OSI Electronics UK has just installed (May 2021) an ALeader 3D SPI solder paste inspection unit (the first in the UK) along with a Europlacer SP710-AVi printer as part of upgrading its SMT hall to meet its customers' requirements. The 3D SPI can handle 12-layer, A3 sized flex-rigid assembly PCBs and the new printer 610 x 515 mm PCBs.
UK first – the ALeader 3D SPI has its first UK installation in our SMT hall, alongside a new Europlacer SP710-AVi printer.

We’re in the process of adding a new Europlacer screen printer and ALeader 3D solder paste inspection (SPI) combination to our SMT hall – the ALeader 3D SPI is the first to be installed in the UK.

The new units fit alongside our five Europlacer iineo+ pick and place machines, giving us even greater PCB flexibility.

They also enhance our objective of delivering absolute quality to our customers across all market sectors, including those in quality-critical environments such as medical electronics.

Auto corrects

Apart from being the first UK installation, the ALeader 3D SPI system is also the first to provide real-time closed-loop feedback directly to the new Europlacer printer.

It allows the surface mount printing process to be automatically corrected before solder paste volumes move out of tolerance – it also enables our production engineers to analyse trends and validate ultra-fine-pitch applications before component placement.

“This phase of our surface mount investment programme is aimed at pushing quality and yields to reduce and ultimately eliminate rework,” explains General Manager & VP Derek Williams.

“That’s why we selected printing and inspection systems which support us intelligently in enhancing the assembly process, rather than simply capturing the occasional screen printing fault. In addition to practical process refinement, the systems will give us another competitive edge, providing tangible evidence to customers of our commitment to quality control.”

Customer, not process, driven

“Everything we do, including investments in new equipment, is driven by what it will deliver to our customers. We tailor our business operations to suit theirs,” Derek said.

“The PCBs we assemble include many sophisticated and high-value boards which regularly feature BGAs and complex ultra-fine-pitch components. One example is a 12-layer, A3 sized flex-rigid assembly.

“The component technology we encounter on customers’ boards is driving the investments we need to make. It’s a key part of our strategy to keep ahead of customer requirements – and to give them the confidence we have the resources and expertise to build their boards to exceptionally high standards.”

New printer can take 610 x 515 mm boards

The new Europlacer SP710-AVi printer adds an extra dimension to the manufacturing capability: the ability to handle large boards up to 610 x 515 mm.

“It’s a welcome addition to our resource pool,” he added. “We recently declined to quote one of our customers due to anticipated difficulties coping with a large board. I have since been able to go back to them, explain we have invested in a new screen printer and confirm we can now handle that subassembly.”

OSI Electronics UK is a subsidiary of Californian based OSI Electronics.

Posted 8th June 2021, updated 8th July 2021