About Phoenix Systems:

Fareham based CEM Phoenix Systems Ltd have a long history of providing the Electronics market with high quality assemblies having added AS9100 QMS accreditation to their existing ISO9001 capabilities, and in 2012 the AS9100 QMS qualification was upgraded to the latest revision C.


With the ability to provide customers asking for low, medium and high volume manufacturing, Phoenix have had to be able to provide equal levels of quality independent of batch size – not something many CEM manufacturers are able to effectively do.

How they use the technology:

phoenix systems

In order to help achieve this, one of Phoenix’s first goals was to replace their existing AOI system. Though the system being used was capable of finding any faults reasonably well, the programming time and high level of false calls was a major restriction.


Richard Lynch, Manufacturing and Quality Manager contacted Blakell Europlacer to discuss the Aleader AOI system “we needed a system that we could rely upon, which was relatively easy to program, gave a low false call rate while ensuring we would find typical process related faults from our line – all of this within budget of course!”. Blakell Europlacer supplied one of their standalone Aleader AOI systems on trial and this was run in parallel with the older machine; “the Blakell engineer had a program created in a very short time, and we were able to compare the cycle time of the Aleader system against the existing machine. The difference was staggering, on the Aleader we had a cycle time of less than 30 seconds, while our original system on the same product was measured in minutes primarily due to the high level of false calls it suffered from” commented Richard Lynch.


After the onsite evaluation, the Aleader was selected and has been successfully installed for several months.


Having addressed the automatic inspection side of the business, there was a need then to upgrade other parts of the overall process, with major focus on manual inspection, stencil printing and pick and place.


Steve Jacobs, MD and owner of Phoenix Systems had highlighted this requirement to Richard and his colleagues and was keen to make the investment accordingly “though we already had capable equipment, we were following our clear strategy to invest in the most important areas of the business in terms of capital equipment. I asked Richard and his team to make recommendations. Of course the easy decision is to buy the same equipment that we already had, but that is not always the best decision based upon changes to machine manufacturer’s specifications”. Having looked at the options available and based upon the good experience gained with Blakell Europlacer and the AOI installation, Richard and his team decided to look into Blakell’s portfolio of products. “We looked firstly at Speedprint’s automatic stencil printer to upgrade our existing semi automatic process. After this we reviewed our pick and place requirements and visited Blakell’s facility in Poole to run tests on their iineo platform”.


After running trials on both Speedprint and Europlacer the decision was taken to invest in the Speedprint SP710AVi and Europlacer iineo I as well as a Tagarno manual inspection and conveyors to link the equipment.


Richard Lynch continued “we are delighted to have invested in the Speedprint and Europlacer equipment, the equipment has been delivered and installed – we were in production within 2 days from delivery! The improvement in performance has been remarkable and we are looking forward to being able to offer our customers even better flexibility and quality going forward”.


Steve Jacob’s summarized by saying “there is always some risk associated with changing supplier of major production equipment, but we could see the benefits that were on offer from Blakell Europlacer and were prepared to take the plunge based upon their performance with the AOI system and from references gained from within the industry. We are pleased with the decision and I would echo Richard’s comments regarding the enhanced capabilities we are able to offer to our clients.”

Visit Phoenix Systems at phoenixsystemsuk.com