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SMT & Inspection | April 02, 2006

Contax installment at In-Line

Production automation specialist, Contax Ltd, has supplied and installed a third surface mount assembly line for electronic board manufacturer, In-Line Electronics Ltd.
In-Line Electronics Ltd. is part of the Ex-Or Holdings Group of companies. Now fully operational, the new line has dramatically enhanced In-Line's production capacity, resulting in a 20 percent increase in monthly turnover.

The new line, which represents a significant investment, comprises: a Contact C5 placement system; Electrovert Bravo 8105 reflow oven; 3 x Rommel conveyoring systems and an MPM AccuFlex stencil printer. In addition, In-Line purchased an Electrovert Econopak Gold wave soldering machine for another of their assembly lines.

In-Line has been expanding at the rate of 20 percent per annum for the past 5 years, and the Company needed to extend its production facilities to accommodate this growth. Explained Darrel Murgatroyd, Production Director at In-Line Electronics Ltd, "We have a history with Contax spanning over 7 years, and have bought various placement systems from them in the past. Although we looked at other suppliers, we awarded the contract to Contax again. We told them what we were looking for - flexibility, quick changeover and a suitability for batch production - and they offered us the right equipment at the right price".

When selecting the systems, Contax took into consideration a number of In-Line's criteria. The systems must offer full lead free compliance, they should have good throughput speed, require minimum operator input and set-up time, and be backed up by knowledgeable and efficient service. Quality was another key element, so Contax recommended the most robust and reliable systems available.

For placement, Contax suggested the Contact C5. This was chosen due to its flexibility, price and performance. It is able to place every size of component and offers quick changeovers.

The Electrovert systems - both the Electrovert Econopak Gold wave solder and Bravo Reflow oven were selected because of their superior quality. This view was endorsed by In-Line's Darrel Murgatroyd, "They are the 'Rolls Royce' standard of systems - solid, robust, durable and with a long lifecycle. In my opinion, they are simply the best wave solders and ovens that you can buy."

The Rommel conveyoring systems also offered excellent build quality, reliability and ease of use. "There is no problem if the belt needs changing," commented Darrel. "Unlike other systems, the belt does not go around any shafts - so it can be changed in minutes, so saving valuable time. The magazine loader is very efficient and there is storage available in the magazine when it has finished SMT."

The MPM AccuFlex was chosen for its flexibility and fully automated 2D vision. It is the only system available to offer proven automatic tooling, so making it invaluable for low volume production. Furthermore, the system automatically inspects the solder paste deposits. In the event of failure, the machine will stop, so allowing the operator the option of continuing or correcting the problem.

"We are very pleased with our new line," said Darrel Murgatroyd. "Our order book is full for the next six months so all our lines will be working at high capacity. All the systems work extremely well and the C5 in particular stands out as being superb - it just keeps on running!"

"Contax, too, have been very helpful. They have worked with us to ensure that the line functions to our satisfaction and it has been a very successful partnership," he concluded.

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