Contract manufacturing, like most areas of industry, has encountered tough conditions during the recent economic recession. GR Elettronica, based in Osimo near Ancona in Italy, has invested consistently in technologies and skills throughout the period, but has made an even larger commitment in 2015 by installing a complete new Yamaha Total Line Solution based on the Yamaha Motor IM intelligent SMT assembly system.

“We decided that bold action was necessary,” explains Ms Simonetta Giuliodori, President of GR Elettronica. “We could see that the economic situation was not improving quickly. Instead of waiting for better times, we took action to establish a clear technical lead in the marketplace and position ourselves to win next-generation advanced projects.”

Executing this strategy took Simonetta Giuliodori and her team from GR Elettronica to Yamaha IM in Neuss, Germany, at the invitation of Luigi Mancini, Business Manager for Mancini Enterprise, which is the Yamaha IM sales representative in Italy. Luigi Mancini observes, “The Yamaha intelligent assembly system prioritises efficiency, flexibility and quality, presenting an ideal platform for GR Elettronica to strengthen its position and address new market sectors.”

Seeing is Deciding

At the Yamaha IM headquarters, the visitors were able to see for themselves the advanced machine capabilities and understand Yamaha’s intelligent system concept that helps enhance both quality and productivity.

The Yamaha YSP printer gives flexibility to maintain process control with the unique 3S (swing single squeegee) head, which varies the squeegee angle automatically to accommodate changes such as paste exposure and stencil cleaning cycles. With its advanced Print Stability Control and high-speed inspection camera, the YSP is designed to solve today’s most exacting printing challenges, such as depositing paste for LGA packages or 03015 (0.3mmx0.15mm) passives.

The latest Yamaha IM mounters, including the YS12 and 2-beam 2-head YS24 are able to handle a wide range of package types, including small electrolytic capacitors and ICs up to 32mm x 32mm. The YS24X can accept larger components, such as QFP ICs, large electrolytic and connectors up to 100mm long or 15mm high. Yamaha’s one-head solution ensures optimum speed and flexibility when working with all component types. In addition, Yamaha’s Multiple Accuracy Compensation System (MACS) makes automatic adjustments to keep accuracy within 10µm at all times.

The team from GR Elettronica also saw the YSi-12 optical inspection station in action, with its multi-angle, multi-wavelength optics including infrared for maximum defect-detection capability. Additional laser-based vertical displacement checking enhances detection of partially lifted components or leads, and enhanced checking for horizontal alignment eliminates the effects of variations in pad size or shape.

“We felt immediately that we had to have these capabilities, and moved quickly to place an order,” says Simonetta Giuliodori, firmly. “We were especially inspired to see how the common software platform unifies all machines in the line, which helps streamline routine actions such as programming. This and the closed-loop feedback with QA Option software, which yields a significant improvement in quality control, were major factors that ultimately influenced our decision.”
The common software platform underlying Yamaha’s intelligent SMT assembly system allows rich data communication between all machines in the line. This dramatically simplifies routine tasks such as machine programming. One-click generation of AOI programs for the YSi-12, for example, boosts engineering productivity and eliminates human intervention which is known to be a major reason for errors in manually generated programs.

QA Option takes advantage of the rich interfaces between the Yamaha intelligent machines to analyse streaming data in real-time and use AOI results to trace back of any defects to their point of origin. The system is able to identify the exact cause of the defect, giving operators the option to stop the line immediately or wait until the next convenient opportunity, depending on the seriousness of the problem.

The New Line Delivers

Taking advantage of Yamaha’s Risk-Free Purchase terms, GR Elettronica ordered a YSP printer, YS12, YS24 and YS24X mounters, and a YSi-12 optical inspection machine for delivery in early 2015. Yamaha has also supplied the QA Option software.

“We usually schedule any major equipment upgrades for times when we are less busy, such as during summer breaks or after Christmas, but the time was right to move forward as quickly as possible, and we decided to commit to the change while we were engaged in a high level of activity with our current clients,” explains Simonetta Giuliodori. “It was a great effort for all of us, but we succeeded and the result is already proving extremely rewarding.”

Since installing its new Yamaha line, GR Elettronica is positioned more strongly than ever to win prestigious contracts in sectors such as industrial, automotive, high-end audio/video, wireless/wireline communications, medical electronics and military. In particular, the automotive sector is a key target market. The company is now in a position to invite audits from the leading names including car makers. “Our new line gives us technical capabilities that can stand up to any competition.”

By taking advantage of its new Yamaha Total Line Solution with advanced technologies and rigorous process disciplines throughout the enterprise, GR Elettronica is able to set very aggressive objectives in terms of ppm rates “This allows us to be disruptive in our target markets, as it is very unusual in Italy for a company of our size to be able to achieve such impressive ppm rates and maintain this level consistently in volume production,” comments Simonetta Giuliodori.
“We have enjoyed highly attentive and knowledgeable support from Yamaha to help us understand the finer points of the new line and achieve the maximum possible performance. This has given us the confidence to promise very high performance standards for our customers, knowing that we will be able to satisfy their requirements completely.”

Now equipped with the intelligent SMT system from Yamaha, GR Elettronica will soon complete its IOS TS certification, which will further enhance its credentials in the automotive sector, and has already invited audits from new potential customers. “We are working with customers who are the leading brands in their respective markets,” confirms Simonetta Giuliodori. “Our boldness, in making this major investment with Yamaha IM in new and advanced technology, is already delivering excellent results.”

About Yamaha Robotics SMT Section
Yamaha Surface Mount Technology (SMT) Section is a subdivision of Yamaha Motor Robotics Business Unit in Yamaha Motor Corporation. Yamaha surface mount equipment is highly acclaimed in the market for their “module concept” that enables them to keep pace with the trend toward smaller and more diverse electric/electronic parts being mounted on circuit boards.

Yamaha SMT Section has created a strong business in the surface mount industry that enables design and engineering, manufacture, sales and service to be conducted in one comprehensive system. Furthermore, the Company has used its core technologies in the areas of servo-motor control and image recognition technology for vision (camera) systems to develop solder paste printers, 3D solder paste inspection, 3D PCB inspection machines, flip chip hybrid placers and dispensers. This allows Yamaha SMT Section to offer a full line of machines for electric/electronic parts mounting and propose optimum production-line makeup to answer the diversifying needs of today’s manufacturers.

Yamaha SMT Section has sales and service offices in Japan, China, Southeast Asia, Europe and North America provide a truly global sales and service network that will safeguard best in class on-site sales & service support for clients.

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