March 28, 2019
With the first quarter of 2019 almost at a close, before we start to face the inevitable business challenges that Q2 will present, it is worthwhile to take a breath and reflect on the first 3 months of the year, which in tune with the last 2 years has continued to provide growth and opportunity across all areas of the company.
As demand for our services and materials continues to increase, this is being addressed through increased staffing across all departments including Kitting, Tape & Reel, Tape Manufacture & Accounting. Over the last 2 quarters our headcount has increased by an impressive 15% which is no mean feat by all involved. All new team members must be trained to the companies exacting standards and all of this while we face the challenge of addressing increasing order books. However all new members are progressing well in their training which further reinforces Reel Service’ ability to address increasing orders and to continue delivering materials & services on time.
New Investments & New Process Capabilities
If you could sum up the semiconductor industry in a few words, progress, innovation & miniaturisation come to mind. By its very nature the semiconductor industry has always evolved at a relentless pace and the old adage of ‘if you’re not moving forward, you’re falling behind’ is never more apt than in relation to addressing the needs of semiconductor manufacturers. To this end, Reel Service continues to innovate, adapt and invest in new production capacity and process capability.
Recent new additions include new capacity to process from JEDEC tray into tape & reel. The new equipment incorporates an innovative pick & place concept that eliminates the need for specific tooling allowing fast setup time between different device types and eliminates any up front tooling outlay which saves both time and cost.
The new machine also provides state-of-the-art PVI (Package Visual Inspection) or surface quality inspection capability. This is a powerful vision inspection capability that looks at all 6 sides of the device using innovative illumination techniques to highlight & detect a range of surface defects such as scratches, chips, voids and surface contamination. The machine provides flexible processing with the ability to output inspected devices to tape & reel after inspection or optionally back to JEDEC tray if required.
Further expanding our process capability, Reel Service has also introduced another new capability offering tape & reel from bulk/loose input via a vibratory bowl input system. This system provides the benefit of fast turret processing combined with a bulk input feeding system eliminating the inconsistencies sometimes encountered with tube feeding. Further, change over time and tooling costs are reduced significantly using this input method. However, perhaps the greatest benefit is the Mean Time Between Assists or MTBA which is increased greatly as the input hopper can be filled allowing the machines to be left processing with little or no operator input during reel loading resulting in a more consistent & more efficient process.
It is not just production machinery that has been invested in recently. In order to support our operations and provide a stable, modern work environment, our facilities must also be maintained to a high degree to ensure comfort, security and improve energy efficiency. Recent investments include:
- A new roof over our service building improving weather proofing, increasing heat retention and providing increased energy savings.
- New double glazed windows improving building aesthetics, improving heat retention and providing increased energy savings.
- Continued replacement of legacy fluorescent tubes with LED fixtures to both improve the quality of workplace lighting and also provide energy savings.
- Replacement of Warehouse space heaters providing improved heating performance and increased energy savings.
As the semiconductor industry continues its relentless pace moving forward then Reel Service has proven that it too is moving forward in unison. All of this reinforces Reel Service’ position as a major partner to many European semiconductor manufacturers and suppliers as ‘The Tape & Reel Company’.