In our developing society, it has become almost mandatory to own a computer and to use it to do your work- whether you are a young high school student or a professional businessman working for a big company. Most documents are word-processed. A few years ago, when technology wasn’t as developed and computers weren’t as frequently used, one could use a 360KB Floppy Disk to save a document or two, but considering how much time we spend working on computers a much larger memory capacity is necessary to save all of our files. This is why the population demand meant that a new device should be created to save the data we input into computers.
This device also needed to be relatively smaller (more manageable) and less fragile than the now almost extinct Floppy disks. This device is going to be named a USB Flash Drive device that can be inputted directly into a computer and has a relatively huge storage capacity compared to that of a floppy disk. Size comparison of a flash drive and a 3. 5-inch floppy disk (above) http://en. wikipedia. org/wiki/USB_flash_drive Evaluation of Design Brief: These USB devices would have been completely revolutionary at the time and the expectations for it very high to.
The world was developing very fast, as were its demands, and technology had to keep up. Whilst being though t up, the Flash Drives had to have very distinct requirements and criteria to fulfil in order to satisfy market demands. It would have been important to take into account that working on computer or just using computers in general was becoming much more frequent for everyone no matter how old or of what status, this then meant that certain customers would require different things from these devices and this had to be taken into account in order to successfully sell USBs.
Younger students may not need as much memory space as working business men who progressively end up only working on computers. This is why the design and planning part of the process was extremely significant. Working with computers has become so much faster and easier than writing on paper, making us become almost entirely dependable on our USBs and they did become a big hit with all of us. Basically everybody has a flash drive now. The planning must have required a lot research into who needed what and what appealed to whom as well as research into how to make devices that today have become so intricately small and practical to us.
I did not have to make or design a USB but rather test how well it was designed and made. Considering USBs are sold worldwide and necessitated by so many it seems the manufacturing, selling, planning and designing stages have become very successful. MANUFACTURING PROCESS OF USB STICKS: 1) Taking the fundamental wall of a USB Stick and placing it into what is called a ‘magazine’. 2) This is then inserted into a first machine called a Solder Path Printer. 3) The next step places the product in a SPI- Solar Path inspection which has to do with the creation of the circuits.
It is an optical inspection that checks whether the previous machine printed everything in the appropriate way. A computer monitors this and the layout can be seen on its screen: 4) Following this comes the phase of the ‘chip shooter’ which is an automated gun for USB sticks- it inserts the chip onto the circuit board. 5) After this the sticks go into the IC mounter which mounts ICs. Another computer monitors the progress here. 6) 7) The next phase is the sealing phase where all solder panels and circuits are sealed to the fundamental wall, this is kind of like entering an oven.
This process is about 5 or 6 minutes long. They are then entered into an in-between phase where they exit the machine/oven and are repacked into new ‘magazines’ (flat boards) before they enter the Automatic Optical Inspection (AOI). 8) The AOI is the final check for the USB sticks Always monitored by a computer. 9) The next production step of a USB stick is packaging. We need to take the flat boards of USB sticks and get them cut by a miniscule chainsaw needle. 10) Then comes some sort of testing process in which information is written, read and then rewritten into the memory stick to see if it functions well.
11) After the function test a new machine comes in to do some packaging- every USB needs some form of casing. 12) Then a final function test occurs with more rewriting of data inscription onto the USBs. 13) Then comes the final step before packaging- some manual labour is required here as workers must stick on the labels to the back of the USB sticks. 14) Then comes the packaging. The sticks go through an automated machine which closes packaging cases around each USB. 15) Finally, the packaged USB sticks are ejected from the packaging machine and are manually put into boxes.
TO make sure the correct amount of USBs are put into each box the weight of the boxes are checked manually again and finally they are shipped off to designated regions of the world. Evaluation of Manufacturing Process I believe this project was quite challenging but nonetheless interesting. It consisted in creating assumed specification for a USB and then proceeding to evaluate if a chosen flash drive complied with them by creating a test as well as evaluating the manufacturing process of a USB.
Coming up with specifications appropriate to a USB was probably the easiest phase, i did get a little stuck at first because i didn’t know what to write however upon inspecting a flash drive closely I came up with a few good and appropriate ideas. Following this I had to find ways to test these specifications- this was definitely more challenging, particularly because even when I did find a suitable test it suddenly became a matter of opinion!
For example, when deciding whether the USB was properly designed for a particular target audience, I could easily decide whether or not it was in my opinion however I needed to make my test more valid then this by asking other people if they agreed with me. This was quite a lengthy and time consuming process however it turned out to be quite a successful method because in the end all the people i asked agreed with me 100% every time I asked about a particular specification. I think the Design Brief was probably the most interesting but short part of this design project.
I really enjoyed it because it involved doing a lot of research into the history of USBs, what came before them and how they were accepted within the society once they appeared. I also learned a lot about why USB had become necessary so suddenly and this fascinated me. The rate at which society’s demands were developing and the fact that even technology sometimes seemed to have trouble keeping up with our needs is incredible. The creation of the USB proved to be extremely successful and came at the most perfect timing.
Now, although this was never directly said anywhere on internet or in books, I’ve come to a conclusion that the addition of the USB to the consumer market contributed a great deal in the fact that people were rapidly starting to use computers much more, even when they could easily have worked with pen and paper. Some resisted this development for a while- it was a huge change of pace in their lives however it has now been accepted fully by our society and even if some don’t like it, computers are everywhere. IN addition to this i also learnt about the manufacturing process of USBs.
What struck me the most about this is precisely how many tests the device has to go through as it is being made, I have asked my father who is an industrial businessman and who knows a lot about this area of knowledge and he was also surprised by the amount of tests devices go through. However, i think it is important to take into account that the particular manufacturing process was one of a KINGSTON USB device, and though the general steps to making a USB would be similar anywhere else but other companies may not necessarily incorporate as many computer function tests.
There are only about 15 steps to making a USB and at least 5 checks of functionality on the way- i find this impressive. Another thing i found great in the manufacturing process is all the intricate and precise machinery that had to be developed to make the creation of USBs possible; all the machines have a particular input and output involved in very complicated or precise actions. This proves to what extent we have refined and developed the technology in the manufacturing department today.
However, there is one thing i would probably change to the manufacturing process if i could however is the fact that they still use manual labour for two parts of the making process. The last part simply has to do with putting USBs in boxes and checking by the weight of the box if the right amount has been entered. Because this has a test after it with the weight scale I don’t think this part should necessarily be changed, it is not too difficult and human error would rarely if never occur here.
However, in about the middle of the manufacturing process there is a lot of manual labour involved in sticking on the logos of the company to the USB. I don’t doubt that the people who do this have become professionals at it after a while however i do believe that there is room for a lot of human error here and if in the end a consumer ends up buying a USB with a slanted sticker on it, it just doesn’t look professional at all to me and would reflect back on the company.
Plus, it has occurred to me that these jobs would leave a great opportunity for corrupt companies to have child labour or have illegal migrants working for very little money. It struck me as being something very odd that on any video i watched regarding the making process of a USB all employers at this stage were either Chinese or suspiciously young looking. However, nothing proves that anything illegal was going on and this is just a potential concern i would have checked out if it were my company.