GPC Electronics increases SMT Capability and Capacity




Christopher Janssen


GPC Electronics increases SMT Capability and Capacity
GPC Electronics has recently increased SMT capability and capacity with the purchase of five new high-speed, flexible surface mount placement machines.

One line of three units has been installed in our Australian factory while the others were installed in GPC Electronics' New Zealand and China factories.

Being a CEM, GPC manufacture a wide range of products for many different market segments including RF and Digital Communications, Secure and High Speed Networks, Medical, Aerospace, Automotive, Defence and Telecoms. As such we see a product mix which varies from low – to high volume, with high mix and/or high complexity.

To be able to handle the increasingly complex product range GPC Electronics needed a platform that would offer speed improvements over existing equipment, be capable of handling a wide range of components, provide flexibility for manufacturing, offer quick changeovers, have good local support and provide the best ROI. The new line is rated at 250,000 parts per hour. GPC Electronics has also use the line to place Part-on-Part (PoP).

GPC Electronics undertook an extensive evaluation process in selecting the most suitable SMT platform. We reviewed offerings from the major SMT equipment providers then narrowed the selection down to a short list of three. Our analysis of these platforms and final decision process was very involved. It included manufacturing simulations on actual products, factory loading simulations, and customer visits both in Australia and China to view machines in real manufacturing environments. This effort resulted in the selection of Yamaha YSM20 modules.

GPC Electronics has been very happy with the performance of the machines since they were installed in January 2017. They have achieved speed increases in line with those predicted during the evaluation process. Placement accuracy and machine up-time are also very impressive.

The large feeder count available from the three SMT modules placed in line in our Australian factory means GPC Electronics is able to process even the most complex and densely populated boards.