Kickstarters, I have just arrived in Boston for the Open Source Hardware Association Summit 2013. It is shaping up to be a great event that I have been looking forward to for sometime.
During my travels to Boston, I stopped and visited Worthington Assembly Inc. I was introduced to Chris Denney (@WAssembly) via Twitter and his interesting blog posts about his company’s expansion in reflow capability. I was really impressed by WAI’s willingness to share their knowledge about SMT assembly. Their high level of customer service and willingness to meet with me is a testament to the reason why there is a resurgence in on-shoring of American manufacturing. Now I know there are a lot of international backers out there and I am not trumpeting a “Made in the USA” horn. However, I am an advocate of developing local and regional personal business relationships. There is no better way to do this than to meet face-to-face. I encourage all of you out there to do the same.
During my site visit today I got to see their assembly line firsthand. Their large reflow oven is more than capable of handling the 2 oz copper planes that are used in the matrix designs.
During my review of their website I dug a little bit deeper and got to see online how truly capable their SMT assembly line really is. Seeing their lineup and business practices today has reassured me that they will be a great partner as we press forward with fulfilling this Kickstarter.
Here you can see Chris and I in front of the QUAD QSP Pick and Place machines.
This image is a close up of one of the QSP machines. Each unit has two gantries that each have two pick up heads. Ganging these two QUADs together with a conveyor system makes assembly much faster.
Chris gave me a quick demo of their Automated Optical Inspection (AOI) system that thoroughly checks all the parts on the pcb for proper alignment, placement, and solder joints. It’s a pretty slick machine and would seem to be a must have item for any manufacturing assembly house.
Here’s Chris and I again in front of some of the projects they have completed and that are ready for shipping. Once again, I was very impressed and want to thank all the WAI staff for the great visit today and I am looking forward to seeing some of the RGB-123 matrices on these shelves soon!