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SMT & Inspection | November 09, 2009

Essemtec has rights for the Tower

Beginning in 2010, Essemtec will receive the worldwide distribution rights for the Tower, the extraordinary SMD component storage system. The Tower is safer, more compact and more flexible than other storage solutions.

Essemtec, the Swiss manufacturer of production systems for electronics, will receive the worldwide distribution rights for the Tower, a fully automatic SMD component storage system, beginning next year. Essemtec maintains an efficient distribution and support network with local partners and subsidiaries. It will take over the worldwide organization of sales, service and support for the Tower by January 1, 2010. The Tower is a storage system for SMD reels and trays. A robotic arm, which is located inside the tower, grips the containers, reads its bar code and stores it automatically -- or rolls it out if required. Compared to a traditional Paternoster storage system, the Tower is more compact, more flexible and provides more security. A Tower stores up to 546 reels in a very small space. It is only 2.2. m high and has a footprint of only 1 sqm, which fits onto every production floor. Unlike other systems, the Tower does not need to reserve storage space for a specific component, it simply stores wherever it finds a free slot. The storage software can even control multiple towers like one. This enables a modular expansion of the storage capacity. When using multiple towers, same components can even be stored redundantly. The Tower brings security and order to the chaos of components. The database always knows the exact location of every reel or tray. It also knows its rest amount because all reels are identified with a bar code. With one mouse click, the Tower can automatically prepare all components of a set-up list and restore them when they return from the pick-and-place machine. The amount of components on each reel is corrected based on the consumption data delivered by the pick-and-place machine. Such a fully automatic system avoids costly human errors. For storing sensitive components, a drying unit can be integrated that reduces the relative humidity inside the tower below 5 percent. Temperature and humidity are measured and documented, and components with expiration dates are monitored. The SMD Tower is a highly flexible storage solution for every production, whether small series or mass production. The return on investment time is short because the automatic storage of components saves setup time as well as avoiding setup/placement errors and preventing costly repairs. The application of the Tower is not limited to SMD components. The possibility to control the inside climate also enables applications in other areas such as the medical industry.
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