This video shows different stages along the Adafruit manufacturing line, where we’re rolling out new open source electronics every day.
The first machine in our line is the ASYS LSB-03 Board Loader – This can be thought of as an automated staging area for printed circuit boards (PCB’s). Each board that we make at Adafruit is taken first from this machine and into the stencil printer where it receives solder paste.
The second stage in the process is the Speedline MPM Momentum Elite Stencil Printer. This machine accurately deposits solder paste onto the relevant sites using two opposing metal blades that squeegee the paste through the necessary cut-outs of a stainless steel stencil positioned over the blank PCB.
The third stage of manufacturing are the Samsung “Pick-and Place” machines. Pick and place machines (aka PnP’s) PICK individual SMT (surface mount) components up from “feeders” and then PLACE those components onto pre-programmed sites on the awaiting PCB.
Next, fully populated PCB’s exit the SM482 and slide along the tracks of the inspection conveyor. This machine is a handy tool that allows us to inspect each board before it goes into our oven for reflowing.
Once we’ve decided that a board is to our liking we send it into the TSM A70-J82 Reflow Oven to be reflowed. This is the process by which the electrical connections are made. The board is carried along a track as it travels through the oven’s 8 different heating chambers and final two cooling chambers. The speed with which it moves through the oven can be controlled via the attached computer screen. Boards appear as blue squares on the system’s screen once they are seen by the sensor at the mouth of the machine.
Finally, boards exiting the reflow oven do so by means of the Samsung ECC-600C Indexing Conveyor, whose track advances each time the sensor sees a board as it’s leaving the oven.
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