Electronics manufacturer Kitron ASA (Oslo, Norway) produces a wide range of products for the medical, telecom and defense industries. The company also offers electronics manufacturing services for other companies. In both capacities, the company has made a name for itself through the quality of its products. Currently, the company has approximately 1,350 employees, and maintains manufacturing facilities in Norway, Sweden and Kaunas, Lithuania.

When Kitron first established its Lithuanian facility in 2001, it supplied the plant, which employs about 280, exclusively with used equipment from its Norwegian factory. However, by 2006 demand began to outstrip production capacity, and the company decided to invest in an all-new surface mount production line for the factory.

As part of this effort, Kitron purchased two FX-1R high-speed chip shooters from Juki Automation Systems (Tokyo). Each FX-1R features a pair of quadruple heads with multi-laser alignment and two independent linear motors that provide high speed and positional accuracy. The machines can place up to 25,000 components per hour with an accuracy of ±50 micrometers.

Kitron elected to go with the Juki systems because of the machines’ low cost of ownership, reliability and flexibility. Another factor was the availability of the machines and the short time it took to get them on-line. Norwegian Juki distributor Sincotron AS supplied the machines. Within 3 weeks of placing its order, Kitron had both machines up and running.

“After 5 months of full production, we are pleased to see that all promises about reliability and lowest cost of ownership were confirmed,” says Kitron Kaunas project manager, Kjell Gundersen. “Juki’s future product development strategy also shows us that we have chosen the right partner.”

According to Gundersen, Kitron is continuing to experience significant growth and expects to considerably expand its production capacity over the next few years. Future investments will include the replacement of older equipment, which are not able to match today’s technology.

For more information on contract electronics manufacturing, visit www.kitron.com.

For more information on surface mount assembly, call 603-886-9691 or visit www.jas-smt.com.