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September 2016 • SMT Magazine 87 HOW TO SPECIFY A CUSTOM MACHINE 5. Sheet metal fabrication, welding and as- sembly 6. Inspection and testing, including proce- dures for validating design and studying poten- tial failure points in a custom machine 7. Ability to design and make any special tooling required to manufacture small table-top machines to large assembly/process equipment. Check References Remember to consult a variety of machine providers, talk to the manufacturers them- selves, and get references to contact before mak- ing a purchase. An important consideration for a complex machine such as a custom assembly system and associated options is factory sup- port, specifically training, software, upgrades and spare parts. SMT Robert Voigt is VP of global sales at DDM Novastar Inc. To reach Voigt, click here. the PCB/SMT assembly world that you can trust with your project? Start by asking the sellers of equipment what—if any—customization they can do. If they can, then describe your objectives and constraints, but don't tell them how to do it; let them get back to you with a recommended solution. If you attempt to dictate how to build a machine rather than describe its functional purpose, you could be liable for taking deliv - ery of something that does what you've asked, but fails to live up to your performance expec- tations. Companies that do custom assembly work should be equipped with these capabilities: 1. In-house design for both mechanical and software integration 2. Quality processes and practical engineer- ing to deliver optimal performance with mini- mal maintenance 3. Capability to create prototype parts and/ or entire machines 4. Machining, electrical design/assembly, circuit board assembly Figure 3: Custom control panel during assembly.

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