VAIO Manufacturing, Service and Logistics All-in-One

by Team Sony 12/03/2008

The first stop on my mini behind-the-scenes tour of Sony manufacturing, service and logistics facilities took me right next door to our VAIO PC operations here in the Rancho Bernardo section of San Diego. 
This is where parts come in for customized, configure-to-order (CTO) notebook PCs purchased by consumers at our e-commerce site This is also where parts are received for PC repair and service.
Basically, we do almost everything that is VAIO related at this facility. Small teams of production employees work in "cells" as they finalize the assembly of our notebook PCs. We add colorful PC lids here like on the
Graphic Splash models and the one-of-a-kind 007-inspired VAIO notebooks timed to the release of the latest "Quantum of Solace" motion picture in the James Bond series.  
Plus, for shoppers who request free
personal engraving, we do that here as well — not only for notebooks but also for Cyber-shot cameras, Handycam camcorders and Walkman portable music players.
In addition to the CTO models that go directly to consumers’ homes and offices, some of the final
VAIO production for notebook models heading to Sony Style stores and a few of our major retail partners is handled here as well.
It was interesting to see how the more advanced or challenging consumer inquiries also are addressed here by
expert technicians working side-by-side with our VAIO engineers. I learned that the service team will often initiate contact with consumers when a notebook comes in for repair when the techs are aware of other new upgrades that are available.
The service team has also done a fine job of coming up with design solutions for share with product designers and developers to make future VAIO notebooks easier to repair, more efficient to operate or more environmentally friendly. They’ve even done some things to make it easy for
VAIO users to fix and/or upgrade their own PCs.
Plus, the warehouse operation here is very sophisticated.  It handles sub-assembled PCs and an array of parts and components coming in, as well as the final products going out. Packaging is getting more durable, more specialized for the various retail requirements, and more elegant. There are even gift boxes available.
But rather than read about it, check out the videos from inside the operation on our
YouTube page and photos on our Flickr page. As you’ll see, there’s a lot going on behind-the-scenes when it comes to our VAIO operations.

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  1. guest_user wrote: December 3, 2008 6:22pm

    Awesome read and great vids. That was nice to get a glimpse of what’s happening inside VAIO Factory
    and how certain things are done. I was always amazed by special customized boxes I would get from
    San Diego Repair center for my VAIOs to be shipped in and later worked on.

    Here is a link to a cool video about VAIO Factory in Japan:

    I noticed that some of my higher end VAIOs are made in Japan (TR5AP, X505, TZ) and it looks like any
    CTO models (or as they call them in Japan “VAIO Owner Made”) are assembled here in the US. There has
    always been a debate in some VAIO forums about quality of those notebooks, as most people prefer
    “Made in Japan” sticker…but I am sure the US made notebooks are handled with the same care as
    shown in that video above.
    Thanks again, Rick, video really make the blog posts more enticing.
    Stan M.

  2. guest_user wrote: December 3, 2008 8:40pm

    Great job as usual Mr. Clancy! I love the “cell” idea. I’ve heard of that originating
    or at least being big in Japan with Toyota and it works well for them. I am very
    impressed with Sony, which I say neutrally. I love the attention to detail and the
    ability to have the client remain such a focal point for Sony’s future actions and
    the way they take care of things. I look forward to the rest of the tour! Thanks


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