updated 11:25 am EST, Tue December 19, 2006
Mac minis in Ford Assembly
Apple's diminutive Mac mini is finding its way into Ford's car manufacturing process, according to a report by MacCentral's Jim Dalrymple. Beginning in early November, the company has been using 14 of the Core Solo versions released early this year to automate sequencing at two of its Indiana plants, where parts must be ordered correctly for line workers to complete assembly quickly.
Ford's supplier of the Mac minis, Information in Place, says it chose the Mac mini for cost and reliability. "We did a lot of research and determined they were the best deal," the company's Jonathan Schalliol said. The squarish computer also fits easily into the production line, sitting in a wall-mounted protective box along with its power supply, a separate uninterruptible supply, and a barcode scanner for secure access. Factory workers use a touchscreen to control the Mac's PickIT sequencing program. Information in Place says that the success of the Ford deal has led most of its workers to use Macs and that it plans to introduce similar installations in other companies next year. [Photo courtesy of MacCentral]