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Ekra E5 question

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Ekra E5 question | 26 July, 2019

Since our process engineer took off for allegedly greener pastures I've taken it upon myself to provide whatever assistance I can with the process side. In this case I'm trying to get the "2 1/2D" inspection up and running. They've never used it here in years of nursing these old beasts along and we need to.

My question is with respect to the side lighting inside the printer. The right side fixture doesn't light up during any phase of the process (or even when we open the door) including learning the stencil, learning paste, and the actual PCBA or stencil inspection steps. It's this way on all of our machines.

We've replaced the ballast on one machine along with both bulbs (and swapped the bulbs from left to right and back again to verify that they work) and still no dice.

Is this normal, or do we have issues? Didn't check, but maybe it's just the fixture contacts?

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Ekra E5 question | 22 March, 2020

Hi Steve. Just came across your post. We are in the same boat with our Ekra X4 printer. Any resolution on your side? We have been attempting to track down a fresh ballast but the original (OSRAM HF 2x36 dimmable with 0-10V) is EOL and no where to be found.

May we ask:

a) which ballast did you replace yours with? b) which bulbs did you buy to replace the machine bulbs?

From our last review, we used Philips T8 with the 4 prong socket x 2 fresh units. After this surgery, the bulbs worked for about 30 minutes and now no longer. Our machine has less than 48 hours of ontime so very upset with the quality of this printer. Has sat around for years idle. We recently replaced the blue / black hose due to dry rot - that was fun and now the machine is very quiet and appears to be working well except for the lights. About to order a replacement generic ballast from Aliexpress and then will rewire the bulbs to test out this idea.

We paid extra for the stencil wiper - what a poor design - found some leaked stencil cleaner on our PC that was eating away at the paint on the Dell tower in the back. Every time we would attempt to clean the stencil, the stencil was a wet mess. How can solder paste even be printed onto the PCB when it is so wet. Not impressed at all. Next purchase will not be an Ekra.

BTW - Do back up your hard disk with a bit copier - ideally SSD as the s/w is keyed to your PC. Will be a pain to restore unless you know what secret registry keys are being hidden in Windows.

Thanks for any advice you can offer.

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Ekra E5 question | 23 March, 2020

Unfortunately I didn't do the work...I just requested it from maintenance.

I think the E5's were really a completely different beast than an E4, but I've never used an E4 so really don't have any experience. I purchased 3 E5's when new for a previous employer and we love them for what they did for us at the time (~ 20 years ago they were awesome for the technology we were building at the time).

They're ancient by today's standards and E4's even more so from what I can recall. A machine that old probably has all kinds of stuck solenoids, rotten hoses, etc., that could cause your understencil wet-wipe to malfunction, regardless of how many hours it has.

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