[EXCLUSIVE] How Lenovo builds smartphones & tablets

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If you’re half as curious as the editorial team here at htxt.africa, you’ll love this video shot in Lenovo’s industrial base in Wuhan, China, which details the process that the big tech company undergoes to manufacture one of its smartphones or tablets.

Here’s a quick breakdown of the process, and a handle of quick facts about it too:

  • The facility cost Lenovo US$200 Million and was built in under a year.
  • It’s been running since December 2013.
  • Lenovo’s industrial base currently employs 3000 workers, but it can accommodate 8000 when it’s running at full capacity;
  • Production takes place across 15 lines, meaning there’s potentially 15 different products that can be manufactured at the same time;
  • Right now, Lenovo’s Wuhan base makes a little over 20 Million smartphones and tablets a year (about 1.7 Million per month);
  • At full capacity with all 15 lines running (which Lenovo believes will happen in its next fiscal) the factory is capable of producing 100 Million smartphones and tablets a year (that’s about 8.3 Million a month);
  • The entire process of making a smartphone or tablet, from ‘motherboard and components’ to ‘packaged and tested’ takes in the region of 45 minutes;
  • The process of placing chips on the motherboard, fusing chips to their right place on the motherboard and first stage testing takes 35 minutes;
  • The process of connecting all components to the completed motherboard, fitting those components into the chassis or casing, thoroughly testing the smartphone or tablet and packaging it, ready for sale takes a mere 10 minutes;
  • The 35 minute ‘motherboard’ process involves nine workers, five to man the machines that do the work and four to carry out testing; and
  • By contrast, the 10 minute assembly, testing and packaging process involves 28 workers.
Brett Haggard

Brett Haggard

Brett is the big cheese at Hypertext Media. He's been covering the technology industry for so long, he's seen old technology be 'respun' as the next big thing one too many times. He started Hypertext in 2002 and quite frankly hasn't looked back (although he often longs for the days when a steady salary, sick days and leave were a given). Publications in his stable include htxt.africa; DailyFive (http://www.dailyfive.tv); Connect; Tarsus Channel and GirlGuides (http://www.girlguides.co.za). He also hosts the ZA Tech Show (http://www.zatech.co.za), does a monthly tech column for Sawubona and writes the odd gadget piece for a magazine here and there. Currently uses: 11-inch Macbook Air, iPhone 5, Blackberry Z10, iPad Mini, Nexus 7, Kindle Paperwhite, Marley TTR Headphones, Xbox360, PS3, Nintendo 3DS.