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Which SMD placement machines are easiest to use?



Which SMD placement machines are easiest to use? | 26 January, 2000

I am consulting for an SMD placement machine manufacturer, looking at Human Interface issues -- hardware and software. I believe strongly that usability directly affects productivity.

I would appreciate any comments the community would provide regarding ease-of-use.

I would like to know which machines you find easy to use and which machines you find unnecessarily complicated to use, and why.

I am interested ease of use from the different points of view of operators, supervisors, maintenance engineers, process and preparation engineers.

If you have any recommendations for improving the Human Interface of SMD placement machines generally, I would be grateful for your views.

If you have made any (hardware or software) modifications or extensions to existing machines to make them easier to use, I would like to hear about them.

If there is a particular aspect of Human Interface of these machines that deserves particular attention, then I would appreciate your recommendations.

Thank you in advance for sharing your experience. I hope, in return, we will be able to raise the benchmark for ease-of-use.


maurice mcginley

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Re: Which SMD placement machines are easiest to use? | 26 January, 2000

Maddog: Most placement machines require shutting-down the placement process to exchange a feeder. Dave F

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Re: Which SMD placement machines are easiest to use? | 26 January, 2000

Maurice, I have worked with several different platforms of P&P machines and have a couple of thoughts regarding features and ease of use. The Contact Systems 3 series machines are versitile and very user friendly. I contribute this to the touch screen feature. The software provides graphics for the most common interface area's which eliminates alot of confusion. Basic operation training can be accomplished in hours rather than days. The Mydata platforms have a feature for the smart magazines which allows you to deselect a magazine. The machine will not attempt to pick from that magazine and re-optomizes the remainding components. This allows you to remove the magazine while the machine is in motion. This is exteremely important for throughput.As soon as a magazine is replaced, the components in that magazine become available for placement and the machine once again re-optomizes for the available components. Another feature of the Mydata is the combination mechanical centering/electrical testing jaws. I have always shunned away from mechanical centering but the Mydata provides accurate centering and simutaniously electrically tests the component prior to placement. Many platforms have an alectrical test available but only verifies the first placement of each component. The Mydata tests every component (specified for test) prior to placement reducing the risk of placing potentialy defective components.I find the Quad systems machines to be well built and sturdy but not as user friendly.

I hope that this helps

Just my $.02


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Re: Which SMD placement machines are easiest to use? | 26 January, 2000

What does easy to use mean? From operators view: - simple input menue - precise error messages with suggestions what to check first - trustable feeders - low noise - feederchange possible without stop - automatic pickup-position alignment - safety features like lightcurtain - good visibility of the whole operation - easy access to the machineparts that have to be checked, handled or fixed during operation

From machine management view: - easy offline programming - short product change time - good and understandable production data output - easy alignment procedures for new parts - optimisation feature for best feeder positioning and sequence for shortest placement time

For PM: - good and understandable PM plan and schedule - bypacking the necessary tools and lubricants, filters, gaskets etc. needed for that PM - minimum of mechanical gadgets

For all the McGivers: leave some complicated things in cause it will make me a hero if I fix it with my swiss army knife and a creditcard and so safe the company from beeing blamed for not beeing on time.

There�re surely more points to consider (one company changed the colours and design to a more future look and it payed back)but the ease of use for the operators seems the most important to me. Cause once he is dissapointed he looses his interest in the whole sh... and that causes the dissapointment in the test department.



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Re: Which SMD placement machines are easiest to use? | 27 January, 2000

Opeator point of view: 1. eassy to read menues. Organized structure. Large text and use of color to indicate important info, yellow= warning, red=fatal etc. Simplicity rules in this realm. GUI are great for operations screens

2. Plug and play setup. Set it and forget it operations. Precision feeders / feeder mounts.

3. Easy to load feeders. The fastest feeder loading for an 8 mm feeder I have experienced is 30 seconds for Fuji CP series, Dynapert I2200 and Philips GEM series. This is the benchmark I use.

4. Feedes should be universal for Tape or emboss. Avoid adapters or specialized feeders per carrier type. It requires extra training and ultimately slows the setup process and requires excessively high feeder inventories.

5. Machine Control panels on front and back of machines. COnvenience features speed up production.

Engineering / Technical support: 1. Real time monitering: Placement rates, mis-picks etc. which can be directly printed out from machine in presentable graphs and raw data formats. 2. Simple vision processors. How about the SMT machine taking a picture of a part, then the Technician draws an outline of the part with a mouse then the VP sets up your vision parameters for you! Why not work in reverse on this! 3. Simple, reliable feeders. Low maintenance. 4. Universal, automatic board support tooling. Eliminate tooling changeover for P&P. Eliminate operator "creativity" while simultainously decreasing changeover time. $$$ 5. Networkable (LAN) machines which can upload any program changes to master database. Useful for quick turn projects (NPI) where on the fly changes are frequent when customer design changes occur. Flexibility at a low cost. 6. Cheap consumables. Low cost of ownership. 7. Use more macros in calibration procedures...routines which instruct and are more automated. (Yeah Philips!!!) Fast, simple calibrations. 8. Small foot print machines. Light machines which are easily configureable. 9. Allow for long file names to help identify programs, rev levels etc. 10 Offer 24 hour phone support. Not just "pager" support on off hours and weekends. Hope this helps.

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G Henning


Re: Which SMD placement machines are easiest to use? | 27 January, 2000

strong interface to CAD for programming a must. Integrate with MRP systems, online (web based) component parameter data? No CAD data? Why not scan the blank with the P&P and recognize footprints/ designators. Diagnostic messages must be concise and accurate. Tell me what's wrong so I can fix it.

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