Now that we have shipped out new Spectrum development samples, let’s take a step-by-step look at how we quickly built these more refined units by moving Spectrum assembly onto an efficient factory line, as well as the benefits and challenges it brings. This series of behind-the-scene looks begins today.
New to the project?
If you just joined our journey of crowd-development, welcome! We summarized the Spectrum project’s critical milestones to quickly give you an idea of what has happened since we initiated it.
Why a mini build?
A minimum-quantity, manual production run (a ‘mini build’) is conducted to obtain a standard operating procedure (SOP). This procedure then becomes the guideline for the assembly line when creating the rest of the new samples. The mini build involves developing an assembly guide, then verifying it by assembling a sample manually. Anything that helps to achieve crucial steps during this assembly process – such as installing the mid frame onto the panel in the correct direction, plugging each connector into its respective port, or arranging the precisely-sized cables neatly so they fit – is noted down alongside the process to ensure the resulting SOP is as clear and easy-to-follow as possible.
Putting a Spectrum together
Installing the mid-frame
An operator installs the mid-frame on the panel’s back and then secures it by fastening fifteen screws. The first run takes the operator multiple attempts to put the mid-frame in the correct direction to make it fit perfectly. Identification of this direction thus becomes an essential step in the SOP.
Plugging in connectors and adding the PCB
Two embedded DisplayPort (eDP) connectors are inserted. These cables efficiently bridge image signals between the mainboard and the panel while allowing a relatively simple assembly process. The operator noted that it’s vital that the longer cable be placed further away from the monitor’s center compared to a shorter one, so they can both reach their target. The remaining two connectors are then plugged into the panel; they are used by the mainboard to control the panel’s backlight. The operator first secures the printed circuit board (PCB) onto the metal box in a separate process. The box is then fitted to the guild ribs on the panel’s shielding with the PCB facing inward, and the four cables are plugged into the PCB and arranged neatly with the added cable clip.
Installing the rear frame and joystick
The joystick board is screwed onto the rear frame, and the cable that comes out of it is attached to the rear frame via two tapes. The mainboard executes changes to OSD options via this cable base on the general-purpose input/output (GPIO) port’s voltage readings. The operator connects it to the PCB when the rear frame is installed. The onboard port must be correctly identified as the installation process sandwiches this port between the rear frame and the panel’s shielding, making it challenging to observe. The joystick cap is installed later, after the rear frame is pressed into place.
Securing the housing and installing the stand
Next, the operator uses four large screws to secure the rear frame to the panel’s shielding to achieve good stability for the entire monitor. The monitor is then mounted to the stand with a “click” sound as the quick release moves to lock down the stand’s position.
Powering the sample on and navigating the OSD
The LED is lit up after the power cable is plugged in. With a single press of the power button, the unit turns on and receives a video signal via an HDMI cable. I could navigate through the OSD correctly using the joystick on the back.
Analysis and a second run
The resistance force of stand adjustments, including height and rotation, is tested on the sample as we are tuning it to offer easy adjustability and a solid feel. The operator then disassembles the sample and builds it again to ensure that we had caught all crucial tips, and a guide based on this process can be applied to the upcoming tens of units on the assembly line.
See the mini build in action!
As the monitor is preparing an SOP to deploy later, our stand factory readied the latest version of the Spectrum stand on their assembly line. This, we will detail in the next update. Talk soon!