Info For those that think any monkey can assemble a PSU

jonnyguru

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There seems to be a misconception that skilled labor isn't required to build PSUs, or that it's mostly automated, or that it's relatively "easy" as long as the engineering is up to snuff.

Here's the closest thing I can give you to an actual tour of a factory:
View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NZYVPVV3qAc


No... Building a PSU is NOT easy. And it DOES take skilled labor. We can't just pick up and move an entire factory to Vietnam, Indonesia, etc. Because even if you move all the equipment, you can't find any workers that can actually do the work!!
 

Barty1884

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Thanks for posting the JG.

However, that doesn't change the fact that I believe a trained monkey could assemble a PSU.
NOTE, I'm not saying "design", nor "test", nor "QC", but assemble? Sure. Each member of the assembly chain has a job to do. Rinse & repeat.

With the employment market what it is in a lot of these countries, I've no doubt the actual assemblers are "educated".... but not necessarily "skilled" from the outset. Is there a university degree in PSU assembly? Or is it a job that an "unskilled" worker can arrive to, and be taught to do one aspect of the assembly in a fairly quick timeframe? Put X component in Y location on Z PCB...... If that's the case (as it has to be, given your own acknowledgement of high turnover), then no, "skilled labor" is not required.


Of course, skilled & relevantly educated individuals are required somewhere in the chain. But the one place it's not, in my opinion, is in the assembly.

Arguably, even in the QC process, the aspect of "does it output X under Y conditions" involves readouts on machines, no? So, while the understanding of what it's saying & why the output is such would require "skill", interpreting that Green = Good and Red = Bad, would not.

No... Building a PSU is NOT easy. And it DOES take skilled labor. We can't just pick up and move an entire factory to Vietnam, Indonesia, etc. Because even if you move all the equipment, you can't find any workers that can actually do the work!!
A very convenient line, although one neither of us can validate (at least, not publicly?)

The actual assembly work, sure you can. Equally "skilled", although probably not as "educated". From a skilled standpoint, design, true QC etc, I would agree.

However, I'm sure the truly "skilled" could be relocated - but by the time you factor in startup costs, relocation of key(?) employees and ramp up to full production, I'm sure it's not economically viable, pushing into decades before you'd see any ROI. Making it simpler/easier/cheaper to stay put, regardless of any potential deterrents that exist.
 
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Thanks for posting the JG.

However, that doesn't change the fact that I believe a trained monkey could assemble a PSU.
NOTE, I'm not saying "design", nor "test", nor "QC", but assemble? Sure. Each member of the assembly chain has a job to do. Rinse & repeat.

With the employment market what it is in a lot of these countries, I've no doubt the actual assemblers are "educated".... but not necessarily "skilled" from the outset. Is there a university degree in PSU assembly? Or is it a job that an "unskilled" worker can arrive to, and be taught to do one aspect of the assembly in a fairly quick timeframe? Put X component in Y location on Z PCB...... If that's the case (as it has to be, given your own acknowledgement of high turnover), then no, "skilled labor" is not required.


Of course, skilled & relevantly educated individuals are required somewhere in the chain. But the one place it's not, in my opinion, is in the assembly.

Arguably, even in the QC process, the aspect of "does it output X under Y conditions" involves readouts on machines, no? So, while the understanding of what it's saying & why the output is such would require "skill", interpreting that Green = Good and Red = Bad, would not.

I am sure they are trained in their jobs just like anyone else gets trained when they start a job.

It doesn't matter if they have a degree or not, they still have to go through some sort of training period for almost any job.

Education level doesn't matter except that's what the HR department wants in almost any job.

There are more than a few jobs out there that require a 4 year degree that one could train a 14 YO to do in a short period of time.

Even medical Doctors go through training after their schooling is finished and that never stops really.

Astronauts go through massive amounts of training that is well beyond College and Graduate School and their Military training. They likely are the most highly trained people on the planet.
 
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jonnyguru

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Thanks for posting the JG.

However, that doesn't change the fact that I believe a trained monkey could assemble a PSU.
NOTE, I'm not saying "design", nor "test", nor "QC", but assemble? Sure. Each member of the assembly chain has a job to do. Rinse & repeat.
You're playing a semantics game by trying to differentiate "skilled" and "educated". They are "trained" at the factory off the line. The factories have "classrooms" where they train workers on process, etc. for about 6 weeks.

But even your "educated labor" can get lazy. All the time I will see a worker disconnect his static strap, not trim the excess leg off a component lead, use too hot of a soldering iron, put too many magnetics in a tray to go into the varnish machine so some of the components don't get fully varnished, fail to mask off the ground screw area of the housing prior to painting so the PSU housing is not properly grounded....

I think too many people over simplify the process of building a PSU from the ground up because they think it's simply "put X component in Y location on Z PCB". Statements like that definitely show a degree of ignorance of how PSUs are actually made.
 

jonnyguru

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A very convenient line, although one neither of us can validate (at least, not publicly?)
Not publicly, no. But I have another trip to Vietnam next month. ;-)

I will say that, for now, all we can do is send sub-assemblies out of China for final assembly. Essentially fully assembled PCBA's made in China sent out to be put into housings because we still can't find people competent enough to "put X component in Y location on Z PCB".
 

Barty1884

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I am sure they are trained in their jobs just like anyone else gets trained when they start a job.

It doesn't matter if they have a degree or not, they still have to go through some sort of training period for almost any job.
I didn't say they didn't? My point is directly relating to "For those that think any monkey can assemble a PSU"
Or "Building a PSU is NOT easy. And it DOES take skilled labor "

As a collective, no, I'm sure it's not 'easy'. But to claim that you can't pull X number of people off the streets in these countries and teach them to perform Y job, on repeat in a short space of time is simply false.

Education level doesn't matter.


Exactly my point. Except, it must?

Because even if you move all the equipment, you can't find any workers that can actually do the work!!
There are more than a few jobs out there that require a 4 year degree that one could train a 14 YO to do in a short period of time.

Even medical Doctors go through training after their schooling is finished and that never stops really.
I'm aware of that. But I'm also aware that none of those jobs are PSU "assembly" in China. Design/Engineering, certainly, but not "assembly"... the specific topic of the thread.
 
You're playing a semantics game by trying to differentiate "skilled" and "educated". They are "trained" at the factory off the line. The factories have "classrooms" where they train workers on process, etc. for about 6 weeks.

But even your "educated labor" can get lazy. All the time I will see a worker disconnect his static strap, not trim the excess leg off a component lead, use too hot of a soldering iron, put too many magnetics in a tray to go into the varnish machine so some of the components don't get fully varnished, fail to mask off the ground screw area of the housing prior to painting so the PSU housing is not properly grounded....

I think too many people over simplify the process of building a PSU from the ground up because they think it's simply "put X component in Y location on Z PCB". Statements like that definitely show a degree of ignorance of how PSUs are actually made.
I think your point is getting lost from the previous thread. Can you clarify what exactly this has to do with Seasonic and their industry leading 12-year warranty?
 

jonnyguru

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I think your point is getting lost from the previous thread. Can you clarify what exactly this has to do with Seasonic and their industry leading 12-year warranty?
The Seasonic critique had to do with remote supply chains and not being able to effectively monitor all aspects of assembly for QC. "Industry leading 12 year warranty" is marketing. It's not a reflection of how long they actually expect the PSU to last. To be fair: I can say the same about Corsair's 10 year warranty.
 
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I didn't say they didn't? My point is directly relating to "For those that think any monkey can assemble a PSU"
Or "Building a PSU is NOT easy. And it DOES take skilled labor "

As a collective, no, I'm sure it's not 'easy'. But to claim that you can't pull X number of people off the streets in these countries and teach them to perform Y job, on repeat in a short space of time is simply false.



Exactly my point. Except, it must?





I'm aware of that. But I'm also aware that none of those jobs are PSU "assembly" in China. Design/Engineering, certainly, but not "assembly"... the specific topic of the thread.
I was just pointing a few things out. (y)
 

jonnyguru

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I think your point is getting lost from the previous thread. Can you clarify what exactly this has to do with Seasonic and their industry leading 12-year warranty?
Here's a perfect anology....

Volkswagen. German engineering. Engineering so advanced, the term has become a cliche.

I bought one of the Jetta Wagons, made in Wolfsburg even, counting on superior German engineering.

I did NOT, however, count on getting a car assembled the day after Oktoberfest. The welds on the seat rails weren't properly done (broke loose), the clips that hold the cables for the power windows snapped, and the transmission completely failed (somehow... never got details.) Fortunately, it was all covered by warranty, and my experience seems to be the exception and not the norm, but I've yet to buy another VW since.
 
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Barty1884

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Moderator
You're playing a semantics game by trying to differentiate "skilled" and "educated". They are "trained" at the factory off the line. The factories have "classrooms" where they train workers on process, etc. for about 6 weeks.

But even your "educated labor" can get lazy. All the time I will see a worker disconnect his static strap, not trim the excess leg off a component lead, use too hot of a soldering iron, put too many magnetics in a tray to go into the varnish machine so some of the components don't get fully varnished, fail to mask off the ground screw area of the housing prior to painting so the PSU housing is not properly grounded....

I think too many people over simplify the process of building a PSU from the ground up because they think it's simply "put X component in Y location on Z PCB". Statements like that definitely show a degree of ignorance of how PSUs are actually made.
This thread exists, because of semantics between "tiers", perception vs industry definition?

In this context, talking about assembly, there is only "training". They're not skilled, the vast majority can't tell you why X is done, they just know that their job is to do it, consistently, in a specific timeframe.

I'm sure "educated" and "uneducated" labor get lazy, and issues occur. But I fail to see how that is any different between companies, when they're pulling from the same labor pool?

It's not ignorance, it's an overly simplistic summary admittedly, but the the assembly line workers, that's what it is. "I connect X to Y, on Z and my job is done. NEXT".

The Seasonic critique had to do with remote supply chains and not being able to effectively monitor all aspects of assembly for QC. "Industry leading 12 year warranty" is marketing. It's not a reflection of how long they actually expect the PSU to last. To be fair: I can say the same about Corsair's 10 year warranty.
Can any manufacturer control 100% of their supply chain? Not unless it's their own factories, at which point, they fail to be a "supply chain".
They can make a good effort (perhaps by having 3 people on the ground in a given country?) and QC a certain percentage of a product line, but that doesn't ensure 100% of their supply chain is without error ESPECIALLY when they're using the same pool of skilled/unskilled/trained, adults, children and monkeys?

"Industry leading 12 year warranty" is marketing, sure. It's not false, assuming "industry" is consumer...
But at least you can appreciate that it's an overreach by all companies.
Very similar to "all Japanese caps" to me. Accurate, just not perhaps relevant in all cases.

The entire 'spark' for this thread could be considered along the same lines as "Japanese Caps", in fairness.



So, Seasonic are not always 'better', but you need a crash course in PSU 101 to understand WHY one is better than the other. Or, you could just buy a Seasonic...

The rest of the quote, and source:
 
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Here's a perfect anology....

Volkswagen. German engineering. Engineering so advanced, the term has become a cliche.

I bought one of the Jetta Wagons, made in Wolfsburg even, counting on superior German engineering.

I did NOT, however, count on getting a car assembled the day after Oktoberfest. The welds on the seat rails weren't properly done (broke loose), the clips that hold the cables for the power windows snapped, and the transmission completely failed (somehow... never got details.) Fortunately, it was all covered by warranty, and my experience seems to be the exception and not the norm, but I've yet to buy another VW since.
I can't keep up with how many Corsair liquid coolers and power supplies have shown up here in the forums that crapped out within the first 1-2 years. Literally hundreds that I've seen, and that's only within the past 4 years. Sometimes the warranty covered it, other times it was past the warranty period. Meanwhile, I've seen maybe one or two Seasonic products go bad. I think Corsair has made some major improvements, but their older products are still out there floating around.

My point is I'd rather have to send in 1 out of 100 units for warranty repair/replacement from Seasonic, than to have to send in 1 out of every 10 from Corsair. Maybe Corsair has better QC now, but they haven't always. *Those numbers are arbitrary and not factual, but they resemble my experience in diagnosing PC problems over the years.

To clarify though, Corsair has made good products in the past, along with poor quality products.
 
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Mandark

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Here's a perfect anology....

Volkswagen. German engineering. Engineering so advanced, the term has become a cliche.

I bought one of the Jetta Wagons, made in Wolfsburg even, counting on superior German engineering.

I did NOT, however, count on getting a car assembled the day after Oktoberfest. The welds on the seat rails weren't properly done (broke loose), the clips that hold the cables for the power windows snapped, and the transmission completely failed (somehow... never got details.) Fortunately, it was all covered by warranty, and my experience seems to be the exception and not the norm, but I've yet to buy another VW since.
nah man, that's just VW, CRAP. period. I know firsthand all the terrible troubles they have with all their cars. been in that support db, they are terrible for longevity and reliability. german eng is meh, Japanese beat the hell out of them and have for decades--we beat the hell out of them in WW2, even FORD is much far superior (any model to anything VW has)
 
Not publicly, no. But I have another trip to Vietnam next month. ;-)

I will say that, for now, all we can do is send sub-assemblies out of China for final assembly. Essentially fully assembled PCBA's made in China sent out to be put into housings because we still can't find people competent enough to "put X component in Y location on Z PCB".

It's been pretty well known for awhile that Vietnam would be the next Country that is exploited by the Corporations. Then once the wages get too high and the certain jerks get rich enough they will leave and Exploit another Country and so on.

I had this very conversation with someone about 7 years ago.
 
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jonnyguru

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I can't keep up with how many Corsair liquid coolers and power supplies have shown up here in the forums that crapped out within the first 1-2 years. Literally hundreds that I've seen, and that's only within the past 4 years. Sometimes the warranty covered it, other times it was past the warranty period. Meanwhile, I've seen maybe one or two Seasonic products go bad. I think Corsair has made some major improvements, but their older products are still out there floating around.
Well, you also have to take into consideration volume. If you look at the NPD data for PSUs, for example, even Silverstone outsells Seasonic (which surprised me, actually). If you sell 100 times more products, you're going to see 100 times the complaints. So instead of 1 complaint, you see 100.

And AIO coolers are a horrible analogy for power supplies. There's only three manufacturers that make them and one of them is too busy trying to sue the other two out of business to focus on making the product better.
 

Barty1884

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Well, you also have to take into consideration volume. If you look at the NPD data for PSUs, for example, even Silverstone outsells Seasonic (which surprised me, actually). If you sell 100 times more products, you're going to see 100 times the complaints. So instead of 1 complaint, you see 100.
So, regardless of "tiers", you'll see complains/defects/RMA directly proportionate to volume? :p
Of course not. But of course you're correct more volume = more "issues".

I think the real question is: "could a highly trained and educated monkey assemble a power supply?"
Good question...End to end, unlikely.

Could a highly trained (forget educated) monkey assemble one aspect in the line? I'd think so.

So, another question could be "could a team of highly trained monkeys assemble a power supply?", I'd suspect could be a yes. No design, not QC, assemble.

Heck, a barely trained monkey could even do basic QC for output/regulation, where an educated individual codes Green = Pass, Red = Fail.

To be clear, I'm not belittling what goes into making a PSU overall ... Or any other product for that matter, cars, buildings etc - but when the complete "product" is an amalgamation of a bunk of individuals doing a single part, repeatedly.... most steps in the process are not particularly complex in execution. Complex in terms of design etc, I'm not disputing.
 
That sounds like an incredibly easy job. I wonder how much the sweatshop workers make?

As little as possible really and work very long hours under horriable conditions.

It's part of the general exploitation....

Meanwhile the jerks are living in their zillion dollar houses and complain about wages they are paying. :rolleyes:

They send their kids to the Ivy League schools so they can be jerks just like their mommies and daddies and carry it all on to the next generation etc.
 
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Barty1884

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That sounds like an incredibly easy job. I wonder how much the sweatshop workers make?
Quite a few aspects are, when viewed as a single cog in a wheel.... That's my point.

As for how much, anywhere from 14-20 yuan/hour ($1.99-$2.84), depending on where in Guangdong Province specifically. I wouldn't be surprised if there was collusion* from a lot of big players to keep the relevant areas in the lower C or D wage structures, although Shenzen proper does set it's own minimum wage structure
 

Barty1884

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@jonnyguru Why would people concider moving manufacturing elsewhere if the manufacturing cost is likely low currently and also especially if there is a solid foundation of trained workers?
I'd expect the obvious answer. Cost.

Companies are always going to be on the lookout for ways to cut costs - especially with uncertainty in overhead etc. With the obvious reasons for rising costs, it's going to be prudent to explore options. But, let's not get into that reason specifically..
 
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