Foxconn’s Wisconsin Factory Repurposed for Google

Foxconn’s Wisconsin Factory Repurposed for Google

January 26, 2021

Foxconn is planning to use its mostly-idle Wisconsin factory to assemble Google server components.

The Wisconsin factory will be reconfigured with computing and infrastructure capabilities.  Foxconn will start mass production of the Google server components in the first quarter of 2021.


Video Spotlight: Foxconn Plant Championed by Trump Lands Google Server Contract (Nov 23, 2020, Bloomberg QuickTake: Now)


This post is based on The Verge article, Foxconn’s Wisconsin factory reportedly wins Google server manufacturing contract, by Adi Robertson, November 23, 2020, and the YouTube video in the Spotlight. Image source: Shutterstock / DR MANAGER

Discussion Questions:

1. What type of process and product layout is appropriate for Foxconn to make Google server components?

Guidance: Since the production of server components has high volume and low variety, a repetitive process should be selected.  Additionally, there is a fixed sequence to assemble the server components that calls for an assembly line product layout.

2.  What are the factors attributed to Foxconn’s Wisconsin factory location decision?

Guidance: The location factors for Foxconn’s Wisconsin factory is U.S. government subsides, availability of skilled labor in Wisconsin, cultural similarities between Taiwan and the US., and availability Continue reading

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Design Cycle for GM’s Hummer EV Cut by 3 Years

Design Cycle for GM’s Hummer EV Cut by 3 Years

January 20, 2021

With its Hummer EV, GM has cut 3 years out of its usual 5-year design time.

GM says that the new development process is saving $1.5 billion annually. GM is using new technologies such as virtual product testing and hardware-in-the-loop testing to cut product development time dramatically.  It also helps that the Hummer EV is using a battery that was previously developed and has far fewer parts compared to combustion engine technology.

Testing virtual parts saves money since 3-D printed parts can cost 10-20 times more than mass produced parts do. Virtual reality is being used by human test drivers to further reduce development time.


Video Spotlight: 


This post is based on the CNN article, GM is making the Hummer EV in record time. Here’s how, by Peter Valdes-Dapena, November 21, 2020; the Detroit Continue reading

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Pandemic Speeds the Transition to Virtual Queuing

Pandemic Speeds the Transition to Virtual Queuing

January 10, 2021

Will queues become a thing of the past?

Realistically, some queues will still exist post-pandemic, but many that go virtual now for health and safety reasons may stay virtual for efficiency’s sake later on.

Technology is becoming an invaluable tool in keeping customers safe, whether they are waiting to enter a favorite pub, spending time in airports, or seeking urgent care.  Magnetic queuing grids, timed-entry passes, and virtual lines are making waiting safer, more efficient, and more pleasant, and it appears that they are here to stay.


Video Spotlight: 


This post is based on The Atlantic article, The pandemic could end waiting in line, by Elissaveta M. Brandon, October 28, 2020; the Cinema Blend article, How Waiting In Line Works At Disney World During The Pandemic, by Mack Rawden, November 11, 2020; and the YouTube videos in the Spotlight. Image source: Peeradontax/Shutterstock

Discussion Questions:

1. What applications of virtual queues are being used to better manage Continue reading

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