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AWS is using V 2.04 Speedplacer software to simplify the process of populating PCBs by hand, enabling it to reduce time, eliminate errors and cut the cost of producing prototype and low-volume boards.

Speedplacer uses Gerber files, a BOM and XY coordinates to produce a sequential step-by-step visual guide for the operative, removing the need to mark up drawings, reducing time wasted on customer documentation and eliminating paperwork at the workstation.

An original CAD package-generated IPC-D-356 netlist file can be used if available to add pin and net information, speeding up inspection and fault finding.

Steve Honeybun, fast track and general manager at AWS Cemgraft, said: ‘We estimate that we can cut hand-build production time by 30 to 40 per cent using the new software.

‘We have also found that we are able to hand-build small-volume production runs using Speedplacer instead of clogging up our fully automated lines, which would have previously been the only cost-effective solution,’ he added.

AWS Electronics Group is a leading specialist Electronics Manufacturing Solutions (EMS) provider, offering services for the whole electronic product life cycle from design through manufacture, to contract service and repair.

The Group operates through three UK based centres of excellence –

  • AWS Cemgraft (Newbury) providing Surface Mount Technology and rapid prototyping
  • AWS Electronics (Newcastle-under-Lyme) undertaking full turnkey supply including cable/harness assembly
  • AWS Jantec (Bedford) Whole life support and repairs.

Supporting this is AWS Slovakia (Namestovo) a low cost electronics manufacturing production facility.

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