Component placement with maximum flexibility

Assembly Automation

ISSN: 0144-5154

Article publication date: 1 August 2008



(2008), "Component placement with maximum flexibility", Assembly Automation, Vol. 28 No. 3.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Component placement with maximum flexibility

Article Type: New products From: Assembly Automation, Volume 28, Issue 3

Essemtec announces it has further enhanced its successful SMT placement equipment FLX series, and designated machines in the series FLX2011, FLX2021 und FLX2031 have become faster and even more precise.

The FLX series of placement machines continue to impress with a large feeder capacity within a very small machine footprint. This and their universal application range and highly modular concept make them an ideal solution for the high-mix/small-batch SMT assembly environment. Component sizes from 01005 up to 50 × 50 mm can be handled and placed, and solder paste and adhesive can be dispensed using the same machine. This can save money, especially in the assembly of prototypes and other extremely small production runs.

Set-up procedures which can be difficult with other placement equipment can be carried out easily and comfortably. The FLX-MIS software automates planning and optimizes the set-up for maximum throughput or minimum modifications, according to demand. For a new set-up procedure the user no longer has to wait for the current production batch to finish. Thanks to the intelligent and exact guided feeder mechanics and the LED status display, the next production order can be placed for setup during the current assembly operation. So, the idle time between two consecutive runs is reduced to zero, maximizing productivity and dramatically increasing profitability.

A large feeder capacity available directly at the machine minimizes set-up effort as most of the standard components such as capacitors or resistors can remain in the feeder units. Essemtec’s FLX series feeders are to date the smallest versions available on the market. For example, the model FLX2011 featuring a footprint of mere 92 × 92 cm (36.2 × 36.2 in.), can access to a maximum of 190 different components. The large version FLX2010-L can even store up to 310 component types.

The FLX series systems are highly modularized and can grow according to assembly requirements. A single machine FLX2011-C (with SMEMA-compatible conveyor) put side by side with other FLX placement modules can become an FLX2021 or FLX2031 with twice or three times, respectively, the throughput performance and feeder capacity. Assembly programs, component libraries, feeder units and also the machine-user interface are fully compatible. The investment is therefore secure even in the case the assembly requirements change dramatically in the future.

The new machine series FLX2011/2021/2031 has been enhanced in two significant areas: first, the placement throughput of the base model has been raised by 20 per cent to 6, 000 cph. This improvement has been gained by a higher drive power and the intelligent optimization of the head movements. Second, is the innovation to the measuring system with resolution of the enhanced machines made better by a factor of five. Accuracy and reliability of placement is now remarkably higher, an important requirement for the smaller 01005-chip components and QFPs with high pincount.

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