Computex Day 5: The Makings of a Motherboard :: ECSM

06-17-2006 · Category: Hardware -

By Tulatin

Computex Day 5: The Makings of a Motherboard

When that truckload of PCBs is ready to be brought to life, it's sent forward to the ECSM plant, where scores of workers across 8 ROHS compliant lines per plant will assemble the boards. The truly difficult items, such as sockets, SMDs, mofsets, BGA modules and chipset chips are affixed by machine which is capable of punching them down in about .127 seconds. In order to keep this machine fed properly, SMD components and chipsets are driven into the unit via belts, which do have to be changed when they run dry.


Computex Day 5: The Makings of a Motherboard Feeding Time

Feeding Time

Computex Day 5: The Makings of a Motherboard Inserting 754 sockets

Inserting 754 sockets

Computex Day 5: The Makings of a Motherboard socket via x-ray

socket via x-ray

Computex Day 5: The Makings of a Motherboard The Mofset Tommygun

The Mofset Tommygun


When the motherboards complete their initial run through the automated portion of the machinery, each is checked via a plastic template, to ensure that all componentery is in the right place, and that the motherboard will be ready for the next step, which is a manual assembly as it is run down the line. Each step of the process from here on is as critical, if not more critical than this one, so the job of your average examiner is one of the most important.


Computex Day 5: The Makings of a Motherboard Boards Cooling

Boards Cooling

Computex Day 5: The Makings of a Motherboard All Systems Go

All Systems Go

Computex Day 5: The Makings of a Motherboard Underside Examination

Underside Examination


Once the boards make their way through the QC personalle, they begin a long and arduous journey through the line of effeminate workers, having component after component literally snapped into place as they make their way to the oven.


Watch the Mobo Grow


Computex Day 5: The Makings of a Motherboard
Computex Day 5: The Makings of a Motherboard
Computex Day 5: The Makings of a Motherboard
Computex Day 5: The Makings of a Motherboard
Computex Day 5: The Makings of a Motherboard
Computex Day 5: The Makings of a Motherboard


Computex Day 5: The Makings of a Motherboard
Computex Day 5: The Makings of a Motherboard
Computex Day 5: The Makings of a Motherboard
Computex Day 5: The Makings of a Motherboard
Computex Day 5: The Makings of a Motherboard
Computex Day 5: The Makings of a Motherboard


Computex Day 5: The Makings of a Motherboard
Computex Day 5: The Makings of a Motherboard
Computex Day 5: The Makings of a Motherboard
Computex Day 5: The Makings of a Motherboard
Computex Day 5: The Makings of a Motherboard
Computex Day 5: The Makings of a Motherboard


Computex Day 5: The Makings of a Motherboard

After the growth phase is complete, the boards pass into an oven, where all of the solder runs to a liquid, filling the gaps, and working better than a human hand could have ever. When exiting the machine, the lengthy legs of the capacitors must be trimmed, and the back of the boards must be cleared of excess solder with a hard wire brush.


Computex Day 5: The Makings of a Motherboard Cooling again

Cooling again

Computex Day 5: The Makings of a Motherboard Trimming Legs

Trimming Legs

Computex Day 5: The Makings of a Motherboard Brushing the back of the board clean

Brushing the back of the board clean


Now, once you've got a presentable product (an OEM one in this case), it's now just a matter of packaging it up slightly, and passing it on to the testers. Each tester first performs basic functionality in POST testing, then a DOS test, then a windows test. Now, you wouldn't believe me (hell, I wouldn't believe me) in hearing that these boards stop at every tester on this line. How's that for quality control dedication.


Computex Day 5: The Makings of a Motherboard Visual Inspection

Visual Inspection

Computex Day 5: The Makings of a Motherboard Continuity Tester

Continuity Tester

Computex Day 5: The Makings of a Motherboard POST tester

POST tester

Computex Day 5: The Makings of a Motherboard DOS tester

DOS tester

Computex Day 5: The Makings of a Motherboard Windows Tester

Windows Tester

Computex Day 5: The Makings of a Motherboard Windows Diagnostics

Windows Diagnostics


After this point, it's on to the hot room, along with the laptops being manufactured here. This brings up an interesting thought - how each line can be tooled and trained, then controlled with a grading system into producing good quality items at a fast pace. The laptops coming off this line


Computex Day 5: The Makings of a Motherboard Grading

Grading

Computex Day 5: The Makings of a Motherboard Many-a-cpu

Many-a-cpu

Computex Day 5: The Makings of a Motherboard and coolers too

and coolers too

Computex Day 5: The Makings of a Motherboard even laptops need it

even laptops need it


Unfortunately, time in the oven isn't so nice to all the systems - which range from full desktop towers to ECS' tiny new multimedia system. I'd assume that most of them are checked on via LAN, except those which have inbuilt screens such as the laptops, such as the one which has crapped out in an image to come.


Computex Day 5: The Makings of a Motherboard Baking Desktops

Baking Desktops

Computex Day 5: The Makings of a Motherboard Baking minis

Baking minis

Computex Day 5: The Makings of a Motherboard Baking notebooks

Baking notebooks

Computex Day 5: The Makings of a Motherboard Crashed

Crashed


After the sauna, a system is ready to hit the road, though some do have to go through a bit of additional testing. With plenty of finished motherboards, laptops and mini rigs being churned out daily, it's a surprise that the employees still have time to paint the impressive murals we saw in the Golden Elite facility. I'd wager that energy comes from high morale and strong spirit. It's with that strong spirit we began to make our way home, and with the group I unfortunately had to part. Coverage needed writing, and that took precedence over enjoyment. To the point, though, it's about time to wrap this tour up - so let's do it!


Computex Day 5: The Makings of a Motherboard Testing by hand

Testing by hand

Computex Day 5: The Makings of a Motherboard Mural One

Mural One

Computex Day 5: The Makings of a Motherboard Mural Two

Mural Two