Daily tips and tricks from the experts at Adafruit!
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Happy Manufacturing Monday from Adafruit!

Listed below is a comprehensive layout of Adafruit’s manufacturing equipment.

ASYS LSB-03 Board Loader:

The board loader can be thought of as an automated staging area for printed circuit boards (PCB’s).

Each board that we make at Adafruit is taken first from this machine and into the stencil printer where it receives solder paste.

Speedline MPM Momentum Elite Stencil Printer:

This machine accurately deposits solder paste onto the relevant sites (“pads”) using two opposing metal blades that squeegee the paste through the necessary cut-outs of a stainless steel stencil positioned over the blank PCB.

Samsung SM-481 “Pick-and Place”:

Pick and place machines (aka PnP’s) PICK individual SMT (surface mount) components up from “feeders” and then PLACE those components onto pre-programmed sites on the awaiting PCB.

This particular pick-and-place has ten nozzles with which to pick and then place parts and is referred to as a “chip shooter” because of the speed with which it can place or “shoot” them onto the board.

Samsung SM-482 “Pick-and-Place”:

Our second pick-and-place machine on our production line is very similar to the other machine aside from two key differences.

Unlike the SM481, this machine has only 6 nozzles with which to pick and place parts. It also has a different computer vision system then our other machine.

The reason for these differences is because this machine is used mainly to place larger components such as connectors, buttons, IC’s, and a variety of jacks.

Due to these differences this machine is referred to as a “chip placer”.


Samsung WT200 LE Inspection Conveyor:

Fully populated PCB’s exit the SM482 and slide along the tracks of the inspection conveyor.

This machine is a handy tool that allows us to inspect each board before it goes into our oven for reflowing.

TSM A70-J82 Reflow Oven:

Once we’ve decided that a board is to our liking we send it into the oven to be reflowed-this is the process by which the electrical connections are made.

The board is carried along a track as it travels through the oven’s 8 different heating chambers and final two cooling chambers.

The speed with which it moves through the oven can be controlled via the attached computer screen.

Boards appear as blue squares on the system’s screen once they are seen by the sensor at the mouth of the machine.

Samsung ECC-600C Indexing Conveyor:

Boards exiting the oven do so by means of this machine whose track advances each time the sensor sees a board as it’s leaving the oven.

Nordson Select KISS-102 selective soldering machine:

Hand soldering large batches of thru-hole components can be a time consuming task. In order to cut down on the amount of time needed to complete soldering operations we generally process boards through this machine which allows us to automate the soldering process with precision.

Solder joints produced through this process are far more uniform in nature than when done by hand.