Nepcon '99 – Panasonic anticipates 'super' miniature components in the UK

Nepcon ’99 – Panasonic anticipates “super” miniature components in the UK
Richard Wilson
High-speed component placement system specialist Panasonic Factory Automation expects UK-based manufacturers to start a move towards miniature scale surface mount components down to 0201 geometries later this year.
“Manufacturers are testing the waters right now,” said Panasonic’s software system development manager Stan Edwards. “I expect first demand here in cellphones and I expect it to come on strong later in the year.”
Edwards said that the relatively high cost of the 0201 resistors and capacitors, which can cost as much as 7p each, has held back introduction by European manufacturers, while Japanese mobile phone and digital camera makers have been using them for some time.
Panasonic demonstrated at the show its capability to support 0201 devices in its existing Panasert MSH-III placement machine using new component nozzles which can be retro-fitted.
According to Edwards the system will place components ranging in size from 0201 to 18mm sq QFPs in less than 0.075s per device. “We are already doing that in Japan,” he added.

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