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Electronics Production | August 23, 2011

Wey: 'A basis for the next 15 years'

WEY Elektronik AG increases production with the new Cobra pick-and-place from Essemtec.
Four years ago, Markus Portmann, Production Manager at WEY Elektronik AG in Switzerland, was asked to describe his ideal SMD pick-and-place machine. His input influenced the development of Essemtec's new Cobra Pick-and-place. Today, he is testing the new SMD placement system in production.

Mr Portmann had nine specific requests; nine requirements, specifications and possibilities that he missed from placement machines available at that time. These were requests relating to feeder capacity, accuracy, changeover speed, component teach-in and the user interface.

Because WEY places high demands on themselves, their partners and their machinery, Markus Portmann's input significantly influenced the objectives of the new placement machine. The first prototype of the Cobra already included eight of the new requirements. Then, at SMT Nuremberg in May 2011, Essemtec introduced the new Cobra Feeder with an integrated tape cutter. This was the final point on Portmann's wish list.

Machine in Practical Beta Test

WEY uses the Cobra in its electronics production and tests the machine intensively as a beta tester. The decision to do this beta test was well considered, but was still an easy decision. The expansion of the production capacity was planned and the Cobra was a perfect fit within the WEY corporate strategy.

“The identity is a match,” said Portmann. What he means is that WEY's customers expect quality, reliability and advanced technology, and these match the characteristics of the Cobra. “The design and technology of this machine is impressive. We can build upon this basis for the next 10 to 15 years,” he added.

“We Are Taken Seriously”

Beta testing poses a risk for both tester and manufacturer, but it also presents an opportunity. “I can influence the machine directly,” commented Portmann. For this, he is willing to accept a certain amount of “growing pains”. The installation of the Cobra pick-and-place was straightforward, however, and after a few hours, it was installed and set up.

WEY has worked with Essemtec machines for several years. “As a manufacturer of quality products, we find the price/performance ratio of Essemtec's machines ideal,” said Portmann. He also praises the company’s customer service and support. His problems and recommendations are always taken seriously.

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