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With the launch of the all-new Router 400 – our most feature-rich depaneling solution for PCBs – we wanted to hear from one of the minds behind the design and creation process. Without further ado, let Raul Kasper, Solution Manager at JOT Estonia site tell you more.

What inspired the creation of the Router 400?

I would say we started the creation process because existing routers had reached the end of their lifecycle and were due for a design update. When the Router 620 was produced, we knew it could handle larger PCBs, but we also knew we needed a router for smaller products. Since the launch of the 620 series, we have received a lot of queries for depaneling solutions also supporting smaller PCB sizes. You could say the creation of the Router 400 was mainly driven by our global customer feedback, for both the base machine platform and the options.

This essentially means the machine is smaller and takes up less floor space. Customers were also asking for a lot of different options, and not only limited to the depaneling process. Previously, our routers carried a lot of options already in the base machine by default. With the Router 400, we tried to change our design philosophy to build a solution that is very flexible and capable as a platform and does what is required very efficiently, while still having support for a number of different options, for example in handling, camera options, accuracy check, and so on.

With the Router 400, you have a platform that is guaranteed to meet your demands and through customizability, a perfect fit for each and every customer. With the new board size support of up to 400x400mm, we will cover approximately 90% of the current customer needs. 

How does the Router 400 improve on its bigger brother, the Router 620?

It has a more compact floor space ratio, offers way more customizability, and has new optional features that have not been available before, for example, tool diameter verification. We have also made efforts in our manufacturing to create solutions that are more sustainable and less consuming in terms of power and air consumption. As a highlight, I would like to mention that the routing (the spindle and the brush) process was greatly improved by including several brush movement options to enable work for example in tight spaces or with PCBs that already have components in place on the bottom side. This results in less brush wear and more efficient dust removal.

Who is the Router 400 made for and what are the key benefits?

Definitely, clear winners are customers who are running mixed production: the Router 400 can handle different types of products without interrupting production. By automatically identifying the incoming material, the router can change its gripper fingers. It actually supports mixed production of up to three different shaped PCBs which require different fingers, and even more different products where the same gripper fingers can be used.

If we are talking about the more traditional low-mix production, the Router 400 is the perfect platform that can be optimized for simpler manufacturing as well. It is a very flexible solution, suitable for single station off-line as well as high volume in-line production, so it really scales together with your production volume and needs.

If you are looking for automated depaneling solutions, why should you consider the Router 400?

You can start with a simple depaneling process and add on to it later with the different options. We can scale with you and your production needs on the go. The Router 400 is a very customizable and flexible platform that can be fitted with virtually any option while meeting the customer’s expectations at all times. There is an intricate balance with the new Router that I am sure will benefit many customers looking to invest in quality and reliability while achieving a healthy cost-effectiveness level.

Typically, the actual depaneling phase of the PCBs is only a small part of the routing or milling process and ties more into other production phases like logistics, handling, cleaning, quality checks et cetera, all the way up to force-controlled assembly. Because of our extensive experience in manufacturing automation, we have been able to consider this in the bigger picture and ensure that our platforms suit your production needs seamlessly.

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Further information:

Raul Kasper, Solution Manager
JOT Automation Ltd. |