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Apple publishes support document describing 2018 iPad Pro manufacturing process, cites 400 micron tolerance for bends

Monday January 7, 2019. 12:15 PM , from Power Page
Apple has taken another step in its efforts to derail the 2018 iPad Pro “BendGate” story, publishing a support document detailing the new iPad Pro’s enclosure manufacturing process, in an attempt to assure customers that the new device is durable and strong.
The document, published late on Friday, describes the manufacturing process used to fabricate the iPad Pro casing.
The company offered the following description of the issue:

To provide optimal cellular performance, small vertical bands or “splits” in the sides of the iPad allow parts of the enclosure to function as cellular antennas. For the first time ever on an iPad, these bands are manufactured using a process called co-molding. In this high-temperature process, plastic is injected into precisely milled channels in the aluminum enclosure where it bonds to micro-pores in the aluminum surface. After the plastic cools, the entire enclosure is finished with a precision CNC machining operation, yielding a seamless integration of plastic and aluminum into a single, strong enclosure.
Apple’s note also points out that the “flatness specification” allows for nomore than 400 microns across the entire length of any given side. It also says that “the new straight edges and the presence of the antenna splits may make subtle deviations in flatness more visible only from certain viewing angles that are imperceptible during normal use.”
Following the release of the 2018 iPad Pro models in November, a number of users began to report curved or bent units. Some users have even cited the tablet’s abnormal curvature right out of the box.
On December 19, Apple confirmed that “some” 2018 iPad Pro models ship out to consumers with a slightly bent chassis. The company said then, and repeated on Friday, that the deformation does not degrade performance and is not considered a defect.
Last month, Apple cited a normal return rate for the 2018 iPad Pro, suggesting that most users have not observed or are not bothered by the manufacturing side effect.
Apple has suggested that users who feel that the iPad Pro does not meet the 400 micron tolerance should contact Apple support, and take advantage of the company’s 14-day return policy. The company notes that “Apple also provides up to a one-year warranty on our products and will cover damage if it has occurred due to a defect in materials or workmanship.”
Please let us know if you’ve seen this issue on your end.
Via AppleInsider and
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