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SMT & Inspection | August 08, 2006

Testing equipment access<br>offered to UK companies

Specialised test equipment that is available to hire on an 'as needed' basis is giving Electronics Yorkshire member companies and other companies an extra competitive edge in the electronics market place.
UK based Electronics Yorkshire organisation is responsible for helping the electronics sector in the Yorkshire and Humber region to grow. Nearly 400 companies have joined the organisation's network and can access a wide range of state-of-the-art testing equipment at the Electronics Yorkshire Technology Centre in Leeds.

The hire facility means that companies can use equipment that meets their specific needs without incurring the high capital costs involved in purchase. The service has already proved its worth and helped member companies retain contracts across a wide range of sectors including aerospace and medical.

The advanced items of equipment available for hire include a Fischerscope XDAL X-Ray spectrometer; X-Tek Hawk X-Ray inspection system; a Votsch environmental chamber; ERSA BGA Placement Systems; and a Concoat MUST ii+ Solderability test machine.
In addition, the Technology Centre's 20 workstations carry a full range of hand soldering and component placement equipment for non-automatic procedures, along with reworking and inspection devices. Other equipment includes OK Industries & ERSA BGA placement devices, ERSA Scope optical inspection equipment and Lynx Vision System for SMT inspection.

Peter Burnley, Technology Centre manager, said: 'the centre aims to provide members with an efficient, cost-effective way of resolving production problems using the very latest equipment. For many smaller companies, the cost of installing the same equipment would be prohibitive and yet they must be able to prove to customers that they manufacture and install to the highest international standards if they are to compete and grow.'

Many companies have already made use of the Fischerscope XDAL spectrometer to help make sure their products comply with the European Environmental Directives on Restriction of the use of certain Hazardous Substances (RoHS). Among other things, these require electronics manufacturers to switch from using tin/lead solder to lead-free solder for joining components to printed circuit boards.

Since its launch in 2004, Electronics Yorkshire has won an enviable reputation for its work in helping to develop an industry that, in the Yorkshire and Humber region, employs around 24,000 people and generates revenue of £3.3 billion.

'Of course, companies must always be competitive on price, but quality is equally important,' said Peter Burnley. 'We believe that the testing facilities available to our members give them a huge advantage by being able to iron out production or quality issues before a product is taken to market. A product that performs well and is reliable is one of the keys to repeat business.'
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