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SMT & Inspection | October 02, 2006

Europlacer Receives Industry<br>Award for Solder Ball Feeders

Europlacer, a designer and manufacturer of SMT placement systems, has been awarded a Global Technology Award in the category of Assembly Tools for its innovative Solder Ball Feeders.

The award was presented by Global SMT & Packaging Magazine's Publisher and Editor-in-Chief Trevor Galbraith to Derek Gaston, Group Managing Director, during a Wednesday, September 27, 2006 ceremony that took place at the Sofitel Hotel during the Assembly Technology Exposition. Europlacer's new solder ball feeders provide a low-cost solution for solder ball assembly. By using exclusively licensed patent-protected techniques, the innovative feeders enable reliable assembly of solder balls as part of the standard surface mount pick-and-place process. The feeders have been designed to fit as standard on all Europlacer pick-andplace machines so that ball assembly can be seamlessly integrated into existing surface mount lines, presenting significant cost benefits to users. This solution allows spheres to be placed with standard pick-and-place equipment simply by using a specific feeder and a specific nozzle. Additionally, the machine can simultaneously place standard SMD components, increasing both speed and throughput rates. SMD designers and manufacturers have the capability to use spheres with all the corresponding advantages. This opens new possibilities in terms of design, including higher density, lower cost, smaller electronic modules, use of solder balls for daughter board interconnection or for shielding and more. The possibility exists to utilize the process for BGA manufacture where a matrix of balls could be combined with additional chip devices in a single assembly process. Europlacer then incorporated the technology into the design of two types of solder ball feeders (rotary and linear), providing a low-cost solution for solder ball assembly. Both types enable reliable assembly of solder balls as part of the standard surface mount pickand- place process. This technology has been designed to fit as standard on all Europlacer pick-and-place machines so that ball assembly can be seamlessly integrated into existing surface mount lines. The rotary solder ball feeder enables picking of single balls from a reservoir and placement one-by-one in a fully programmable configuration while the linear feeder features special nozzles that are used for picking from one ball to bulk placement in a matrix of 50 x 50 mm. Eight different nozzle types can be picked from the same feeder. The Europlacer solder ball feeder (and resultant assembly process) has been developed with Novatec SA and offers numerous features and benefits including automatic assembly of solder balls with very high first pass yield, easy load intelligent feeders and nozzles for single or multiple ball assembly, and extremely fast product changeover. Furthermore, the feeder designs enable quick and simple replenishment of the solder ball reservoir, while placement of PCBs or other mediums on pallets are possible. The Global Technology Awards program is sponsored by Global SMT & Packaging Magazine, and is an annual celebration of product excellence in semiconductor packaging and electronics assembly. Premier products based on the finest examples of creative advancement in technology in 19 key areas, including Assembly Tools, are chosen by a distinguished panel of industry experts.
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