NEPCON China – the Race to Automate

Despite the tug-of-war going on with Productronica China, Nepcon China put on a strong performance with a busy and active show floor through all three days of the event. 

The Hermes Standard held a full day pre-show meeting to announce the seven new extensions to Version 1.01 of the Standard. They also celebrated their expanding members which now exceeds 40 companies! Field tests of The Hermes Standard are already underway at RENA in The Netherlands. 

VJ Electronix displayed their LXI model of their rework system. The new model accommodates board sizes up to 24” x 36”. They are also currently working to robotize their X-Quik component counter and are partnering with the Fraunhofer Institute to develop a new, benchtop CT machine. 

Metcal delayed the China introduction of their soldering robot till Nepcon South China later in the year. However, the Californian company did show their new, lower temperature CV500 rework system for SnPb tin/lead components. 

Data I/O debuted their UFS (Universal Flash Storage) Upgrade Kit, which can be added to existing PSV5000 and PSV7000 models. The upgrade offers a programing speed of 140Mb/second, with a download speed of 40Mb/second and file capacity of 256Gb to 512Gb. Programing business in China is being driven by the introduction of electric and autonomous vehicles. Data I/O systems now use a smart software program called CONNEX which provides full traceability of programing data. 

Another company benefitting from the increase in electric and autonomous vehicles is SEHO. Their SelectLine selective soldering system can accommodate up to six different soldering pots. The laser controlled flux monitoring system is supported by an ultrasonic automatic nozzle cleaning system, which can extend cleaning cycles by 5-10 times. SelectLine can also be fitted with an optional built-In AOI system. 

MIRTEC demonstrated two new process enhancement tools. The TRMS (Total Remote Management System) developed in partnership with Cogiscan, monitors all machines on the production line and collates the data in a fully customizable dashboard. MIRTEC also showed the ATT (Auto Teaching Tool) that automatically recognizes parts and plots their exact measurements. 

Optical Control announced some successful partnerships with Essegi and Totech, who are incorporating their component counting system into their storage towers. Optical Control are also racing to automate their system and will be announcing new product introductions at the upcoming SMT/Hybrid/Packaging show in June. 

Quick, the Chinese rework company introduced a completely new automatic soldering robot line for the first time. Quick are moving heavily into robotic soldering systems. –TREVOR GALBRAITH

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