DORSET, UNITED KINGDOM - October 2009 - Blakell Europlacer Ltd., a designer and manufacturer of comprehensive SMT placement systems for the global electronics industry, announces that Kentec Electronics has purchased the iineo for its new, expanded facility.
Kentec Electronics, based in Dartford, UK, has been manufacturing fire detection systems for more than 20 years, and due to its success, are in the process of expanding into a new purpose built facility and installing additional manufacturing capacity. With the new facility, Kentec aims to offer its customers a comprehensive range of excellent products and unrivalled, quality service, which has been the company’s philosophy throughout its history.
Works Manager Dave Humphrey made the decision to install a new Europlacer iineo system to complement its existing Europlacer Vitesse machine. Dave commented,“We already have a long history with Europlacer as a supplier of surface mount placement systems, and have been delighted with its support and in our business relationship
over the years. It was a natural decision to look to Europlacer to provide additional capacity at this time.”
Kentec Electronics was looking to make modifications to one of tits existing machines, a Progress 6. The company planned to put this machine in line with the higher speed Vitesse to create a high-speed line with multiple feeder positions, allowing quick setup and changeover. After some discussions between Europlacer and Kentec, the decision was made to install a new iineo I system, rather than to upgrade the Progress 6 machine.
“We have a huge number of part numbers and board variants, and so we need the ability to load feeders very quickly on the machine, and to try to optimize the setup to cater to a small batch environment,” said Dave.
Europlacer’s iineo I has a feeder capacity of 264 x 8mm, and can handle from 01005 through to 50 x 50mm devices, with the ability to hold an additional 10 full JEDEC-sized matrix trays internally without affecting the huge PCB size of 700 x 460 mm. With a single turret head comprising 8 or 12 nozzles, it can run at speeds up to 14,000 or 15,400 components per hour.
“We looked at making the modifications on the older machine, but as the feeders and software from the original system are 100 percent compatible with the iineo I, it seemed a better investment for Kentec to install a brand new machine and gain all the technological and productivity benefits of an updated system. With 264 x 8 mm feeders, in addition to the 198 x 8 mm feeders of the Vitesse machine, we now have a huge capacity on our system, and can receive the benefit of Europlacer’s multi-job optimization software, in which we have invested. We also will be trialling its stock control software and hope that this will assist us in control of inventory around the placement system,” Dave continued.
Europlacer has followed a philospohy of offering existing customers ‘protection of investment’ by keeping compatibility in mind when developing new equipment. The same is true for the iineo platform, which has been designed so that customers with a high investment in trolleys and feeders from Europlacer can keep that investment (which is very often of more value than that of the machine), and can utilize these parts on the new system. Operators familiar with the Europlacer intuitive Windows interface can quickly come up to speed with new additions, as the core software is common across the Europlacer range of machines.
“We have just completed the installation and, so far, the compatibility is working out well for us. Even after moving the whole production facility from one plant to another over a weekend, we are already up and running with minimal disruption to production output, we are delighted with the iineo machine and look forward to benefitting from all the features it has brought us,” concluded Dave.
For more information about Europlacer’s iineo, visit http://www.europlacer.com.
Europlacer has been developing machines for electronics assembly since the 1970s and invented the intelligent feeder concept in the 1980s. After acquisition by Blakell Europlacer in 1991, the company moved away from split-axis to the inherently more capable X-Y architecture that underpins the company’s machines today. Europlacer’s policy has been to ensure wherever possible that technology purchased many years ago, especially feeders, remain compatible with the latest equipment. Europlacer designs and manufactures a comprehensive range of highly flexible SMT placement systems for the global electronics industry. For more information, visit Europlacer’s Web site at http://www.europlacer.com.