The Show Must Go On
This is what the board looks like with all the slots and header towers installed to the board going up the ramp into the wave solder machine.
The wave solder attaches all the parts like the I/O ports, prepheral slots, pin headers and so on by coating the bottom pins that stick down with solder. The machine keeps the solder in a liquid state and brushes them over the pin headers sticking though the board right on the PVB level so a good contact is made, preventing the slot from coming back out.
After the boards have passed the wave solder machine and have cooled down they are packed into special containers and taken to the next level. This is where the boards are then actually tested.
They get memory, CPU, VGA and a HDD installed and are booted into Windows. Drivers are checked, sound system is checked as well as any other components that the boards has like Firewire, LAN and such. If they pass stability tests they are then sent down to the packing room.
In the packing room there is an Automatic Processing Machine that takes the cardboard boxes and folds them into the retail boxes we know along with manual packing. The manual side of things is placing the board in the box, the accessories, manual and CD's. Funny how these guys and gals can get the stuff in there so neat yet when I have to pack a board back up to return, I can never get all the stuff in there as neat as they can!
The last step is to place the finished boxes into larger shipping boxes and have them sealed; this is a pallet of boards ready to be put into storage for shipping.