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Coplanarity Measurement Machine

Jerry Stafford


Coplanarity Measurement Machine | 26 October, 1999

Anyone know or have experience with a <$30K machine that can measure lead coplanarity? I have some info from ICOS and August Technology. We are looking at sampling low volumes of mainly mil spec parts that we have formed at somewhat local houses.


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Re: Coplanarity Measurement Machine | 26 October, 1999

Jerry, I know I'm off target, but I don't care. Three things:

1 We don't see the level of malformed leads that would pay-back a $30k investment in 10 years. (Of course, we haven't talked about volume, but you can't have very much volume, can you???) Most often, our bent leads come from us doing something stupid, like dumping a tray of parts. 2 Before we would spent $30k on a coplanarity measurement machine, there would be a lot a blood on the floor between our placement machine and the component manufacturer. 3 Some placement machines can be made coplanarity measurement capable.


Dave F

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Re: Coplanarity Measurement Machine | 27 October, 1999

Hi Jerry,

I have a solution for you which I have done myself and shown to others which should cost you less than 100$ if you already have a microscope.This is still an operator job and an automated operation.

You need two mirror squares (about 4inch by 2 inch), a 6 inch wood block (such as a 2by4) a circular saw and some glue. With these items you will built your inspection block. Second you must have a microscope(the usual boom arm style) with a graduaded eyepiece. At the least 25X magnification to have good results.

Once you will have both, this will permit you to measure and fix your coplanarity problems. Just to give you some confidence we did this same setup for work on the canadian arm (NHB5300.4(3A-2))for which we had to bend/form (with our own die)some SO packages. Using this set up you can measure easily the coplanarity up to .0005" pending of your eyepiece and magnification. As you probably know Space application coplanarity must be under or equal to .003". The inspection block will also be your station for repair as you can use the mirror surface to fix coplanirity and lead skew problems.

Give me your fax number and I will send you a quick draft of the assembly.Or call me at 514-421-0358 (Montreal)


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Re: Coplanarity Measurement Machine | 27 October, 1999

Previous message should say "this is NOT an automatic operation" it is still done by an operator quite easily.

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Kevin Malliet


Re: Coplanarity Measurement Machine | 27 October, 1999

Jerry, are you looking for automatic placement or automatic measurement (or both)? I may know of some solutions for under $30K.

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Jerry Stafford


Re: Coplanarity Measurement Machine | 27 October, 1999

Guys, I am not really looking for an automatic system. I am looking for as automated a system as I can get for $30K or less. I would really prefer something under $10K. I just need a way to sample devices to see if the vendor is meeting my coplanarity requirements. In fact I need something tabletop that I can carry to the vendor and let him sample his own product or sample until he has his process under control.

Yes were WAY off but it wasn't your fault it was in my incomplete communication. I realize all the points you made are valid but you obviously do not live in the world of low volume military work. I'm lucky that I can find vendors that will form my sometimes $10,000 per device packages. But in all fairness I did not fully explain my situation in the first post. Jerry

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Re: Coplanarity Measurement Machine | 28 October, 1999

You should check out this site

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Jeff Skeith


Re: Coplanarity Measurement Machine | 1 December, 1999

dave, you are right on. a blow torch isn't needed to light a fire. a small coplanar aluminum block works extremely well. my dept fixes thousands of fine pitch parts to to less than 4 mils from low lead to high lead every month. all we use is a small coplanar block and a microscope.

we use various simple aluminum jigs for repair.

a 3 or 4 mil gauge (spec??) could be applied to this small block to make it a go / no go gauge.

in fact, if you gave me the choice of a $500k coplanarity machine or my $10 coplanarity block, i'd choose the block b/c the machine is impractical for the work we do.

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