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  A visit to Dell, understanding the magic 
  Sep 15, 2003, 08:00am EDT 


By: Sander Sassen

Not often we get the chance to look inside the kitchen of a successful computer manufacturer such as Dell or EMC. Usually they keep the details of their manufacturing process under wraps and don’t really let journalists in to take a peek, let alone take photos. So we welcomed their invitation to visit their European manufacturing facilities in Limerick and Cork, Ireland, last week, to see for ourselves how Dell and EMC get the job done. The Dell facility is located in Limerick and with its 3,500 employees caters to the European and African markets and is one of the five manufacturing plants Dell has around the globe. They manufacture over 20,000 PCs every day and ship these to countries in the Europe, Middle-East and Africa region.

Dell Limerick

Fig 1. The Dell facility in Limerick, the outside doesn’t reflect much of the activity going on inside.

I’m sure Dell needs no further introduction, as they’re one of the most successful computer manufacturing companies in the world that manufacture and ship about 120,000 computer systems worldwide, ranging from notebooks to servers, every day of the week. EMC however is a storage company that caters to the corporate markets, with network storage solutions such as SAN, NAS and CAS that drive the need of their customers to have fast and reliable high capacity storage. Dell and EMC have recently entered an alliance where they both address a portion of the market. Dell typically takes the low and mid-range whereas EMC will cater to the high-end market. Dell also handles the manufacturing of EMC's low-end products. As such both companies state that they compliment each other really well, without too much of an overlap. In the next few pages we’ll take you along a tour of Dell’ facilities and see just how their products are manufactured from the ground up.

1. Introduction
2. Parts and components
3. Distribution and assembly
4. Assembly and testing
5. Packaging and shipping

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