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ProDEK Closed Loop Printing Technology Raises the Bar on Dynamic Process Control

Feb 15, 2012

Horizon with ProDEK Closed Loop

Horizon with ProDEK Closed Loop

 
In a significant technology breakthrough set to upend former industry perceptions of closed loop printing processes, DEK announces the development and commercial launch of its revolutionary new closed loop innovation, ProDEK. 
 
Making its global market debut during the APEX event from February 28 through March 1 in San Diego, California, ProDEK introduces new levels of dynamic print process control, enabling real-time continuous alignment adjustments and cleaning frequency adaptation to dramatically enhance throughput, improve yield and limit operator intervention.
 
“To put it simply, ProDEK makes your printer smarter and more intuitive,” explains Brian Smith, DEK Americas General Manager for Electronics Assembly.  “Built on unique print software capability, ProDEK works in tandem with solder paste inspection (SPI) data and uses a high level of process reference to accurately control print alignment and cleaning functionality.  This is the most robust and repeatable ‘hands-off’ print technology available.”
 
From paste offset (alignment) data feeds delivered to the printer by the SPI system, ProDEK monitors a configurable quantity of printed circuit boards (PCBs), sending an independently corrected forward and reverse offset to the printer, which then adjusts paste on pad alignment in real-time.  Utilizing barcode tracking technology, ProDEK guarantees printed and inspected board synchronization.   
 
In addition to real-time, continuous alignment adjustments which add zero throughput overhead to the print/inspection process, ProDEK also monitors high area warning counts from the SPI data feeds, which may be an indicator of excessive or insufficient understencil cleaning.   The novel technology can automatically adapt the cleaning frequency to suit current process conditions, optimizing the understencil cleaning process and thereby introducing more stability while significantly reducing consumables usage. Available on all new DEK print platforms and retrofittable on installed DEK systems, ProDEK is currently compatible with market-leading SPI technology from CyberOptics, Koh Young and Parmi.
 
ProDEK has been proven to proactively prevent defects, optimize print performance and ensure the highest possible first-pass yield.  When field tested at several leading electronics assembly firms, ProDEK results revealed that the offset correction functionality alone reduced defects by nearly 50% on average. 
 
As Smith concludes, “The true value of ProDEK is the process expertise and decision- making capability that’s built into the software: it’s an automated knowledge base that delivers unprecedented levels of control.” 
 
To see ProDEK in action alongside Koh Young’s aSPIre 2 SPI system during APEX 2012, visit DEK at booth #2600.

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