Installing the RAM chips
The third stage in the production phase is installing the all important RAM chips onto the PCB.
In the photo below you can see the SMT line putting the PCB into place, ready to have the RAM chips installed on it.
Next up the robotic "arms" pick up the RAM chips from the tray and prepares to place them onto the PCB.
Here we can see the RAM chips being placed onto the PCB which believe me happens at an amazingly rapid pace. I would say some cameras would have a hard time taking photos of this part of production without at least some type of blurriness. Three RAM chips are installed at one time and then the robotic arm will go back to the tray and pick up another three RAM chips - and so the cycle goes.
With the SMT machines placing the chips so quickly and delicately onto the PCB, it was interesting to find out what precautions TEAM have in place in case of earthquakes, since Taiwan is prone to many earthquakes every year. The SMT lines can continue production through a 2 - 4 scale earthquake without any interruption and usually with no faulty modules as a result - anything higher and the machines have to be stopped and the modules on the line destroyed. TEAM uses a special type of flooring in their factory which is "rubbery" in construction. It is designed to absorb earthquake shocks. Also, the SMT machines have special feet which are designed to absorb the shock as well. Although, nothing can fully combat the power of Mother Nature and sometimes there is nothing any computer company can do to avoid wasting product. I asked if the SMT machines were able to detect an earthquake and then shut off instantly but that type of technology is yet to be developed.
The SMT line is intelligent enough to determine if a RAM chip is faulty or not. That is, if the pins on the back of the RAM chip are broken or is unable to make proper electrical connection with the PCB. Quite amazingly, these chips are automatically dropped into the pink tray you can see below. These chips will then be sent back to one of TEAM Group's many chip suppliers to be replaced.
How long will it be before humans become totally redundant in a factory?