Thanks to the generous nature of Kingston, we were able to get a tour of their Factory and an introduction to their corporate offices while we waited to go across the street. Our tour was led by David Leong and Louis Kaneshiro who were accompanied by Mike Sager.
We first started off at their global headquarters where we discussed a few press related topics and talked about how the room we were in was actually designed by the graphic designers and that many from all around the building used that room as a refuge.
We then made our way across the street to the Kingston Factory where we proceeded to get off the van and go inside.
Then, we went to put on our ESD smocks as it is required that everyone who takes the tour wear one.
Here is the scrolling sign and security guard that greet you on your way in and out...note: the sign is not broken, it just was scrolling
After that, we went upstairs to the offices on the second floor of the factory. We were not allowed to take pictures in this area, but this is where they keep their engineers, their pcb designers, as well as technical support for different product lines. They also had a few labs that helped them test for compliance with specific hardware, including servers, workstations, and laptops. One lab was entirely dedicated to the ValueRam line of products and that lab had the largest array of products being tested.
Here is an overall shot of the testing and shipping floor that you get on your way down the stairs to the floor.
Here is a slightly closer shot of what's going on down there before you go down the stairs
Here is the lovely sign that warns you that you must obey ESD precautions
On the next page, we get a tour of the SMT[Surface Mount Technology] production line where the memory modules are actually made.
Here is page 2 of our tour of the Kingston Factory.
Here is some equipment that you get a peek of on your way into the SMT manufacturing room.
Here is our Tour Guide Louis Kaneshiro explains SMT technology and about the entire process. You can probably read what it says on the plaque itself.
Here is one of many stencils that are used in order to pour solder through and get to the right contact points onto the PCB.
Here are the first steps of the process picking and placing the components onto the solder. As you can see, at this point the modules are simply bare PCBs
Here is an image of the PCBs going into the machine... I love the big red emergency button too...
Here are the machines placing the IC's and other components onto the PCBs to start assembling the modules.
And this is what it looks like once it is done placing them onto the PCB
Here are the modules going into the heater/cooler
The next page is a continuation of the SMT process...
The third page is a continuation of the SMT process in the manufacturing process.
Here is the visual verification machine that verifies that all the components are in the right places.
Here are some of the labelled kits getting ready to get cut out
Here they are being cut into individual modules
Here they are being sorted into individual modules.
Here is a worker unloading modules onto a cart to be taken over to the testing floor which will be shown to you on the next page
And here is a shot of the whole process from the end of the production run down to the beginning.
Our next page will be all about the testing procedures and benches.
This is the fourth page detailing the testing process and testing areas.
Here are some HyperX modules that someone is testing.
Here is an overall picture of how many modules are being tested...
Here is some DDR memory testing..
Here is the moto that all of the workers have on their badges and shows the values that Kingston holds.
Here is a compliance testing room.
Here are some DDR2 and DDR3 testing benches, plenty of them.
Here are some FB-DIMM testing benches as well. As you can see, these puppies are so hot that Kingston had to add fans to the bench.
Here is the tour of the floor continued.
These are the PC100 testing benches, yes they actually manufacture PC100. Lets not forget how many computers are still out there in the 3rd world that still use PC100 and may need new ram. As long as there is demand for it, Kingston will make it, atleast thats what ive been told.
Here is some of the burn-in equipment that Kingston uses in order to test their modules.
The next page will include the flash memory testing benches as well as the packaging process.
This next page sums up the Flash memory testing and overall packaging of the memory.
These are pictures for the flash memory testing benches.
This is a packaging machine for the USB drives and other memory products.
These USB sticks will be packages into individual plastic packages
These individual packages are then boxed up into boxes and set onto a cart...
Some more memory packaging machines... this time memory modules
Here are some boxes of the finished, boxed product.
And here is the exterior of the factory. Unfortunately, I was not able to take the comical picture of myself being wanded. But everyone who leaves the factory MUST be wanded by the security guard. This is company policy and they wand every single person and employee before they leave. The only two people in the entire company that can bypass this rule are the founders themselves. Other than that, the tour overall was quite a sight to see and it was definitely something that I appreciate that Kingston offered to the press. As you can see, Kingston has a quite large operation with very strict rules set in place in order to allow for the best quality products possible for the consumer.
Here is a picture of the Kingston representatives and I in front of the Kingston logo/head. (I am in the middle)
Once again, I hope you guys enjoyed this tour and I once again have to thank Kingston for the opportunity! Definitely a great one.