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Essemtec's Placement Machine for Flex Board and Film Substrate Features Twin Vacuum Table

Aug 14, 2008

Essemtec announces that it has developed a special twin vacuum table for its placement machine FLX2011-MKL that eases the handling of flex boards and film substrates and doubles productivity.

FLX2011-MKL is a multifunctional production cell designed for the assembly of plastic film keyboards and flex boards. The cell can automatically dispense solder paste, conductive adhesive and other types of glue, as well as placing SMDs and metal domes from different suppliers such as Nicomatic, Inovan, Kleiner, etc. Prior to this innovation, the handling of flexible substrates in the machine was critical but there was no production possible during the handling period.

Essemtec has designed a cost- and time-efficient solution for the reliable flex board handling, together with a leading manufacturer of plastic film keyboards. The new twin vacuum table has twice the size of the former table and its ends protrude nately from both sides of the placement machine. The robust table features a pneumatic servo drive that moves easily and is vibration-free.

Handling tasks can be completed comfortably on the protruding side of the table, such as the placing of cover films, removal of assembled flex boards and the application of new film substrates. During this time, paste can be dispensed and components can be placed on the other end of the twin vacuum table in the machine. The subsequent vacuum table can be moved to the other direction and the handling/assembly cycle starts anew. Depending on the complexity of the flex board and the keyboard, the twin vacuum table allows for a doubling of the productivity since handling and assembly are taking place concurrently.

The large dimensions of the vacuum table (working area 800 x 600 mm, 31.5 x 23.6") offer the opportunity to process very large single flex boards or multiple smaller boards at one go. The basic version of the FLX2011-MKL features high accuracy, reliability and durability. There are more than 500 machines installed worldwide. All the experience from these many installations has been additionally entered in the design of this new custom-specific solution. This approach provided the way to develop such a machine for a customer in an extremely short time, maintaining high technological standards and at the same time being very cost efficient.

The Swiss Essemtec machine company is a leader in the area of flexible production systems for the global electronics industry. Since 1991 the company designs, manufactures and sells equipment for all stages of electronics production such as paste print, dispensing, placement and soldering with manually, semiautomatic and fully automated machines. The product portfolio encompasses also conveyor and storage systems, as well as software solutions for planning, simulation, optimization and the documentation of production processes. All Essemtec equipment has been optimized for maximum flexibility. They provide the users with the capability to ASAP change over from one product to the other on the shop floor and at the same time using the manufacturing capacity to its maximum.

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