The Tour Moves On
After the boards are done with the SMT, they are then visually inspected by manual labour to make sure all the components have been installed and placed correctly, making sure nothing has warped or been placed out of order. If the board passes its check, it's moved onto the next section. If it needs further work it's sent off to other manual workers who hand solder the motherboards (if possible) or throw it in the trash, if it is has been ruined.
While we were looking at the boards, behind us some workers were doing some quality checks on some nVidia Graphics cards based on 9600GT cores. It is very impressive to see just how much quality goes into the products while keeping the line going.
We took a detour from the factory to look at a couple of the other rooms the main floor has. First off one of the many storage reel rooms which have many racks contains resistors, IC's and various other components that the SMT uses. They are loaded like a gun into the SMT and from there it does its job.
Our next stop was the Automated Storage System or ASS. This is a set of cranes and forklifts that stretch from the seventh floor right down to the ground floor. This allows them to get anything from the top to the bottom easy as well as store the shipments that are ready to go within the cages, making shipping tasks a piece of cake.