Printed Circuit Board Assembly & PCB Design SMT Electronics Assembly Manufacturing Forum

Printed Circuit Board Assembly & PCB Design Forum

SMT electronics assembly manufacturing forum.


Selecting an SMT Line

Greg Dowd

#14310

Selecting an SMT Line | 14 September, 1998

We are a small contract assembly shop hand placing SMT. We recently received a large contract for SMD that will require placement rates of at least 6,000 CPH. I am looking at Fuji, Mydata, Quad, and Zevatech. I have little experience with automated SMT. Does anyone have any experience with these vendors? Can anyone also recomend a good reflow oven?

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Doug Kester

#14316

Re: Selecting an SMT Line | 15 September, 1998

| We are a small contract assembly shop hand placing SMT. We recently received a large contract for SMD that will require placement rates of at least 6,000 CPH. I am looking at Fuji, Mydata, Quad, and Zevatech. I have little experience with automated SMT. Does anyone have any experience with these vendors? Can anyone also recomend a good reflow oven? Funny you should ask, but I have operational and programming experience with all the machines you listed. All have different benefits and drawbacks. IN MY OPINION: Fuji's ("FT3", "FT4") are very slick machines. Their large turret-head systems provide phenomenal CPH, constructed like tanks (and just a large), but have difficult interface for programming and operation. Can be costly to repair and have extreemly costly vibe feeders. Mydata's ("G", "H", "Hydra") are simple, easy to run, quick to chenge-over, and easy to repair, but are slow builders and require constant maintence and repair due to a design problen w/pneumatic systems. Quad (Q series) is cutting edge technology accuracy, adaptability, and intermediate to high CPH, but it's interface is windows-based, and that has a tendancy to cause machine problems (GPF's). Quad is constantly sending softwars updates/fixes so their a good investment only if you are willing to take a long ride. Older Quads ("C") have a smaller footprint than any other machine listed, are a little slower, but very reliable. Zeva's ("730" "740") have a small footprint as well, have an unusual, but simple and reliable interface, and are mechanically sound (if you have diligent PM). Accuracy somewhere between Fuji and Quad. Usually a good value.

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Jim Price

#14315

Re: Selecting an SMT Line | 15 September, 1998

| We are a small contract assembly shop hand placing SMT. We recently received a large contract for SMD that will require placement rates of at least 6,000 CPH. I am looking at Fuji, Mydata, Quad, and Zevatech. I have little experience with automated SMT. Does anyone have any experience with these vendors? Can anyone also recomend a good reflow oven? Before you jump into buying any sort of equipment, you may want to step back and survey where it is your company is heading. Are you going to be doing increasingly higher volumes of SMT type stuff? If this is so you can save yourself a very great deal of pain by getting a higher speed system now and stay away from the gantry based machines as you main production platfom. All gantry systems suffer from the same problem - they derate very quickly and before you know it you are back into the market again to get another as you company grows. While on the surface adding "modular" system seems like a good and even sensible thing, the reality is trying to get several gantry machines to balance and optimize can be a huge pain and very time consumming. Time consumming is just what you need as a contract mfg. If you are budget bound and a new high speed system is out of the question, you might want to look at the used equipment market. There are older turret style systems available for just a little more money than a new gantry machine. These will give you a lot of growth potential and eliminate the balancing / optimizing issues for quite some time. Another reason to stay away from the small gantries is they have very poor programmig and line controlling software. Despite what the gantry sales guys will say, third party software is a band-aid at best and none of them treat the whole line as one entity. Look for a vendor that does have this sort of support software and you will keep yourself from having to address this issue again after you have 3 to 5 ittle gantries setting around and it is really painful to replace them so your company can continue to grow.

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Scott McKee

#14314

Re: Selecting an SMT Line | 15 September, 1998

| We are a small contract assembly shop hand placing SMT. We recently received a large contract for SMD that will require placement rates of at least 6,000 CPH. I am looking at Fuji, Mydata, Quad, and Zevatech. I have little experience with automated SMT. Does anyone have any experience with these vendors? Can anyone also recomend a good reflow oven? I've worked Quad and Mydata... The software on the Quad is a problem, always a fix - not a solution. Feeders are expensive and finicky. I currently have two Mydata TP9-2U's that I use on 2 shifts and have had only 1 failure each in the last 12 mo's (less than I experienced on the Quad IVs). I personnally like the Mydata versatility to be able to build 10 boards without using feeders and to build a "set of 3" boards simultaniously. If you need the speed, buy a hydra. I don't think you could go wrong here. Someday I hope to get a Fuji but only when a have more than 2 or 3 of those "big" contracts. As for ovens, I have a Heller I'm happy with. Good luck, Scott

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Kevin DeLillo

#14313

Re: Selecting an SMT Line | 17 September, 1998

Greg, First, and foremost, beware the opinions on equipment... it's almost as bad as the FORD vs Chevy guys. I've noticed that some people jump into the turret style chip shooter camp or the modular camp. Unlike many others, Universal offers both types of SMT solutions, because "one size doesn't fit all". Seriously though, why don't you take a look at the Universal GSM series? Want flexibility? Modularity? Accuracy and Reliability? A solution that can grow with your needs? Take a serious look at the Universal GSM series of placers. Using a variety of different application heads, the machine is capable of placement throughputs from 5,400-28,000 cph with placement performance of 50um @ 5 sigma CP >/= 1.67, the GSMs can handle the complete range of SMC components(0402-QFPs, BGAs, CSP, etc.)PLUS odd form components as well. And if that isn't enough, it can also dispense adhesive or solder paste. Universal's System Group can also put together a complete line with the pre and post placement cells of your choice... and integrate the entire line for you. Of course, don't forget Universal's well-known support network including Field Service, Training, and the Surface Mount Technology Lab. And, if that's not enough, Universal will also handle leasing for you through Universal Capital. Yes, Greg, I work for Universal. But, I used to be a Customer just like you. Take a look at our website for more info www.uic.com. Good Luck! Feel free to contact me for additional info: delillo@uic.com

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J Sweere

#14312

Re: Selecting an SMT Line | 17 September, 1998

Greg, have a look at Philips EMT. WWW.emt.ie.philips.com

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Jim Gustin

#14311

Re: Selecting an SMT Line | 17 September, 1998

| We are a small contract assembly shop hand placing SMT. We recently received a large contract for SMD that will require placement rates of at least 6,000 CPH. I am looking at Fuji, Mydata, Quad, and Zevatech. I have little experience with automated SMT. Does anyone have any experience with these vendors? Can anyone also recomend a good reflow oven? Hi Greg, I hate to be the one to say this, but this decision that you are about to make is one of the most important that you will ever make. So, be prepared to spend a lot of time. The wrong decision could cost your company tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars over the next decade. Great, just what you wanted to hear, right? Anyway, I strongly recommend that you first meet with your colleagues and decide what type of smt work your company will pursue. This is a strategic decision that must mesh with the company's overall goals. Once, this is done, you will be better able to make a weighted list of capabilities that your smt equipment will need to possess. Then, have an initial meeting with each of the candidate vendors, to tell them what you're plans are, and to listen to their recommendations. You will learn a lot. You will probably want to modify your list of capabilities. Next, determine how you will measure the ability of each machine to meet your capability needs. You must measure. Do not use specs found in sales literature. For instance, to rate a machine's speed, do not simply take a percentage of the listed speed. Instead, take one of your boards to the vendor. Have them build it, with the correct components types and the correct number of feeders on the machine. Time it witha stopwatch. Use the same board and procedure to measure all the machines. You will be surprised at what you find. Use this kind of technique for all machine features, such as reeling and dereeling a tape feeder (this is critical to judging job changeover time), or loading a program, etc. I agree with the two respondants that you should add Universal and Philips to your list. You should also add Contact Systems. Jim Gustin

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