Process Engineering for Advanced Assembly with Chao Vang and Sebastian Weber

June 18, 2019 Judy Warner

Today we have a treat for you; we’re going to talk to two bright, young leaders at Advanced Assembly, Chao Vang, who’s the Engineering Manager there, and also Sebastian Weber who’s their Process Engineer. Both have come up through Advanced Assembly, learned in the trenches and they’re going to share great tips with you on how to make sure that your assembly is done right the first time and this will save you a lot of headaches.

Listen to the Podcast:

Download this episode (right click and save)

Watch the video:

Show Highlights:

  • Chao’s degree and background are in Computer Engineering and Electronics Technology. She started off at Advanced Assembly ten years ago as the Coding Engineer; did sales for two years, and has been in her current role for two years now.
  • Sebastian has a degree and background in Electronics Engineering and quick-turn assembly. He started as a Receiving & Shipping Supervisor and due to his technical knowledge, gradually got into more technical positions and eventually Process Engineer which he’s been doing for three-and-a-half years.
  • Located in Aurora, Colorado, Advanced Assembly is the original quick-turn PCB assembly service shop; the pioneer in these services 15 years ago. Built from the ground up, they are specifically geared towards prototypes and small quantity quick-turns.
  • Over the years they’ve assembled over 40 000 unique designs. With a staff complement of 105, their focus is that they are real people, with real experiences ensuring their customers get exactly what and when they need it.
  • What happens after you receive the data package and files? Critical files required for DFA (design for assembly) check are: BOM, XYRS (pick and place files), and all the layers of Gerbers which must include copper, paste and silkscreen. For customers who don’t have all the files, we can create them.
  • Most jobs (in fact, 95%, go on hold initially due to missing files.
  • What is the first step for process engineering? Review files for special assembly notes, identify designs that aren’t necessarily the best for manufacturing and communicate on issues long before the actual build.
  • What issues most routinely come up on the process engineering side? Via in pad especially on BGAs, glass top micro-BGAs, overage on very small parts.
  • Common issues in front-end engineering: in the BOM, parts called out are not the same as in the description, for example, capacitors and resistors as well as polarity issues.
  • How many parts on an average board? Between 250 to 500 - the DFA check takes almost two hours depending on complexity and some jobs have thousands of parts.
  • What can your customers do to speed things up? Talk to the assembly house and ask what they need. A schematic and list of special requirements can help tremendously.
  • Tips from engineering: Keep suggestions and feedback from the assembly house and do these implementations upon the next revision to avoid rework and related costs.
  • How would customer’s implementing your suggestions impact you as an assembler? Mostly shorten lead time by preventing jobs from going on hold.  
  • Better planning means better results - partner up with your assembler and save money.
  • All front-end engineering is done before a purchase order is even produced, meaning, the customer doesn’t pay for the DFA check.
  • Parts sourced during the quoting phase through proprietary software and Octopart® shortens the sourcing time from an hour, to an average of 5 to 7 minutes!
  • It’s been confirmed that Advanced Assembly will be at AltiumLive, October 9 - 11, 2019

Links and Resources:

Trade In Your Outdated PCB Design Tool & Unlock 45% OFF Altium Designer today!

About the Author

Judy Warner


Judy Warner has held a unique variety of roles in the electronics industry since 1984. She has a deep background in PCB Manufacturing, RF and Microwave PCBs and Contract Manufacturing with a focus on Mil/Aero applications in technical sales and marketing.

She has been a writer, contributor and journalist for several industry publications such as Microwave Journal, The PCB Magazine, The PCB Design Magazine, PDCF&A and IEEE Microwave Magazine and is an active member of multiple IPC Designers Council chapters.

In March 2017, Warner became the Director of Community Engagement for Altium and immediately launched Altium’s OnTrack Newsletter.
She led the launch of AltiumLive: Annual PCB Design Summit, a new and annual Altium User Conference.

Judy's passion is to provide resources, support and to advocate for PCB Designers around the world.

Follow on Twitter Follow on Linkedin Visit Website More Content by Judy Warner
Previous Article
Board Fabrication Tips and Myths
Board Fabrication Tips and Myths

Myth bust PCB fabrication and assembly with Amit Bahl.

Next Article
How to Conquer Data Package Problems
How to Conquer Data Package Problems

Keep up with the spec updates and speed up PCB Fabrication. Learn more here.