Author Topic: Open Placer A New Affordable PCB Assembly Machine  (Read 15035 times)

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Offline Furkan

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Open Placer A New Affordable PCB Assembly Machine
« on: March 07, 2018, 12:00:47 am »
Dear all

We have finished our PCB pick and place machine: Open Placer

The device runs with an open source OpenPNP software.

It is very affordable and the open source is available at www.openplacer.com . We are improving it day by day.

We started an Indiegogo campaign and slowly announcing our device. We have received early feedbacks from visitors. Any helpful critics is appreciated.

For the moment we don't have CE certificate, but we are also working on it.

Regards
Furkan
Open Placer Team
 
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Offline IconicPCB

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Re: Open Placer A New Affordable PCB Assembly Machine
« Reply #1 on: March 07, 2018, 12:36:59 am »
Love your cut tape feeders.

Would like to purchase them,
Please advise how to get them.
 

Offline Furkan

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Re: Open Placer A New Affordable PCB Assembly Machine
« Reply #2 on: March 07, 2018, 04:18:54 am »
We are only selling it through Indiegogo. We made a huge discount to introduce it.

https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/open-placer#/

After the campaign we will keep stock in Texas, US and Istanbul, TURKEY.

 

Offline TIOUK

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Re: Open Placer A New Affordable PCB Assembly Machine
« Reply #3 on: March 07, 2018, 07:46:19 am »
Would love too purchase, but I can't make a sucessful payment on the site. Too much guff behind the payments pages since my  gamble on there.



 

Offline IconicPCB

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Re: Open Placer A New Affordable PCB Assembly Machine
« Reply #4 on: March 07, 2018, 08:57:13 am »
Furkan,

I was refering to the cut tape feeders.

What are the dimensions of the mini and standard feeder assemblies?
 

Offline asmi

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Re: Open Placer A New Affordable PCB Assembly Machine
« Reply #5 on: March 07, 2018, 10:00:19 am »
I couldn't find any information on min/max component size the machine can work with.
 

Offline donotdespisethesnake

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Re: Open Placer A New Affordable PCB Assembly Machine
« Reply #6 on: March 07, 2018, 08:47:24 pm »
Max board size of 100x200mm seems a bit small to me.
Bob
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Offline Selectech

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Re: Open Placer A New Affordable PCB Assembly Machine
« Reply #7 on: March 08, 2018, 04:56:57 am »
Signed up for a standard machine. Just what I was looking for to augment my other placement facilities. Needed something flexible with vision for some small parts that I'll put in tray and short tapes.  Fortunately, the std covers my usual board sizes.
 

Offline Furkan

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Re: Open Placer A New Affordable PCB Assembly Machine
« Reply #8 on: March 08, 2018, 10:26:53 am »
There are so many questions to answer

First of all there 2 types of feeders for the mini and standard versions of Open Placer. Main Feeder and Optional Feeder

For Open Placer Mini the length of both feeders is 18 cm. For Open Placer Standard the length is 23 cm.

For both devices the main feeder contains 10 lines of 8 mm strip, but as I mentioned above at different lengths.

The optional feeders can vary depending on your needs. We prepared 4 alternatives for each device
a. 2 x 12mm + 1 x 16mm + 4 x tray slot + 4 x loose part (For Mini Only)
a. 2 x 12mm + 1 x 16mm + 5 x tray slot + 6 x loose part (For Mini Only)
b. 2 x 12mm + 1 x 16mm + 1 x 24mm
c. 7 x 8mm
d. 2 x 8mm + 2 x 12mm + 1 x 16mm

For large components you can use the loose part compartment.

The smallest component that we have tried is 603. We haven't tried 402 or 201, but we plan to do it very soon.

I hope I could answer them all. Sorry for the late reply.

Furkan
 

Offline asmi

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Re: Open Placer A New Affordable PCB Assembly Machine
« Reply #9 on: March 08, 2018, 11:11:37 am »
The smallest component that we have tried is 603. We haven't tried 402 or 201, but we plan to do it very soon.
Please do try it out and let us know. I'm using quite a bit of 0201 caps for BGA decoupling so for me that is a must. Thank you!
 

Online mikeselectricstuff

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Re: Open Placer A New Affordable PCB Assembly Machine
« Reply #10 on: March 08, 2018, 11:52:18 am »
0201 even on good commercial machines is nontrivial - the chances of a cheap machine like this being useful for them seem somewhat remote.
Once you get that small, picking and feeding are the biggest challenges.
 
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Offline Furkan

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Re: Open Placer A New Affordable PCB Assembly Machine
« Reply #11 on: March 08, 2018, 12:06:31 pm »
I agree with you that 201 will be very challenging. We need to further modify our smallest nozzle. But this is not a device for people that requires 201 placement as a must.

Hope to give good news about our trials.

Regards
Furkan
 

Offline noras

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Re: Open Placer A New Affordable PCB Assembly Machine
« Reply #12 on: March 08, 2018, 06:10:24 pm »
When is it open to Asia?

Offline Furkan

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Re: Open Placer A New Affordable PCB Assembly Machine
« Reply #13 on: March 09, 2018, 06:29:33 am »
Hi Noras

What do you mean by available to Asia? The designs are open at www.openplacer.com for everybody and it is worldwide commercially available at our Indiegogo campaign with free worldwide shipping.

We know that the drawings are not quite organized by now, but it should be better soon. The Indiegogo campaign takes a lot of time.

Furkan
 

Offline blueskull

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Re: Open Placer A New Affordable PCB Assembly Machine
« Reply #14 on: March 09, 2018, 06:48:59 am »
Will it work reliably with 0402 and 0.5mm pitch QFN chips?
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Online rx8pilot

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Re: Open Placer A New Affordable PCB Assembly Machine
« Reply #15 on: March 09, 2018, 06:53:13 am »
OP -
Have you owned and operated a commercial P&P line before?
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Offline Furkan

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Re: Open Placer A New Affordable PCB Assembly Machine
« Reply #16 on: March 12, 2018, 08:38:36 am »
Dear all

We have uploaded some new videos showing the accuracy of our nozzles

We made run-out measurements at two different positions.

Right next to the A-axis motor the run-out was measured as +- 0.01 mm
At the tip the run-out was measured as +- 0.03 mm

The videos are available at www.openplacer.com under workshop section.

http://www.openplacer.com/?page_id=66

We believe that our run-out accuracy is good enough for 402 components. We plan to post videos with successful 402 assembly very soon.

Furkan
 

Offline l0wside

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Re: Open Placer A New Affordable PCB Assembly Machine
« Reply #17 on: March 12, 2018, 06:48:08 pm »
Looks like an enhanced version of the Liteplacer. At the price point, it is of course hugely attractive. And I appreciate to see something new coming from somewhere else than the US, China, or Germany ;)

After q quick perk, I could not find anything about SW. Do you intend to use OpenPNP, or roll your own?
 

Offline Furkan

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Re: Open Placer A New Affordable PCB Assembly Machine
« Reply #18 on: March 13, 2018, 05:47:37 am »
The Open Placer runs with the OpenPnp software. We didn’t develop our own software since OpenPnp covers all our needs.

Furkan
 

Offline ar__systems

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Re: Open Placer A New Affordable PCB Assembly Machine
« Reply #19 on: March 14, 2018, 04:13:10 am »
For both devices the main feeder contains 10 lines of 8 mm strip, but as I mentioned above at different lengths.

The optional feeders can vary depending on your needs. We prepared 4 alternatives for each device
a. 2 x 12mm + 1 x 16mm + 4 x tray slot + 4 x loose part (For Mini Only)
a. 2 x 12mm + 1 x 16mm + 5 x tray slot + 6 x loose part (For Mini Only)
b. 2 x 12mm + 1 x 16mm + 1 x 24mm
c. 7 x 8mm
d. 2 x 8mm + 2 x 12mm + 1 x 16mm


That's enough only for the tiny designs... only 17 of 8mm...

 Also I,m wondering how your strip feeder handles plastic tapes, which are a bit thicker than paper.
Update. ok I see you have different slots for plastic and paper tapes... This is good but it limits flexibility even further...
« Last Edit: March 14, 2018, 04:19:31 am by ar__systems »
 

Offline blueskull

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Re: Open Placer A New Affordable PCB Assembly Machine
« Reply #20 on: March 14, 2018, 04:25:15 am »
That's enough only for the tiny designs... only 17 of 8mm...

 Also I,m wondering how your strip feeder handles plastic tapes, which are a bit thicker than paper.
Update. ok I see you have different slots for plastic and paper tapes... This is good but it limits flexibility even further...

It's just a 3D printed (as seen in the pictures) plastic, you can make your own since the design is open source.
While I've ordered one optional tray, I think I will eventually get rid of it along with the standard tray and CNC a new set particularly for my needs.
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Offline ar__systems

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Re: Open Placer A New Affordable PCB Assembly Machine
« Reply #21 on: March 14, 2018, 04:56:37 am »
From the pics I see a machined plastic, not 3d printed :)
 

Offline blueskull

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Re: Open Placer A New Affordable PCB Assembly Machine
« Reply #22 on: March 14, 2018, 04:58:37 am »
From the pics I see a machined plastic, not 3d printed :)

Maybe, but the edges are too rough, maybe machined from a less machineable material.
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Offline loxodes

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Re: Open Placer A New Affordable PCB Assembly Machine
« Reply #23 on: March 14, 2018, 11:30:03 am »
There is more discussion of the Open Placer over on the OpenPNP forums: https://groups.google.com/forum/#!topic/openpnp/RLLt606VSzs
On their forum there is a lot of bickering about EU CE rules, and it looks like they they are skeptical that the 0.6 mm nozzle could reliably pick 0402s.

I would be interested in the Open Placer if it could reliably place 0402s and .5 mm pitch DFN/QFNs.
 

Offline asmi

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Re: Open Placer A New Affordable PCB Assembly Machine
« Reply #24 on: March 15, 2018, 09:26:56 am »
There is more discussion of the Open Placer over on the OpenPNP forums: https://groups.google.com/forum/#!topic/openpnp/RLLt606VSzs
On their forum there is a lot of bickering about EU CE rules, and it looks like they they are skeptical that the 0.6 mm nozzle could reliably pick 0402s.
They are right to be skeptical. Nozzle diameter needs to be smaller than smallest linear dimension of a part being picked up, and 0402 is 1x0.5 mm.
 
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Offline ar__systems

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Re: Open Placer A New Affordable PCB Assembly Machine
« Reply #25 on: March 16, 2018, 12:25:24 am »
I notice they are saying "open design, open hardware", but in the design files section there is only a couple of drawing of some non-essential plates or brackets. No BOM, no CAD files. There is practically nothing open there. That's ok by itself, just remove the claim of "open hardware".
 
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Offline svenskelektronik

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Re: Open Placer A New Affordable PCB Assembly Machine
« Reply #26 on: March 19, 2018, 10:23:55 pm »
I think the first thing that people are dying for is a cheap PNP that implement OpenPNP. Open Hardware would do good but its not a deal killer.
 

Offline nisma

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Re: Open Placer A New Affordable PCB Assembly Machine
« Reply #27 on: March 20, 2018, 02:23:43 am »
But, it is slow,   it is unknown what is the max lifting capacity mass for big components using the biggest nozzle with only 1mm inner diameter and the
 From video, where no placement vision is used, the 800cph is without vision.
With uplooking vision is then below 500 cph and with additional downlooking vision is approx 400 cph.
Annother unclear point is 0402 and 0201 support. It is because hw problems or bad hw/sw integration ? maybe only because it need top and bottom vision
and that slow down to 450 cph and that could be problematic. Unfortunatly lightning is not ok for loose feeders, uplightning seems similar, unfortunatly that
is a ko criterium for better vision algorithm.

It would be helpful if there is a clear statement, what is the max bga package and the status to 0402/0201 .
On openPnP with direct driver C axis, FG 456 is the maximum placeable (1 mm pitch, 23x23mm). Higher pitch is not a problem.
The max placeable 0.4mm pitch is 44x44 (17,6x17,6mm) having 0.05mm x/y repeatibility (20 tooth pulley, direct drive).
Uplooking camera must be  25mm height field of view. This allow using only one HD camera
for 0201 imperial up to all placeable size. 0.3mm pitch (bga/wsa) is not placeable with 0.05mm x/y accuracy, 0.3mm pitch connectors are placeable.
This all with juki 508 nozzle, i have no idea how this works with the tiny inner diameter nozzles from openplacer.

 

Offline Kjelt

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Re: Open Placer A New Affordable PCB Assembly Machine
« Reply #28 on: March 20, 2018, 08:56:13 am »
Not relevant because this machine targets a totally different market.
If you need high speed, high reliability and full component range choose from the hundreds of professional machines with their very high price.

There are lot of hobbieists and small series prototyping firms where this is good enough and extremely cheap. You need four times the speed? Buy four.
 

Offline blueskull

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Re: Open Placer A New Affordable PCB Assembly Machine
« Reply #29 on: March 20, 2018, 09:04:41 am »
There are lot of hobbieists and small series prototyping firms where this is good enough and extremely cheap. You need four times the speed? Buy four.

That's what I'm thinking. If it can do 0402 with good result, I will buy another one even at full retail price, so totally 40*8mm feeders, should be enough for most of my designs.

And no, I don't need vision on each and every component. I need top camera vision for 0402s, and I only need a few fiducial marks on my PCB. I don't need to calibrate the head at every pick, and I don't need to read fiducials at every place.
« Last Edit: March 20, 2018, 09:32:33 am by blueskull »
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Offline ar__systems

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Re: Open Placer A New Affordable PCB Assembly Machine
« Reply #30 on: March 20, 2018, 09:14:42 am »
I don't see why any hobbyist would need an SMT machine. I mean, they are likely assembling only single copy of their board. The setup and configuring of the machine will take more time than hand assembly.
 

Offline blueskull

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Re: Open Placer A New Affordable PCB Assembly Machine
« Reply #31 on: March 20, 2018, 09:19:25 am »
I don't see why any hobbyist would need an SMT machine. I mean, they are likely assembling only single copy of their board. The setup and configuring of the machine will take more time than hand assembly.

Try 0402s and DSBGAs. They don't take much time, but they take a lot of swearing.
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Online rx8pilot

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Re: Open Placer A New Affordable PCB Assembly Machine
« Reply #32 on: March 20, 2018, 09:24:29 am »
I agree - the speed is not a factor for the target audience. On my machine - I usually run it at 50% speed or slower because the rest of the process is much slower than the machine itself. Paste, inspection, hand soldering, test, etc, etc....

The rating on my machine is 3600cph if it if perfectly optimized. I never optimize it and run it slow at about 1000cph or so and it is still faster than the pre and post processes in my case.

Reliability is key for me. If it can run for long periods without errors  - I could see it being useful. Sure would be nice if it can do 0402 (or better) all day long.
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Online rx8pilot

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Re: Open Placer A New Affordable PCB Assembly Machine
« Reply #33 on: March 20, 2018, 09:28:23 am »
I don't see why any hobbyist would need an SMT machine. I mean, they are likely assembling only single copy of their board. The setup and configuring of the machine will take more time than hand assembly.

Not sure about pure hobbyists, but the semi-pro and professionals regularly need 4-5 PCB's assembled with a fairly high component count. It could be useful in that role. From experience - it takes a considerable effort to organize the ENTIRE process to make an overall improvement from hand placing. The actual machine placement of  parts is just part of the process. Planning and setup is the bigger part.
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Online mikeselectricstuff

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Re: Open Placer A New Affordable PCB Assembly Machine
« Reply #34 on: March 20, 2018, 09:28:29 am »
I don't see why any hobbyist would need an SMT machine. I mean, they are likely assembling only single copy of their board. The setup and configuring of the machine will take more time than hand assembly.
A hobbyist has no use for a pick/place. Many people who think they want a P&P don't understand enough about it to know any better.
The niche for low-end P&P lies between a few boards hand-assembled and the point where it's viable to subcontract it and/or they need it really fast. This niche probably exists at a size to be a small business for someone, but likely can't be filled with just one machine as people will all have different requirements.
And just forget any idea of doing 0201's Ain't gonna happen on a cheap machine. Anyone who tells you that their machine has enough accuracy to place 0201's doesn't understand that  at this scale, the problems are with picking and feeders.
 
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Online mikeselectricstuff

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Re: Open Placer A New Affordable PCB Assembly Machine
« Reply #35 on: March 20, 2018, 09:31:14 am »
I agree - the speed is not a factor for the target audience. On my machine - I usually run it at 50% speed or slower because the rest of the process is much slower than the machine itself. Paste, inspection, hand soldering, test, etc, etc....

The rating on my machine is 3600cph if it if perfectly optimized. I never optimize it and run it slow at about 1000cph or so and it is still faster than the pre and post processes in my case.

Reliability is key for me. If it can run for long periods without errors  - I could see it being useful. Sure would be nice if it can do 0402 (or better) all day long.
Speed is not a primary consideration but it needs to be at least as fast as hand placing. If the above figures are realistic than that's more than adequate, though at that sort of volume you absolutely need at least the option of a few reel feeders for the higher-quantity parts.

Reliable 0402 all day long is a very tough ask. Don't  think that anything smaller will ever be an option.
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Offline Kjelt

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Re: Open Placer A New Affordable PCB Assembly Machine
« Reply #36 on: March 20, 2018, 10:56:08 am »
A hobbyist has no use for a pick/place. Many people who think they want a P&P don't understand enough about it to know any better.
I don't agree Mike. We have a lot of elder hobbieists that are afraid to start with smt because their hands are not surgeon steady anymore or their eyesight has gone bad etc. Etc.

Then I can also state that no hobbieist needs more than one or two good multimeters and power supply.
Look at this forum people have many meters, supplies and state of the art stuff like 7,5 digits pro gear for what? This thing is so cheap it opens the market to start easy with smt for everybody, it lowers the starter barrier and i applaud them for doing so.

But yes a pro P&P is not necessary, and a different league.
« Last Edit: March 20, 2018, 10:57:58 am by Kjelt »
 
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Online mikeselectricstuff

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Re: Open Placer A New Affordable PCB Assembly Machine
« Reply #37 on: March 20, 2018, 10:59:37 am »
Quote from: Kjelt link=topic=105419.msg1456653and/or #msg1456653 date=1521503768
A hobbyist has no use for a pick/place. Many people who think they want a P&P don't understand enough about it to know any better.
I don't agree Mike. We have a lot of elder hobbieists that are afraid to start with smt because their hands are not surgeon steady anymore or their eyesight has gone bad etc. Etc.
Those people need magnifiers and/or arm/hand-rests, not automatic pick & place machines.
Nobody needs a P&P machine to populate a board unless it has a lot of parts, as setting it up takes way more time than doing it manually.

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Offline Kjelt

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Re: Open Placer A New Affordable PCB Assembly Machine
« Reply #38 on: March 20, 2018, 11:09:55 am »
manually placing is tedious work, esp when there are 50 parts or more per board. A mistake is easily made and when you make a mistake and touch/wipe some already placed parts you sometimes can start all over again.

The setting up should indeed be counted. I think hobbieist could limit their inventory for the designs to 20 different resistors , 10 mlcc caps so those could be setup permanently.

Semi automated p&p machines are not that common and cost more then this machine.
 

Online mikeselectricstuff

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Re: Open Placer A New Affordable PCB Assembly Machine
« Reply #39 on: March 20, 2018, 11:25:49 am »
manually placing is tedious work, esp when there are 50 parts or more per board.
Yes but so is setting up a machine.
Most hobbyists will only be doing one or two boards, unless there are a lot of the same part, it will never be quicker to set up than to place manually using a vacuum pen.
Quote
A mistake is easily made and when you make a mistake and touch/wipe some already placed parts you sometimes can start all over again.
A machine setup has at least as many ways to mess up. Like placing lots of parts wrong, instead of the odd one or two.
Quote
The setting up should indeed be counted. I think hobbieist could limit their inventory for the designs to 20 different resistors , 10 mlcc caps so those could be setup permanently.
that is just not realistic for most people.
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Re: Open Placer A New Affordable PCB Assembly Machine
« Reply #40 on: March 20, 2018, 11:35:27 am »
Yes but so is setting up a machine.

Setting up a machine is a non-trivial task that is very unforgiving of the smallest mistake. I have spent a HUGE amount of time trying to streamline my setup workflow to reduce the time and mistakes. It still takes a lot of time and there are still mistakes.

A machine setup has at least as many ways to mess up. Like placing lots of parts wrong, instead of the odd one or two.

The faster your machine is, the faster you can make bad boards that end up being a nightmare to unravel.

The setting up should indeed be counted. I think hobbieist could limit their inventory for the designs to 20 different resistors , 10 mlcc caps so those could be setup permanently.
that is just not realistic for most people.



Totally.
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Offline asmi

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Re: Open Placer A New Affordable PCB Assembly Machine
« Reply #41 on: March 20, 2018, 03:20:45 pm »
If I would have a PnP machine, I would go for a middle ground - automate placing most of parts (things like decoupling caps and pull-up resistors), and then place the rest manually. On my designs usually more than 70% of all parts are these decoupling caps/pullups and similar commonly used parts, so this would save quite some time while avoiding setup overhead. The problem I have is that most (by the count) of my decoupling caps are 0201, and I'm yet to see a machine that can place them while not costing an arm and a leg.
 

Offline nisma

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Re: Open Placer A New Affordable PCB Assembly Machine
« Reply #42 on: March 20, 2018, 09:33:04 pm »
Yes, speed is not all, but it is important too.
For the use as prototyping tool, it is important to know the capability. If you have a board with spartan 6 (1mm bga) and ddr mem ic (60 pin 0.8mm pitch)
it is important to know if the pnp is able to assemble it or not. Same with resistors, if 0402 and 0201 works because for (semi)professional use, if machine
is not capable of placing the important chips, it is the wrong tool.

For the other case, i think tvm801 is better for that case as it allows to assemble more and higher parts.
« Last Edit: March 20, 2018, 11:49:31 pm by nisma »
 

Offline 1uk3

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Re: Open Placer A New Affordable PCB Assembly Machine
« Reply #43 on: March 21, 2018, 04:52:17 am »
Nobody needs a P&P machine to populate a board unless it has a lot of parts, as setting it up takes way more time than doing it manually.
Completely agree.
I do a lot of prototypes and one-offs and it doesn't make sense to use a P&P machine for this. I need one for the things i can't do eg. very dense LED arrays or a board with 100 copies of the same 10 parts. Without reel feeders OpenPlacer doesn't fill my niche  :(
 

Online rx8pilot

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Re: Open Placer A New Affordable PCB Assembly Machine
« Reply #44 on: March 21, 2018, 05:12:42 am »
Nobody needs a P&P machine to populate a board unless it has a lot of parts, as setting it up takes way more time than doing it manually.
Completely agree.
I do a lot of prototypes and one-offs and it doesn't make sense to use a P&P machine for this. I need one for the things i can't do eg. very dense LED arrays or a board with 100 copies of the same 10 parts. Without reel feeders OpenPlacer doesn't fill my niche  :(

As I have improved my workflow - P&P assembly of one-off prototypes is actually practical. It took a lot of legwork but I am able to setup a new PCB faster than I can manually assemble in most cases. The programming, part numbers, feeders, etc are carefully organized so that while I am waiting for the PCB fab I setup the machine. When the PCB arrives, the machine is 95% ready to go. I will avoid oddball parts like connectors, inductors that are not in the system, etc. Each prototype, I get a little faster. Still does not work for every project - but going in the right direction.



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Offline Furkan

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Re: Open Placer A New Affordable PCB Assembly Machine
« Reply #45 on: March 24, 2018, 09:36:01 pm »
Dear all

We have conducted some tests with 402 and 201 SMD resistances. The videos and pictures are available at openplacer.com and will soon be available at Indiegogo campaign.

The test is conducted without using the bottom cam.

http://www.openplacer.com/?page_id=66

402 and 201 resistors are placed on tape with our smallest nozzle (0.5 mm inner diameter and 0.8 mm outer diameter) We had announced it as 0.6 mm but it is actually around 0.5 mm +-0.02 mm. It was hard to measure the inner diameter correctly.

We are working on a thinner nozzle with around 0.4 mm inner diameter, but we are not sure that it will be available before the end of the Indiegogo campaign.

I guess 402 users can feel more confident with Open Placer now.

Furkan
 

Offline blueskull

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Re: Open Placer A New Affordable PCB Assembly Machine
« Reply #46 on: March 24, 2018, 10:00:13 pm »
I think you need 0.25 ID for 0201. The current state of 0402 looks promising. I'm glad I made the correct decision backing one at 799.
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Online Gary.M

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Re: Open Placer A New Affordable PCB Assembly Machine
« Reply #47 on: March 25, 2018, 09:49:47 am »
How complete is the integration of Openpnp with open Placer? Is this complete, or is it a work in progress? Can we see some video of Openpnp running the machine?
 

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Re: Open Placer A New Affordable PCB Assembly Machine
« Reply #48 on: March 26, 2018, 03:50:56 am »
If this were my project - I would define the minimum capability as doing 0402 at 99% success rate or better. Then figure out how to make that performance as affordable as possible.

I have assembled two protos in the past week. One of them was nearly all 0805 the other was nearly all 0402 on the passives. The 0805 I just hand assembled because it was so easy. The 0402 PCB, I setup in my P&P because it was actually easier in the end. The benefit of P&P goes up rapidly as component size shrinks and component qty goes up.

It's like buying a cheap car that cannot go fast enough to drive on the expressway, preventing you from going to work and earning the money to pay for the car. It looks like a car and does some of the things a car should do - except it cannot get you to work. That lowers the interest and value dramatically for most.


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Online mikeselectricstuff

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Re: Open Placer A New Affordable PCB Assembly Machine
« Reply #49 on: March 26, 2018, 07:02:32 pm »
It looks like the PCB sits on a flat plate. How do you handle double-sided assembly?
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Re: Open Placer A New Affordable PCB Assembly Machine
« Reply #50 on: March 27, 2018, 03:07:21 am »
It looks like the PCB sits on a flat plate. How do you handle double-sided assembly?

Good eye Mike - that is a critical one.

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Offline ManCave

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Re: Open Placer A New Affordable PCB Assembly Machine
« Reply #51 on: March 27, 2018, 05:42:43 am »
Furkan,

Nice work!

May I ask why choose Indiegogo over Kickstarter? Just curious.  ...honest answer would be appreciated.

ManCave
 

Offline blueskull

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Re: Open Placer A New Affordable PCB Assembly Machine
« Reply #52 on: March 27, 2018, 06:38:31 am »
Furkan,

Nice work!

May I ask why choose Indiegogo over Kickstarter? Just curious.  ...honest answer would be appreciated.

ManCave

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Offline ManCave

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Re: Open Placer A New Affordable PCB Assembly Machine
« Reply #53 on: March 27, 2018, 07:50:25 am »
Thanks!
 

Offline Furkan

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Re: Open Placer A New Affordable PCB Assembly Machine
« Reply #54 on: March 27, 2018, 05:05:06 pm »
For the moment OpenPlacer does not support double sided assembly.

It can be adapted in the future easily because it is very modular. Users can also design their own holders and replace the standard holder if they want.

I guess I missed some discussions; the feeders are machined from Black Delrin. The pictures are macro pictures so every single defect is seen. Those defects should disappear after using it for some time.

I guess the question about Kickstarter vs. Indiegogo is answered.

Furkan



 

Online mikeselectricstuff

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Re: Open Placer A New Affordable PCB Assembly Machine
« Reply #55 on: March 27, 2018, 06:43:06 pm »
For the moment OpenPlacer does not support double sided assembly.
Omitting such a basic capability, especially one that is so easy to implement, suggests that you don't really understand the needs of the market you are trying to sell into.
The process for double-sided assembly needs no additional equipment ( apart from a second stencil),  all it needs is the ability to mount the PCB in a way that leaves space underneath, which is hardly difficult. 

Low-end pick/place is a small niche market, and every limitation reduces the potential size of that niche.

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Offline Kjelt

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Re: Open Placer A New Affordable PCB Assembly Machine
« Reply #56 on: March 27, 2018, 07:46:16 pm »
It also needs thermal hardening glue or your parts from the first pass could fall off during the second reflow stage.
In practice I see very few two layer smt used by hobbieists and small startups.
Most use one layer smt combined with TH parts.

I do see it in high density boards having 4 or more layers and that is a different ballgame, 0402 is there standard even 0201 used due to the size constraints.
If someone plays in that league he can also spent over $25k for a more advanced setup.
 

Online mikeselectricstuff

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Re: Open Placer A New Affordable PCB Assembly Machine
« Reply #57 on: March 27, 2018, 08:10:49 pm »
It also needs thermal hardening glue or your parts from the first pass could fall off during the second reflow stage.
No it doesn't, unless you have large or heavy parts, in which case, where possible, you plan the process to put those on the second side. Solder surface tension will hold parts on just fine.
 
Quote
In practice I see very few two layer smt used by hobbieists and small startups.
Most use one layer smt combined with TH parts.
Such generalisations are meaningless. Everyone's needs are different. I rarely do double-sided but wouldn't consider buying a machine that didn't support it as i don't know what future jobs may need.
 
My point is that it is trivially easy to support double-sided assembly, it's only about how the PCB supports work.

Not supporting DS is an unncesseary limitatation on a product that already has a limited market.
Quote


I do see it in high density boards having 4 or more layers and that is a different ballgame,

PCB layer count is irrelevant - I've done more double-sided assemblies on 2L than 4L, and 4L PCBs are cheap these days
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Offline ManCave

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Re: Open Placer A New Affordable PCB Assembly Machine
« Reply #58 on: March 27, 2018, 08:28:04 pm »
It also needs thermal hardening glue or your parts from the first pass could fall off during the second reflow stage.

If you are super paranoid you can always use lower temp paste for the second side. No glue required.
 

Online mikeselectricstuff

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Re: Open Placer A New Affordable PCB Assembly Machine
« Reply #59 on: March 27, 2018, 08:38:53 pm »
It also needs thermal hardening glue or your parts from the first pass could fall off during the second reflow stage.

If you are super paranoid you can always use lower temp paste for the second side. No glue required.
Glue would be easier than messing about with multiple reflow profiles and different pastes, which would be a bit of a nightmare.
Just planning the layout to put all heavy parts on one side is the easiest.
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Offline Fire Doger

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Re: Open Placer A New Affordable PCB Assembly Machine
« Reply #60 on: March 27, 2018, 09:03:23 pm »
It also needs thermal hardening glue or your parts from the first pass could fall off during the second reflow stage.

If you are super paranoid you can always use lower temp paste for the second side. No glue required.
If you own the PNP before ordering big or multilayer PCBs (which may be expensive) you can just make a dummy PCB 2L with heaviest parts, put on the components and check if the fall down. If they do change their side...

*And make a topic here with a list of the components which fell so everyone else can avoid it and contribute their own lists ;)
« Last Edit: March 27, 2018, 09:06:12 pm by Fire Doger »
 

Offline IconicPCB

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Re: Open Placer A New Affordable PCB Assembly Machine
« Reply #61 on: March 27, 2018, 09:06:27 pm »
and yes.. you do get wet when having sex
 

Offline Furkan

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Re: Open Placer A New Affordable PCB Assembly Machine
« Reply #62 on: March 27, 2018, 09:27:48 pm »
Dear Mike

OpenPlacer is an open source hardware. We had chosen the open source option to improve the current design and end up with a better device. All critics are appreciated. But we have an ongoing sale at Indiegogo and there are only 12 days left. I have to tell the current status of Openplacer. If people will spend money they need to know the limitations of the device. So, I said that

"For the moment OpenPlacer does not support double sided assembly" and then I added that

"It can be adapted in the future easily because it is very modular. Users can also design their own holders and replace the standard holder if they want."

I guess I was honest to the buyers and appreciating your critics and saying that we can implement that property in the future easily.

We are open to all critics and trying to improve our device day by day.

Regards
Furkan

 

Online rx8pilot

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Re: Open Placer A New Affordable PCB Assembly Machine
« Reply #63 on: March 28, 2018, 05:01:46 am »
To Mikes point.....

Of the last 15 or so PCBs that I have done, all but one are double sided. It's not for fun, just the only way to fit the PCB into mechanical restraints.

I have very rarely needed smd adhesive for double sided assembly. Like others have pointed out, just for the larger parts. IC's and passives never need adhesive.



Short and misplld from my mobile......

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Offline Kjelt

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Re: Open Placer A New Affordable PCB Assembly Machine
« Reply #64 on: March 28, 2018, 08:58:36 am »
To Mikes point.....

Of the last 15 or so PCBs that I have done, all but one are double sided. It's not for fun, just the only way to fit the PCB into mechanical restraints.
To my point you spent $80k on a cnc machine another $10k++ on a refurbished p&p machine, you have an $60k scope so you are far from the target audience for a cheap p&p machine as this.
People that buy these are starters , hobbieists and the like. As Furkan said if you do a bit of DIY you can easily mod the setup for two sided if really needed, or you place the few components on the backside manually, faster than setting up again the machine.
 

Online rx8pilot

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Re: Open Placer A New Affordable PCB Assembly Machine
« Reply #65 on: March 28, 2018, 09:37:47 am »
True....to some extent.

My P&P was the first 'expensive thing I purchased when I decided to go professional. I had been looking at all the available ultra low cost options from the Lite Placer, to Maddell, etc, etc...

In the end, I learned that the limitations of the ultra-cheap machines were not worth it. It was better to keep hand assembling as I already was. So I struggled along and had my eye on the Quad, but all of them were out of financial reach. The one I got was DOA from eBay for $5k and it took me a year and another $5k to make it useful. All the while I was hand assembling everything. That choice, however, got me a system that I can make a living off of now. That P&P paid to get the CNC machine and all the other pieces of gear I now have. Because my assembly system has very few limitations - I can design and assemble just about anything which allows me great freedom. My business would have suffered if I only had a very limited assembly system - I would not have grown and purchased all the fun stuff I have now.

If I was not a pro, I would never have purchased ANY of them regardless of cost. A true hobbyist does not assemble enough to mess with it. A hobbyist that sells stuff - is a professional. I only buy things that I can make money from and have nearly zero budget in my personal life for a hobby.
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Offline soubitos

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Re: Open Placer A New Affordable PCB Assembly Machine
« Reply #66 on: March 28, 2018, 10:25:40 am »
True....to some extent.

My P&P was the first 'expensive thing I purchased when I decided to go professional. I had been looking at all the available ultra low cost options from the Lite Placer, to Maddell, etc, etc...

In the end, I learned that the limitations of the ultra-cheap machines were not worth it. It was better to keep hand assembling as I already was. So I struggled along and had my eye on the Quad, but all of them were out of financial reach. The one I got was DOA from eBay for $5k and it took me a year and another $5k to make it useful. All the while I was hand assembling everything. That choice, however, got me a system that I can make a living off of now. That P&P paid to get the CNC machine and all the other pieces of gear I now have. Because my assembly system has very few limitations - I can design and assemble just about anything which allows me great freedom. My business would have suffered if I only had a very limited assembly system - I would not have grown and purchased all the fun stuff I have now.

If I was not a pro, I would never have purchased ANY of them regardless of cost. A true hobbyist does not assemble enough to mess with it. A hobbyist that sells stuff - is a professional. I only buy things that I can make money from and have nearly zero budget in my personal life for a hobby.

So, according to your mindset, you would not spend 1k for a machine that would help you do even 50% of your work better and faster NOW even while spending 5K + another 5K over a 1 year period during which you had NO PnP machine to help you out.... hmmmmm i am indeed missing something here..

Furkan, nice job, i wish i could afford it!
 

Online rx8pilot

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Re: Open Placer A New Affordable PCB Assembly Machine
« Reply #67 on: March 28, 2018, 11:35:06 am »

So, according to your mindset, you would not spend 1k for a machine that would help you do even 50% of your work better and faster NOW even while spending 5K + another 5K over a 1 year period during which you had NO PnP machine to help you out.... hmmmmm i am indeed missing something here..

It is more than $1k - it is your time. You have to learn it, learn the quirks, deal with a likely variety of problems and limitations that you did not originally know about. Then for each job you have to set it up, run a board, check it, then run a couple more and check them to make sure you did not do something silly. In the P&P world - there is always something going wrong. A fiddly feeder, a loose cable, a software glitch, a cut tape that got bumped and your diodes fell on the floor. At the end of all that - you only have a half-assembled PCB so you then have to setup your manual assembly anyway. The sole reason to have a P&P is to assemble faster and that would hardly be faster. I know this first hand because my system was initially very limited. I had to hand place a lot of parts so I did quite a few projects that were 50% P&P and 50% hand assembly. It was at least the same amount of work - only harder to predict.

The overall throughput was about the same as just doing it all by hand and not messing with the machine even after I learned how it worked. The first dozen or so setups on the P&P were 1/10 the speed of hand assembly. It took a long time just to get the P&P system to match hand assembly speed. It was not until I got all the parts in the machine, all the nozzles needed for all the parts and the ability to do panels that it really started to look good in terms of time. By the time I got to that point, I had huge amounts of time invested in the whole system and process and all of that time needed to be made up. So, now that I am running 'full speed' I am thinking about all the time I need to make up. In reality, I will never really know for sure, but I do know that a machine running 3600cph and has 100 parts loaded at a time is still hard to make up that time.

A super cheap machine most likely would have been a distraction that could never make up the time needed to justify it's direct cost and time costs. After going from zero to full system......I believe I made the right choices.
« Last Edit: March 28, 2018, 12:46:14 pm by rx8pilot »
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Offline soubitos

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Re: Open Placer A New Affordable PCB Assembly Machine
« Reply #68 on: March 28, 2018, 06:48:43 pm »
A super cheap machine most likely would have been a distraction that could never make up the time needed to justify it's direct cost and time costs. After going from zero to full system......I believe I made the right choices.

What you say may have some short of logic to it but it is like telling me, who cannot even afford a HAKKO praised by most, i shouldnt buy a soldering iron because its a waste of time etc, i should get a HAKKO anyway... this is how i understand what you say... may work for you but you cannot expect everybody else to have the money in the first place. There are more people who would benefit from the experience etc buying a cheaper machine with which they will definitely gain in productivity and earn more while saving money and making real life decisions about the machine more suitable for them...
Again, please understand what i am saying, what i get from what you did is that you spend 5k now, 5k within a year to get to the point to have a working machine and you didnt spend 1k now to get a working machine... so your productivity in 1 year remained the same... of course perhaps when you made these choices you couldnt find something really cheaper but if this PnP we are talking about here can work today as promised, you cannot keep thinking like you did when you made your original choice. I hope my english is good enough to explain all this as its not my mother tongue and i am not taken wrong....
 

Online mikeselectricstuff

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Re: Open Placer A New Affordable PCB Assembly Machine
« Reply #69 on: March 28, 2018, 07:06:28 pm »
A super cheap machine most likely would have been a distraction that could never make up the time needed to justify it's direct cost and time costs. After going from zero to full system......I believe I made the right choices.

What you say may have some short of logic to it but it is like telling me, who cannot even afford a HAKKO praised by most, i shouldnt buy a soldering iron because its a waste of time etc, i should get a HAKKO anyway...

The key thing is it is important to have the right tool for the job. 
A limited-functionality P&P machine is only the right tool for a small subset of jobs, as fiddly setup and feeder limitations mean that the process of setting up and running it takes longer than doing it manually.
Any sort of P&P makes no sense for most true hobbyists financially, though of course it can be a fun "project" and learning tool.
There is nothing like trying to get a pick/place system running if you want to learn about all the issues.
This is why I would not take any potential machine seriously if its creator doesn't have any experience of running a proper machine to do real work.


 
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Offline soubitos

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Re: Open Placer A New Affordable PCB Assembly Machine
« Reply #70 on: March 28, 2018, 07:52:30 pm »
A super cheap machine most likely would have been a distraction that could never make up the time needed to justify it's direct cost and time costs. After going from zero to full system......I believe I made the right choices.

What you say may have some short of logic to it but it is like telling me, who cannot even afford a HAKKO praised by most, i shouldnt buy a soldering iron because its a waste of time etc, i should get a HAKKO anyway...

The key thing is it is important to have the right tool for the job. 
A limited-functionality P&P machine is only the right tool for a small subset of jobs, as fiddly setup and feeder limitations mean that the process of setting up and running it takes longer than doing it manually.
Any sort of P&P makes no sense for most true hobbyists financially, though of course it can be a fun "project" and learning tool.
There is nothing like trying to get a pick/place system running if you want to learn about all the issues.
This is why I would not take any potential machine seriously if its creator doesn't have any experience of running a proper machine to do real work.

All i am saying is, i'd get ANY PnP machine i could easily afford before spending 10x and wait one whole year without a pnp at all... same as a soldering iron... or any tool... if i need a soldering iron but cannot afford a top notch brand name but need to get a job done, i'd get a decent cheap one to keep me going and help me make more money to buy the "good" one...
 

Offline Smallsmt

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Re: Open Placer A New Affordable PCB Assembly Machine
« Reply #71 on: March 28, 2018, 08:07:43 pm »
Here, good ideas are being discussed as long until the idea got broken.
The idea of building a cheap machine for hobby purposes is great.
The price is also no problem.
That this system cannot be perfect is logical!
But think how many people have built or bought useless 3d printers for several hudred dollars but good machines starting above 3000usd.
This is a machine for hobby!.
Professional equipment costs money and also takes time for commissioning.
This machine is certainly a good start to learn automatic SMD assembly works.
 
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Offline blueskull

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Re: Open Placer A New Affordable PCB Assembly Machine
« Reply #72 on: March 28, 2018, 08:17:10 pm »
I don't think a cheap and simple machine is essentially a bad thing. I mean I have a fully assembled, made in USA CNC machine bought for $2500. You can imagine how much corners have to be cut to fit that price and still get it fully assembled in USA with all USA made mechanical parts.

Still, it works, and it does exactly what I need -- machining plastic, wood and aluminum with a pathetic 1/8" bit at a slower feed rate and layer thickness. I know in advance exactly what it can and can't do, and I made the decision.

I know I would never be able to machine steel or titanium at any meaningful speed and I know the work space is basically not useful for any large enclosures.

But I only need it to machine jigs and rigs for my proto boards and small front panels as well as single sided PCBs, and for those purpose, it does well.
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Offline jmelson

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Re: Open Placer A New Affordable PCB Assembly Machine
« Reply #73 on: March 29, 2018, 02:50:26 am »
It also needs thermal hardening glue or your parts from the first pass could fall off during the second reflow stage.

If you can tolerate two passes through the reflow oven, there's no need for glue.  I do almost all my boards with parts on both sides.  I have one that has a big regulator chip (5-lead TO-220) on the back, and have never had one fall off!  I've done hundreds of boards with big Oxi-cap (Niobium Oxide, similar to tantalum caps) on the back, never had a problem with them.

The glue is used in cases where the back of the board is printed and placed, then the front of the board is printed and placed, and then ONE reflow pass is done.

Jon
 

Offline Fire Doger

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Re: Open Placer A New Affordable PCB Assembly Machine
« Reply #74 on: March 29, 2018, 03:09:17 am »
Comparing soldering iron with PnP is wrong.
The only thing that matters is to get the boards done. Without soldering iron you can't, without PnP you can.
Does PnP worth buying to assemble boards? ONLY If it is more efficient than your hands. Efficient includes personal time, problems, broken components, etc...

If you need a PnP to increase production you don't touch cheap (yet). It just doesn't worth even the 1k, by keeping it you need 1k less to buy a proper one.

A manual PnP with with x-y stepper controlled from a joystick with velocity and a simple pickup nozzle has better value for money. You get great stability on hand and with a usb microscope near nozzle its a killer for small productions and it may cost less than 100$ with Ebay parts without fancy machined component holders...


« Last Edit: March 29, 2018, 03:20:30 am by Fire Doger »
 
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Online rx8pilot

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Re: Open Placer A New Affordable PCB Assembly Machine
« Reply #75 on: March 29, 2018, 03:27:10 am »
Pick and place is not a machine - it is a process. It is a process that is intended to automate a manual process that can be done by a person. The only reason to have it is to save time.

The only reason to have it is to save time.
The only reason to have it is to save time.
The only reason to have it is to save time.

The decision is not like a soldering iron, oscilloscope or CNC machine. For 15 years, I used a Weller WES51 soldering iron which is entry level and limited performance. Still, it was vastly better than using a match to solder wires and components. A cheap CNC machine, with all of its limitations, is vastly better than a chisel or Dremel tool. An entry-level oscilloscope is vastly better than just guessing what signals are in a wire.

The point is that those processes cannot be done at all without a minimum tool present designed for the job. In PCB assembly - you can do it by hand with very basic tools. You can speed up the process considerably with cheap additions like a stereo microscope, vacuum pen, parts trays, etc. You can speed it up further with organization and process planning. The next jump is to add a pick and place machine which, on the surface seems like it would amplify you speed dramatically. The problem is that the process is complicated and fiddly - it takes it's own time to accomplish. In general, it takes a lot of time to setup and verify. If you skimp on this process to save time - you will end up with wrong values and backward diodes that have to be re-worked by hand. Every minute that you spend goofing off with the P&P system is a minute that you could have been manually placing boards.

In my world, even with experience, it can take 4-5 hours to get a PCB setup and ready to roll. It may take 30min per PCB to hand assemble them with an hour to set up. So, in 5 hours I could hand assemble 8 PCB's or I could setup the machine and have 1 PCB. If I only needed 4 PCBs the P&P is CONSUMING time, not saving it. The time starts coming back after making 10-12 PCB's for most of what I do. If you have a slow machine with other limitations that only allow half your PCB to be assembled - you may never save any time at all. There are, the human factors that can be helpful. It is tedious work making 10 PCB's where the machine will offload the tedium.

A person is a pick and place machine, if you are going to buy a mechanized version just make sure it is actually better than you are.

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Offline IconicPCB

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Re: Open Placer A New Affordable PCB Assembly Machine
« Reply #76 on: March 29, 2018, 07:41:50 am »
Can a human pick and place for four hours straight?

Adhesive is a MUST  in wave soldering of SMD assembly.

Wave soldering is an order of magnitude faster than reflow process.
 

Offline girts

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Re: Open Placer A New Affordable PCB Assembly Machine
« Reply #77 on: March 29, 2018, 08:24:23 am »
The only reason to have it is to save time.
The only reason to have it is to save time.
The only reason to have it is to save time.
Time is money, money is the only reason why to go to job, no reason to waste time if nobody pays for it, only reason why we are making electronic stuff is money...

Definitely not right! (may be except United States). May be... some of us are doing all this just for fun?

Difference between child and adult is only one - cost of toys.
About OP promoted in 1st post - it's a toy. Like railway models, RC drones etc.
For educational purpose, to understand how steppers and machine vision works, what is SMT, how PCB's are assembled etc.
Nothing more.

Can a human pick and place for four hours straight?
Really no problems. With average speed of 500cph using manual placers mentioned some posts before.
Automatic PnP machine always has some limitations, manual PnP is much more flexible and covers all remaining components and demands. It is much better for prototypes or small batches.

Anyway, if somebody is going to load strip feeders into "automatic" PnP machine, reason is very questionable. Because it is much faster to place these components directly on PCB using manual placer.


 

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Re: Open Placer A New Affordable PCB Assembly Machine
« Reply #78 on: March 29, 2018, 08:58:04 am »
Can a human pick and place for four hours straight?
Yes, but they probably wouldn't want to
 
Quote
Adhesive is a MUST  in wave soldering of SMD assembly.
Quote
Yes, but who does that apart from consumer stuff with lots of through-hole ?
Can you wave solder BGAs, or DFNs, or even 0.5mm QFPs ?
Wave soldering is an order of magnitude faster than reflow process.
Soldering speed is rarely important as production rate is usually limited by pick & place.
 And reflow ovens are pipelined.
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Offline Koen

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Re: Open Placer A New Affordable PCB Assembly Machine
« Reply #79 on: March 29, 2018, 09:01:30 am »
I feel sorry for the bad reception this is receiving. It's nice, it's cheap, it's convenient and it's a solution to some. At the very least, it would be a great starting point for the OpenPNP beginners.

Double-sided would be easily solved by replacing the flat tray on which the PCBs currently sit by two rails.

Hang in there Furkan, it's nice and it has a market. A few clients sharing their experience with it would probably help most.
 

Online rx8pilot

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Re: Open Placer A New Affordable PCB Assembly Machine
« Reply #80 on: March 29, 2018, 09:46:30 am »
Time is money, money is the only reason why to go to job, no reason to waste time if nobody pays for it, only reason why we are making electronic stuff is money...

Definitely not right! (may be except United States). May be... some of us are doing all this just for fun?

I think you are missing the point. If you pretend that you have an ideal pick and place system you will quickly learn that to save time, you have to make a lot of boards. If your machine is slow or unpredictable - you have to make a ton of boards to get your time back (if ever). If you are hoping for a fun project just to see if you can sort out a P&P system - great, this is perhaps a good option. I am not being difficult I am being realistic based on actual experience building a small business out of thin air and no money. I have been down this road with the blood, sweat, and tears to prove it. If I did it all over again and did not have the rare opportunity to get a commercial system - I would be looking at the manual assist systems or building my own manual assist system. That way I could earn enough money to buy a more or less professional system and then still have a nice manual setup as well.

How many hobbyists out there build so many PCB's that they would justify the complexity of introducing automation? It really has to be a LOT of PCB's before it makes sense from a time perspective (which is the only thing a P&P system does - it buys time). The only people I have met that can justify the time and money needed are the ones that have turned their hobby into a business. Even a small business like mine can justify it, but once you are in business - your perspective changes rapidly. Time becomes money.

All this is to say, that the market is tiny overall in my opinion. If I wound the clock back, I would probably buy something like this just for the challenge. I like messing with automation ideas for fun without regard for practicality. Not sure there are a lot of folks that have automation hobbies though, lol.

I feel sorry for the bad reception this is receiving. It's nice, it's cheap, it's convenient and it's a solution to some. At the very least, it would be a great starting point for the OpenPNP beginners.

Double-sided would be easily solved by replacing the flat tray on which the PCBs currently sit by two rails.

Hang in there Furkan, it's nice and it has a market. A few clients sharing their experience with it would probably help most.

I don't feel sorry for anyone.....the OP is getting a TON of feedback for free. That is hugely valuable.
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Online mikeselectricstuff

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Re: Open Placer A New Affordable PCB Assembly Machine
« Reply #81 on: March 29, 2018, 10:07:05 am »
I feel sorry for the bad reception this is receiving. It's nice, it's cheap, it's convenient and it's a solution to some. At the very least, it would be a great starting point for the OpenPNP beginners.

Double-sided would be easily solved by replacing the flat tray on which the PCBs currently sit by two rails.

Hang in there Furkan, it's nice and it has a market. A few clients sharing their experience with it would probably help most.
It's called constructive criticism. I at least am just contributing comments based on my experience of running a low-volume pick & place setup for several years.

IME most people who have not used a P&P system have unrealistic expectations of how useful it will be in practice, and little understanding of what factors make it more or less useful.

For the record I'd love to see a viable system with low entry cost and good software ( in particular that streamlines the setup process) ,  realistic specs ( i.e. forget 0201s) that can be upgraded as required to be more capable  (proper feeders, decent assembly area size), and not a dead-end that only serves a small sector of a small niche market.





 
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Offline ar__systems

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Re: Open Placer A New Affordable PCB Assembly Machine
« Reply #82 on: March 29, 2018, 10:08:53 am »
Quote
Really no problems. With average speed of 500cph using manual placers mentioned some posts before.
It depends. If I have to place 100 boards, 10 parts per board, and BOM of 5 lines, sure. I'll do that manually in a couple of hours.
If I have to place 5 boards, 200 parts per board, and BOM of 50 lines, of which 40 are 0603 - no thanks. I'll load up an SMT, even if it take more time place. At least I'll know that every resistors is there it was supposed to be.
 

Offline blueskull

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Re: Open Placer A New Affordable PCB Assembly Machine
« Reply #83 on: March 29, 2018, 10:18:26 am »
If I have to place 5 boards, 200 parts per board, and BOM of 50 lines, of which 40 are 0603 - no thanks. I'll load up an SMT, even if it take more time place. At least I'll know that every resistors is there it was supposed to be.

Exactly. I can't reiterate how many times I swear when I have to hand place something like this board full of SOD882, 0402 and a few damn bloody SOT883 and a boat load of 0.5mm QFN/DFN, totally ~45 lines:



I've made 2 revisions of this board, each time 2 copies, and every time I PnP this, I want to kill the fwit who designed this board, which happens to be myself.

PS. Bonus point if you can find the obscenity.
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Offline Koen

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Re: Open Placer A New Affordable PCB Assembly Machine
« Reply #84 on: March 29, 2018, 10:27:48 am »
I don't feel sorry for anyone.....
Ho how fast people change. People feeling sorry for you is the only reason you won an extra scope. Think about it.

It's called constructive criticism.
No it isn't. You two are simple on repeat about how it doesn't suit *your* needs and might as well be considered useless to everyone.
 

Online rx8pilot

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Re: Open Placer A New Affordable PCB Assembly Machine
« Reply #85 on: March 29, 2018, 10:59:54 am »
I don't feel sorry for anyone.....
Ho how fast people change. People feeling sorry for you is the only reason you won an extra scope. Think about it.

I feel sorry for people that are faced with an unfortunate problem. The OP is getting real feedback from at least two people that have gone down this path. That is a very fortunate place to be.
On the scope contest, I was faced with an unfortunate problem and many people, including Keysight clearly had some sympathy. I have been extremely grateful ever since. I have not changed at all, but rather used the result of that sympathy to rapidly grow my business.
The OP has the option to listen to a couple of real-world professionals to adjust their approach or not.

It's called constructive criticism.
No it isn't. You two are simple on repeat about how it doesn't suit *your* needs and might as well be considered useless to everyone.

Yes, it is. Neither Mike nor myself are saying this is useless for everyone, just pointing out some critical points that can be used to analyze the market size and reception. To get this feedback is hugely beneficial to someone creating a new product. If the OP thinks that the market is bigger than reality - this is the time to learn about that. If the OP is unrealistic about capability, now is the time to discover that. The more criticism the better. If the OP cannot process constructive criticism, they are not cut out to bring a new system to the market.

Lots of companies pay a lot of money to get market research.
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Offline girts

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Re: Open Placer A New Affordable PCB Assembly Machine
« Reply #86 on: March 29, 2018, 01:21:01 pm »

Yes, it is. Neither Mike nor myself are saying this is useless for everyone, just pointing out some critical points that can be used to analyze the market size and reception. To get this feedback is hugely beneficial to someone creating a new product. If the OP thinks that the market is bigger than reality - this is the time to learn about that. If the OP is unrealistic about capability, now is the time to discover that. The more criticism the better. If the OP cannot process constructive criticism, they are not cut out to bring a new system to the market.

Lots of companies pay a lot of money to get market research.
Discussion is a little "out of bounds", not only OP related.
OP is most likely a  good starting point for a little money. Just to understand what's really necessary in somebody's garage. Because main problem in this market is that most of things isn't possible to see and test in real life before they are already purchased and arrived. Of course, lot of them are useless ...
BTW - don't know any person who started his way with Lecroy 50GHz scope.
 

Offline girts

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Re: Open Placer A New Affordable PCB Assembly Machine
« Reply #87 on: March 29, 2018, 01:47:03 pm »
It depends. If I have to place 100 boards, 10 parts per board, and BOM of 5 lines, sure. I'll do that manually in a couple of hours.
to set up 5 feeders and load BOM for 10 components takes 1/2 a hour with some coffee breaks. To place 1000 components with PnP machine takes another 1/2 of hour.

If I have to place 5 boards, 200 parts per board, and BOM of 50 lines, of which 40 are 0603 - no thanks. I'll load up an SMT, even if it take more time place. At least I'll know that every resistors is there it was supposed to be.
Same 1000 components, but must set up 50 feeders, most of them for 5 unique parts which are not in reels but strips instead... Ohh.. I would prefer manual placement instead. Or combined, because most likely design consists of a lot of 0.1uF capacitors and some basic resistors already loaded into PnP.  Of course, if there are only 5 boards necessary, not more in far or near future.
And... most likely this design is not for single PnP, you will need a line of 2 except if you already have TWS with more than hundred reels loaded (but missing tray exchanger and conveyor..).
 |O
What if you place wrong reel into feeder? 50 feeders, very simple to make mistake.
0603 is not a problem for manual PnP with camera. Smaller ones are.
 

Offline ar__systems

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Re: Open Placer A New Affordable PCB Assembly Machine
« Reply #88 on: March 29, 2018, 05:58:30 pm »
What if you place wrong reel into feeder? 50 feeders, very simple to make mistake.

You need to realize that "load into the feeder" step is common for both manual and machine assembly. Yes it is an easy mistake to make, so knowing that you devise a procedure following which you will reduce the risk of having an uncorrected error to a minimum.
« Last Edit: March 29, 2018, 06:06:33 pm by ar__systems »
 

Offline ar__systems

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Re: Open Placer A New Affordable PCB Assembly Machine
« Reply #89 on: March 29, 2018, 06:10:50 pm »
to set up 5 feeders and load BOM for 10 components takes 1/2 a hour with some coffee breaks. To place 1000 components with PnP machine takes another 1/2 of hour.

That's not the point. I never said I'd prefer manual over machine for that kind of job. I just said it is relatively easy to do manually, reliably.
 

Offline ar__systems

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Re: Open Placer A New Affordable PCB Assembly Machine
« Reply #90 on: March 29, 2018, 06:21:48 pm »
As far as OP goes, one can live without an SMT for a long time. Or forever. Unlike a scope, which you can't live without. For small boards it is easy to make hand assembled prototype, and for any volume it is easier to outsource it. So yeah, SMT equipment falls into toy/luxury category.

It is also need to be understood that you need more equipment to run any kind of mass production: you need a printer, you need an oven, and you need an exhaust ventilation for the oven. You also need space.
 

Offline Kjelt

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Re: Open Placer A New Affordable PCB Assembly Machine
« Reply #91 on: March 29, 2018, 07:04:43 pm »
grow my business.
The OP has the option to listen to a couple of real-world professionals to adjust their approach or not

Quote
that can be used to analyze the market size and reception. To get this feedback is hugely beneficial to someone creating a new product


No doubt you mean well but you are unable to see the market for this thing because all arguments are made of starting a business, pro machine this, that, stop it already. You clearly suffer from Tunnel vision.

What about grandpa radio amateur from the 60s/70s that loves to start with smt but his hands shake too much to be able to place a 0603 ?

What about the sw dev that likes to play with openpnp but the machines were too darn expensive?

How about the hobbieist that loves to play with toys but $4k or more is not fun anymore he will get arguments with his spouse but $1k would be okish?

You can burn down 60% of all the stuff on this forum with those arguments incl. all Daves products.
Probably we can even criticize your products or are they perfect? If yes then you made them  too expensive.
Let him try to make his market share , this thing has some major selling points like OpenPNP support and unbeatable price. How many millions of times have people asking the Neoden fab to do this? Not going to happen from them, do you burn them to the ground? You should with their cripple sw that is not even protected from using wrong fw for different machines.
 
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Online mikeselectricstuff

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Re: Open Placer A New Affordable PCB Assembly Machine
« Reply #92 on: March 29, 2018, 08:10:56 pm »
It depends. If I have to place 100 boards, 10 parts per board, and BOM of 5 lines, sure. I'll do that manually in a couple of hours.
to set up 5 feeders and load BOM for 10 components takes 1/2 a hour with some coffee breaks. To place 1000 components with PnP machine takes another 1/2 of hour.
This is why a good workflow is important. On my machine, to set up a job with 5 BOM lines would take maybe 10 mins at most, including loading feeders. Parts that are already loaded in feeders take near-zero time.

My PCB and P&P libraries are co-ordinated in terms of component rotation relative to the taping, so that for parts I've ever used before, I don't even need to check orientation as I know it's right. I also include "fid" components in the PCB design, so these get auto-imported. The only job setup is to tell the machine where the PCB is on the placement area. I can't emphasise enough how important this is.
Another extremely useful thing I've found is to use a handheld gamepad for machine control while setting up, so you can keep your eyes 100% on what you are doing.

The placement time doesn't really matter, within reason, as long as the machine can be left to get on with it with minimal fiddling, as you can be getting on with other things. This is why it is important that the machine can deal sensibly with feeder errors by carrying on with as much as it can before stopping to get the user to fix everything in one go.
It does need to be fast enough that a larger job doesn't take all day. I'd say something like 500cph would be an absolute  minimum sensible rate.
 
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Online mikeselectricstuff

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Re: Open Placer A New Affordable PCB Assembly Machine
« Reply #93 on: March 29, 2018, 08:18:43 pm »
What about grandpa radio amateur from the 60s/70s that loves to start with smt but his hands shake too much to be able to place a 0603 ?
He would probably have at least as many issues setting up a P&P, peeling cover tapes without parts going everywhere etc.
An auto P&P is definitely the wrong solution to this particular problem

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Offline soubitos

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Re: Open Placer A New Affordable PCB Assembly Machine
« Reply #94 on: March 29, 2018, 11:02:38 pm »
Say my modules picked up in sales and i needed not much, 100pcs a month..
If i go pcba their cost would be in the range of 1-2$ ea easy..
I am now hand assembling them right?
So, if a 1k machine could take over not all but resistors and capacitors only it would break even in a year or less no matter what... a 1k pnp handling part of the job the most intensive and repetitive part, releasing me to do other things and so on... now thing about having to assemble 10 different designs each month, 100pcs each... it could make a huge difference without breaking the bank at all.. it could pay itself in less than a year.. i call this a good investment... especially since, while it pays itself i can potentially make more money cover more orders, faster and so on... this means i get closer to having more orders, more workload for a pnp machine i can now get another similar or if it all goes so well, i can invest on a more expensive and more capable model having a first hand experience of the cheaper basic one...
If the machine/tool can pay for itself over a relatively short period, its a non-brainer when the only other alternative would be an investment 10x as much or outsourcing the job altogether loosing money in the process and demanding more capital etc...
 

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Re: Open Placer A New Affordable PCB Assembly Machine
« Reply #95 on: March 29, 2018, 11:24:33 pm »
Say my modules picked up in sales and i needed not much, 100pcs a month..
If i go pcba their cost would be in the range of 1-2$ ea easy..
That would seem a bargain compared your time to do it in-house.
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Offline soubitos

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Re: Open Placer A New Affordable PCB Assembly Machine
« Reply #96 on: March 30, 2018, 12:04:05 am »
Say my modules picked up in sales and i needed not much, 100pcs a month..
If i go pcba their cost would be in the range of 1-2$ ea easy..
That would seem a bargain compared your time to do it in-house.
It is a fair price i recon BUT.. what i'd spend to have 300pcs assembled would pay of my own cheap pnp, i dont think one would buy a 10k machine or more to make 300pcs a year but 1k machine to help you do it? easy choice for me
 

Offline sokoloff

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Re: Open Placer A New Affordable PCB Assembly Machine
« Reply #97 on: March 30, 2018, 12:10:05 am »
It depends. If I have to place 100 boards, 10 parts per board, and BOM of 5 lines, sure. I'll do that manually in a couple of hours.
to set up 5 feeders and load BOM for 10 components takes 1/2 a hour with some coffee breaks. To place 1000 components with PnP machine takes another 1/2 of hour.
To place 100 boards in 30 minutes, you need to have a board cycle time of 18 seconds. That's aggressive without automated feeding. (Presumably anyone considering the subject PnP isn't looking to add a new placer to their existing auto-fed line...)

Even a panelized board that's 10-up, you still need to be removing the completed and placing a new stenciled board even 3 minutes.
 

Offline TassiloH

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Re: Open Placer A New Affordable PCB Assembly Machine
« Reply #98 on: March 30, 2018, 12:20:45 am »
I have been reading a lot about the possible or impossible time savings of a PnP machine for prototyping etc. For my niche, the hardware of the Openplacer would probably be just perfect, I am just not sure if the existing or future software capabilities would do the job:

I am doing a very small amount of boards, mostly one or two identical at a time, but various types. So far I haven't out-sourced production, because the involved preparation and communication time seems longer than doing hand placing. A conventional PnP machine would have to be huge and costly to save me any time, because all the various boards together have hundreds of different passives alone, and I guess if I'd have to load feeders differently for every board run that would take more time than hand placing and be just a waste of time and money.
What I would really like is a machine plus sofware which starts placing, tells me "I need five 12k1 resistors, and next I need the 27k", I take the cut tape, slide it into a holder (and peel the cover off), tell the machine which holder compartment, and the machine aligns to the cut tape position by vision and places the components, while I fish the next displayed value out of storage.
Some common components could remain in a holder (like common decoupling caps).
That would speed things up considerably (taking components out of storage and placing would happen in parallel; I wouldn't have to look for the proper pads to place things to, which gets VERY annoying over time).
I don't care about placing odd-shaped or tall components automatically, the few tall inductors, capacitors etc. I could place by hand just fine. Precision requirements wouldn't be high (mostly 0805, but some flat pack and QFN chips with 0.5mm pin pitch, but I could even place them manually).

So for me the hardware of the OpenPlacer (epspecially with the slide-in cut-tape holders and vision) would probably do fine, but I don't know if on the software side it will ever allow such an "interactive" mode - and without that there is no time (or comfort) to gain for my niche because of the many different components.
 

Offline ar__systems

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Re: Open Placer A New Affordable PCB Assembly Machine
« Reply #99 on: March 30, 2018, 12:43:21 am »
So, if a 1k machine could take over not all but resistors and capacitors only it would break even in a year or less no matter what... a 1k pnp handling part of the job the most intensive and repetitive part, releasing me to do other things and so on... now thing about having to assemble 10 different designs each month, 100pcs each... it could make a huge difference without breaking the bank at all.. it could pay itself in less than a year.. i call this a good investment... especially since, while it pays itself i can potentially make more money cover more orders, faster and so on... this means i get closer to having more orders, more workload for a pnp machine i can now get another similar or if it all goes so well, i can invest on a more expensive and more capable model having a first hand experience of the cheaper basic one...
If the machine/tool can pay for itself over a relatively short period, its a non-brainer when the only other alternative would be an investment 10x as much or outsourcing the job altogether loosing money in the process and demanding more capital etc...

No 1K machine will get make you better off making 100 boards/month, not in any meaningful way. Maybe if you have a free labour to babysit the machine, you can decide you are better off compared to outsourced PCBA.

I would order 1000 boards assembled in China, and sell them over a year. I've been doing so for years.
« Last Edit: March 30, 2018, 12:49:52 am by ar__systems »
 

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Re: Open Placer A New Affordable PCB Assembly Machine
« Reply #100 on: March 30, 2018, 01:05:41 am »
I have been reading a lot about the possible or impossible time savings of a PnP machine for prototyping etc. For my niche, the hardware of the Openplacer would probably be just perfect, I am just not sure if the existing or future software capabilities would do the job:

I am doing a very small amount of boards, mostly one or two identical at a time, but various types. So far I haven't out-sourced production, because the involved preparation and communication time seems longer than doing hand placing. A conventional PnP machine would have to be huge and costly to save me any time, because all the various boards together have hundreds of different passives alone, and I guess if I'd have to load feeders differently for every board run that would take more time than hand placing and be just a waste of time and money.
What I would really like is a machine plus sofware which starts placing, tells me "I need five 12k1 resistors, and next I need the 27k", I take the cut tape, slide it into a holder (and peel the cover off), tell the machine which holder compartment, and the machine aligns to the cut tape position by vision and places the components, while I fish the next displayed value out of storage.
Some common components could remain in a holder (like common decoupling caps).
That would speed things up considerably (taking components out of storage and placing would happen in parallel; I wouldn't have to look for the proper pads to place things to, which gets VERY annoying over time).

I think picking loose parts from a tray using vision is entirely doable at minimal cost - cameras are cheap. Tatmay be a good solution to the fiddliness of dealing with short bits of tape
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Re: Open Placer A New Affordable PCB Assembly Machine
« Reply #101 on: March 30, 2018, 01:18:08 am »
No 1K machine will get make you better off making 100 boards/month, not in any meaningful way. Maybe if you have a free labour to babysit the machine, you can decide you are better off compared to outsourced PCBA.
Depending on the definition of "boards" and "better off" I'd disagree.
A low-end machine would certainly be useful to enough people for it to be a viable product ( especially if it's open Source and the manufacturer isn't looking to make money on the software), and I hope OpenPlacer goes some way to proving this.

 $1K is a sensible starting price, and maybe scope to reduce this once market demand is established, but trying to start out too low is a fatal mistake.
People who could really use a machine won't really care if it's $700 or $1000. If they don't they probably don't need it.
 
However it is a lost opportunity if it's a dead-end with no path for users that want to upgrade ( at purchase or afterwards) to be viable for larger requirements.
This is primarily about design, not production cost for teh entry level. e.g. decent placement area, ability to trade placement area for strip/tray feeders, PCB holding for double-sided and allowing large boards in multiple passes, multiple heads/cameras, loose part picking, and of course support for reel feeders.

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Offline TassiloH

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Re: Open Placer A New Affordable PCB Assembly Machine
« Reply #102 on: March 30, 2018, 01:31:18 am »
I think picking loose parts from a tray using vision is entirely doable at minimal cost - cameras are cheap. Tatmay be a good solution to the fiddliness of dealing with short bits of tape

True. But it would also require a machine with a 180 degree turning station (if I put resistors on the table for picking with tweezers, invariably 60% of them land upside down  |O). So I could live without picking loose 0805s.
 

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Re: Open Placer A New Affordable PCB Assembly Machine
« Reply #103 on: March 30, 2018, 02:52:08 am »
I think picking loose parts from a tray using vision is entirely doable at minimal cost - cameras are cheap. Tatmay be a good solution to the fiddliness of dealing with short bits of tape

True. But it would also require a machine with a 180 degree turning station (if I put resistors on the table for picking with tweezers, invariably 60% of them land upside down  |O). So I could live without picking loose 0805s.
Easy - Vibrator motor on tray.
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Offline alexanderbrevig

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Re: Open Placer A New Affordable PCB Assembly Machine
« Reply #104 on: March 30, 2018, 03:36:10 am »
Replying because I find the product interesting and this is the best way I've found to keep up do date on a thread.

Nice work!

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Offline Nauris

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Re: Open Placer A New Affordable PCB Assembly Machine
« Reply #106 on: March 30, 2018, 05:55:37 am »
You also need space.
Exactly! If you look in Ebay there are so many nice machines Assembleon, Juki, Siemens or whatever for just 10-20k dollars but holy shit they are BIG and HEAVY! It would be so nice to buy one but living in a single room apartment they for sure aint't going to fit thru the door or in the elevator! You have to have some workshop space or garage at least and then that needs some real money.

So something smaller especially if it is free of malfunctioning proprietary software attracts some interest.
 

Offline iwbnwif

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Re: Open Placer A New Affordable PCB Assembly Machine
« Reply #107 on: March 30, 2018, 07:00:32 am »
I really like this machine.

It would be nice to have a manual mode where I can control the head with a joystick or similar, but I guess that is something to build into openpnp.

There is a lot of negativity surrounding Indiegogo which puts me off somewhat though :(.
 

Offline khs

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Re: Open Placer A New Affordable PCB Assembly Machine
« Reply #108 on: March 30, 2018, 07:17:38 am »
Today I've made some prototypes. Three boards, two double sided and one single sided.

Over all 172 parts took 171 minutes. So one part takes about one minute including solder paste, some mounting work and and some manual placed parts.

If my calculation is not wrong, preparing one side to mount takes about 20 minutes - if there is no need to mount new/other parts. But there are 50 feeders, so most of the parts are mounted.

In this case the pnp was running about 18 min, so there is about 6 s / part including board handling. (My pnp runs at half speed only).

Solder paste takes about 12 min, so I need about 2.5 min per side.

So with my simple software/pnp I can be faster than manual placing if there are more than 20 parts on one side.

But even if I'm slower than placing by hand: For me it makes more fun to see the machine working rather than placing every tiny piece by hand and taking care about part  position and orientation.

So using a pnp it's not only time saving, it's energy saving too.



You also need space.
Exactly! If you look in Ebay there are so many nice machines Assembleon, Juki, Siemens or whatever for just 10-20k dollars but holy shit they are BIG and HEAVY!
This is true: Moving 600 Kg one stair down was a challenge. :phew:
 
 

Online rx8pilot

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Re: Open Placer A New Affordable PCB Assembly Machine
« Reply #109 on: March 30, 2018, 09:29:08 am »
So using a pnp it's not only time saving, it's energy saving too.

This is an important point for sure.....I certainly was nearing burnout by making too many boards. There were a number of days that I placed parts for 10+ hours which is soul crushing.

You also need space.
Exactly! If you look in Ebay there are so many nice machines Assembleon, Juki, Siemens or whatever for just 10-20k dollars but holy shit they are BIG and HEAVY! It would be so nice to buy one but living in a single room apartment they for sure aint't going to fit thru the door or in the elevator! You have to have some workshop space or garage at least and then that needs some real money.

This is very true and very much a limitation beyond just the purchase price of a used commercial machine. I had to rent a trailer and pallet jack as well as bring in friends to help with my old/heavy/huge machine. The size and weight of the Quad machine is partly to thank for it's ability move fast and place 01005's, uBGA's, etc - but it has been a major pain.

I think picking loose parts from a tray using vision is entirely doable at minimal cost - cameras are cheap. Tatmay be a good solution to the fiddliness of dealing with short bits of tape

If this became a reality for low-cost machines - it would change the landscape entirely. Cameras and vision software are not exotic at all - seems like it would dramatically lower the cost by eliminating expensive feeders and dramatically lower the setup time by just dumping parts into little trays. It can also overcome some geometry errors in the mechanical system - further lowering the cost.

Cut tapes and mechanical advancing feeders are a pain.

It is a fair price i recon BUT.. what i'd spend to have 300pcs assembled would pay of my own cheap pnp, i dont think one would buy a 10k machine or more to make 300pcs a year but 1k machine to help you do it? easy choice for me

The price of the machine is only a small part of the price of the solution. Your time is - by far - the largest cost.

No doubt you mean well but you are unable to see the market for this thing because all arguments are made of starting a business, pro machine this, that, stop it already. You clearly suffer from Tunnel vision.

I never said there was no market. The posts I made simply voiced my opinion about how a small business like mine would view a machine like this. If the designer is thinking every small business is going to jump on this, it is good for them to know how potential customers view the concept. There are people that can make use of this for a variety of reasons. My belief is that it is a small market - but then again this is not my project or business, simply an opinion.

I have a habit of looking at the time spent trying to work with low-end tools. In some cases it is totally worth it. I got a cheap wire cutting machine from China. Compared to the $8k pro machines it sucks, but it was only $1k and it does most of my wire cutting 'good enough' it is a success story for low cost. I have a dozen other stories about low-cost stuff that simply obliterated my time trying to get it to work. Sometimes my cheap tools are good enough and sometimes they drive me nuts.

I would love to see a small machine pull enough productivity to be justifiable. The definition of 'productivity' is obviously going to be different for everyone. For me, I don't care much about placement speed. I care about ease of setup, number of unique parts, placement reliability, and the ability to do 0402 passives. The first 3 of those are directly related to the time I am hoping to save by setup up a P&P system. In terms of process reliability, I may be better off with 4 independent machines that each hold 20 parts - similar to how a large assembly house is setup. If one machine is having problems - I still have 75% capacity left over. If I have any problem with my single machine, I am immediately at 0% capacity. If there was a small machine that that worked well - I would consider buying 4 of them.

My best guess is that the Quad does not have lots of time left. Parts are becoming harder to find.







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Online mikeselectricstuff

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Re: Open Placer A New Affordable PCB Assembly Machine
« Reply #110 on: March 30, 2018, 10:11:00 am »

I think picking loose parts from a tray using vision is entirely doable at minimal cost - cameras are cheap. Tatmay be a good solution to the fiddliness of dealing with short bits of tape

If this became a reality for low-cost machines - it would change the landscape entirely. Cameras and vision software are not exotic at all - seems like it would dramatically lower the cost by eliminating expensive feeders and dramatically lower the setup time by just dumping parts into little trays. It can also overcome some geometry errors in the mechanical system - further lowering the cost.

I don't think it's a fundamentally hard problem, but it does require tight integration with the P&P system. I vaguely recall Jason (OpenPNP) may have done some experiments with it.
There will be some work in figuring out what materials to use for the trays, and the best way to "tap" it to flip parts over, but the vision is simply finding rectangles- how hard can it be..?
The nice thing is that when it's figured out it is inherently very cheap, and the number of "feeders" is only limited by how much space you have for tray compartments.
You could easily extend the concept to a lot of IC packages - even if you had to lay them out with the right approximate  orientation ( as automatically finding pin 1 would be hard) , the machine should be able to find them easily.
 
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Offline KE5FX

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Re: Open Placer A New Affordable PCB Assembly Machine
« Reply #111 on: March 30, 2018, 10:57:39 am »
There will be some work in figuring out what materials to use for the trays, and the best way to "tap" it to flip parts over, but the vision is simply finding rectangles- how hard can it be..?ne should be able to find them easily.

1. Pick the part up from the tray
2. Move arm to well-lit area where it can safely...
3. ...drop the part.
4. Examine dropped part with camera
5. Part oriented correctly?
6. If not, pick it back up, go to step 3 and ...
7. Else pick part back up, remembering its rotation so you can...
8. ... place it correctly.

There, I saved you guys all that R&D time.  8)  You're welcome. 

Now for the love of God will somebody please stop talking and do this?
 

Online rx8pilot

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Re: Open Placer A New Affordable PCB Assembly Machine
« Reply #112 on: March 30, 2018, 11:14:30 am »
There will be some work in figuring out what materials to use for the trays, and the best way to "tap" it to flip parts over, but the vision is simply finding rectangles- how hard can it be..?ne should be able to find them easily.

1. Pick the part up from the tray
2. Move arm to well-lit area where it can safely...
3. ...drop the part.
4. Examine dropped part with camera
5. Part oriented correctly?
6. If not, pick it back up, go to step 3 and ...
7. Else pick part back up, remembering its rotation so you can...
8. ... place it correctly.

There, I saved you guys all that R&D time.  8)  You're welcome. 

Now for the love of God will somebody please stop talking and do this?

You can only pick the part if you know where it is, to do that you need to image the tray. If you image the tray, you should know the orientation.

Why not just use a down facing camera on the carriage? Image the parts and pickup one time.
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Offline sokoloff

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Re: Open Placer A New Affordable PCB Assembly Machine
« Reply #113 on: March 30, 2018, 11:21:04 am »
Mike and KE5FX are talking about how to flip a part "right side up" that was dumped into a tray upside down.
 

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Re: Open Placer A New Affordable PCB Assembly Machine
« Reply #114 on: March 30, 2018, 11:22:44 am »
Mike and KE5FX are talking about how to flip a part "right side up" that was dumped into a tray upside down.

Vibration - A number of companies already do this although it is for massively expensive machines.

« Last Edit: March 30, 2018, 11:28:11 am by rx8pilot »
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Re: Open Placer A New Affordable PCB Assembly Machine
« Reply #115 on: March 30, 2018, 11:34:41 am »
This is insane.....

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Offline grimmjaw

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Re: Open Placer A New Affordable PCB Assembly Machine
« Reply #116 on: March 30, 2018, 12:37:29 pm »
Interesting discussion.

I'm currently on this conundrum.I have need to assemble two boards with 92 unique part n 415 total parts on each board.
Tried assemble by hand, took me almost 8 hours (0603 part, QFN, some leadless package) with some issue.

Got a quote from PCBA companies , cost about 1000 USD(PCB+PCBA)..
Wondering if buying a low cost P&P , will actually be cheaper in long run (need 2-3 board to be assemble per month, different design)
3-4 hours setup time is okay comparing to 8 hours hand place the component.


 

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Re: Open Placer A New Affordable PCB Assembly Machine
« Reply #117 on: March 30, 2018, 01:11:24 pm »
Interesting discussion.

I'm currently on this conundrum.I have need to assemble two boards with 92 unique part n 415 total parts on each board.
Tried assemble by hand, took me almost 8 hours (0603 part, QFN, some leadless package) with some issue.

Got a quote from PCBA companies , cost about 1000 USD(PCB+PCBA)..
Wondering if buying a low cost P&P , will actually be cheaper in long run (need 2-3 board to be assemble per month, different design)
3-4 hours setup time is okay comparing to 8 hours hand place the component.




This is very similar to what drove me to build a P&P system. I had a low volume of PCB's with a lot of unique parts and a lot of placements. Almost the exact same numbers. The high unique part count makes the small desktop machines not look so good. I gathered up my credit cards and chose a used machine that can hold 100+ unique parts. I set it up and was able to run a handful of PCBs and the variations any time I needed them. It was very scary at the time, but it has really turned out to be a great decision overall.

If I had not found the big machine, I may have tried getting a number of small machines to accomplish the same task. For anyone wanting P&P, just understand that the machine is only a part of the puzzle. After my machine was fully functional, it still took a a lot of effort and a lot of pieces and parts to make it worthwhile.
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Offline KE5FX

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Re: Open Placer A New Affordable PCB Assembly Machine
« Reply #118 on: March 30, 2018, 01:31:58 pm »
There will be some work in figuring out what materials to use for the trays, and the best way to "tap" it to flip parts over, but the vision is simply finding rectangles- how hard can it be..?ne should be able to find them easily.

1. Pick the part up from the tray
2. Move arm to well-lit area where it can safely...
3. ...drop the part.
4. Examine dropped part with camera
5. Part oriented correctly?
6. If not, pick it back up, go to step 3 and ...
7. Else pick part back up, remembering its rotation so you can...
8. ... place it correctly.

There, I saved you guys all that R&D time.  8)  You're welcome. 

Now for the love of God will somebody please stop talking and do this?

You can only pick the part if you know where it is, to do that you need to image the tray. If you image the tray, you should know the orientation.

Why not just use a down facing camera on the carriage? Image the parts and pickup one time.

Because the "tray" looks like this:



The trouble is, everyone working on P&P machines is under the mistaken impression that their customers are trying to compete with FoxConn and Jabil.  This isn't the case, but the widespread perception to the contrary drives the market in a direction that's useless to me.  Take all day, I don't care, as long as I can do something else while it happens.
 

Offline girts

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Re: Open Placer A New Affordable PCB Assembly Machine
« Reply #119 on: March 30, 2018, 03:38:41 pm »
Mike and KE5FX are talking about how to flip a part "right side up" that was dumped into a tray upside down.
Another way:
https://www.fritsch-smt.de/en/manual-pick-place/features/flipping-station/

Because the "tray" looks like this:



You need vacuum cleaner to pick up your electrolytic capacitors...
« Last Edit: March 30, 2018, 03:45:10 pm by girts »
 

Offline Kjelt

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Re: Open Placer A New Affordable PCB Assembly Machine
« Reply #120 on: March 30, 2018, 07:01:56 pm »
Tray picking has some other challenges as well: dust, hairs other contaminations.
The order of the trays for each setup is also costing time.

My idea (dream) about this is a two stage setup. One larger machine that stores all components dustproof in trays, and can then retrieve a single component and put it on a conveyor belt which moves the part to the p&p machine. A sort of automated smt storage wharehouse device, which ofcourse also can load parts into the correct tray. Nice project if only I had time.
 

Online mikeselectricstuff

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Re: Open Placer A New Affordable PCB Assembly Machine
« Reply #121 on: March 30, 2018, 07:33:39 pm »
Tray picking has some other challenges as well: dust, hairs other contaminations.
The order of the trays for each setup is also costing time.
I don't think this is a big issue. You would load the trays per job, not have a big bunch of permanent stock trays. You'd empty parts out of tape into the trays. You may want to use an intermediate scoop or something to minimise the chances of parts falling into the wrong tray, or bouncing out if one into another.
A decent graphical UI should make things quick to set up.
 
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Offline Kjelt

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Re: Open Placer A New Affordable PCB Assembly Machine
« Reply #122 on: March 30, 2018, 08:35:59 pm »
I don't think this is a big issue. You would load the trays per job, not have a big bunch of permanent stock trays. You'd empty parts out of tape into the trays. You may want to use an intermediate scoop or something to minimise the chances of parts falling into the wrong tray, or bouncing out if one into another.
A decent graphical UI should make things quick to set up. 
Agreed on that. Loading the trays ain't the biggest issue, it is unloading and putting them back into storage/stock that is the issue.
Look at the tray I use below, I now use one tray per pcb and keep them filled/stickered.
But what would be great is if all for instance 0603/0402 resistors are preloaded into such a tray and that you can store the entire tray back in a dustfree environment.
Now keeping/mounting all those trays (R0603/ R0402 / C0805 / C0603 etc. etc.) on the P&P machine would make it very big since all trays have to fit.
I am also searching to find the right combo between storage/stock and usage  :-//
 

Offline Kjelt

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Re: Open Placer A New Affordable PCB Assembly Machine
« Reply #123 on: March 30, 2018, 08:39:15 pm »
Thinking further if there was a seperate stock pick head this head could have a small acryllic fence.
This fence would only be open to the single "traycell"with the right component size and covering neighbouring traycells so components could not "jump" or "fall" into neighbouring cells.
 

Online mikeselectricstuff

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Re: Open Placer A New Affordable PCB Assembly Machine
« Reply #124 on: March 30, 2018, 09:00:30 pm »
I don't think this is a big issue. You would load the trays per job, not have a big bunch of permanent stock trays. You'd empty parts out of tape into the trays. You may want to use an intermediate scoop or something to minimise the chances of parts falling into the wrong tray, or bouncing out if one into another.
A decent graphical UI should make things quick to set up. 
Agreed on that. Loading the trays ain't the biggest issue, it is unloading and putting them back into storage/stock that is the issue.

For Rs and Cs, they are so cheap you can probably just dump the leftovers most of the time.
Alternatively you make the tray compartments removable so you can lift each one out and empty it into a bag or whatever. or use small lidded boxes as the trays, so you just put in the ones you need, and afterwards take them out and put the lids on.

Maybe something like these, but square.

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/20x-28mm-Plastic-Coin-Cases-Storage-Capsules-for-50p-Coins-UK-Seller/122434954404?epid=882898687&hash=item1c81b124a4:g:gfAAAOSwWxNYy8x7

Another option may be to have a machine function to pick all remaining parts from a tray and place them in  fixed locations ( storage/decanting tray)


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Offline KL27x

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Re: Open Placer A New Affordable PCB Assembly Machine
« Reply #125 on: March 30, 2018, 10:18:55 pm »
I have happened to notice that every one of the tiny SMD components I have ever used can be picked up with a magnet. That is one way to clean out a connected array of trays.

I'm sure you can come up with a better tool for your specific tray sizes, but the ghetto version is to just wrap a strong magnet in a plastic film, dip it in the tray to lift out the parts, and then unwrap the plastic film over a container which you can now pour back into a storage container.
 

Offline Kjelt

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Re: Open Placer A New Affordable PCB Assembly Machine
« Reply #126 on: March 30, 2018, 10:56:54 pm »
If that is true an electromagnet would be ideal.   :-+
 

Offline KE5FX

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Re: Open Placer A New Affordable PCB Assembly Machine
« Reply #127 on: March 31, 2018, 07:47:40 am »
Tray picking has some other challenges as well: dust, hairs other contaminations.

I don't see that as a problem at the 0402 level and up, because (once again, sigh) I'm not Foxconn, and no ISO9000 auditors are inspecting my prototypes and pilot builds.  Close the trays when not in use, or simply cover them with a tarp.

Quote
The order of the trays for each setup is also costing time.

The gantry should have enough reach to cover many dozens of trays.  Set them up once, refill them when necessary, otherwise forget them.

My biggest concern is that whatever picks up the parts had better be perfect, or it will occasionally drop them inadvertently.  If there's even a small possibility of dropping a 1M resistor into a neighboring compartment full of 100 ohm resistors, that would be annoying.  The whole compartment would have to be tossed out.
 

Offline jmelson

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Re: Open Placer A New Affordable PCB Assembly Machine
« Reply #128 on: March 31, 2018, 08:08:18 am »

My biggest concern is that whatever picks up the parts had better be perfect, or it will occasionally drop them inadvertently.  If there's even a small possibility of dropping a 1M resistor into a neighboring compartment full of 100 ohm resistors, that would be annoying.  The whole compartment would have to be tossed out.
An EXCELLENT point!  My P&P machine is pretty reliable, and tries to dump all parts with weak vacuum into the dump bin.  But, still, when I get done with a modest build run, there are a few parts strewn here and there on the machine.  With tape feeders, it is VERY unlikely any dropped parts would end up in the right spot to be picked up.  I can really see it happening with loose part trays.

Jon
 

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Re: Open Placer A New Affordable PCB Assembly Machine
« Reply #129 on: March 31, 2018, 08:18:44 am »
Tray picking has some other challenges as well: dust, hairs other contaminations.

I don't see that as a problem at the 0402 level and up, because (once again, sigh) I'm not Foxconn, and no ISO9000 auditors are inspecting my prototypes and pilot builds.  Close the trays when not in use, or simply cover them with a tarp.

Quote
The order of the trays for each setup is also costing time.

The gantry should have enough reach to cover many dozens of trays.  Set them up once, refill them when necessary, otherwise forget them.

My biggest concern is that whatever picks up the parts had better be perfect, or it will occasionally drop them inadvertently.  If there's even a small possibility of dropping a 1M resistor into a neighboring compartment full of 100 ohm resistors, that would be annoying.  The whole compartment would have to be tossed out.
If you have vacuum sensor you could at least detect this and stop. However once it's picked, it's unlikely to drop, especially as it's already used vision to make sure it's picked centrally 
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Re: Open Placer A New Affordable PCB Assembly Machine
« Reply #130 on: March 31, 2018, 11:39:15 am »
So back to the Open Placer.....

I looked at the feeders and have some practical comments. My opinions are not random - they are based on actual experience of assembling boards manually and with P&P as well as designing and CNC machining my own cut tape holders over the past few years.

 It appears there are small dovetails that wedge the tapes in place. While this is a clever and low-cost design, it will have a critical flaw  - stability. Tapes are all thicknesses and have variations in width. This scheme will nearly guarantee that the tape will be very tight or too loose for many tapes. When the tape is too tight and the user is struggling with it, it is VERY easy to bump all the parts out of the other tapes. Any user will have to load a single lane while not disturbing the others and this is not easy after the cover tape is removed.

When a tape is even slightly loose, the pickup process makes the other parts jump out of their pockets. Hand placing a bunch of parts back into the tape is not productive.

The other major issue is that they are fixed width. The ones I see in the pictures have 10x 8mm lanes. This is great if you have 10 8mm tapes, but the idea quickly becomes a problem if you have 11 8mm tapes. You have to waste a lot of very valuable space with 9 empty lanes. In my experience - many of my boards have a bunch of 8mm (not in multiples of 10), some 12mm, some 16mm, and 1-2 24mm. The feeders really need to be individual lanes to accommodate a practical number of parts.

My first cut tape holders for manual assembly and P&P were fixed groups and the limitation was immediately obvious. I then started making adjustable cut tape trays that are adjusted in 4mm increments and had clamps to hold any tape rigidly. I rarely have parts jumping out and I can mix any width tape either 6" or 12" on the holder. This was a dramatic improvement in how I use my P&P because I can get 20+ unique parts on a single cut tape tray. I have trays for production boards and open ones for prototypes. My machine has room for two trays so I can swap 40 unique parts in a few minutes with any combination of parts. The clamps on top allow tapes to be swapped easily without disturbing the adjacent tapes.

Stability and flexibility of the feeders are a crucial element of success. I have spent a lot of time working this particular problem - cut tape holders for manual and P&P processes. It is not trivial.

On the Open Placer Indigogo - you can see one of the test videos. The system picks up a few parts, and then one jumps out of the tape. These are the things that force an operator to watch the machine and correct issues all the time.

The images show some small parts being placed but the consistency is predictably not so good. You can get away with some misalignment, but at some point, your passives will tombstone. The user either fixes this before or after the reflow - taking time, a steady hand, a microscope. The smaller the part, the more sensitive they are.

So - feeders are crucial. A poor feeder setup can send an otherwise capable machine to the bottom of a river. If you are thinking that you will simply push the GO! button, walk away, and come back to an assembled PCB - you need good feeders.


For the double sided PCB's - It is a fairly simple setup. For irregular shaped double-sided, it requires a bit more consideration. I designed special trays for double-sided single PCB's that are irregular shape. I add a photo of that setup as well.


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Offline ar__systems

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Re: Open Placer A New Affordable PCB Assembly Machine
« Reply #131 on: March 31, 2018, 03:40:22 pm »
I'm making a similar concept of strip feeder, but slightly different. You appear to be using 4mm walls separating your tapes. In order to maximize the space usage, I'm using only 1mm walls between the tapes. I originally intended to have it machined but the design was never ready for that, so in the meantime I made one entirely 3d printed. Some improvement is required, but it already works quite well. Due to the high tape density, I can place 30 of 8mm tapes on 1 jedec tray size feeder.
« Last Edit: March 31, 2018, 03:41:59 pm by ar__systems »
 

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Re: Open Placer A New Affordable PCB Assembly Machine
« Reply #132 on: March 31, 2018, 04:04:41 pm »
The edges of the tapes are separated by 3mm to make room for the clamp screws.

The design has some rotten flaws. While I have sketched out some nice improvements, I cannot find the time to machine a new system.

I would have to start selling them if I put in much more effort. Can you post your design?

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Re: Open Placer A New Affordable PCB Assembly Machine
« Reply #133 on: March 31, 2018, 04:16:30 pm »
I'll make a pic when I go to the office. I find I need to make the width of the lane slightly larger that 8mm, perhaps 8.15. Due to tapes being not exactly 8.00, it is difficult to slide the tapes into the lanes.
 

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Re: Open Placer A New Affordable PCB Assembly Machine
« Reply #134 on: March 31, 2018, 07:30:04 pm »
For strip holders, the super-cheap solution is just thin double sided sticky tape onto a smooth surface. You could print 4mm guidelines and an index grid on the surface ( e.g. make it from a PCB)
Not suggesting this as an ideal solution, but useful as a way to have a minimum entry cost, with strip trays as an upgrade path.
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Re: Open Placer A New Affordable PCB Assembly Machine
« Reply #135 on: March 31, 2018, 11:41:08 pm »
For strip holders, the super-cheap solution is just thin double sided sticky tape onto a smooth surface. You could print 4mm guidelines and an index grid on the surface ( e.g. make it from a PCB)
Not suggesting this as an ideal solution, but useful as a way to have a minimum entry cost, with strip trays as an upgrade path.
Yeah, it is super cheap, but it is also super lousy. Probably anybody who wanted a strip feeder tried this :) It is only marginally better than nothing.
 

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Re: Open Placer A New Affordable PCB Assembly Machine
« Reply #136 on: April 01, 2018, 01:02:56 am »
For strip holders, the super-cheap solution is just thin double sided sticky tape onto a smooth surface. You could print 4mm guidelines and an index grid on the surface ( e.g. make it from a PCB)
Not suggesting this as an ideal solution, but useful as a way to have a minimum entry cost, with strip trays as an upgrade path.
Yeah, it is super cheap, but it is also super lousy. Probably anybody who wanted a strip feeder tried this :) It is only marginally better than nothing.
I do it all the time whan hand placing, the only issues I've had is the occasional plastic tape with holes in the pockets that can make parts stick. With alignment guides ( maybe use a PCB with holes, so you can pin the strips for alignment) I think it would be useable, even if only as an "overflow" for odd parts when you run out of better tape holders.
 
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Re: Open Placer A New Affordable PCB Assembly Machine
« Reply #137 on: April 01, 2018, 02:49:23 pm »
 

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Re: Open Placer A New Affordable PCB Assembly Machine
« Reply #138 on: April 01, 2018, 03:37:47 pm »
It is ok for larger machines. The price is outrageous though :)

From my experience it is not perfect. Since the side groves are fixed width, and there is no tape support from the bottom, it can't work for both plastic and paper tapes. Either those grooves are to small to accommodate the paper, or they are too large to hold plastic tapes. 
 

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Re: Open Placer A New Affordable PCB Assembly Machine
« Reply #139 on: April 05, 2018, 01:23:55 am »
Adding my 2ct. I am selling small sensor modules (PCB about 2x2in, roughly 30 components), low volume (three-digit-numbers). When I started, I thought it to be a good idea to do the PnP myself and got myself a China PnP machine.

After about two weeks of fiddling, I gave up. The machine was great at placing 0603 passives from cardboard tape. Plastic tapes did not work, as the push feeder simply ripped the feeder holes apart. With the extremely limited space in my basement, I could only barely reach the north side, where the feeders for the larger (and therefore more cumbersome) components are, so fixing a broken cover tape (not an uncommon issue) was a lesson in gymnastics. Placing .5mm components worked so-so. High components (electrolytes) are a no-go, as the feeders do not support them (and Murphy makes sure that when the head picks up the second cap, it will run over the first, already placed, cap). The Chinese SW would stop the PnP process once the bottom camera did not recognize a component.

In the meantime I have sold the machine to someone who already runs two larger PnP machines and wanted a cheap one for sample runs. He claims it works fine for him - gotta believe it.

Bottom line is: with more time, more space and more experience, I might have fared better. But after two weeks of fiddling, my patience started to wear out. I could have placed a lot of samples during these two weeks. Be ready to invest a lot of TLC before the machine saves you more time than it costs you, and expect to do constant babysitting.
If you invest 2k$ (or 2kEUR) in a student from the college next to you, he can populate a lot of boards for you...
 

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Re: Open Placer A New Affordable PCB Assembly Machine
« Reply #140 on: April 05, 2018, 07:41:52 am »
I had some major challenges with college students assembling PCBs. High marks in class, but still could not figure out polarity on caps or an anode on diodes. None of the 3 that where with us for a summer internship could manage to solder anything without cooking it to death.

Not saying they are all that way, but boy can they do a lot of damage in a short period of time without the same babysitting you would need with a pick and place system.

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Re: Open Placer A New Affordable PCB Assembly Machine
« Reply #141 on: April 05, 2018, 08:06:38 am »
Furkan,

Please check Your private messages.
 

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Re: Open Placer A New Affordable PCB Assembly Machine
« Reply #142 on: April 05, 2018, 08:09:57 am »
I had some major challenges with college students assembling PCBs. High marks in class, but still could not figure out polarity on caps or an anode on diodes. None of the 3 that where with us for a summer internship could manage to solder anything without cooking it to death.

In every assembly subcontractor I've ever been to, almost all the assembly workers are middle-aged women.
For routine soldering work, you need someone with good manual skills, not technical knowledge or youthful enthusiasm
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Re: Open Placer A New Affordable PCB Assembly Machine
« Reply #143 on: April 05, 2018, 08:23:27 am »
In every assembly subcontractor I've ever been to, almost all the assembly workers are middle-aged women.
For routine soldering work, you need someone with good manual skills, not technical knowledge or youthful enthusiasm

The local (Los Angeles) assembly shops that I have visited can be described the same way. Dominated by females 30-50 years old.
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Offline Furkan

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Re: Open Placer A New Affordable PCB Assembly Machine
« Reply #144 on: April 07, 2018, 11:26:44 pm »
Dear all

The Indiegogo campaign is almost over. We will continue our support from Dallas, TX and TURKEY afterwards. We will keep spare parts and some devices in stock.

There were several critics about Open Placer, which we evaluated intensely. Today we discussed with Kerim and I guess we need to clarify some issues. The majority of the critics were constructive but we do not agree with some of them. And I have to explain some points about double sided assembly and max. component height.

First of all, I have to point out that we were mistaken about double sided assembly. I answered very quickly without thinking much. The distance between the nozzle and the PCB holder is a little more than 22 mm. The 6 mm component height limit was due to the feeders. You can easily place a PCB over 2x3 mm = 6 mm thick Neodmium magnets. The PCB holder is made from steel so the magnets are quite strong to hold the PCB. You can place 6 mm to the bottom side and 6 mm to the top side and still have more than 6 mm distance to bring new components. Today, I would like to apologize about my comment that Open Placer does not support double sided assembly.

Open Placer does support double sided assembly.

Secondly, we never guaranteed 402 and 201 assembly, but we received so many critics about them. During the campaign we tried to prepare a new nozzle for 402 assembly but at the end the video about 402 and 201 assembly was done with our smallest nozzle with 0.8 mm outer diameter. The inner diameter was very hard to measure, but it was around 0.5 mm. The fifth 201 component that couldn't be assembled in the video was due to the impact that removed it from the feeder while picking the fourth component. The picking speed of the nozzle can be reduced to decrease the magnitude of the impact. This can be configured by users.

Thirdly, the bottom camera views a region of 35 mm x 35 mm and its resolution is 640 x 480. So, 201 components occupies only 20 - 25 pixels. It is very hard to determine the occurrence and position with the current camera.

Next, the paper and plastic strips do not have completely straight surfaces. The small stretch on their surface enables tight assembly. The feeder structure of Open Placer works with both thick paper strips and thinner plastic ones, at most of the cases.

Next, the proposed feeder alternatives are not applicable with OpenPnp as much as we now, since the strip holes are blocked by the pieces placed to fix the strips. The setup time for that design should be quite high since the holes are missing which is required to determine the correct position in one of the axis. Using fiducials, small magnets to fix the PCB (for double sided assembly) and defining the components in feeders with OpenPnp seems to be the fastest way to initialize PCB assembly.

We have to invest more to build a machine that supports 201 assembly. At the beginning of the campaign we were expecting proper 603 assembly would be enough for majority, so we didn't make 402 tests. We were busy preparing the machines for May delivery, so we couldn't spend enough time for the critics. We are almost sure that Open Placer supports proper and reliable 402 assembly but we couldn't make enough tests about it. We will wait for the feedback from the ones who purchased it.

The prices will definitely increase after the campaign (The discounts from the list price will be lowered), since we made extremely small profit from this campaign with a lot of effort. I guess we managed to introduce Open Placer to the world.

I even don't like the poor advertising of our campaign but it was our first campaign at Indiegogo and we are engineers. Our marketing capabilities were very limited. We listened the critics and managed to announce our campaign to larger crowds every day.

I would like to thank every one of you for your support and constructive critics.

Furkan
The Open Placer Team





 

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Re: Open Placer A New Affordable PCB Assembly Machine
« Reply #145 on: April 08, 2018, 07:19:56 am »
Good luck with the endeavor.

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Offline jmelson

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Re: Open Placer A New Affordable PCB Assembly Machine
« Reply #146 on: April 11, 2018, 05:17:10 am »
Adding my 2ct. I am selling small sensor modules (PCB about 2x2in, roughly 30 components), low volume (three-digit-numbers). When I started, I thought it to be a good idea to do the PnP myself and got myself a China PnP machine.

After about two weeks of fiddling, I gave up. The machine was great at placing 0603 passives from cardboard tape. Plastic tapes did not work, as the push feeder simply ripped the feeder holes apart. With the extremely limited space in my basement, I could only barely reach the north side, where the feeders for the larger (and therefore more cumbersome) components are, so fixing a broken cover tape (not an uncommon issue) was a lesson in gymnastics. Placing .5mm components worked so-so. High components (electrolytes) are a no-go, as the feeders do not support them (and Murphy makes sure that when the head picks up the second cap, it will run over the first, already placed, cap). The Chinese SW would stop the PnP process once the bottom camera did not recognize a component.
Very useful to hear all this.  I can compare it to my used Philips CSM84 machine.  It will handle parts up to 6.5 mm tall (if you could command the travel path of the head it could do more, but they don't give you that option.)  Of course, 6.5mm parts would logically only come on wider tape, never seen an 8 mm tape with more than about 1 - 1.5 mm part height.  (I'm thinking of SOT23 transistors and some diodes.)  I've almost never seen torn sprocket holes, but then the Yamaha feeders use the return spring to advance the tape.  If something binds up, the feeder just stops advancing the ratchet.  That does happen from time to time.  The only feeder problem that drives me nuts is 0.1uF caps in paper tapes.  These have inconsistent cover tape glue, so there are spots on the tape where it won't advance.  I put one, or even, two, C-clamps on the tail of the component tape to give it more pull.  Ugly, but it works!

Anyway, I do babysit the machine,  I am applying paste to boards, and putting them in the oven, so just constantly circulating around the area and keeping an eye on the machine.

Jon
 

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Re: Open Placer A New Affordable PCB Assembly Machine
« Reply #147 on: April 11, 2018, 05:54:01 am »
We have to invest more to build a machine that supports 201 assembly. At the beginning of the campaign we were expecting proper 603 assembly would be enough for majority, so we didn't make 402 tests. We were busy preparing the machines for May delivery, so we couldn't spend enough time for the critics. We are almost sure that Open Placer supports proper and reliable 402 assembly but we couldn't make enough tests about it. We will wait for the feedback from the ones who purchased it.
Congrats on getting to where you are!

I would think long and hard about whether the investment to get this class of machine (and class of buyer) down to 0201.

How many people have actual money in their hand, ready to give it you, and will do so but only do so if the machine does 0201? My wager is that not many people would even say that they are in that situation and, of the people who say they're in that situation, fewer than 1/3rd of those will end up buying if you deliver 0201. The other 2/3 will forget, decide to not buy anything, balk at the higher price, find another excuse why the new machine isn't good enough for them, etc.
 

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Re: Open Placer A New Affordable PCB Assembly Machine
« Reply #148 on: April 11, 2018, 06:24:08 am »
Sokolof gives good advice.

Offer a solution which has been clearly identified; forget about the professional tire kickers.

They go telling you what they think, gives them a sense of self importance.

Gives You a feeling of inadequacy and drives you to offer a solution in search of a problem.

A typical trap so many engineers fall into.

I wish You good luck in Your endeavors,
 
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Offline l0wside

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Re: Open Placer A New Affordable PCB Assembly Machine
« Reply #149 on: April 12, 2018, 12:31:28 am »
I could not agree more. For your target market (somwhere in the blurred zone between ambitious hobbyist and small business), 0603 is likely standard, 0402 happens occasionally, and 0201 completely out of scope. Better get it right for your customers than over-optimizing for something exotic while losing the big picture.
Double-sided PCBs, however, are a must.
 

Offline ar__systems

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Re: Open Placer A New Affordable PCB Assembly Machine
« Reply #150 on: April 12, 2018, 12:41:02 am »
I agree. Going below 0603 rarely makes sense unless you design for extremely space restricted or high frequency applications, in which case you will probably be looking for an SMT machine in a completely different price range.
 

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Re: Open Placer A New Affordable PCB Assembly Machine
« Reply #151 on: April 12, 2018, 12:48:37 am »
I agree. Going below 0603 rarely makes sense unless you design for extremely space restricted or high frequency applications, in which case you will probably be looking for an SMT machine in a completely different price range.
I always use 0402 unless I can't (typical reasons include voltage rating/capacitance of caps, or power dissipation rating of resistors) because they are incredibly cheap and take up very small space. I only use 0201's under BGA as nothing else will fit in there.
 

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Re: Open Placer A New Affordable PCB Assembly Machine
« Reply #152 on: April 12, 2018, 01:57:05 am »
Price of the passives components is of zero concern if we are talking about hobbyists.

So yes, maybe you have to use small packages but I'm betting majority of hobbyists don't work with BGAs.
 

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Re: Open Placer A New Affordable PCB Assembly Machine
« Reply #153 on: April 12, 2018, 04:28:26 am »
Price of the passives components is of zero concern if we are talking about hobbyists.
Not if you want to buy them on reels. 0402 are 10-40$ for a 10k reel, 0603 are significantly more expensive on a per-unit basis. Considering that my typical PCB has 200-300 components (most of them being passives), reels get used up rather quickly.
And smaller package means PCB can be made smaller, which is a big deal when you design 6+ layer boards.

So yes, maybe you have to use small packages but I'm betting majority of hobbyists don't work with BGAs.
The reason not many hobbyists work with BGAs is because it's more expensive. I suspect that majority of those who can't afford to work with BGAs are not going to spend $1k+ on a PnP machine.
On the other hard, I totally would, as laying down 0201 is the most tedious part of assembly. Placing 0402 and above is rather quick even manually. I've already invested several thousand $$ into this hobby, so spending another $1-2k for PnP is not that big of a deal. But so far there's nothing in that price range that would meet my requirements, so I'm seriously considering building my own machine.
 

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Re: Open Placer A New Affordable PCB Assembly Machine
« Reply #154 on: April 12, 2018, 05:12:13 am »
I don't understand what you are arguing with. First of all, the price of 0603 is about 25-50% higher than 0402, and is on the order of $0.003 per piece. So no, not considerably. I'd be surprised to see a design where cost of resistors dominates or even takes non-insignificant part of the total cost of BOM for the entire device.

Second, why do you keep talking about yourself? I think we already established that this product does not suit you :)
 

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Re: Open Placer A New Affordable PCB Assembly Machine
« Reply #155 on: April 12, 2018, 06:59:33 am »
Second, why do you keep talking about yourself? I think we already established that this product does not suit you :)
This is the way forum conversations go. People express their own opinions.
 

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Re: Open Placer A New Affordable PCB Assembly Machine
« Reply #156 on: April 12, 2018, 07:41:43 am »
Second, why do you keep talking about yourself? I think we already established that this product does not suit you :)
This is the way forum conversations go. People express their own opinions.

For what it's worth, I agree with you -- 0402 is the dividing line between serious industrial PnP equipment and machines that are useful for prototyping, small-scale production, and/or that are candidates for use by hardcore hobbyists. 

Unfortunately, 0402 falls on the "absolute requirement" side of that line.  0402 components must be handled reliably by any PnP machine that someone is charging money for.  I wouldn't want to spend extra money for 0201 support, though, because it will take a lot of extra money.
 

Offline IconicPCB

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Re: Open Placer A New Affordable PCB Assembly Machine
« Reply #157 on: April 12, 2018, 08:09:36 am »
"Charging money for " is a nonsensical argument.

It is more appropriate to claim : "... Ya pays ya money and ya gets ya thrills..."  as demonstrated by a variety of goods and services available

You want 0402 performance don't hope to get it for bargain basement price. Go and spend ten times more, live in a different environment.
 

Offline ar__systems

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Re: Open Placer A New Affordable PCB Assembly Machine
« Reply #158 on: April 12, 2018, 08:18:34 am »
This is not a "small scale production machine", it is barely a prototyping machine. I.e. if I want to build 10 prototypes of my boards with 160 parts that I want to machine place, this is already 1600 parts. Loading that many parts in strips is a non-starter, there is not enough space on the machine to hold the PCB and parts. Running any kind of production on this is out of question.
 

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Re: Open Placer A New Affordable PCB Assembly Machine
« Reply #159 on: April 12, 2018, 05:34:52 pm »
I don't understand what you are arguing with. First of all, the price of 0603 is about 25-50% higher than 0402, and is on the order of $0.003 per piece. So no, not considerably. I'd be surprised to see a design where cost of resistors dominates or even takes non-insignificant part of the total cost of BOM for the entire device.

Second, why do you keep talking about yourself? I think we already established that this product does not suit you :)
At that level, the cost of placing the part, on whatever hardware,  is orders of magnitude more than the cost of the part. Unless you are making millions of toys, it just doesn't matter if a resistor costs 0.003 or 0.006
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Re: Open Placer A New Affordable PCB Assembly Machine
« Reply #160 on: April 12, 2018, 05:37:59 pm »
This is not a "small scale production machine", it is barely a prototyping machine. I.e. if I want to build 10 prototypes of my boards with 160 parts that I want to machine place, this is already 1600 parts. Loading that many parts in strips is a non-starter, there is not enough space on the machine to hold the PCB and parts. Running any kind of production on this is out of question.
Not necessarily, but certainly far from ideal. If you have a low-volume product where you need 10 boards a month, a machine like this could still be a viable option, but lack of the option to add reel feeders makes it a dead end if you're likely to need more capacity in future. 
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Online rx8pilot

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Re: Open Placer A New Affordable PCB Assembly Machine
« Reply #161 on: April 13, 2018, 03:44:18 am »
Not necessarily, but certainly far from ideal. If you have a low-volume product where you need 10 boards a month, a machine like this could still be a viable option, but lack of the option to add reel feeders makes it a dead end if you're likely to need more capacity in future.

I have around 5-6 PCB designs that I need 10pcs/month typical. As you said - the absence of reel feeders is very cumbersome. Each board has way more parts that will fit into the machine meaning I could never assemble a whole PCB. These boards are not particularly advanced either. They all have 0402 passives and cannot go bigger because of space restraints.

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Offline KE5FX

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Re: Open Placer A New Affordable PCB Assembly Machine
« Reply #162 on: April 13, 2018, 08:01:21 am »
I have around 5-6 PCB designs that I need 10pcs/month typical. As you said - the absence of reel feeders is very cumbersome. Each board has way more parts that will fit into the machine meaning I could never assemble a whole PCB. These boards are not particularly advanced either. They all have 0402 passives and cannot go bigger because of space restraints.

I don't see the lack of reel feeders as being the deal-breaker that everyone else does.  If the machine is cheap enough, just pipeline two or more of them.

0402 placement capability is not negotiable, but almost everything else is.
 

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Re: Open Placer A New Affordable PCB Assembly Machine
« Reply #163 on: April 13, 2018, 08:26:45 am »
I don't see the lack of reel feeders as being the deal-breaker that everyone else does.  If the machine is cheap enough, just pipeline two or more of them.

In my little setup, I need both reels and cut tapes to be handled well. The cut tapes are no small challenge though. If I load up a tape with 35 parts in it, but only use 10, I have to sort out what to do next. If they are 1k resistors - I don't care much about throwing them away. If they are either expensive or I only have a small number that I need to preserve - it sucks.  Swapping tapes means you have to get the previous tape into a storable condition, but if you have already pulled the cover tape off of it - can be more trouble.

Also, moving a cut tape tray is always a bit nerving. I have about 8 cut tape trays loaded with various parts. It only takes a tiny bump for a bunch of SOT523 diodes to jump all over the place. Then you find yourself under a microscope trying to get the tray back in order. All of that means that I try my best to get set up on feeders as soon as practical.

For prototypes and very short runs - the ability to do cut tapes is nice when I know I only need a handful of parts, only peel back the cover that many parts, etc.

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Re: Open Placer A New Affordable PCB Assembly Machine
« Reply #164 on: April 13, 2018, 01:21:34 pm »
In china there are prototype PCBA services which have ended the need for home PnP machines for hobbyists; they have a library of a few hundred passives and a long line of PnP machines that have the parts permanently loaded, so there is no set-up and very little labor needed per design.

The price is about $10 + components cost to solder all your passives for you (on one side). I have used this service for my vna prototypes, and it costs about $60 total for 5pcs, including pcb (4 layers 10x10cm), pcba, and passives.

I do imagine for production runs you can use the pcba service for all the passives on one side, and use your own pnp machine (or even manual placing) for all the ICs on the other side (you have to adapt your design so most passives are on one side). That way you don't need so many feeders and can probably place the board in one go.
 
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Online rx8pilot

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Re: Open Placer A New Affordable PCB Assembly Machine
« Reply #165 on: April 13, 2018, 02:01:42 pm »
I have not tried the low-cost Chinese options - but I probably should at some point.
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Offline ar__systems

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Re: Open Placer A New Affordable PCB Assembly Machine
« Reply #166 on: April 13, 2018, 09:08:40 pm »
In china there are prototype PCBA services which have ended the need for home PnP machines for hobbyists; they have a library of a few hundred passives and a long line of PnP machines that have the parts permanently loaded, so there is no set-up and very little labor needed per design.

Could you please send a link to these services?
 

Offline blueskull

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Re: Open Placer A New Affordable PCB Assembly Machine
« Reply #167 on: April 13, 2018, 09:38:13 pm »
Could you please send a link to these services?

PCBWay, WellPCB, JLCPCB and other PCB fabs. Many PCB fabs in China also offer PCBA service. Most are ISO9001 certified, some are tax exempted, some are even ITAR registered. The more the certifications, the less they want to talk to small players, but the options are there.
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Offline urosg

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Re: Open Placer A New Affordable PCB Assembly Machine
« Reply #168 on: April 16, 2018, 11:54:35 am »
Looking through pictures and available information (and while so owning a LitePlacer unit) I think I can safely say that this is just a "spruced up" version of LitePlacer with the "upgrades" ("feeder") that community recommends for LitePlacer.

Both of the machines are nothing else (IMHO) but big toys.

Granted the "feeder" shown here is the kind I also designed for my self a while ago but the problem with this is that after you remove the protective film the parts start flying around as soon as you bump the machine a little harder.

In the last month I have replaced my LitePlacer with a chinese PnP (ZB3245TS) and for now I must say I am happy with the investment.

I must admit that there were startup problems, but no wonder on account of the fine chinglish translations. The support however is great, same day or next day response.

I would advise anybody who is looking in buying a PnP machine for prototypes (real prototypes - couple of boards at a time) NOT to buy one, as the preparation time will usually take longer that it would to place the couple of boards by hand (unless you have some really high density boards with hundreds of parts).

Just my 2cents.
 

Offline wholder

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Re: Open Placer A New Affordable PCB Assembly Machine
« Reply #169 on: June 03, 2018, 02:50:37 pm »
I'm sorry I missed the indiegogo campaign on this, as this is just the kind of desktop PnP machine I've been looking for for some time.  For me, a machine like this is of interest because:

1. At my age (65), working with magnifying lenses and tweezers to place tiny parts on boards is getting even older than I am.
2. The small footprint on a desktop (I mostly design boards less than 4-6 square inches with a BOM of less than 20 parts)
3. I usually build only small batches of PCBs at a time, then test, redesign and repeat.
4. The think the fixed block of static "feeders" is actually an advantage, as I think could easily update my PCB CAD process to print out a loading sheet for the component carrier block.
5. Machine vision (top and bottom) and automatic nozzle change in a machine this inexpensive...  I'm impressed!
6. From examining the "Workshop Photos" (http://www.openplacer.com/?page_id=66), it's obvious a lot of careful mechanical design was done for this machine to keep it this simple and compact.  The Z axis design, in particular, is quite elegant.

Just my opinion.  I hope to hear more from those that ordered one of these, as I'd like to be a future customer.

Wayne
 

Offline ar__systems

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Re: Open Placer A New Affordable PCB Assembly Machine
« Reply #170 on: June 04, 2018, 04:36:41 am »
2. The small footprint on a desktop (I mostly design boards less than 4-6 square inches with a BOM of less than 20 parts)

I think you would be better off spending money on a microscope. You will need it anyway, since inevitably placement of this type of machines need to be checked and often corrected. If you limit yourself to 1206 or larger parts, you won't have any problem placing them manually under microscope. With the size of your PCB and small BOM this restriction is no need to use smaller parts.
 

Offline Kjelt

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Re: Open Placer A New Affordable PCB Assembly Machine
« Reply #171 on: June 04, 2018, 04:45:18 am »
till the 1206 parts get obsolete.
I see a trend that the packages that are not mainstream used by massproduction companies are no longer being produced, for resistors, capacitors.... prices go up, stock goes down.
 

Offline ar__systems

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Re: Open Placer A New Affordable PCB Assembly Machine
« Reply #172 on: June 04, 2018, 05:04:01 am »
1206 won't become obsolete. They make bigger packages not because people have trouble handling smaller ones, you know.
 

Offline Kjelt

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Re: Open Placer A New Affordable PCB Assembly Machine
« Reply #173 on: June 04, 2018, 06:46:54 am »
we'll see, in most mass production devices nowadays if for instance the power rating of the smaller devices is too small they replace one large resistor by many small ones (ofcourse with the scaled value).
It is all economics, the 0402 are so cheap and overall available and the 1206 are expensive and harder to get.
Simple search on Farnell (and yeah I know Farnell sucks for large buys , three times to expensive blabla but it is a reasonable relative indicator)
for 1kOhm in 0402 and 1206 resulted 130 hits, 3 for 1206, 127 for 0402.

Prices:
0402   
     10000+  € 0,0006 
     50000+  € 0,0005
1206
     25000+  € 0,153

You do the math.
 

Offline NorthGuy

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Re: Open Placer A New Affordable PCB Assembly Machine
« Reply #174 on: June 04, 2018, 07:10:23 am »
Prices:
0402   
     10000+  € 0,0006 
     50000+  € 0,0005
1206
     25000+  € 0,153

This is not so one-sided.

Here's the prices for 10,000 on DigiKey (the cheapest 1k resistor, USD):

01005 - $359.20
0201 - $37.80
0402 - $12.30
0603 - $14.30
0805 - $18.90
1206 - $172.00

As you can see, there's practically no difference unless you want it too big or too small. Anything between 0402 and 0805 is approximately the same price.
 

Online chris_leyson

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Re: Open Placer A New Affordable PCB Assembly Machine
« Reply #175 on: June 04, 2018, 07:22:12 am »
Quote
I'm sorry I missed the indiegogo campaign on this,
Me too, I've only just started looking at manual pick and place machines. A lot of them seem to be priced at around 2000 Euro, eC-placer from Eurocircuits for example.
The Open Placer mini looks quite tempting at $899 especially with machine vision top and bottom.
 

Offline wholder

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Re: Open Placer A New Affordable PCB Assembly Machine
« Reply #176 on: June 04, 2018, 04:02:06 pm »
2. The small footprint on a desktop (I mostly design boards less than 4-6 square inches with a BOM of less than 20 parts)
I think you would be better off spending money on a microscope. You will need it anyway, since inevitably placement of this type of machines need to be checked and often corrected. If you limit yourself to 1206 or larger parts, you won't have any problem placing them manually under microscope. With the size of your PCB and small BOM this restriction is no need to use smaller parts.

Well, it's not just about eyesight.  My eyesight is still fairly good and I have some excellent vision equipment, such as a very nice Mantis Elite, but the ol' manual dexterity is not the same as it once.  Perhaps you're either too young, or fortunate enough not have many age-related issues yet, but I find placing parts like an SC-70 package with tweezers to be rather tedious and prone to having the damn things fly off into space.  So, this kind of automation, even with issues, is promising to me.

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Offline ar__systems

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Re: Open Placer A New Affordable PCB Assembly Machine
« Reply #177 on: June 05, 2018, 03:59:01 am »
Prices:
0402   
     10000+  € 0,0006 
     50000+  € 0,0005
1206
     25000+  € 0,153

You do the math.
Who cares. The guys said he has 20 parts per board, few boards at a time. "Do the math" :) the price of parts is a non-factor.
 

Offline ar__systems

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Re: Open Placer A New Affordable PCB Assembly Machine
« Reply #178 on: June 05, 2018, 04:04:37 am »
Well, it's not just about eyesight.

I see. Maybe it will help you then. Then again, in my experience dealing with cut tape feeders, setting them up is physically way more demanding than placing sc-70 under microscope :) one wrong move and all the parts in the strip are gone :)
 

Offline NorthGuy

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Re: Open Placer A New Affordable PCB Assembly Machine
« Reply #179 on: June 05, 2018, 07:08:06 am »
but the ol' manual dexterity is not the same as it once.

When I do prototyping - 1-2 boards, the most time I spend on locating the correct part, unpacking, peeling, packing back. Peeling is where my manual dexterity is at the worst. If I could insert a board into a machine with pre-filled feeders, press a button and return in half-an-hour, this would be of great help. But such machines are too expensive for prototyping.

If I had to stick cut tapes into the machine every time I want to make a board, I don't really see how this would help me.
 

Online rx8pilot

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Re: Open Placer A New Affordable PCB Assembly Machine
« Reply #180 on: June 05, 2018, 07:31:49 am »
If I could insert a board into a machine with pre-filled feeders, press a button and return in half-an-hour, this would be of great help. But such machines are too expensive for prototyping.

If I had to stick cut tapes into the machine every time I want to make a board, I don't really see how this would help me.

That is not really how a real-world P&P system actually works. Even more true for the low-cost machines.
No matter who you are or how much experience you have - it takes time to fiddle with all the little details to get a new design loaded, programmed, proofed, and placed. Even loading feeders takes considerable dexterity. If you are doing tiny batches you will certainly be dealing with very short cut tapes of the expensive parts. When those parts get flipped or fall out - you have to place them back in the tape or tray in the correct orientation.

My big take away after manually building a ton of PCB's and working my way up to having a full P&P system - IT IS A PAIN IN THE ASS TO BUILD PCB's. Even if you spend a huge amount of money, it is perhaps faster but still a pain just in different ways.

If I was still doing a lot of low qty manual assembly - I think I would prefer a good quality manual system that dampens and mechanically reduces any handshake. Something with decent visual alignment tools like a high-res / 60fps camera. an easy way to flip parts, support for big inductors to 0201 passives, bulk bins for jellybean parts, PCB supports that keep the board rigid and allow double sided assembly.

In a race - I can probably (very probably) hand build any pcb faster than someone can set up and successfully run a P&P. 2 pieces - probably still faster. The P&P system may be able to catch me on the 4th or 5th PCB. That is me with a vacuum pen and a microscope and I am not particularly fast or good at it.
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Online chris_leyson

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Re: Open Placer A New Affordable PCB Assembly Machine
« Reply #181 on: June 05, 2018, 07:40:12 am »
Argh, now I see a potential problem, so you have peel the tape first and then feed it in, yeah that's going to be really easy. For me the usefulness of the Open Placer is being able to accurately place 0402 parts and 0.4mm 0.5mm pitch parts. When I say accurate, I mean with better accuracy than I can place by hand and you don't have the problems of parts sticking to the tweezers, accidentally bumping adjacent parts and smudged paste.
 

Online rx8pilot

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Re: Open Placer A New Affordable PCB Assembly Machine
« Reply #182 on: June 05, 2018, 08:11:01 am »
I use a custom-made cut tape feeder and yes, you have to peel the cover tape back first. Removing the cover tape without any parts jumping is a challenge. When you have 10-20 of them with no cover.....it becomes a real party to keep them stable. The process of picking can very easily bump parts out of the tape. Resistors and capacitors are a pain, but diodes and other polarized parts are much more time consuming to put them back.

Obviously, it is not impossible, but it is not easy. If you have 10,000 resistors, it is easy to manage. When you have only a few extra parts - you have to find them and place them back in the tape or on the board. Either way - it is not easy.
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Offline IconicPCB

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Re: Open Placer A New Affordable PCB Assembly Machine
« Reply #183 on: June 05, 2018, 08:12:43 am »
the trick to working with cut tapes is not to use feeders.
The trick is to use a flat platen covered in double sided adhesive.
Rule lines on the platen where tape strips are to be.
Stick the tape strips.
let the adhesive do its magic and hold the tape down.
Only peel back the cover when and as you need it.

PS if the adhesive tape prevents the component being picked up dont press the tape down too hard.

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Re: Open Placer A New Affordable PCB Assembly Machine
« Reply #184 on: June 05, 2018, 08:36:27 am »
Hi rx8pilot. Well I was busy typing away and then what the hell happened, elbow resting on CTRL key  :palm:
Anyway, I think for my purposes a good manual pick and place is the way to go, at least I don't have to program both the pick and place because it's already stored in my head and a robot pick and place doesn't know if a part is missing or up side down. Good mechanical damping, Z axis rotation, good machine vision and vision aligment tools are definitely key. I'm tempted to go and look at the eC-placer from Eurocircuits again, shame they don't do a smaller version.
 

Offline NorthGuy

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Re: Open Placer A New Affordable PCB Assembly Machine
« Reply #185 on: June 05, 2018, 09:51:39 am »
No matter who you are or how much experience you have - it takes time to fiddle with all the little details to get a new design loaded, programmed, proofed, and placed.

This is a very inefficient approach. You spend time once - when you set up your machine. You can fiddle with the software, you can write your own pieces, and then everything gets automated and loading a new design takes one click. It only takes few days, perhaps couple weeks to set up automation. Manually fiddling with every design would take lots of time. Probably doesn't matter if you do big production runs, but for prototyping it's probably easier to place manually.

Even loading feeders takes considerable dexterity.

Probably. But say, I have a BOM which contains 70 lines. But 3 most populated lines may encounter for more than half of parts. This means 3 feeders is enough to place most of the parts. 30 permanently-fixed feeders will cover most of the parts. Loading 30 feeders once in 3 years doesn't scare me much. The rest would be ICs from trays, and, if something is left, I can place it manually. This is really nice way of doing prototyping.

This is not my idea. Someone on this forum suggested this. But I think it's brilliant. I would be doing this already, but $10K for a machine with real feeders seems too steep for a prototyping tool :)

 

Offline ar__systems

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Re: Open Placer A New Affordable PCB Assembly Machine
« Reply #186 on: June 05, 2018, 12:08:50 pm »
This is a very inefficient approach. You spend time once - when you set up your machine. You can fiddle with the software, you can write your own pieces, and then everything gets automated and loading a new design takes one click. It only takes few days, perhaps couple weeks to set up automation. Manually fiddling with every design would take lots of time. Probably doesn't matter if you do big production runs, but for prototyping it's probably easier to place manually.
I take you are not talking from your own experience? :) Maybe if you have a top of the line SMT equipment that is super reliable, it could be a reality, but for cheap 10K Chineese machines it's just not going to happen like that. I'm now 2.5 years working with Chineese machine, and I made significant progress, but I'm still not where I'd like to be (knowing EXACTLY how much time an assembly will take).


Probably. But say, I have a BOM which contains 70 lines. But 3 most populated lines may encounter for more than half of parts. This means 3 feeders is enough to place most of the parts. 30 permanently-fixed feeders will cover most of the parts. Loading 30 feeders once in 3 years doesn't scare me much. The rest would be ICs from trays, and, if something is left, I can place it manually. This is really nice way of doing prototyping.

This is not my idea. Someone on this forum suggested this. But I think it's brilliant. I would be doing this already, but $10K for a machine with real feeders seems too steep for a prototyping tool :)

That's just common sense, nothing brilliant there :)
 

Offline ar__systems

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Re: Open Placer A New Affordable PCB Assembly Machine
« Reply #187 on: June 05, 2018, 12:16:03 pm »
the trick to working with cut tapes is not to use feeders.
The trick is to use a flat platen covered in double sided adhesive.
IMHO it is even worse than strip feeders. Works ok for paper tapes, but completely useless for plastic tapes.
 

Online rx8pilot

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Re: Open Placer A New Affordable PCB Assembly Machine
« Reply #188 on: June 05, 2018, 01:42:20 pm »
the trick to working with cut tapes is not to use feeders.
The trick is to use a flat platen covered in double sided adhesive.
IMHO it is even worse than strip feeders. Works ok for paper tapes, but completely useless for plastic tapes.

I tried the double stick tape method and it was frustrating for sure. As stated - the plastic tapes are even more challenging.

These strip holders are adjustable in 4mm increments to handle anything from 8mm and up. 6in or 12in strips.
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Offline NorthGuy

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Re: Open Placer A New Affordable PCB Assembly Machine
« Reply #189 on: June 05, 2018, 03:13:29 pm »
I take you are not talking from your own experience? :) Maybe if you have a top of the line SMT equipment that is super reliable, it could be a reality, but for cheap 10K Chineese machines it's just not going to happen like that. I'm now 2.5 years working with Chineese machine, and I made significant progress, but I'm still not where I'd like to be (knowing EXACTLY how much time an assembly will take).

No, not from experience :) If even $10K Chinese machines are so unreliable even for prototyping, then Open Placer doesn't have much chance.

I have read some reviews here and from what I read I concluded that $2-3K machines are complete junk, but $10K machines are Ok. What machine do you have? Can you explain what are the typical problems you're experiencing, and what exactly is unreliable?

 

Offline ar__systems

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Re: Open Placer A New Affordable PCB Assembly Machine
« Reply #190 on: June 05, 2018, 06:27:58 pm »

No, not from experience :) If even $10K Chinese machines are so unreliable even for prototyping, then Open Placer doesn't have much chance.

That's wrong way to put :) Making machine efficient for prototypes is much harder than making it efficient for small series runs :)

For example, if I have a board of 160 parts total, and 50 unique parts, a minimally trained tech can do 1 board in a couple of hours easily. If I have to setup the machine for that assembly, I'll easily spend 2 hours or more just setting up the parts. If I need to do 10 prototypes, then I'll be better off with the machine.

I have a TVM 920, which is ok mechanically, but the s/w is crap. Going from CAD to their s/w requires manually checking orientation of the part in library vs in the tape or tray, assigning the height  to the parts, assigning nozzle to the parts. So if it a brand new design with a bunch of parts I never used previously, all that adds time. In addition you need to decide which nozzles to use and configure the s/w appropriately. Then you need to adjust each feeder. Machine feeders all vary slightly, so replacing one with another moves pick up location slightly. For strip feeders adjustment is also required. 4mm pitch is nominal and depends on the tape. Over length of 30 parts a deviation of 0.5mm can easily accumulate. So it's not just "take part A from strip 1", fire-and-forget.

I have developed very elaborate s/w to translate Eagle files into QIHE s/w which makes it almost "1-click". In another 6 month I hope to be able to outperform manual assembly of 2 boards :)
 

Online mikeselectricstuff

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Re: Open Placer A New Affordable PCB Assembly Machine
« Reply #191 on: June 05, 2018, 06:40:54 pm »
Going from CAD to their s/w requires manually checking orientation of the part in library vs in the tape or tray
I have developed very elaborate s/w to translate Eagle files into QIHE s/w which makes it almost "1-click". In another 6 month I hope to be able to outperform manual assembly of 2 boards :)
+1 - Having a smooth path from CAD, libraries with consistent rotations etc. makes a huge difference to setup time

This is a key difference between having your own machine for your own projects, and a subcontractor situation where you have to take designs in from other people. The requirements from the P&P software are somewhat different between these 2 use cases
« Last Edit: June 05, 2018, 06:42:36 pm by mikeselectricstuff »
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Offline Smallsmt

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Re: Open Placer A New Affordable PCB Assembly Machine
« Reply #192 on: June 05, 2018, 10:54:23 pm »
Quote
Over length of 30 parts a deviation of 0.5mm can easily accumulate

@ar_systems
Do you use uncalibrated feeders on your TVM920??
 

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Re: Open Placer A New Affordable PCB Assembly Machine
« Reply #193 on: June 05, 2018, 11:36:27 pm »
Quote
Over length of 30 parts a deviation of 0.5mm can easily accumulate

@ar_systems
Do you use uncalibrated feeders on your TVM920??

That was in relation to STRIP feeders, not reel feeders. If you lay 2 tapes side by side, and match their first holes, the 30th holes won't necessarily match.

On another note, I would love to know how to calibrate the Yamaha CL feeders. :)
 

Offline ar__systems

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Re: Open Placer A New Affordable PCB Assembly Machine
« Reply #194 on: June 05, 2018, 11:53:40 pm »
libraries with consistent rotations etc. makes a huge difference to setup time
In my process I'm kind of independent of libraries. Since I read the Eagle files, (as opposed to XY file most assembly places would want) I know exactly how the part is oriented in the library. For many packages there is a standard way to orient them in the tape, so I hardcode that info into the s/w. If the part is off-centered in the library, that is another source of issues, and again, by reading original data I can correct it automatically. In the beginning correcting angles was a huge pain, since it was done in the QIHE s/w, which is horrible and does not allow easy fixes for many common scenarios. I.e. if you move part from front to back feeder, it does not fix the rotation automatically :) Right now my s/w is done to the point there I don't need to edit anything in QIHE, all of the data preparation is done in my s/w, in a way that makes sense.

I'm actually aiming to be able to assemble other people's boards efficiently, despite knowing that it is probably a bad idea :)
 

Offline NorthGuy

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Re: Open Placer A New Affordable PCB Assembly Machine
« Reply #195 on: June 06, 2018, 12:18:51 am »
I have a TVM 920, which is ok mechanically, but the s/w is crap. Going from CAD to their s/w requires manually checking orientation of the part in library vs in the tape or tray, assigning the height  to the parts, assigning nozzle to the parts. So if it a brand new design with a bunch of parts I never used previously, all that adds time.

I have seen OpenPnP Web site, where they reverse-engineered TVM920 interface:

https://github.com/openpnp/openpnp/wiki/TVM920

Then you can throw away crappy manufacturer's software and go with your own. This seems easy enough to me. Since it's only for yourself, you don't need much of a user interface. Have you looked at this option?

Then you need to adjust each feeder. Machine feeders all vary slightly, so replacing one with another moves pick up location slightly. For strip feeders adjustment is also required. 4mm pitch is nominal and depends on the tape. Over length of 30 parts a deviation of 0.5mm can easily accumulate. So it's not just "take part A from strip 1", fire-and-forget.

That's a pity. I though the holes in the tapes are done for automatic positioning, so when you position the hole, the part is automatically positioned over the pick place. If it doesn't use holes as a reference, then precision will not be good - if anything, the paper expands and contracts when its moisture content changes, plastic expands and contracts with temperature. It's surprising it works at all.

If it doesn't use holes for positioning, may be it is possible to use vision to make sure it picks correctly? Does your machine have an overhead camera which you can use when picking from the feeders?

 
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Offline ar__systems

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Re: Open Placer A New Affordable PCB Assembly Machine
« Reply #196 on: June 06, 2018, 12:37:33 am »

That's a pity. I though the holes in the tapes are done for automatic positioning,

They are, and it it works for reel feeders. Again, I was referring to strip feeders. Hoping to just stick the tapes into slots and peeling the covers is not enough.

OpenPNP... I know people tried it and but apparently it is not very convenient as far UI goes. I loaded it once, and I just could not understand it. I'm doing my own. ;)
 

Offline ar__systems

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Re: Open Placer A New Affordable PCB Assembly Machine
« Reply #197 on: June 06, 2018, 12:40:56 am »
, may be it is possible to use vision to make sure it picks correctly? Does your machine have an overhead camera which you can use when picking from the feeders?

That would be a nice feature. They all have overhead camera but I don't think any of Chinese machines do that.
 

Offline NorthGuy

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Re: Open Placer A New Affordable PCB Assembly Machine
« Reply #198 on: June 06, 2018, 12:59:23 am »
OpenPNP... I know people tried it and but apparently it is not very convenient as far UI goes. I loaded it once, and I just could not understand it. I'm doing my own. ;)

You don't necessarily need to use their GUI. The important thing is that they found a way to disconnect the original software and drive the machine directly, which simplifies writing your own software to control it.

If you write it for yourself, you don't need much of a GUI - just a command line executable which reads the control files and execute, spewing out the log. It is much easier to calculate coordinate transform in your own program than to figure out how to explain it to the manufacturer's software.

 

Offline NorthGuy

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Re: Open Placer A New Affordable PCB Assembly Machine
« Reply #199 on: June 06, 2018, 01:09:29 am »
They are, and it it works for reel feeders. Again, I was referring to strip feeders. Hoping to just stick the tapes into slots and peeling the covers is not enough.

That's what everyone using the machines seems to agree upon - only real reel feeders are reliable - everything else is PITA. But, between the cost of the machine and the cost of the feeder, buying the whole reel (instead of cut tape) is not such a huge expense for most components. Even for more expensive parts, many suppliers offer custom reels by cutting tape and then putting it on an empty reel, or you can do it yourself. Have you tried these?
 

Offline ar__systems

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Re: Open Placer A New Affordable PCB Assembly Machine
« Reply #200 on: June 06, 2018, 01:37:37 am »
You don't necessarily need to use their GUI. The important thing is that they found a way to disconnect the original software and drive the machine directly, which simplifies writing your own software to control it.

If you write it for yourself, you don't need much of a GUI - just a command line executable which reads the control files and execute, spewing out the log. It is much easier to calculate coordinate transform in your own program than to figure out how to explain it to the manufacturer's software.
Yeah, that part of work was almost done, but it was not complete, which probably explains lack of wide adoption of openpnp for tvm920.

It won't work without UI.... It is not a fire-and-forget system, not for a while at least. Feeders jam, parts fall of the needle, vision system needs adjustment etc etc.
 

Offline NorthGuy

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Re: Open Placer A New Affordable PCB Assembly Machine
« Reply #201 on: June 06, 2018, 02:10:16 am »
Yeah, that part of work was almost done, but it was not complete, which probably explains lack of wide adoption of openpnp for tvm920.

It wouldn't be hard to complete. Then you make the software as good as you want.

Feeders jam, parts fall of the needle, vision system needs adjustment etc etc.

This is serious stuff. You certainly cannot improve this by changing software (perhaps may be by decreasing speed and such). I guess one part falling on an almost-placed board would mess up things quite a bit. Not something you want to deal with.

So, your advise would be to avoid TVM920 (TVM925 now) machines for prototyping purposes, right?

 

Online rx8pilot

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Re: Open Placer A New Affordable PCB Assembly Machine
« Reply #202 on: June 06, 2018, 04:18:01 am »
It is not a fire-and-forget system, not for a while at least. Feeders jam, parts fall of the needle, vision system needs adjustment etc etc.

Yes - there is always something.....even with more expensive systems. My setup is a full-on commercial system from the 90's. It is physically very robust, precise, accurate, repeatable.....yet still mis-picks and messes up. The feeders may not advance, jam, not be repeatable. Each job is loaded with little tweaks and fixes. Some jobs, I use the same feeders as the last job......some jobs I have to load 20 feeders and 10 cut tapes and 3 tubes. Each one requires settings, pickup test, placement test and a final verification. It is very easy to cross similar parts and your 20 placements of 1k resistors just became 100k. Or all the diode are backward.

I feel like for prototyping - a system that uses vision to image each pickup would be good. Vision alignment is very very cheap and can overcome a myriad of mechanical deficiencies. In a production world, it may be too slow but for prototyping, setup effort dominates the total time. If I could have marginally accurate feeders and marginally places cut tapes where the machine can find the edges of the part - it would save a lot of time and expense. In a budget-constrained world of makers and DIY - leaning on cheap vision instead of very accurate mechanics seem like it would yield a better solution overall.


Going from CAD to their s/w requires manually checking orientation of the part in library vs in the tape or tray
I have developed very elaborate s/w to translate Eagle files into QIHE s/w which makes it almost "1-click". In another 6 month I hope to be able to outperform manual assembly of 2 boards :)
+1 - Having a smooth path from CAD, libraries with consistent rotations etc. makes a huge difference to setup time

This is a key difference between having your own machine for your own projects, and a subcontractor situation where you have to take designs in from other people. The requirements from the P&P software are somewhat different between these 2 use cases

This is CRUCIAL to making it all work. I too put in considerable effort to get to a '1-click' from CAD to P&P. That effort was very well spent and drastically reduces the effort for new designs. I also scanned eBay like a hawk and have been continuously purchasing various feeders. I now have 200+ feeders which is enough to keep most parts loaded all the time, still, have leftovers for new parts and spare parts when they break. Early on when I was very feeder limited, I spent enormous amounts of time swapping parts in the feeders.

Two years after the initial acquisition.....I finally have the process worked out. A lot of hours and a lot of additional money to make it a practical process.

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Offline jmelson

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Re: Open Placer A New Affordable PCB Assembly Machine
« Reply #203 on: June 06, 2018, 05:23:27 am »
I guess one part falling on an almost-placed board would mess up things quite a bit. Not something you want to deal with.
Rarely a big problem.  I occasionally have this happen on my Philips machine.  A part (usually a small passive) landing randomly will have a huge probability of landing on an area with no pads and paste (at least on my lower-density boards).  So, it just falls off in handling.  I guess it could land in a spot where a part will later be placed.

Anyway, this is a pretty rare occurrence.  Usually, if parts are going to be dropped, they fall when the nozzle raises over the feeder and the centering jaws touch it.  If bad vacuum is detected, then the head moves over the dump bucket and cycles the centering jaws a few times.
Either the vacuum improves and the part is placed, or it falls off there.  If vacuum is still below limit, then the part is dumped in the dump bucket and a new part is picked.  So, dropping a part on the board happens a couple times a year, maybe.

On a machine without centering jaws, I'd expect it to be even more rare.  Either the nozzle picks up the part, or it doesn't.

Jon
 

Offline blueskull

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Re: Open Placer A New Affordable PCB Assembly Machine
« Reply #204 on: July 27, 2018, 02:07:54 pm »
Shipping has started! Fingers crossed.



IGG definitely needs to improve their recommendation system.
I'm NOT interested in that!
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Re: Open Placer A New Affordable PCB Assembly Machine
« Reply #205 on: July 27, 2018, 02:52:00 pm »
Shipping has started! Fingers crossed.


Ooooooohhhhh....An unboxing!!!
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Offline TJ232

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Re: Open Placer A New Affordable PCB Assembly Machine
« Reply #206 on: July 27, 2018, 08:30:09 pm »
Shipping has started! Fingers crossed.

IGG definitely needs to improve their recommendation system.
I'm NOT interested in that!

You are, you are, you don't know yet but you are!
Inside are some very good vibration motors perfect for your vibration feeders  :-DD

 

Offline Richard Crowley

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Re: Open Placer A New Affordable PCB Assembly Machine
« Reply #207 on: July 28, 2018, 01:24:42 am »
The IGG page seems to be closed, and their website is just a nearly-empty boilerplate.
Will this be an ongoing product or was this a one-time event?
 

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Re: Open Placer A New Affordable PCB Assembly Machine
« Reply #208 on: July 28, 2018, 01:36:34 am »
When I released my first product, I was so overwhelmed with all the un-anticipated details that a wedsite was low on the priority list.

Perhaps this is similar.

Short and misplld from my mobile......

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Offline RickJames

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Re: Open Placer A New Affordable PCB Assembly Machine
« Reply #209 on: August 03, 2018, 02:56:50 pm »
As I understand it, this is supposed to be a product line that will be for sale at some point. The point of the IGG fundraiser was to get the word out. I've had trouble with the website too. Tried it again today and finally got through. You can get to it by following the "ALL PRODUCTS" link on the Store Page or you can use the link below. Their main site lists them as a "Kale CNC brand" and they're sold through that site.

http://www.kalecnc.com/index.php/shop-with-sidebar-2/

The devices are currently listed as sold out (as of this post), but parts for them are available. I pre-ordered a mini so I'll give my 2 cents on it when I get mine (which should be soon).
 

Offline RickJames

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Re: Open Placer A New Affordable PCB Assembly Machine
« Reply #210 on: August 07, 2018, 05:29:03 pm »
Just got my Open Placer Mini and got super excited when I saw the package. Sorry guys, not gonna do an unboxing, but I'll give my 2 cents on it.

As expected for a project with this kind of budget, the Open Placer looks fairly plain. That said, overall it doesn't look or feel cheap. There are a couple of spots where epoxy is visible, but nothing major to be concerned about. Cables are routed well, the assembly is clean, and the important parts are made of metal.

It came almost fully assembled which is nice. However, it was missing the instructions for the parts that had to be assembled so now I'm waiting for a response from the team. There's a section of the website dedicated to setup, but it's missing the instructions I need.

I'll put up some more pictures and give a full review once I get it fully set up. So far it looks as advertised.
 

Offline blueskull

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Re: Open Placer A New Affordable PCB Assembly Machine
« Reply #211 on: August 08, 2018, 12:07:16 am »
Just got my Open Placer Mini and got super excited when I saw the package. Sorry guys, not gonna do an unboxing, but I'll give my 2 cents on it.

Thank you for the pictures. Those look nice! I backed a mini, an extra tray and a few nozzles.
I'm also located in US, but my package is still in transit at Belgium airport.
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Offline ucdiode86

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Re: Open Placer A New Affordable PCB Assembly Machine
« Reply #212 on: August 20, 2018, 08:34:17 am »
Hello RickJames,

I backed a standard version and I received the also the parcel.

All seem to be there but, like you, I don't have the assembly manual.

I contacted Furkan of the OpenPlacer team the 7 August about the documentation, and he said that he need one week to finish.

Unfortunately, today, the web page of assembly manual ( http://www.openplacer.com/?page_id=353) has not updated.

I contacted Furkan some days ago but he seem to be offline (no answer).

At your side, do you have news about the assembly manual ?

Best regards.

Seb.
 

Offline Gregdavill

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Re: Open Placer A New Affordable PCB Assembly Machine
« Reply #213 on: August 29, 2018, 04:21:08 pm »
I backed the mini version.

Just got mine yesterday in Aus. I was notified that mine was sent via a different company. (The courier they typically use wouldn't ship to Australia...?)
Some slight shipping damage (drag chain end has broken, easy for me to fix myself).

Let me preface by saying that I set expectations low when buying things off crowdfunding sites. i.e. I'm okay if they never ship the product. So this product has already exceeded my expectations.

But there are multiple small things wrong with my machine.
  • Almost every screw is loose. (The panels that make up the case rattle when you tap them)
  • The belts were very loose
  • Pulley's for Y axis were not secured to motor's driven rod
  • Y axis motor was loose
  • Z axis clearly interfering with 3d cover
  • Z axis motor wired in reverse*
  • I think I was sent a full sized parts tray, not one for the mini.
  • E axis (or C axis) does not seem to rotate the nozzle
  • Down-looking camera LED ring is too bright, no software brightness control

I worked through these in a few hours, I've had experience building 3d printers from scratch. But it almost feels my unit missed a final QC step? Given that the belts were loose and the pulley's not secured I doubt any QC involving running the machine was performed.

I do understand that hardware is hard. But I feel like the creators were out of their depth, and didn't plan out assembly and testing procedures.

I notice they do in fact have manuals on the website now.
*the user manual describes using DIP switches on the control board to "set" axis rotation direction?? Why was that not done before shipping?

I have managed to get the machine mechanically working (with 3d printing GUI pronterface).
The control PCB had flux from hand rework, which is fine.... except the chip they reworked had 2 pins with no solder. (Which was why the vac solenoid wasn't working).

Side note: The machine design choices are very weird to me.
  • Every stepper motor on the machine is different.
  • Mixture of CNC'd aluminium parts, waterjet steel, sheetmetal (bent/angled), turned Delrin, and 3d printed plastic.
  • Electronics uses 3 different types of plug in stepper controllers (as used on 3d printers)

I understand that electronics and mechanical assembly is hard, I personally think they didn't charge enough during the campaign. So I'm very happy that they managed to ship products out to all their backers. I hope they can improve their process and QC moving forward. Good to hear that I might be an outlier with these issues.
 

Online rx8pilot

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Re: Open Placer A New Affordable PCB Assembly Machine
« Reply #214 on: August 30, 2018, 03:13:02 am »
I understand that electronics and mechanical assembly is hard, I personally think they didn't charge enough during the campaign. So I'm very happy that they managed to ship products out to all their backers. I hope they can improve their process and QC moving forward. Good to hear that I might be an outlier with these issues.

In my experience......assembly is the easy part. ORGANIZING is the hard part.  :-+

Switching gears from design/engineering/testing/etc/etc......to being bombarded with a myriad of process control and QC can be a real shocker. A few loose screws seems like you are in pretty good shape. Really good to see deliveries for sure.

Looking forward to see what kind of work people will be able to accomplish with these systems.
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Offline SSLee

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Re: Open Placer A New Affordable PCB Assembly Machine
« Reply #215 on: September 02, 2018, 02:20:59 pm »
E axis (or C axis) does not seem to rotate the nozzle

Have you figured this out? Mine (a standard version) has the same issue.

The manuals on their website are pretty much useless. Have to tune everything myself.
 

Offline blueskull

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Re: Open Placer A New Affordable PCB Assembly Machine
« Reply #216 on: September 04, 2018, 12:22:13 am »
So far I've been trying to get my OP to work, without success. Here's my journey:

1. I powered up the machine, its USB cameras work, I can see the UART, and I can download the test firmware.
2. Repetier can't connect to the board and send any Gcode.
3. The fans are VERY noisy and annoying. Upon inspection, they are the cheapest fans one can imagine.
4. Screws rattle in the chassis. I'm glad it didn't blow up the SMPS. Safety hazard!
5. The SMPS was very improperly connected to the mains input module. Blade connectors are loose. Safety hazard!
6. Many exposed metal are rusted, they are not protected with zinc or other plating/coating.
7. The red motor board looks to be recycled. There are still glue residue.
8. The nozzle changer won't fit. The screw holes was not properly tapped, and the plastic spacers are way to big.
9. LV cables are running everywhere in the chassis, including next to SMPS input. Safety hazard!
10. Deformation of many steel panels.
11. Manual says 2 vacuum pumps. I only see one from tear down.
12. Platform is not flat. I have to force the tray to sit flat on the platform.

Please, this is a $800 machine. Please use $3 fans and $5 motor boards instead of $1 "AliExpress special this week".
And why TF there are 3 types of motor boards out of totally 4 motor boards? Why TF every stepper is different?

Edit 20180903:

1. After setting baud rate to 115200 instead of the default 250000, I am now able to talk to the machine.
11. It has one vacuum pump, with two stages.

Edit 20180904:

3. It's not the fans' noise, but the noise from the rattling of the fans. Tightening up loosen screws helped. They are still under-powered for the heat generated by the motor drivers, and they are still too noisy, but much better than before. Please consider Trinamics or other top motor drivers, instead of those cheap DRVxxxx or Axxxx drivers.
8. Fixed by forcing the screws in by 1mm. They won't go further, so I had to add a spacer to reduce the length I need to drive them in. Also, screws came with the unit are extremely soft and crappy, the Philips head gets ruined easily.

Also, the X axis resolution is bad. A test circle G-code path supplied from OP website does generate a circular movement, but on the tangent between the circle edge and Y axis direction, circular line becomes straight line. Movement of the head is jittery as well.

« Last Edit: September 05, 2018, 03:45:04 am by blueskull »
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Online CM800

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Re: Open Placer A New Affordable PCB Assembly Machine
« Reply #217 on: September 04, 2018, 01:31:04 am »
So far I've been trying to get my OP to work, without success. Here's my journey:

1. I powered up the machine, its USB cameras work, I can see the UART, and I can download the test firmware.
2. Repetier can't connect to the board and send any Gcode.
3. The fans are VERY noisy and annoying. Upon inspection, they are the cheapest fans one can imagine.
4. Screws rattle in the chassis. I'm glad it didn't blow up the SMPS. Safety hazard!
5. The SMPS was very improperly connected to the mains input module. Blade connectors are loose. Safety hazard!
6. Many exposed metal are rusted, they are not protected with zinc or other plating/coating.
7. The red motor board looks to be recycled. There are still glue residue.
8. The nozzle changer won't fit. The screw holes was not properly tapped, and the plastic spacers are way to big.
9. LV cables are running everywhere in the chassis, including next to SMPS input. Safety hazard!
10. Deformation of many steel panels.
11. Manual says 2 vacuum pumps. I only see one from tear down.
12. Platform is not flat. I have to force the tray to sit flat on the platform.

Please, this is a $800 machine. Please use $3 fans and $5 motor boards instead of $1 "AliExpress special this week".
And why TF there are 3 types of motor boards out of totally 4 motor boards? Why TF every stepper is different?

This is why I've decided never to buy a machine again.

If it is suitable for it's job, it's too expensive.

If it is at an affordable price point, it's not suitable for it's job.
 

Offline Furkan

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Re: Open Placer A New Affordable PCB Assembly Machine
« Reply #218 on: September 05, 2018, 03:22:47 am »
Dear all

Sorry for replying this late. For the moment we managed to send 20 orders to our funders. We were quite busy updating the websites, instructions and infrastructure for the continuity of Openplacer.

The e-commerce website www.openplacerstore.com is active but there are some bugs that we need to fix.

The website needs about a week or a little more to solve the bugs. For the moment the 3D secure (a security code will be sent to your cell phone) credit card payment and wire transfer options are ready. However most of the bugs are related with the language (There several Turkish words in the website). Paypal payment option seems to be active in a week. Unfortunately, Paypal is not authorised in Turkey so we accept payments via our US distributor ASCO LLC. It is a little old fashioned way but we ask you to send the total amount to that Paypal account so that we will ship your products.

We had so many feedbacks from the 20 Indiegogo orders. We will definetely improve our packaging. We haven't finalized it yet but it will be guaranteed packaging from a 3rd party company.

The user manual and instructions are improving day by day. It is available at openplacer.com but it will shortly be available also at openplacerstore.com

We will improve us from the feedbacks. I hope all our backers enjoy the product.

Furkan

I will update you with details.



We re
 

Online rx8pilot

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Re: Open Placer A New Affordable PCB Assembly Machine
« Reply #219 on: September 05, 2018, 03:43:36 am »
Please, this is a $800 machine. Please use $3 fans and $5 motor boards instead of $1 "AliExpress special this week".

A handbuilt, specialty machine with a lot of parts built in micro quantity? $800 is a spec of money. Subtract some profit (even a small profit), labor for the entire operation, labor directly related to your machine....the max BOM cost is maybe $400 or so and probably less. That is a stunningly low cost. The only expectation should be the Alibaba specials in terms of hardware. If this were a 3D printer that was likely to sell 10's of thousands of units, you could expect slightly better - but it is not.

Low-end, entry-level P&P from Neoden is 10x the price.
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Online mrpackethead

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Re: Open Placer A New Affordable PCB Assembly Machine
« Reply #220 on: September 05, 2018, 11:33:45 am »
Please, this is a $800 machine. Please use $3 fans and $5 motor boards instead of $1 "AliExpress special this week".

A handbuilt, specialty machine with a lot of parts built in micro quantity? $800 is a spec of money. Subtract some profit (even a small profit), labor for the entire operation, labor directly related to your machine....the max BOM cost is maybe $400 or so and probably less. That is a stunningly low cost. The only expectation should be the Alibaba specials in terms of hardware. If this were a 3D printer that was likely to sell 10's of thousands of units, you could expect slightly better - but it is not.

Low-end, entry-level P&P from Neoden is 10x the price.

Ahh, But the dream of hassle free, fast, precise and super low cost PNP is still alive!

Wake me up when it happens.  I'm still having PNP reality nightmares.

 

Offline kerim_kaleli

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Re: Open Placer A New Affordable PCB Assembly Machine
« Reply #221 on: September 05, 2018, 08:21:32 pm »
Dear All,
I'm Kerim, the founder of OpenPlacer.

Thank you all for your valuable comments.
 
From the very beginning of design process, our aim is to design a potentially commercial pick and place machine, which would be opensource and could be built easily by anyone. Following two years of an intense research and development stage, we initiated to use our prototype, built in our own workshop. Afterwards, Indiegogo campaign was launched, thanks a lot to all our backers.
We are aware of the fact that OpenPlacer is not perfect yet. Thus, we work hard  to improve our product, enhancing the design of each part.

Our main purpose has always been to allow all electronics people, professional or amateur, have their own pick and place machine. Our intention is not to built a perfect machine capable of placing every component, but to built an affordable machine, even for students, capable of placing most frequently used components.

Taking into consideration of all your valuable critics and comments, we will continue our studies on both hardware and software, improving our product.
Thanks a lot.
Kerim KALELI
 


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