Kingston had numerous SMT assembly lines all up and running at the same time. The lines are nearly fully automated so other than loading the machines and keeping them at full throttle, the workers are kept busy keeping an eye on everything to avoid any production halts.
Here, we see a brand new JEDEC reference designed PCB with eight modules enter the pick and place, which is where all the surface mounted components are installed. The PCB seen above has already passed through quality assurance and has had lead-free solder applied.
Inside the pick and place, the PCB meets what looks like a Gatling gun, which is really the head that spins around and installs transistors, resistors and memory integrated circuits (IC’s). The whole process takes roughly a minute and then the module comes out the machine and down the assembly line.
Now the modules are fully assembled, but the components are not ‘locked’ in place as they are sitting on solder that has not been hardened. To keep the surface mounted components from moving, the modules are sent straight into an oven that slowly heats up the modules to solder the components in place.
Once the modules come out of the oven and are cooled, they are placed into trays before they are sent off to inspection before they are cut free and become individual modules.
On our tour, the SMT lines were producing DDR2 memory modules that were using Nanya NT5TU64M88E-3C memory IC’s, which means these are soon to be Value Ram modules if they pass testing!
Here are a couple Kingston employees that are doing touch-up to some modules that are fresh off the assembly line. Once the touch-up is completed, the modules are cut, tested, labeled and packaged!