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

Printed Circuit Board Assembly & PCB Design Forum

SMT electronics assembly manufacturing forum.

SMT Production Capability



SMT Production Capability | 27 January, 2004

I have been asked by my University to look into the possibility of bringing SMT production capability to one of our labs. However, I have no experience with these types of machines.

When I am looking for these machines, what would be some intelligent questions to ask a supplier? What are some reliable suppliers? Where else might be a good place to look for this information?

Thank you for any help.

Joe Sanford

reply »


SMT Production Capability | 27 January, 2004

Consider contacting other university SMT laboratories. Among them are: * Purdue University * Georgia Tech * SUNY Binghamton

Actually, you really don't care what the machines do. You care about, 'Which companies will donate machines' [even if they're refurbished].

"What you plan to do with the machines" will in large part drive the attractiveness of various supplers. That's a little bit like what's going on in a current thread on SMTnet about selecting a placement machine for a high mix / low volume shop.

Another contact is: Guy Ramsey gramsey@ACIUSA.ORG

reply »



SMT Production Capability | 28 January, 2004

Well, one of the things that we'll need to replace is the fact that all of our current boards use through hole components. (if that makes any sense)


reply »


SMT Production Capability | 28 January, 2004

Joe, it does explain and it does not. You are either an University or you do production. If you want to jump on board and teach SMT production, I would go with Dave's recommendation. The machine vendor will happily supply you with sample boards, components and training. Select one, whose service tech's don't have to travel more than 400 miles.

reply »



SMT Production Capability | 28 January, 2004

Joe, You would be best off going with a larger company such as Universal or Mydata at this point. The market is still bad and this is where you will get your best deals. They offer better support than a small company. Small companies like Contact systems and others will try to make the most money possible as sales are so low. This in turn does not allow them to give you any kind of break. The service is very important in your case. As you start up, companies like Contact, No matter what they say simply can not give you the support you will most likly need. I know from the field Contact only has two service people and they are used for both phone and travel support. Hardly enough labor to provide proper support. Also be careful with any used equipment coming from these companies. Contact will try and sell you on the fact they are developing new machines but one trip to the factory will tell you time is not on there side. It has taken over 5 years to develop there c7 which has proven to be a bust before it ever hit the market. Know they are trying to convince people the c5 can be developed in one year? I have spoken with people recently who visited Contact. I was told within 5 min. of there tour they relized this company is on the verge of bankrupt. If you do not believe me pay them a visit and watch the song and dance. Good luck in your search

reply »



SMT Production Capability | 28 January, 2004

Any University that teaches with Mydata or Contact probably isn't worth your time. And with the increases in admissions I cant see why any University worth its salt would use such "rudimentary equations". How about cancling the football and basketball programs and funneling that money into actual education? But I guess that would upset the Alumni now wouldn't it?

Don't forget about AOI, AOX and how about education programs on Boundry scan test. Test Engineers are hard to find. Oh and how about lead-free SMT as well as wave solder. How about cleaning lead-free assemblies?

reply »


SMT Production Capability | 29 January, 2004

Bobby, Thank you for your first contribution to the forum. I am perplexed as to why you, like many others, feel the necessity to bad mouth companies that you personally have never visited. I am also wondering why the people that bash companies like Contact never come out of the closet and reveal their identity.

Let me point out some problems I have with your �theories�.

First, you theorize that small companies such as Contact are going to be higher in price. This has never been, and still is not the case. We, like all of our competition, have been cost engineering our products to meet the requirements of today�s pick and place market. This has resulted in the development of the C5. The C5 is a spin-off of our C7. The C7 was developed during a time of industry prosperity and therefore is loaded with extensive standard features such as the high throughput multi board indexing conveyor, tape cutters, and smart feeders to name a few. Recognizing the shift in industry demands prompted our development of the C5. Although the layout of the machine architecture is quite different (and quite unique) the same technology has been employed thus dramatically shortening the product development time. There is great excitement in our factory now as we build the first units.

Secondly, you errantly misinform the public about our service capabilities. We have 5 service technicians available for phone support, 3 of which are also travelers. This has proven to be more than enough coverage during the industry downturn and our service has not been compromised in the least. If the industry continues to recover, we will undoubtedly add service personnel accordingly.

Finally, I welcome all visitors to come to our factory to judge for themselves what the future holds for Contact. Or come to Apex and see the C7 and C5 (booth 561). Tell me you read this post in the SMTnet forum and I will give you my own personal �song and dance�.

Respectfully, Greg Pompea Vice President of Engineering Contact Systems

reply »

Robert L Tomaselli


SMT Production Capability | 29 January, 2004


I read with interest your recent commentary on Contact Systems. One item that caught my eye was your instruction to possible users of Contact Equipment to be wary of their used machines.

We at Magellan Service have been providing support to over three hundred manufacturing facilities where Contact machines are installed. This has taken place over the past seven years, and we have supported facilities with new and used Contact machines. We also provide reconditioning, training, retrofits, on site service, contract Preventative Maintenance, and phone support.

Having said this, we speak to Contact service personel on a weekly basis. Each time we have placed calls to their facility, someone is available for phone support. We also purchase spare parts from Contact. Parts have been readily available.

It may interest you to know, of the 4,000 plus thru hole machines manufactured by Contact, over 95% are still in production, not bad for a machine which began its life cycle over 16 years ago.

In addition, over 99% of the C3S's, AV's, AVX's, and Z's are still in production facilities running strong. When first introduced, it was one of the most desireable platforms for use in Contract Manufacturing facilities. They are flexible, easy to program, user freindly machines. You can call our offices at anytime and we will gladly run down the list of standard features that make this machine a proven success in the field.

Magellan Service has installed used Contact machines at learning facilities. The machines' low cost, flexible platform, and ease of programming/use make them a cost effective and user freindly training platform. I would gladly have you come to our facility, we have for years trained new users in a days time on all aspects of running and programming on these machines. Why spend thousands more on a machine to be used in a classroom environment?

Lastly, the C7 is not a bust. Yes, Contact has spent several years on its development, but the machine is in the field building real product. And if this platform ends up being nothing more than a development tool for the C5, so much the better for the end user.

Feel free at anytime to call for information concerning Contact manufactured machines. I have personally worked on this equipment for 15 years and firmly beleive that these machines are not going away.


Robert Tomaselli, President Magellan Service Corp Office 860 489 5119 Mobile 203 232 4308

reply »


SMT Production Capability | 29 January, 2004

OK, I've got it.

Here's what you should do: * Call your friendly, local electronic contract assembly shop. * Tell them that you are "Joe College", you currently build pin through hole boards, but want to start using SMT, and that you want to consider either buying your own equipment or partnering with a top flight local contract shop. * Ask them if they are interested in presenting their capabilities and bringing you up to speed in what they do. * If they don't bite, call the next contractor.

reply »



SMT Production Capability | 30 January, 2004

Joe- You confused me In the subject it has SMT and in a posting you say Through hole components.

I was incharge of getting equipment for a research and teaching facility called ACI (Some know it as the EMPF). I was tasked with getting equipment at no cost to support training and engineering programs. If presented Correctly and justified to the OEM they are willing to work with you.

I Personally visited Contact Systems And was Greeted and treated respectfully. CS knew I was there to get a donated machine. I did not secure a machine because ACI was not geographically located as it is only 4 hours away from CS. There are many companies running with 6 or fewer service techs including Samsung. I have not seen any real problems with this on my experience.

Joe your Best Bet would be to go to APEX. I suggest getting the Vendor list from ( You should call the vendors on the list and make Booth Appointment at the show. you will need to do this ahead of time as the shows are hectic and may not have time if not scheduled ahead of time.

Good Luck!!.


reply »

On-board Dispensing of Dots & Lines