SMT topics in focus
ASM Assembly Systems (ASM) today announced that Canadian-based Price Electronics has installed a high-flexibility ASM SMT production line to support the EMS company’s growth ambitions and facilitate its customers’ increasingly advanced PCB assemblies. The new line includes a DEK NeoHorizon stencil printer, two SIPLACE SX1 placement platforms and a SIPLACE SX2, allowing Price Electronics to significantly improve throughput and accommodate a diverse component range that spans metric 0201s and micro-BGAs up to large, odd form devices.
“Our customers’ applications cover a broad spectrum – from industrial controls and medical devices to aerospace and automotive –and their PCB assemblies are increasingly complex, component sizes and pitches more miniaturized and quality expectations higher than ever. It was clear that meeting current and future technology realities and achieving our long-term strategic business development goals would require a radical change in equipment capability,” explains Price Electronics General Manager, Mike Nicholson. “Reliability, fast and precise placement of high-tech parts, as well as local service and innovative training and support tools were key investment considerations. After evaluating several suppliers, ASM was the obvious choice and, since integration of the line, that decision has been more than validated.”
As compared to Price Electronics’ former equipment, the speed, reliability and uptime of the new ASM platforms have allowed production output to increase by as much as eight times the company’s previous levels, on average, and enable its five-day-a-week, two-shift operation that runs 18 hrs. per day. A DEK NeoHorizon at the start of the line is delivering high-quality, consistent solder paste deposition with exceptional accuracy for ultra-fine-pitch printing down to 0.4 mm CSPs. Followed by the flexible configuration of the three SIPLACE SX placement set-up, the ASM line has not only accelerated the production rate but has also enabled Price Electronics to nearly eliminate manual placement. The in-line SIPLACE SX platforms incorporate multiple different placement heads including a SpeedStar, a MultiStar and a TwinStar, which is positioned at the end of the line for large, odd-shaped component placement.
Outside of the equipment capability, service, training and technical support were pivotal factors in Price Electronics’ decision to partner with ASM, which has local field service personnel in Canada. Online training and remote customer support tipped the scales in ASM’s favor. Before installation of the equipment, all Price Electronics line operators and engineers completed instructional courses using ASM Academy, ASM’s online training platform. This preparation enabled the Price Electronics team to begin running product a mere one day post-install, which is almost unheard of. What’s more, training took place during the pandemic, so Price Electronics was able to upskill its team even when travel was restricted.
“The field service team and support programs from ASM are unrivaled,” says Nicholson. “Every element – the scalable equipment ingenuity, software control, open architectures for Industry 4.0 readiness, speed and end-of-line quality are next-level. We aim to double our business in the next five years and are now positioned to achieve that goal.”
To find out more about Price Electronics, visit www.priceelectronics.ca. Details about ASM products and services are available at www.asm-smt.com.
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