On Wednesday, before I spoke at the Tijuana Innovadora conference, I dropped by the 3D Robotics factory there. This is our second factory, and it's now equaled the capacity of our San Diego plant. Guillermo ("Gigio") Romero, the operations lead there, has done a tremendous job bringing this factory up, building a top-notch pick-and-place and CNC operation and a staff of 20 in just a few months.
Here's a quick tour of how your APM 2.5s and ArduCopters are built!
Before 3D Robotics acquired it and it ramped up as a full factory, uDrones was a small stand-alone assembly operation doing early ArduCopters. Some of that history, as well as current products, are on display in the lobby.
Here you can see the back of the factory. The ceiling of the overall space is very high and the entire space is not air-conditioned, so the manufacturing part is in a "building within a building". Behind those walls and hung celiling, everything is air-conditioned and the air is filtered (double-filtered in the CNC room).
Then on to the reflow oven, at right.
All electronics workers wear anti-static pads on their shoes.
When the boards come out of the machines, they are put on a test jig and run through a full software test routine.
A video of how the sensor testing works.
Lots of instructions
There are lots of binders with really specific manufacturing instructions. We're going for ISO9000 compliance!
This is the room where the ArduCopter kits are assembled, tested and packed.
Lissana will meet you at reception