For over 25 years, Manchester-based electronics specialists Mutech have designed and manufactured electronics for companies from start-ups with novel technology and IP through to blue chip OEMs, operating globally in sectors including mining, oil & gas, marine, manufacturing and with a significant speciality in hazardous areas. A leading voice in the fields of intrinsic and functional safety, Mutech’s managing director, Colin Cameron, represents the UK at a global level on IEC committees and sits on BSI committees to help inform the development of Standards across the electronics industry.
This expertise and commitment to manufacturing excellence helped inform Mutech’s choice of new equipment and the focus of their investment in electronics manufacturing. Following extensive research, Mutech took delivery last month of a Hanwah SM482 Plus multifunctional placer, further extending their manufacturing capacity and enhancing the company’s production capabilities. The latest-generation version of Hanwah’s full vision pick and place machines, the SM482 Plus offers the highest speed and accuracy of component placers within its class.
Mutech’s choice was based on several key elements of the machine’s specification, particularly those relating to speed, accuracy and extended sizing options. Patented on-the-fly image recognition technology allows component recognition without stopping, moving after component pickup. Placement speed is maximised by minimising the moving time between the pickup and placement positions, and recognition time is reduced to zero. A powerful vision algorithm increases recognition accuracy using component image noise removal and an auto-teaching function, and the flying camera helps recognise and calibrate components including Chip, TR, BA and QFP, while moving them to the placement position after pickup. A panorama view function, combining split component images, gives accurate images for component whose size exceeds the FOV of a camera. This provides a better image, particularly relevant when picking and placing irregular SMD components. The SM482 Plus has a headline placement capacity of 30,000 components per hour, has a large PCB size (460 x 400mm as standard), and includes a component monitoring feature that avoids over-dumping of a large quantity of components in advance.
Mutech’s investment in this system brings a range of benefits to their customers, in addition to increased manufacturing capacity. The speed of the SM482 Plus will help to further reduce lead times, meaning an even faster turnaround and enhancing Mutech’s already-excellent reputation for prototype production and assembly. The flexibility inherent in the system, capable of handling smaller components and larger boards than previously, means that Mutech can now offer their customers more options from the design and consultancy stages through to production. In line with Mutech’s philosophy of ‘right first time’ delivery, the accuracy of the new system reflects the company’s overriding commitment to quality. Mutech contracted Bradford-based Elite 7 Installations for the supply and installation of the SM482 Plus and, in doing so, are very happy to be furthering investment in the regional economy benefitting more companies in the electronics and manufacturing sectors in the North of England.
Commenting on this recent investment, Colin Cameron said: “We investigated a range of options when considering new equipment and this purchase demonstrates our clear commitment to growth in the manufacturing part of Mutech’s business. We are confident that our customers will reap the benefit of our investment and we look forward to helping them develop further, through the greater flexibility we can now offer. The delivery and installation of the new equipment was a major logistical project, in itself, and our manufacturing experts are delighted to be able to offer an extended service to our customers.”