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Electronics Production | June 02, 2009

AWS Group increases capability of SMT Line

AWS Cemgraft - part of the AWS Group - has recently invested to upgrade its surface mount production line to handle large boards.
In response to an enquiry from an industrial computer manufacturer, Cemgraft worked with key suppliers to develop its automated line be able to handle boards measuring 663x145mm. Previously, the longest board that could be handled was 510mm.

Explains Cemgraft Operations Director, Jamie Maughan: "We try to work with our customers to ensure that their boards can be made on our automated production lines, rather than using batch production which is slower and more expensive. Sometimes, large boards can be accommodated by grouping all the surface mount components at one end of the board. However, in this case there was a high concentration of SMDs - BGAs, QFPs etc - all across the length of the board."

Rather than risk losing a valuable long term customer or investing in new equipment, AWS Cemgraft spoke to its equipment suppliers to see if the extra-size board could be accommodated. By changing the software and altering some mechanical hard stops, Juki modified its KE-2060RE high speed fine pitch assembly machine to enable it to handle boards up to 680mm in length. The Heller reflow ovens were also able to be profiled with a suitable temperature profile, and screen printing equipment enhanced ensuring that Cemgraft can offer a full production process. Equally important is changeover time, which has been kept to just 20 minutes.

Adds Mr Maughan: "Although we have a very efficient Fast Track process, mainly for prototype board assembly, here at Cemgraft which includes manual batch assembly work, 99% of our production is fully automated. This ensures high quality and minimises costs. We are happy that by working with our equipment partners we have been able to extend our capabilities to handle larger boards for our customers."

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