With the PCB now made and ready for Printed Circuit Board Assembly (PCBA) we can move over to another building and take a look at how all the surface mounted components are installed. The boards are hand fed into the machine that applies the solder and then the boards move on down the assembly line.
Next up is the pick and place, which is my favorite machine as it’s fast and impressive to watch. This machine places all the transistors and resistors in their right places with deadly accuracy. Right after the boards come out of the pick and place the board goes through an oven to make sure none of these components will be bumped later during assembly.
Once the board comes out of the oven it is cooled by six large cooling fans (the blue box in the image above) and is inspected by humans for the first time. These workers are just making sure that the pick and place installed all the components and didn’t miss anything.