Hawker Richardson supplies Yamaha mounters to Gallagher to help meet production needs
Gallagher Group is a manufacturer based in Hamilton, New Zealand. To help drive its challenging production demands, Gallagher has invested in a range of SMT solutions from Hawker Richardson — ranging from the latest Yamaha mounters, printers and reflow ovens to selective soldering and conformal coating solutions.
Gallagher started back in the 1930s when Bill Gallagher (senior) cleverly devised an electric fence to help control livestock. In 2022 Gallagher Group is a multinational company designing, manufacturing and distributing a range of innovative solutions including, but not limited to, security (integrated access control) and animal management (electric fencing).
Supporting the increase in demand
With a global increase in demand for Gallagher Group’s innovative products, newer and faster mounters were needed to ensure production was optimised for the forecasted accelerated growth of up to 25% year on year.
Gallagher already operates with three SMT lines, with two of the SMT lines now incorporating two of Yamaha’s YSM20 mounters on each line. Running two shifts in production means the lines get put through their paces and so it’s imperative they invest in good quality, reliable machines. Similarly, as the mounters are worked hard over two shifts, systems are often considered for replacement every 10 years. This is usually because of general wear and tear with spare parts becoming harder to get hold of, and new technology means it makes more sense to invest in new equipment.
Between the three lines, Gallagher boasted a jaw dropping 12,000,000 component placements in November of 2021, consisting of a range of components including BGAs and 0402s.
Continuity of supplies
Ensuring Gallagher has continuity of supplies means the products have to be of good quality so only planned maintenance occurs, especially with every minute planned out in production. Julian Thornton, Engineering Manager Electronics explains why it is important to invest in good quality SMT systems:
“We have invested in numerous SMT brands in the past, but since using Yamaha we haven’t looked back. We have found Yamaha systems to be reliable and repeatable and that’s what you want in a busy production environment.”
In addition to utilising the latest technology, Gallagher has found it extremely important to adapt to any external challenges. With the chip shortage causing quite a few headaches in the electronics industry, Gallagher Group’s responsive R&D department were able to redesign some of the boards, adapting them to accommodate alternative components. This has allowed Gallagher to maintain its impressive production quantity to meet with increasing demand.
The importance of good software
Gallagher utilises SMS software (Specialised machine software), which is very flexible in allowing the engineers to optimise speeds and balance the mounters, as well as enabling the team in production to use alternative components from a range of suppliers, i.e. different size reels and even supplies on sticks. This is particularly important when it is increasingly hard to obtain stock for some SMT components.
Julian continues: “Programming and planning production with the reel and nozzle changes can be a challenge, and so ensuring we have software that provides that flexibility is very important for our business. It is also pivotal that we can implement this offline and plan for the next job, because we can’t afford the luxury of planning and programming only when the systems are idle.”
Having comprehensive software with data at your fingertips can provide information to help drive better quality and quantity, but sometimes it’s the difficulties you don’t foresee that become issues.
Although Gallagher has a strong team of engineers in production that are very experienced with all of the SMT equipment, Julian emphasises how important it is to work with suppliers that are reliable and trusted, so if things do happen they know their equipment supplier will do everything they can to minimise downtime.
“We have been working with Hawker Richardson for decades and as we have ambitious production targets, it’s imperative that if anything goes wrong, we have a supplier who will do everything they can to minimise our downtime.”
The latest mounter installed relied on the strong relationship Gallagher has with Hawker Richardson. Due to COVID restrictions, Hawker Richardson worked with the experienced team at Gallagher to commission the system remotely.
With the additional systems and high production throughput, Gallagher continue to go from strength to strength. Reliable partners that can work with the highly skilled team at Gallagher (whether it’s on site or remotely) are essential in ensuring systems continue to perform to meet with demands.
Originally published here.
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