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Protonic, a Dutch developer and manufacturer of industrial electronic products, has installed a Mydata MY500 solder jet printer.

Products manufactured by Protonic include both power and logic circuitry on the same board, which means that components in a range of package sizes and formats have to be used.

To allow the correct amount of solder paste to be applied for each size of component, this has, in the past, meant that it was necessary to use expensive stepped stencils.

Michiel de Bruin, president of Protonic, said: ‘Even with the stepped stencils, it was sometimes difficult to guarantee that the optimum amount of paste was applied to every pad and there was no convenient way of adjusting paste application once the stencils had been produced.

‘This made it particularly challenging for us to achieve optimum results when we were working with new and unfamiliar components and when it was necessary to use substitute components during a production run,’ he added.

For these reasons, the company decided to look for a more flexible method paste application.

The MY500 prints solder paste in a similar way to an office inkjet printer.

This means that no stencils are needed and that paste deposition can be controlled on a pad-by-pad basis.

It is also possible to profile the application of paste across a pad and adjustments to the amount of paste applied can be carried out quickly and easily.

At Protonic, the new MY500 machine is used in conjunction with the company’s MY19 high-performance pick-and-place machine to form a production line that offers high levels of versatility and flexibility while consistently delivering high-quality boards with a low rate of defects.

By eliminating the need for complex stencils, the MY500 solder jet printer is enabling Protonic to make substantial cost savings.

The company also finds that the enhanced flexibility that the machine provides means that it can now respond even more quickly to its customers’ requirements and to changes in those requirements.

The MY500 is said to make it simple for Protonic to fine-tune the paste application process to achieve the best possible performance and board quality and to cater for component substitutions.

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