Speed and Throughput in Next-Generation Stencil Printing
In simplest terms, a faster printer logically means higher throughput. Overall speed, however, is dependent upon a number of factors including the individual cycle times for various steps in the print cycle (e.g., stencil wiping frequency, board separation and printing speed). A stencil printer’s overall throughput speed, per board printed, must also be tied to the capabilities of the line; in other words, there is no benefit in having a fast printer and/or high-speed placement machine if line speed is governed by the reflow oven at the end of the line, with a fixed time/temperature profile that is significantly slower. Line configuration and balancing, and thus overall line optimization, is therefore an essential part of realizing the maximum benefit from a high-speed, printer capable of handling volume production.