Earlier this year, several members of the ListenUp team, including general manager/vice president Ben Larkin and sales consultants Kevin Russell (Denver), Mike Dean (Boulder) and Patrick Loudenback (Albuquerque) were treated to an extensive tour of the Simaudio MOON facility in Boucherville, Quebec, a suburb of Montreal. (See videos and photos below.) Let’s let Ben gives us the overview:
The MOON facility tour gave our team an overview of the Simaudio Corporation and how they handle everything with respect to sales, administration and, most importantly, engineering, design and manufacturing. Everything that MOON makes is designed, mocked up, fabricated and produced in their facility in Quebec… They have a full-on engineering facility there where they create, design and test all their products and prototypes. They build everything in house.
Almost everything is done in-house
The folks at MOON take pride in doing almost everything in house, including all the metal work and fabrication. There are a couple of things like some press-break sheet metal work that they subcontract from a local sheet metal house in Quebec, but other than that it’s all done at the MOON facility.
MOON even sources the raw components, including the raw-stock aluminum. For instance, they’ll buy 30-foot long aluminum bars and fold one into a Haas CNC machine, which are multi-million dollar machines that fabricate these parts from scratch.
The folks at MOON also have their own printed circuit board machine where they design their own boards, and they have their own surface-mount circuit board fabrication machine. They’re able to make their own circuit boards, of any type, from scratch, in-house, which allows them to make on-the-fly changes. So they can identify a design flaw or a design improvement and implement it within 24-48 hours to make mid-stride changes to their products. Overseas manufacturers, on the other hand, have to order huge numbers of circuit boards, and if there’s a problem they can’t just stop the production line. They have to sell through all the inventory that is either low performing or could have been improved upon.
Testing and quality control at every stage
MOON tests their boards incrementally and then tests them as a whole. When they create a section on the board, they test that section. When they add another section to the board, they test that section and then they test the board as a whole. And when they add another section they do the same thing… So sometimes these boards get 10-15 generations of testing!
MOON services everything they’ve ever made. They’ll even repair the first part they ever made! Their advanced surface-mount circuit board fabrication machine (shown below) allows them to easily fix MOON components no matter what the generation. This is the type of future-proofing technology that helps protect your investment in MOON’s high-performance equipment.
A skilled technician works in the assembly area.
Another view from the assembly area.
Work being done in the milling and aluminum fabrication area.
This advanced soldering machine individually wave solders each contact rather than flowing solder over the whole board.
The main assembly area.
The repair center.
Surface-mounted parts assembly.
A limited edition, 24-carrot-gold-plated 600i integrated amplifier,
A special edition 810LP phono-preamp with the "Dark Side of the Moon logo milled right into the aluminum.