Complete Automation of Manufacturing

The Kingston plant is completely automated through the assembly process. Workers don't really touch components again until the final Quality Assurance checks.

8-up DIMM blanks were machine loaded.

Then high speed chip inserters behind glass load memory chips in the blank PCB.

The filled PCB then passes through SMT-soldering stations that secure the surface mount chips to the PCB.

Quality Assurance is in play at every step of the process. At this point, the soldered DIMMs pass through an optical inspection station.

Every board and chip is automatically examined for integrity of the soldering. Poor or suspect products get dropped from the line for further testing.

Raw materials Separation, Testing, Labeling


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  • Backslider - Thursday, June 16, 2005 - link


    I'm sure the author just used the wrong term. for the process. There is no way they could use wave soldering on SMT parts, it has to be reflow.

  • Son of a N00b - Thursday, June 16, 2005 - link

    great article...thanks! Reply
  • Brazos - Thursday, June 16, 2005 - link

    I can't believe they don't use a automated test machine. Load a stack of dimms in and the machine loads them, tests them, records results, kicks out bad ones. Loading by hand into a pc is so 70's :) Reply
  • Houdani - Thursday, June 16, 2005 - link

    I would be surprised if they actually use wave solder to "glue" the parts down. It is more likely they use some form of reflow technique such as infrared, convection, or vapor phase.

    Wave solder is used for leaded parts, but reflow makes more sense for SMT parts -- and as far as I can tell, Kingston doesn't have any leaded parts (parts with legs which poke through the circuit board) on their DIMMs or flash products (SD, CF, et al).
  • Regs - Thursday, June 16, 2005 - link

    How exactly do all those one's and zero's copy themselves into the ram? That's what I want to know. Reply
  • yacoub - Thursday, June 16, 2005 - link

    awesome article!

    Anyone else want to grab a case of completed DIMMs and turn it into a giant RAM disk? :D
  • xsilver - Thursday, June 16, 2005 - link

    they said they test them -- not run memtest for 24 hours -- they also said that now their competition is also doing the same thing....
    its feasable but kingston is not much of a player in the enthusiast market theses days
  • gibhunter - Thursday, June 16, 2005 - link

    I smell BS. There is no way they test millions of manufactured memory sticks by hand in a computer. Yeah, they may do some testing of random sticks but there is just no way that they do this to all of them. Maybe they just test the ones that are suspect after the machine test, but to test them all would require more man power than it takes to make them. Their prices then would be much higher than their competition and that's not true either. Reply
  • semo - Thursday, June 16, 2005 - link

    yeah i guess you're right Wesley, we all need a break from theinquirer and such sometimes...

    i still think that they can let you in some stats like how much do the machines cost, how often they’re replaced, mtbf, throughput ...

    maybe a video of how the machines do their job next time and why not tweak them (while the daemon guards with the lightning whips are not looking) to make them dance?
  • Brian23 - Thursday, June 16, 2005 - link

    I got excited seeing the QA Engineer in action. Reply

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