Printing of solder paste or adhesive is one of the most important steps in the SMT production chain. The final quality of the PCB depends on the quality of the initial solder paste deposits. Today, the smaller lead pitches and components makes it more difficult to achieve accurate, unflawed and perfectly printed PCBs. This requires a high quality, precise printer that can handle small, mid-size and high volumes. A solder paste screen printer for SMT is needed to screen solder paste onto the PCB before placement of surface mount components.
By Srabani Sen
Tuesday, July 10, 2012: Solder paste printing systems are available in three configurations—manual, semi-automatic and fully automatic. The machine can be table mounted, standalone, or inline. Many semi-automatic printers offer manual vision alignment capability, while fully automatic printers offer automatic vision alignment.
Some manufacturers prefer stencils over screens because of better image accuracy, volume control, and longer service life. Stainless steel is the most common stencil material. Other choices include brass 42 and molybdenum.
Model: YSP20-DxD, Brand: Yamaha, Company: Yamaha Motor, USA/Japan
YSP20-DxD solder paste printer was launched in April 2012. It is suitable for flexible and high mix line solutions, with a variety of new and unique functions. Its system of servo mechanics enables applicable control of squeegee attack angle and speed. This makes it possible to optimise printing conditions for the type of solder used and, thus, improve repletion performance for higher quality and more consistent printing performance. In addition to more than doubling the printing speed compared to the previous model, the new system also enables unique functions such as non-stop changeover, sequential printing and asynchronous processing.
Achieves printing line tact of approximately 5 sec, or more than twice the previous speed; Compatibility with other makers’ equipment (pre and post) in the production line; Equipped with a 3S head—swing single squeegee; Cuts surplus solder buildup on blades in half to reduce overall solder consumption; Limit solder dripping; Improves serviceability and changeover work; Handles larger board sizes up to L510 mm × W460 mm, expanding its capacity to accommodate collective substrates, LCD PCBs and industrial use PCBs.
Contact details: Arimoto, email@example.com; www.yamaha-motor.co.jp/global/industrial/smt/
India distributor: Amit Madan, TransTechnology India Pvt Ltd; Ph: +91 124 4066919, Mob: +91 9810449898; firstname.lastname@example.org
Model: Fino, Brand: Essemtec, Company: Essemtec AG, Switzerland
The semiautomatic screen/stencil printer Fino was launched at Productronica in November 2011. It is a compact and programmable precision printer that can be placed on a table, making it ideally suited for smaller, flexible production. Optionally, the printer is available mounted on a robust steel stand. A touch screen programming terminal, laser-guided alignment and a pnematic fast fixtion for screen and stencil printing frames. Furthermore, all motions of the squeegee and the print table are motorised. Hence, Fino’s setup and changeover is much quicker and offers a better print quality.
Dual camera vision system for precise alignment; Software operation ‘GUIK’ by touch screen; Throughstencil position adjustment for highest printing accuracy; Motor driven double squeegee system with independent print force adjustment; Fast product changeover and stencil cleaning by tiltable upper frame; Supports different PCB thickness; Screen and stencil tension frames up to 23 inch can be mounted
Contact details: Jay Kumar; Ph: +41797291010, +41419196060; email@example.com; www.essemtec.com
India branch: MK Krishnakumar, Essemtec India, Bengaluru; Ph: +91 9880795227/+91 9739619170, 08023188280
Model: XPRT 3, Brand: EKRA, Company: ASYS Group, Germany
Launched in October 2011, XPRT 3 automatic screen and stencil printer is specially designed for flexible production demands. It can be used for the application of solder paste and/or glue onto PCBs, ceramics or glass substrates up to a size of 508 x 508 mm. The patented optical positioning system EVA (EKRA vision alignment system) features two high resolution cameras with ‘look-up + look-down’ technology for reliable recognition of low contrast fiducials and surfaces. Due to the closed loop regulation of the dual squeegee print head, the squeegee pressure stays constantly throughout the complete printing process and is independent of the PCB characteristics and the print parameters.
EVA vision system: Patented EVA EKRA vision alignment. 2 (dual) camera Recognition system; Vision lighting: EKRA unique EVA dual light source vision system; Stencil compatibility: Accommodates any stencil from 12 inch x12 inch to 29 inch x 29 inch without adaptors; Squeegee head: Unique dual free floating squeegee head. Uses metal squeegees with ease. Board handling: PCB handling upto 508 x 508 mm (20 x 20 inch); Cycle time: 10 secs fast; Accuracy: ±15μm 6 sigma
Contact details: Praveen Madaan, Singapore; Ph: +65 6280 8887 Ext 103, Mob: +65 91738185; firstname.lastname@example.org; www.asys.de | www.ekra.com
India branch: Shailendra Mathur, Ph: +91-11-4107 0801, 02, 03, Mob: +91-9910 911 992; email@example.com
Model: SMP200U, Brand: Samsung, Company: Samsung C&T Corporation, Korea
This multipurpose screen printer was developed focusing on the customer’s need for reliability and convenience. It was first launched in August 2011, and later in other markets at intervals till January 2012. It is a high precision stencil-to-board vision alignment for accurate paste deposition with an automatic PCB conveyor width adjustment to reduce setup and changeover time. A patented PCB alignment and clamping systems coupled with Samsung’s patented advanced stencil separation control compliment the auto leveling squeegee head system providing a direct path to high quality paste deposition.
Supports super large PCBs (max 800 mm x 500 mm), specially made for LED lighting products; Multipurpose screen printer; Alignment repeatability: ±25μm@3; Print cycle time: 13 secs; Automatic mask cleaning and 2D print inspection; Automatic PCB thickness adjustment; Quick work change: Automatic stencil setting and levelling; Automatic cleaning when defective SPI is detected
Contact details: Sangyoun Seo, Ph: 0082-2-2145-3048; Email: firstname.lastname@example.org; www.samsung-smt.com/
India branch: Samsung India, Pradeep Tandon, email@example.com; www.samsung.com/in/
Model: NXTP-M25, Brand: Fuji, Company: Fuji Machine Manufacturing Co Ltd, Japan
Launched in December 2011, NXTP-M25 extends the modular concept of NXT series of mounters to the print stage of production. This high performance, compact screen printer supports dual lane production, making it ideal for production of panels for small electronic devices such as smartphones, tablet PCs and digital cameras. NXTP-M25 works seamlessly alongside Fuji’s NXT IIc series of mounters to achieve maximum productivity in minimum floor space. One NXTP-M25 can be used when producing the same panel in both lanes. Alternatively, you can install two NXTP-M25 machines side-by-side for extra productivity or when producing different panels (or the top and bottom of the same panel) in each lane.
NXTP-M25 features one sided operation and the ability to place machines back-to-back, ensuring efficient use of factory space; High accuracy; Mask accuracy is ±10 um; Low impact clamping to reduce warpage when the panel is clamped; To reduce maintenance costs, NXTP-M25 adjusts the supply of cleaning agent to the size of the stencil and features an automatic solder supply method (option) that ensures as little waste as possible.
Contact details: www.fuji.co.jp
India distributor: Nmtronics
Model: MPM Printing with Camalot Inside, Brand: MPM, Company: Speedline Technologies
This printer, which was launched in March 2011, has the ability to print and dispense from one platform with ‘Camalot Inside’ technology. It can apply both solder paste and adhesive on mixed technology boards increasing both production line flexibility and output. The dual head design can also add solder paste or selectively dispense a wide variety of adhesives. An onboard calibration station ensures repeatable, fast setup and changeover limiting operator intervention and improving productivity.
Total system accuracy: +/- 125 microns @ 3 sigma CpK > 1.0; XY placement accuracy: +/- 75 microns @ 3 sigma; Print and dispense in one machine; Minimises floorspace; Onboard calibration station ensures repeatable, fast setup and changeover; Laser measurement for consistent height at defined locations; Auger RPM regulation on a dot-by-dot basis for optimum dispense speeds; Add solder paste or selectively dispense adhesive with dual head design
Contact details: Adam Sim, Ph: +6596779874; firstname.lastname@example.org; www.speedlinetech.com
India branch: Sanjay Sawant, +91 9867177129; email@example.com
Model: TWS SR 2700, Brand: TWS Automation Company: TWS Automation, Italy
SR 2700 screen printer is a semi-automatic machine launched in March 2012. It can be equipped with frames up to 650 x 545 mm and can hold double sided boards. It is also suitable for boards with components less than 1 mm. The printer is equipped with two independent squeegees—motorised squeegees movement (X/Y) and snap-off. Its touch screen display controls, sets, edits and activates all the parameters of the printing process.
Print area: 480 x 420 mm (max); Frame size: 675 x 570 mm; Compressed air requirements: 6 bar; Max air consumption: 30 l/min; Power requirements: 150 watt; Dimension: 880 x 900 x 500 (LxWxH) mm.
Contact details: Ph: +390585634758; firstname.lastname@example.org; www.tws-automation.com/; Agate Global Pte Ltd, Singapore; email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org
India distributor: Agate & Agate Marketing Resources (I) Pvt Ltd; Ph: +91-20-25469864/65 & 09325544783; email@example.com; www.smt-india.com/
Model: INPRINT 1200, Brand: Agate Global, Company: Agate Global Pte Ltd, Singapore
This semi-automatic screen printer was launched in February 2012. It is suitable for 1200 mm long PCBs. It is specially suitable for high accuracy batch production or making templates. The PCB plate is fixed on a work platform which is flexible. The same work platform can be used for single and double side PCBs. The adjustments of the PCB plate and the movement of the work platform are driven by linear square guide tracks, cooperated together with a double frequency motor. Therefore, the exact motion and high accuracy of repetitions can be ensured.
Contact details: Agate Global Pte Ltd; firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com
India distributor: Agate & Agate Marketing Resources (I) Pvt Ltd; Ph: +91-20-25469864/65 & 09325544783; Email: firstname.lastname@example.org; www.smt-india.com/
Product: ProDEK, Brand: DEK, Company: DEK International, Switzerland
Launched in April 2012, ProDEK, a high performance closed loop system tool is designed to ensure optimisation of the printing performance. It is a system added to the printer, which communicates between the DEK screen printer and solder paste inspection machine to identify any potential problems, effectively maintaining consistent and repeatable high quality output levels to the most demanding of tolerance parameters. The closed loop system helps to control the variable factors that can have an adverse effect on the process. ProDEK’s proactive defect prevention capability offers assemblers significant optimised performance, higher yield, increased throughput and substantial reduction in consumable usage,eliminating the possibility of human error, through real time automatic correction.
Corrects print offsets by matching the printed board with the inspected board using barcode readers; Includes single 2D barcode reader and integration software with an option to provide your own bar code hardware; Can be retrofitted to all DEK printers powered by the standard Instinctiv V9 user interface
Contact details: Khoon-Heng Lim; Ph: +6012-4319023; email@example.com; www.dek.com
India distributors: Maxim SMT Technologies Pvt Ltd, Alok Bathla, Ph: 9810150488, +91-124-3937223; Email: firstname.lastname@example.org; www.maximsmt.com. Another distributor is SMS Associates Pvt Ltd.
SOME OTHER PRINTERS IN THE MARKET
Model: K2, Brand: Dektec, Company: Dektec Automatic Equipment Co Ltd, China
K2 was first launched in 2010. It has accurate print pressure control and self-levelling floating squeegee, with accurate PCB separation process control. Its other major features are squeegee protection, close loop control system, squeegee Y axis movement, automatic stencil cleaning system, transporting and clamping system, and servo motor drive.
Accuracy: 01005(±0.018mm); Repeating accuracy: ±0.008 mm; Cycle time: <8S; Stencil size: 420 mm x 380 mm-737 mm x 737 mm; PCB printing size: 50 mm x 50 mm–400 mm x 340 mm; PCB thickness: 0.4–5mm
Contact details: Leo Peng, Ph: +86 755-61176799; email@example.com; www.deksmt.com
India distributor: EMT India Associates, Ph: +91 80 25443055; firstname.lastname@example.org; www.emtindia.net
Model: MK-Mark II, Brand: Minami, Company: Minami Co Ltd, Japan
This fully automatic printer with super vision is a multipurpose screen printer with high performance. MK-Mark II can accommodate different mask frame sizes and PCB sizes. It is compatible to fine pattern, BGA bump of Φ0.2mm and QFP of 0.3 mm lead pitch with the top class repetitive positioning accuracy (±0.015mm or less when using image recognition). It uses seven axes servo motors to secure stability of basic operation where high accuracy is required. Because of simple operation and simple structure, high skill level is not required for the operator.
The direction of PCB conveyor, line configuration (fixed side conveyer) and mask design standards can be freely selected at free of charge; Operator friendly ‘Windows XP’ is used as the OS, and the language can be selected from Japanese, English and Chinese; Image processing method: Multi-value pattern matching and multi-value appealing; Basic cycle time: 8-9 sec.
Contact details: www.ho-minami.co.jp
Model: Horizon iX, Brand: Dek, Company: Dek International, Switzerland
Horizon iX screen printer offers sophisticated features as standard, including optimised printer frame technology and fast product changeover.
Horizon iX also equips manufacturers with the power to choose from a wide range of options retrofittable in the field. It can be easily upgraded with advanced optional upgrades from speed improvements to intelligent board support to easily address future applications, production needs or technologies—extending platform lifetime for the lowest cost of ownership.
Optimised printer frame technology; Fast product changeover; 2 Cpk print process capability and proven 6-sigma production performance; Can be easily upgraded with advanced optional upgrades from speed improvements to intelligent board support to easily address future applications, production needs or technologies
Contact details: Leslie Chang; Ph: +91 9840386452; www.dek.com; email@example.com
India distributor: Maxim SMT Technologies Pvt Ltd, Alok Bathla, Ph: 9810150488, +91-124-3937223; firstname.lastname@example.org; www.maximsmt.com
Model: SP-500, Brand: Dima, Company: Dima SMT Systems, The Netherlands
This manual stencil printer is easy to operate and has been designed for stencil printing solder paste, glue and other products onto PCBs and other substrates. The combination of the special pressure spreading mechanism with linear guidance greatly improves the accuracy of printing. The printer can handle screen and stencil frames up to 23 inches but can be adjusted for smaller frames. The rigid construction guarantees years of trouble free printing. It offers X-Y and Z adjustments, making it suitable for fine pitch printing.
Frames up to 23 inch; Dual squeegee; Automatic squegee alignment; Exact stencil to board alignment; Easy cleaning stainless base; Fine adjustment for fine pitch
Contact details: Wim Van Riet; Ph: + 6568487820 (Singapore); W.v.Riet@dimagroupasia.com; www.dimasmt.com
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