EEVblog > The AmpHour Radio Show

#506 – Hipster Fodder

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mairo:
Dave, I was listening at the podcast in the car and heard you mentioning that the stencil dispensers are slow - there are new much faster solder paste dispensers being available for the past ~8 years. They are different from the technology you are thinking (e.g. the Martin machine you have filmed at Altium). These new machines use a jetting valve, which allow them to dispense smaller drops (if needed), precise in volume measurement, dispensing very faster and when combined with fast x/y gantry it turns into quite useful machine for some assembly floors. The machines are quite suitable for situations where high mix low volume boards are assembled, so no need for stencil storage area, no need for stencil washing machines, faster changeover b/w jobs.

The cost of these machines vary b/w I would say 20-40k for small bench top units/integrated units to PnP machines to ~500k for large standalone machines. One thing to note here is that the jetting valves require changing after a number of operating cycles (drops) and the cost for the valve alone I think starts at ~10k for the main brands out there.





Still, there are situations where the old stencil can be more economical and faster, such as on assembly lines with high throughput, large boards and that only few boards are being assembled.

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