New SMT line and X-ray inspection at UK Electronic Assemblies Plant

Stacey Vinther Electronics, Group, Group News

Stadium Group’s Hartlepool-based Electronics Assemblies division is continuing to invest in cutting-edge equipment to boost business growth into design-led technology markets.

Following the 2016 reorganisation of the Group’s electronics assemblies business to two manufacturing centres of excellence based in Hartlepool, UK and Dongguan, China, Stadium has invested significantly in the upgrade of key kit and machinery. This has included a new surface mount technology (SMT) line, increasing capacity to four lines; an axial/radial machine; a Juki pick and place machine to increase existing line capacity; and quick changeover SMT equipment.

Managing Director at the Hartlepool Plant, Chris Short, said: “Stadium Group is committed to investing in equipment, technology and approvals that allow our customers to receive a world class, quality service. In the past 12 months alone we have invested over US$500,000 in our Electronics Assemblies division in the UK.”

In its latest investment, the company has bolstered product quality with the addition of an X-ray inspection machine.

Chris added: “Last month we added the X-Scope 1800 X-ray inspection system at Hartlepool for PCB assembly inspection and to gain better insight to improve product and process quality. We have utilised X-ray inspection for some time through an external partner, when required, but by bringing this capability in house we are able to deliver more rapid and regular utilisation of the technology, and ultimately enhanced quality inspection for our customers.”

The X-Scope 1800 X-ray inspection system features a micro-focus X-ray source and CMOS digital flat panel image detector with tilting for oblique angle viewing, fully integrated high power closed X-ray tubes, spot size down to 5µ, colour mapping camera, BGA void detection, and automatic calculations.

In recent years Stadium has transitioned to a technology provider, manufacturing design-led products including connectivity solutions and power products. This has subsequently brought more complex electronics assembly requirements, including fine pitch micro QFN and BGA module placements, antenna connectivity, multi-layer boards and package-on-package technology, as well as an increase in production volume at the Group’s Hartlepool factory.  These key investments are enabling Stadium to maintain a competitive advantage and to deliver best-in-class service and value to customers.