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Music company Critter & Guitari has decided to take on their own PCB production with a little help from Manncorp and it is changing their process of creating and selling products for the better.
For many companies, the number of steps between idea inception and holding a physical product in hand is far too many. Reducing that number of steps to as few as possible was a driving force for Owen Osborn at Critter & Guitari. He credits their new Manncorp SMT line for being able to “continuously iterate designs without having to constantly pause.” This means no more waiting while someone else does their builds.
Their new process allows them to realize their goals: “We wanted to be able to print out our ideas,” says Osborn, and now it is possible.
The flagship product (pictured) now being produced with the help of their new SMT production line, is called The Organelle®, and it is described as a multipurpose computerized musical synthesizer. Artists and music producers of all types can use the synthesizer for sampling music, creating effects, or as a sequencer.
Building the circuit boards that are inside of the instrument are what Critter & Guitari use their Manncorp machines for.
Critter & Guitari is currently running the Manncorp 5500 Stencil Printer, MC-389 Pick and Place Machine, and CR-5000 Reflow Oven. According to Osborn, “This mix of equipment provides [them] with a small-footprint PCB assembly line. It really only took a few days to setup and it is easy to get up and running each day.”
Before deciding to purchase, Critter & Guitari’s BOM was first evaluated by an expert technician to determine the best equipment for making their products. Any customers interested in bringing production in-house should receive this evaluation to ensure the right machines are chosen for each application.
Bringing production in-house has made it much easier for the team at Critter & Guitari to adapt designs or production levels according to demand. “If something needs adjusting,” says Osborn, “We are not locked into having just ordered 1000 assemblies—we can just make the change on the next batch.” This flexibility is saving the company from wasting time and resources. Plus, overall costs have been lowered, since they are now stocking their own parts and do not have to pay for costly prototype runs.
The Manncorp team is proud that the equipment line-up has allowed a successful expansion of operations at Critter & Guitari; everyone is happy that Osborn has found the support services to be helpful, the team members to be responsive, and the machines to be high-quality. Osborn was initially drawn to Manncorp’s “easy process for picking an assembly line” and the “straightforward and modular SMT production equipment,” but what cemented the relationship was the help received along the way. “The support and service have been excellent,” says Osborn. “This is our first SMT equipment of any kind, so having this support was crucial.”
Critter & Guitari is just one of the businesses partnering with Manncorp that has been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Osborn explains that as soon as their SMT line was up and running, the pandemic hit. This, says Osborn, was a challenge, only being able “to have one person operating the equipment at a time since March.” But despite these trials, Osborn and the team still find having production in-house preferable to the risk and uncertainty of having to rely on a separate supplier for PCBA.
In recognition of the difficulties many companies are facing, Manncorp has increased their service offerings in hopes of other businesses like Critter & Guitari being able to effectively transition to manufacturing their own products.
To simply imagine a musical instrument interface and then be able to build the circuitry quickly and effectively—this is what owning equipment means for Critter & Guitari. Osborn sees the creative, the economical, and the practical advancements that have come from running quality machines while being supported by top-notch customer service.
Manncorp is an American SMT equipment supplier with over 50-years of experience in the technology industry. They currently have headquarters and demo centers in Hatboro, PA and San Diego, CA. For more information, visit Manncorp online at www.manncorp.com.