AUTO COMPONENTS INSERTION / PLACEMENT SYSTEM
Efforts to automate PCB assembly (stuffing) have progressed from hand-formed components leads and manual insertion guided by blueprint. On up to fully automatic component insertion machines. The present state of the art involves either islands of automation (group of machines) bridged by sophisticated material handling. Or an array of machine setup for continuous in line assembly. All types of components are now being sequentially inserted, including axial, radial, DIP, surface –Mount (lead-less) and odd shaped components, the latter via special robotics.
Benefits of Automation
Full automation of the component insertion/ placement operation provides the user with benefits such as :
· Consistency of products quality and quantity
· Automatic inventory tracking
Additional benefits grained from these factors include reduced labor cost , Reduced reworks and an improvement in production process.
Automatic component insertion system offer a consistent production volume, and by using on-line test and verification system, allow the user to control the quality of output “Automated system are usually justified on this basis”
Speed and quality are therefore considered the most important benefits offered by both automatic insertion of leaded components are surface- mount placement system.
Automated board handing a wider range of insert able components and the increased availability of surface –mount pick-and-place system represent the most significant recent advances in PCB assembly technology. Surface mount system are now offered over a broad price range and performance capability, from the large, high volume systems costing from $ 400,000 to $850,000 depending upon options, to medium- volume systems, and on down to lower- volume units. Some of the larger surface – mount systems have been imported to provide a recycling features whereby boards with missing chips are automatically returned to the pick and place station. Most system have also been expanded to accommodate a wider range of components and some now incorporate an optical system to automatically correct for board misregistration.
Leaded automatic component insertion system such as axial, radial and DIP , represent a more mature technology. Axial lead insertion is really comprised of a family of machines, such as reel packaging systems, sequencing system (where applicable), component verifies and the component insertion machine
Automatic insertion of radial leaded components is complicated by varied body sizes and lead diameters. These problems were overcome by handling all radial lead components by the leads rather than the body, and by reel taping the leads at standardized spacing. Some components have been difficult to handle. For example, the TO-92 transistor with its three leads and 0.014in. lead diameter was not capable of being automatically inserted until a few years ago. Automatic DIP insert er are designed to DIP lead row spacing of 0.300in., 0.400in and 0.600in. The newer systems can also insert DIP sockets, DIPs into sockets and mount decoupling capacitors.
Odd – Shapped Components
Accurate component placement is a basic requirement for any picks and place machine. The first step towards accurate placement is accurate centering, or measurement of the component’sposition on the placement head. One of the most widely used centering methods for ICs, connectors, and oddshaped components are a camera based system that measures the component position relative to a known point. Camera based centering systems include three main elements: lighting, camera, and software. Each of these elements are critical to obtaining an accurate measurement of the component and ultimately for accurate component placement on the PCB. As the old adage goes, the system is only as strong as its weakest link.
IF you are considering automation of odd-form components in your PCB, in order of priority, consider these things:
1. Is your component available in a production package?
2. Is your lead to hole ratio suitable for automation?
3. Is the mechanical quality and repeat-ability of the component suitable for automation?
4. Does your component require lead preparation prior to insertion?
5. Does the process require that the component is clinched?
There are a lot more considerations, but above are the key factors that can make (or break) a successful implementation of odd-form components.
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