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Having acquired its fifth Europlacer iineo+ pick & place machine in late 2019, St Neots based contract electronics manufacturer OSI Electronics UK is now adding a new Europlacer screen printer and ALeader 3D Solder Paste Inspection (SPI) combination to its reconfigured ‘SMT Hall’.
The new equipment acquisitions enhance the company’s objective in delivering absolute quality to its customers across all market sectors, including those in quality-critical environments such as medical electronics. The ALeader 3D Solder Paste Inspection system is the first ALeader SPI to be installed in the UK and the first to provide real-time closed-loop feedback directly to the Europlacer SP710AVi printer. It allows the surface mount printing process to be automatically corrected before solder paste volumes move out of tolerance and enables production engineers to analyse trends and validate ultra-fine-pitch applications before component placement.
“This phase of our surface mount investment programme is aimed at pushing quality and yields to reduce and ultimately eliminate rework,” explains General Manager & VP Derek Williams. “That’s why we selected printing and inspection systems that support us intelligently in enhancing the assembly process, rather than simply capturing the occasional screen printing fault.”
In addition to practical process refinement, Derek Williams knows that the systems will give OSI another competitive edge, providing tangible evidence to customers of the company’s commitment to quality control. “Everything we do, including investments in new equipment, is driven by what it will deliver to our customers. We tailor our business operations to suit theirs,” he adds.
PCBs assembled by OSI Electronics UK include many sophisticated and high-value boards that regularly feature BGAs and complex ultra-fine-pitch components. One example is a 12-layer flex-rigid assembly that is A3 in size. “The component technology we encounter on customers’ boards is driving the investments we need to make,” he explains. “It’s a key part of our strategy to keep ahead of customer requirements and it gives them confidence that we have the resources and expertise to build their boards to exceptionally high standards.”
The new Europlacer SP710AVi printer adds an extra dimension to the manufacturing capability at OSI Electronics UK: the ability to handle large boards up to 610mm x 515mm. “It’s a welcome addition to our resource pool,” Mr Williams said. “We recently declined to quote one of our customers due to anticipated difficulties coping with a large board. I have since been able to go back to them, explain that we have invested in a new screen printer, and confirm that we can now handle that subassembly.”