News & Analysis

Mantracourt invests £500k in new SMT pick and place line

21st June 2023
Mick Elliott

Sensing and measurement specialist Mantracourt has invested £500k to upgrade its Exeter-based facility with a new SMT pick and place line, which will see the factory increase efficiency and cut waste thanks to improved quality control capabilities.

The new line will produce over 99 per cent of Mantracourt’s products and allow the company to service a diverse range of industries, from mining to entertainment.

It will boost product yield up to 99.9 per cent as it will allow the company to, for the first time, test electrical components before they are placed onto a PCB.

This line replaces two previous pick and place machines that had reached the end of their service lives after ten years.

Mantracourt decided to invest heavily in an upgraded line.

The previous machines lost five minutes of downtime and lost production every time a reel needed changing,

The new machine, supplied by Mycronic, does not have to be stopped, increasing the company’s production uptime.

The new machine is a Mycronic MyData300 Dual Head Mount Machine, coupled with the new Mycronic MyPro150 3D Automatic Inspection Equipment.

Ultimately, this will service a diverse range of industries, such as mining, agriculture, food processing and entertainment.

“The purpose of the new surface mount machine is to pick components such as semiconductors, resistors and capacitors and place them where required on PCBs and pass along a conveyor into a reflow oven,” explained Alistair Candler, purchasing and production manager at Mantracourt. “The populated PCB will then pass out of the reflow oven into the automatic inspection equipment, which will use 3D images to inspect the final quality of the product produced.”

“The new machine can place up to 40,000 components per hour, giving us improved runtimes on all our builds. Furthermore, reels can be changed while the machine is running, minimising production downtime. Overall, this will allow us to produce more products than ever before, and output is expected to rise from 150,000 units per year to 250,000 as a direct result of the investment,” continued Candler.


“There were some logistical challenges around removing the old machines and getting the new one in place that meant we had to implement two days of production downtime to accommodate them. But, because we planned the upgrade works well in advance, putting contingencies in place, and communicated effectively with all our customers, we ensured that supply was unaffected by the factory floor upgrades,” concluded Candler.

One of Mantracourt’s engineers visited Mycronic to have training on how to programme and operate the new pick and place machine and more staff will attend the company’s in-person calibration training. This allows Mantracourt to carry out in-house operation training across its entire engineering team.

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