March 21, 2018 – Z-AXIS (www.zaxis.net) has added more than $250,000 worth of equipment for printed circuit board (PCB) assembly services at its factory near Rochester, NY over the last six months. The investments are part of the company’s strategic plan to support growing demand for its US-based electronic product design and contract manufacturing services.
The purchases increase throughput and support continuous quality improvement in the company’s manufacturing processes for surface mount technology (SMT) assembly and mixed-technology PCB assembly. They include:
- Apollo Seiko J-CAT Stellar robotic soldering system. The system is used to solder selected components to PCBs, usually following SMT pick-and-place and solder reflow. The programmable robotic system enables a much more controlled and repeatable process than the “soldering fountains” typically used by mid-sized contract manufacturers for this work. It also allows the assembly team to process multiple customer projects simultaneously, automatically running the correct pre-defined soldering sequence for each board placed in the system, with no manual intervention and zero change-over time. This supports Z-AXIS’ high mix, high throughput manufacturing model. Read more about robotic soldering at Z-AXIS / Watch the video.
- Hot-bar reflow soldering system. Used to solder flexible printed circuits (FPCs) or flexible flat cable (FFCs) to printed circuit boards, hot-bar soldering eliminates the need for a connector between the board and FPC. This reduces the component count and size of the finished assembly. At Z-AXIS it is commonly used to connect LCD screens to printed circuit boards.
- Epilog Fusion CO2 Laser. Z-AXIS uses this 75-Watt CO2 laser to cut and engrave custom components used in its electro-mechanical assemblies, and to create custom packaging. Watch the video about lasers in PCB assembly at Z-AXIS.
- Xeltek SuperBot II Automated IC Programmer. This robotic system automatically picks up, places, and programs integrated circuits (ICs) such as flash memory and microcontrollers used in Z-AXIS PCB assemblies. An upgrade from the company’s previous generation SuperBot, the new system features machine vision for IC alignment, resulting in higher throughput and the ability to handle smaller components.
- NuClean PolySMT 318XL Board Cleaner from Technical Devices. This linear board washer replaces a smaller board washer to deliver higher throughput and more thorough cleaning of water-soluble flux from printed circuit boards, particularly around fine-pitch components. It is part of a controlled process for preparing PCBs for conformal coating. Watch the video about water-soluble flux and board cleaning.
- Gensonic GEN3 Stencil Cleaner. This ultrasonic cleaner thoroughly cleans the metal stencils that are used to apply solder paste to PCBs prior to component placement. It removes all solder paste from the very small apertures needed for fine-pitch SMT parts such as 0201s and micro BGAs.
- Fisnar F4200N dispensing robot. This automates manual dispensing of a wide range of materials used in PCB assembly including gel conformal coating, adhesives, and SMT component underfill. The automated system improves process control, reduces waste and labor costs, and delivers higher throughput. Watch the video.
“The ability to anticipate our customers’ changing needs and find innovative ways to satisfy their unique requirements is central to our success as the preferred contract manufacturing partner for leading commercial, medical and industrial equipment companies,” said Michael Allen, president of Z-AXIS. “Continuous re-investment in new manufacturing technology is a key part of this. It also contributes to making Z-AXIS a great place to work.”
The investments are aligned with the company’s long-range plan to continue to add capabilities to its agile, responsive, high-quality manufacturing services at its 32,000 square foot design and manufacturing center in western New York.
Z-AXIS, Inc. provides quality design, prototyping and manufacturing services for complex electronic products and electromechanical assemblies. The company offers fast design turnaround, competitive NRE charges, rapid production and low freight costs from its ISO 9001:2008 certified design and manufacturing facility near Rochester, NY. The company also designs, manufactures and sells commercial, industrial and medical power supplies under its BEAR Power Supplies brand.
Visit the company’s Manufacturing Services page for more information about Z-AXIS electronics design and contract manufacturing services in the USA.