Video Series – Touring Factories in Shenzhen
During the month of July I was visiting Beijing and had an extra 10 days to spare. What to do? Well it took me less than a few minutes to decide to go the wonderful city that is Shenzhen…
Shenzhen is the geek’s paradise and can be described as an awesome concentration of very different companies, all within an hour cab ride from your hotel. If you ever go there, I highly recommend you to have a look at Ian’s article to get practical informations. Shenzhen is located in the south of China, right next to the border with Hong Kong. I therefore decided to spend my first day in this former British colony to buy myself a nice camera to bring back cool videos of my adventures.
On my second day, my product assembler was kind enough to organize a visit of the PCB assembly line he always uses. For those unfamiliar with the different steps and machines involved in such a place, I’ll have you look at a great article from haxlr8r that does a good job at explaining what it takes to make an assembled board (required to understand the video below).
After wearing the mandatory jacket, hat, shoe protections and making sure that all the PCBs I was going to film were my assembler’s I was allowed to enter the assembly line. I was pleasantly surprised to see that all the machines were quite new and very fast. I was told that the work schedule was composed of two 9 hours shifts in order to bring assembly prices down. As you can see in the video embedded below, this company can produce projects in different quantities. In the first part you can discover a (nearly) fully automatized assembly process, typically aimed for 1k+ quantities. In the second part you will see (very) large work spaces for manual labour. Dozens of people would typically sit next to each other to manually assemble small quantity projects but also make the final device testing.
For more detail: Video Series – Touring Factories in Shenzhen