Our excellent technical support ensures hassle free assembly of your product.
Major investment has been made to install state of the art equipment which, coupled with our highly experienced assembly team, provides you with a full spectrum of electronic production options.
At Norcott we are capable of assembling a wide variety of components onto PCB substrates. Our equipment is highly flexible and can place devices from 0201 chip components through to 74mm2 BGAs. We also have experience with Chip Scale and LLC packages along with u-BGAs and ultra fine QFPs.
Generally any combination of surface mount (SMT) and through-hole (PTH) components can be accommodated.
A dedicated Front End Engineer is allocated to each assembly job. They are personally responsible for all aspects of a build and provide the primary customer contact for all engineering issues including the ubiquitous ‘last minute change’.
On receipt of the manufacturing data it is imported into Norcott’s engineering database. Where possible any issues relating to PCB panellisation, DfM, footprints or component specification will be identified and discussed with you before the manufacturing data is released to production. On approval we will generate tooling and programming for the various assembly processes.
For the most cost effective machine build there are a number of engineering issues that should be considered during the design phase.
If these features are missing then it is still possible to build the product but additional tooling or jigs may be necessary. For further information on these DfM issues download our technical notes by clicking button.Technical Note - TN004
Norcott offers a range of component procurement options, from purchase of the complete bill of materials through to the use of a full free issue kit. We work closely with our customers’ logistics teams to ensure that the right balance between cost and lead-time can be met.
In most designs, 70% of the components are simple passives, basic connectors and semiconductors. Whilst being low cost in themselves, they can represent a high logistical cost if supplied as part of a free issue kit. We offer the option for you to provide key silicon along with other specialist components and we will fill in the gaps from our standard stock or through our normal procurement activities.
Norcott operates with a supplier network of some 350 companies. Our procurement policies require that all electronics components are normally purchased from franchised distributors. This ensures maximum integrity in the supply chain for both RoHS compliance and protection against ‘old revision’ and counterfeit product.
Purchasing from ‘grey market’ or non-franchised distribution is only undertaken with the full knowledge and consent of our customers.
In all circumstances our component tracking systems provides full traceability from built product back to the component source.
At Norcott we can manufacture both compliant and non-compliant product as required. We operate a multi-level system to ensure the RoHS compliant components are clearly identified both in stores and on the shop floor.
Norcott operates a sophisticated materials management system that provides full traceability of component usage. Internally all components are barcoded to eliminate data entry errors that can lead to assembly defects.
Parts lists and placement data are held on the system along with component substitutions (concessions). Once confirmed by the Front End Engineer the system automatically handles the procurement and allocation of the components.
Specially purchased components or customer free issue material is ‘bonded’ to ensure that it is used only on the intended product. Stock status reports and audit support documentation is available on request.
Norcott has invested extensively over the last few years in its surface mount technology (SMT) capability, ensuring that we have the latest equipment necessary to underline our commitment to be at the leading edge of electronics manufacturing.
With two independent surface mount lines, Norcott is able to provide a flexible manufacturing facility capable of supporting our Rapid Prototype service and larger regular production requirements.
By investing in the latest equipment Norcott is able to provide its customers with the ability to place the latest components. Our Juki 2060L placement machine is capable of placing components ranging from 0603, 0402, 0201 and even down to 01005′s.
It can also handle component placements up to 74mm square.
Our re-flow oven uses forced air circulation rather than infrared emitters. This provides an even distribution of heat with the precise thermal control required to successfully solder a wide range of component and laminate types.
Norcott has also invested heavily in equipment used to control the placement and process quality of our surface mount product, by installing the most up to date Mirtec MV-3L AOI Inspection equipment. This has the latest 5-camera technology capable of detecting wrong and missing component placements. It also has the capability to look for poor solder joints and solder bridges.
Process control is also of paramount importance and our Dage XD7500 Xi DAT micro-focus X-Ray system ensures that we can inspect our placement integrity of the most complex of BGA devices.
We can offer a wide range of solutions to the programming of components prior or post assembly. One time programmable (OTP) parts will normally be programmed and verified prior to assembly. For SMT parts we have a variety of adaptors for conventional programmers. Where large volumes are involved we can organise programming at the point of distribution or using specialist third party companies.
To minimise handling we recommend that where possible chips are programmed in situ.
Most current flash based microprocessors provide options for in circuit programming either by a dedicated serial protocol, JTAG or built in bootstrap via a standard serial port. We have a variety of systems to cope with these requirements coupled with the ability to program and verify during functional test.
With off chip flash memories, JTAG or BDM can be used to introduce an initial bootstrap with a standard interface being used to transfer the bulk of the code.
Once PCBs have been completed they are, if requested by the customer, functionally tested prior to mechanical integration or dispatch. Whilst we do manufacture without test we always prefer that production builds are tested in-house. Information collected from any test failures can be used to determine if process adjustments are required.
Functional testing can be performed in a number of ways with varying degrees of complexity and can be supplemented by soak testing if required.
Functional testing is supported on a number of platforms:
At Norcott we strive to deliver the highest quality levels in both assembled products and services.
We are a licensee of the BSI Kitemark for PCB Assembly. This ensures that our finished product has been assembled in accordance with the requirements of IPC-A-610.
All inspection, test and monitoring data is immediately fed back to the production process to optimise first time yield, whilst regular calibration and verification checks ensure that equipment is operating within its optimum performance limits.
To provide detailed process data we have invested in X-Ray and AOI. This enables us to control all aspects of our activities from component placement accuracy through to percentages of voiding in lead free solder joints. Coupling this with our skilled operators and engineering team we are able to maintain tight control of our assembly processes.
Manufacturing reports are produced for all prototype builds. Issues raised in these reports can be used to optimise the design, component procurement or assembly process to allow a smooth transition to volume manufacture either at Norcott or on the customers own lines.
Within this overall framework we are always looking for opportunities to reduce assembly or material costs. We work closely with our customers at all stages of product development and manufacture to deliver a cost effective, high quality product.
In addition to assembling PCBs, we are able to offer extensive system and product assembly, including:
To support precision mechanical and our optical assembly activities we have a class 100 environmental chamber.
Norcott have extensive experience in the manufacture of engineering prototypes.
We are acutely aware of the issues and processes involved from component procurement through to commissioning.
This has led to the development of our ‘Rapid Prototyping’ service that is geared to the manufacture of prototypes of the highest quality on aggressive timescales.
We are able to offer a range of delivery options to suit your project timescales.
To achieve minimum turnaround times our front-end engineering team will work closely with you from the start of the project. It is essential that all procurement, tooling and data is prepared ahead of the target build date so that the production build can be started as soon as the PCB’s arrive.
Norcott recognise that flexibility is a valuable feature of any manufacturing strategy. In a dynamic market the ability to modify quantities, lead times and product mix at relatively short notice provides our customers with a competitive advantage. Peaks in demand can easily be accommodated without holding excessive built inventory.
For ranges of products sharing a high degree of component commonality we can dynamically adjust the product mix whilst minimising base stock holding.
We have created a range of production options that can then be further tailored to meet your individual needs. For further information please contact our sales team.
Achieving cost effective manufacture is crucially dependent upon the quality of the design. A design that is optimised for manufacture can significantly reduce assembly costs and improve production yields along with enhanced long term reliability. Some issues that need to be considered are: component selection, PCB footprints, tracking, fiducials, tooling, PCB finishes, test strategy and firmware programming.
For new developments we can provide assistance early in the design cycle with advice on design for manufacture. As part of this process we will review pre-production data for assembly related issues prior to PCB manufacture. After prototype assembly we report on any areas of concern that should be addressed prior to volume production.
During volume manufacture we are constantly looking to optimise costs and eliminate defects. We work closely with your design department to ensure that optimisations are carried forward to up issues and future projects.
You can download a range of useful DfM documents here.
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