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Printed Circuit Board Assembly & PCB Design Forum

SMT electronics assembly manufacturing forum.


quad 4c

#22414

quad 4c | 15 November, 2002

We are currently considering purchasing a Quad 4c. Any recomendations or discouragements for this machine? All comments will be greatly appreciated.

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#22415

quad 4c | 15 November, 2002

From personal experience with 4c's: run away as fast and as far away from them as you can. These will bring you nothing but grief.

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Jon Fox

#22418

quad 4c | 15 November, 2002

First of all, who are you buying it from? If it is not coming with any coverage (parts or tech support) from Tyco, don't make this your first one. They can adjust to just about anything you can program on them (big plus) but I would recommend having the auto programmer (Tyco sells it for $500) If the current owner has that software, MAKE SURE YOU GET IT! It makes learning the machine much easier, because it will do most of the work for you. Make sure you are aware of the programming and how long it can take to a program from scratch (w/o the AutoProgrammer). If this machine has the newer tooling plate (1.00" tap spacing) you can fixture just about anything to the tabletop (big plus). I was a Tyco certified field service engineer on these machines before the Tyco layoffs kicked in back in the summer. (I currently run Juki for an OEM now) If you have more questions, email me directly.

jonf@scc-inc.com

Good Luck

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bpan

#22425

quad 4c | 18 November, 2002

Very good machine. Dont know about Claude but sounds like he doesnt know the machine too well. Be careful if you buy it because Tyco's Parts support for the machine are terrible. For ex. Tried to buy a sensor for the lifters on our transport and they told me "Maybe Springtime". Boy....thats service for ya. Guess they didn't want my business.

Good Luck

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smckee

#22426

quad 4c | 18 November, 2002

It would have to be really CHEAP! I ran one a few years ago, had 3 4C's gained together. Always had problem with the software and it was a high maintenance machine. Never had such problems with Mydata, Phillips or Zevatech. Also, it seemed I always had a couple of feeders I needed to send in for repair.

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David H

#22473

quad 4c | 21 November, 2002

We had several 4c's before we put them out to pasture. From my experience they are easy to make program adjustments, but like the previous person responded the auto programmer did not work for us. We had laser coplanarity check as an addition to the machine but found it not to be very useful. It added 17 seconds per part to inspect and would quit working once or twice a year till they were recalibrated. We put the machine out to pasture because of support issues on our 3 shift operation and because it could not handle 20 mil pitch. The waffle tray is somewhat of a weak point as it can get out of allignment and the little football that takes it in and out will snap off. We ran them for many years. If you get it cheap enough and you can handle some down time it may be worth it.

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btaylor

#22514

quad 4c | 25 November, 2002

I have run the 4Cs for over 8 years it has been a good little machine. We use it for placing 10 mil pitch flip chips. I buy the yearly insurance through Tyco every year.

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#22532

quad 4c | 27 November, 2002

I have worked with 4c's for two years. The feeders are "tinker toys" with a mechanism that slips, so the pick-up has to be adjusted several times as the reel is used, especially with 13" reels. The worm gear was plastic on the steel shaft of the motor. Then there is the nozzle changing setup which was unreliable, then the camera position on the head did not allow for the teaching of the pickup position on the feeders located at the back of the machine if you use the widest rail adjustment, I had to make a special bracket for the camera to make this possible. I still have the drawings and you can ask their engineer, they tried it and did not adopt it because you had to remove the cover on the left side to clear the camera. Then there are those feeder banks that do not reposition exactly at the same location because the positioning pins system is not so great, so even if you have the same setup coming back later you still have to reteach all the pickup positions again! The feeders take 5 minutes to reload, I timed it, and there are no way to accelerate the process because you are dependent on the speed of the motor to advance the tape. Imagine 12 feeders per hour for setup!? Yep, 4 of those machines with 1 operator on each. The Quad tech was in house FULL TIME because there was a deal with the company to make sure these machine ran as best they could, but they never went higher than 50% uptime.

Of course, this is my opinion, maybe someone else had good experience with them.

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Al Copeland

#22533

quad 4c | 27 November, 2002

I am with Claude on the Quad....run fast and far. Why not go with a GSM instead, There are many who support these. The Earlier GSM 1's are as cheap as ever now too. Al

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Andrew

#22535

quad 4c | 27 November, 2002

Quad4C's have their moments. If the price is right and you are aware of the machines limitations then you will be satisfied.

The placement rate is slow, 1.2 seconds/chip. Don't buy any Quad if it has the CyberOptics Laser unit, the Quadalign unit is much better. The feeders break down and are difficult to repair. Try to get extra feeders, do not expect to just have enough feeders for your needs.

The fiducial alignment system is flakey, but does work well if manually taught.

The upward looking camera for vision parts works well. However if you intend to do fine pitch with local fiducials then the fids need to be either one fid exactly in the center of the placement or 2 fids exactly appart from the center of the placement. Otherwise correction will be unreliable.

The tray feeder is tempremental.

Don't use vacuum sensing. They work better without it.

The biggest problem I found with Quad4C is that there is the abillity to make changes on the fly. This is good when you are trying to get things out fast. But the reality of it is the users are always treating the symptom. For example a feeder does not pick reliably so the operator teaches the pick position, the problem goes away for that board. However the real reason is the feeder pocket position was out, the feeder should have been adjusted. the end result is the feeder is used somewhere else and the same problem pops up. I have seen cases where the feeders are all over the place and people are tearing their out because the machine are constantly rejectecting parts. The first thing I do is fix all the feeders so they are the same. Then start fixing the programs.

In conclusion, they are not my machine of choice. But I have worked with them and have managed to get good results. They must be understood and looked after.

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Jeff Park

#22544

quad 4c | 29 November, 2002

They have there strong points and weak ones. I have worked with them for the last 5 years and have seen some flakey problems (Cables, feeders, encoders) that will cause you some down time but if you get a good price on a system it might be worth it. Make sure that it is a quad-align and not cyberoptics.

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