Founded in 1991, ProtoDesign Inc. (Utica, MI) is a medium-sized electronics contract manufacturer that specializes in short-run product design and prototype production. The company prides itself on its production expertise, product quality and attention to detail, with customers in the medical, general industrial and security sectors.

Recently, the company implemented a Horizon 03i screen printer from surface mount printing equipment manufacturer DEK International (Dorset, England). The addition of the advanced screen printer to ProtoDesign’s automated production line is expected to double the company’s production capacity in the coming year.

“Prior to investing in the Horizon 03i, we were running a manual screen printing operation-the only piece of our SMT production that was still manual,” says ProtoDesign manufacturing manager John Zimmer. “When we decided to automate the pre-placement process, we evaluated all the players in the screen printing business, and DEK’s solution just delivered more of what we need, a robust system with outstanding repeatability, an experienced team that can assist with applications requirements and a world-class customer support infrastructure.”

The Horizon 03i features a robust printer frame for maximum mechanical and thermal stability, as well as DEK’s proprietary Instictiv user interface and the ISCAN control network. The system is easily adapted to a variety of performance upgrades and offers tremendous manufacturing flexibility, particularly for companies that require high throughput and rapid changeover capabilities.

“We realize that by DEK’s standards, we’re a small customer,”Zimmer says. “But the attention we have been given thus far, and the expertise and professionalism displayed by the DEK team have [been excellent]. We couldn’t be more delighted with our decision, and we know our customers will be the ultimate beneficiaries of the Horizon 03i’s capabilities.”

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