Electronics > Manufacturing & Assembly

SmallSMT PNP adventure, learning and documenting

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revenue_controls:
Greetings to all,
I am starting on a learning adventure with my soon to be delivered PNP machine. It is a SmallSMT VP-2500HP-CL32. https://www.smallsmt.biz/vp2500hpcl32-pnp-machine/

My goal is to document my experiences (videos and this forum) with the machine; learning, setup, quality of build, usage and maintaining. Additionally I will give you my experiences with the manufacture, sales support,warranty...

I'm not an expert, so don't jump down my throat and nit-pick terms I use and other options I should have taken. This is just the adventure in real time.

It is my hope that this will help the EEVblog community and the manufacture, SmallSMT.

The story so far...
I have been hand assembling surface mount boards for several years and have found that I am tired if it. Also my need to produce greater quantities of boards (200/month). Another big reason is the fact that I just wanted a new toy to play with. I have 5 different designs each with around 50 parts.

Speed and a conveyor system are not important to me, however maximum part height capability, number of feeders and precision is. I did also want to buy from a US based company.  And of course, cost was a factor. I was trying to keep the cost under $15k.

I checked out several companies websites, called some and requested quotations from a few.
neoden, SMTmax and others I cant remember, both US and China.

The neoden4 looked good, cost wise and it has the neat feeder option but I was not happy with the part height spec. The SMTmax machine, which I received a quote for, looks like it is made out of extruded aluminum pieces. Which I know will start to get loose at some point.
 
I first starting looking for a machine around November of 2018 and was drawn to SmallSMT because of the built in feeders, which I thought would be a good way to save the cost of the cartridges. And the large part height spec (20mm or 22mm, I'm not sure witch of their spec sheets is correct)

More to come... Steve

mrpackethead:
   Not to be too discouraging but we've heard lots of promise from Small SMT for many years, but  nobodys of the supposabdly hundreds of people who have bought them have ever come back to do a review of it.  This will be awesome.   We've also learned to be cautious of first time posters, as we never can be sure if they are sockpuppet accounts.. ( sigh, the pcb fabs are the worst! (.

I belive that the SMT machines are manufactured by a chinese company and are rebadged for SmallSMT. Or at least they used to be.  (http://www.yushengtech.com/index.php?lang=en)  If you look on taobao and ali, you can often find them listed, ( at significnatly lower cost than smallSMTs price ).   I did seriously look at SMallSMT a few years ago, but was troubled by their business structure, which set off alarm bells to me.    That may have changed of course.

All that said, really looking forward to hearing from a genuine end user.

revenue_controls:
Well, glad to see you have a positive attitude.
I received 3 tracking numbers from Germany this morning, so something is coming.

mrpackethead:
Is your device shipping from Germany?

revenue_controls:
I'm not sure. There is more to the "story so far" I have not told you yet. Stay tuned. I don't want to jump around in the adventure. I will post another episode tomorrow.

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