WPS has announced that it has invested £500,000 in upgrading its SMT assembly facilities to increase its capacity and to give it the capability to automatically assemble boards up to 1.3m long required for the fast expanding display and lighting markets.
The upgraded WPS (Wilson Process Systems) line can manufacture boards up to 1.3m long x 0.6m wide, for any application including the growing opportunity in retail displays, LED lighting and digital signage. It is the first line in the country that can manufacture such long boards fully automatically, including the critical screen printing stage. According to WPS, the line will also be used to manufacture boards of more standard dimensions. The investment increases WPS assembly capacity to 140,000 components per hour.
Commenting, joint Managing Director Tim Wilson said, “This investment supports our continuing growth. Customers find that we can match the factory gate price of Far Eastern manufacturers, and offer much higher quality and more flexibility. As a result, new markets are opening up all the time – we currently see demand in LED lighting and in displays from the retail and other sectors. Our new line greatly expands our capacity generally, and has been equipped specifically to address this demand.”
He continued, “UK technology companies are increasingly appreciating the value of a short supply chain, and are bringing back manufacturing from overseas to UK companies with the right approach to service, quality and price. WPS now has the capacity to exploit this opportunity.”
A major part of the WPS investment is a custom made LEDPT2/3 screen printer from Folungwin of Hong Kong. The ultra large sized, fully automatic, in-line solder paste printer offers a print area of 1300mm x 600mm mm and features patented dual camera vision technology with automated mark navigation and alignment to ensure speed and accuracy.
The new WPS line can assemble 25,000 components per hour and includes a Universal Fuzion XC2-37 placement machine distributed by Anglo Production Processes, whose ergonomic design makes replenishment and board change-over twice as quick, ideal for high mix environments with frequent changes of board. This versatile platform combines high-speed chip placement with the ability to handle the latest tiny 01005 chip passive components as easily as 150mm connectors.
Gerald Rutter, Technical Sales Manager, Anglo Production Processes said, “This is the first Fuzion machine installed in the UK and is a significant investment by WPS, giving them the flexibility to utilize the large 1,300mm x 610mm board format. I’m sure their customers will soon benefit from the low set up times due to the 272 feeder locations, the capability to handle 01005 passives to 150mm square devises as well as odd form components needing placement forces up to 5kg.”