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Please HELP! Need to purchase a few machines

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#81854

Please HELP! Need to purchase a few machines | 31 January, 2019

I’m setting up an RF and mm-wave lab in a university. My idea is to purchase a set of machines using which I can do pcb prototyping, solder pasting, picking and placing the components (the smallest footprint would be 0201), and soldering (oven). In addition, we may occasionally need to fabricate a multilayer board (up to 5). We are not gonna do mass production however I also do not mind buying something automatic. We may do one design in a month!

Equipment that I have already purchased: Protolaser U4 and Protomat S104.

Now I have about $130k and I need to allocate the budget wisely.

For multilayer designs, I’m planning to buy MultiPress S and Contac S4 from LPKF. These two will cost about $30k

For solder pasting, pick and place, and oven, I’m thinking about DDM Novastar SPR-45VA for stencil printing, LE40v for automatic pick and place, and GF-12HC-HT for reflow. These three will cost about $45k

Furthermore, I’m thinking of buying a rework machine. I’m thinking about SV560 from Precision PCB Services. This is gonna cost about $22k.

Could you please tell me what do you think about this? Is there any of them that you think may cause trouble? Or can I buy something better with this budget?

I would sincerely appreciate your advice on this,

Best regards,

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#81855

Please HELP! Need to purchase a few machines | 31 January, 2019

Where are you located - city or state? What type of volume do you plan to run through in a semester?

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#81856

Please HELP! Need to purchase a few machines | 31 January, 2019

New York, maybe 2-6 designs in a month.

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DWL

#81857

Please HELP! Need to purchase a few machines | 31 January, 2019

Have you considered looking into using am EMS provider instead? 130k is a very small budget to set up an SMT line capable of placing and reflowing 0201's. At that price point, you will need to go with used equipment. Do you have the knowledge, time and resources to learn the equipment, maintain it, trouble shoot it, program it, etc, etc...?

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#81858

Please HELP! Need to purchase a few machines | 31 January, 2019

Unless your end goal is to develop the expertise to fab pcb's and assemble pcba's, I agree with DWL. It's a LOT to learn, with the best equipment, and that budget won't get you very far in that regard.

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#81860

Please HELP! Need to purchase a few machines | 1 February, 2019

You can buy an awful lot of PCB's with that budget. Having done multilayer at home for RF I would not recommend it. It took us 7 years to get a workable but I would not say reliable process running. 4 layer boards, plated through, green and silk screen. 4 hour turnaround with a wet lab to do it in. You have to develop the chemistry for this or have a good bought in process. Our biggest problem at the end of the day was maintaining a plating tank which got used about once a month. We still need to work on that to make it easy without the requirement for a chemistry degree or chemistry process knowledge.

The manufacturing side is relatively easy by comparison. just buy a late model Chinese PNP machine with the required specs. the only likely issue is number of feeders, on the machine.

Good luck

sarason

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#81861

Please HELP! Need to purchase a few machines | 1 February, 2019

It's nice to be able to do things in house, and it's good to have somewhere without commercial pressures to learn and make mistakes, so I can understand where you are trying to go.

Those machines look a little lightweight for consistent quality printing and placing of 0201's, however there is a simple test you can do in their demo room (warn them before doing the work - they need to agree and arrange with you paste, stencil and program):

Layout a small pcb 6x4" or larger with alternating rows of 0201 footprints at different rotations - should be able to get 10000-16000 of them on one card.

buy 2 reels of 0201 components from digikey/mouser/newark/wherever.

Go do the demo.

As the parts are arranged in rows you can look all the way down each row for placement & print accuracy.

Also now try and rework a few, and get some very small tips, tweezers, a hot air pencil, and good magnification.

Good luck,

Rob.

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