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SMT productivity – Great News By Jim Villalvazo (Director Manufacturing at Interlatin)

SMT productivity – Great News By Jim Villalvazo (Director Manufacturing at Interlatin)

1990-2000, we all said the only thing gating our productivity was the Pick and Place process, in our SMT assembly lines.

Vendors actually built 4 conveyor pick and place, AOI and Reflow machines.

Finally some vendors designed up to dual lane Printers.

This era said “ need more volume, add more production lines!!”


Today………….With the necessity to optimize machine utilization and reduce costs and the coming of the IOT and 4.0 Smart Factory requirements, we need to really define what is really our gating factor for the SMT assembly productivity?


Some say machine operations, others say production volumes. The reality, we need both, when you think about it.

But whichever monitor system you implement will depend on your focus/priority of interest.

The idea of making sure machines operations is up to par for the manufacturing requirements, is optimal, if you focus on machine utilization.

Measuring temperatures and critical current draws for critical operations, true?

There is valid data to support this but I question the direct correlation to quality. After all the condition of a machine will not identify a process skew or alteration, which directly affects production quality.

So then I ask, what about maximizing the quality of our manufacturing. A machines condition will never optimize the quality of the productivity.

We need to monitor processes to make sure the engineering process designed, for a given process, is adhered to, maximizing the quality of our productivity. Consequential responsibility.

Starting with the printer, the most over simplified process (By all vendors which DON’T focus on printer equipment), is so critical.

Yet some believe that this system is not a critical point, to the point that they buy the cheapest system and expect it to produce to optimum production requirements.

Short comings occur when they realize the basic system just doesn’t make par with the productivity aspects of their production.

Stencils are constantly being  reengineered to help establish process optimization and stabilization. The Nano coatings, the No Nano Coatings.

But what about the print process as a whole??  Who guards it when no one is there at say 9pm-6am. What happens when we go home and production rules the machine process environment vs engineering. We only go home praying that all our hard engineering work will be maintained throughout the wee hours of the night, only to find out in the morning that our expected productivity was less than expected and now we miss shipping requirement levels.

We’ve all been here. Investigation is required, possibly reengineering, for sure lots of explaining.

You ask yourself, “What broke?”

Imagine a print process that MONITORS itself. 100%. Virtual SMT print engineer.


Coming soon this Spring, FALCON.


It’s all about being and staying informed.

Monitor, historical and customizable alarm settings with or without serialization.

Use as a stand-alone system or take advantage of our Open comms for all data monitoring systems.

Onsite mobile application for instant notification of changes while you are on-site in your manufacturing facility.


Please call or write me and I will make it a point to visit/explain my point of view.





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