From: "Christopher R. Carlen"
Subject: 1523 joints
Date: Tue, 22 Oct 2002 14:20:43 -0700
Organization: Sandia National Laboratories, Albuquerque, NM USA
NNTP-Posting-Date: Tue, 22 Oct 2002 21:19:38 +0000 (UTC)
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I have a design in the works, and it looks like it will involve two PCBs
with a total of 1523 solder joints per assy. I will likely need to
produce between 4-10 of these over the next few months.
The objectional quantity of solder joints is making me consider having
them manufactured by a local custom electronics assembly shop.
But I dread the thought of something going wrong, and having to waste
time figuring out what went wrong, and straightening it out with the
possible cost of wasting my PCBs or having to salvage them. Plus, the
time to document the assembly procedure and kit all the parts probably
will equal at least one or two assembly times.
Finally, the main PCB has the active stuff on one side, and the other
side has a bunch of BNCs and LEDs, that have to be placed in the board,
and then the board has to be placed into the panel in which it will
live, before soldering the parts, so that the LEDs will stand off at the
right height, and the BNCs will not get soldered with little tolerance
errors that would make it impossible to get the PCB into the panel if
they were soldered without first mating to the panel. Trying to
describe this and then hope they do it right, is also dreadful.
In short, the thought of other people doing my work and screwing it up,
But I'm sure those among us who are used to manufacturing have learned
to deal with this. For me it represents a substantial obstacle to
opening up my mind to outsourcing some of my assembly work--something
which I have never done before. The sadder part is that there are
terribly few techs. here at the lab who can do this work with the kind
of care that I would hope for, and none in my immediate facility. The
only master builder we had left. Then he regretted it, but couldn't
bring himself to reverse the error.
Oh well. Any comments welcome on your experiences and wisdom with
getting jobs outsourced, how to describe what to do, how to cover one's
buttocks if there is an error, etc.
Christopher R. Carlen
Principal Laser/Optical Technologist
Sandia National Laboratories CA USA