Ask the Experts
July 27, 2009 - Updated
July 27, 2009 - Originally Posted

Estimated SMT component placement cost

Is there any range or estimated standard placement cost calculation for placing SMT components? Can you point to formulas or methods to estimate the cost?

P. G.

Expert Panel Responses

I am not aware of any standard. The best way I know of is to use the counter on most machines and see how many components per 8 hours have been placed. Then apply overhead and production costs divided by that number. Additionally, I recommend that you compare that placed component "counter" number against the manufactures "claimed" placement speed. If they are within say 10% you probably are doing pretty well. I generally find them off 20-40 percent, but the problem is typically downtime during changeover and reloads not the machine. 15 minutes (20 seconds per feeder) to swap out 50 pre-staged feeders would be reasonable and that time should be in your cost calculation. If you only measure an hour or so you will not see the real numbers, be sure you use at least 8 hours.

Ken Bliss
President & CEO - Retired
Bliss Industries, Inc.
Retired - Mr. Bliss has 20+ years experience creating process methods that improve profitability by maximizing hidden unused capacity and throughput. Ken has expertise in all areas of manufacturing specializing in electronics assembly.

This would be the loaded hourly cost for your facility divided by the average component placement rate per hour. This would provide the average cost per component placement. For example your loaded cost is $75 per hour and the placement machine rate is 5,000 components per hour, your cost per component is $0.015.

Edward Zamborsky
Regional Sales Manager
OK International Inc.
Ed Zamborsky is a Regional Sales & Technical Support Manager for Thermaltronics, located in New York. His position requires frequent customer visits throughout North America and the Caribbean and his position encompasses not only sales but the role of trainer and master applications engineer for all of Thermaltronics products. His expertise includes such specialties as hand soldering, convection and conduction reflow techniques, array rework, fluid dispensing equipment, and fume extraction. Ed has authored many articles and has presented many papers on topics such as; Low Volume SMT Assembly, Solder Fume Extraction, SMT Rework, BGA Rework, Lead-Free Hand Soldering, High Thermal Demand Hand Soldering, Lead Free Visual Inspection and Lead Free Array Rework.
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