This process applies a unique identifier to each bare Printed Circuit Board (PCB) to help with traceability during manufacturing and once in the field.


OP 20 - Solder Paste Application

The solder printer applies lead-free solder paste though a perfectly aligned stencil to a bare PCB. The accuracy of application is the bare PCB is critical to high performance and yield. All the factors in this step must be controlled to ensure high quality consistently.


Equipment Specs

-- Country of Origin - UK

-- Automation - closed-loop print head control, bi-directional board clamping and laser-guided tooling.

-- Vision System – Dual Roving camera (DRc) technology precisely aligns the board with the stencil, and checks for solder paste presence (2D).

-- SmartCal - Calibration facility that lets operators validate the process in 30 seconds or less.


Op 30 - Component Placement (Pick & Place)

The Pick & place machine is the heart of any electronic manufacturing line. Our top-of-the-line machine from allows to be both flexible in volume without losing any quality features. We can place components as small a 0.4mmx0.2mm to 99mm x 99mm with accuracy measured in microns.

Europlacer iineo+

Origin UK

-- Maximum placement rate of 15,390 cph (IPC: 12,550 cph)

-- PCB sizes: 60mmx60mm up to 1610mmx460mm

-- One rotary turret head with 8 placement nozzles

-- Up to 264 x 8mm feeders

-- Up to 10 internal Jedec trays

-- 01005 to 99 x 99mm components

--Max Component weight & height – 300g and 34mm

-- Component testing capability – with independently verifiable calibration (UKAS / NIST / PTB)

--Optimum line balancing software

-- SPC Quality Software


Op 40 - post placement inspection

This inspection is the last check before components enter the reflow oven. This is a critical check as defects caught after the reflow oven increase the cost and risk of rework.


Op 50 - reflow oven

The reflow oven cures the solder paste to form a solid electrical and mechanical bond between the electrical components and the bare PCB. The process occurs by subjecting the PCB to increasing temperatures peaking at 260 deg C.

BTU Pyramax 98A
Origin USA

-- 7 vertical heated zones (top and bottom heaters) 1 Cooling zone, 2 speed control blowers

-- Pin-Chain and Mesh-Belt Conveyor/ 25 to 152cm per min

-- Edge pin 457mm pin chain (Motorized Conveyor Width Adjust)

-- 350°C High-Temperature Processing Capabilities

-- Multi-Speed Blowers for Process Control

-- Intellimax Software for cooling zone management

-- Thermostats for oven profile verification

-- Exhaust air from oven is filtered through a G4 pre filter and a HEPA filter before release into atmosphere


OP 60 - Post reflow inspection

This check ensures that all the Printed Circuit Board Assemblies (PCBA) that exit the oven are free from visual defects. The use of a high-power microscope ensures that all solder joints meet the applicable IPC industry standard for the product .


OP 70 - Manual assembly

As there are some electronic components that cannot withstand the high temperatures in the Reflow Oven. These components must be hand soldered in place.


-- All employees are trained to the relevant IPC Standards.  

-- Access to quality assembly tools including:

-- Soldering tools

-- Video microscope for initial sample inspection

--Calibrated torque hand tools for assembly


PCBA Validation (Product Testing)

The testing of a PCBA occurs thought the manufacturing process. This reduces product rework and replacement as any faults are caught as close to the source as possible. Some the tests that we subject the PCBA to, includes:

-- Visual Inspection – Human visual inspection (especially using a high-powered microscope) is needed during the first article inspection.  

-- Automated Optical Inspection – Both our solder printer and the placement machine have integrated automatic vision inspection. This is much more effective and faster than human vision.

-- In-Circuit Test – This tests individual components or modules within the circuit.  

-- Functional Test – The PCBA is tested  to determined if it meets it normal operating conditions. This test may require special firm ware to be upload into the PCBA

-- Burn-in is the testing of components to uncover early failures and establish load capacity.

Gearbox Europlacer performs a New Product Introduction process to ensure all potential  quality issues are resolved at the start of the run. Thus, ensuring all future runs of the same product run smoothly.


Electro-static dissipation (ESD)

Our processes will meet the following ISO Standard: ANSI/ESD S20.20

-- ESD Conductive flooring laid over an earthed copper wire mesh grid

-- ESD Flooring tested with EN100 015/1 European standard compliant surface kit.  

-- CORSTAT ESD Safe Reel holders and PCB racks ESD PPE includes:

-- ESD Smocks

-- ESD Gloves

-- ESD Heel Straps

-- ESD Footwear/ Wrist-Strap Test Station


Production Environment

Clean Room

-- Temperature Range - 20 to 25 Deg C, Humidity Range - 35-65% via 2 x Carrier 48,000BTU Units

--Clean air (dust free) to meet ISO Standard: ISO 14644-1 Class 8 (FED STD 209 Class 100,000)

-- Air ingress is filtered through a HEPA filter and clean through to A/C filters. We have built our own IoT device to measure our operating environment, to feed the data back into improving our process

-- IoT Controlled Air Curtain at main door to minimize ingress of unprocessed (dirty air)

Compressed Air

Clean air (dry and oil free) that meets ISO 8573-1 Class 1.4.1.  via a Kaeser SM10 Center


Skills & Technical traininG

The electronic industry is a fast-paced sector, with ever changing technologies, standards, equipment and processes. Our team keeps update with hands on training classes from the global industry sector. As we also understand that our industry in Africa is very young, we are also trainers to other ecosystem partners.


RoHS (lead-free)

The Restriction of Hazardous Substances in Electrical and Electronic Equipment (RoHS), is an initiative started by the EU in 2003 to dramatically reduce the hazardous materials found in electrical and electronic equipment (EEE). The standard aims to eliminate lead, mercury, cadmium, hexavalent chromium, polybrominated biphenyls and polybrominated diphenyl ethers from electrical and electronic products.

With the ever-increasing e-waste problem, the possibility of lead poisoning into the environment was a tremendous risk.  However, since the RoHS initiative has now been successfully introduced across the world, Lead is now used sparingly in the industry.

Gearbox-Europlacer is proud to announce that it has been a lead-free facility since the start of its operations and is seeking out RoHS Compliance certification with the coming year.



The IPC is the global association for electronics manufacturing. It helps OEMs, EMS, PCB manufacturers, cable and wire harness manufacturers and electronics industry suppliers build electronics better.

The IPC is the global association for electronics manufacturing. It helps OEMs, EMS, PCB manufacturers, cable and wire harness manufacturers and electronics industry suppliers build electronics better.  As an IPC member, Gearbox Europlacer will have access to industry proven standards, certification, education and training, thought leadership, advocacy, innovative solutions and industry intelligence. This information will help us be at par and compete with the global electronics industry.

The two key standards that Gearbox Europlacer is currently implementing from the IPC are:

-- IPC-A-610: Acceptability of Electronic Assemblies

-- J-STD-001: Requirements for Soldered Electrical and Electronic Assemblies 


ISO 9001 QMS Certification

Gearbox Europlacer has embarked on its journey to attain ISO9001:2015, the international standard for a quality management system. It is our goal to achieve this standard within two years of operation.


Sustainable Manufacturing Practices

E-Waste is a growing problem across the world as well as here in Africa. As we embark to grow this sector to transform lives and add value to our local, national and regional economies, we cannot ignore that the very devices we manufacture, could be part of the problem for the future.  

With this, and the SDG 12 (Responsible Consumption and Production) goal in mind, Gearbox Europlacer’ pledges to work closely with ecosystem partners to minimize the impact e-waste.

PCB Manufacturing services

You can request for contract manufacturing services in one of the below options:

We will provide the manufacturing inputs for your order from our existing inventory. This option ensures faster turnaround of your order. We can also procure additional inputs from qualified suppliers based on the needs.
We provide assembly-only services while the client provides all the components and Bare PCBs. The customer is fully responsible for the quality of the components supplied for the assembly

Questions / ORDERS