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R&D manager Robbert van Leijsen of Kulicke & Soffa (K&S) and manager projects Jarno Lathouwers of Sioux CCM leave no room for doubt. The development of K&S’ new wafer feeder was no sinecure. It required constant interplay of their best people: commitment and engineering at the highest level. “Masterpieces of this type are only possible if you operate as one team.”

K&S Eindhoven – formerly known as Assembléon – and Sioux are no strangers to each other. Sioux has been called in regularly by the OEM in pick and place machines since 2006, for example as a development partner in software, electronics, remote connectivity, vision, and mathware. Over the last two years, the relationship has intensified during the development and construction of a state-of-the-art wafer feeder.

At the start of the development process, one thing was clear to K&S: collaboration with a technology partner was essential. You simply cannot claim your entire engineering organization for a new project. The company almost immediately thought of Sioux, because of the clear match in competences and culture. The concept development took place at K&S and took three months. For the design phase and prototype building, the joint team was moved to Sioux CCM in Nuenen and was scaled up to twenty people for several months. After the prototype, the 0-series was also developed and built together.

Lathouwers: “The joint team performed at the top level in the field of mechatronics. We assembled a team of our best people because of the complexity of the project. First of all, there was a very challenging and inescapable restriction: the available space. Next to this, there were strict requirements in terms of speed, accuracy, robustness, product cost and development time. With so many variables, the tradeoffs are almost infinite and you may start to run in circles. So, apart from having to make keen choices from the first concepts onwards, you must also work with simultaneous solutions. This requires craftsmanship and a strong capacity for abstraction at system and detail level.”

Thanks to parallel software integration and testing, K&S’ new wafer feeder is ready for the market. This has resulted in a world-class performance, also from a time to market perspective. According to Van Leijsen, Brainport’s high-tech ecosystem is to be credited too. “These masterpieces can only be created if you operate as one team.”

This article was first published in Sioux Source

Photo: (c) Sioux