after hours of manual hand soldering and after spending thousands of euros subcontracting PCB assembly, we have decided to buy a fully automated pick&place machine.
Our main assembly requirements are 0805/0603 for passives and TQFP-64 0.5mm pitch for ICs.
We have a very limited budget (10k to 15k EUR / 15K to 20K USD) for the PnP machine and we were wondering if it is better to purchase a new unit or a used one.
We have been investigating different alternatives for new equipment, and these are the conclusions:
- Manncorp FVX Benchtop is the basic one from Manncorp and it is already out of our budget.
- Termway TP300V: this one has vision and seems to be quite good and costs USD18000. However this is a chinese manufacturer and I cannot get any feedback from people using it in the real world.
- Essemtec Pantera without vision is in the range of the 40K EUR, so it is out of our budget
- Mechatronika M10V: this one has vision and the total budget including some feeders is almost 20K EUR. It is slow, as it can place 1600 CPH, but up to what we have now, it is the best option, although it is over our budget. I have read some info about it here http://forums.adafruit.com/viewtopic.php?f=42&t=25866
, but it was from last year and maybe there are more people there using it.
In the second-hand market we can get here in Spain one TWS Quadra Mechanical for 12k EUR, but up to what we have heard they are not reliable assembling small parts and fine pitch. And we have the option of an Autotronik BS383V1 for around 35000 EUR, but it is out of our budget.
We have seen lots of offers for 15k USD machines outside Spain, and we have written a lot of emails asking for details and 90% of the people are not even answering us.
Well, what is your advice? Would you go for the Mechatronika? Do you know any other manufacturer for low cost PnP machines? Any one of you wants to sell his old equipment and ship it to spain?