A Phased Disassembler Array (PDA) was a device used throughout the galaxy by various races for construction. The Kushan used PDAs for Mothership construction, in essence filling the role of ships foundry, but they were also found in Taiidan units, Vaygr, and many other. Each PDA used fusion torches to break down materials into their constituent atoms, after which robots recombined the atoms into the desired components or alloys. These small components would then be assembled into larger constructs, even something as complex as a Battlecruiser. The Naggarok used an extremely powerful PDA to "feed" but unfortunately remained immobile during this process, which was this vessel's major weakness.
In Hiigaran fleet operations, Resource Collectors would transfer the deconstructed resources to the larger vessels, such as a Mobile Refinery, and the materials would pass through the ships PDA. Atomized materials were sorted by a Magneto-Hydrodynamic Shunt Field and contained in large storage shells.
Behind the ScenesEdit
There is an unintended glitch regarding Resource Collectors and Aggressive tactics (Homeworld only): according to The Assimilator's walkthrough/strategy guide, "on some occasions, idle Resourcers on Aggressive will actually attack and destroy enemy ships (Frigate-class and larger); they do this by using their PDA beam to suck the armor off the enemy ship's hull, so you actually get RUs from this." This has been observed as half-true: although Collectors do attack enemy ships, they won't gain resources from it.