Hardware Manufacturing, LED Rings Pt.2- A Visit to JLCPCB!

Hey everyone! Today I'm going to bring you on a tour ofthe JLCPCB factory.

In upcoming videos I plan to visit more places like this in Shenzhen and introduce you to interesting local Chinese.

But in order to do that, we have to talk about the role of English in China.

It takes about 10 years of specialized study for Chinese to become fluent in English without living abroad.

This means that unlike many countries where nearly everyone at a certain level of education speaks English fluently, it's a quite specialized skill here.

A lot of our best and brightest concentratealmost entirely on their fields of study- and often that means setting aside real fluency in English.

Although most engineers and scientists can read English for their work, many aren't that comfortable speaking it.

If you've ever been frustrated trying to explain a technical problem to someone at a Chinese company doing customers support, this is why.

Chances are they're an English major withlittle knowledge of engineering.

Employees who are both technical and speak English are rare and can demand high salaries.

What this means is when I bring you places, I can introduce you to the most knowledgable, interesting people, or I can introduce you to ones who speak English, but who often don't have as in-depth knowledge.

When you see me interact with people in my videos, even though they think I'm unusual I'm still local, still a fellow Chinese, there'sno cultural barrier.

But, as soon as I turn to the camera and speak English, I find that changes, people are more guarded, they wonder what I'm saying- am Italking about them? Imagine I walked through an American factory pointing at workers and chattering away in Chinese, it would be uncomfortable, I'm sure the American workers would be polite and friendly anyway just as we Chinese are.

But you would get a less open, authentic view of those people and that environment.

What I want to do, is show you these places as a Chinese person, how we interact and speak to each other.

I think it offers a deeper experience.

As far as the video goes- you're a fellow Chinese on a tour, and I'm going to talk to you in Chinese.

With subtitles of course.

Now I know that's a little inconvenient, but it also means I can give you much more precise translations of what the engineers are saying, with all the nuance that gets left out when you do quick interpretation on the spot.

The other thing is I have a pretty stronglocal accent, and while I'm considered very articulate in Chinese, no one would mistake me as having anything but a working-class background.

I don't want any workers thinking I'm any kind of fancy girl too good to work the line right beside them if I ever needed to.

I'm just a local girl made good, the daughter of factory workers.

These are my people, and it's important tome to interact with them in a respectful way- and by doing that maybe I can give you a peek into real Chinese lives.

I want you to see these places through my eyes, or as close as I can get you.

So, please make sure to click the CC button on the lower right of this YouTube window and select your language.

Then in the comments let me know what you think, did it work? Did you feel a bit closer? More of a fly on the wall? Or was the reading too troublesome? I'll make sure future videos reflect everyone's preferences.

This is where everything starts, right here at the JLCPCB factory.

Let's take a look at these raw boards.

They haven't taken these boards to the first production line yet.

But these have pins in them, right? Yes, this way, please.

Ok These have all been cut to different sizes.




3, But they come in a big piece, like those over there, right? From this big to that small.

They cut the boards to the size you need.

You see, they put all the uncut boards in here.

Then they cut them into different sizes, just like the ones we saw on the ground outside.

So huge.

In the software, it shows all the specifications.

This way, please.

Then the board goes through the next conveyor belt, and the edges will be deburred.

What does that machine do in the back? You can check it out later.

We have two production lines here.

That way it's more efficient.

Then the suction cup grips the board Yes, and the board is rotating around There is a suction cup inside, it holds the board and turns it around.

What if it doesn't turn it around and it goes through? If the board doesn't get turned around, then only one edge will get beveled.

Oh, right, all the edges need to be beveled.

See, now the edges are deburred and smooth.

Yes, looks neat.

We can see after they are cut and then beveled, all the edges are smooth now, And then they have to put the pin through the board to attach them.

These boards have all been cut to a specific size and waiting to be sent to the next production line, that's why we need to put the pins on them.

This is strong, they are all held together.

Now off to the second part.

Yes, so we just saw how the board is being cut, and they turn into smaller pieces, and then we pin them together.

A lot of people ask me to show them the lamination process, they want to see how the machine press the layers together.

Yes, we have machine can do that, we can see that later.

Do you want the worker to lift the lid up so you can see it better? Lift it up? Lift the cover up? Yes.

All right, lift it up then.

Hello! Please lift the cover up.

Thank you! Oh wow.

Wow Is it drilling six holes or two holes? This one has six axis.

Six axis? Yes.

The best part is to see the tool changer.

Ok, we can see that motion in the next one, because this one has finished changing the drill bits.

The machine will stop when it senses you are close to it.

Oh, right, there are sensors in here.


Pin remover? Yes, it is.

So you use this machine to take out the pins on the boards.

If you put the boards in and point at the location of the pin, just press down and it will come out.

So this is where they take the pins out.

Hello! The board will come down one by one automatically, very convenient.

Yes, they get laid down automatically and then pass along to the next conveyer belt.

One by one.

So we are going to see the through-hole plating process.

Through-hole plating? Yes, copper plating.

Ah, I see.

Electro-copper plating.

The board goes in from this end and here is the micro-etching process Oh, what's in there? Acid Very smooth.

These boards have gone through the imaging process.

Wow I want to take a look at this.

Sure Just like I said After these boards are copper plated and we apply dry film to them, and then put them under UV light for exposure.

It has a pattern on it.

These boards are now put in here for the outer layer process.

Because we didn't put enough copper on the surface.

So in here we add more copper on the board and use electricity to even that out.

Then we will have a board meets the required copper thickness.

You have to leave your shoes outside.

Ok Yes.

The protective suit is kind of tricky to put on.

Let me help you.

There is a sign saying that you must put the hat on.

Yes, we go in through this door.

Thank you.

I finally understand why they put a sticky silicone mat on the floor.

Oh, yes, to get the dust off before you get into the clean room.

The 360º air shower is a way to blow the dust off you before you get into the clean room Ok, exit from the other door Now the worker is putting a new roll of film in the machine.

The board is coming out from that side.

Tthen the film goes on top of the board What is the holder next to the conveyor belt for? Oh, because this procedure is slow, some boards need to wait in line, if the boards fill up the conveyor belt, then the board onto the holder temporarily.

The board goes back on conveyor belt once it frees up again.


This is a standard design for other machines.

We can see that the board is coming out.

You can see it is coming out with a protective film on top.

But very slowly.

The film on top is kind of purplish.

And the boards get rotated here.

Why do they need to be rotated? Because the boards need to cool off first, they come out hot, because it requires heat to press the film on to it.

If you don't rotate them and just stack them up, the film will get wrinkled.

Same principle as when we put protective film on our phones.

This is one of our film exposure machine.

The ceiling is pretty low, so not convenient for tall people.


Oh, here we go, another air shower.

No need when you leave the clean room.

Oh, only when we were coming in.

There is room for one more person in here.

This one has got the pattern on it, and a protective film on the surface.

How did they finish the whole process? In one machine? Yes, this is the expensive one.

Wow, impressive.

This is the board we just saw back there.

Oh yes.

They were exposing the same board just now.

I like to see how to gears roll the board over to the other side.

Yes, we have rollers on both ends.

Isn't it hard to clean the roller? Looks kind of dirty inside.

That's easy, you can just wipe it off.

If you have the specific cleaning agent for the roller, it's easy to wipe the dirt off.

Yes, otherwise it would be so much work to clean it.

These boards have gone through the electroplating process.

So, here are my LED rings.

It's not finished yet.

But wow, it is huge.

We can follow the board and see what happens.

Wow! Oh! Here it is! Thank you! Okay.

This is the Automated Optical Inspection (AOI) process.

I think this is cool, this is a combination of a fan and rotating pins and a conveyor belt.

It is coming.

My board is coming.


Ok, next.


And we are done here.


Alright, alright, alright.

Now it has the label of Designed by Naomi WuCreated by JLCPCB Voilà! Thank you, I'll put the board here.

Thank you.

Here's where they use a kind of milling machine to cut the boards.

Ok! That's the JLCPCB factory.

They're my new sponsor and I'm going to be working with them on some really cool projects and doing some of the same community liaison work you've seen me do with Creality helping them contribute more to the hardware community, Open Source advocacy, trying to improve communications and making sure JLC understands what their overseas customers want, and why they want it.

So here is version one of the rings, next time I'm going to solder on the surface mount components and see if it works, see if my first real product is ready to go on sale.

If you're in electronics and already designPCBs please consider using my link to JLC in the description box.

By supporting my sponsors, you show them I'm worth supporting.

I really appreciate it, and I think it's important to show Chinese companies how important community engagement is.

That's it for today, I'll see you all nexttime, and remember if I can do it, anyone can do it!.

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