In this audio interview, Nolan Johnson and James Bishop, eastern regional sales manager at VJ Electronix, prepare for the upcoming SMTAI conference in Minneapolis by discussing the current market challenges, changes in how EMS companies are making use of their rework stations, and how VJ Electronix is meeting customers with new functionality.
Nolan Johnson: I’m speaking with James Bishop, the eastern regional sales manager for VJ Electronix. James, thanks!
James Bishop: Yeah, you’re welcome. Glad to be here, Nolan.
Johnson: Let’s launch right into what’s new in the rework space.
Bishop: For those of you that know VJ Electronix, we’ve been in the industry for 20+ years so we are a global leader in the rework technology sector. So, we’re pretty excited. We’re going to be bringing some new technology to this year’s SMTA International. We’re pretty pleased to introduce the new Component Auto Align option, for our Summit 2200i rework system.
Johnson: What will that mean to customers in this current space? There is so much going on with regard to components, supply chains, availabilities, obsolescence, all of that. What does this mean for the customers?
Bishop: With Component Auto Align with the 2200i, it’s a very interesting time in the world of rework. Right now, the biggest challenge for our customers is facing the industry shortages in the supply chain. With component shortages at an all-time high, manufacturers are seeking new ways to keep their lines up and running. You look at the once unfavorable pile of unrepairable PCBs, better known as the bone pile. Everyone has one of these. But this has given rise to new opportunities and profitability for electronic manufacturing service companies. VJ Electronix customers are now leaning more on the Summit rework systems to kind of reclaim components from these PCB board bone piles. Parts and components now can be successfully separated from these unusable PCB boards without any damage to the components, using high precision rework systems like the Summit 1800i and the Summit 200i that I just mentioned a minute ago.
Johnson: This seems to make a lot of sense in that, right now, if you need components, sometimes salvaging can get your customer’s job done. It sometimes comes down to that.
Bishop: Yeah, exactly. Electronic manufacturers are also finding themselves with racks of PC boards just waiting for one final component to complete that job. The new Summit 2200i now available with Component Auto Align is equipped with the same, easy to use 1, 2, 3 go graphical user interface that everyone’s familiar with. The flexible CR-made rework software, helps minimize operator intervention while, of course, maintaining that tight process control for those critical parameters. The fully automated Summit 2200i with the auto alignment has actually become the go-to rework system to make this final placement of a chip. This allows the manufacturer to utilize their pick-and-place equipment to keep up with their general demand. Even with the existing Summit 2200i systems that are in the field today, with just a simple software upgrade, they can now achieve the Auto Align feature capability.
Johnson: That adds a whole new level of complimentary capability to the assembly line.
Bishop: Yeah, absolutely. Everybody’s looking for some way to help them get through these shortages. One way to do it is to look to their rework systems, utilize that equipment. That was an investment they made for rework, but why not use it for making that placement of a component that they’ve been waiting months for?
Johnson: What’s your recommendation for EMS companies listening to this interview as far as moving forward right now?
Bishop: Stay positive. I’m hoping the shortages are going to be behind us pretty soon. I’m hearing that maybe as early as December, maybe first quarter of 2023, we might start seeing these supply chains starting to loosen up and see more components. But if you’re looking to make that investment for rework, nobody likes to say that, “Yeah, we do rework. We’re a hundred percent yield at our company.” But rework is definitely a piece of equipment out there that is utilized thoroughly. And if you’re going to make that investment, there’s a very good possibility you could use that for other jobs as well.
Johnson: Absolutely. What can visitors to SMTAI expect to see in your booth at the show?
Bishop: Well, they’ll be able to see their friends from VJ Electronix that they probably haven’t seen in a couple years. We do typically bring some of our rework equipment as well as our X-ray vision inspection equipment and counting equipment. But unfortunately, we’re going to take more of a nimble approach this year. We will bring a set of TVs that we can show some live demonstrations from our lab of the equipment and the newer technologies that we have today, and be able to just give some online demonstrations of our products and where we are today.
Johnson: Being just a little bit nimbler and broader in the type of equipment you can demonstrate?
Bishop: Yes, exactly. We’re talking about rework here in the 2200i. But like I said, we’re also a full service company in terms of being able to inspect PBC board, void analysis, solder voiding, as well as the counting components, reels, tubes, cut tape, things of that nature.
Johnson: Great. I’m looking forward to seeing you live at the show. I certainly will be there.
Bishop: We’re looking forward to seeing you there as well.
Johnson: James, thanks for taking the time to talk about SMTA International and what you’ll be bringing to the show.
Bishop: All right. Thank you.
Johnson: Here for I-Connect007 covering SMTA International. I’m Nolan Johnson. Thanks for listening.