Equipment upgrades, new software, and enhanced single-piece flow process support high quality and throughput of printed circuit board (PCB) assemblies

Z-AXIS, Inc. has upgraded and expanded its production lines for through-hole and mixed-technology printed circuit board (PCB) assembly at its contract design and manufacturing center near Rochester, NY.

The newly-revamped production line features 30-foot adjustable extruded aluminum board handling rails, custom LED task lighting, CAM software with electronic assembly instructions for each station, and a conveyor to transport boards through inspection after wave solder and depaneling.

The upgraded production line supports a single-piece flow of PCB assemblies through component insertion, wave solder, in-line inspection, depaneling, QC, testing, and burn-in. Single-piece flow is an alternative to the common practice of running batches of boards through the individual steps, sometimes days apart. Single-piece flow allows Z-AXIS to note and implement corrections or process improvements immediately, rather than on future batches.

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Through-hole components are essential in many electronic products, such as high-power boards.

“At Z-AXIS, nearly 75% of the boards we run are mixed-technology, with both through-hole and surface mount technology (SMT) components,” said Michael Allen, President of Z-AXIS. “While many contract manufacturers consider through-hole assembly to be a distraction from their SMT business, we continue to invest in both areas. This enables us to produce mixed-technology PCB assemblies, at reasonable cost and high quality, in the USA.”


Earlier this year, the company announced a million-dollar investment in SMT assembly equipment, creating two identical high-speed, high-mix SMT lines and a separate SMT new product introduction (NPI) line. See the announcement.

About Z-AXIS, Inc.

Z-AXIS Inc. provides quality design, prototyping and manufacturing services for complex electronic products and electromechanical assemblies. The company offers fast design turnaround, competitive NRE charges, rapid production and low freight costs from its 32,000 square foot, ISO9001:2015 certified design and manufacturing center near Rochester, NY. Z-AXIS also designs, manufactures and sells commercial, medical and industrial power supplies under its Bear Power Supplies brand. Contact Z-AXIS at +1 (315) 548-5000.