Ever since Apple first gave us a peek at the all new Mac Pro at WWDC, Apple fans have been champing at the bit to learn more about the highly anticipated machine. During this week’s media event, Apple was all too happy to oblige, announcing that the machine will begin shipping in December with pricing that begins at US$2,999.
In typical fashion, Apple also released a video detailing the manufacturing process behind the Mac Pro. Interestingly enough, Apple executive Jeff Williams notes at the beginning of the video that Apple, in making the Mac Pro, had to “pioneer entirely new processes.”
Now the video is certainly interesting, but the significance of what it depicts may easily be lost on folks not steeped in the latest manufacturing trends and processes.
To address that, product designer Greg Koenig took an in-depth look at the video above, extracting a number of fascinating and informative tidbits about Apple’s manufacturing methods and innovations in the process.
What the Mac Pro video puts on display is Apple’s unique talent for bringing together disparate manufacturing technologies to produce incredible precision at extremely high volumes. Sure, having $140B in the bank and the ability to bring a mind boggling number of zeros to a purchase order has its benefits, but plenty of resource rich product companies would never think of combining processes in the manner that Apple does routinely (see: injection molding, machining, polishing and coating an iPhone 5c case). With the Mac Pro, Apple has elevated a relatively low-precision/low-tolerance process (deep draw stamping) used to make my dog’s water bowl and toilet brush canister into the creation of an aerospace grade piece of desktop jewelry.
Simply put, if you’d like to learn more about just what all of those crazy machines in the video above are doing, check out Koenig’s piece in its entirety. While folks always love taking a look at teardowns of Apple products, sometimes it’s just as nice, if not more interesting, to take a look at how those products are put together in the first place. To that end, Koenig provides some great context for Apple’s latest manufacturing video.