CircuitCo has recently uploaded an interesting “Make of the BeagleBone Black” video showing how the BeagleBone Black is manufactured in their facilities in Richardson, Texas, USA.
The main steps are as follows:
- A machine applies solder paste to the PCB
- Pick and place components
- Reflow soldering for SMT components
- Hand placement of through hole components such as the Ethernet connector
- Selective soldering
- PCB washing
- Optical inspection via an automatic optical inspection (AOI) machine
- Manual inspection
- Burn-in tests after flashing the board with factory firmware
- Functional testing
- Packing and shipping
Beside the overall process, one interesting point is that human hands are only involved with through-hole components placement, functional testing and packing & shipping. Even those steps may eventually be automatized in the future with robots such as Baxter.
Watch the video, it’s worth a look.