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Promation's PCB Systems Benefit From Low Operating Costs
The G Series soldering systems provide remote I/O capability for in-line, rotary table, or slide shuttle integration.

Promation is a full-service provider of printed-circuit-board (PCB) handling solutions. The firm develops and markets products in four key areas: PCB handling and routing systems, robotic soldering systems, automatic label placement solutions, and work-bench/work-flow solutions. The company's main focus serves electronics manufacturing, with crossover into sectors such as medical, computer assembly, laboratory, and heavy production transporting/routing markets. Also, in an effort to better focus on its core competencies, the company made some changes, motivated by a desire to benefit its customers. What follows is a brief update about some of those changes and how they better equip it to serve its customers.

More than 13 years ago, Promation formed an alliance with loader specialist EUNIL HA America to produce the company's PCB handling systems under the company's engineering guidelines. Since that time, the company has become a private shareholder in EUNIL HA America to strengthen this relationship and allow it to work more closely with that company's engineering group. This business structure resulted in many new designs that were currently not being produced for the Asian market. In 2009, the company entered the low-cost interconnecting conveyor market in China to try to meet new low-cost demands. The company shut down China conveyor operations on December 31, 2012 due to ongoing supply-chain issues that resulted in excessive delivery time to customers. Prior to this shutdown, additional efforts were put forth to reduce manufacturing costs at its South Korea factory, which resulted in the introduction of several new product models for PCB handling, but also added more features to these new systems. Other strategic moves included the elimination of the company's Laser Marker, and it now solely focuses on its Automatic Label Placement systems, as well as the elimination of PCB depaneling systems and in-line ultraviolet (UV) curing systems.

To better complement its equipment lines, the company has aligned itself with several other key industry players, allowing it to offer a full line of work stations and progressive-assembly work-flow solutions. In terms of these industry players, Production Basics, OMTEC, Hytrol, and Southworth have been excellent business partners, with Promation now showing 10 years or more of experience integrating products from these companies. Solutions that resulted from these partnerships include a work progress flow line for blade server assembly, small motor assembly, custom computer builds, elevator control cabinet assembly, and more.
The TT-400 is a dependable, affording table-top soldering robot system.

Customers have benefitted from this focus on a leaner competency. According to Promation President Gary Goldberg, "I think our standard and signature series PCB handling systems are the best in the marketplace. We have customers with more than 6 million cycles run and no support calls." He added: "Focusing more on the quality manufacturing design and processes of these products benefits our customers from a reliability standpoint and it benefits the company from a reputation standpoint. This is a win-win in today's operating environment."

Along with sharpening its focus, the company recently concluded a brand reintroduction. In mid-2012, the company adopted the "Go Pro Today!" slogan and modified its corporate logo, removing the hyphen.

The firm's brand has continued to strengthen over the years, but with so much turnover within the industry, a constant marketing program is needed to remain clear and present to customers. To that end, the company plans to continue getting its name out in the industry. As Goldberg noted: "After careful deliberation, we decided that a rebrand was a critical step to ensuring the success and future growth of the company. In addition to the rebrand, we know that our solid reputation for quality and service will further advance us to the top of our field."

Promation is known for its low cost of ownership, especially in reference to its soldering robot series. In today's economy, this is difficult to accomplish. However, the company has continued to achieve this by focusing on high quality and low operating costs.

This focus begins by engineering a product that meets all or most of the customer's base requirements for a table-top soldering system. Specifications for the new system had to be equal to or better than each of the competing models. Next, the system had to be life-tested to ensure long-term production capability. Finally, the company had to ensure that the cost of running the system was quite reasonable. Once all of these objectives were met, the TT-400 soldering robot was introduced.

The TT-400 soldering robot is a true table-top system. But company management felt that serving customers also required developing a modifiable version, such as a Cartesian style robot with all the same components that offered remote input/output (I/O) capability for in-line, rotary table, or slide-shuttle integration. These efforts resulted, 12 months later, in the introduction of the firm's G Series soldering systems. As Goldberg explains, these systems are designed and built to provide value for a reasonable price: "The buying price of our systems and other comparable systems are all competitive," concluded Goldberg. "The true savings is realized in the cost of operation."

Contact: Promation, 9522 58th Place, Suite 100, Kenosha, WI 53144 262-764-4832 E-mail: Web:

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