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Dont't know how to proceed with a new pick & place

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Dont't know how to proceed with a new pick & place | 26 September, 2014

Hello everyone.

First, I would like to apologize for my bad English, this is my first post and I came to this forum looking for help.

I'm working in a small electronics company, and last year we've decided to invest in our first SMT production line. We bought a Essemtec CSM7300V pick & place machine in June 2013, and at the time of this writing (September 2014), we have not put it to work, and that is because we are located in Colombia, and have not been able to coordinate the visit of the technician who would teach us to use it. The machine is brand new, packed in our warehouse, with feeders and everything.

The warranty is now over (12 months), and we are considering to unpack, install and use it ourselves, we have experience installing compressed air networks, electrical networks, and we are in the electronics industry since 2006.

The visit of a technician costs about $ 10,000 for about 5 days of training, is it worth it? or do we try and run it by our own?

We would like to hear your valuable opinions.

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Dont't know how to proceed with a new pick & place | 27 September, 2014

I have experience with an essemtec pick and place machine that I also had to deal with minimal training. I had no prior experience in pick and place programming and we had the technician for 3 days of training, but out of the package the machine didn't run correctly so it took a day and a half of troubleshooting to get it operational. So I only had about a full day of training on the software itself.

These machines are actually fairly simple to program and operate, and everything you need to know is in the manual. I had to do a lot of reading and it is very time consuming at points if you're dealing with odd components. But I was able to program and build boards with over 1000 components on a single panel by reading the manual.

That being said, if you have no prior experience in programming pick and place machines, it may be worth the cost. Even that one day I had with the technician proved to be valuable because it gave me the basis I needed to understand what was in the manual. That, and they have little techniques and pointers that help speed up the programming process. Our operation was very small and building our material database was simpler than say a mid size electronics company. My opinion, it depends on how big of an operation you have and if you feel confident enough in figuring out problems. But it is definitely worth the technician's knowledge.

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Dont't know how to proceed with a new pick & place | 27 September, 2014

What?? You haven't unpacked it yet? I unpacked mine (CSM7100V) the day it arrived. You need to make sure that all the parts are there and undamaged.

Training has value. It is hard to justify that much money to get one of the Essemtec techs on-site. Training was included in the price for my machine.

The tech should bring certain tools that you probably do not have. These are used to align and calibrate the machine. Without these tools you will have a difficult time realizing the most potential from your machine. As a compromise, maybe you could get Essemtec to loan you the alignment tools, and work with them via Skype. By doing the alignment & calibration yourself, you will learn even more about the way the machine operates.

If you do not already have the initial setup instructions, Essemtec should provide those. Unpack the unit and look through the documentation that was included.

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