Printed Circuit Board Assembly & PCB Design SMT Electronics Assembly Manufacturing Forum

Printed Circuit Board Assembly & PCB Design Forum

SMT electronics assembly manufacturing forum.

Multi-part reeling for pick and place


Multi-part reeling for pick and place | 15 July, 2004

I am interested in getting feedback from anyone who has or is reeling different parts on the same reel for pick and place. Our department is extremely high mix, extremely low volume. I am also very new to surface mount, and any experience with this subject or thoughts on it would be greatly appreciated.

Our main problem is very high changeover rates on our pick and place. When we have to spend an hour changing feeders and trays, it kills our efficiency. We've tried to think of all the cons and if they could be overcome, but I'd like some outside input. If you need to know anything else before replying, please don't hesitate to ask. Thanks in advance for your responses!


reply »



Multi-part reeling for pick and place | 16 July, 2004

A couple of thoughts,

1. buy larger quantity reels and load more trays of the same P/N if your problem is replenishing the machine.

2. If you're talking about changeover I would suggest that the feeders be set up in the kitting process and deliverd to line ready to load.

I wouldn't recommend trying to place components into reels in a sequence of placement if that is what you are talking about, if the machine mis picks or rejects a component you will throw the sequence off, along with teardown of feeders will lose some parts and then? I would also believe that the cost of this would be quite high and I don't know if I would trust them all to be in the right place as specified.

My thoughts Russ

reply »


Multi-part reeling for pick and place | 16 July, 2004

I agree with Russ. If possible buy a bunch of used feeders and load up the next job while the first one is still running. This will save you time and lots of aggrevation over reeling feeders in the correct order, this will never work in the 'real world'. Besides, the new/used feeders you get will pay for themselfs in no time because the machine isnt stopped as long while you setting up for the next job. I have our operators load up two jobs at once on our machines (if space allows). That way when the first job is done they can start the second immediately and start tearing down the feeders from the first job and setting up for the next while the second is still running.


reply »



Multi-part reeling for pick and place | 16 July, 2004

I agree with Russ, sounds like a golden oppty, for wrong part placement. You may look into dedicating certain feeder locations (high running common parts) so that they won't need to be changed after each job. It can affect tact time but in low volume high mix, that will be more than offset by changeover time saved.

good luck,

reply »



Multi-part reeling for pick and place | 16 July, 2004

I agree with everybody here. There are plenty of better options than what you have proposed.

Without knowing your equipment brand, or what type of offline software you have, if any, I have a few suggestions.

1) If you don't have any offline software that can help create the feeder setup sheets, then get something. You don't want to be using your machine as a programming tool.

2) If you can get the swappable feeder banks (removable feeder bank) option. Sometimes they are referred to as feeder trolleys. Assuming they are available for your machines. These are used for offline setup. Your machine will be running production and you will be able to setup the next job (or more jobs if you have more trolleys) and once the machine is done you simple remove that trolley and install the next setup that is ready to go.

3) Try and setup multiple jobs on the machine (or trolley). Such as setting up both the top-side and bottom-side feeders at the same time. This way your setup time is cut dramatically because you don't have to setup for the second side. For our machines, our offline software is able to optimize feeder setups for multiple jobs and output a massive feeder setup sheet that will be used for multiple jobs.

4) If you are running a bunch of jobs that are similar from the same customer, you can have dedicated trolleys for that customer only. And these dedicated trollies never change. So their jobs are always ready to go.

5) If trollies are not available for your machine, then you can setup the front-side of the machine for a job, or two, and then setup the rear of the machine for another job.

Of course this all means you will need to invest in a lot of extra feeders (and trolleys?). Your investment will be paid back rather quickly.

I hope this helps.


reply »


Multi-part reeling for pick and place | 17 July, 2004

I think we should shift this issue to the machine suppliers, requesting changes in the machine design, in order to keep at least the jobs of high mix, low volume in this country. We can only compete with low labor cost countries by increasing the level of automation. May I suggest a few ideas, highly flexible machines should have: Disposable feeders (my own patented design). Feeder-less machines, tapes are inserted in a slot. Feeders with upper and lower track. If tape is about to run empty, a new tape is inserted in the free slot. The cover tape and the carrier tape is automatically guided trough the feeder. Partially used tapes are pushed out backwards. This would also allow a new set up, while the machine is running.

reply »


Multi-part reeling for pick and place | 17 July, 2004

Thanks for all the responses. I do agree with what was said, and can certainly see reasons not to try. I'll write a little more about what we do.

We are a defense contractor, and as I mentioned very high mix, low volume. We only have 1 SMT line. A vast majority of our assemblies can be partially processed by pick and place, then finished by hand placement. This is mostly because we don't get all of our parts on reels. We do have a lot of mix (TH and SMT) boards, but are mostly SMT only.

We use a Juki KE2020, which can accommodate 2 trolleys at a time, along with trays fed by the MTC. We use CircuitCAM, and I just took the training class, so I'm getting better at it (and yes, it does provide a feeder loading sheet). The statement about optimizing setup for several assemblies is good. I'll have to look into that.

We have 4 trolleys, so we have the ability to work on c/o while the machine is running; however, our operators are not very motivated - not to mention our supply chain kills us with ordering parts that are not reeled or is late getting us parts, etc...another subject...sorry - I'm just the engineer, not a manager, so that frustrates me.

I know we can analyze our "job ready" based on MRP 3 months out, so by knowing what's coming, we should be able to better organize how we process our assemblies (ie, batch those that have the most common parts b/t them). We have hundreds of different assemblies, so it will take some work organizing that - plus we seem to add more contracts every time I turn around.

I'm not familiar with our Juki (much anyway), but plan on attending the class in August. Hopefully after that I'll be able to speak Juki a little better.

I'll get back to the reeling question I had. It seems like (from your posts) the 2 main arguments against trying this is potential for our re-reeling vendor to make a mistake (wrong sequence) and the potential for the Juki to lose/drop a part. Were there other issues?

Just for argument's sake, how would you mitigate those 2 problems if you were trying to implement this? If Juki drops a part, what are the reasons it would do that? Poor part position in the reel? Poor seal by the nozzle? Part out of spec? If it does drop it, can I have Juki just go on and we'll place it by hand afterwards? - not ideal situation, I'll admit. What about vendor sequencing problems? I don't have many ideas about that. Oh - we don't have AOI yet either...though, I'd like to look into it.

I agree being able to setup on external trolleys should work fine for quick changeovers. Anyway, I'm just trying to pick your brains for info, and since you all seem to have pretty good information and experience, I thought I'd keep asking questions (lots of them :).



reply »

Shawn L


Multi-part reeling for pick and place | 17 July, 2004

Bottom line is to stay away from attempting to sequence different part number in the same reel. You are asking for trouble with this approach. Work on operator training, efficiencies and organization.

Best of Luck,


reply »



Multi-part reeling for pick and place | 18 July, 2004

Unfortunately, smt machines are not like TH sequencers. But, that is in their favor. Multiple reels, multiple part types, many positions = very flexible.

Offline setup is paramount to line utilization. Remember, you only make money when the machine is running. Unless, you have setup fees.

One thought is to piggyback orders. Trolly (carts) are by far the best change-over method. But, this will require discipline and organization in your factory. IF your product designs are ridgid (I envy you). Mass feeder exchange is the fastest method (assuming stability in every area of your smt dept.)

reply »



Multi-part reeling for pick and place | 19 July, 2004

Chris, it was cunning of you to think of this sequencing solution, but speaking from my lofty position of King of the Workaround, I can only suggest this - forget it. Sorry to be blunt about it but you've said that your operators aren't motivated, all it might take is for an operator to setup the feeder with the parts out of sequence and your whole batch is ruined - and this is without the machine making a mistake. If the machine manufacturer had built this idea into the machine as a mode of operation you might have had a chance but with a stock machine it would be too risky.

reply »



Multi-part reeling for pick and place | 22 September, 2005

Do you know how to obtain feeder loading sheet from CircuitCAM?

reply »

IPC Training & Certification - Blackfox

Electronics Equipment Consignment