Spire Suppliers Part 1: An Introduction and Our CM

Spire has over a 100 parts, each of which must be carefully sourced to exacting standards.  Many of these parts are custom parts, designed by us. This means we go through many iterations with the factories who build them to make sure everything is working together and to our specification.

Over the past number of months we’ve been hard at work getting all of this to come together.  Now that its come together and we are doing “test production” builds, we wanted to share a bit with you.

Over the next few blog posts we are going to introduce you to some of the factories involved in making Spire and show you pictures of the device coming together.

Meet Our CM (Contract Manufacturer):

The best place to start this blog series is at the top of the chain — our contract manufacturer (commonly referred to as “CM”).  This is the factory where all of the parts go for final assembly and testing.

There are four basic steps that happen at the CM:

1. All the electrical components are assembled onto our PCB (the circuit board).  This is done using an automated machine called a “pick and place machine.” It literally picks up each tiny electrical component using a small suction cup and then places it on the correct place on the PCB.  This “placed” PCB, which has been pre-coated with solder, is then run through a special oven. This oven essentially melts everything in place.

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Check out this cool gif of the pick and place machine in action:

2. The Assembled PCB (called PCBA) is then run through a suite of tests.  Our engineering team built these tests to automatically go through every functionality of the device, carefully testing that each electrical component is working as it should.

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3. Now we actually put the device together.  An assembly line of about 10 stations is set up.  Each station – and the operator on the station – performs a specific task using tools and “rigs” designed to make their job faster and reduce errors.   Assembly stations include soldering on the battery, the wireless charging coil and vibration motor, screwing the PCB to the stone shell and screwing our clip to the stone.

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4. Finally, we test the assembled device again to make sure nothing was damaged during assembly. Then, Spire is packages up and ready to be shipped.

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Check back in for more posts featuring our manufacturers and updates on the Spire building process!

Note: Due to legal reasons of confidentiality we cannot release the name of our suppliers.  Our CM partner is a global, multi-billion dollar manufacturer that works with top tier brands (such as Samsung, LG, etc.) and follows the highest international environmental, labor, and quality standards.

 

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