Printed Circuit Board Assembly & PCB Design SMT Electronics Assembly Manufacturing Forum

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SMT electronics assembly manufacturing forum.

Used Contact 3S


Used Contact 3S | 22 September, 2003

Hi all, I am looking into purchasing a used Contact 3S machine, can anyone tell me what to look out for in this model or just overall impressions from experience....


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Used Contact 3S | 22 September, 2003

Unless its dirt cheap stick with a 3AV or better. The 3S is SLOW. 3AV's go around $20K to $30K (I can get you one for $25K with 75 8mm feeders).

The machines are pretty good but dont expect perfect results with fine pitch parts. We ran down to 16mil T-sops on ours with pretty good results. The machines do go through tips (they wear out-they are delrin) but they are cheap. If you need vibe feeders be ready to spend some money. Also tape feeders are not that easy to get used either. Most people who buy these keep them for a long time so there is not a lot of used stuff floating around. We ran a 3AV every day for 5 to 8 hours for three years and never had to replace a part except for the spindles which you will rip off now and then if the operators dont get the feeders all the way seated. I would say the feeder design is the biggest weakness of this platform. We also run a 3Z here too. If you have any questions send me an e-mail.

Good luck!

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Used Contact 3S | 22 September, 2003

The 3S is the low end machine for the 3S 3AV 3Z line. This machine is slow but will run forever.

I agree, if there is going to be a problem it will probably be with a feeder if the prevous owner did not maintain them.

The factory is in Connecticut (USA, imagine that!) so if you need parts or help it's somewhat local.

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Used Contact 3S | 22 September, 2003

We had two of these machines. I have worked on many different types of equipment, and these machines were by far the most frustrating to work with. The calibration is a pain in the butt and it does not seem to do what it is supposed to. Also, the software is kinda different, so be prepared to spend alot of time with your operators. From what I understand Contact's newer machines are pretty good, but I would not recommend a 3S to anyone.(Unless it was dirt,dirt cheap.In addition may want to ask around about the quality of tech support as well. VERY IMPORTANT !

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Used Contact 3S | 23 September, 2003

Mydata sells refurbished machines FYI. TP9 w/ 64 8mm can be less than $45K.

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SALAH, S.T.Electronix


Used Contact 3S | 2 January, 2005

This machine is a peace of crap; I work on this, before I went in the business for my self Later-on I got one for almost free. But I refused the offer because the fright charge was in my opinion more what the machine worth, now I had MYDATA TP9-UFP 1996 its running excellent with no problems easy to work with very friendly TPsys software. Man get off the idea to by contact 3S from you head and start think right. Good luck.

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Used Contact 3S | 6 January, 2005

I believe all Contact machines are JUNK. I have seen all there models. They are all under developed and do not even come close to what the company claims they can do. They keep advertising these new machines and I have heard nothing but night mares with them. I personally know some employees there and even they would like to say stay away from Contact products. To see there production is a JOKE. They only make one off machines. The eng. is so bad they just keep changing design on each machine, You can never tell what you might get. FYI. I heard there top Software Guy Eddie K has now left them as well as the one person who did there Eng. testing.

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Used Contact 3S | 11 January, 2005

Well we actually bought a used 3AV system. Been running with no problems at all for a while now. We also already had a 3Z system that has not fared so well. We have replaced both the Y motors, 3 of the 4 Z motors, belts, pulleys, PCB's, spindles...etc. I would rather have another 3AV from 1998 than our 2001 3Z anyday.

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 Reflow System

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