Ask the Experts
August 15, 2012

Matrix for SMT Assembly Labor Costs

We operate a small EMS company. My boss has asked me to provide a cost matrix so we can quickly quote the labor/machine time component for SMT board assembly. We have multiple pick and place systems, but someone suggested we focus on stencil printing as the key metric. What do you suggest?


Expert Panel Responses

It has been a long time since I've done any of this,but I would suggest you consider the element which takes the longest time toaccomplish. Screen printing is not going to be your bottleneck in a processflow operation as this operation will wait while the components are beingplaced before providing another board. Consider the total number of componentsbeing placed, the machine cycle time, and the physical cycle time which will beslower due to travel time between component locations and pick up time from theequipment pick up heads. I’m pretty sure component placement will be yourbottleneck, so your assembly line should be balanced on the number ofcomponents it can place and still maintain a pace of assembly.

Leo Lambert
Vice President, Technical Director
EPTAC Corporation
At EPTAC Corporation, Mr. Lambert oversees content of course offerings, IPC Certification programs and provides customers with expert consultation in electronics manufacturing, including RoHS/WEEE and lead free issues. Leo is also the IPC General Chairman for the Assembly/Joining Process Committee.
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