ACC Electronix, Inc. Main Articles

Thank you for visiting the ACC Electronix Web Site.  We will attempt to make your visit fun, informative, and helpful. 

ACC is a contract manufacturer of electronic equipment.  Our goal is to create a partnering relationship that makes our customers successful in their business.  We would be pleased to add you to our growing list of partners.

If you are in a hurry, you will find "bullets" of information that will quickly tell our story.  If you have time to dig deeper, you will find paragraphs of explanation along with drop-down articles that include pictures and videos.  If you see something you want to save, you may print or e-mail it by clicking on the small icons in the bottom, right corner of the page.

Can't wait to meet us?  Take a walk through our plant on our Virtual Tour. Need a quick overview of our services? Click here to download our brochure.

We have taken a slightly different approach in our web site design, and we would greatly appreciate your comments and suggestions via our Contact Us page.

Let's get started.  Please click a menu item on the left. 

Location


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ACC Electronix, Inc
420 Wylie Dr.
Normal, IL 61761'|lang=''}
Click Here for Directions

ACC offers a full range of Electronics Manufacturing Services.  Please click on the services listed below for details and pictures.  Don't forget to scroll down.  We offer lots of services!

Surface Mount Assembly is our specialty.  ACC has selected robust, reliable, fast, and accurate machines for our Surface Mount Assembly process.  Our SMT Lines can be used interchangeably for most projects.  See the Soldering and Equipment Pages for more information, pictures and videos.

Compare the spacing between the leads on the two parts in this picture.  As electronic components have become smaller and smaller, chip designers have been forced to decrease spacing between component leads.

As a result, solder paste and component placement accuracy have become increasingly critical.  ACC can do the job!

In some cases, it was impossible to get enough leads on the edges of components.  Ball Grid Arrays and Lan Grid Arrays were solutions, but placement accuracy and temperature control requirements increased.    (The component shown has 361 "leads".)

Since connections are made on the under side of the component, visual inspection is virtually impossible. X-Ray inspection is the solution.

ACC still does a lot of through-hole (T-H) assembly for various reasons:  some "legacy" and power components are only available in T-H configurations;  some customers need the mechanical strength of through-hole connectors; and most of the T-H components we place don't lend themselves to automatic insertion.

The cost of automating the assembly of a few prototype boards is sometimes prohibitive.  Hand assembly is the answer.  Because of the small size and tight lead spacing of SMT components, experience and microscopes are required.

After prototype approval, a Product Verification Build or "Pilot Run" may be advisable.  This step involves a "short run" (25, 50, or 100) of product built under normal production processes using any custom tooling that may be required.  Our customers often come to our plant to observe and provide first-article approval.  Adjustments (if required) are made, and the pilot run is completed.  Field testing may follow.  Upon final approval, ACC is ready for "full-blown" production.

Production quantities are quite different for ACC's customers.  We build boards that cost thousands of dollars each and have an annual volume in the hundreds.  We also build boards with low-dollar values that have annual volumes of hundreds of thousands or even a million units.  Regardless of the production quantity, all of our customers are important to ACC.

In-Circuit Testing checks printed circuit boards for shorts and opens, checks the tolerance of components, verifies polarity, and assures that the board has been assembled as specified by the design engineer.  Custom test fixtures and test programs are required.  Due to the "front-end" investment, in-circuit testing is often chosen for high-value or high-volume boards and assemblies that are used in life-threatening applications.

Functional Testing powers up the product and assures that it is operating properly and providing all the functions specified by the design engineer.  In most cases, our functional testers are designed and built by the original design engineer.  ACC can also have functional testers built to meet customer requirements.

Following functional testing, some of our customers specify a "burn-in" to prove that the product will continue to function properly over a specified period of time.  In some cases, the burn-in is done at elevated temperatures with monitoring equipment attached to record results.

Conformal coating is applied to printed circuit boards that are exposed to harsh environments.  ACC normally uses a silicon based coating to protect the board from moisture and dirt.

ACC also provides final assembly services - often referred to as "box builds".  This step usually involves assembling the chassis, installing wire harnesses, installing printed circuit boards, and final testing.

ACC custom tailors programs to fit our customers' needs.  One project included the following services:  forecast production (based on prior year's sales), purchase components, assemble pc boards, final assembly (box build), test, burn-in, re-test, package, inventory finished goods, take orders, drop-ship products, and invoice end users.  Payments are remitted to our customer who is responsible for marketing the product.

ACC provides a one-year warranty on our assembly services and passes through the manufacturer's warranty on components.  If there is a warranty problem, we fix it.

We also offer Out-of-Warranty Repair for products that we build.  This work is done on a time & materials basis.  In some cases, we operate a repair depot for our customers.  End users ship the product to your company's name at our address.  We make the repairs, return the product to the end user, and generate an invoice.

Assistance with Design for Manufacturability is a service provided by ACC.  For maximum benefit, it needs to happen early in your design process - well before your printed circuit board layout has been finalized.  Our process engineers will examine your board layout in an effort to find simple changes that your design engineer can incorporate to reduce manufacturing cost and improve quality.  Expensive solder fixtures are sometimes required to fix simple board layout issues.  If our production costs can be reduced, you reap the benefit.

We do have some basic requirements for board layout that are covered in an attached white paper.

Click here to view the white paper.

Assistance with Design for Testability is also a service from ACC, but it needs to happen long before the board layout is finalized.  In fact, it really should occur before the board layout is started.  We will provide your design engineer general guidelines for improving testability.  This is a critical issue when In-Circuit Testing is required.  The challenge is to provide the tester access to every circuit that must be tested.  The simple addition of a small pad and/or via may provide access to a connection that is made on an inner layer of a multi-layer printed circuit board.

We had experience with one board for which the in-circuit test design house could only provide about 65% coverage (access only about 65% of the circuitry).  This made the value of in-circuit testing questionable.  More recently, we were involved with a board for which the customer's design engineer provided 98% coverage!  In the latter case, the test fixture and software are easier to design and the test results are far more reliable.

Equipment

Click on each item below to learn more about the equipment used in our state-of-the-art facility.

The SMT assembly process starts with stencil printing solder paste on the printed circuit board. The stencil design is generated by the engineer that creates the board layout and is a part of the Gerber file package that goes to your EMS partner.  ACC orders the stencil to fit our stencil printers and specifies the proper screen thickness and aperture reduction to provide quality solder joints

During the printing process, the screen must be precisely aligned with the printed circuit board. Our stencil printers have vision correction to ensure proper registration.  Poor stencil printing can result in solder bridges and no solders. This is a critical step in a quality SMT process.

ACC's SMT Lines can be used interchangeably for most projects.  All placement machines have vision systems that align the machine to the printed circuit board and inspect components prior to placement.  Here is our lineup.

Panasonic NM-EJM1C machine places all types of SMT components and even some Through-Hole components.  This machine is rated at 14,000 component placements per hour.

Fuji CP-4 "Chip Shooter" is used to place SMT resistors, capacitors and "course-pitch" components.  It is rated at 16,000 placements per hour.

Mimot Advantage places fine-pitch SMT components, BGA's, etc.  Rated at 8,500 component placements per hour, it does a great job of placing critical components.

Our SMT lines use identical Heller reflow ovens.  These are 12-zone (12 top & 12 bottom) ovens that provide the precise temperature control required for SMT soldering especially BGA's and LGA's.  The ovens are programmed with a custom temperature profile for each board that we build.

Click here to view an example of a complete MOLE Temperature Profile.

ACC has two wave soldering machines.  Our Qualitek (JT) machine is used exclusively with Lead-Free solder, and our Electrovert machine is used only with Tin-Lead solder.  Both machines are equipped with SonoFlux spray fluxers, preheaters, and chip waves for soldering SMT components mounted on the bottom side of the printed circuit boards.

Our ACE Selective Soldering machine is used to solder connectors and other through-hole components on boards that cannot be wave soldered using traditional methods.  A custom program is developed to selectively solder only specified components.  Steps:  Spray flux, Start mini-wave, Solder.

ACC's WestKleen aqueous cleaning system is used to wash boards soldered with water-soluble flux.  The water we use for cleaning printed circuit boards is first filtered by a Reverse Osmosis System and then goes through a Deionizing Process.  This super-clean water is then heated in a stainless steel water heater prior to entering the "water washing system".

ACC also offers solder with No-Clean Flux for boards utilizing components that cannot be washed.

 

ACC's YesTech Automated Optical Inspection (AOI) system is used to visually inspect printed circuit boards.  The system photographs a tested and approved board and then compares subsequent boards to the "golden" board.

ACC uses a Glenbrook X-ray inspection system to inspect BGA's for proper soldering.

Functional testing powers up the product and assures that it is operating properly and providing all the functions specified by the design engineer.  In most cases, our functional testers are designed and built by the original design engineer.  ACC can also have functional testers designed and built to meet customer requirements.

In-circuit testing (ICT) checks printed circuit boards for shorts and opens, checks the tolerance of components, verifies polarity of polarized components, and assures that the board has been assembled as specified by the design engineer.  Custom test fixtures and test programs are required.  Due to the "front-end" investment, in-circuit testing is often chosen for high-value or high-volume boards and assemblies that are used in life-threatening applications.

Our Nordson conformal coating system is custom programmed to cover your printed circuit assembly with a silicon coating that protects the board and components from moisture, dirt and chemicals.

Manufacturing

When ACC moved into new facilities in 2007, the building was customized specifically for electronics manufacturing. Old manufacturing programs were upgraded and new programs were implemented to further improve our quality and efficiency.

  • High-efficiency lighting for maximum illumination in the hand assembly area
  • Air locks and power humidifiers for temperature & humidity control
  • Conductive floors for maximum ESD protection
  • ESD (Electro-Static Discharge) program
    - Foot straps, wrist straps and conductive jackets to dissipate electro-static energy in a controlled manner into our conductive floors and work benches
  • ISO certification of our quality program
  • Commitment to the ISO concept of continual improvement
  • On-line work instructions to eliminate paperwork and control documents
  • Cell workgroups to improve efficiency and quality by eliminating batch processing
  • Lean training to further improve efficiency