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Subject: Re: 1523 joints
X-Newsreader: Forte Free Agent 1.21/32.243
X-Original-Trace: 5 Nov 2002 20:18:34 +1000, 22.214.171.124
Date: Tue, 05 Nov 2002 09:18:38 GMT
NNTP-Posting-Date: Tue, 05 Nov 2002 20:18:38 EST
Organization: Comindico Australia - reports relating to abuse should be sent to email@example.com
On Tue, 22 Oct 2002 14:20:43 -0700, "Christopher R. Carlen"
>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.
4-10 over the next few months? Maybe you might consider advertising
in a local newspaper for a tech experienced person who would be
interested in doing the 'assembly' work on CONTRACT in-house at
your lab - you would then be able to keep a very close supervisory
eye on the work as it proceeds & yet still be able to do the "other"
work projects you are involved with - if you select the right person
(recommend you get examples of previous assembly work he/she
has done before) then the assembly can be done to your high standards
& under your supervision - I also suggest that the assembly be broken
down into smaller sections / parts and you build into the process
'inspection' points that YOU need to verify before further assembly
is done - this will give you the opportunity to ensure that the work
is performed to your satisfaction and also to be able to 'fix' any
problems as soon as they are discovered & not several days
after the fact.
No outsourcing costs involved - all costs remain in-house and can
be closely monitored and accounted for - control of parts supply and
labor done in-house would be better accepted by your Lab management
then for outsourcing.
>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.
If you do the assembly of 'first' master boards say yourself to prove
the process - I suggest as you do it you actually write up each step
as it is completed - then you would have your 'assembly' procedure
ready done. As to the 'kit' of parts, you should already have had
a BOM outputed from your Schematic & PCB design software
package that you used to do your original design with.
>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.
From previous experience (Production Manager / Senior Technical
Officer) to assemble the main PCB - I would have the side with the
'active' stuff loaded and soldered first, then have the board tested
BEFORE having the BNC's & LEDs loaded on the other side - you should
be able to work up a suitable TEST JIG to do this - I would treat each
of the BNC & LED points as TEST POINTS (hint ... hint).
As to loading the BNC's & LEDs, consider the option of using a piece
of PCB material as a MASTER for 'accurately' positioning the LEDS
and connectors at the right height and in the right position wrt to
where they would be mounted in the front panel - you can drill the
appropriate 'larger' holes in the PCB material easier than in the
metal front panel for purposes of ensuring the assembly worked
as required. Also helps prevent scratching of the front panel
(which will certainly happen when connector nuts / fittings are
put on then removed each time an adjustment has to be made).
Once the BNC's & LEDs are mounted, then the fitting of the finished
PCB to the metal front panel will be a "one-off" task, minimising the
possibility of scratching or damaging the 'look' of the panel decals.
>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.
You may also want to consider that the 'master builder' you speak of
may be interested in providing 'expert' input & review of the assembly
process at relevant points - just ask and it may surprise you.
>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
I hope these comments are of use.
Have a good day!
(Retired - now sometime electronics tinkerer from OZ) On Tue, 22 Oct 2002
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