Best known for supplying SMT (surface mount technology) equipment and consumables for printed circuit board assembly for 33 years, Zetech is enjoying success with its more recently established stencils division.
This is based primarily on the strength of its acquisition, in 2017, of the exclusive DEK/ASM franchise for laser-cut manufacturing stencils and frames for southern Africa.
“Zetech took it upon itself to actively promote DEK’s VectorGuard stencil system as it is the most advanced stencil foil technology available today globally,” says Zetech’s managing director, Inna Orlianski. “The best educated guess on the size of the stencil market in EMEA is 400 000 units per year. All ASM franchises and VectorGuard licencees (38 companies in EMEA) manufacture 42 000 VectorGuard stencils per year, representing 11% of the market which comprises around 100 stencil manufacturers in EMEA.”
Zetech’s laser-cut stencils facility is located at its premises in Edenvale, Gauteng, and includes the T8 laser system, stencil CAD computers and inspection facilities. It can manufacture stencils in a variety of thicknesses, cut on the following frame sizes: 23” x 23”, 23” x 29” and 29” x 29”. Quality verification is identical to that of DEK stencils worldwide, and the company boasts a fast turnaround time.
Zetech is able to produce various DEK stencil types, including: stainless steel; fine-grain (ideal for fine-pitch applications and a cost-effective alternative to nickel stencils); laser-cut nickel whose surface qualities deliver especially even and detailed paste deposits; multilevel, ideal for ensuring the right area ratio for each component; electroformed, which are built layer-by-layer for outstanding printing properties; and 3D electroformed stencils for very special cases – with cavities or for chip-on-board applications. For applications and processes that pose special requirements, Zetech specialists are available to provide further assistance.
The company also offers standard as well as high-tension VectorGuard frames. The frame system allows assembly specialists to use a single frame to accommodate multiple stencil foils for different products. Foils are loaded into the frame using air pressure, then VectorGuard’s unique tensioning system engages to hold the foil securely in place.
“Customers that use our stencils and have changed from mesh and other stencil types to VectorGuard are happy with the Zetech/DEK stencils with regards to price and superior quality,” says Orlianski. By way of demonstrating this, she offers the following customer recommendations received by Zetech:
Electronics manufacturer in Johannesburg: Just thought we can give some feedback on the quality of the stencils we get from you, we are so happy that we can get quality stencils locally done at a reasonable price. So far we ran over 20 000 boards with your stencils and all our technicians are very happy with the quality. As a company a good stencil plays a big role in the manufacturing process, therefore we put much emphasis on the quality of the stencil. Please keep up the good work!!
Consumer electronics manufacturer in the Western Cape: We ordered unframed foil stencils for low-volume development work that required Nano Coating. Very good, uniform release on the solder paste and no detectable residue left on stencil.
Manufacturer in Midrand: 100% happy with the performance of the VectorGuard stencils received so far. Appreciate the liaising.
Manufacturer in Sandton: Very happy with the result. No problem with the service, and good communication.