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SMT & Inspection | October 08, 2008

Panasonic installs Modular Placement Machines at Murata

Panasonic Factory Solutions Europe has installed two CM101 modular placement machines at Murata Power Solutions’ UK technical centre in Milton Keynes.
The order was won following comprehensive evaluation and benchmark testing, to ensure the highest capability and quality when assembling a wide range of component types and substrates.

Murata Power Solutions is using its two new Panasonic CM101s to build power supplies ranging from miniature DC/DC converters to single-output and multi-output supplies for applications over 300 Watts. Flexibility was a key requirement, to place components ranging from small surface-mount passives up to planar magnetic components as large as 45mm2. The chosen machine also had to accommodate standard FR4 PCBs, ceramic substrates and direct placement onto lead-frames when building board-mount converter modules.

“We set ourselves some tough goals in the development of our new range of ‘greener’ high-efficiency miniature DC/DC converters,” said Matthew Cooper of Murata Power Solutions. “To achieve our objectives we needed a technology solution which ensured fast and accurate placement of components smaller than any we had placed before. After a rigorous selection process using our own test assemblies, Panasonic’s CM101 was selected, not only because of its high quality and performance but also because of Panasonic’s brand reputation and their commitment to supporting us as a technology innovator into the future.”

The CM101 is a modular component placement solution, priced to compete at the lower end of the SMT marketplace, a new area for Panasonic. Offering an optional 3-nozzle multi-function head, 8-nozzle optimum-flexibility head and a 12-nozzle high-speed head, this allows customers to optimise for a wide range of production requirements. Valuable productivity-boosting features include chip-thickness detection, 3D sensing with the multi-function head, and an optional board-warp sensor. Murata Power Solutions is able to place its full range of components using the 8-nozzle high-flexibility configuration, to achieve optimal throughput without changing heads. The CM101 has a compact footprint of 1.53m x 1.807m, and accepts PCB dimensions from 50mm x 50mm up to 460mm x 360mm. Flexible feeder allocation allows Murata Power Solutions to optimise changeover time and throughput for its two-machine configuration, using the setup software provided to balance performance and maximise overall throughput.

“We are pleased that Murata Power Solutions selected Panasonic as its placement partner, based on the performance of the CM101 as well as our customer support infrastructure. We understand the value of real, rather than virtual, support, and provide practical back-up based locally to our customers,” said Stan Edwards of Panasonic Factory Solutions Europe. “Following delivery of the two machines, we provided extended on-site support, with several engineers to assist with setup and familiarisation.”

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