Re:lets try to get rid of the 115 jobs as cost 2 h (2)

doconnor (134648) | about a year ago | (#43924793)

Actually the next step would be to replace capitalism, as it no longer makes sense in a post-scarcity society.

Re:lets try to get rid of the 115 jobs as cost 2 h (3, Insightful)

Overzeetop (214511) | about a year ago | (#43924843)

Without the poor and middle class, you can't have rich people. It's not strictly about money, it's about exclusivity - and money is an easy way to be exclusive. Capitalism in a post-scarcity society is all about maintaining class in a more traditional way, and (almost) nobody gives up what is "theirs" to others - especially those who value exclusivity and are currently at the top of the economic food chain.

Re:lets try to get rid of the 115 jobs as cost 2 h (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year ago | (#43924879)

Would they not want more exclusivity?

By that I mean us peons will be driving robot made cars, but the 1%s will demand only hand crafted one off cars.

Re:lets try to get rid of the 115 jobs as cost 2 h (1)

ArcadeMan (2766669) | about a year ago | (#43925435)

I think you hit the nail on the head with your comment.

Too bad it was a robot-made hammer hitting the nail.

Re:lets try to get rid of the 115 jobs as cost 2 h (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43926043)

Well then maybe the rich should compete with each other to see how many poor people they can maintain in the greatest amount of comfort and luxury? Some already keep pets in great luxury.

Seriously though, there will NEVER be a post scarcity society. Most educated people normally try not to have more children than they can afford to support. But if someone else foots the bill completely many people may start breeding like rabbits. Then as the population increases you eventually hit scarcity again.

So like it or not, there'll never be a "post scarcity" society, there will be limits one way or another. The tricky bit is how best to set those limits for the maximum good.

If your pet dog could vote and kept full reproductive rights and other freedoms, you wouldn't be so happy feeding him and his generations of numerous descendants. No matter how cute they are.

Re:lets try to get rid of the 115 jobs as cost 2 h (2)

ChrisMaple (607946) | about a year ago | (#43926439)

Capitalism, more than any other system, makes possible the change of economic prosperity of worthy individuals, where "worthy" means "provides things other people want."

Without the poor and middle class, you can't have rich people

That's inflammatory and misleading language, which implies that the rich are suppressing the others. It assumes that rich and poor can only be used as relative terms; that there can be no absolute standard of rich and poor.
In a just, productive society, the accumulation of personal property over time assures that any reasonable, fixed standard of "poor" includes a steadily decreasing portion of people.

Re:lets try to get rid of the 115 jobs as cost 2 h (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43924875)

Yeah, now that all those African children with aids and flies are all riding around on luxury yachts, we don't need capitalism anymore.

Re:lets try to get rid of the 115 jobs as cost 2 h (2, Insightful)

moeinvt (851793) | about a year ago | (#43925805)

There is no way to replace capitalism or free markets without using force and the threat of violence to scare every single human being into submission and eliminate those who won't submit.
Then, you're right back to the system of haves(the enforcers) and have-nots(everyone else) that you were trying to replace.

Re:lets try to get rid of the 115 jobs as cost 2 h (1)

doconnor (134648) | about a year ago | (#43925937)

What do we do went human labour is a product that no one needs to buy? Why worry about the big evil socialist government stealing the product of your labour when your labour isn't worth anything?

Re:lets try to get rid of the 115 jobs as cost 2 h (0)

moeinvt (851793) | about a year ago | (#43926179)

I don't foresee a time when my labour is worth nothing. Even if I'm doing subsistence-level farming, my work produces value.

I'd rather eke out a living that way than live life as a drone in an anonymous apartment with a government approved # of square meters, a government approved food ration, a government approved energy ration, etc. etc.

Robots are going to replace humans, so we need to force humans to be more robotic?

Re:lets try to get rid of the 115 jobs as cost 2 h (1)

ChrisMaple (607946) | about a year ago | (#43926611)

What do we do went human labour is a product that no one needs to buy?

"Need" and "want" are different things. Some people will always want human labor or its results. "Hand crafted" always has its market.

Why worry about the big evil socialist government stealing the product of your labour when your labour isn't worth anything?

So many errors in one sentence! Labor will never be worthless. The underlying purpose of socialism is not to steal the product of your labor. It isn't even to steal your labor (slavery), although that's closer. It is to have total control over all aspects of everyone. Take a look at the trend of government education, where the goal is to control your mind.

Re:lets try to get rid of the 115 jobs as cost 2 h (1)

doconnor (134648) | about a year ago | (#43926741)

Some people could choose to buy "hand crafted" and some people could choose to make it. That doesn't mean it would be anything like the situation we have now when virtually everyone has to sell their labour to someone (slavery).

"It is to have total control over all aspects of everyone."

This is the first I've heard of this. Can you explain further.

Re:lets try to get rid of the 115 jobs as cost 2 h (2)

fnj (64210) | about a year ago | (#43926767)

The only alternative to the dreary yoke of capitalism which you can imagine is force, threat, violence, and submission? But capitalism is already the concentration of wealth into the hands of the privileged.

Capitalism is ownership of the means of production by the privileged few. Socialism is ownership of the means of production by a faceless, merciless central state bureacracy in the name of the people taken as a mass. There is a better way. Distributism is ownership of the means of production spread as widely as possible among the people: individuals and small local cooperatives. Something like a system of guilds replaces the confrontational, adversarial labor unions and vast corporations of capitalism, or the smashing of individual enterprise entailed by socialism.

When people are no longer pitted against other people (capitalism), or against the imposition of mass regimentation (socialism), brotherly love and charity could flourish.

Let those of limited daring and imagination say why we have to submit to terrible, evil systems. The rest of us can dream of a better way and seek to make it happen.

Re:lets try to get rid of the 115 jobs as cost 2 h (1)

Kreigaffe (765218) | about a year ago | (#43926581)

We are not about to step into a post-scarcity society, so that's really irrelevant.

Re:lets try to get rid of the 115 jobs as cost 2 h (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43925613)

It is the sequel to "build robotic governator to rule the customers".

Re:lets try to get rid of the 115 jobs as cost 2 h (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43926137)

Robotic consumers have been around for a long, long time.

Re:lets try to get rid of the 115 jobs as cost 2 h (1)

TWX (665546) | about a year ago | (#43924721)

Will it automate servicing the machines that build the other machines? Those grease fittings, bearings, valves, flow meters, circuit breakers, tool dies, taps, drills, and other things don't service themselves you know...

Re:lets try to get rid of the 115 jobs as cost 2 h (1)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | about a year ago | (#43924925)

Those grease fittings, bearings, valves, flow meters, circuit breakers, tool dies, taps, drills, and other things don't service themselves you know...

For now. Biological life shows that having a closed, self-sustaining complex system perpetuating itself by mere flow of energy and raw materials is not only conceivable but actually a reasonable proposition.

Re:lets try to get rid of the 115 jobs as cost 2 h (1)

TWX (665546) | about a year ago | (#43925321)

Biological life shows that having a closed, self-sustaining complex system perpetuating itself by mere flow of energy and raw materials is not only conceivable but actually a reasonable proposition.

But it's amorphous and has no real goal, and is fragile and has a tendency toward chaos rather than order. It also functions because it has no designer, as opposed to the ordered design of a factory or other ostensibly-closed system that has a specific purpose.

Re:lets try to get rid of the 115 jobs as cost 2 h (1)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | about a year ago | (#43925585)

and has a tendency toward chaos rather than order.

I thought that just about everything in this universe has a tendency towards chaos.

It also functions because it has no designer, as opposed to the ordered design of a factory or other ostensibly-closed system that has a specific purpose.

Well, in that case, it will either have to be self-adjusting or will require some limited maintenance on the organization level (as in a few people steering the system in a certain direction by means of programming, not maintenance as in getting your hands dirty).

Re:lets try to get rid of the 115 jobs as cost 2 h (3, Insightful)

drinkypoo (153816) | about a year ago | (#43924983)

Will it automate servicing the machines that build the other machines? Those grease fittings, bearings, valves, flow meters, circuit breakers, tool dies, taps, drills, and other things don't service themselves you know...

Not yet. But they will. It used to be that we needed humans to take parts from place to place in a factory, and do stuff to them. Then taking stuff from place to place was automated, the parts not only come down a belt or a chute but they get placed and fixed for the next step as well. The same will happen with the machines as well. A robot will trundle around and replace big compartmentalized components of the machines at first, with the big components sent out for rebuild. Later, the robots will reach into the modules and replace parts like bearings, but they'll do the job much better and faster than any human. Instead of holding a puller in their hand, they'll wear a hand which is a puller/pusher, though they may supply bearings to it with a humanlike hand so that it can easily handle a broad variety of sizes and styles.

Tooling changes are already made by machine. It won't be long before the tooling is also restocked by a machine. We only don't do it now because we have really amazing tooling that lasts for some time, and there's not sufficient cost savings in it. It's cheaper to pay humans to run around and do these jobs because there are not standardized robots capable of doing them. Barring global cataclysm it's only a matter of time :)

Re:lets try to get rid of the 115 jobs as cost 2 h (1)

TWX (665546) | about a year ago | (#43925289)

Okay, then who'll service the machine that services the machines?

And if it's a machine, who or what will service that machine?

And that machine?


All serious aside, my original comment was intended partially as a joke. Obviously the better the original design of a machine the less service it will need in its intended lifespan, but as humans that design things are not infalliable, there inevitably will be things that are missed. We sent the most expensive mirror in human history at the time of its construction into space in a flawed state, to the point that the rest of the instrument had to be redesigned around the faulty mirror.

Re:lets try to get rid of the 115 jobs as cost 2 h (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43925563)

A machine servicing machine certainly can service another machine servicing machine. Just like doctors go to see a a doctor when they need medical help.

Re:lets try to get rid of the 115 jobs as cost 2 h (1)

i kan reed (749298) | about a year ago | (#43926445)

Okay, then who'll service the machine that services the machines?

And if it's a machine, who or what will service that machine?
And that machine?

I dunno, who treats your doctor? And your doctor's doctor?

Re:lets try to get rid of the 115 jobs as cost 2 h (1)

tlhIngan (30335) | about a year ago | (#43925935)

Will it automate servicing the machines that build the other machines? Those grease fittings, bearings, valves, flow meters, circuit breakers, tool dies, taps, drills, and other things don't service themselves you know...

That's actually where most of the new jobs are going - the machines generally need daily maintenance and service and handling when things are just a bit off. But for the most part, all the dull boring jobs that took thousands of Chinese workers to do are replaced by robots.

Manufacturing is not generally a nice job - it's boring mind-numbing work that really you do automate because with few exceptions, most people will not want to do it. The few exceptions would be those whose job consisted of a bit more than "put part A in slot B" once a second for 8 hours - e.g., heavy machinery manufacture (cars, trucks, etc) where people get 2 minutes to put on a part but in general at least have other coworkers to take the dullness out of the job.

But robot maintenance and others are generally nice high-skilled trade jobs - especially ones that have to fix them when they break down and halt production. Of course, the robots are probably replacing 10-20 Chinese workers easily.

Re:lets try to get rid of the 115 jobs as cost 2 h (1)

WillAdams (45638) | about a year ago | (#43925077)

That was Steve Jobs' original vision at NeXT --- a fully-automated factory where raw materials came in one end and finished computers the other. http://www.nytimes.com/1990/12/24/business/all-next-inc-s-plant-lacks-is-orders.html [nytimes.com]

The problem of course is how to sustain people who aren't / can't work. For a pessimistic view on this look at Manny by Marshall Brain: http://marshallbrain.com/manna1.htm [marshallbrain.com]

Re:lets try to get rid of the 115 jobs as cost 2 h (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43925727)

It's not a law of nature that your income needs to come from work. It's just that up to now, there has always been work that had to be done by humans, and since most humans don't like to do work, it was a good idea to couple your income (which basically determines your share of the produced goods) to your work (which was what produced those goods in the first place). The more the productivity is decoupled from human work, the less sense does it make to couple human income to work. When robots are able to do any work that needs to be dome, coupling income to work is nonsensical. There still needs to be some sort of income, so that the still scarce resources can be justly distributed and no one is taking an unfair share, but the income will no longer be bound to the work you do.

To those who will now come out to tell how this sounds like communism, and how communism failed: Not a single communist country had automated even a non-negligible fraction of production, let alone all of it. Indeed, even in today's capitalist countries, we are still quite far from that point, despite all that automation which already happened, which is why we still need work-bound income. So the fact that communism failed in a non-automated world tells you exactly nothing about how well such a system would work in a fully automated work.

Recovering ground (5, Insightful)

Chas (5144) | about a year ago | (#43924455)

This is probably aimed at some of the issues Lenovo's been having with people inferring that, because Lenovo's a Chinese company, that the Think line of computers are now unsuitable for business and government purposes due to the possibility of back doors and spyware build directly into firmware/hardware.

Re:Recovering ground (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43924537)

And this would be less likely if it was from the US?

Re:Recovering ground (5, Insightful)

Bill_the_Engineer (772575) | about a year ago | (#43924547)

This has to do with government mandates that discourage purchasing computers manufactured in China. This does nothing to prevent the existence of back doors or spyware, but it makes the politicians feel good.

No, it does do some good (4, Insightful)

MikeRT (947531) | about a year ago | (#43925041)

A computer built in the US and shipped via American carriers is significantly less likely to be tampered with in transit. In China, you're trusting that there are no "stops" between the factory and the dock.

It's just a step in the right direction. In that sense and that sense alone you are more correct than wrong.

Re:No, it does do some good (2)

Bill_the_Engineer (772575) | about a year ago | (#43925769)

What are the odds that the parts that are shipped from China will be extensively checked for malware by the US employee assembling the computer on behalf of the chinese company?

FIFY (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43925353)

This has to do with government mandates that discourage purchasing computers manufactured in China. This does nothing to prevent the existence of back doors or spyware, but it makes the uninformed people who vote for those politicians feel good.

Re:Recovering ground (1)

CAIMLAS (41445) | about a year ago | (#43925447)

It also has to do with costs. A LOT of companies are moving production back to the US due to the cost. Business people are starting to clue into the fact that Chinese production isn't actually all that inexpensive when you factor in R&D, communication with the factories, Q/C, product lifecycle, shipping costs, and just general, overall ROI.

For instance, Whirlpool has made a corporate commitment to move all Chinese manufacturing back stateside. They've already re-engineered a great number of their products, reducing production costs while improving the end result. (They're using a process on the manufacturing line which sounds a lot like Agile to me, actually.) I've bought a "Made in USA" dishwasher and water heater from them this year as a result: their products feel sturdier than the other cost-comparable products and honestly, are cheaper than most while still having better synthetics (eg. power use, noise rating, etc.) I haven't been displeased.

Re:Recovering ground (1)

mlts (1038732) | about a year ago | (#43926099)

Don't forget transportation costs. Fuel prices are in no ways stable, so we are hitting the point where it is cheaper for places to set up shop here in the US just so that things made are sent by rail or semi, compared to the cost of shipping them from the factory, then all the work with getting them on a ship and all the diesel the freighter uses.

I wouldn't be surprised to see this happening more and more as fuel costs go up.

Re:Recovering ground (1)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | about a year ago | (#43926503)

Q/C

This is the real value, as far as I can tell.

I've gotten some good quality stuff from China, but also some really abysmal stuff.

We got a John Deere lawnmower yesterday. The ticket says it was assembled stateside. I know that means the parts came from China (we got a low-end one) but I'm comforted knowing that somebody under a US QA system saw the parts before bolting them in. I'd like to think that any with serious metal voids or poor machining went into the rejects bin. If the finished goods came from China, then those things could be hidden inside the machine.

Re:Recovering ground (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year ago | (#43924685)

I hope it will fix their crap quality. We have T30s that are still fully functional, save for being woefully outdated and bad batteries. On the other hand T61s have had their screens replaced every 18 months or so until the warranty runs out and then they are just unusable.

The T line is unsuitable because the quality went straight to poop.

Re:Recovering ground (1)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | about a year ago | (#43924959)

Pardon my ignorance but aren't LCD manufacturers mostly Taiwanese and Japanese? It's not like they're switching from Chinese panels to American ones (if there is actually such a thing as an American LCD panel).

Re:Recovering ground (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year ago | (#43925067)

Probably, but this is not a panel issue.
The problem with these is the low quality backlights.
Not sure where they get them, but decent QA would have found the issue and selected a different vendor.

Re:Recovering ground (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43926413)

On the other hand T61s have had their screens replaced every 18 months or so until the warranty runs out and then they are just unusable.

Probably, but this is not a panel issue. The problem with these is the low quality backlights.

You don't replace the screen to fix a back light. You replace the back light. The screen stays. You can do the repair yourself. It's cheap and easy. LED upgrades might be available too.

Re:Recovering ground (1)

ArcadeMan (2766669) | about a year ago | (#43925543)

I'm still using my old 760XL running Windows 98SE.

Re:Recovering ground (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year ago | (#43925603)

You should tell you boss to buy you a new computer, or are you a masochist?

Windows 98SE was bad enough when it was new, it must really suck to use today. Heck, I bet most webpages would take ages to load.

Re:Recovering ground (1)

ArcadeMan (2766669) | about a year ago | (#43926175)

I never said I was using it as my main desktop computer. The thing is connected to legacy CNC hardware via the parallel port and the laptop isn't even connected to the network. Files are copied via CompactFlash cards and a PCMCIA adapter.

Re:Recovering ground (1)

mlts (1038732) | about a year ago | (#43926197)

I still have a 365XD with an old RedHat distro with custom pcmcia-cs code. Still has a 1.5 MB (yes, megabyte) PCMCIA flash disk from Sun drive (not Sandisk), and a combo 10baseT Ethernet card/modem that worked quite well as a smart firewall for a couple years until DSL was available.

I would pay a price premium for something as solid as those old laptops, although I want one with a TPM chip [1], and Macbooks don't have that available.

[1]: The technology cuts two ways, but with BitLocker, I can just enable TPM + USB, and if the laptop is ever stolen, if I have the usb flash drive (which will be on my keychain), I know that laptop isn't going to be decrypted by a thief barring them having the resources of a big company or major government. If I ever lose the USB flash drive, I pull up my phone, SSH into my home machine [2], copy/paste the recovery code, and be still able to access data.

[2]: Google Authenticator two factor protection comes in handy if one isn't using RSA keys for SSH. Doesn't work with AD, but for logging locally to a machine, it is good enough.

Re:Recovering ground (1)

FuzzNugget (2840687) | about a year ago | (#43925741)

No, they're unsuitable for business because they're shit.

Re:Recovering ground (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43926697)

That's a valid concern, but how does moving to USA, of all places, help?

"My Gremlin wasn't helping me score enough pussy, so I traded it in for a Yugo, to turn on the hot babes."

Oh, hell... (5, Funny)

geminidomino (614729) | about a year ago | (#43924493)

It's actually happened...

Now Chinese are outsourcing to us

Re:Oh, hell... (1)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | about a year ago | (#43924739)

It's actually happened...

Now Chinese are outsourcing to us

This is the first thing that came to my mind. :-) Mind you, you could have ended up a lot worse: The Chinese could have outsourced to India and the Indian subcontractor could have outsourced it to the US. *That* would have been a sight.

Re:Oh, hell... (1)

ArcadeMan (2766669) | about a year ago | (#43925557)

And then the U.S.A. outsources the whole thing north, eh?

Re:Oh, hell... (3, Insightful)

Trepidity (597) | about a year ago | (#43924759)

They're outsourcing to robots really, not to us. It just happens to be convenient for the robots to live in North Carolina in this case, probably due to regulatory issues in some governments/businesses over purchasing Chinese-made computers.

Re:Oh, hell... (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about a year ago | (#43925145)

They're outsourcing to robots really, not to us. It just happens to be convenient for the robots to live in North Carolina in this case, probably due to regulatory issues in some governments/businesses over purchasing Chinese-made computers.

I'd imagine that this facility probably helps with turnaround time on custom orders as well. Popping in CPUs and option cards isn't terribly demanding work; but if you give customers the option to choose exactly what CPU/RAM/cards combination they want you either have to be really good at guessing ahead of time, willing to quote lead times based on container-ship speeds, or relatively close to the customer.

Re:Oh, hell... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43925189)

They're outsourcing to robots really, not to us.

What's the difference?
Looking at your elections, buying behavior and opinion-maker mass-media, it's not like you Americans had any free will anyway.
You live off of stuff that can't be defined as being fit for human consumption. (Purified sugar and starch with saturated fats and a shovel of salt.)
You happily live in cardboard boxes [wikipedia.org] .
And let's not even talk about intelligence or noisiness... ;)

Re:Oh, hell... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43925287)

Case in point:

American 1: I want three heart attack burgers, a wheelbarrow of fries and a big gulp bigger than my head. Can I also have a barrel of liquid lard, a sack of sugar and a funnel?
American 2: Do you want fries with that?
American 3: 'MERICA! ... 'MERICA! 'MERICA! 'MERICA! ROMNEYBAMA GOOD! MITTBARACK BAD! 'MERICA!
All Americans in a choir: 'MERICA! ... 'MERICA! 'MERICA! 'MERICA! ROMNEYBAMA GOOD! MITTBARACK BAD! 'MERICA!
[Then they rolled back to their boxes to to watch TV learn from the History Channel that 2+2 = 5 Hitlers and how to cut off parts of their non-Cheney dick because TAH JEEZAHZ said so.]

Re:Oh, hell... (1)

ArcadeMan (2766669) | about a year ago | (#43925611)

If you want shovels of salt in your food, come to Canada. Some of our stuff is even worst in sodium content.

On the bright side, every time I go to the grocery store it feels like a treasure hunt "Hey, look! I found something with only 10mg of sodium per serving!"

Re:Oh, hell... (1)

mlts (1038732) | about a year ago | (#43926349)

The interesting thing is that robotics are something the US is very good at. Vehicle production is mostly automated.

Of course, sometimes robotics get hair-pulling in ironic ways. I was trying to find a maker that could build me the mechanism for a raw hard drive autochanger (where it would take hard disks without any enclosures and mount/dismount them), and the only game in town was Siemens, and they were asking $10,000 a unit.

I still wouldn't mind making a hard disk library that didn't have to have special enclosures around the HDDs, then software on the "head" to do whatever the user wants, be it a VTL, HSM with storage "swapped" in and out, or even a way to snapshot existing SAN volumes and store them independent of what data sits on them. Encryption would be as basic or as fancy as one wants (from a simple password where a hash is used as the key, to a key manager using RSA keys, and each drive having its own session key, etc.)

Re:Oh, hell... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43924795)

I for one welcome our new Chinese overlords!

Re:Oh, hell... (1)

Megane (129182) | about a year ago | (#43924899)

Yo dawg, I heard you like outsourcing, so I outsourced your outsourcing so you can outsource while you outsource.

Re:Oh, hell... (1)

Mark4ST (249650) | about a year ago | (#43925979)

I hope this new plant begins to make system boards for Thinkpads and the like. Right now they are made by Quanta (Taiwan), and the BGAs are terrible. Quanta has still not come to terms with lead-free BGAs, and it's been going on for years.

Hopefully they can consistently make a system board that will last for more than 2 years.

Re:Oh, hell... (1)

GodInHell (258915) | about a year ago | (#43926971)

I don't give a shit why -- one of the issues that bothers me about outsourcing is the loss of manufacturing capacity within our own borders. When it comes time to convert manufacturies into war production facilities -- having them in China likely won't help us. Assuming that we ever have another war that will require a full national push.

Re:Oh, hell... (1)

daem0n1x (748565) | about a year ago | (#43927031)

It's actually happened...

Now Chinese are outsourcing to us

[Insert "In Soviet Russia" joke here]

Frosty Piss? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43924501)

Also, globalization at its finest.

HAPPY B- DAY D-DAY !! YOU ARE SIXTY-NINE TO-DAY !! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43924543)

May the overlords look back at you in fondness !!

Sounds like a lonely job (5, Funny)

SirGarlon (845873) | about a year ago | (#43924555)

If the 115 employees all work the same shift and are uniformly distributed, then each would have 2086 square feet of floor space. That's a minimum spacing of 45.7 feet (13.9 meters) between employees!

Correction: 45.7 feet between the _center of mass_ of each employee. So if we further assume the employees are spherical ...

Re:Sounds like a lonely job (4, Funny)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year ago | (#43924695)

Based on what I see from the average american that seems like a totally reasonable assumption.

My guess is that much of this will be automated and the humans highly concentrated at steps that cannot be automated for one reason or another.

Re:Sounds like a lonely job (1)

ArcadeMan (2766669) | about a year ago | (#43925633)

Unions require employes to have breaks, lunch time and vacation. Since the automated equipment was willing to work 24/7, they had to hire 115 people because the law requires factories to have at least one floor employee for every 2086 square feet of floor space.

Re:Sounds like a lonely job (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year ago | (#43925655)

The law requires the first two as well. Ideally it would require vacations as well.

Re:Sounds like a lonely job (1)

daem0n1x (748565) | about a year ago | (#43927091)

Ideally it would require vacations as well.

It does, here. And most of the civilised world, I believe.

Re:Sounds like a lonely job (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43927035)

NC is a right to work state. No union. That's why Lenovo set up there.

Re:Sounds like a lonely job (1)

alexander_686 (957440) | about a year ago | (#43924733)

I think you are coming up with the maximum distance, not minimum .The minimum space is if management packed everybody into a closet and put a bear outside so the employees won’t mess with the robots.

I would guess a large chunk of the factory floor is given over to inventory – either coming or going so employees would be backed slightly closer. I also assume each employee maintains multiple robots so they are probably not working elbow to elbow.

Re:Sounds like a lonely job (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43925251)

Technically, he's finding the maximal minimum (the arrangement which has the largest minimum for all pairs of people). The maximum distance would be to have two employees stand at opposite corners of the building.

Re:Sounds like a lonely job (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43925653)

Some how the scene in Willy Wonker of the inflated and almost spherical kid being rolling around on the factory came to mind...

Re:Sounds like a lonely job (1)

Beorytis (1014777) | about a year ago | (#43925909)

So if we further assume the employees are spherical ...

A much more reasonable assumption with American employees than with Chinese.

You know... (4, Insightful)

Aaron H (2820425) | about a year ago | (#43924677)

They're probably just trying to take advantage of that cheap American labor...

min wage is higher and saftey costs are higher (1)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | about a year ago | (#43924913)

In the usa you can't get away with lot of stuff that been happening at foxconn.

Re:min wage is higher and saftey costs are higher (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43925721)

Health care, liability insurance, worker's comp; all that stuff is also quite expensive and not found in many foreign countries. Most people don't understand that when you look at your base rate of pay, you cost your company nearly twice that in terms of additional costs, benefits, and insurance. I worked at a manufacturer producing rather heavy, large scale machinery, and our labor cost was about 3X the direct pay rate.

Hooray! (1)

skepticle (2931641) | about a year ago | (#43924683)

Does this mean the jobs are washing back over the Pacific? But... I only got replaced by an Asian worker being paid one tenth what I was for a third the quality of work a half a year ago! Guess my vacation is over...

Re:Hooray! (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year ago | (#43924729)

A small amount of the jobs. Expect maybe 10% of the jobs back, automation has made the rest unneeded, if you did factory work.

I have a better idea (-1, Flamebait)

slashmydots (2189826) | about a year ago | (#43924871)

Instead of focusing on where they're built, maybe they should focus on building laptops that don't suck. They're currently third to last in quality and only complete morons buy them for their company. Real IT purchasers go with ASUS, MSI, Toshiba, Samsung, or Sony in that order because they're the top 5 highest quality and longest useable life rating with the last failures over time and best build quality.

Re:I have a better idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43925217)

Don't make me laugh.

Re:I have a better idea (2)

CAIMLAS (41445) | about a year ago | (#43925517)

Have a link to back that assertion up? I've not seen any Thinkpads in the past year or two which suck; the opposite is true: they all seem to be of surprisingly rugged quality.

Re:I have a better idea (3, Insightful)

ArcadeMan (2766669) | about a year ago | (#43925645)

Toshiba and Sony, quality laptops? Why do you want to kill us with laughter so early in the morning?

Re:I have a better idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43925729)

Its not just about longest life; support after the fact is important too. I've had to work on lots of Sony laptops. They are, by far, some of the worst laptops out there. Hard to get parts for, loaded with bloatware, poor software support (good luck trying to find drivers even 3 years after manufacturing), and extremely poor quality hinges on the displays. And MSI? More crap. I love their motherboards, but its a revolving door with their laptops. Asus has been very good though.

Re:I have a better idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43925743)

Completely disagree with this. My company uses Thinkpads, my girlfriend's company uses Thinkpads, and I use an Ideapad for my personal computer, and I can attest that the quality of all 3 computers is significantly high.

Re:I have a better idea (1)

PAKnightPA (955602) | about a year ago | (#43925867)

Honestly not sure I can say much about about quality comparisons, but I can say in 2012 they had number one market share in terms of sales to corporate customers worldwide [Source: Gartner]. Fourth in the US, but still, I would hardly say only morons buy them.

Re:I have a better idea (1)

korgitser (1809018) | about a year ago | (#43926663)

[Citation needed]

Please China (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43925125)

Please China give us jobs and food on the table.

Re:Please China (1)

mlts (1038732) | about a year ago | (#43926371)

China did buy one of the largest hog farm companies in the US, so in a way, that wish is granted, as they now provide our bacon.

You know the US has hit rock bottom.... (1)

ilsaloving (1534307) | about a year ago | (#43925241)

You know the US has hit rock bottom when the Chinese start opening factories here because of cheaper labour. :)

Great (1)

FuzzNugget (2840687) | about a year ago | (#43925709)

Now, let's get some design and engineering departments out here because they obviously don't know shit about it out there. Seriously, have you *seen* the atrocity that is the current iteration of ThinkPad?

Re:Great (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43926673)

I've got some bad news for your theory. You know where the Think teams are headquartered?

RTP, North Carolina.

I know, I know... it kinda sucks when reality fails to line up with your nationalist expectations.

sort of offtopic but (1)

nimbius (983462) | about a year ago | (#43925829)

these arent really the kinds of jobs americans need. these will be 115 individuals of borderline cognitive function that load dispensers, change lightbulbs and drive forklifts. the jobs wont pay anywhere near a living wage, will likely specify "mandatory overtime" and preferentially select individuals who either have no concept of formal unionized labour or have had the notion beaten out of them from years of walmart servitude. Turnover will be high, regulation will be sparse. in this case the local government simply decided to go on a cocksucking contest and award absurd tax breaks for a factory that will likely leave the people as well as the state worse off than they were had the corporation never set foot.

Re:sort of offtopic but (1)

mlts (1038732) | about a year ago | (#43926529)

It depends... Robots break, and someone clued enough to know what components need replaced can be fairly difficult to find. With computers, it is fairly easy... something on the motherboard dead, pull the board. HDD dead, pull that. With a robotic install, just ripping the robots out of the factory floor and replacing them if there is a hiccup isn't going to work.

Automation eats jobs, but I don't think it is a bad thing. I'd rather see a robot be turning screws 24/7 than having to force a human get RSI disorders to do the same thing.

However, I have my biases... one of my dreams for retirement is to buy a couple high-tolerance CNC mills, and do precise custom fab work, be it custom engine designs, or making one-offs to show something done and done right. For example, I've always wanted to duplicate some of the insanely complex bank vault locks from the 1800s, and with a CNC machine, it would be a lot easier to carve out the precise levers and the case that holds them. Done right, a well-made lever lock is decently pick resistant, although they fell out of common use due to their size.

Re:sort of offtopic but (1)

RobinH (124750) | about a year ago | (#43926835)

Ok, but if pretty much everything manual is automated, what is the person just getting out of high school with no college prospects supposed to do? Soak in the welfare?

Manufacturing - a shitty way to attract jobs (1)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | about a year ago | (#43926323)

Employment in manufacturing is down against steady and healthy growth of the industry in the US due to automation. If you open a manufacturing plant you're going to get a small number of jobs for an operation of such size and cost, maybe some local robot purchases if you're lucky. If you want jobs, buy some time by finding an industry that can't be automated so easily. We don't rely on farms or textile plants for jobs anymore but nobody got the memo about manufacturing in general. I know it has that nice folksy blue-collar "we're MAKING stuff!" image but you have to let it go.

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