Russian production of embedded systems

This post will be interesting for those who want to see what the Russian high-tech production of electronic equipment, namely embedded systems, looks like.

For those who do not know what embedded systems are, in simple words, these are processor boards and peripheral modules of various formats, for example, CompactPCI, PC / 104, MicroPC, which are built into a variety of systems: from industrial automation to telecommunication equipment.

For those who know all this - do not take it personally.

Immediately make a reservation that I am not an employee of this plant, so many of the things happening there will remain a mystery to me.

It exists!

Against the backdrop of growing Russian fable companies, one can doubt the existence of high-tech production in the Russian Federation. But it exists! And when I had the opportunity to go to the factory - I, of course, went there with great interest. I will try to share what I saw there.

All production is distributed over several geographical points in Moscow. I visited the largest facility. It is located in Moscow, even inside the Moscow Ring Road, and occupies almost the entire floor of the building of the research institute. There are several rooms here: a workshop where production lines are located, a manual installation workshop, warehouses, as well as various administrative rooms.

To get to the plant you need to go through a fairly serious throughput system. And then go along the underground corridors that combine several tall buildings with each other. If there weren’t a guide, we would definitely be lost.

A certain level of cleanliness and order is maintained in production. There are no clean rooms, but still all employees walk in bathrobes and rubber flip flops. As we were told, flip flops are not a fad, but an additional protection against electrostatics. By the way, the factory is not at all noisy.

Figure 1. Main workshop with production lines.

Figure 2. View of the workshop in the other direction.

Where do the boards start?

The boards are initially designed. The developers in the design center are responsible for this. This time I will not talk about them. After all, the most interesting thing happens in the head of the developer, and it's hard to get there. Therefore, let's see what happens after everyone has come up with.

The life of the board at the factory begins with such blanks that are made in advance. By the way, in the photo there are blanks for PC / 104-Plus format boards (this can be seen by the presence of ISA and PCI bus contacts).

Figure 3. Board blanks. There are no components yet.

Blanks are supplied to the production line in a screen printer, where solder paste is applied to the required sites - in those places where the so-called SMD components will be installed. Solder paste provides electrical contact and fastening components.

Figure 4. Screen printer The

paste is viscous and probably sticky. Probably, because although there was an opportunity to poke a finger at her, natural modesty and the fear of spoiling everything prevented it from being done.

Figure 5. Applying the paste

After the paste has been applied, the board moves to the conveyor for automatic surface mounting of the components.

Harsh components

This plant specializes in systems designed for harsh Russian reality: low temperatures from -40 to 85 ° C, and sometimes even lower. Therefore, the components here are installed appropriate - severe and brutal. Although outwardly you will not say.

Figure 6. Tantalum capacitors. Solid-state capacitors, for example, are more reliable at low temperatures than electrolytic ones.

The method of supplying components for installation was especially impressive to me. Not that I thought they were being brought in a box. Not that I ever ever thought about how components are installed on a board! But the fact that they are served in tapes - became for me a revelation from the category: "Ahh, that's how it is!". Convenient and practical. And if in some tape the components end, the operator is notified.

Figure 7. This is what the revelation looks like!

As I said, the boards with the paste are passed on to the automatic component installer.

Figure 8. Automatic component installer

. This figure shows the interiors of the machine that installs the components.

Figure 9. The insides

But looking at the photo is not as interesting as looking at the gif. They say that if you look at it long enough you can achieve technical enlightenment. Figure 10. Click to open gif (carefully, ~ 18Mb)

How to anneal properly

Selective soldering is used to install bulky components. In this process, several stages: applying flux to the bottom surface of the board, pre-heating the board and components, the soldering itself.

Figure 11. Selective component soldering

Next - the boards go through a convection convection oven to solder the remaining components.

Unfortunately, we did not have a full tour of the plant. Distracting specialists from their work on stupid issues was also inconvenient. Therefore, many things had to be thought out, such as - what is shown on the mimic diagram on the right (Fig. 12).

But we were lucky - one specialist from the workshop heard our reasoning and confirmed: on the screen is the zonal profile of the temperature distribution inside the furnace.

Figure 12. The annealing verb acquires new meanings.

After the boards have been fired, they are washed away from any dirt and solder residues. Yes, yes, in Russia they can launder not only money!

Figure 13. Rinsing and drying circuit boards

Total control and dominance

The laundered boards are sent for control. Several control methods are used. With automatic visual inspection, the board is placed in the device where the PIU-PIU-PIU, and a picture of the board is obtained, which is automatically compared with the reference.

Figure 14. Optical inspection: scanning

Figure 15. Optical inspection: verification

There is an X-ray inspection to check the quality of component soldering and assembly control.

Figure 16. One of the X-ray inspection apparatuses

And, of course, there is a usual visual inspection at all stages of production.

Figure 17. Visual inspection


In the next room, everything is much more interesting - this is a room for manual installation and soldering of non-standard components.

In this room, I felt pride in the weaker sex, because half of the “solders” are very pretty girls. To be honest, not surprising. How does soldering differ from cross-stitching? Careful and creative work according to the previously defined scheme. So, forget about the picture that goes on the Internet where the girl holds her fingers over the red-hot part of the soldering iron.

Figure 18. Soldering

Level 80 Defense

After all the components are installed, the contacts and connectors are glued with a special tape, and the boards are passed on to apply a protective layer. A protective coating is applied under special UV lamps, which allows you to see which areas are not stained.

Rusyns 19. Under the rays of a UV lamp, the

born boards are collected and transported to another location, where they undergo mechanical and temperature testing, pouring and testing software, as well as installation in the case, if required.

That's all

I could summarize my story with some pathos words about Russian production. But to be honest, as an ordinary engineer, I just got aesthetic pleasure from walking around the factory.

Finally, a few photos that are not included in any section.

Thanks for attention!

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