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Component-Counters Benchtop-Reflow-Oven Stencil-Printing Pick-and-Place Reflow

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Micro-Air Upgrades Their In-House Assembly

After 35 years pioneering custom marine and RV air conditioning controls, Micro-Air turned to Manncorp to meet its growing automatic assembly and production requirements. Founder Andy Spaziani looked to increase production speed and efficiency in the now-expansive recreational air conditioning market. “Manncorp offered us the perfect line to meet our needs in the limited space available.”

A History of SMT Excellence

Andy Spaziani, founder and owner, with director of operations Russell Buzinski

Marine air conditioning was a newborn industry when a chance encounter led Andy Spaziani to his career. “It was the damnedest thing. I was sitting in a bar on the river and a seaplane descended and landed right in front of me in the river! It was nuts. I hustled down to the dock to toss the guy a line to tie up. We talked and became fast friends,” said Spaziani. Before he knew it, he was helping his pilot pioneer on an installation in New Jersey. Soon he was flying up and down the East Coast with his new friend. Not long after that, he was the owner of a regional distributorship and was keeping busy installing and servicing marine air conditioners close to home. Later, he invented his own products.

Andy’s interest in SMT production came from his frustration in the failure rates of thermostat control switches provided by manufacturers. “Nothing was reliable.” Soon he was producing his own for each installation. His Dealer and OEM customers were so impressed with the boards he invented that they eventually asked him if he would consider manufacturing for the industry. Beginning in 1983 with hand-soldered boards and controls that he and his wife Bette made in his garage, Andy was able to keep up with the demand for his thermostats through sheer determination. By 1993, however, demand outstripped his ability to produce the control boards.

He upgraded production to a benchtop pick and place with a few feeders and, over the years, advanced to using two Quad DSP2 Double-Gantry pick and place machines. A Manncorp wave solder machine later acquired helped too. Their successful experience with that solder equipment spurred Andy to look in Manncorp’s direction when considering an upgrade for their production machinery. With the addition of RV air conditioning products to the mix, Micro-Air’s demand again outgrew its ability to produce with its existing technology. They’d need to consider an upgrade.

A New Line for Quicker, More Reliable Production

Micro-Air's new line, featuring an AP430 Stencil Printer, MC389 Pick-and-Place Machines, and a CR-5000 Oven

Micro-Air’s Double-Gantry Quad machine was causing significant delays in their production time, bogging down efficiency. “It seemed like every other day that something was breaking and causing back-ups and delays.” Delays and repair costs led Micro-Air to explore their options. They found that many machines were far too large for their facility— and building an addition was not an option. Of course, the prospect of a hefty price tag for a production machine was a legitimate business concern. In a final twist, Spaziani found that many of the larger machines sold by competitors were unnecessarily complex for efficient programming at his company. “I was really up against it.” Manncorp stepped up to the plate.

After a talk with some of Micro-Air’s dedicated engineers and technicians, Manncorp determined the ideal solution was an AP430 Automatic Inline Stencil Printer paired with two MC-389 pick and place machines, and a CR-5000 oven. That combination provided Micro-Air with the level of production they needed. The necessary conveyors were included to fully automate their PCB assembly.

With Manncorp’s help, Micro-Air achieved the production speed expected, all within the allowed space and without sacrificing any of the quality that allows Micro-Air’s products to last up to 30 years in the field. The company and its employees were most impressed with the people at Manncorp. “Your techs were able to get our new machines up and running and your remote assistance helped us with our issues. I am impressed with your remote assistance and real-time simultaneous screen review of our programming and reports,” said Spaziani. Andreas, the Manncorp tech who handled this job, brought 15 years of experience in the SMT industry in addition to his other work experience. He was on-site to handle the entire training process and will return soon for a follow-up training session to tackle training in the more advanced aspects of the production process. He's always available to answer the expected questions or concerns that will pop up with new machines.

Manncorp provides a two-year warranty on its equipment as well as lifetime software support. Spaziani said, “The warranty eases my concerns that the company is only in it for the sale and won’t be there beside me to go the distance.”

If you’re interested in pursuing conversion to a fully automated PCB assembly line, call Manncorp with your bill of materials at 215-830-1200.