In the Ramp Light: Automation and Industry 4.0

Strambino, Italy - The theme for Seica at Apex this year will be automation and Industry 4.0. Highlights will include the traditional Compact line of bed of nails and functional testers; the Pilot line, a truly versatile and multi-faceted flying probe system; its Mini line of benchtop ATE, and the Firefly line, a premier laser selective soldering system.

Seica will be demonstrating process automation equipment for the first time at Apex, and showing software and mobile tools that provide 'real time' monitoring which can assist plant managers to assess the status of all the equipment in the plant.

Once again, Seica has reinvented itself with additional products for the factory floor. For the first time in North America, Seica will showcase its first Seica Automation AOI system. This can be fitted with either sophisticated AOI cameras or scanners mounted in either a top or bottom configuration, or both.  This system has the ability to inspect simultaneously double-sided PCBs for SMD placement, through hole technology devices, conformal coat and other full screening applications. It is fully integrated with Seica's automation equipment and management software. This marks the first time Seica has encompassed the full diversification of the plant floor, where Seica has test inspection equipment at every step of the process. As a result, Seica provides the most complete line-up of solutions, while also being able to layout a plant floor and provide an 'integrator' approach to the end customer.

The Pilot 4DV8 will be shown in a fully automatic batch mode configuration. Magazines racks will demonstrate lights-out automation for customers wanting to test boards in small batches with no operator involvement.  In addition, LED testing will also be shown in the V8, where LEDS will be tested for intensity, wavelength, color, and lumens.  Seica personal will have iPads that will be communicating with the V8 through a Bluetooth link, allowing the plant manager to gain valuable statistics and statuses of the equipment.  This is part of Seica's vision of the Industry 4.0 where the next evolution of manufacturing will take place in a "Smart Factory".  

The Firefly laser selective soldering system will be shown soldering samples. This system is the perfect selective soldering system to do point soldering of very small joints and pads to help ensure no damage is done to adjacent components.  Seica will demonstrate the easy-to-use software that accompanies the Firefly and which allows it to be a perfect match for low- and high-mix production facilities. This year, the Firefly will be demonstrated in line, in a batch mode configuration, using Seica's board handling solutions to showcase throughput abilities.

A magazine rack populated with PCBs will be run automatically into the laser chamber of the Firefly showing hands-free operation.  The automation equipment used in this demonstration comes complete with a horizontal rack, a PCB pusher, push button control, and SMEMA interface. This rack and loader, called the FLO Series Loader Unloader, represents one of the many types of board handlers Seica has in its portfolio to aid customers with their automation needs. Seica board handlers come in two varieties, the FLO line of economical, standard, off-the-shelf solutions, and the FLEX line of board handlers (shown with the Firefly), that can be highly customized if required.

In addition, Seica now offers a full spectrum of process assembly equipment, including handlers, routers, laser marking, label applicators, press fit, and integrated robotic arm solutions.

The Compact and Mini line solutions will be shown; the Compact TK representing the company's line of ICT and functional bed-of-nails testers, while the Mini 80 and Mini 200 are benchtop units that can be customized by either the customer or Seica.  On display will be a Mini 80 attached to a fixture testing a small ICT product showing how easy it can be to have a full ATE system in a very small package. The Compact and Mini systems will be shown running Seica software, however both ATE lines also run National Instruments' TestStand and Labview software.

Returning to Apex will be the company's premier ceramic and embedded component substrate tester.  The Rapid 280 with 8 probe heads (4 on each side), will be shown testing ceramics with embedded components. This line, traditionally used in bare board marks, has expanded into other markets as a result of Seica's 30 years' of test experience.  The Rapid line has the ability to hit a 1 mil pad, has sophisticated test algorithms to test components, and a unique architecture that allows for kelvin measurements without having to stop production and replace probes.  The unique solution allows for kelvin measurements on-the-fly, per board or per test.  Along with our improved targeting of small pads, Seica will show new probes where less than 5 grams of force is applied to the substrate - essentially guaranteeing the elimination of any witness marks on touch-sensitive products.

Seica is known for its many products, flexibility and customization…but did you know Seica Inc. is also providing non-capital equipment based services as well?  For the last few years, Seica has been providing not only products but has become a service provider. It has established a service group performing Test Services in our various locations, as well as Data Regeneration/Reverse Engineering services.  The company has also partnered with SMH and has integrated the Flash Runner/Programmer into its suite of test solutions.  Engineering staff and sales personnel will be at the booth to show a video of test and RE operations… stop by, say "hello" and request a quotation.

About Seica

Founded in 1986, Seica S.p.A. is a global supplier of automatic test equipment and selective soldering systems, with an installed base of more than 1600 systems on 4 different continents. Seica offers a complete line of test solutions, including bed of nails and flying probe testers able to perform MDA, in-circuit and full functional tests of assembled electronic boards and modules and printed circuit boards, as well as laser-based selective soldering systems for electronic board manufacturing and a full range of test application services. Company headquarters are located in Strambino, Italy, with direct offices in France and USA, Germany and China, supported by a vast distribution network covering the rest of the world.

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