As part of their 10th Anniversary celebration Zotac organized a factory tour for members of the media. The factory tour took place in Dongguan, China at the PC Partner facility. PC Partner is actually the holding company of Zotac. This facility is where all of the Zotac graphics cards and mini PCs are made. Through the factory tour Zotac showed us exactly how their graphics cards and Mini PC’s are produced from start to finish.
Upon arrival at the PC Partner Factory we were greeted by representatives from PC Partner. They gave us a little background on the company and ran us through the machines they use to product products, their customers, safety features of their facility and more! PC Partner was actually founded in 1997 and began the contract manufacturing business in 1998. They produce on average 400,000 graphics cards and 100,000 motherboards per month. The company has 5000 employees worldwide.
The Making of a Graphics Card
The life of a graphics card starts with the SMT (surface mount technology) production line. Zotac has a real-time monitoring system that checks and monitors every stage of the production process. The spools you see in the photos below are actually components which the SMT machine mounts to the PCB of the graphics card. One really cool thing was that all solder on the board is done through a screen printing process much like how t-shirts get printed.
After the cards are fully assembled they go into an area where the BIOS is loaded, tested, and other various graphics card tests are run. If a card passes all of the tests it is sent back down the assembly line for final packaging. If it does not pass, the card is sent to an engineer who checks the card for errors.
Check out Page 2 to see some of the extended testing Zotac does and the Mini PC production line!