I am one of the founders of a small company doing electronics design + embedded software. Currently our prototypes are using increasingly complex smd components. When we started we mostly used atmel cpus, but now we are starting to use fpgas as well. As a result it takes much more time to finish a prototype. Also the components (like fpga chips) are getting more expensive which amounts to the costs when a mistake is made.
So now we are looking around to see if it is feasible for us to a.o. purchase a (second hand?) (semi)-automatic pick&place machine. We have little experience with automation of this work. My question is: What kind of setup do I need to increase the speed of prototyping and small volume production? What will the price range be of the needed equipment? Your opinions are greatly valued.