Mycronic joins Nokia-led group to launch “Factory in a Box” concept for agile electronics manufacturing

Täby, February, 2018 – Mycronic AB has joined a Nokia-led group of 12 electronic industry players to offer a plug-and-play “Factory in a Box” mobile solution for next-generation electronics assembly. The fully automated in-line solution, which fits in a portable cargo container, includes the Mycronic MY700 jet printing and dispensing platform, among other equipment. It can be packed, transported and brought back into service in a matter of hours.

Spare factory in your backyard

The “Factory in a Box” concept, amounts to having a portable and agile factory on hand, which serves multiple applications. Target applications includes but are not limited to extra capacity in peak periods, prototyping around New Product Introductions (NPI) or shutdowns due to natural disasters. The collaboration was driven by the expected changes in manufacturing sparked by Industry 4.0, including cloud-based solutions, robotics, and new electronics manufacturing Internet of Things (IoT) solutions.

“This group initiative is a good fit with our own expertise in factory automation, our commitment to Industry 4.0 and software-driven solutions for the electronics assembly lines of the future,” says Thomas Stetter, Sr VP General Manager Assembly Solutions at Mycronic.

Pioneers in jet printing

Having pioneered the world’s first stencil-free jet printer for solder paste application 20 years ago and, more recently, a dual solution for solder paste and fluids, Mycronic jetting technology has today become an industry standard. As a software-driven solution, it is well suited to the complex production needs of Industry 4.0. Many manufacturers are thus opting to replace their screen printers, which worked well for longer-series electronics production but reach limitations when it comes to adjusting deposit volumes, layered circuitry and waiting for new stencils.

New challenges for the factory of the future

“Clearly, the factory of the future will need to be automated, digitally driven, handle denser and increasingly complex boards, a wider range of miniaturized components, more NPIs and erratic production schedules,” Stetter says. “These manufacturing challenges are becoming mainstream today and often impact productivity adversely, which is where our versatile MY700 jet printing and dispensing platform can really help.”

All-in-one solution for solder paste and adhesive jetting

According to Clemens Jargon, VP Global Dispensing, Mycronic’s MY700JX offers a dual advantage: Since it is equipped with dual lanes and dual heads, it allows manufacturers to handle any solder paste or assembly fluid deposit with absolute precision and unmatched speed. The compact unit thus combines solder paste jet printing with jet dispensing of adhesives, UV materials, epoxies and more – with micrometer precision and at speeds of more than one million dots per hour. Nokia says it was also attracted to the unit’s robust, yet compact design, which fits well into the confines of the mobile cargo container.

Launching in spring 2018

The group first introduced the “Factory in a Box” concept in autumn 2017 at Nokia’s new Digital Creativity Lab in Munich, Germany. Proof of concept was recently achieved when full electronics manufacturing of printed circuit boards and robotic assembly took place. Nokia plans to demonstrate the full concept in April, 2018 at the Hannover Messe.

Strong industry group

In addition to Mycronic (SMT expertise) and Nokia (wireless communication), the group includes: Beta Layout (support with PCB); DHL (transport know-how); Fuji (SMT manufacturing technology); Harting (RFID solutions for tracking and production control); Isel (workstation support with specialized pallets); Isoloc (motion softening solution); MTEK (operational expertise and robotics); Rehm Thermal Systems (PCB soldering), Viscom (optical inspection) and 42Q (cloud-based manufacturing execution systems).

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