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Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Man, Those Parts Are Small!

We've been working on a PC board for a sensor, and unlike many boards, during this prototype phase we routinely have to change parts on the board. The parts are excruciatingly tiny, especially for aging eyes. The following picture (click to enlarge) is a dime with 5 resistors on it that we had to desolder from one of the boards:

And these are the large size resistors these days! They make discrete resistors that are 1/3 the size in each dimension.

For reference, the dime has about an 18mm diameter.

(Photograph by Rick Wight [])


Harry Eagar said...

I have a similar problem. Although my uncorrected vision is 20/25, it is lousy for small objects. I cannot see inclusions in diamonds, even with a 20X loupe.

And that's just seeing, no manipulation.

Lots of jobs become difficult for older people and it's not just surgeons.

Bret said...

Thank heavens for robots! After all, virtually all of these parts are assembled by robotic pick and place machines.

Hey Skipper said...


My son is working as an intern at Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories in Pullman, WA. A few months ago I got a tour of the place from his boss.

A three hour tour.

Which is how long it took to get an appreciation for a high-mix/low volume factory. Key parts of which are the machines that place those discrete parts, others that wave solder them in place, and imaging devices that detect misplaced parts.

It was amazing.

I couldn't help but think how fascinated you would have been seeing the place.