SMT topics in focus
Expert knowledge of highly complex product designs for chip verification (FPGA) that meet the toughest technical demands is the trademark of PRO DESIGN Electronic GmbH. It’s why customers from all over the world come to the Bavarian EMS provider. And this in turn is reflected in the growing order books and the resulting need to further expand the company’s in-house SMT production. To do this, PRO DESIGN Electronic has added a new SMT line from ASM that consists of a DEK NeoHorizon 03iX stencil printer and three SIPLACE SX placement machines. During the evaluation process for the new equipment, the company placed great emphasis on its increased quality requirements as well as on high accuracy and flexibility for its high-mix environment
PRO DESIGN Electronic GmbH in Bruckmühl is a full-service solution provider from the idea to the finished product. Its customers come predominantly from high-quality markets such as the automotive, medical technology, aerospace and semiconductor industries. In addition to providing production services, the company offers its own family of “proFPGA” prototyping products. PRO DESIGN does not just manufacture for others, but also focuses on product development and layout. Over more than 30 years, the company has become known for its expertise in highly complex product designs that meet the highest technical requirements. To be ready for the future and to meet its rising order volume, PRO DESIGN Electronic decided last year to add a new production line to its SMT factory. At the end of the evaluation process, ASM came out as the winner. The new DEK NeoHorizon printer and the three new SIPLACE SX machines impressed the decision-makers with their high precision and reliability thanks to the state-of-the-art SIPLACE vision system. Quick and simply programming, the ease with which new components can be described, high feeder capacities and simple programming via a clear, German-language user interface were additional factors in favor of ASM. The line also features a new Rehm oven with vacuum technology for shrinkage-free soldering.
High-mix production handles super-small and highly complex components and FPGA chips
With the company’s specialization in complex products designs, the jobs PRO DESIGN Electronic runs in its internal SMT production tend to be characterized by a high degree of component diversity and density. 400 different products are manufactured on two SMT lines, including circuit boards with up to 4,500 components and 200 different component types. Components of size 01005 are nothing special, and BGA pitches can be as small as 350 µ. All of this is no problem for the DEK NeoHorizon printer and the SIPLACE SX machines. Since the installation of the new SMT line, PRO DESIGN Electronic’s printing quality has increased significantly, and the new DEK printer is much more flexible than the old equipment.
“Our production is incredibly diverse. Our own products as well as those of our customers demand versatility and precision. Some of our jobs involve very expensive components, which is why the SMT line is not allowed to make mistakes. In addition, we need high feeder capacities, because our frequent setup changeovers require us to be quick and flexible. ASM’s line concept convinced us completely. The three SIPLACE SX machines provide roughly 360 feeder slots,” explains PRO DESIGN CEO Gunnar Scholl. “High-volume components stay on the line, and fast setup changeovers can be executed with great flexibly thanks to ASM’s random setup capability. Even 01005 components as well as exotic and unwieldy shapes can be handled with ease. We can even get the stencils for our more complex boards from ASM. They meet all of our needs to the fullest.”
30 percent faster, minimal downtime, and a technology partner that is always available
The flexibility of the new ASM line was apparent from the start. Since PRO DESIGN was still building a new production hall for it at its plant in Bruckmuehl, its people could start training and run some initial products on a standalone solution with a two-gantry SIPLACE SX in its existing plant. As soon as the new building was completed, two more placement machines were added and the gantries reconfigured. The production could start right away. And since the second SMT line continued to operate, there were no production interruptions.
“Switching to an entirely new system with the new ASM machines was a challenge for our line staff, of course. But ASM safely supported us throughout the training process, and we are very happy and satisfied with the modern and speedy programming options for the printer and the placement machines,” says René Dösinger, Head of Production Planning at PRO DESIGN Electronic. “ASM’s support was also quite impressive. Having the ASM SMT Center of Competence so close by in Munich was especially helpful. During our visits we learned a lot from ASM’s experts and were kept up-to-date on the latest technological and functional developments.”
“The conversion to ASM was a complete success,” summarizes Scholl. “With a little more practice, our setup changeovers will become even faster in the future. But we can already state that the new ASM line enables us to produce roughly 30 percent faster than before while meeting all our customers’ quality requirements. We do not regret our decision in favor of ASM.”
For the future, PRO DESIGN Electronic plans to add high-performance computing to its business as a third segment. With its flexible gantry concept, the new ASM line can easily accommodate this growth. Another project on the agenda: “Today all production steps are linked and affect each other. In a high-mix environment like ours, the material management must function seamlessly, which is why we want to take a look at the ASM Material Manager and other options very soon. An integrated warehousing solution will give our productivity another significant boost,” says Dösinger.
PRO DESIGN Electronic in Bruckmühl
With over 100 employees, PRO DESIGN Electronic GmbH in Bruckmühl has manufactured electronics products for an international customer based in high-quality markets like the automotive, medical technology and semiconductor industries for over 30 years. As an EMS provider, the company offers the complete spectrum of services for consulting, development, layout and prototyping and volume production. The company specializes in demanding designs with high component densities, complex shapes and diverse components ranging in size from 01005 to 200 x 120 mm.
PRO DESIGN Electronic also builds its own line of “proFGPA” prototyping systems that are based on FGPA technologies. The systems, which are used for testing new chip designs and their corresponding software, require the high-quality placement of especially expensive components.
With its new production line consisting of a DEK NeoHorizon 03iX, three SIPLACE SX machines and two new Rehm reflow ovens with vacuum technology for shrinkage-free soldering, PRO DESIGN Electronic produces its jobs 30 percent faster than before with minimum downtime and zero placement errors.
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