[Community] FirePick Delta desktop electronics manufacturing

Robert 'Bobby' Zenz Robert.Zenz at bonsaimind.org
Wed Jul 30 20:59:15 CEST 2014

They are aiming at a price of $ 300.- for one machine, see their store

Might be wishful dreaming, but if they pull if of for $ 3000.- it's
still a win.

On Wed, 30 Jul 2014 19:26:08 +0200
"Dr. H. Nikolaus Schaller" <hns at goldelico.com> wrote:

> Hi,
> Am 30.07.2014 um 14:59 schrieb Ryan de Laplante (personal):
> > This morning while reading Slashdot news I came across this project:
> > 
> > http://delta.firepick.org
> It is a nice idea.
> > 
> > I wonder if it could be helpful to reduce assembly costs of Neo900?
> No. Not really.
> Those commercial machines are more expensive for good reasons...
> They have:
> a) a much higher mechanical precision
> b) automatic feeders for components coming as cut tape - this is
> important to get them to speed c) they are faster
> But, we do not have to buy them. We just rent them for let's say two
> days in which they run round the clock to populate 200 boards. This
> is very affordable.
> Why?
> If such a machine costs 100000 USD and runs for 10 years on 220
> working days per year, it costs them just 45 US per day. So they will
> charge us let's say 300-500 USD for renting (and maintaining) the
> machine that is to be replaced by a device like a firepick. So buying
> such a firepick doesn't look attractive any more :(
> All other costs are not reduced (don't forget to buy components and
> PCBs and solder paste). This pick&place step is not the most
> expensive part of building a device or production cost.
> Other parts of production cost are manpower to purchase components,
> keep stock, build pick&place programs etc and set up the machine and
> keep it running (i.e. trouble-shoot, supply solder paste, new reels
> of components coming on tape or replacing trays).
> Next, it is much more important to manage the solder paste printing
> process and the soldering process itself (which is not improved by
> this machine because these steps come before or afterwards).
> Finally, I have done today manually what such a machine could do. I
> have done it using a good stereo microscope and tweezers... To build
> new Pyra-handheld prototypes. Yes, that is a slow process and you
> need a calm hand, but it is doable. But of course not for 200
> units... That would drive one crazy :)
> So in general such a machine is just an alternative for one of
> several production steps that are needed.
> Which means that all others still have to be done externally. So we
> simply ask some EMS who can do all steps for a quotation and it is
> very unlikely that they will replace their good pick&place machine by
> something else...
> BR,
> Nikolaus
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