reply to post by wildtimes
Funny that electronics is mentioned ...
A huge factor that comes into play with this is the manufacturing processes, and it is twofold:
(1) One part of it has to do with the horrendous conditions and poor QA that go into making the components themselves.
I won't take potshots at any particular company. Let's just say that I've worked closely with
inspectors as well as some of the vendors directly, and quite often these
are dirt-floor factories that are more reminiscent of an episode of Sanford & Son than they are of an Intel commercial or a walk around the main floor
Sometimes they try to grease the wheel to overlook certain things or get a pass, most of the time they do not. They do not follow drawings, or pay
attention to ratings/tolerances, and are lax with their testing procedures to the point that it's amazing that they turn out any working product at
It is not restricted to just electronic parts, either. Our design team labored for months with a ray trace program to determine just the right
material and shape for some lenses. We sent the drawing over to our contractor, and what we got back was an utter joke. It (I guess) sort of
like what we had in the drawing, but it was totally obvious that they did not even try
to make it to specifications and one did
not need a caliper to prove this - I mean, the lens (the curvature of which was warped beyond redemption) did not even mate properly with the base,
which was its most basic feature.
The upper echelon at a company I used to work for got bit by the overseas is cheaper bug and it turned around to bite them hard - the amount of time
and money we spent on fielding customer complaints and performing rework in our own factory caused the company to eventually sell off that entire line
at a loss to be rid of it. Never again.
All of this is just focusing on the manufacture of the parts themselves - just extrapolate these practices to the assembly environment and I think
you'll get the picture. Speaking of...
(2) The second part of it has to do with the improvement in the manufacturing processes that go into products that are actually worth fixing should
they happen to fail.
Nowadays, it requires specialized equipment just to work on miniaturized and SMT
design. Most of the local mom & pop repair shops went the way of the dinosaur along with through-hole technology.
Here are some of the parts I work with regularly, and keep in mind that these are HUGE (0805) in comparison to some of the other parts out there:
These are OSRAM LED SMDs - very awesome quality, I might add. In order to work with these without destroying them, you need the right equipment,
conditions, and an awful lot of skill:
Here's a Metcal MX-Talon. These, or their equivalent, are the bare minimum I would require for repair and rework for these kinds of devices. You need
a precise temperature control and delivery system just to remove the old part without damaging the PCB traces.
For the bigger stuff:
This runs circles around older, traditional methods of rework like desoldering braids and hand-operated vacuum pumps (the trusty Edsyn Soldapullt
still has its uses, don't get excited). Again - precision temperature control and delivery combined with the high psi from a compressor. It spoils me,
Something more elaborate:
Here are some really, really old (relatively speaking) ALCATEL BGA
s. We used to use precision
hot air delivery systems to remove, reball, and replace these babies but this process has been superseded by IR reflow. Some of the solders used with
these are very difficult to work with and require precise timings for the preheat and (re)flow stages lest you burn the chip up or fail to get a good
(re)flow which means you get to do it again.
I did not mean to ramble on for as long as I did in this post. My point is, even if the electronic parts themselves weren't utter junk to begin with,
it takes a much higher degree of skill to work on the modern electronics of today. Many techs would even scoff at my equipment and call it archaic.
Yet, not a week goes by that one person or another I run into locally complains about how their electronics fails and how it is impossible to find
someone like me that can even make an honest attempt at a repair.
So to the young kids out there - put down your XBOX for a while and start boning up on engineering and industrial processes. There is a fortune to be
had, if you have the desire.
edit on 5-6-2013 by KyrieEleison because: (no reason given)