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SMT electronics assembly manufacturing forum.

Tape & Reel machine

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Tape & Reel machine | 4 February, 2008

I have been trying to eliminate the troublesome tubed parts in our SMT process but because we are a high mix/low-medium volume we still have to deal with it sometimes. However, the ones I can fix I'm working on.

The next step in my war against tubes is getting these parts on reels. Our reel service company will do it for about $50 minimum which equates to a charge for 1000 parts onto a reel. Im talking about getting 50 to 200 or 300 reeled up not 1000. So it doesn't seem worth it to use the service imo.

So I would like to get our own tube to tape and reel machine.

Has anyone gone in this direction and have some advice?

How much do tube to reel machines average?

Is getting the hand placed manual to reel models cause more problems? (i.e. human error)

It seems to me that it would save a little time at SMT not having to hand place parts but the manual loading of the reel machine would offer me just as many human errors and may even require another warm body putting the costs up.

Thought? opinions?

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Tape & Reel machine | 5 February, 2008

I have been using an Advantek machine for years. It is a manual load and really works good. Rarely do we have problems. When we do its because we got parts from an egineer that dumped a tube of parts out on their desk to get one part and then put them back any which way. You'll have the same trouble wheather you taped them or not! The machine is relatively inexpensive if you can find a used one. The tape is the issue. I think we have 100,000 different rolls of tape here! Ok maybe only 10,000! Unless you have a good engineering staff that can warn you in advance of what tape you'll be needing you will spend a fortune expiditing reels of tape you don't have!

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Tape & Reel machine | 5 February, 2008

Tony SMT,

Have you looked into alternative services? I haven't performed a cost analysis lately, but with the equipment costs, tape & reel costs, cover tape handling issues, manual steps involved from someone who doesn't perform the task on a regular basis, you may be setting yourself up for similar yields but now with the added cost of the tape & reel equipment. In the past I used a service in the Minnesota area called Aimtek. Amy is the owner of the business. She provides excellent service, is reasonably priced, usually has the tape needed in stock, and is very responsive to your turn around needs. Her contact information is, I haven't had the opportunity to work with her recently but when I did last year, her prices were reasonable and her service has always been perfect.

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Tape & Reel machine | 6 February, 2008

Tony, We have a splicing service that would enable you to take a reel of 1,000 to 5,000 components and splice it down onto reels of 100, 250, 500, etc. parts for use in production. The price is $10 per splice and there is a set-up charge of $100 but for multiple reels, it amortizes down to very little. Give Ed or Dennis a call at (978) 772-1222 or e-mail us at


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Tape & Reel machine | 6 February, 2008

I once worked at a small CM that did this. On the floor we would save the spent tape to be re-used, so the only recurring costs would be the cover tape. Unless it was otherwise damaged the carrier tape was good for a few passes at least.

It just hard to find a tape for every type of part. But as long as the part fits and is not too loose in the pocket, it should work.

My current place of business just likes to invest in the proper stick feeders, so it hasn't been too much of an issue.

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