Manufacturing / Production Technology, Hardware & Services


World's fastest microprocessor assembly lines - claim

27 July 2005 Manufacturing / Production Technology, Hardware & Services Surveillance

Universal Instruments has designed a production line that can assemble 2000 microprocessors per hour, which the company claims is approximately 60% to 80% faster than existing lines.

A microprocessor module consists of a flip chip approximately 12 to 15 mm square with 16 to 40 chip capacitors on each module. The substrate can be a ceramic or a high density laminate. These are normally processed in a metal carrier with eight to 12 modules per carrier.

An optimised line consists of a screen printer to apply solder paste to the modules, a high speed chipshooter to pick and place the chip capacitors and the connector, a flip chip placement machine with integrated dip fluxing, and a reflow oven. For some applications featuring high capacitor counts, two chipshooters would be required to optimise tact time.

GSM Genesis features

Universal Instruments' GSM Genesis platform features a twin beam gantry system and proprietary linear motors based on the company's patented variable reluctance motor (VRM) technology to deliver an excellent combination of high accuracy and high speed. Each beam can support one of three different heads: Universal's 30-spindle rotary Lightning head - a chip placement solution with VRM technology at its heart that is considerably smaller than equivalent mechanical turret heads typically deployed to place small discrete components; a seven spindle Flexjet head with integrated cameras offers additional flexibility to handle a wide range of components; or a four spindle pressure enhanced (PE) head used in conjunction with Universal's high resolution digital upward-looking Magellan camera to place challenging components that demand higher accuracy.

A GSM Genesis chipshooter platform configured with two Lightning heads can assemble 32 000 to 37 000 capacitors per hour (empirical throughput data from a customer site). The optimal tact time for the line is between 18 and 20 seconds. To achieve this, a module comprising 16 to 20 capacitors can be addressed by a single chipshooter platform, while modules with 20 to 40 capacitors require a second chipshooter.

A GSM Genesis flip chip platform machine features two PE heads. The machine's motion control parameters - such as acceleration, settling band and stabilisation time - are also optimised to deliver higher accuracy. A special low-viscosity fluxer is integrated on the machine to eliminate the need for a separate flux dispensing operation. With the flip chips fed in waffle packs, the GSM Genesis machine can assemble 2000 flip chips per hour.

Cost of ownership and cost of assembly studies undertaken in Asia reveal costs down to approximately $0,0008 per capacitor and $0,012 per flip chip. The entire line is also substantially shorter than comparable lines - an important consideration in factory floor utilisation. The GSM Genesis platform is certified for UL, CE, SEMI S2 and SEMI S8.



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