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SMT topics in focus


SMT topics in focus

Component range, extreme accuracy and changeover ease ensure high quality assemblies for mission-critical applications


Top Mil/Aero EMS C.R. International Inc. Expands Capability with ASM’s E by SIPLACE Platform

Continuing to lead in the North American mid-speed placement sector, E by SIPLACE was again selected over competitive systems for its flexibility and expansive range of high-performance features. C.R. International Inc. (CRI), a long-time SIPLACE customer and trusted Mil/Aero EMS provider, cited the platform’s 01005 component placement capability, changeover simplicity and real-time component teach function as top factors in its E by SIPLACE investment decision.

CRI’s success with complex, high-reliability assemblies has earned the company a reputation as a trusted, knowledgeable partner for customers requiring IPC Class 3 assemblies, which are defined as products where continued high performance or performance on-demand in harsh environments is required. These applications represent close to 95% of the Laurel, MD-based EMS’ business, which includes PCB assemblies for satellites, space flight systems and, more recently, full flight products. As a high-mix, low-volume NPI and prototype specialist, CRI’s equipment set has to be flexible for a variety of product parameters, facilitate off-line set-ups for quick changeover, and be able to accommodate exceptionally challenging, high-technology board builds.

“I’ve been a SIPLACE user for over 30 years,” shares CRI President, Jeff Neisess. “With our recent qualification for full flight systems, it was imperative that we add next-generation placement technology that aligned with our financial and quality objectives. Given our product mix, we knew we needed an extraordinarily flexible system and other suppliers simply could not deliver. E by SIPLACE ticked all the boxes.”

Possessing many of the advanced technologies inherent with ASM’s high-volume SIPLACE systems, E by SIPLACE also comes at a price point that addresses the mid-speed, high-mix market’s operational realities. Ideal for manufacturers like CRI, where multi-product, high-complexity, frequent-changeover protocols are the norm, E by SIPLACE is a single gantry system that can be configured with a variety of placement heads to align with dynamic environments. The CRI system leverages the SIPLACE CP12/PP combination head, delivering placement accuracy of 30 µm on a broad component spectrum – from 01005s up to parts as large as 45 mm x 87.5 mm. Feeder capacity in a high-mix environment is another key consideration and E by SIPLACE’s 120-slot, intelligent feeder technology and offline component tables allows for multiple job set-ups and simple, fast changeover. These features, in addition to programming software ease-of-use, bring CRI’s productivity and future technology capability to a new level.

Speaking to the company’s constant focus on production efficiency and product utilization, CRI Business Manager Maureen Neisess notes that E by SIPLACE’s adaptability is a profitability advantage: “Anyone in the EMS business knows that pre-set component libraries become out-of-date quickly because parts change all the time; being able to quickly teach new parts and add them to the system’s library is critical. The E by SIPLACE system allows us to teach parts on the machine, which keeps production running and our productivity high. This feature, in addition to Z-height and board topography variation adjustments on-the-fly, enables efficient output and gives us a competitive edge.”

Since its installation in mid-June, CRI’s E by SIPLACE has helped the company improve overall product quality, while enabling more business opportunities. “Honestly, until you have a machine like this with such accuracy and expansive capability, you don’t realize how much it can improve product quality. We are getting great results,” says Jeff. “The best thing you can do for a customer is beat their expectation and give them the best assembly possible. E by SIPLACE enables us to do just that.”

About CRI
C.R. INTERNATIONAL INC. (CRI) is a premier electronics manufacturing services (EMS) firm, providing high-quality, intricate electronic assemblies for OEM customers in various markets. Headquartered in Laurel, MD between Washington D.C. and Baltimore, MD, CRI leverages next-generation equipment, design, and analytical tools to deliver manufacturing capabilities for military, flight, medical, and communications customers, among others. Founded in 1981, CRI provides PCB, cable assembly, and box/chassis build services. CRI is ISO 9001:2015 certified, ITAR registered, and frequently assembles PCBs to IPC 610 Class 3 standards.

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