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Machine good/bad points


Machine good/bad points | 22 March, 2002

Based on a previous question, I'm interested in learning about some of the strengths/weaknesses of machines in the pick and place industry. I'm not looking to buy a machine so I'd appreciate it if the reps would stay out of it, I want to hear from the people who have used a couple different machines and know what the differences are.

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Machine good/bad points | 22 March, 2002

It depends on your application. Are you going for high volume low mix, or low mix high volume? What is your expense budget? What are your factory space requirements?

I have worked with Fuji, Siemens, Universal, Panasonic, and Mydata.

My preference would have to be Fuji for their dependability, but they are not cheep and most of their machine footprints are fairly large.

The Siemens have very small footprint, but their operating system is kind of a pain in the neck, especially if you have several different vendors of the same line. We had HS50 with Fuji QP3 fine placement, along with Universal Radial 8. Siemens are fast, accurate machines, but the waste a lot of parts. Their feeders are a little less than desirable.

Newer Panasonic machines are pretty good. Decent running and excellent programming software.

MyData would be ideal if you are prototype shop, performing high mix, low volume builds.

Hope this helps in your quest for good and bad points. Email me if you would like more detail on any of these products

Regards, CJN

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Machine good/bad points | 25 March, 2002

you should also look into the different placement methods and their advantages and weaknesses. A chip shooter with a rotary head and lets say 18 nozzles always places one component and picks one at the same time. PC board and feeder table move while the head rotates. Speed is up to 40,000 comp. an hour. Good performance if placement positions are closed to each other, feeder table indexes only between a few feeders and components stay on the board during maximum acceleration. Bad to average performance if not. Feeders can not be replenished during run. Look at Sanyo, Panasonic / Create and Fuji.

Simultaneous pick and individual place method. Lets say 12 nozzles are spaced out each other that they pick from twelve feeders to the same time. Then place the components on the board one by one. Good performance if multiple components can be picked to the same time. Bad to average performance if not. Look at Assembleon / Philips / Yamaha, Mydata ( Hydra ), Universal ( GSM 2 ), Mirae.

Collective pick and individual place method. Lets say twelve nozzles on a rotary head pick twelve components one after the other and place the twelve components one after the other.. Good performance if feeders are located closed to each other as well as placement positions. Nozzles should be all the same size. Average performance if not. Look at Siemens, Europlacer and Tyco ( formerly Multitronics ).

Collective pick, simultaneous place. All components are vacuum sucked into a carrier plate almost to the same time and then all components are placed to the same time. Fastest placement method. Places only small components, each board requires different carrier plate. Look at Nitto.

Pick and Place method. One component is picked and then placed. Slowest placement method, used for large IC�s and fine pitch components. Look at all of the above vendors. Most likely you will merry one of the above with one Pick & Place machine.

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Andy Farrall


Machine good/bad points | 26 March, 2002

SMT Lab at University of Kent at Canterbury runs a two day SMT Technology and design course details on

Which includes some machine comparissons.

Contact me for further info if required.

This message was posted via the Electronics Forum @

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Machine good/bad points | 28 March, 2002

It seems to me that a majority of the people buying machines are looking for a low quantity / high volume machine. I would think that after the push for "Just in time" and "Conbon" and all the other fancy phrases companies aren't buying one machine and dedicating it to build just one board over and over (I'm sure the pick-n-place machine builders would love this).

Is placement rate still critical if your only building a couple dozen of these, a hunderd of those, and then 2 of another? What if you had a machine that placed 60k/hr but it took you half a day and 3 Tylenol to set it up for the next board? What's the magic formula to choose a fast/flexable machine?

Are 2 better then one? Is it still that much faster with small runs?

Can all the machines place all the parts? Can vision systems be programmed to recogonize a fancy connector and place it accuratly on all machines? Are there parts out there that are still being placed by hand?

Thanks for the info thus far.

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Machine good/bad points | 29 March, 2002

I can not tell you which machine types are the majority in the market. For these numbers you should contact Charles Henry from Ceeris. I guess with the term low quantity / high volume you mean low mix / high volume which means low variety of different boards. There are only a few factories world wide dedicating machines just for one board, but the machines are flexible enough to allow board, program and feeder change over within hours. Just in time delivery is practiced in the automotive industry and I have seen ( and installed ) manufacturing lines for electronic dashboards, each dashboard for one car type and one board every 50 seconds. Sony is another good example of a fully automated factory for the Walkman product line. Even the change over from one product to the other is fully automated. However, I don�t see the demand for just in time delivery in the consumer electronics. I think in the past few years the industry has seen a shift from the OEM to subcontractor manufacturing. Companies like Flextronics or Solectron got a boost in manufacturing capacities and plants like Motorola and Nokia simply shut down. The subcontractor will not likely get an order for manufacturing millions of the same boards or a year contract. This also means the subcontractors have to be flexible with the boards and components they can place with the machines. High speed is no longer an issue but the capability to place all boards and all components with a minimum of set up time. This also includes that you can teach odd form components, off line, multi vendor software, optimization software, parts tracking a.s.f. I can not tell you how many components are placed manually, but when you travel South in America and cross a border, you may find that only a few components are placed with a machine.

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