New SMT pick and place line expands capabilities #industrynews

~ Mantracourt boosts its on-site production and testing capabilities with £500k investment in new pick and place line ~

Sensing and measurement specialist Mantracourt has invested £500k to upgrade its Exeter-based facility with a new SMT pick and place line, which will see the factory increase efficiency and cut waste thanks to improved quality control capabilities. The new line will produce over 99 per cent of Mantracourt’s products and allow the company to service a diverse range of industries, from mining to entertainment. Furthermore, it will boost product yield up to 99.9 per cent as it will allow the company to, for the first time, test electrical components before they are placed onto a PCB.

When Mantracourt’s two previous pick and place machines reached the end of their service lives after ten years in place, the company decided to invest heavily in not only replacing them but also upgrading them. For example, the previous machines meant that every time a reel needed changing, there was five minutes of downtime and lost production to do this. However, the new machine, supplied by Mycronic, does not have to be stopped for this, increasing the company’s production uptime.

The new machine, a Mycronic MyData300 Dual Head Mount Machine, coupled with the new Mycronic MyPro150 3D Automatic Inspection Equipment, which the company invested in at the same time, will produce over 99 per cent of the products Mantracourt offers. Ultimately, this will service a diverse range of industries, such as mining, agriculture, food processing and entertainment.

“The purpose of the new surface mount machine is to pick components such as semi-conductors, resistors and capacitors and place them where required on PCBs and pass along a conveyor into a reflow oven,” explained Alistair Candler, purchasing and production manager at Mantracourt. “The populated PCB will then pass out of the reflow oven into the automatic inspection equipment, which will use 3D images to inspect the final quality of the product produced.

“The new machine can place up to 40,000 components per hour, giving us improved runtimes on all our builds. Furthermore, reels can be changed while the machine is running, minimising production downtime. Overall, this will allow us to produce more products than ever before, and output is expected to rise from 150,000 units per year to 250,000 as a direct result of the investment,” continued Candler.

“There were some logistical challenges around removing the old machines and getting the new one in place that meant we had to implement two days of production downtime to accommodate them. But, because we planned the upgrade works well in advance, putting contingencies in place, and communicated effectively with all our customers, we ensured that supply was unaffected by the factory floor upgrades,” concluded Candler.

One of Mantracourt’s engineers visited Mycronic to have training on how to programme and operate the new pick and place machine and more staff will attend the company’s in-person calibration training. This allows Mantracourt to carry out in-house operation training across its entire engineering team.

Mantracourt’s in-house agile manufacturing design and testing capabilities mean customers can have confidence in its ability to maintain product supply and respond to any industry challenges. To find out more, visit

Manufacturing Update