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Count On Tools, Inc. Receives Its Fourth Service Excellence Award

Posted by Z.Shook on 2/27/2018 to Articles and Awards

Count On Tools, Inc. (COT), a leading provider of precision components and SMT spare parts, announces that has been awarded a 2018 Circuits Assembly Service Excellence Award (SEA) for its outstanding customer ratings, as judged by its own customers. Count On Tools was selected for the Automation and Handling Equipment category.

Circuits Assembly Editor-in-Chief, Mike Buetow presented the award to Curt Couch, COT’s President, during a Tuesday, Feb. 27, 2018 ceremony that took place at the San Diego Convention Center during the IPC APEX EXPO. Mr. Couch commented about the award, “We are excited to be recognized once again for our superior customer service. I’m extremely proud of Our team, whose talent and dedicated service achieve year-after-year a customer experience that exceeds expectations and earns recognition. Service is not a product that can be created; it’s a culture and attitude towards others. We share this honor with our amazing team and our clients who inspire us every day.”

Sponsored by Circuits Assembly, the SEAs for Electronics Manufacturing Services (EMS) providers and electronics assembly suppliers honor companies excelling in the crucial area of customer service. The program, now in its 26th year, functions as a way for participants to see how they compare to peers in customer satisfaction.

Count On Tools is a leading provider of precision machined components, SMT spare parts and Swiss-made hand tools, locally and globally. The company has won numerous awards for its quality products and service.



Count On Tools, Inc. Receives Its Third Service Excellence Award for Quality Products and Service

Posted by Z.Shook on 2/14/2017 to Articles and Awards

Count On Tools, Inc. (COT), a leading provider of precision components and SMT spare parts, announces that it has been awarded a 2017 Circuits Assembly Service Excellence Award (SEA) for its outstanding customer ratings, as judged by its own customers. Count On Tools was selected for the Automation and Handling Equipment category.

Circuits Assembly Editor-in-Chief, Mike Buetow presented the award to Curt Couch, COT’s President, during a Tuesday, Feb. 14, 2017 ceremony that took place at the San Diego Convention Center during the IPC APEX EXPO. Mr. Couch commented about the award, “I am always humbled by recognition of this caliber based solely on customer response. It is not by chance that we received this honor – our dedicated and responsive team always places the customers’ needs first. Service isn’t a product that can be created; it’s a culture and attitude towards others. We treat customers as we would like to be treated ourselves.”

Sponsored by Circuits Assembly, the SEAs for Electronics Manufacturing Services (EMS) providers and electronics assembly suppliers honor companies excelling in the crucial area of customer service. The program, now in its 25th year, functions as a way for participants to see how they compare to peers in customer satisfaction.

Count On Tools is a leading provider of precision components and SMT spare parts. The company has won numerous awards for its quality products and service. 

Count On Tools Wins a Service Excellence Award for the Second Consecutive Year

Posted by Z.Shook on 2/25/2015 to Articles and Awards

Count On Tools Inc. (COT) announces that it has been awarded a 2015 Circuits Assembly Service Excellence Award for its outstanding customer ratings, as judged by its own customers. Count On Tools was selected for the Automation and Handling Equipment category.

Circuits Assembly Editor-in-Chief, Mike Buetow presented the award to Curt Couch, COT’s President, during a Tuesday, Feb. 24, 2015 ceremony that took place at the San Diego Convention Center during the IPC APEX EXPO. Mr. Couch commented about the award, “As with last years’ service excellence award I am always humbled by recognition of this caliber based solely on customer response. It is not by chance, our dedicated caring and responsive team always places the customers’ needs first. Service isn’t a product that can be created; it’s a culture and attitude towards others. We treat customers as we would like to be treated ourselves.”

Sponsored by Circuits Assembly, the Service Excellence Awards (SEAs) for Electronics Manufacturing Services (EMS) providers and electronics assembly suppliers honor companies excelling in the crucial area of customer service. The program, now in its 23rd year, functions as a way for participants to see how they compare to peers in customer satisfaction. 

Count On Tools is a leading provider of precision components and SMT spare parts. The company has won numerous awards for its quality products and service. 

Count On Tools ezLOAD Board Support System Named Best Environmentally Friendly Product at SMTAI

Posted by Z.Shook on 10/1/2014 to Articles and Awards

Count On Tools Inc. (COT), a leading provider of precision components and SMT spare parts, announces that it was awarded a 2014 Global Technology Award in the category of Best Environmentally Friendly Product for its ezLOAD PCB Support System. The award was presented to the company during a Tuesday, Sept. 30, 2014 ceremony that took place at the Donald Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont, IL during SMTA International.

The new ezLOAD PCB Support System features a precision-machined aluminum base with magnetic supports and soft, ESD-safe foam fingers. The system not only reduces changeover times, but also improves product build quality, increases revenues by providing significant cost savings, and eliminates component damage during the assembly process.

The ezLOAD PCB Support System is compatible with any SMT equipment, from pick-and-place to chip shooters, screen printers, dispensers, AOI equipment and more. The soft, flexible design makes it extremely durable and is proven to be reliable after testing in the most hazardous conditions. The ezLOAD PCB Support System is customizable depending on machine requirements, specialized components or specific design application requirements.

Premiering in 2005, the Global Technology Awards program is an annual celebration of product excellence in electronics surface mount assembly. Premier products based on the finest examples of creative advancement in technology are chosen by a distinguished panel of industry experts.

Count On Tools Adds a Service Excellence Award to Its Repertoire

Posted by Z.Shook on 4/11/2014 to Articles and Awards

Count On Tools Inc. (COT) announces that it has been awarded a 2014 Circuits Assembly Service Excellence Award for its outstanding customer ratings, as judged by its own customers. Count On Tools was selected for the Equipment Suppliers Automation and handling equipment category.

Circuits Assembly Editor-in-Chief, Mike Buetow presented the award to Curt Couch, COT’s President, during a Tuesday, March 25, 2014 ceremony that took place at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas. Mr. Couch commented about the award, “I must say that receiving our latest award from Circuits Assembly is the single most rewarding and gratifying award ever given to our company. Having customers grade you on what counts the most being customer service, is like receiving a ‘global stamp of approval’ and that what we’re doing is working and what we all expect as paying customers. Without satisfied customers our day-to-day activities in the way we handle success or problems is the measure of consistency and longevity in this industry or any for that matter. Having received this honor will not change how we treat our employees nor our customers but actually cause us to hold ourselves more accountable to strive to be the best at what we do while maintaining consistency along the way with both.”

 Sponsored by Circuits Assembly, the Service Excellence Awards (SEAs) for Electronics Manufacturing Services (EMS) providers and electronics assembly suppliers honor companies excelling in the crucial area of customer service. The program, now in its 22nd year, functions as a way for participants to see how they compare to peers in customer satisfaction. Count On Tools is a leading provider of precision components and SMT spare parts. The company has won numerous awards for its quality products and service. 

Count On Tools’ StripFeeder Series Hits Triple Crown with NPI Award

Posted by Z.Shook on 3/31/2014 to Articles and Awards

Count On Tools Inc. (COT), a leading provider of precision components and SMT spare parts, announces that it has been awarded a 2014 NPI Award in the category of Automation Tools for its StripFeeder Modular (.mod) System version 2. The award was presented to the company during a Tuesday, March 25, 2014 ceremony that took place at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center during the IPC APEX EXPO. The StripFeeder System is the ideal solution for loading tape-and-reel components onto compact modules for prototyping and high-mix low-volume applications. This marks the company’s third award for the StripFeeder Series in the last year.          

The latest version of the StripFeeder Modular (.mod) System features a mechanical lock-spring to hold the tape in place by the sprocket hole for part registration and repeatable pick-and-place applications. This means the user only has to teach the pick-up location one time and consistently reload the unit with the same parts over and over for longer runs. Additionally, the StripFeeder .mod System version 2 features removable rails that can be mounted to accommodate a wide array of tape sizes in the same feeder. Unlike the fixed width version, the StripFeeder .mod can be adjusted by removing the rails and re-positioning them on the base plate at the desired width (4mm pitched hole pattern). The rails align with precision pin locaters and lock down tightly with magnets to guarantee a stable, repeatable application. Customers who have already purchased StripFeeder System can contact COT about upgrading their systems to the latest version.

Premiering in 2008, the NPI Awards program is an annual celebration of product excellence in electronics surface mount assembly. Premier products based on the finest examples of creative advancement in technology are chosen by a distinguished panel of industry experts.

Nortech Systems Counts on the ezLOAD Board Support System to Reduce Changeover and Increase Revenues

Posted by Z.Shook on 3/24/2014 to Articles and Awards

Based in Wayzata, MN, Nortech Systems Inc. is a full-service electronics manufacturing services (EMS) provider of wire and cable assemblies, printed circuit board assemblies (PCBA) and higher-level complete box build assemblies for a wide range of industries. Markets served include industrial equipment, aerospace/defense and medical. The company’s expertise includes medical device, industrial equipment, military/aerospace, machine vision, EMS contract manufacturing and wire & cable assembly solutions. Additionally, the company has a wide range of specialized, high-tech facilities used for the customized design, manufacture, testing and repair of its contract manufacturing solutions and cable assembly operations.

Over the years, the company has realized that circuit board designs have continued to become smaller and more densely populated. These designs use many fine-pitch components on both sides of the circuit. With these changes have come challenges in achieving adequate solder transfer during the screen printing process. After analyzing the process, Nortech Systems discovered that one of the biggest difficulties was providing adequate support for double-sided boards.

“We began to notice a growing failure trend related to the printing process. Solder bridging, solder voiding and inconsistent printing causing line stoppages prompted us to start looking at our options for achieving consistent and efficient printing,” said Michael Fritz, Maintenance Technician at Nortech Systems. “Several of the options that were tested came with new challenges, including increased setup times and rubber tooling tips that would wear out and cause component damage. We also tried reducing array sizes to reduce the need for boards; however, this option can increase board costs and reduce throughput.”

To combat these issues, the company looked to Count On Tools for its ezLOAD universal board supports.

Fritz confided that he was fairly skeptical that the flexible fingers would be adequate when printed double-sided boards. As a result, Nortech Systems requested a demo and tested it out in the following applications:

  • 150-piece production run of a 14-up assembly array (7 x 2) with 10 mil BGA apertures. This test resulted in zero defects on the BGA. This was great news and the customer was pleased with the increased quality of its product.
  • 100-piece production run of a 6-up assembly array (6 x 1) with extensive routing and S0-8 package components located at the edges of the circuit that were known to produce solder bridging. The test run was completed with zero defects on the S0-8 components.

Not only did the company reduce or even eliminate defects, it also decreased the amount of changeover time with the ease that the ezLOAD printed circuit board (PCB) support system provides. Nortech Systems has now tested the board support system on four different assemblies known to have solder voids and solder bridging and has achieved great results each time.

Count On Tools’ ezLOAD PCB support system not only reduces changeover times, but improves product build quality, increases revenues by providing significant cost savings, and can eliminate component damage during the assembly process.

The ezLOAD system features a modular universal design with only two parts: the support pad and the base. There are no mechanical functions to fail and it requires no air, electronics or communication from the user. The support pads feature ESD-safe active grip technology to securely hold boards during the assembly process. The support pads are capable of supporting densely populated, double-sided boards. The ezLOAD support pads are extremely durable because of the soft, flexible design, and are proven to be reliable after testing in the most hazardous conditions. Additionally, the ezLOAD base is precision machined from aircraft grade aluminum alloys to provide a strong and reliable support for boards. The magnetic locking base enables a quick, easy installation in the user’s machine. Other base designs are available for machines that feature non-magnetic tables.

Most importantly, the ezLOAD PCB Support System is affordable compared to competitive products on the market. Each component can be replaced or upgraded based on the customer’s specific product, equipment or application. The ezLOAD PCB Support System is simple to use: Simply place the unit on the equipment’s board support table and align as required. Multiple units can be arranged in rows (X & Y) for more support on larger boards. The ezLOAD PCB Support System is compatible with any SMT equipment, from pick-and-place to chipshooters, screen printers, dispensers, AOI and more. The ezLOAD system can be customized depending on machine requirements, specialized components or specific design application requirements.

“With the ezLOAD system, we continue to notice a significant reduction in defects on component issues including micro BGAs, fine-pitch ICs and leadless components,” added Fritz.

 For more information about Nortech Systems, contact Michael Fritz at 1120 Wayzata Blvd. East, Suite 201; Wayzata, MN 55391; 952-345-2244; Web site: www.nortechsys.com.

Count On Tools Inc. Picks Up Its Fifth Industry Award

Posted by Z.Shook on 11/12/2013 to Articles and Awards

Count On Tools Inc. (COT), a leading provider of precision components and SMT spare parts, announces that it was awarded a 2013 Global Technology Award in the category of Assembly Tools for its StripFeeder Modular (.mod) System version 2. The award was presented to Zachery Shook, COT’s Marketing Director, during a Tuesday, November 12, 2013 ceremony that took place at the New Munich Trade Fair Centre in Munich, Germany during Productronica. This marks the company’s fifth industry award to date and second award for the StripFeeder Series this year.        

The new StripFeeder Modular (.mod) System version 2 features a mechanical lock-spring to hold the tape in place by the sprocket hole for part registration and repeatable pick-and-place applications. This means the user only has to teach the pick-up location one time and consistently reload the unit with the same parts over and over for longer runs. Additionally, the StripFeeder .mod System version 2 features removable rails that can be mounted to accommodate a wide array of tape sizes in the same feeder. Unlike the fixed width version, the StripFeeder .mod can be adjusted by removing the rails and re-positioning them on the base plate at the desired width (4mm pitched hole pattern). The rails align with precision pin locaters and lock down tightly with magnets to guarantee a stable, repeatable application.

The innovative design holds the components securely in the machined tracks to prevent parts from being miss-picked, flipped in the pocket, or lost. Customers also can remove rails to accommodate larger components up to 120mm tape width. The StripFeeder .mod system is built to JEDEC-standards and size specifications to allow the unit to be utilized in most types of SMT equipment or JEDEC-style tray feeder units. The StripFeeder trays are compatible with both paper and emboss tape simultaneously, and are ideal for low-volume high-mix applications and prototyping. For more information about Count On Tools’ new Modular StripFeeder, visit www.cotinc.com.

Premiering in 2005, the Global Technology Awards program is an annual celebration of product excellence in electronics surface mount assembly. Premier products based on the finest examples of creative advancement in technology are chosen by a distinguished panel of industry experts.

Count On Tools announces its membership in the Cree Solution Provider Program

Posted by Z.Shook on 10/15/2013 to Articles and Awards

Count On Tools Inc. (COT), a leading provider of precision components and SMT spare parts, is pleased to announce that it has been invited to take part in the Cree Solution Provider Program (CSP). The CSP Program was created to help lighting manufacturers find complementary components from third-party manufacturers that work with Cree’s LED products. The CSP Program helps lighting manufacturers by enabling a shorter design cycle to get products to market faster.

Recognizing concerns with LED component handling during the pick-and-place process, Count On Tools developed a new nozzle platform designed to overcome the tackiness or stickiness of the LED substrates (flashing). Count On Tools’ SMT nozzle designs for Cree® LEDs avoid placing mechanical stress on the LED lens by limiting contact with the optical surface during component picking or placement processes. This eliminates the possibility of degraded performance from the LED after the circuit board is assembled.

Count On Tools’ new technology uses an exclusive urethane material to create a vacuum bond with components that is guaranteed to improve placement accuracy and reliability with LED components while overcoming issues with the substrate. This new design also improves LED component release onto the board, preventing misplaced LEDs, lost components or miss-picks.

According to Cree, their mission is to obsolete energy-inefficient lighting. Cree understands that for solid-state lighting products to be successful, not only are the best and brightest LEDs on the market required, but the knowledge and support to handle these components in a high-speed, accurate manufacturing process is critical.

“Alliances with companies like Count On Tools are an essential part of delivering energy efficient, high-quality Cree LED lighting solutions to the market,” said David Cox, director of alliance development with Cree. “Their latest pick-and-place designs can help lighting manufacturers accurately and consistently place Cree LED components using their existing SMT equipment.”

Count On Tools also understands that in order for their customers to remain competitive in today’s market, they must be able to cut costs while simultaneously maximizing the capabilities of their customer’s SMT assembly equipment to prevent costly investments in new equipment or increased labor from hand placements of odd-form components. This new line of LED nozzles for Cree LEDs allows them to help customers achieve better placements with odd-form components in their machines while saving money.

Cree® is a registered trademark of Cree, Inc.

Count On Tools’ ezLOAD Board Support System Recognized by NPI Awards

Posted by Z. Shook on 3/4/2013 to Articles and Awards

Count On Tools Inc., a leading provider of precision components and SMT spare parts, announces that it has been awarded a 2013 NPI Award in the category of Screen/Stencil Printing Peripherals/Consumables for its ezLOAD Board Support System. The award was presented to the company during a Tuesday, February 19, 2013 ceremony that took place at the San Diego Convention Center in California.

The new ezLOAD PCB Support System for screen printers features a precision machined aluminum base with magnetic supports and soft, ESD-safe foam fingers. The ezLOAD system not only reduces changeover times, but also improves product build quality, increases revenues by providing significant cost savings, and eliminates component damage during the assembly process.

Count On Tools’ ezLOAD PAD features active grip technology to securely hold boards during the screen printing process and is ESD-safe. With the basic universal design, there are no mechanical functions to fail. The system requires no air, electronics or communication from the user. Most importantly, the ezLOAD PCB Support System is affordable compared to competitive products on the market.

The ezLOAD PCB Support System is compatible with any SMT equipment, from pick-and-place to chip shooters, screen printers, dispensers, AOI equipment and more. The soft, flexible design makes it extremely durable and is proven to be reliable after testing in the most hazardous conditions. The ezLOAD PCB Support System is customizable depending on machine requirements, specialized components or specific design application requirements.

Premiering in 2008, the NPI Awards program is an annual celebration of product excellence in electronics surface mount assembly. Premier products based on the finest examples of creative advancement in technology are chosen by a distinguished panel of industry experts.

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