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

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smt prototype station



smt prototype station | 17 November, 2004

I'm looking for advise on setting up a prototype station for smt (we are currently outsourcing smt production, but have a need for rapid in house prototyping).

The station must be able to handle only single sided boards with components no smaller than 0603 currently, no BGA. The current plan is to go with a manual process. The volume of boards at this station will be low - 1-2 per day. We will be assembling without purchasing a screen for solder paste application.

1. Should we be using a sodler paste application process (syringe) plus reflow, or soldering with irons?

2. If paste + reflow is used, what is the minimum investment in reflow equipment needed to get a quality result? Hot air gun, hot plate, batch oven, or full multi stage oven?

3. Do you think a workcentre is needed with arm wrest and 'guided' vaccuum pickup etc (like this or can we get away with a simpler setup (like this

I appreciate any advise you can offer.

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smt prototype station | 17 November, 2004

SMT assembly, First, you must utilize paste otherwise the parts will not stay put. Do you have any leaded devices such as QFPs or SOICs? Dispensing paste by hand is very difficult and time consuming for these types of parts. You can either dispense by syringe or stencil. A dispenser that handles paste application for the leaded parts is very expensive. as opposed to a manual printer and stencil. There are manual printers out there that are brand new and cost less than $1000, stencils can be as low as $250. You can also just buy stencils and manually line the board up underneath and use a putty knife to apply the paste. You will need to determine what is the most cost effective.

As far as reflow, without knowing what you are building Yopu could probably get away with a batch oven. You will nedd to profile however to ensure paste and component specs are met. I would not recommend anything below that, Hot air gun is operator dependent and has no real control of twmp and time.

If you end up using soldering iron to melt paste that will probably work.

As to which station to look at, I couldn't get the links to work so I don't know what the differences are.

If you are not going to use paste at all, disregard all of the above and give your assembler a BOM and board.

My 2cents Russ

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smt prototype station | 18 November, 2004


Our company is specialized for design and we have in house assembly shop too. So we are one of the contract manufacturer. If you like we can send you information.

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