To be a global leader in the automotive parts market, a company must be able to meet the needs of customers on all seven continents. Few manufacturers know this better than Continental Corp. Based in Hanover, Germany, the 145-year-old company employs more than 200,000 people at nearly 200 plants, research and development centers, and test tracks in 35 countries.

In recent years, Continental has increased its focus on better serving the Latin America market. One way the company does this is by partnering its Guadalajara México S.A. de C.V. division with the Instituto Tecnológico Superior de Zapopan (ITSZ) in Guadalajara.

Opened in September 1999, ITSZ is a public agency that promotes engineering and technological development throughout Guadalajara. As of March 2013, the institute had graduated 1,181 engineers. Its campus encompasses 13 hectares and features seven buildings (3,500 square meters) that house academic centers, multifunctional unit workshops, a two-level computer center and four specialty labs.

At the 3D rapid prototyping lab (Electromecanica Centro De Manufactura Avanzada Y Prototipado 3D), ITSZ and Continental engineers work together to develop innovative new products. Last year, Manncorp supplied the lab with a PCB production line offering flexibility and quick changeover.

The line features several pieces of surface mount technology (SMT) equipment, which were installed by Sabino De La O, sales and technical support manager for Manncorp in Juarez, Mexico. Two MC-385V1V pick-and-place machines have a high feeder capacity (128 slots each) and the ability to place a wide range of surface-mount devices. These include 01005 chip components, ball-grid arrays and ultra-fine-pitch devices up to 150 millimeters square.

A PB2300 stencil printer allows easy stencil and toolless squeegee changeover, while providing excellent repeatability and print results. The unit provides a print area of 480-by-400 millimeters and a frame capacity from 300-by-300-by-18 millimeters to 600-by-600-by-33 millimeters. Dual high-magnification CCD cameras, paired with twin LCD displays, enhance accuracy.

The production line also includes a full-convection, lead-free CR-6000 reflow oven with small footprint (13.6 feet long). It comes standard with a pin conveyor installed over a mesh belt that maximizes flexibility and handles PCBs up to 450 millimeters wide.

Independent upper and lower PID temperature controls (for each of six heat zones) and three thermocouple inputs ensure accurate temperature profiling. An optional internal, water-chilled, recirculating heat exchanger provides rapid, controlled cooling of liquidus lead-free solders.

Manncorp has supplied PCB assembly equipment for SMT and through-hole electronic manufacturing since the late 1960s. Its offices are in Huntingdon Valley, PA; San Diego, CA; and Juarez, Mexico.

For more information on PCB assembly equipment, call 215-830-1200 or visit