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PCB assembly setup for a manufacturing cooperative
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Please be positive and constructive with your questions and comments.

PCB assembly setup for a manufacturing cooperative

by TuxLab on Tue Oct 01, 2013 5:21 pm

Over the last few years i've been working toward setting up an open source domestic manufacturing cooperative in Los Angeles and I am thinking of adding a small scale pcb assembly setup. I've been reading up on the process and it seems that for small scale prototyping and batch size (10 to 50pc) having a low end pick and place maybe more cost effective than outsourcing since we don't charge ourselves labor.

Is the MDC 7722FV still a good entry level pick and place to start with?

What's the learning curve like for pcb assembly from stencil, to pick and place, to reflow? Does it require a dedicated trained operator or can most people who are really interested in the process pick up the basic and do an okay job using the equipment to make their own boards?

thanks,

John
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Re: PCB assembly setup for a manufacturing cooperative

by alphatronique on Tue Oct 01, 2013 10:02 pm

post delete by me ...
Last edited by alphatronique on Thu Dec 19, 2013 10:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Best regard
Marc Lalonde CID.
IPC Certified PCB Designer.
Alphatroniqe inc.
www.alphatronique.com
http://ca.groups.yahoo.com/group/MyData_Group

alphatronique
 
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Re: PCB assembly setup for a manufacturing cooperative

by TuxLab on Wed Oct 02, 2013 12:59 pm

I've been reading your past comments on equipment purchase. I am a bit hesitant on buying used equipment because this will be our first attempt at a pick and place. The prospect of troubleshooting unknown processes on an unknown machine and potential repair costs are steering us to a new machine, something like the MDC7722FV. Software is another issue with used machine. I am kind of adverse to buying equipment from non-free countries especially when there are alternatives from free countries. Otherwise the MC400 from Manncorp that's one step away from their MC38x series looks very attractive.

The yet to be form co-op is more like a hackerspace without public access so hopefully the people using the equipment will have the basic technical skills and/or the willingness to learn the basics to operate the system competently enough not to ruin it for the next user.

Component wise, we'll limit everyone to mostly a list of stock components with enough room for some custom components to keep everyone happy. The pcb assembly setup will only be for co-op users.

Manncorp has their own FVX which is built on a MDC frame but with new electronics and better software. Is the Manncorp FVX better than the original MDC 7722FV? Are there any other machines in the same price range that are not made in the country that shall not be named?

Regarding the reflow oven, there are some used one on ebay that looks very attractive price wise when compared with new ovens. However, they're all conveyor system. Are the conveyor reflow ovens suitable for prototyping or short batch runs(10 to 50 boars).

thanks,

John
TuxLab
 
Posts: 2
Joined: Tue Oct 01, 2013 4:49 pm

Re: PCB assembly setup for a manufacturing cooperative

by alphatronique on Wed Oct 02, 2013 2:12 pm

post delete by me ...
Last edited by alphatronique on Thu Dec 19, 2013 10:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Best regard
Marc Lalonde CID.
IPC Certified PCB Designer.
Alphatroniqe inc.
www.alphatronique.com
http://ca.groups.yahoo.com/group/MyData_Group

alphatronique
 
Posts: 231
Joined: Fri Jun 25, 2010 8:30 am

Re: PCB assembly setup for a manufacturing cooperative

by bmw330i on Sat Oct 12, 2013 10:13 pm

Hi John,

I'm from San Diego, now in Auburn area up north. I have a 7712 which is just the 7722 without reels on one side. Instead I have cut tape on one end and the other is reels.

You seem to be asking about the Manncorp/MDC machine. I have one. Ask away. Getting a 7722 is less risky to me since Vincent wrote such a good manual for the 77xx and shared it. I really was about to give up a few times and thanks to have a good manual just kept at it. Each run gets better as I learn. Really no substitute for that. Either pay yourself to learn or pay someone else to share their experience. I think Manncorp quoted 2000.00/day for training which was so out of my budget I just had to learn it on my own. Honestly If it was maybe 500/day I'd consider it. If you have the budget, maybe can get a few people trained and divide the cost that's going to help. I guess my point is if you can afford training get it. If not it's not impossible I've managed to figure it out...with a lot of downtime though trying to figure it out. The guys at Manncorp are super friendly so I don't fault them for trying to make a living. They are just out of my budget by a long ways.

I wish you were closer. I'd show you my machine and let you try it out. It is well built. Software has it's quirks but I haven't yet read online about anything that doesn't. It's the sort of thing that the more time you spend on it the more you learn the tricks you need to do. Vision recognition seems the key and it isn't something that just works for everything. You have to do quite a bit of learning or again pay someone who already knows it. I wouldn't say I have that part completely figured out but I can get it to place my parts now...almost in the right spot. I still have to nudge a few into place before I reflow the boards.

-David
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Re: PCB assembly setup for a manufacturing cooperative

by bmw330i on Tue Oct 15, 2013 2:55 pm

For the curious here's my 7712 placing parts on a small STM32F4 based controller board assembly. 72 parts placed in a couple minutes. http://youtu.be/O5L4HkMjfzE

After many trial and errors and lots of reading from the 7722 manual from Vincent/MDC it's now placing with enough accuracy that I can take the boards from the pick and place and reflow them. Before I had to move many parts back into place.

It seems to me in hindsight the secret is vision. You must get the machine to look at the PCB and align itself (Fiducials) and also look at every part (vision) to see the parts alignment before placing. Get that setup and it's pretty amazing the precision it will do the placement.

-David
bmw330i
 
Posts: 51
Joined: Mon May 07, 2012 9:59 pm

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