In early November 2023, CIL completed the installation of its first volume SMT PCBA assembly line at its BP2 Semiconductor packaging facility. It is a complete double sided SMT PCBA assembly line with “hands off” production capability and in-line 3D Automatic Optical Inspection (AOI) for both sides of the SMT PCBA. After qualification trials in late November, this volume SMT PCB line will have the capacity to produce 10,000 PCBA’s / week starting in December 2023. This capability and capacity increase is for SMT PCBA assemblies going into CIL’s new Semiconductor packaging facility for “chip on board” type assemblies and also to place custom semiconductor SMT devices that have been manufactured in the cleanroom facility.







 Front end auto load, solder print and SMT Placement














Second SMT side reflow, in-line 3D AOI and unload conveyor 







This SMT PCBA assembly line will initially comprise of the following

  • 2 off DEK NeoHorizon 03iX Solder printers
  • 2 off MYCRONIC MY300DX SMT Placement machines with built in component test.
  • 2 off Vitronics 10 zone Reflow Ovens
  • 2 off Koh Young ALPHA HS 3D AOI Inspection
  • Multiple Auto-load /Auto-unload / Flip conveyors for “hands off” production
  • 1 off NC25 PCB Cleaner
  • 1 off Cencorp SR1300 PCB Automatic Router
  • 3 off N2 Storage cabinets

A combination of CIL’s existing customer demand and now commercial outcomes of its multiple InnovateUK / APC / Driving the Electric revolution / DSIT projects has enable this expansion.

Construction on this new Stage 2 area within CIL’s BP2 Semiconductor packaging facility commenced as soon as Stage 1 was completed in late May 2023. Stage 1 was the 15,000sq ft Class 7 cleanroom, this Stage 2 area is a further 10,000sq ft and CIL still has a further 3 off 8,000sq ft areas to develop to assists its customers achieve their growth targets.





 BP2 Stage 2 Mezzanine construction









BP2 Stage 2 SMT room under construction











BP2 Stage 2 SMT area with anti-static floor complete





The existing facility at CIL House Andover remains as is, to provide an assembly service for small to medium volume production of complex PCBA assembly and test. In addition to its 5 off SMT lines at this facility, CIL recently installed a stand-alone RAPID prototype SMT PCBA line to allow CIL to give its customers the full-service package. So from CIL House, CIL is now able to offer a dedicated prototype capability, followed by small to medium volumes on its 5 off SMT lines. If required, volume production is then possible at this new BP2 facility, all within the UK. As well as Surface mount (SMT), CIL does of course offer 3D AOI, Thru hole soldering to IPC Class 2 and 3, X-ray, CT scan, and full board / assembly test and diagnostics.






CIL House existing 5 off SMT lines for small - medium volume complex PCB assembly






This upgrade has resulted in CIL now having a total of 8 off SMT lines running, with a further 2 off planned in Q1/Q2 2024 and plans for a further 4 off in 2025 and will include all other support equipment such as PCB cleaners, routers, X-Ray and test equipment. In all of its assembly equipment at both facilities, CIL has strived to keep with its existing supplier partners for two reasons. Firstly the after sales service they provide is known and secondly it gives CIL an improved disaster recovery plan. The equipment and facilities used at both Andover locations are almost exactly the same and therefore CIL can switch production between the two facilities with ease. With the same solder printers, SMT placement machines, reflow ovens, conveyors, cleaners and PCB routers all of the processes are known, controlled and now duplicated.

More news to follow soon!!











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