Variosystems upgrades capabilities in 2009
Even in the face of a difficult economy, Variosystems showed its commitment to its future in the American market by completing some significant investments in process improvement and expansion. This is in accordance with Variosystems long term planning horizon which allows us to be a tightly integrated part of our customers engineering and manufacturing departments.
Variosystems was a beta test site for MPM-Speedline’s latest Momentum screen printer. From August thru December, Variosystems SMT personnel worked closely with MPM to test the machine in a real world contract manufacturing environment. Due to the high number of changeovers Variosystems experiences, Variosystems was able to stress the printer and software in ways not possible in a lab environment. While working with the printer during the test period Variosystems was impressed by the relatively few problems, quick support and overall performance. As a result, Variosystems decided to upgrade all four SMT lines with the new printers. A purchase order was placed in December 2009, and the first machine is already installed.
In May of 2009, Variosystems chose to upgrade its AOI machines to the latest F1S models from YESTech Inc. In addition to being faster, the new models include an upgraded lighting system that utilizes RGB LEDs to allow control of color along with the direction of the light. Among other things, this improves the ability to recognize laser marked details on metal packages such as oscillators. Also included in the new machine are side angle cameras that allow markings on the sides of components (such as electrolytic caps) to be recognized. A purchase order for a total of 6 machines was placed in May. Four of the machines were delivered in 2009 with one going to our facility in Hangzhou China. The remaining two machines are scheduled for our Southlake, Texas and Steinach Switzerland facilities this year.
In June of 2009, Variosystems acquired a Siemens HS60 pick and place machine. The HS60 is capable of 60,000 components per hour. This represents an approximate 25% increase in our SMT placement capacity. The HS60 has four gantries with 12 star pickup heads. Each gantry/head is equipped with laser sensors to enable precise sensing of 0201, CSP and Flip Chip packages.
As our customers continue to convert more assemblies to be RoHS compliant, we saw the need for additional lead free solder wave capacity. In September, we purchased a Speedline Vectra Elite Lead Free Wave Solder System with four convection preheaters. We decommissioned an older Vectra Econopak leaded wave solder machine that was no longer needed.
Moving forward into 2010, Variosystems has very positive outlook and continues to investigate new process technologies, such as but not limited to selective solder, and to expand and enhance existing capabilities.
Variosystems wishes everyone a Happy New Year and hopes the economy continues to improve.