The company took part in an open tender for the supply of 2 x surface mount machines, with some very stringent requirements, such as 01005 placement capability, device size and weight of up to 35 mm in height and a weight of 80 grams, PCB dimensions of up to 700 x 600 mm and intelligent feeder capacity in excess of 200 x 8 mm per machine.
The award-winning iineo machine was selected against the MTC Equipment Specification criteria because it has the following specifications:
- 264 x 8mm feeder
- Fully intelligent feeders
- 01005 – 0.4 mm pitch
- Graphical Windows-based system
- Electrical Testing
- Special Gripping Nozzles
- Linear Motors
- Intelligent nozzles
- Digital Cameras
Blakell Europlacer's General UK Sales Manager Andy Jones stated, “We were delighted to participate in the tendering process for the MTC project. This is a very prestigious organization and confirms that the Europlacer iineo platform has been widely accepted as a high-technology, extremely versatile system.”
Europlacer has been widely recognized as a supplier of equipment perfect for manufacturers who are looking to work in a quick setup and changeover environment. The iineo complements this philosophy, winning several awards since its release, including Frost and Sullivan’s Global Surface Mount Technology (SMT) Placement Equipment; Frost & Sullivan Award for Product Differentiation Innovation; and Global SMT and Packaging "best Pick and Place Machine for Low/Medium Volume."
Regional development agencies Advantage West Midlands and East Midlands Development Agency are funding the building and set up equipment for the technology centre to the tune of £40 million ― the largest public sector investment for many years.
The Centre is a collaborative partnership including global manufacturers, universities, and research and technology organisations.
The aim of the centre is to promote industrial competitiveness, but to focus more on improvements in manufacturing knowledge rather than simply on cost. Manufacturers will be able to test newly developed production processes on an industrial scale before committing to full-scale production.
Founder members from the manufacturing sector include Rolls Royce, Aero Engine controls and Airbus in the UK, while research partners involve the University of Birmingham, University of Nottingham, Loughborough University and TWI Ltd., the operating division of The Welding Institute.
Europlacer has been developing machines for electronics assembly since the 1970s and invented the intelligent feeder concept in the 1980s. After acquisition by Blakell Europlacer in 1991, the company moved away from split-axis to the inherently more capable X-Y architecture that underpins the company’s machines today. Europlacer’s policy has been to ensure wherever possible that technology purchased many years ago, especially feeders, remain compatible with the latest equipment. Europlacer designs and manufactures a comprehensive range of highly flexible SMT placement systems for the global electronics industry. For more information, visit Europlacer’s Web site at http://www.europlacer.com.