How a motherboard is made: Inside the Gigabyte factory in Taiwan
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How a motherboard is made: Inside the Gigabyte factory in Taiwan


This factory in Taiwan manufactures 400,000
motherboards per month. And amazingly, some of the work is still done
by hand. Gigabyte’s Nan Ping factory, about 45 minutes
west of Taipei, is the only motherboard factory left in Taiwan. 1,200 employees work here installing, assembling,
checking and packaging motherboards before they’re sent out to stores. And it all begins here on the 7th floor with
these machines that print solder paste onto the base circuit board. The board then passes through a series of
robots that puts components in place. Tiny resistors and capacitors, each about
the size of a grain of rice, are fed from these reels and factory workers need to keep
a constant eye to ensure they doesn’t run out. If that happens, the production line would
stop. Next stop is a run through this oven that
melts the solder so the components become attached to the board. “This machine behind me is doing optical
checking of the boards. It takes photographs and compares those against
a database to make sure that every component is where it should be.” Gigabyte has 10 of these production lines
and they all end with a final check by eye before the board is off to the 5th floor. On the fifth floor, boards begin with another
robot, but robots can only do so much. “This is where a lot of the manual work
begins. this line behind me, circuit boards are continuously
moving along and these people are checking the boards and attaching individual components.” While the tiny components can be automatically
placed, larger components like some capacitors, memory sockets and audio connectors are done
by hand. Each operator at each workstation is responsible
for a number of components and they need to work fast to keep the line going. All the while, a robot scoots around the floor
delivering components to workers so they don’t run out. At the end of the line, there’s another
soldering process and series of checks before it’s down again, this time to the second
floor. On the 2nd floor, the packaging process begins. Machines punch out boxes and operators add
accessories like cables and bag the boards to prevent damage. And then the driver disc goes in with a manual. Everything is scanned to ensure the correct
components are going with the correct motherboards and soon enough the board is packaged. “And at the end of this line, as all of
the components are put into boxes, this is what we end up with. Piles of motherboards ready to ship out.” On this line and others, boxes of motherboards
are continually produced eventually ending up in PCs around the world. The Nan Ping factory accounts for about a
quarter of Gigabyte’s motherboard output. And that’s how a motherboard is made.

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