Author Topic: Made in The USA: Apple plans 'high-tech manufacturing' of data-center gear in Arizona  (Read 368 times)

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Offline SirLinksALot

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by Kif Leswing

Apple is seeking permission to conduct "high-tech manufacturing" and to build data-center server gear in a Mesa, Arizona, facility, according to a notice published Monday by the US federal government.

A notification published in the Federal Register on Monday said Apple was looking for approval from the Foreign-Trade Zones Board to produce "finished products" in a special zone that exempts it from customs duty payments.

"Apple Inc has repurposed the site as a global data command center that will conduct high-tech manufacturing of finished data center cabinets for other data centers," according to a document filed by Mesa on behalf of Apple in June and made public Monday.

The filings come as Apple has come under fire by President-elect Donald Trump for producing the iPhone and other popular products overseas.

The Arizona effort would mark a rare instance of a US tech company manufacturing and assembling a finished product domestically, where labor costs are higher. Apple's effort appears limited to equipment for its internal operations, however, rather than for a mass-market consumer product.

"The nature of the product is not for end users but for other global data centers what will be supported from the site," according to the July filing.

In June, an Apple official wrote to the Foreign-Trade Zones Board asking for the approval, saying the company wanted to meet "an aggressive production go-live timeline of September, 2016."

The servers Apple uses in facilities such as its data centers in Oregon and North Carolina are currently built and tested on-site, according to a person with knowledge of Apple's data operations. Apple is now moving to consolidate that work in Mesa, where it plans to build and configure its servers before shipping them to other American data centers, the person said.

Apple owns a huge facility in Mesa that was formerly leased to a supplier to build sapphire screen coverings. The facility first applied for and received its special foreign-trade-zone status in March 2014, but the supplier declared bankruptcy before it finished production of the screen coverings.

More recently, the facility has been transformed into a "global command center" to store and serve iCloud backups and iTunes.

Offline truth_seeker

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It makes sense, to use a facility they already own.
"God must love the common man, he made so many of them.�  Abe Lincoln

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