Surf-Tech Manufacturing Corporation has been providing contract manufacturing services to all types of industry since 1989. The company is located in Ronkonkoma, NY, in the technology- and industry-rich heart of Suffolk County, Long Island. Surf-Tech specializes in SMT and has state-of-the-art automated equipment in-house to perform critical placement of components. Stephen Eggart, Operations Manager, said, “We can provide a solution to all our customers’ surface mount or through-hole manufacturing needs.”

He added, “Surf-Tech specializes in turnkey operations but we do full consigned material production runs as well. Over the years, we have helped several customers move from consigned to full turnkey, saving them more on their bottom-line costs.”

 Because of its comprehensive range of full-service capabilities, including all phases of electronic manufacturing and assembly work, Surf-Tech has developed deep relationships with its customers, many of which have been with the company from the start. “Most of customers have been with us from our beginning or theirs, and we’ve developed good working relationships with them. Understanding our customers and watching them grow over the year gives us an inside knowledge of their needs, which is beneficial for everyone because it allows us to be flexible, cost-efficient and more proactive for their products,” said Eggart.

The company serves numerous industries including add-on automobile devices, aircraft lighting, Bluetooth technology communications, boiler room controllers, border security/surveillance cameras, education teaching aids, industrial leak detectors and level sensors, military -Navy, medical rehabilitation, and power converters/inverters/supplies.

To stay strong and continue its reputation for innovation and quality in the above industries, Surf-Tech partners only with companies who understand its drive and forward-thinking strategies. One such partner is Hanwha Techwin, who Surf-Tech has worked with for the past eight years. 

Eggart said, “In 2012, I spent considerable time evaluating different machines and after a thorough review that included talking to current customers, visiting the IPC APEX exhibition and local visits, I decided on Hanwha. I felt their machine was the best for our niche and the functionally most closely resembled our processes. I purchased from them because I like their equipment, I haven’t spent any money on maintenance over the years, and they continue to improve on both the software and hardware functionality of the equipment.” Surf-Tech most recently purchased the SM481 PLUS high-performance chip shooter, but also has two additional machines in operation.

Surf-Tech performs a large array of services for most contract manufacturing needs. Its staff works through bill-of-materials, prints, datasheets and other specific requirements to ensure reliable assembly and quality. The company’s Quality Assurance department verifies that proper assembly is done through the use of unit testing, visual and automated 3D inspection, and through its ISO 9001 program. 

“Few, if any, areas are as important as Quality Assurance in United States manufacturing,” commented Eggart. “Our high-quality output frequently is cited by our customers as meeting and exceeding their requirements.” Surf-Tech’s reputation is based on its quality and, as such, it inspects all inspection personal are certified IPC-A-610.  

Eggart added that the newest SM481 PLUS will allow the company to build product faster as well as use the latest software with necessary Windows security and updates. “With the higher speed, we intend to increase lot sizes and reducing changeovers,” he said.  

From left to right: Stephen Eggart, Surf-Tech; Don Dennison, PIT Equipment Services; Rich Eggart, Founder of Surf-Tech; Jonny Nichols, Hanwha Techwin

The SM481PLUS can perform high-speed placement of chips at 40,000 CPH and QFPs at one per 1.1 seconds, respectively (each at optimum speed) by applying the on-the-fly recognition technology patented by Techwin, which enables component placement at the highest speed among all medium-speed component placers. High-performance chip mounting, flexible mounting and large form-factor PCB assembly for LED products are the core capabilities of the SM481 platform, making it efficient, versatile and providing more value. With its one-gantry structure and high-speed piano head with 10 nozzles, the machine can be operated with minimum manpower using one side of the machine. Additionally, the system can produce long boards with lengths of up to 1,500 mm. 

 Eggart added that while his existing Hanwha Techwin systems run well, the technicians are extremely well informed about their equipment. “Every tech that has come on-site has been professional and taken the time to show our team some of the newer software enhancements to improve our process,” said Eggart. “The techs have always been available via phone and email when needed (which isn’t often).”

The SM481 PLUS will join two other Hanwha Techwin pick-and-place systems  to further strengthen Surf-Tech’s pick-and-place service. Additionally, the company uses an IT system that allows for barcoded tracking of part numbers and quantities to maintain inventory levels and perform lot tracking. Barcode scanners also are located at the pick-and-place machine to scan and locate the correct location for a part during set-up. This makes installing parts incorrectly impossible. 

Over the years, the company has invested in multiple new systems and technologies for its business. This continual investment and forward-looking strategy illustrates the company’s dedication to both existing and future customers as well as the ability to exceed customer needs. Over the past year alone, it has purchased a third selective soldering machine and an X-ray reel counter and upgraded its Hanwha offline software package. “We’re in the technology business, so we have to stay on the cutting edge as much as we can,” added Eggart. “Components are only getting more complicated.” Surf-Tech places itself ahead of competition by best understanding the trends of the current – as well as the future – market.

In addition to pick-and-place, Surf-Tech provides the following services:

• Through-Hole Assembly: Surf-Tech has many different lead forming and cutting machines for component prepping and installation per IPC-A-610 requirements. Surf-Tech moved away from wave soldering several years ago and now all boards are soldered using any one of the three selective soldering machines onsite. Surf-Tech has full capability for tin/lead or RoHS compliant assembly.  

• Box-Build: Surf-Tech has a staff of highly trained operators to complete complex electromechanical assembly needs.   

• Materials Management: Using its ERP systems’ MRP module, components are timed to arrive together for a complete kit to be forwarded to manufacturing on-time without shortages. All components are pulled in a first-in first-out basis. Each kit is verified and reviewed prior to going to the production floor. Consigned parts may be held separately in the company’s stockroom for future use or returned upon completion of the job. Consigned kits go through the same rigorous verification before being sent out to manufacturing. Surf-Tech also recently purchased an X-ray reel counter to verify reel quantities before being sent to the production floor and integrated to update the ERP inventory levels. For turnkey services, its personnel have more than 50 years of combined experience with strong vendor relationships. Materials are received and verified through incoming inspection to ensure compliance to customer requirements. Customers are notified of obsolete parts and quickly and brokers are only used with clear customer approval.

• Fulfillment: Whether for an online Webstore or subscription-based products, Surf-Tech can complete box, packaging and shipping. It maintains inventory of completed products and ships daily with FedEx, UPS and the USPS through interfaces such as PayPal and Ship Station. Eggart added that with the addition of this service, Surf-Tech now can support the entire manufacturing/assembly process.

Surf-Tech has a reputation for providing strong, innovative solutions and services. With the help of partners such as Hanwha Techwin, the company will continue gaining strength and innovation. “We are looking forward to our latest Hanwha Techwin system and know that it will provide numerous benefits that we will be able to pass to our customers,” concluded Eggart.

For more information, contact Stephen Eggart, Operations Manager, at Surf-Tech Manufacturing Corporation,28 Colt Court, Ronkonkoma, NY 11779; 631-589-1194; E-mail: seggart@surftechmfg.com; Web site: http://www.surftechmfg.com. To find out more about Hanwha Techwin’s products and technologies, visit www.hanwhaprecisionmachinery.com.