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Exclusive Insider Insights into the Work of Board Cleaners (EMS Service Providers) | Update

After our article about the production of graphics cards and the unexpectedly high response to them, today we want to "feed" the very curious with even more details, because such information and insights behind the scenes are indeed a supposed niche topic, before most editors are reluctant to do so, but these issues also have their raison d'etre...

Foreword and Introduction

After our article on the production of graphics cards ("From the bare board to the pretty packaging – graphics card production quickly explained") and the unexpectedly high response to them, today we want to "feed" the very curious with even more details, because Such information and insights behind the scenes are a supposed niche topic, which most editors are reluctant to do, but these topics also have their raison d'etre, as the reader's feedback repeatedly impressively shows.

That's why (certainly not only) my personal thanks and our forum member Thomas Haase (Deridex), who knows his way as an industry insider really well. And so he will start with the basics, explain all the details in an easy-to-understand way and also offer a glossary in which all technical terms and terms are explained in detail once again. You really can't have it any more beautiful and so this time I limit myself to the foreword and leave the article as such in the original.

Igor Wallossek

Overview

Igor had already given a rough overview of the production of graphics cards. This article now refers a little more to the general production of electronic assemblies by a so-called EMS service provider (Electronic Manufacturing Services) and goes into a little more detail. I hope I have managed to explain something in a comprehensible way. In the article I refer exclusively to the work of an EMS service provider or in German "wage payer". I do not go into the development and production of the actual printed circuit boards here, as this would go beyond any frame for a single article.

I myself had the "pleasure" of going through the training with a wage payer and i still worked there a few years later. In the meantime, I am working in electronics development myself. The photos were taken by Igor Wallossek. Thank you for permission to use them and, if necessary, to be allowed to process. Most EMS service providers are well or badly strict about photography. However, I can understand that. On the other hand, I created the sketches and graphics myself.  The article was updated after some hints in the forum of Igor'sLAB. Thanks to the community!

Overall, the work of the EMS service provider is structured as follows:

Figure 1 – Overview of the workflow

 

Glossary (declaration of concept)

In order to keep the following text comprehensible to the Llaien, this time we simply pack the glossary, i.e. the exact definition, to the beginning of the article. If you always want it ready, simply open the next page in a new tab or window and switch back and forth.

Smd Surface mount device: Components attached to the surface of the printed circuit board
Tht Through hole termination: Components that are inserted through the circuit board
Gerber data Data exchange format for the data of a printed circuit board
Drill data Drilling data of a printed circuit board. Also contains the information whether the hole is contacted or not.
BoM Bill of Material or in good English: BOM
Pick&Place Data Position data of the components that are mounted on the printed circuit board
Squeele Application of the solder paste for SMD components
Solder paste Lot granules with flux
Reflow soldering Soldering process for soldering SMD components
Steam phase soldering Soldering process for soldering SMD components
Wave soldering Soldering process for soldering THT components, in which the entire printed circuit board is driven via a soldering shaft
Selective soldering Soldering process for soldering THT components, in which the soldering points are selectively soldered
Forecast Advance planning for the expected order situation
Placement plan Graphic plan showing the position of the components to be stocked
Layerstack Layer structure of a printed circuit board
Aoi Automatical optical inspection; In English: Automatic optical inspection
Fluxer (soldering) Device for applying flux
Flux (soldering) Addition to the solder to remove oxides on the surfaces to be soldered and thus improve wetting with solder.
Whisker (soldering) Conductive single crystals that can develop at the soldering point after many years under certain circumstances.
Tombstoneeffect The independent setting of SMD components during the soldering process
Via Common English term for through-contacting
Pcb
Printed Circuit Board (PCB, printed circuit)
Esd
Electrostatic sensitive components