Essemtec, the Swiss manufacturer of production systems for electronic assembly and packaging, was recently awarded a 2020 Mexico Technology Award in the category of Dispensing for its new Archerfish.
The Archerfish, with its scientific abilities – speed, precision and cleverness – inspired Essemtec to develop their solder paste jetting solution. The Archerfish waits for its prey in the salty brackish water of the mangrove forests. Just below the water surface, it observes its prey, calculates the refraction of the water jet, calculates the distance and the environment of its target and fires a targeted water jet at its victim. Hit by the jet, the victim falls into the water, where the hunter waits and eats his prey with pleasure.
Just like the Archerfish, the integration of the VDST valve gives our state-of-the-art machine platforms the ability to jet solder paste with dot sizes from 200-800 μm after adjustment of the settings. The Archerfish offers freely selectable and combinable settings of jet parameters for optimal adaptation to customer requirements and characteristics of the dispensing material. The dynamic shockwave technology allows to jet several hundred shots within just a second with high accuracy and repeatability.
We sat down with Essemtec USA Business Development Manager Mr. Don Jeka to discuss this latest, award-winning innovation and what it means for the medical device manufacturing industry.
How can Essemtec dispensing solutions, such as The Archerfish Solder Paste Jet Dispensing system, improve the process for medical device manufacturers? What sets it apart?
As we know, many medical devices continue to be miniaturized, particularly some of the newer wearable devices. In some of these cases, size and portability can directly affect patient compliance and comfort. Essemtec’s new Archerfish solutions allow for the quick and accurate jetting of very small deposits of solder paste allowing for the smallest components available to be employed on device circuit boards. Prototyping and NPI of these products require the ability to make improvements and modifications as quickly as possible, which can be performed on our systems eliminating the traditional screen printing process and delays associated with it. This can aid in faster development and faster time to market.
Additionally, Essemtec systems have the unique ability to apply the solder paste (or other media) and place the components with these steps performed by one space saving system. We are truly the only manufacturer that offers systems that perform extremely complex solder paste jetting and the placement of fine pitch electronic components on an all in one multi-function machine.
2020 has been a year with a lot of focus on the medical community. Do you think that the increased need for medical devices will reinvigorate the market and drive an uptick in manufacturing solutions in 2021?
Certainly, 2020 offered incredible focus on the medical community, as it has been and will be the key to managing this global pandemic. I definitely expect that we will continue to see healthcare be a huge market driver. As for 2021, Essemtec’s dispensing systems, the Spider and Tarantula, have already been acquired and employed by medical companies in a variety of situations, from glue to hotmelt wax, all related to the Covid 19 crisis. We were able to offer customized solutions, rapid development and delivery to help companies quickly meet the challenges presented by this healthcare emergency. I envision increased and sustained growth in this important life-saving market.
In what way does Essemtec stand out from their competitors selling to the medical device manufacturing market?
As I mentioned earlier, Essemtec is unique in providing multi-function, all in one prototyping, NPI and manufacturing solutions, for the SMT electronics portion of the medical market and our new Archerfish solution is part of this. Our ability to precisely control solder paste jetting and component placement on a single system gives us unique advantages. That same innovative quality and precision also applies to our dispensing products which offer five different dispensing valve types covering a wide range of application possibilities. All of these systems can be adapted to clean room ISO7 standards. This is a market we understand, have experience in, and will continue to support.