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Need used pick and place for low volume, high mix - suggestions?

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#61711

Need used pick and place for low volume, high mix - suggestions? | 27 April, 2010

I am looking at buying a pick and place machine to assemble the circuit boards we make.

Most of the boards are small (2 to 10 square inches), most are 2 sided, and have maybe 20-50 parts per side. I use mostly 0805/0603 chips, SOT-23, SOD-123, SOIC-8, etc. I have some microcontrollers in a QFN-56 or QFN-68 package (0.5mm lead pitch). The biggest parts are stuff like TQFP-64. I generally make about 500 boards a month, which works out to 20,000-50,000 placements a month. So I don't need anything super fast. I would like to be able to do 0402 parts however. I also do some unique parts like Luxeon Rebels where I need to be able to adjust the pick location and the head movement speed so I don't drop it, so the machine must be flexible enough for that sort of thing.

I am trying to not break the bank... maybe the $10-15k range.

I've bought a few machines before with bad luck... so whatever I get, I just want it to work. I don't mind doing maintenance and some repairs myself, but I don't want someone else's problem child that they are unloading. It seems the machines I bought before we just this - someone else's problem child and all needed tons of tweaking to get them to run for a solid few days.

Is my $10-15k range reasonable? What would be a good suggestion in this price range? Any idea where to get such a machine?

I talked to QC Electronics... they say they can sell me a late 90's used Quad IV-C for that money, with maybe feeders, and the machine will be "completely gone through and checked out". PPM said for $15k or so they can also sell me a Quad IV-C that is refurbished to as-new condition.

I know nothing about Quad machines. I like that the Quad runs on a dos software, so I can back it up and I know my way around DOS easily. But I would much rather have a point-and-click windows interface... but maybe that is not reasonable.

There are a lot of machines on eBay, but they will often say they were taken out of service a year ago and sell them "as-is", and I'd never spend $15k on an as-is no-recourse machine that nobody knows if it works.

Any suggestions?

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#61714

Need used pick and place for low volume, high mix - suggestions? | 28 April, 2010

We use Quad IICs, and IVCs and love them. They can be expensive to fix, but they are pretty reliable. I think PPM is releasing Windows software for their rebuilt machines, although I think it was going to be exensive. Maybe they give it away with a machine purchase though?

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#61715

Need used pick and place for low volume, high mix - suggestions? | 28 April, 2010

Thanks for the reply. Can I ask you a few questions..

-Do you prefer the IVC or the IIC? -What sort of actual components/hour throughput do you get? -Did you have any issues with the machines? (so I can check anything I buy to be sure it's free of any common issues) -What don't you like about them? -When you say "expensive to fix", are you talking thousands per year? Are you having them fixed by factory guys? -Do you have a ballpark figure on bad placements? I mean, is it like 1% of components gets placed wrongly? Or more? Or less?

Thank you for any info you can provide!

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#61719

Need used pick and place for low volume, high mix - suggestions? | 29 April, 2010

If you go with a Quad from PPM, I believe that they've developed a windows interface for the machine. They also have a couple of old Quad people working there for continued support.

--I receive no benedits from PPM, but I am a happy customer--

We use MyData's for our production. In my experience, they're one of the best for high-mix low volume, and have all the capabilities that you're looking for. Not sure what you'll find on the market in your price range, though.

As a Contract Manufacturer, though, I would suggest that you do a full cost benefit analysis of adding assembly to your repetoire. A lot of companies have found that their core competencies do not lie in product manufacturing, but in design, sales, and service. There are a number of smaller CMs out there that would excel at your volumes/mixes.

cheers, ..rob

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#61722

Need used pick and place for low volume, high mix - suggestions? | 29 April, 2010

contact me at vee@smtmax.com. I can be your solution to what you need! Vee

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