by February 10, 2005 0 comments

Gigabyte has four production facilities, two each in Taiwan and China. We visited the factories in Taiwan, located in Nan-Ping and Ping-Jen districts of Taipei to understand how they manufacture various Gigabyte products. Here’s a walkthrough of these plants to understand the manufacturing process. The entire information system for these plants runs on SA, which can among other things show the production status for each product to both customers as well as company staff. 

The Nan-Ping plant started operations in October 2000, and is currently Gigabyte’s largest production facility, manufacturing motherboards, graphics cards, networking and telecom equipment. It has eight floors for producing these various products. The plant at Ping-Jen manufactures PCs, servers, and notebooks. 
The first block of pictures show a motherboard being manufactured at the Nan-Ping plant, while the second set of three pictures on the next page show PCs and notebooks being manufactured on an assembly line. Any hardware manufacturing process has a few defined steps. Here, we’ve covered the core ones. 

Solder paste being applied on a motherboard, a process known as Tin spreading, and done by a machine called the PCB printer. 

A motherboard has large (ICs, chipsets, etc) and small (resistors,
capacitors, etc) components. The process of placing these components on the board is called dipping, done by high-speed or multi-function mounting machines shown below. 
An IC being mounted onto the motherboard. It’s a fully automated process, and done on what’s called the SMT (Surface Mount Technology) line. 
Small components are placed at a whopping speed of 0.7 secs per component.The yellow spokes shown place these components and move in a round-robin fashion. 
Once the components are placed, the board is passed through a re-flow oven, which solders all components. 
After soldering, visual inspection is done through a masking process. Here, a mask is placed on the board to ensure components have been mounted
7. In-Circuit Testing or ICT, which is a rigorous testing process, requiring a PC setup with special equipment. Every motherboard has to go through this testing.
8. The DIP assembly line, where larger components like RAM sockets, USB ports, etc are inserted. 
PC assembly plant 
Set of materials required to be assembled is prepared. Here, a PC is being prepared with components like SMPS, optical drive, graphics card, etc and kept in a moving shelf on the assembly line. 
Each part has a bar code, which is scanned for identification with a bar code scanner (inset). 
These are then sent on an assembly line along with the PC cabinet, and different people plug-in different parts.
Lastly, machines are sent to a separate burning room and run continuously for 72 hours at 40 deg C temperature. Here, notebooks are being tested.

Anil Chopra

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