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Does anyone know what happened to MDC Japan?
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Does anyone know what happened to MDC Japan?

by mikeanton on Fri Sep 13, 2019 6:08 pm

So I noticed that the MDC domain has vanished: http://www.mdc-smt.co.jp sometime this year. This seems odd, as I placed a parts order just last fall, and now they don't seem to exist. Does anyone know what happened to them? Mr. Tadao Isono was pretty good about answering questions about his machines, so I'd hate to lose this great resource.

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Re: Does anyone know what happened to MDC Japan?

by adafruit_support_mike on Sun Sep 15, 2019 2:06 am

No, I'm afraid we haven't heard anything.

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Re: Does anyone know what happened to MDC Japan?

by mikeanton on Thu Oct 31, 2019 1:56 am

Yes, I knew that the domain no longer exists, but that doesn't really explain what happened to the company.

Thanks anyway.

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Re: Does anyone know what happened to MDC Japan?

by WinnifredLauters on Fri Jan 03, 2020 3:43 pm

Oh! It doesn't exist and due to high trade tensions between China and the US, I also noticed some delays at AliExpress PCB orders. However, you need to search social media accounts of MDC Japan. Mayhap, they have launched a new site with a new domain.

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Re: Does anyone know what happened to MDC Japan?

by mikeanton on Fri Jan 03, 2020 5:49 pm

WinnifredLauters wrote:Oh! It doesn't exist and due to high trade tensions between China and the US, I also noticed some delays at AliExpress PCB orders. However, you need to search social media accounts of MDC Japan. Mayhap, they have launched a new site with a new domain.


I'm not sure why trade tensions between the US and China would affect a Japan based company.

I've never found any social media accounts for them. Are you aware of any?

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Re: Does anyone know what happened to MDC Japan?

by WinnifredLauters on Sat Jan 04, 2020 4:46 am

mikeanton wrote:
WinnifredLauters wrote:Oh! It doesn't exist and due to high trade tensions between China and the US, I also noticed some delays at AliExpress PCB orders. However, you need to search social media accounts of MDC Japan. Mayhap, they have launched a new site with a new domain.


I'm not sure why trade tensions between the US and China would affect a Japan based company.

I've never found any social media accounts for them. Are you aware of any?


I didn't say the tension between the US and China is behind the close of Japan-based company. Actually, I was referring the shipment delays of AliExpress which is a China-based company. Yes, I tried to find of their social media account but didn't find anything.

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Re: Does anyone know what happened to MDC Japan?

by Aleks123 on Thu Feb 04, 2021 2:36 am

I have an MDC MHPSL with 3.03 software on board.
It has problems with the bottom camera recognition.
Can anyone help to share with a newer version?
Thank you very much in advance!

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Re: Does anyone know what happened to MDC Japan?

by mikeanton on Thu Feb 04, 2021 2:47 am

What kind of problems? Could it just be that you haven't set up the part types correctly? I found that figuring out how to program the vision system had a bit of a learning curve, and required lots of trial and error to get it working well.

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Re: Does anyone know what happened to MDC Japan?

by Aleks123 on Thu Feb 04, 2021 8:35 am

LV - 25, 26 - do not work, LV27 works only. If I choose the others the
programme hangs. The situation does not change for both modes: for teaching mode and assemble automatic mode.
Only LV = 1 (Laser align) is available so far and LV=27 ( Large QFP,PLCC,BGA) .
I need to recognize smd buttons and electrolytes. In accordance with description I should use LV=25 (Manual alignment) и LV=26 (Small Chip / Transistor/Small SOP).

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Re: Does anyone know what happened to MDC Japan?

by mikeanton on Thu Feb 04, 2021 5:52 pm

I'm not familiar with the MHPSL machine, and I've never seen it in any of their literature. What vintage is it?

So this is a machine with a bottom camera and laser alignment, or are you referring to the side looking camera for LV=1? I was under the impression that most of the newer machines that support bottom vision use a side mount camera for LV=1. Or, at least that's how my ECM Luna EXP is done.

Probably LV=26 would work for the parts you are describing, assuming that they fit with in the camera field of view.

Can you send a copy of your part.dat file, so I can take a look at it?

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Re: Does anyone know what happened to MDC Japan?

by Aleks123 on Fri Feb 05, 2021 4:03 am

The machine has an upper camera (for fiducial marks), a laser
equalizer and a bottom camera.
There is also an EYE sensor, but I have not dealt with it yet.
Part.dat has settings for laser alignment only. Bottom and upper
cameras are connected to Keyence CV-700. Recognition occurs through Keyence.
I cannot attach the manuals here - the files are too large. They were available at mdc site.
MHPManualE2.pdf fully fits our machine.
Date in pdf shows September 2001.
MHPManualEHP.pdf - there is a mention of Luna. Date: December 2002.
Therefore, the question was about the software from the second
manual.

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Re: Does anyone know what happened to MDC Japan?

by mikeanton on Fri Feb 05, 2021 4:36 am

Is your machine running DOS, or Windows software?

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Re: Does anyone know what happened to MDC Japan?

by Aleks123 on Fri Feb 05, 2021 5:16 am

Windows

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Re: Does anyone know what happened to MDC Japan?

by mikeanton on Fri Feb 05, 2021 6:22 am

Have you been running this machine for a long time? Has it only recently started crashing?

The eye sensor is likely the old fiducial optical sensor that scans across the fiducial to find the center. It uses a long piece of fibre optics that connects to a Seeka F5RN device. My old 1999 vintage ECM 97 has that. If you have the ability to use the down looking camera for picking up fiducials, that probably works better anyhow, as I never found the eye sensor to work all that well.

Is the flying laser system a Cyberoptics device? That's what MDC usually seemed to use, before they implemented the Luna based flying vision. I've used both, the Cyberoptics laser system on an old ECM 93 (1999), and my Luna EXP (2009) has the Luna flying vision.

Alas, I've never seen software updates for those old machines online, and they were likely only available from the representative that sold the machine, or MDC directly. MDC only started publishing them much later. I've archived what I could from their site (though it is still available on the Wayback Machine), and did use one of the versions on the Luna EXP I have. I wish there were newer version for it as well, as it does crash now and again. I've heard rumors of the source code being available in the wild, but I've never seen anyone offer it.

I couldn't find the manual that was specific to your machine. There is a chance that your machine only supports LV=1 and 27, as there is some indication in the manual that LV=25, and 26 are for Luna vision systems. If you don't have the Luna vision system, the software might just crash as you have found. It hasn't always been the best where error handling is concerned.

You may be able to scan the buttons with the laser, depending on how big they are (though it looks to be possible to scan parts as big as 28x28mm). The electrolytic capacitors may be possible too, depending on their height. You need to put an offset into the YL/t field to offset the cap vertically to try to scan the base of the part. On the ECM 93, positive values for YL/t raised the part up, even though the manual seems to indicate the opposite of this, but this only worked up to 5mm or so, since the max part thickness is around 10mm. The manual indicates the max is 6mm, but I've been able to place much higher parts up to 8mm so far, by telling the machine to raise them higher during transport, but I don't know if your machine supports that option.

I have a huge library of part types that I've used on the ECM 93, which you are welcome to if you think they might help (it only supported LV=1 though).

Long ago I wrote some software that took master libraries for dispense, and part type, combined them with a feeder list defined in a .csv file, and the pnp report file, which then built a set of machine files, which included a subset of the dispense and part type libraries. The old DOS machines had limits as to how many part types were allowed (50 I think), which really was limiting if you run many different jobs, and this software worked around that nicely. Recently I updated the software to support the file formats for an ECM 97, and the ECM Luna EXP. At any rate, you might find it useful, as it certainly is an easier workflow to setting up the machine. It might just need some simple modifications to support any file format differences on your machine.

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Re: Does anyone know what happened to MDC Japan?

by Aleks123 on Fri Feb 05, 2021 7:57 am

The machine was bought about 3 years ago. Cyberoptics Laser system works well.
Recognition of reference marks (by the upper camera) works as well. A problem occurred during recognizing
SMD buttons (tmg-533-v-t/r) . One side size must be smaller than the other one for laser recognition.
A button has a square case (equal side sizes). And the pins are very thin - a lot of mistakes appear... Therefore, I wanted to use the bottom camera.

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