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Used auto printer; any to avoid?

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Tom

#75868

Used auto printer; any to avoid? | 10 June, 2016

Our company is looking to upgrade from a dek249 semi-auto printer to an automatic inline printer since we're doing some fine pitch packages which are tricky to line up, and we'll soon be tackling bga's for our products. We're looking on the used market exclusively; we can't afford new machines. We would prefer a smaller foot print machine to save space. Some models that we are considering are dek 265gsx and mpm up2000. Does anyone have thoughts on these models or specific used machines to avoid in our search?

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#75869

Used auto printer; any to avoid? | 10 June, 2016

A UP2000 is a great choice. I'd avoid the AP family from MPM. It's not that they're bad, per se, but the air bearings make it fiddly, maintenance intensive and a giant air hog, and you don't need the speed.

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Tom

#75870

Used auto printer; any to avoid? | 10 June, 2016

Thanks for the input. I actually read similar comments about the AP series from some posts a while back on this forum which has kept me clear of it.

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#75877

Used auto printer; any to avoid? | 14 June, 2016

Shopping for 265GSX, stay away from Black Camera (or any 265EX), for supportability issues. If you have expectation of useful 2D inspection it must have GREEN camera.

See notes: http://www.dekhead.com/id31.html

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Tom

#75878

Used auto printer; any to avoid? | 14 June, 2016

Thanks, Dekhead!

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Rob

#75880

Used auto printer; any to avoid? | 15 June, 2016

Both are good printers, the key thing buying kit this old is availability of spares and support - Check out what is available local to you.

We have 14 DEKs, which we are happy with - but the support in one of our regions is fantastic (local independant), and in another it leaves a lot to be desired (familiarity with older machines).

There is great 3rd party DEK support we know of in UK, Belguim & Texas for example, but totally depends on where you are.

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#75882

Used auto printer; any to avoid? | 15 June, 2016

Try to stay away from very old machines. Most of these machines are so beaten up, that it is hard to put in action(expensive as well). I just got one MPM 10 years old and to make it work it will cost us 10k usd and a lot of labor. In the current condition it is not runable.

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Tom

#75883

Used auto printer; any to avoid? | 15 June, 2016

It's hit and miss with older machines I know, but we've been able to get through a lot of stuff with good documentation and help from people on this forum and the oem's. We have put toghether our own smt line with ~20yr old machines for about 5-7% of what it would cost for new equipment. It would be impossible for a company our size to do it any other way (currently 4 employees, ~$1M.) I spent months of research learning how to run this equipment (UIC GSM1's) as well as the smt process in my evening time as I had no other guidance. I figured these machines were perfectly capable still even being 20 years old as several CM's that we were contracting before built our products on them. Having the time to attack an issue is an important factor but having access to cheap spares and complete documentation for operation and maintenance are critical to keep expenses low. I know it is not practical for larger companies to operate this way but it is how we intend to grow larger; it has been very challenging but very rewarding for us. That being said, I feel we have been fortunate with our equipment and I do intend have this purchase demonstrated to try and avoid wasted time.

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Tom

#75884

Used auto printer; any to avoid? | 15 June, 2016

What model MPM printer? What did you pay? What was the repair required?

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#75887

Used auto printer; any to avoid? | 16 June, 2016

MPMs have these platens that camera travels on. one's these get scratched(wear out through the years, bad maintenance....the camera starts overshooting position...and you have to replace them.

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#75888

Used auto printer; any to avoid? | 16 June, 2016

I see your point and I know you can make this machines run, but it doesn't change the fact that when you need them most they will let you down. It is almost impossible to find spare parts for some of them, as they are no longer supported. If you have to deal with everyday production that has to ship always on strict schedule, 20 year old equipment is not an option. If you have just to build some boards one's in a while and time is not critical, old machines will do just great.

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Tom

#75891

Used auto printer; any to avoid? | 16 June, 2016

I agree that if you end up with a machine that needs more repair than one in good condition is worth, then you have a boat anchor. That is what I am looking to avoid with this next purchase as I don't have much experience with auto printers. Your information has helped reinforce the need for inspection before purchase and common issues to look for during this inspection is what I'm looking to find out more about.

We run our equipment one or two days a week and produce a few hundred boards per week; we anticipate this volume will grow and with better cashflow we can invest in less dated equipment where we find it necessary. Since our investment was rather low we should have our equipment paid off (investment recovered) in several months of operations. If we do have down time we have several local CM's we can send the work to while we sort out our issue. However, since we only produce our own products and control our own inventroy we can usually afford the down time without much insterruption to shipping. As you mentioned; if our operations were air tight and we had a strict schedule with no inventory buffer then used machines would not be an option.

We are quite happy with our GSM machines though and we've assembled a pretty decent spares crib of common parts for most of our equipment. I figure if I see a lot of a perticular model on the used market there were probably a lot of them made and there will be a lot of parts available. Ovens are available at the drop of a hat; people practically give them away. Most of our equipment came from large manufacturers (TI, Intel, etc.) with complete maintenance and upgrade logs and low hours which, anticipating they were in good care, is why we were fairly comfortable purchasing them.

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#76008

Used auto printer; any to avoid? | 16 July, 2016

As an MPM guy and would choose.....MPM, surprise! Of the legacy models the UP2000 seems to be the favor among most of my clients. Newer models like the Accuflex's and Accela/Momentims are great, but as far as the old stuff the UP2K's are the favorites. My preferred printer is actually the Ultraflex or the slightly older UP3000, because of the built in side snugger; no vacuum or foils required. Most clients do not want these as they are large machines and have a little more gong on electro-mechanically speaking, but the are still awesome in my book. A 250k machine for around 18-25k average. Go with the UP2000, lots of parts and pretty easy to repair. I would suggest the HIE model and you may avoid the NT systems as the are much more of the DOS systems/parts around.

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