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Chinese Production SMT Machines???

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I am new to SMT and need to buy a pick n place machine that ... - Mar 01, 2018 by Reckless  

#79860

Chinese Production SMT Machines??? | 1 March, 2018

I am new to SMT and need to buy a pick n place machine that runs ~7500 cph and super reliable/no headache. My budget is $10,000. Either I buy seriously used (~15-20 years old gsm) or new Chinese unit. I saw this video and am seriously considering playing with fire:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T2rbnOQntFc http://www.zjyingxing.com/products/pick-and-place-machine-smt660-with-6-heads-64-feeders-ID259.html

They claim to sell 500/year. It uses alot of panasonic parts which sound reliable. I appreciate all opinions. They have been in business 9 years but focused more on table top units which seem to get good reviews. This unit has a z axis of 20mm which will work with my radial cap.

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#79861

Chinese Production SMT Machines??? | 1 March, 2018

Concerns about this machine:

1. It is very light - only 500kg. I will seriously doubt real speed of 7500cph. 2. 8 cameras???? Whatever the concept is, this is weird. imagine how a calibration of this toy will look like. 3. Feeder positions - only 64. Serious limitations on the product that you can run 4. Feeder variety - up to 24mm only. Serious limitation on the parts that you can use. 5. Precision of motors - 10um. I will say forget about 0201 and probably 0402 components. We don't know how precise the feeder is, so I don't think it will be able even to pick small parts correctly. You should consider it for 0603 and bigger. 6. software - Any machine can be more likable with a good software. Have you seen this one? 7. Technical support is questionable. You should make sure there is one.

Pros:

1. It is new 2. It is really cheap

If you feel adventures, I would say go for it. If you know another platform of a reputable manufacturer well, definitely go for that(even if it is more expensive)

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#79863

Chinese Production SMT Machines??? | 1 March, 2018

EVTimov, Thanks for responding with your thoughts. I appreciate it!

In regards to your thoughts, my biggest issue is we do use alot of 0402 components. This unit is probably built on their success of their simple table top unit which no one has posted about issues with 0402. We don't use 0201 currently but one of the reasons I was looking at this over the unit below it was the capability of 0201 (if it can handle lower than my requirement it should be more robust). My boards have 30 components so the feeder positions may not be an issue.

I think software will be a big issue but they offer free 24/7 online support.

I have never worked with an SMT machine, was tempted to try one of the smaller chinese machines but somehow started consider this. If you look at the video it looks like its running 7500 cph as its moving very fast.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T2rbnOQntFc

I hate being a guinea pig.

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#79865

Chinese Production SMT Machines??? | 1 March, 2018

How many feeders do you need and what is the price of each width? Factor that into your equation.

Onsite service is coming from ???

Annual fees for tech support, etc.?

Does it handle matrix trays? You might need that in the future.

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#79866

Chinese Production SMT Machines??? | 1 March, 2018

I only need 30 feeders. It comes with 64. What do you mean price of each width?

No onsite service - so major drawback.

Free tech support 24/7 for lifetime of product.

What are matrix trays?

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#79868

Chinese Production SMT Machines??? | 1 March, 2018

You guys got me thinking I should try their smaller machine first which runs half the price and then upgrade to the larger machine if this actually works.

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dwl

#79869

Chinese Production SMT Machines??? | 1 March, 2018

I would be very cautious about buying a first generation machine. In my experience new platforms always have bugs and problems. Even the high end, established pick and place suppliers have issues with new platforms.

Are you based in China? It's hard to diagnose and fix problems over the phone, often there is no substitution for in person support. 24/7 support is useless if they can't solve the problem.

Just my 2 cents.

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#79870

Chinese Production SMT Machines??? | 1 March, 2018

I wouldn't touch one of these Chinese machines if a reliable "no headaches" experience is what you are after. I'm sure they do OK for whatever it is they are designed for, but actual volume production not so much. As others have said, proper machines are large, heavy & expensive for a reason, that is what is necessary to move both accurately and quickly. I don't believe the speed claims of this machine, 6-nozzles or not.

Your budget is frankly tiny, if you have that little to spare you're better off using a contractor to do your surface mount work. Ask yourself why you think need a surface mount machine.

7500cph is a not inconsiderable speed, plenty of pretty decent flexible mounters would have had actual (i.e not theoretical) placement speeds around that only 10 years ago. If you still think you need your own machine, ask where you got this number from.

There are 3 main machine types,. 1)Chipshooters - fast machines that only handle small parts like resistors. 2)Odd-form/"end of line" - a machine that does the larger parts and more accurate work at a slower pace. 3)Flex - do a reasonable job of all parts. Flex shoots are very varying degrees of flexible there are often limits that don't meet the demands of modern designs (e.g component height), you have to really understand your requirements and a machines specs to get the right one.

Feeder widths: components in tape come in 8,12,16,24,32,44mm..width tapes. On all normal platforms each of those tape widths requires a dedicated feeder width that supports that size, and feeders are an additional cost to the machine. As you can imagine a 24mm feeder might use 3-4 of the feeder spaces that an 8mm feeder might use. That makes 64 feeders a potentially very small number. A typical non-chinese machine might have 80-120 feeder spaces, and most people would need more than one machine to add up to a useful number.

Devices like processors or memory often come in plastic JEDEC trays, these are called matrix trays. A Machine can normally handle these in two ways. 1)A fixed platform either in the machine or taking up some of those valuable feeder slots. 2) A Matrix tray feeder, this a large (and expensive) mechanised racking system that presents a tray of parts to the machine when required, the rack can hold multiple trays of multiple parts. If you have lots of parts or would other wise need to be restocking the machine with new trays all the time a matrix tray feeder might use either fewer feeder spaces or take up less of your time.

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#79873

Chinese Production SMT Machines??? | 2 March, 2018

The budget is tiny, I agree. It is more to get our feet wet. We are mostly afraid of adding more steps in the process thereby making it more difficult to implement. I want to avoid a wave soldering machine and also want to avoid making two passes for 2 sided pcb. We have less than 40 parts but in a very small pcb area (0.5"x0.5"). I have 3 thru hole parts and want to find a way to vacuum place them.

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#79874

Chinese Production SMT Machines??? | 2 March, 2018

Thanks for the explanation but we dont have a need for a JEDEC tray or matrix tray feeder.

My volume is half million pieces a year so we are on the small side of the spectrum.

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#79875

Chinese Production SMT Machines??? | 2 March, 2018

I wouldn't bet on 24/7 support from company which can't even describe properly in English what they sell on their web.

The questions you should have ask this manufacturer are:

- how many machines they have sold and where? - can you speak with their customers? - how they solve problems with defective parts, software upgrades etc.

I will tell you my experience with Chinese Stencil printer manufacturer: I paid $31K for printer just looking at the specs like you do now. Then I paid about $10K for transport, import taxes and duties. The manufacturer seems to be legit "Shenzhen Huancheng Automation Equipment HC printer"

What came was printer which mechanically looks good, but the software was incredible crappy and I never managed to run it properly. I spent lot of time trying to communicate with them, making videos showing how their machine do not work.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lxyQUpkzG3Y

Their support was sort of - please check if this sensor is OK or this input works. Sure they were working hardware wise, but not in the software. So they sent me machine with some buggy preliminary software which they never tested as otherwise they would see that this printer can't operate correctly. Inside this machine there was normal PC. I got access to it and found that the PC is full with viruses and trojans. There were some folders with pirated movies with Chinese subtitles, obviously their developers were watching films while developing :D Their solution was: please send back the printer we fixed all software errors and we can update. So after I paid transport from China and paid all import taxes and VAT I got offered to pay transport back to china, so they do something and without any warranty that then I will not receive the same crappy printer back, but with payment of two more transports and again import taxes and VAT, so this printer just sits in one corner for 3 years. More than $40K wasted, lessons learned the hard way.

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DWL

#79876

Chinese Production SMT Machines??? | 2 March, 2018

40 parts per board multiplied by half a million per year is 20 million placements per year. That’s serious production. The machine is rated at 7500 placements per hour, so running 24/7 that’s 111 days per year.

The rated placement rates on pick and place machines are theoretical at best. Reputable vendors will tell you this. If you are lucky you will get a third of this in real production. This pushes your build time to 330 days per year. Factor in holiday down time, maintenance, unexpected break downs etc. you will struggle to meet you demand.

This assumes the machine is everything the vendor says it is. I’m willing to bet $10,000 plus shipping that it’s not.

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#79887

Chinese Production SMT Machines??? | 4 March, 2018

If the machine works I will order more of them or a bigger model. The idea of a desktop machine is very enticing. I can fit 10 of these in my R&D room.

It uses Yamaha pneumatic feeders which are supposed to be very reliable.

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#79888

Chinese Production SMT Machines??? | 5 March, 2018

Why on earth would you want 10? Multiple machines are normally put in a line to increase the feeder capacity & throughput. I'd wager this machine doesn't have the software to support such functionality.

If you watch the video you will notice something else, not only is it not moving anywhere near quick enough to attain the speed it claims, its using only 4 of the 6 nozzles -- why might that be? I would suggest its because this machine lacks a tool changer so runs using tools you fit manually at the beginning, which is frankly ridiculous

A line would go something like Magazine Loader->Printer->Placement->Inpsection(maybe just a conveyor long enough for someone to sit there)->Reflow Oven->Magazine loader.

That can add up to quite a length. A 2nd user automatic printer will set you back at least $10k, an oven much the same, plus delivery, plus installation, plus huge learning curve if you are new to any or all of this.

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#79903

Chinese Production SMT Machines??? | 6 March, 2018

My wish would be to put 2-3 smaller 4 nozzle/7000cph desktop units and not in line saving me changeover time. Mostly because of the small real estate footprint. I can put one next to my office running 110V/350W - its small enough to fit on my desk and run as fast as flexjet. Its also cheaper than a flexjet head albeit with not as many features.

In my application I dont need nozzle changeovers. With so few components, its not an issue. I will be running one large 16" x 19" pcb array of 300 boards an hour (boards are 1" ea). So roughly 10 boards a day (planning on manual screen printer).

The machine is made of high quality off the shelf components: Juki nozzles, yamaha cl feeders, panasonic servos. Hardware is great BUT bundled software is NOT. Small parts of it are in chinese. They have an aftermarket open source software openpnp and one can also program coordinates manually. They are giving me the option to buy it via paypal so if there is an issue I can make a paypal claim for 6 months if im not happy. Its getting enticing... the GSM is so large and huge and will suck alot of space. These are easy to deploy and increase production when needed IF only they work and are repeatable.

I may be delirious not recognizing the chinese curse, where things never work.

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#79913

Chinese Production SMT Machines??? | 7 March, 2018

you obviously already made your mind good luck and keep us on course it would be interesting to see how it will turn out for you

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dwl

#79916

Chinese Production SMT Machines??? | 7 March, 2018

Out of curiosity, how are you building your boards now?

Have you considered outsourcing production to a contract manufacturer?

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#79921

Chinese Production SMT Machines??? | 7 March, 2018

If you order the poo poo platter, I'm pretty sure that is what you will get.

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#79923

Chinese Production SMT Machines??? | 7 March, 2018

You are right. Changed my mind even though sparkfun thought certain chinese desktop machines are great.

Currently looking at Juki 750/760

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Rob

#79925

Chinese Production SMT Machines??? | 8 March, 2018

Don't go down that route, Juki cut spares support a few years ago on these. Although bits are available from China, you do not want to be swapping used cards. They are both also dog slow in real life whatever you do to them. Especially a 760. We're still nursing a couple and we have excellent techs.

If you must buy a bargain basement machine, find out what is used local to you and how good the support network is in your State so you are not spending big money flying people in all the time.

Mydata's are very easy to program and fix, and the old Philips/Assembleon GEM machines are solid, easy and you'll get 10K placements an hour from a Topaz. However you may find that your $10K machine soon gets bills for double that in year one.

We get conveyors, buffers, loaders, feeders, nozzles, cable cutting machines etc from China, and have great contacts out there, but we still wouldn't dream of buying an unknown generic brand machine - we have seen too many people end up with unstable ovens, flaky wave solder machines, patchy AOI etc.

That's all even before you look at the machine safety aspect....

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#79927

Chinese Production SMT Machines??? | 8 March, 2018

Sparkfun users (professional hobbyists?) will have a totally different metric for what is acceptable compared to anyone who is doing this at a proper production level. Where I work I can at least empathise a little with the kind of business you might be running, others here run huge setups and have never seen the other end of the spectrum. When we started doing surface mount we used one of these : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZaqvEftw7aI a UK built essentially tabletop placer that on a good day places may 1300cph. In USD that was probably ~$30k with a selection of feeders. Printing was done manually and we ran a small 4 -zone IR oven. All standalone like you intend to run yours. Today we still run standalone but using an Essemtec Paraquda, this manages ~5.5kCPH and personally I would suggest this is probably about as fast as you want a standalone setup to run. This is because you (puny human) are now the limiting step between each process and if you are trying to multitask or are otherwise called away form the line your work rate will fall and quality will suffer (you'll do stupid things like run the place process twice, reload a reel into the wrong feeder, put the board in backwards or just simply not be there when your budget machine goes wrong). Equally while it was discussed I wouldn't have wanted to run multiples of the slower machine either. On low end machines or machines where your simply pushing the limits of what they can do you will end up "tweaking" the placement with a pair of tweezers. We were doing that with the Versatronics and I know of other places who were doing it when running 0402 through an Essemtec FLX (machines which would have stated they placed 0201). You can certainly see the need for this step on the Chinese machines used by sparkfun types in their Youtube videos - accuracy is terrible.

As an illustration here is a UK dealer in 2nd user machines http://www.shawline.co.uk/product.php?id_product=98 who does list a price if you register. Listed is a perfectly respectable Europlacer machine with a good service history @ £23.5kGBP by the time you add feeders delivery installation and a bit of training that number probably doubles but that figure is pretty common for usable old machines. To get cheaper there is typically a catch, cannibalized spare parts only, known issues, software that only runs on a very specific custom computer, software you need to pay to transfer it to you. Or indeed the hardware is so crap no broker/dealer will touch it and you're getting it directly from the desperate seller.

Your stated target place rate easily justifies buying brand new. It also easily justifies getting a well equipped contractor to build them for you at a decent price - they might well have lines running at 30, 60 or 250 kcph. There are contractors for every type of job. We specialize in the 1-1000 PCBs range for instance, which is exactly where lots of people who have just designed something and can't get a foot in with larger manufacturers, or can't deal with the 6-12 week lead time) need us to be.

If you really want to some of your own manufacturing get started small and simple, take your time, learn the ropes use a reliable supported brand. In the US I would probably look at something from Manncorp like this https://www.manncorp.com/pick-and-place-med-high-volume-mc400.html In the UK I'd maybe buy one of these http://www.intelligentdrives.com/imp.php or a TWS Quadra, Essemtec used to be an option too but they've moved their machines further upmarket which combined with being Swiss, can make them expensive. And one last tip, do not take your manual soldering tips from DIYers Youtube videoes, the technique demonstrated by most of them is awful, paste should "roll" into apertures, they mostly hold the squeegee so near flat its pushed through. The stencil behind the squeegee should be left clean after the stroke too.

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Rob

#79930

Chinese Production SMT Machines??? | 8 March, 2018

and don't forget the Vapor phase egg ring and pressure cooker soldering method - we haven't dredged that one up on here for a few years....

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#79931

Chinese Production SMT Machines??? | 8 March, 2018

It seems Universal Instruments is local to me but I have heard the gsms are maintenance proned. I found one with a brand new head and upgraded camera for $5k. Even if I spend $5k in repairs I'm still ahead. Juki seems to dominate east and west coast.

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Rob

#79932

Chinese Production SMT Machines??? | 8 March, 2018

I wouldn't, it's not a starter machine. OS2 and it's quite an accurate and complicated bit of kit to start with.

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#79933

Chinese Production SMT Machines??? | 8 March, 2018

I only have 1 pcb populated in 3 ways using nearly all same components and could hire someone to program it?

windows ups 6.2.2.2 was much nicer

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#79934

Chinese Production SMT Machines??? | 8 March, 2018

I used OS/2 when I was a kid but I have forgotten everything now

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#79935

Chinese Production SMT Machines??? | 8 March, 2018

We currently contract our stuff out. I'm hoping to bring it back in. New machines are over $100k. If a used machine exists for $10-15k I'm open to it. I believe my job is simple other than 1 5mm QFN

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