Clemens Jargon and Olivier Pirou from Mycronic and Vi TECHNOLOGY attended the award ceremony.
Last night Global SMT & Packaging held their annual Global Technology Award at Productronica, and recognized Mycronic with two awards for being one of the industry’s leading innovators. One for our Jet Printer and SPI inspection machine’s add-on and repair solution and one for Vi TECHNOLOGY’s process control software SIGMA Link.
Award in the category “Printing equipment”
Mycronic’s solder paste add-on and repair solution closes the loop in solder joint quality, achieving zero stencil defects. By combining two innovative products, MY700 Jet Printer and PI 3D SPI, Mycronic has created a breakthrough offering to the SMT industry. It opens new perspectives in terms of quality control of the paste deposition process in a SMT assembly line with high product mix at any production volume.
The jury motivation: “Mycronic’s add-on and repair solution addresses a major need in the industry. It is well documented that up to 70% of defects originate from the stencil printer. Of these defects, the majority are missing solder paste. By automatically verifying the paste deposits and replenishing the missing paste with this verification system, the overall reliability and yield of the line will improve.”
“I am very glad that our innovations are getting attention in the industry. The add-on and repair solution with the jet printer and SPI machine is a unique solution, solving a major issue for our customers,” explains Clemens, VP Global SMT at Mycronic.
Award in the category “Process control system”
The SIGMA Link process control software suite helps to achieve new levels of product quality and SMT process reliability, by leveraging Vi TECHNOLOGY’s SPI and AOI inspection machines. Its real-time data correlation and analysis deliver a unique and powerful tool to take a close control over the manufacturing process, and to visibly increasing First Pass Yield.
The jury motivation: The SIGMA Link software suite takes a holistic approach to monitoring the entire shop floor and monitors any deviations in the process, not only the AOI or SPI data. This, in combination with the ease of programming and easy to follow GUI, were two winning factors.
Solder paste add-on and repair
Eliminate stencil printing compromises at any volume with the MY700 3D SPI Add-on and Repair module. Discover how our fully integrated 3D SPI and jet printing solution automatically identifies and fills in missing or damaged solder paste print to help you maintain the highest throughput speeds with simpler stencil designs and zero defects.
SIGMA Link process control
Get the data and images you need to improve yield, diagnose your PCB process, and continuously improve your products. SIGMA Link is your real-time web-based interface for unified SPI and AOI data, allowing you to connect multiple machines to your Manufacturing Execution System. Thanks to rapid data correlation and analysis, it delivers powerful possibilities for measuring, controlling and anticipating process variations.
New product mixes. New innovations. New perspectives. As electronics assembly grows more complex, Mycronic and its customers are expanding their visions for the future. It’s all about leveraging bigger data and actionable insights to take broader control of fast-changing industry demands.
SMARTER WORKFLOWS ARE JUST AROUND THE CORNER. Imagine sitting down at your desk in the morning and opening a new ECAD ﬁle. It’s intriguing. The substrate is stretchable. A few of the components you’ve never seen before. And the customer wants a prototype tomorrow. She also wants the ﬁrst 10,000 board batch optimized, manufactured and shipped for assembly in Hanoi at the end of the month. It’s all attached under the subject line: “Can you handle this one?”
Anticipating change through deeper insights
In the near future, this simple question will reveal powerful new business insights. Your software might predict the new job’s effects on ongoing production and purchasing, simulate the ﬁrst run and adjust key parameters to the board design. It might tell you if you can meet the deadline, your overall equipment effectiveness throughout the job, and signal key staff to tell them where and when they’re needed most. Before you even start, you’ve simulated the product’s DPMO based on millions of points of past production data, and you know your line utilization will be 85%.
“These are some of the things we think about when we think about putting our customers in control,” says Thomas Stetter, Mycronic, “and this scenario isn’t as far off as you might think. In fact, we’re investing heavily in making all of these capabilities possible.”
Preparing for tomorrow’s opportunities
Ask industry experts what challenges tomorrow’s electronics manufacturers will face and the list is bound to be wideranging. On the technology side, the trends continue toward miniaturization and higher material variability. On the business side, average PCB sales prices are on the decline, and customer expectations for faster time-to-market are on the rise. Simply put, the pressure is on to unleash bigger gains in quality and efficiency throughout the assembly process.
Taking performance to the next level
Together with customers, Mycronic is leveraging its end-to-end expertise, software and solutions to unleash new levels in quality, ﬂexibility and productivity throughout the factory. This means delivering not just higher-performance machines, but more actionable data ﬂows, more compatible interfaces and more adaptive, predictive information loops. All of these are part of the company’s vision to enable the zero defect assembly line with the highest possible utilization for any product mix.
A new mindset for a new era
To achieve this ambition, a new mindset is needed. A perspective that looks beyond individual process steps and ideal machine speeds to proactively identify and address actual efficiency leakages – wherever they might occur. This involves better measurement, control and anticipation of process variations to reach new levels in product quality and process automation. It requires smarter data ﬂows to minimize working capital and boost delivery output. And above all, it demands a clear vision for tomorrow’s agile manufacturing – a vision that is quickly becoming reality.
Charting the course ahead
Guiding the course for this development are six key process pillars that Mycronic believes will unlock signiﬁcant new gains in quality, productivity and ﬂexibility in the years ahead. Although individual machine capabilities remain important, advances in these six key areas will redeﬁne the industry’s previous conceptions of production performance.
Quality, productivity and ﬂexibility redeﬁned
Where quality was once considered a ﬁnal veriﬁcation step, in the smart factory it is about producing fewer defects in the ﬁrst place with the help of powerful in-line inspection systems, factory-wide sensors and advances in deep learning algorithms. Productivity, once viewed as machines and people performing at full capacity, is now seeing signiﬁcant gains thanks to enhanced machine-to-machine, machine-to-human and collaborative robotics interfaces. And ﬂexibility, previously deﬁned in terms of machine capabilities, is now being expanded to include adaptive factory-wide systems with unprecedented levels of visibility.
All of this is becoming possible thanks to intensive collaborative innovation between Mycronic and its customers. “With multiple global R&D and application centers, together with process and integration engineers near our customers worldwide,” says Thomas Stetter, Mycronic, “we’re now able to bring our process expertise closer to the rapid new application developments in a number of key industries. Whether it’s automotive, medical or consumer electronics, we’re constantly learning and adapting to their needs.”
Where can we give you better control?
This brings us back to our original scenario and the question faced by every electronics manufacturer today: Can your factory handle the challenges that the future might bring? A future that demands zero defects and higher line utilization, even in the face of fast-changing product mixes, complex design for manufacturing collaborations and constantly smarter data management?
“At Mycronic, we believe the answer is ‘of course you can,’” continues Thomas. “According to our product roadmap, at least, we’re moving quickly to a production that’s more predictive, more adaptive to dynamic changes and far more data-driven. Because our customers work with innovative products, it’s our responsibility to give them innovative production solutions, together with deeper, more useful insights into their processes.”
“What this looks like on the factory ﬂoor will vary enormously depending on the customer’s business strategy, supply chain, cost structure, and so on,” he concludes. “What we aim to do is bring the system-wide perspective, the process expertise and the right technologies. Then it’s just a question of looking together at potential performance gaps to ask: Where can we give you better control?”
Data-driven manufacturing is redeﬁning tomorrow’s workﬂows and unlocking new opportunities in quality, ﬂexibility and productivity. Mycronic has deﬁned six key process pillars that will be vital to capturing more value in tomorrow’s most demanding production environments.
1. Process control
The foundation for process control is a series of sensors that measure the process parameters and perform accurate data collection. This data needs to be reﬁned into actionable information through software analytics and correlation, which increasingly requires AI to interpret the “soft” data. Extensive open APIs will also be required, since process data must be made available to all potential consumers in the factory, not only the machine or process point that collected the data.
2. Production scheduling and line performance optimization
The key challenge will be to reach high levels of performance and utilization while still allowing for a high degree of ﬂ exibility when it comes to ever-changing build schedules and urgent orders. Scheduling and optimization tools must take into account both historical data and a “best guess” future projection. Full visibility of materials, machines and staffing levels is key to creating an optimized, yet robust, build schedule. This will require integration with other key systems in the factory.
3. Quality management
Quality management systems will evolve from the traditional approach of capturing, classifying and recording defects, to the more value-adding approach of predicting and preventing defects. This will require self-learning systems with the ability to anticipate drift, correlate data to create actionable information, and close the loop to prevent defects before they occur. The goal should be to also make the quality system an integrated part of the design process, so that product developers can predict the quality outcome of their design choices.
4. Equipment automation
Automation is not only about reducing manual labor. It is also about improving quality by avoiding human mistakes. However, 100% automation in complex production environments is neither possible nor economically viable, today. A more collaborative approach to automation will be required in the future, where machines, robots and humans work better together to perform assembly tasks, and to verify the result of these tasks.
5. Material handling
Stock accuracy, traceability, and delivery performance are the key aspects of a material handling system. Today, most factories rely on manual handling, often with the support of barcode or RFID systems. But increased automation is required, and in many cases is already ongoing. Many Mycronic customers have already started to invest in robots and AGVs, and Mycronic is actively supporting them by adapting products for robot interaction. We have also invested in an in-house robotics lab in order to be prepared and to better support our customers in this area. We will also see more augmented reality solutions to better guide humans to carry out those tasks that cannot be fully automated.
6. Communication & Connectivity
The future smart factory will require integration on all levels, and in many cases this will require customization. Whether it’s product-to-machine, machine-to-machine and human-tomachine feedback loops or vertical integration to ERP and MES systems, Mycronic has the ability to off er custom-made software integrations in all areas where our solutions play a role. The need for customized horizontal and vertical integration is certain to grow in the future, as manufacturers experience everincreasing demands for transparency. Industry communication standards such as Hermes, CFX and IPC-2581 (Digital Product Model Exchange) will play an important role in this development. Mycronic is supporting and actively participating in the development of these standards.
Interested to learn how bigger challenges is requiring bigger perspectives? Read how data-driven production is redeﬁning tomorrow’s workﬂows.
Integrated inspection solutions continue to pay off for customers, even at the highest production volumes. With Mycronic’s latest innovation, it’s now possible to automatically eliminate stencil printing compromises at any production volume with simpler stencils, perfect jet-printed solder joints and the highest possible yields.
Tackling defects at their source
For manufacturers running high-volume production lines, stencil-related defects are a constant challenge. In fact, this is where 61% of all SMT defects originate, according to a Vi TECHNOLOGY survey. As a consequence, more and more producers depend on a combination of stepped stencils, timeconsuming solder repairs and advanced solder paste inspection systems.
Automation meets precision
The MY700 3D SPI add-on and repair solution resolves these issues with a single, softwaredriven modular solution. It combines a PI series 3D SPI system in-line with a MY700 Jet Printer to automate solder paste inspection, addon and repair at the highest throughput speeds. Added in-line after a stencil printer, the solution makes it possible to simplify stencil designs, eliminate stepped stencils and increase overall yield at high speeds by leaving the most difficult deposits to the fully software-controlled jet printing and inspection system. It can be used to repair missing solder paste from the stencil printing process, add solder paste in difficult areas on the board or automatically add solder paste with high precision to existing print patterns to achieve the perfect volume for speciﬁc pads.
The power of intelligent SPI
In 2017, Mycronic acquired France-based Vi TECHNOLOGY, whose solutions were already used by leading global manufacturers of aerospace, automotive and consumer electronics. Part of an effort to offer customers the world’s most sophisticated closedloop inspection systems, Vi TECHNOLOGY’s inspection solutions complemented the Mycronic portfolio with a uniquely integrated, accurate and scalable architecture.
Now, the company’s K series 3D AOI, PI series 3D SPI and SIGMA Link process improvement software suite are being integrated with Mycronic’s SMT solutions to bring more automated capabilities and higher quality process controls than ever before.
The PI Series 3D SPI is not only the world’s ﬁrst auto-programmed SPI unit. It is also capable of capturing extremely precise paste volume measurements on the smallest pads, combining a patented Z-referencing technology and an ultra-large 50 x 350 mm 3D ﬁeld of view. Together with the un-precedented speed and solder paste volume control of the MY700, it offers unmatched control of ﬁrst pass yield.
Deep in the snow-capped mountains of Sweden, the national cross-country ski team will soon not only be pushing their limits in the tracks, but testing stretchable electronic sensors to monitor heart rate, stress, glucose levels and more. Unlike standard wearable devices that tend to be bulkier, stiffer and create friction, the new multi-sensors stick like hair-thin tape (100 microns) to the skin, are ultra-light and stretch to ﬁt the contours of a ﬁnger, arm or leg.
“IF ALL GOES WELL, this next generation of wearable electronics can be used not only for sports but healthcare and other applications,” says Gustaf Mårtensson, an expert in complex ﬂuids at Mycronic, one of eight companies in the EU-ﬁnanced SINTEC project.
“For me personally it feels like a gift not only to be enabling the future of electronics but improving the health prospects for millions of Europeans – and even creating jobs for a whole new industry. All of us on the SINTEC team are really ﬁred up about making it happen.”
According to Mårtensson, the growing interest in advanced physiological monitoring is being driven by a global trend towards wireless-enabled wearable devices. “Most people know how a smartwatch, for example, allows you to measure steps walked, heart rate, quality of sleep and other metrics. Now we are taking this to a whole new level in terms of lightness, accuracy, comfort and the possibility to capture hidden data by being in direct contact with the body.”
Robust, stretchable and sustainable
“Imagine applying a tape-thin sensor to an elderly patient that hugs their body and moves with them, monitoring their heart and other functions,” Mårtensson says. “The big challenge is making it robust enough to stretch and twist, while containing ultra-thin, interconnecting circuitry on multiple levels. Another challenge is utilizing sustainable, non-toxic materials, such as Galinstan, a metal alloy for liquid circuitry, that stays liquid down to –19°C (–2°F).”
Goal: develop a working production line
As a high-tech company with fully integrated PCB manufacturing technology, Mycronic was asked to help develop this hybrid stretch PCB technology. The goal of the four-year project, which ends in 2023, is to ﬁnd a commercial solution for the actual production of stretchable electronics, including achieving a higher degree of maturity in several technical challenges. For Mycronic, this means implementing a working production line using the products and technologies in its product portfolio, including conformal coating, dispensing, pick-and-place, and inspection. “Now, it’s full speed ahead!” says Mårtensson.
The European Horizon 2020 research project SINTEC (Soft Epidermal Communication Platform) includes the following partners:
This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program under grant agreement no. 824984. www.sintec-project.eu.
A true internationalist with a global track record of growing technology-based companies, Anders Lindqvist, new CEO of Mycronic, says the company will continue to invest heavily in R&D, grow organically, acquire new companies where it makes sense and stay close to its customers to add big value.
ANDERS LINDQVIST KNOWS his way around a factory. With more than 20 years of experience in international positions at Atlas Copco and most recently as CEO of Piab, a global leader in automation and materials handling, he’s seen, ﬁrst-hand, the challenges facing companies as they struggle to achieve digital transformation, automate, embrace Industry 4.0 and more.
Diverse global experience
A Swedish engineer by training with an MBA in marketing from University of California, he and his family have done tours in places like Shanghai (ﬁve years), Belgium (seven years), and France (two years). This diversity of international experience is a perfect ﬁt for Mycronic, where 99¬% of all customers are located in electronics hubs outside Sweden.
“I’m not the guy asking for Swedish meatballs,” Lindqvist says with a laugh. “For me, it’s not just about work; I really enjoy experiencing other cultures – the people, food and traditions. I feel totally at home anywhere. When in China, I even brought local food home to Sweden.”
Family man and world citizen
Married for more than 20 years, with two children in their early twenties (boy and girl), the Lindqvists have spent most of their life abroad. “My kids speak several different languages and my son is pretty ﬂuent in Mandarin,” he says.
Many countries, one global industry
While cultures may differ, he notes, the fundamental needs and purchasing criteria of the electronics industry are strikingly similar across borders. “It doesn’t matter who you talk to, they all want to boost their productivity with faster, safer and more efficient systems. New technology can make a big difference, but you need to see the bigger picture of where the market is moving. I believe this is where Mycronic can really support our customers, helping them to invest wisely, handle current and future challenges and be even more successful.”
Building on a strong foundation
So what attracted him to Mycronic, and what does he plan to change? “You know, I’ve admired Mycronic from a distance for many years. The electronics sector is a very cool, fast-moving and visible industry that I ﬁnd personally very exciting: New smartphones, self-driving cars, OLED ﬂat-screen TVs, space ships. It’s all happening now and changing at lightning speed. Mycronic is doing a good job and will continue to improve – always nimbler and more customer-centric than ever.”
Innovation is more than R&D
“For me, innovation is about being brave and encouraging people to dare to try new ideas or methods – everything from logistics and sales to manufacturing. Innovation covers a wide range of actions and processes that could result in signiﬁcant change – for us and our customers. This might involve adopting creative ﬁnancing plans, a machine refurbishing program or more.
As an example, he cites how Mycronic virtually pioneered a whole new level of precision and speed for pattern generators used in the display market, single-handedly invented solder paste jet printing, Agilis feeder technology for faster pick-and-place changeovers and more. “These are all examples of organic growth,” he says. “They show how we listened to the market and then harnessed our R&D capabilities to meet a huge customer need.”
Open for strategic acquisitions
“But we should not rule out acquisitions as a means of building out our product portfolio. For example, we recently made a strategic acquisition of Automation Engineering Inc., a high-tech developer of camera technology, because we see a huge need in the emerging autonomous vehicle market. And we bought a company called MRSI specializing in ultra-high precision die bonding systems. The addition of Vi TECHNOLOGY also expands our coverage of the entire electronics assembly line, which is something we’ll continue to focus on.
The ski coach for kids
Asked about his management style, the low-key and thoughtful Swede pauses for a moment, gazing out the window of his spotless corner office in Stockholm. “Growing up, I worked as a professional ski instructor for children. The pay was terrible, the hours bad, but seeing people having fun, developing and achieving remarkable things really motivated me.
“You might think that leading a group of kids in ski jackets sounds adorable, but it comes with plenty of challenges. You need to make sure they’re feeling comfortable, enjoying it and overcoming their fears to achieve their goals. And you’d be surprised. Once they move a little outside their comfort zones, amazing things start to happen.”
Delegating with responsibility
Today, he carries with him that same coaching mindset and is no micro-manager. Not surprisingly, he warmly embraces a decentralized, entrepreneurial management style, an approach he learned and used successfully at Atlas Copco. This involves delegating authority, but with responsibility. “The best decisions are taken as close to the customer as possible. When you push decision-making out to the local markets, it allows for better speed, responsiveness, effi ciency and uses people’s intelligence in better ways.”
Setting clear targets
“It’s my job to set the framework, rules and targets, but how these are achieved is very much up to the manager in charge. They can use their own creativity and entrepreneurial skills to ﬁ nd the best way. But they can also expect to be held accountable.”
Staying top of mind
“My goal is for Mycronic to always be top of mind with our customers when it comes to helping and supporting them to be successful. I will continue to expand our global footprint, bringing our expertise out closer to the market. We already have a great team in place, an ever-improving product portfolio and we will only continue to get better and better. I look forward to an exciting journey ahead.”
The ability of manufacturing systems to predict and adapt to unforeseen situations, often referred to as Artiﬁcial intelligence (AI), promises to revolutionize the electronics assembly market. In a period of just ﬁve to ten years, deep learning researchers at Mycronic predict a highly automated SMT environment approaching zero defects with little to no human intervention.
“THIS IS NOT SCIENCE FICTION – WE’RE WELL ON OUR WAY RIGHT NOW,” says Romain Roux, a PhD deep learning engineer at Mycronic’s Center for Deep Learning in Electronics Manufacturing (CDLe) in San Jose, California. The center is currently conducting research into deep learning and AI applications for electronics manufacturing.
Reinforcement Learning – the secret sauce
To illustrate the speed of development in AI, Roux recalls how already in 2017 Google’s DeepMind AlphaGo AI defeated the world’s number-one Go player. Regarded as far more complex than chess or poker, Go is an abstract strategy board game for two players involving black and white stone pieces in which the aim is to surround more territory than the opponent. “The milestone victory by AI was enabled by something called ‘reinforcement learning’ – meaning the use of autonomous new observations and decision-making based on studying previous patterns and playing thousands of games against itself,” says Roux. “At the time, everyone thought this achievement would have taken at least another 20 years!”
From basic Chess to highly complex Go
According to Roux, it is this new level of deep learning and computing power that opens up huge new potential. Returning to the example of Go versus Chess, he notes how an average Go game has 200 moves versus 37 in chess. “ When IBM’s Deep Blue chess-playing computer beat leading chess champions 20 years ago, it could process fewer move possibilities in this closed-loop game.” By contrast, Go involves up to 320 billion possible combinations or more. “Clearly no human doing rulebased programming can handle this. It was AlphaGo’s neural networks that allowed it to creatively sort through millions of data points to develop new strategies and recognize new patterns.”
Vision: the intelligent Mycronic 4.0 factory
Intent on accelerating the development of deep learning and AI for the beneﬁt of its customers, Mycronic expects to incorporate it into our product development roadmaps in 2020. “Our focus is on the Mycronic 4.0 intelligent factory, which relies on factorywide information ﬂows – horizontal, vertical and into the cloud,” he says. “Our ambition is the zero-defect line, and we are already gathering data in collaboration with PCB manufacturers at multiple sites.”
Challenge: achieving repeatable accuracy
According to Romain, in addition to gathering large data sets and image libraries, a key hurdle is achieving repeatable and accurate recognition of a component’s geometry. This will mean improving automated optical inspection systems (AOI) to ensure the stability and accuracy of the deﬁnition of new components, even in dynamic production environments where designs, assembly ﬂuids and packaging change rapidly. For Mycronic, this has required building up a large library of tens of thousands of 3D images, including data on complex geometries, that can be quickly recognized using algorithmic assistance.
“This is a good start” he says. “We will need ten times or even a hundred times more data so that our deep neural network can generalize to all types of components and all types of boards. This amount of data is quite usual for deep learning applications”.
He explains that machine learning – which is necessary for a range of auto-programming, closed-loop and predictive systems for Mycronic equipment today – involves parsing structured data to train machine learning algorithms according to deﬁned criteria. Going a step further, deep learning, a subﬁeld of machine learning and AI, structures the algorithms in layers to create an artiﬁcial neural network that can create and simulate new situations in order to improve its decision-making without relying on rule-based programming.
The emergence of Digital Twins
Today, deep learning scientists are building virtual replicas of physical factories and combining this with AI and analytics to simulate operations in real time. Often referred to as Digital Twins, this new approach allows for the analysis of data and systems (in the virtual model) to head off problems before they occur in the physical factory. According to Roux, this will enable predictive maintenance, zero-defect manufacturing and creative solutions to product designs in simulated environments. He estimates that the widespread use of Digital Twins in the SMT industry may be ten years down the road. It will also depend on another key breakthrough: synchronized data correlation of all systems in the different machines – something that is not possible today.
Taking steps in the right direction
Mycronic has already developed SIGMA Link, an advanced software suite that gives better control and actionable insights into product quality and process automation. It offers data correlation between SPI and AOIs from the same line, and from several lines, without the need for a Manufacturing Execution System. The system continues to improve with the help of larger sets of quality training data. “The addition of deep learning functionality will take the beneﬁts of this system to a whole new level in the years ahead.”
Has your production expanded to higher volumes? Do you still need the ﬂexibility and quick changeovers to handle half a dozen different products a day? And are your line operators paying the price for these conﬂicting demands?
With the MY300HX and MY300EX, the newest MYPro series pick-and-place machines make it possible to build lines that maintain the highest utilization levels at speeds up to 100,000 components per hour.
FIRST LAUNCHED IN 2017, the MY300 pick-and-place machines were introduced to ensure a fully automated material ﬂow for all next-generation boards and components. Thanks to a comprehensive redesign, they also reduce the machine footprint of the previous MY200 by 50 percent.
Double the top speeds
Now, the new MY300HX and MY300EX are continuing this design evolution with an even further reduced footprint that introduces entirely new conﬁguration possibilities. The fastest of these, known as the Trilogy line, guarantees the same ﬂexibility as Mycronic’s high-capacity DX Synergy line, but with up to twice the throughput.
A MYPlan 5.0 software upgrade applies new optimization algorithms to balance the line’s two MY300HX high-speed placers with one MY300EX ﬁne-pitch and odd-shape placer. But the secret is not only in the software.
A well-balanced pick-and-place trio
By distributing four Hydra heads and two high-precision Midas heads over three frames, the Trilogy line beneﬁts from higher mount head utilization and a more balanced and cost-effective platform. Because the Midas head occupies the optimal position on the MY300EX’s X-wagon, the machine is up to two times faster than a MY300DX when it comes to high-precision mounting. The MY300HX machines, meanwhile, have a shorter Z-stroke, leading to shorter cycle times and an added boost to top throughput speeds.
The fastest way to stay ﬂexible
The new MY300 Trilogy mid-volume line has been received as welcome news among electronic manufacturers who demand the future-proof automation and technical capabilities of an integrated Mycronic system by eliminating the need for a separate, dedicated high-speed line. When the ﬁrst beta customers shifted over to full-time production using the platform, they experienced solid evidence of success.
Among these early adopters is Allelektronik, a Sweden-based manufacturer of electronics for air conditioning, climate controls and other facility automation systems. A longtime Mycronic customer, Allelektronik had been experiencing rising demand for higher production volumes, but lacked both the extra manpower and ﬂoorspace to expand throughput.
Shifting the balance from three to one
As a result, staffing issues had become unsustainable. Running a single DX Synergy line on two shifts, line operators would work two six-hour shifts a day and still struggled to meet demand for new orders. Eventually, Owner and Production Manager Mats Landström was faced with a crucial decision: add a third shift or invest in an additional high-volume line.
“Fortunately, the Trilogy line came just in time for us,” explains Landström. “We’ve gone from average production speeds of about 25,000 to 40,000 components per hour. Of course, the actual speed varies a lot from board to board and the type of components, but still it’s been a solid boost to our volumes. The production is more stable, the machines are more robust, and we’ve gone from considering adding a third shift to deciding if we can reduce it to just one. So things are deﬁnitely going in the right direction for us.”
Building the future of high-speed ﬂexibility
Better yet, the new Trilogy line promises a strong return on investment for mid-volume producers with a demanding mix of products, boards and components. It includes three machines in a single, compact line at a price comparable to non-ﬂexible lines with the same speed rating, and is available in multiple customized conﬁgurations.
“The MY300HX and MY300EX are key to our MYPro Line design strategy, which distribute the most advanced capabilities across the most ﬂexible modular technology platforms,” explains Clemens Jargon, VP SMT at Mycronic. “As part of an integrated end-to-end SMT solution, it’s really the only platform that gives you total automated control from mid-volume down to smaller batches.”
Through Mycronic’s fully integrated 3D solder paste inspection and jet printing solution, you can automatically eliminate your stencil defects.
No worries, no compromises
Every manufacturer with stencil printers faces a number of difficult trade-off s: between continuity and quality, small and large components, and thin and thick stencils. All too often, this results in a wide SPI threshold for solder paste volume in order to avoid false calls and keep production ﬂ owing.
These challenges are especially acute for manufacturers of automotive and power electronics, whose PCBs might contain 80 percent chip components, together with an array of large, high-voltage components, or vice versa. The MY700 3D SPI add-on solution eliminates the need to compromise stencil thickness by automatically applying the deposits wherever they’re needed most.
As Viktor Olsson, Product Manager Jet Printing, explains, “with closed-loop horizontal communication between the screen printer, SPI and Jet Printer, you get the automatic precision you need for whichever stencil thickness you choose. If it’s a 75-micron stencil, it can jet more volume on top to compensate for the larger components. If it’s 200 microns, it jets all the small dots you need. And for any other issues, it automatically inspects and repairs individual deposits with the industry’s highest precision.”
Bigger production volumes, bigger opportunities
This level of control represents a huge opportunity for high-volume manufacturers, where an FPY improvement of even a fraction of a percent can have a major impact on proﬁtability, quality and delivery times. “The ability to simplify stencil designs and automatically correct any difficult deposits at high speeds is really an industry ﬁrst,” says Tomas Stetter, Sr. VP Assembly Solutions.
“Wherever stencils are involved, our solution can increase total yield, ﬁrst pass yield and overall line utilization both immediately, and over time. When it comes to taking the next step towards Industry 4.0, there’s really no simpler, more trouble-free way to improve the quality of the solder paste application process in these extremely demanding environments.”
As a response to the growing demand for new low-end segment mask writers, Mycronic introduces SLX – a next generation semiconductor laser mask writer series. The launch of the SLX also marks the company’s re-entry to the market of laser-based mask writers for the semiconductor industry.
For over a decade, Mycronic have focused on the development of leading-edge mask writer technology for photomasks within display manufacturing (in TV’s, smartphones and tablets etc.), as well as for applications within the multipurpose market – a broad segment comprising many different application areas.
Based on the same advanced technology, the SLX laser mask writer is designed to meet the rising demand for photomasks for mature semiconductor nodes. With this new series of machines, Mycronic intends to support an upcoming replacement and modernization cycle within the industry and meet the need for additional capacity.
The trend towards making everything smarter – consumer goods, cars, Internet of Things, medical devices, and even industrial manufacturing equipment – is driving new demand for low and mid-range semiconductors. Industry projections point to more than 90% of all new growth in the industry stemming from these fields, rather than traditional sources like computers and smartphones.
The rapid pace of change in the semiconductor industry has led to a strong investment focus on keeping up with the leading-edge, rather improving the efficiency of more mature node production. Still, due to speed and lower dollar-to-mask costs, laser photo masks are preferred whenever they can meet the technical requirements. Out of the over 600,000 photomasks produced in semiconductor industry each year, 70-75% of these are written using laser-based mask writers, demonstrating how these remain critical for semiconductor production – especially in mature design nodes.
Although Mycronic hasn’t launched any new offerings in the semiconductor arena recently, the company never left the space. Service of the existing installed base of semiconductor mask writers Sigma and Omega secured a close contact with the industry.
Through our relationships we’ve seen the growing demand in the mature semiconductor segment, while learning about the limitations of the current generation of production technology. By now, most systems have been in service for some 15-25 years, making production slow and costly, with machines difficult to maintain. In short – these are rapidly approaching their replacement cycle. Adding to this, the semiconductor market build-up in China is driving new needs, both for leading-edge as well as low-end equipment.
The SLX series is based on the same technology as the display mask writers, including writing principles and the recently launched Evo control platform. The precision of the leading-edge mask writers used for the display industry are already well within the requirements of the mature semiconductor arena. Sharing a base technology platform between display and semiconductor mask writers will leverage synergies within current and future technology development – fully utilizing the existing service organization.
“We have had a close interaction with the leading players in the industry and it is clear that we can offer customers a modern, attractive cost-effective solutions for the mature segment. By combining and leveraging the development for the display and semiconductor industry Mycronic can assure long-term partnership for customers in both industry segments” says Charlott Samuelsson, Sr VP Pattern Generators.