PCBX Drives Digital Manufacturing with Help from Koh Young

Being an EMS in the low volume high mix market requires agility and speed, combined with an almost fanatical approach to quality. As Matt Polak, PCBX CEO puts it “When you’re talking about small runs that people need quickly, there’s not a lot of time to be able to refine the process over dozens or even hundreds of articles.”

PCBX are different to the run-of-the-mill EMS company. They are young enough that ‘digitally-first’ processes come naturally to them and their desire to produce the best quality and combine that with the best, most agile and transparent customer service, sets them apart.

When they decided to invest in inspection equipment, they absolutely knew they wanted to improve outcomes for process and quality performance. That meant being able to drop datasets in quickly and simply and get new products up and running fast. But it also meant being able to absolutely trust the equipment to improve yields and reduce escapes. For them that means getting it right out of the gate, turning work around quickly, faster change overs, and better yields. For their customer that means peace-of-mind, agility, faster deliveries, greater traceability and even more reliability.

An Agile Digital Manufacturing Ecosystem

As with every piece of equipment that PCBX invest in, the machine had to perform first, but it also had to connect and become part of the agile digital manufacturing ecosystem that the team at PCBX know to be fundamental to their future success and growth.

From a feature point of view, the team quickly realized the importance of having an SPI solution that offered the ability to repair on-the-fly, within the machine. As Matt Polak says, “Being a smaller operation and running smaller batches, the issue with cleaning off pasted prints or doing reprints was huge. Many times, we found only one aperture out of several thousand would clog. With the repair option, it’s fixed in a couple of seconds. We don’t have to risk a reprint, putting the board through again and going through the whole process.”

To the team at PCBX it made perfect sense. Find the issue, and if they could repair on-the-fly, knowing it produced the right outcome. Then use the feedback from the machine to make the relevant adjustments or corrections during the next screen clean cycle. This solution delivers reliable quality, complete traceability and avoid unnecessary line stoppages and rework.

Smarter Printing Without a New Printer

One of the machines on the line that PCBX plan to update is the printer, but a pivotal benefit of selecting and installing the Koh Young KY8030-2 SPI with Auto Repair has given them a digital dashboard for their printer. It has made a relatively dumb machine smart and saved PCBX from making the printer investment earlier than expected. It showed them their printer was still capable of holding tight tolerances and improved its performance and output.

As Matt Polak says, “The SPI saves us money because nearly all defects that were caught previously were print related, and now we eradicate those much earlier. We literally dropped to 0% rework on most boards after installing the Koh Young SPI.”

An Easy Selection Process

The whole supplier selection process was made easy for PCBX. Firstly, they knew what they wanted, options like auto- repair were not on offer from every vendor and that narrowed the field. They knew they wanted to work with the leader in 3D metrology and analysis and they knew that meant Koh Young. And they had an eye to the future. They wanted digitally ready machines and to partner with a company that would keep them at the front of the digital manufacturing landscape. Matt Polak said, “we saw the demo of the machine, we talked to them, got it in, and we were 100% happy. We all thought, “man, we should have bought this a long time ago””.

Part of the Digital Journey

PCBX have their own programmers, so they have been able to build their own tools to monitor their machines and performance. This gives them a route to extended functionality throughout the line. Their equipment partners need to be able to connect in using standard protocols, both existing and new, to ensure they are future-proof and the can live their Industry 4.0 aspirations.

Matt sums up the PCBX vision on the future, quoting Wayne Gretzky, who said, “skate to where the puck is going to be, not to where it has been”, he adds, “I think we’re seeing that right now. People are envisioning how things can be done better and taking a hint from connectivity and other digitally enabled business models. People are also realizing that by forging these standards in coopetition between vendors, there’s a net benefit from everybody. It’s not about how we subdivide the pie, it’s about how do we grow the pie for everybody.”

Committed to Koh Young for the Future

PCBX have bold aspirations to continue to scale their business, adding more SMT lines. And all with Koh Young as an integral part. Matt Polka concluded, “The experience has been fantastic. From sales training to the total execution of support after the purchase, we really haven’t had any issues. It’s honestly been one of the easiest machines to integrate into our workflow. After you have all the training, which literally fits into about a day, you’re going to see a return on investment very, very quickly.” Adding, “our guys were absolutely floored how much information it gave them to make their job of adjusting the stencil printer easier. It’s a great operator experience.” You can watch the interview that SCOOP and Forbes writer, Philip Spagnoli Stoten carried out with PCBX CEO, Matt Polak, below or at the Koh Young YouTube page: https://youtu.be/0l8B0Hz_2aQ

About PCBX

PCBX is a contract manufacturer based in Cleveland Ohio. Our business is built on 20 years of circuit board assembly e xperience and the pain of watching the PCB assembly industry stagnate as other industries embraced modern manufacturing and industry 4.0. The barrier to entry created by the classic business model of CMs has left too many great products dead on arrival. In this modern age of makers and small startups we don’t think that you should be left out in the cold simply because you can’t order a million boards at a time. By utilizing state of the art fabrication and inspection equipment (the same stuff that builds phones and laptops) and innovative internal applications, we can guarantee quality and production speed regardless of your order size.

For More Information

PCBX, LLC., 7777 Wall Street, Suite A, Valley View, OH 44141 +1 844.PCBX.NOW www.pcbx.io