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Count On Tools Offers Custom SMT Nozzles for CREE® LEDs

Posted by Z. Shook on 4/11/2010 to New SMT Products

Count On Tools Inc., a leading provider of precision components and SMT spare parts, introduces its new series of custom SMT pick-and-place nozzles for CREE® LED components. This new series is manufacturer-approved, based on CREE Inc.’s strict requirements and specifications.

By working closely with the component manufacturer, Count On Tools guarantees secure picking of all fragile components and accurate placement on the circuit board. The company’s line of custom SMT nozzles was developed for the following CREE XLamp® LEDs: MP-L Easy White, MX-6, XP-G, XP-E, XP-C, XR-E, XR-C, MC-E, 4550 and XR.

CREE LEDs are unique because they require special handling operations to prevent damage to the optical lens. Count On Tools’ SMT nozzle designs for CREE LEDs avoid placing mechanical stress on the LED lens by not touching 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.

Joshua Markle, Applications Technical Associate for CREE Inc., commented, “I have been working with Count On Tools for the past year, and in this time they have gone above and beyond expectations with the construction of the pick-and-place tooling that CREE recommends in our documentation. CREE is a leader in the manufacturing of LEDs for the solid state lighting industry. We have released multiple products in the past year and Count on Tools has helped to provide a proper pick-and-place tool to be used with CREE products. They have provided outstanding service with an amazing turnaround time during the development of the tooling. I would recommend the work that Count On Tools provides to anyone looking for a quality pick-and-place tool with knowledgeable, friendly and expedient service.”

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

Count On Tools’ custom SMT nozzle designs for CREE LEDs can be applied to any style of pick-and-place nozzle for any OEM or machine type (including, but not limited to: Assembleon, Fuji, Juki, Mirae, MYDATA, Panasonic, Samsung, Quad, Siemens, Universal, etc.). Count On Tools can provide a finished nozzle within one to two days of receiving component samples or specification documents, and can save customers up to 50 percent over OEM designs for custom nozzles. There are no design fees, and the company provides free quotes based on customers’ equipment and the type of LED being placed.

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Count On Tools Introduces MYDATA Midas Nozzles

Posted by Z. Shook on 4/1/2010 to New SMT Products

Count On Tools Inc., a leading provider of precision components and SMT spare parts, announces the introduction of its new MYDATA Midas replacement nozzles and consumables.

The MYDATA product line is the only direct replacement for OEM nozzles on the market that offers a high productivity, low-cost alternative to OEM nozzles. Count On Tools knows that productivity is important to stay ahead of the competition and to maintain profitability. As a result, the company developed these nozzles. The MYDATA range is compatible with the following machine types: TP9-1, TP9-2, TP9-3, TP9-4, TP11, TP12, TP18, MY9, MY12, MY15, MY19, and MY100 (SX/DX).

According to an Electrical Process Technician from one of Count On Tools’ US-based EMS customers, “Count On Tools not only provides a cost effective solution to buying replacement Midas tools for the original OEM placement machines, but they also make repairing the tools even more cost effective. The new Midas tools they sell have proven to be just as good as the OEM, and when I send in tools that are bent, have broken inner springs and are unusable, they can fix them to save my company the cost of buying a new Midas tool. Count On Tools has also made some custom Midas tools that have to be every bit as reliable as the original OEM. When I called Count On Tools to repair an expensive OEM Midas tool, they worked with my company and saved us the cost of replacing this tool at the OEM’s price. I can’t say enough about a company like Count on Tools in today’s economy that saves my company money, while not affecting the reliability of the OEM replacement part for the placement equipment. Where else can I get custom ordered Midas tools, cost effective savings and the reliability that Count On Tools provides?”

The Midas tool range includes the following nozzle types for fine-pitch components: C14, A12, A13, A14S, B12, A23, A24, and C23. Count On Tools also manufactures special Midas nozzles, such as Spring Suspended tools (A23S, A24S, C23S), MELF tools (A34, B34, B24, B23, C24), Flat Pipe tools (blade), Multi-Port tools, ESD Ceramic tools, Micro Thin tools and Gripper tools. This expanded tool range covers any type of component from QFPs to BGAs to 01005s with ultra-sharp precision. Count On Tool’s current technology for its products can be extended to special applications, such as custom engineered nozzles for odd-form components, based on customer specifications.

“Our goal with this product line is to offer our customers a more cost-effective nozzle that will not only last as long as or longer than conventional nozzles, but also will improve pick-and-place accuracy rates," said Curt Couch, President.

Count On Tools also offers rework and replacement tips for factory (OEM) nozzles. The rework process includes new slider shaft, new inner spring, new tip, and newly designed nozzle face flange. The company also offers other consumables, such as filters and grease, for the Midas mount-head tools.

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Count On Tools Introduces MYDATA Hydra Nozzles

Posted by Z. Shook on 4/1/2010 to New SMT Products

Count On Tools Inc., a leading provider of precision components and SMT spare parts, introduces its new MYDATA Hydra replacement nozzles and consumables.

The MYDATA product line is the only direct replacement for OEM nozzles on the market that offers a high productivity, low-cost alternative to OEM nozzles. Count On Tools knows that productivity is important to stay ahead of the competition and to maintain profitability. As a result, the company developed these nozzles. The MYDATA range is compatible with the following machine types: TP9-1, TP9-2, TP9-3, TP9-4, TP11, TP12, TP18, MY9, MY12, MY15, MY19, and MY100 (SX/DX).

According to an Electrical Process Technician from one of Count On Tools’ US-based EMS customers, “Count On Tools has proven that its Hydra tool tips are cost effective and just as effective as the original OEM that supplies them. In this tough economy, Count On Tools provides my company with the means to effectively cut costs without compromise quality for component placements. This is exactly what my company needs in these economic times. When I needed a custom Hydra tip for picking a component that we place in high volumes, Count On Tools provided me with the solution. Count On Tools provided my company with cost effective and very reliable solutions.”

The Hydra tool range includes the following nozzle types: H01 (white), H02 (yellow), H03 (red), H04 (blue), H05 (brown), and H06 (green). This tool range covers all components from ultra-small 0201 chips to midsize ICs, as well as QFPs and BGAs. By using a more impact-resistant plastic, Hydra tools are more durable than OEMs, while maintaining the desired size specifications needed for high-speed placement of components.

“The innovations found in this product line have helped us to develop a more durable Hydra nozzle that not only performs well for our customer, but also saves them money while benefiting from an increase in production,” said Curt Couch, President.

Hydra tools are available for purchase in standard packs of eight or individually. Each tool is marked with a colored imprint, including the nozzle type, for fast identification in the field. Count On Tool’s current technology for its products can be extended to special applications, such as custom engineered nozzles for odd-form components, based on customer specifications.

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Count On Tools Announces Free Nozzles for SMT Professionals

Posted by Z. Shook on 4/1/2010 to Promotions

Count On Tools Inc., a leading provider of precision components and SMT spare parts, announces free nozzles for SMT professionals.

In a time of economic recovery, Count On Tools means business when it comes to keeping SMT production on track. That is why Count On Tools is offering every customer the opportunity to try its products before they buy them. The company will send a free sample nozzle* for the customer to evaluate in their equipment.

Count On Tools has been the original source for high-quality SMT pick-and-place nozzles and associated consumables for the electronics manufacturing industry for almost 20 years. With a database of more than 6000 products, Count On Tools offers the largest selection of SMT nozzles in the world. Since 1991, Count On Tools has been setting new performance standards in the SMT market. The company’s commitment to customer service and the highest quality products has allowed Count On Tools to remain the top supplier for many of the world’s leading EMS companies.

Here is how the program works:

  • Current customers are allowed to request any trial nozzle that they currently do not purchase from the company on a regular basis. This would include any purchases made within the last 12 months. This enables customers to try new products that they have not previously purchased.
  • New customers are allowed to request any trial nozzle that fits their individual process requirements and is available in Count On Tools’ standard range of products. As specified, new customers are companies or organizations that have not purchased from the company within the last 12 months.

The sign-up process is simple: Fill out the request form, get qualified and receive a free trial nozzle. There is absolutely no cost to the company, and the trial is risk-free. Count On Tools only asks that each qualified entrant provide a brief evaluation and feedback of the product compared to their current consumables after testing it in their equipment. More instructions for this will be included with the sample nozzle.

The decision to choose Count On Tools as a supplier of pick-and-place nozzles and consumable parts will be rewarded with equal or better machine performance, and significant cost savings over OEMs. Furthermore, the company guarantees all of its products to be free from defects, and offers the same reliability as the OEMs or your money back.

*Max Retail Value of Trial Nozzle is $150.00 USD. Void where prohibited. Please request and review promotion rules and regulations for complete details.

Interview with Curt Couch, President of Count On Tools, Inc.

Posted by Z. Shook on 4/1/2010 to Articles and Awards

Count On Tools Inc., a precision component manufacturer specializing in all aspects of the machining industry, has been a manufacturer of high-quality, low-cost pick-and-place nozzles and associated components for the SMT and electronics manufacturing industries for 19 years. Proven engineering expertise, coupled with its commitment to manufacturing excellence and investment in the latest production equipment, ensures that innovation and competitiveness is applied to all of its extensive product range.

Q. How has your background in precision manufacturing helped you to create a better product for customers in the SMT industry?

A. I have always had the "keep it simple" philosophy. My attitude for approaching new and existing concepts and ideas is with an open mind. Because of this attitude/culture, our entire COT team is able to apply ideas and proven concepts across the board when it comes to picking and placing anything via vacuum.

In my opinion, all industries are connected and parallel with one another, meaning that one needs the other to sustain itself, so useful ideas can come from other industries and experiences. We frequently intermingle and use materials and basic vacuum geometries that are used in high-volume placement platforms for customers with low-volume, high-mix applications. The use of many different materials, coatings, tooling, fixtures, and machining components in other industries has taught us that we can apply these same principals to all of the products that we design and manufacture for our customers in the SMT market sector.

Q. Do you primarily sell to customers in the U.S., or do you offer global distribution?

A.  Currently, we sell our products worldwide, and have done so for many years. We have distribution partners in key global electronics markets, including Europe, Asia, South America, and the Pacific Rim. Any area not serviced by one of our partners is handled directly by our headquarters in Gainesville, Ga.

Q. What products and services are you currently promoting? Please tell us a bit about each product.

A. Right now, our MYDATA line of spare parts is really taking off. We have expanded this product range to include the full line of Midas and Hydra tools, as well as an array of other consumables, such as filters, replacement tool tips, and grease. Count On Tools also has the capability to produce custom nozzles, such as melfs, flat pipes, and grippers based on the original designs. Additionally, we are working on developing parts and repair services for the Agilis feeders. Currently, there is no other source for this type of service anywhere. This would include repairs on feeder springs and plows. We also are working to develop replacement board lock arms and hydra tool tubes.

Another emerging market that has picked up over the first quarter of this year is selective soldering. Currently, we offer replacement nozzles for Ace and Pillarhouse equipment. We hope to start developing more nozzles for many of the other machines out there as well.

Finally, we are promoting our extended range of Panasonic CM nozzles and consumables. We offer most of the standard nozzles for the multifunction 3-nozzle head, high-speed 8-nozzle head, and the high-speed 12-nozzle head. We even offer the new style reflector with a special scratch-resistant coating for improved vision and longer life. We also sell replacement filters for this line of nozzles.

Q. We understand that you also provide custom nozzle engineering for odd-form components. What type of benefits can a customer expect from using your company over an OEM for this type of service?

A. The most important benefit that we can offer customers is a fast turnaround time for  custom nozzles. Generally, we can have nozzles ready in just one to two days after receiving samples of the component. This is the fastest custom nozzle service in the industry! We also provide free quotes and designs, so that customers do not have to worry about getting tied up with extra fees. We guarantee the functionality of our custom nozzles because we work directly with the OEMs and component manufacturers. Our company also has a multi-platform proficiency that is crucial to the design of custom nozzles. We are not afraid to take technology from one nozzle manufacturer and use it in a completely different machine. Basically, the process is the same for every SMT machine out there. Finally, we offer affordable pricing on all of our custom nozzles, sometimes up to 50 percent less than our competitors. This all combines to create a unique service that is our own.

Q. LEDs seem to be a hot topic in the industry at the moment. Are you making custom nozzles for them?

A. Absolutely. We have been lucky enough to work with leading EMS companies worldwide, as well as LED manufacturers, to create custom nozzle designs that will work in any machine. This also has allowed us to transition these components into high-speed, high-capacity assembly equipment for faster production and greater efficiency.

Q. What other types of odd-form components do you make nozzles for?

A. We have made literally thousands of custom nozzles over the past 19 years. Some of the more common ones include 01005 chips, sockets, lamps, bulbs, deep socket connectors, switches, pins, heavy components, pre-assembled circuit boards, heat sinks, film, labels, solder balls, shields, speakers, oversized components, antennas, connectors, and more.

We don’t just sell nozzles, we offer solutions that allow our customers to place any odd-form component without having to invest in new specialized equipment or to resort to hand assembly. Our goal is to optimize efficiency and save our customers money by maximizing the capabilities of the SMT equipment that they already use for production.

Q. Do you offer any warranties with your products and services? If so, please explain.

A. Customer satisfaction is our number one priority, so we stand behind our products 100%. If customers are not satisfied with the quality, durability, or performance of our products, we will send them a free replacement that meets or exceeds their expectations or we offer a full refund of the purchase price.

Q. Why should customers looking for high quality low cost SMT nozzles and consumables choose Count On Tools over other suppliers? 

A. The main reason is because it is made in the USA. Not very many companies can claim this motto anymore. We have been able to maintain our competitive edge because of our investment in the latest CNC equipment and more importantly, it’s the people. It’s that American spirit that all of our staff maintains. We are proud of keeping this heritage of “build it here, buy it here” alive.

We offer a broad-brush approach to pick-and-place, dispense, and selective soldering, that no other company can offer. We are compelled, not hindered to incorporate the use of many different materials, concepts, and cost saving measures to provide fast and adequate service for all customers. Each new accomplishment means that the next customer will benefit from the never ending source of information and new ideas. What works for one will work for another, regardless of OEM or platform type.

Customer service is number one no matter what. I believe in treating people & customers the way I want to be treated myself. No customer or problem is too small or big to receive the attention he or she deserves. This type of service is very important in our industry; it could mean the difference between encountering enormous down time cost, or long term savings. In some cases we can design, build, and ship a custom vacuum nozzle to place an exotic/odd shaped component in as little as one day. The use of these and many services offered by our company can reduce costs associated with labor and, more importantly, our customers’ end products reliability and market success/profit.