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SMT & Inspection | October 17, 2008

IPTE introduces new press-fit technology standard with HSP II

Due to the growing demand for the press-fit technique of electrical contacts, IPTE has developed a new machine generation. The HSP II (High Speed Placer) is designed for different press-fit procedures at high throughput and is based on a proven concept, already in use in multiple applications.
The press-fit technique applied in modern electronics assemblies originates from space technology. Extreme thermal conditions within satellites and space shuttles (e.g. very high temperature differences, vibrations, etc.) adversely affected solder joint quality and made it necessary to switch to other connecting solutions in order to fulfill the highest reliability and availability requirements placed on the circuitry. The problem has been resolved by press-in procedures for inserting component pins into the PCB.

The application of the press-fit technique has, in the meantime, also become more popular in the field of sophisticated automotive electronics. It resolves not only the issue of the severe thermal conditions for electronics assemblies in vehicles but also of the very high stress from vibrations and shocks. Furthermore, even the costly soldering process can be omitted depending on the component type processed, for example, in the case of components with flexible pins. But there are, of course, even more advantages.

The HSP II (High Speed Placer) is designed for different press-fit procedures at high throughput and is based on a proven concept, already in use in multiple applications. The press-fit contacts are supplied to the machine cutting unit in the form of a metal ribbon from reels, and after the cutting step the insertion head picks the single pieces up. The PCB, located on an XY-cross table, is positioned precisely under the insertion head for the following procedure in a parallel action which then provides the press-fit step.

The modular HSP II machine features high process performance through its curvilinear controlled insertion head, which can deal with up to eight contacts/second depending on the contact type. Other significant user benefits are:
- The compact machine has just a small footprint
- Not only “plain” pins can be inserted but also box-shaped contacts
- Each machine can operate with two different insertion heads (so for normal press-fit or box-shaped contacts)
- The insertion heads can be easily removed for trouble-free maintenance
- The quick-exchange gripper system is especially important for fast and efficient service and maintenance tasks
- The cutting tool is designed in the form of a modular cartridge and is externally pre-adjustable
- The high-dynamic XY-cross table for positioning the PCB under the machine head allows the flexible completion of insertion tasks with high performance

A major manufacturer of electronic products containing press-fit type PCBs has decided to invest in a considerable IPTE production line equipped with HSP II machines. One especially important consideration for the capex was the high modularity and flexibility of the HSP II which would enable the customer to also manufacture future products in this growing market.

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