To say that starting your own manufacturing business is a difficult process is a huge understatement. However, for many entrepreneurial people with a product idea, this is an insurmountable barrier. Start-ups are often assumed to fail due to the lack of the necessary industrial assembly experience. It is one thing to make individual pieces of a device, and another to develop a product so that it can be mass-produced and profitably manufactured. Above and beyond mere functionality and market potential, there are many issues to consider, such as the availability of components now and in the future, their price, or the compatibility of the design with production line capabilities.
The problem of industrial assembly grows when the product under development requires many revisions and the investment of large resources. The knowledge needed to achieve the goal, often derived more from experience in developing similar projects than from theory, is generally unavailable to new entrepreneurs. Frequent mistakes result from ignorance of component delivery dates or the incompatibility of the designs being developed with real assembly capabilities. An equally large barrier is access to the necessary equipment and a wide range of components to allow prototype production and make quick adjustments to eliminate problems detected.
Infrastructure facilities and know-how
The solution to such problems is to obtain support from an entity with the necessary infrastructure and know-how. Such an entity in Poland is the RENEX TECHNOLOGY AND TRAINING CENTER. An advisory, training and R&D center, which was created by one of the largest and longest-established Polish companies in the electronics industry – RENEX Group. Through the Center, the company pursues its mission to support the electronics industry. According to the guiding principles, helping other entrepreneurs, regardless of their scale of operations, to improve their production processes translates into the development of the entire sphere of production and repair of electronic devices in Poland.
Through the RENEX TECHNOLOGY AND TRAINING CENTER, the Group provides a wide range of assistance in terms of training, service and, of particular relevance to this writing, consulting support. Interested parties, including start-ups, are able to draw on the knowledge and use the advanced production equipment available on site in developing their own processes. What is particularly important is that this knowledge and facilities are not limited to the SMT manufacturing sphere alone, but extend to all of RENEX Group’s specialties, such as industrial robotics, metal fabrication, and cleanroom technology. At the RENEX TECHNOLOGY AND TRAINING CENTER, complete electronic package production lines are available on-site, including solder paste printers, Pick&Place machines and AOI systems from YAMAHA, REECO industrial robots, solder waves, X-ray inspection equipment from SEC, rework equipment or universal industrial robots from YAMAHA. In addition, a precision metalworking park is located within the Center, as well as a state-of-the-art powder coating plant. The expertise level of RENEX TECHNOLOGY AND TRAINING CENTER specialists has just been recognized by the award of the BEST YAMAHA SMT EQUIPMENT SERVICE IN EUROPE.
Optimization for mass production
The qualified staff providing support includes specialists from all areas of RENEX’s business. Assistance in the development of equipment and processes is provided by e.g.: experienced engineers, SMT equipment operators, programmers and IPC trainers. Having collected practical knowledge covering all stages of product development and operation makes it possible to find problematic elements in projects in advance and remove them at early stages of work.
In terms of the electronic package production, RENEX Group’s engineering team supports applicant companies at all stages of new product development. Each idea is carefully analyzed and verified. The audit conducted determines the stage at which the project is at and forms the basis for developing a plan for its implementation.
Working together, a team of experienced designers and engineers at the RENEX TECHNOLOGY AND TRAINING CENTER then helps to optimize the cost of mass production while maintaining the technological and functional objectives of the product. Proper placement of SMD, THT, BGA components preserves the quality and functionality of the package while eliminating assembly problems. At this stage, RENEX specialists also assist comprehensively in developing the project to its full shape including, for example, the issues of housing and materials from which the target product is to be created.
The lifespan of a product very often depends on the availability of components. The Center’s engineering team continuously verifies the availability of key components and their life cycle.
Consequently, the risk of stopping future production is at the lowest possible level. However, in a situation where components were to cease to be available on the market, partners are informed as far in advance as possible and are offered suitable replacements. These measures make it possible to secure a stockpile of components and keep the supply flowing until new products are prepared and implemented. Such an optimized project guarantees continuity and repeatability of planned production, as well as the peace of mind to focus on the promotion of the marketed product and the development of future projects.
Prototypes are produced based on the finished preliminary design and using equipment available on site. They are then evaluated in a testing environment generated based on the customer’s requirements, and any errors detected are corrected. This process is repeated so as to exclude defects that could appear in the mass production process or, even worse, after the product is already on the market. This minimizes the risk of downtime, defective batches of equipment, recalls of defective products, customers dissatisfied with the performance of the device and the natural consequence of these events – significant financial losses.
In addition, an important aspect is that the entire process of launching a new product is easier if professional YAMAHA production equipment is used in the prototyping phase, corresponding to what will be needed in the production phase.
Thanks to an extensive infrastructure, including an on-site metalworking park, paint shop and specialized equipment, throughout the process, RENEX TECHNOLOGY AND TRAINING CENTER specialists support not only the development of the electronic package, but also the case, packaging or labels, instructions and accessories. This makes the solutions provided comprehensive, covering all aspects of the development of a new electronic product and individually tailored to the needs of a particular project. All these activities lead to the eventual independent production of the designed devices.
RENEX Group, being a partner and distributor of such global brands as YAMAHA or HELLER, supplies complete SMT assembly lines, installs them, provides training on their proper operation and advises on how to optimize processes. At this point it should also be mentioned that the scope of support offered by the RENEX TECHNOLOGY AND TRAINING CENTER is far broader than the opportunities for cooperation with start-ups discussed above. The Center also supports processes in companies already operating on the market. This is especially true for those entities that develop or implement their own production of electronic packages and devices, or those that aim to automate their already widely understood processes by implementing industrial robots. The Center also carries out extensive consulting activities in the field of ESD protection and the creation and proper maintenance of EPAs (electrostatic discharge protection zones). In addition, the Center has entities providing specialized courses, including in robotics (YAMAHA AUTHORIZED TRAINING CENTER) and in standards (training for electronics engineers provided by the largest and longest-established IPC AUTHORIZED TRAINING CENTER in Central and Eastern Europe – RENEX EEC).
The transition from idea to production is a very difficult process. For many new entrepreneurs, especially those who fail to secure adequate technological support, it can be virtually impossible. Therefore, it is crucial to select an entity to advise and support a given project with its industrial background and knowledge. The RENEX TECHNOLOGY AND TRAINING CENTER in Poland and the CEE region is an entity of this kind. Such an approach allows the entrepreneur to focus his forces on solution development, marketing and sales, leaving production and technical issues to an experienced partner.