Component Management

Investment in solder paste printing capability

3rd March 2020
Alex Lynn

AW, part of the global Aisin Group, researches, develops, and manufactures automotive infotainment systems and electronically controlled automatic transmissions. The company serves major European and Asian carmakers that place extremely high requirements on every unit produced by their partners.

Today’s car drivers interact with their vehicles extensively through the infotainment system, including configuring the many preferences and settings, and receiving navigation and driver assistance continuously while on the move. Electronic automatic transmission control units (ATCUs) must deliver driver satisfaction as well as controlling emissions. Both types of systems are critically connected with the vehicle-ownership experience, demanding not only advanced design but also faultless production quality and reliability.

AW Europe, located in Braine l’Alleud (Brussels) for development and administration, builds the electronic control boards for the systems in-house using state-of-the-art surface-mount assembly lines in its Baudour plant (Mons) where most operational activities are based. Production quality meet stringent customer specifications while business pressures also demand high productivity.

To be sure of the best results from the very beginning of assembly, the company installed two Yamaha YSP solder-paste printers, aided by Theo Loohuis and his team at Europe-SMT, Yamaha’s appointed sales representative for Belgium, Netherlands and Luxembourg. After experiencing excellent results, including the outstanding speed and accuracy of the on-board 2D inspection system, the team purchased two more YSP printers for other lines in the factory.

“Our surface-mount assembly capabilities significantly influence the quality of our products, so we simply must have the best,” said the team of AW Europe operations improvement and manufacturing engineers. “We need flexibility and fast product changeovers, to handle anything from prototype requirements from our R&D department, to rapid NPI, and full production. The Yamaha YSP printer has delivered superior ease of use, speed, repeatability, and automated features that save time setting up and programming the machines. It is also extremely reliable.”

The Yamaha YSP printer contains advanced features to assist setup and enhance process control. Leveraging graphical base layer alignment, the stencil and board are quickly aligned within ± 10µm (6σ) for perfect paste on pad.

The 3S Swing Single Squeegee head attack angle setting ensures the perfect filling of stencil apertures and paste-volume repeatability. Automatic detection of remaining solder-paste quantity enables fast and easy refill by the Print Stability Control (PSC) system to ensure constant paste volume for excellent repeatability and minimise paste loss. In addition, automatic stencil cleaning at the optimum interval keeps the stencil surface clean and apertures clear to deliver perfect printed boards every time.

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