James Smith - back-street dentist
Our James Smith, pictured above, isn't suffering from halitosis, or pretending to be a (rather dodgy) back-street dentist in downtown Taipei. Gigabyte takes the health and constitution of its visitors rather seriously and, as such, the press were made to wear masks before entering the building, in addition to submitting to a quick temperature scan.
Prior to the tour beginning we were given a presentation by the QA dept. manager, Herbert Fan, and the factory director, George Chen.
Nan-Ping is just one of four Gigabyte factories world-wide, with two based in Taiwan and another couple - the real mass-production powerhouses - in China, where labour is intrinsically cheaper.
The Nan-Ping factory is responsible for the production of all the high-end motherboards, be they desktop or server.
Nan-Ping factory 7 is a nine-floor building which accommodates around 1,100 employees and provides around 500,000 sq. ft of usable area. The visiting press were permitted to levels two, five, and seven. An aside, note the cash-machine on the basement floor? It's sure to run out quickly on Friday night.
Outline of the production lines at Nan-ping factory. The SMT lines can handle around 250,000 motherboards and 50,000 graphics cards per month, in addition to 5,000 server-based boards.
The facility can also process over 100,000 notebooks per year, so this is production on a grand scale.
Overview of the production process, as shown by the flow chart.