Author Topic: The Reality of a Pick and Place Lifestyle  (Read 5913 times)

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Offline Kjelt

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Re: The Reality of a Pick and Place Lifestyle
« Reply #75 on: July 11, 2018, 05:36:04 am »
Look in your service manual for the service and replacement times.
If you run low series in long intervals you might need to run other schedules for some cleanings.
 

Offline rx8pilot

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Re: The Reality of a Pick and Place Lifestyle
« Reply #76 on: July 11, 2018, 06:00:09 am »
Look in your service manual for the service and replacement times.
If you run low series in long intervals you might need to run other schedules for some cleanings.

Totally true....although I have no manuals  |O
I just finished cleaning and greasing the ball screws and linear guides. The linear encoders were cleaned, which is very delicate and hard to reach. The optics on the cameras were cleaned. The down camera lens had a loose front element which looked like erroneous behavior from the machine. I thought it was a motion control problem which I traced, racked, and tested for two days before I realized the loose lens was just making it look like the machine was not hitting its marks. I checked backlash, absolute accuracy and repeatability which are all in good shape. A number of belts were re-tensioned, the PCB shuttle bearings replaced.

Next up is a critical alignment of the feeder docks and JEDEC trays - I think they are all crooked which only matters when you are setting up the machine. For a new setup - if all the feeders are perfectly aligned to the XY axis - almost no software offsets are needed. Each feeder has an internal offset that lines it up - all of mine are a little different so each feeder needs to be adjusted in software everytime I place it. Some of those alignments should pay for themselves.

I have replaced about 100 peel rollers that pull the cover tape through the feeders. The vacuum path probably needs to be cleaned - but I don't even know how to do that yet. Based on the muck I have cleaned from the nozzles - it is a safe bet the vacuum system is also mucky.

There is a leak in the air blow-off system - minor but needs to be addressed.

All in, I would estimate it needs about 10 hours of labor remaining for maintenance right now and I would think I would be good for about a year. Some of the recent issues I have addressed will probably outlive the machine. I tend to look and listen for tiny differences in general. When something does not look right or sound right - it is usually not good. It would be nice to have a manual - but by now I have taken just about every section apart at some point. I have learned to calibrate and measure it.

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Offline Kjelt

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Re: The Reality of a Pick and Place Lifestyle
« Reply #77 on: July 11, 2018, 06:14:13 am »
You really are a CNC person  :)
The vacuum and pressure system are important.
In my manual of an old Philips P&P the vacuum pipes needed cleaning each 100 hours or so, checking the vacuum and pressure with a barmeter (the values are in the manual tolerance of 0,05 bar), vacuum filters etc. inspection of the nozzle, small wear could mean many mispicks etc.

Is there no-one on the forum that has the manual for you or a copy, could be some things in there you have not thought of that might make a big difference.
 

Offline rx8pilot

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Re: The Reality of a Pick and Place Lifestyle
« Reply #78 on: July 11, 2018, 06:30:11 am »
The vacuum and pressure system are important.
In my manual of an old Philips P&P the vacuum pipes needed cleaning each 100 hours or so, checking the vacuum and pressure with a barmeter (the values are in the manual tolerance of 0,05 bar)

How do you clean the vac lines?

Is there no-one on the forum that has the manual for you or a copy, could be some things in there you have not thought of that might make a big difference.

PPM has the pneumatic and wiring diagrams in what they call a manual - they want $150 for that. It will be a bargain if it is rather complete. I fear that it may leave me disappointed. They have answered a pile of phone calls for free, but for some reason are protective of the manuals. The operation manual they offer, for example, only covers the software and it is not a well done manual at that.

I may just buy the $150 mystery manual and hope for the best.
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Offline Kjelt

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Re: The Reality of a Pick and Place Lifestyle
« Reply #79 on: July 11, 2018, 06:39:25 am »
How do you clean the vac lines?
On the Philips machine you remove the nozzle, inside is a small pipebrush that acts like a prefilter.
You remove the pipebrush, insert a new one , rag it a few times keep it out. Then on the pressure manifold of that head there is a cleaning setting which blows low pressure 0,6 bar ultra clean filtered air through the vacuum tube and head so a reverse blow action. Then replace the pipebrush and the nozzle.

This differs per P&P machine ofcourse but most have multiple filters, one close to the head, one before the pump. If you have cleaned your system, measure the vacuum on the head so you have a reference when something is not right.
 

Offline Kjelt

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Re: The Reality of a Pick and Place Lifestyle
« Reply #80 on: July 11, 2018, 06:53:48 am »
The machine has a calibration nozzle in combination with calibration software it determines if the system is still within specifications.
Btw here is some example of a maintenance schedule for this machine.
 

Offline mrpackethead

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Re: The Reality of a Pick and Place Lifestyle
« Reply #81 on: July 11, 2018, 11:12:32 am »
I can load a 8mm Yamaha Pnematic feeder in about 3 minutes with a new reel of parts, or in about 4 minutes with cut tape. ( provided its not super short.      This assumes you have the feeder and hte materials on the bench.

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Offline rx8pilot

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Re: The Reality of a Pick and Place Lifestyle
« Reply #82 on: July 11, 2018, 01:03:00 pm »
I can load a 8mm Yamaha Pnematic feeder in about 3 minutes with a new reel of parts, or in about 4 minutes with cut tape. ( provided its not super short.      This assumes you have the feeder and hte materials on the bench.

I would say that is a safe estimate for Quad feeders too. Could be faster if my life depended on it, but 3 minutes is a good average for new reel.

I could save some time if I had some better splicing tape for the cover film along with a dispenser that is easy to pull short tabs from. At the moment, I am using Kapton tape and a terrible dispenser. Any suggestions for some thin, easy to dispense tape with aggressive adhesive would be nice. The same stuff the OEM's use on new reels - not sure where to get something similar.
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Offline Bassman59

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Re: The Reality of a Pick and Place Lifestyle
« Reply #83 on: July 11, 2018, 01:57:42 pm »
Perhaps if I spent $500k+ on all new SMT equipment - automated printer with inspection, modern P&P, feeders for every imaginable part, slick process control software, AOI, oven, and electrical test.......I would expect far fewer error rates and higher productivity (After a very long year of learning). That would also require a big investment in part management and storage along with purchasing and inventory control.

And then you’d find that you were now a contract assembly house, not a product design business.
 

Offline tautech

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Re: The Reality of a Pick and Place Lifestyle
« Reply #84 on: July 11, 2018, 02:22:05 pm »
I could save some time if I had some better splicing tape for the cover film along with a dispenser that is easy to pull short tabs from.
Could you lap join the cover film and so use a double sided tape ?

This stuff really sticks like poo to a blanket and although I use it mainly for business card to brochures I've used for finger pull blocks on sliding glass windows. Sort of stuff that when it's stuck, it's stuck for good !
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Offline rx8pilot

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Re: The Reality of a Pick and Place Lifestyle
« Reply #85 on: July 11, 2018, 02:50:13 pm »
Perhaps if I spent $500k+ on all new SMT equipment - automated printer with inspection, modern P&P, feeders for every imaginable part, slick process control software, AOI, oven, and electrical test.......I would expect far fewer error rates and higher productivity (After a very long year of learning). That would also require a big investment in part management and storage along with purchasing and inventory control.

And then you’d find that you were now a contract assembly house, not a product design business.

Exactly.....

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Offline mrpackethead

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Re: The Reality of a Pick and Place Lifestyle
« Reply #86 on: July 11, 2018, 04:11:27 pm »
I can load a 8mm Yamaha Pnematic feeder in about 3 minutes with a new reel of parts, or in about 4 minutes with cut tape. ( provided its not super short.      This assumes you have the feeder and hte materials on the bench.

I would say that is a safe estimate for Quad feeders too. Could be faster if my life depended on it, but 3 minutes is a good average for new reel.

I could save some time if I had some better splicing tape for the cover film along with a dispenser that is easy to pull short tabs from. At the moment, I am using Kapton tape and a terrible dispenser. Any suggestions for some thin, easy to dispense tape with aggressive adhesive would be nice. The same stuff the OEM's use on new reels - not sure where to get something similar.

I use these.  they make them in 8/12/16 mm width.. 500 in a box. Easy as to use.  Keep some tape from old reels,  ( and keep some old reels, they all come in handy ) to use to splice on.   


https://www.aliexpress.com/item/SMT-Double-splice-Tape-8mm-blue-500pcs-box/32750742195.html?spm=a2g0s.9042311.0.0.27424c4dyPYXGS

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Offline D3f1ant

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Re: The Reality of a Pick and Place Lifestyle
« Reply #87 on: July 11, 2018, 04:26:05 pm »
0201 is no problem at all. ROFL.
 
 

Offline D3f1ant

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Re: The Reality of a Pick and Place Lifestyle
« Reply #88 on: July 11, 2018, 04:32:48 pm »
For spicing leader on, or joining two strips together (why they sometimes supply two short lengths instead of a continuous strip?),  I use 6mm wide masking tape, took a few goes to find one that is sticky enough, some brands don't stick to the top tape particularly well.

That splicing tape looks interesting, might have to try it, thanks for the link.
 

Offline mrpackethead

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Re: The Reality of a Pick and Place Lifestyle
« Reply #89 on: July 11, 2018, 04:47:39 pm »
There s multiple places selling them,  I bougth a variety of widths.. They work really well, as they stick on both sides, makign the tape spliced nice and tight, and because it folds over in half, its all straight without any real issues. ( if your splice is not straight, your in for trouble! )
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Offline rx8pilot

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Re: The Reality of a Pick and Place Lifestyle
« Reply #90 on: July 12, 2018, 04:11:15 am »

I use these.  they make them in 8/12/16 mm width.. 500 in a box. Easy as to use.  Keep some tape from old reels,  ( and keep some old reels, they all come in handy ) to use to splice on.   


https://www.aliexpress.com/item/SMT-Double-splice-Tape-8mm-blue-500pcs-box/32750742195.html?spm=a2g0s.9042311.0.0.27424c4dyPYXGS

Ordered those. Bargain. Thanks for the tip!

0201 is no problem at all. ROFL.
 

If you have enough money - 0201 is no problem
If you have steady hands - 0201 is no problem
If you have a bad temper - 0201 IS a problem

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Offline jmelson

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Re: The Reality of a Pick and Place Lifestyle
« Reply #91 on: July 12, 2018, 08:16:51 am »

Assuming that goes well.....I will visit an actual line using the same machine. That miniature education will be very interesting! It is hard for me to understand how much of my limitations and issues are directly related to the specific machine I have. The claim is that it only takes 30 seconds to load a feeder - we will see.
Well, on my Philips CSM84, if I have to load a new reel or fiddle with a balky feeder/tape, it usually only takes me 1-2 minutes to have the feeder back on the machine and running.  Presumably, my feeders are about as old as my machine, now over 20 years old.  The CSM series used mechanical advance from the head for 8 and 12mm feeders, so they are really basic.

Quote
I would not want to be overly reliant on service technicians or remote sessions everytime a problem pops up.
No, this would be a disaster for the small shop!  I've managed to fix everything that went wrong with my machine so far.  And, any tech would likely have ordered terribly expensive replacement parts, when in several cases things just needed cleaning.

Jon
 

Offline jmelson

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Re: The Reality of a Pick and Place Lifestyle
« Reply #92 on: July 12, 2018, 08:25:04 am »

I could save some time if I had some better splicing tape for the cover film along with a dispenser that is easy to pull short tabs from. At the moment, I am using Kapton tape and a terrible dispenser. Any suggestions for some thin, easy to dispense tape with aggressive adhesive would be nice. The same stuff the OEM's use on new reels - not sure where to get something similar.
I use masking tape.  For narrow tape, I just wrap the masking tape over the cover tape as many times as needed until there is no remaining sticky side exposed.
This generally flows over the puller mechanism pretty well.  (There are masking tapes with weak adhesive, this stuff seems to be the more sticky type.)

Jon
 

Offline rx8pilot

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Re: The Reality of a Pick and Place Lifestyle
« Reply #93 on: July 12, 2018, 09:16:45 am »
What manual printers is everyone using? Is it practical to have a reasonably functional printer <$1k USD? The fancy manual printers look amazing but at $4k-$6k new.

Safe to say....any printer is probably better than what I am using now.

After getting a printer, I have guessed at technique, squeegee choice, angle, speed, single vs multipass, etc....
With small, single PCBs I can nail fine pitch prints all day. With panels, fine pitch is scary and I have too many flaws overall. Would love to improve consistency in printing fine pitch panels in a single pass. It is a bit of an art form that relies on feelings and experience, but I bet an equipment upgrade would at least make a contribution to success.
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Offline JPlocher

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Re: The Reality of a Pick and Place Lifestyle
« Reply #94 on: July 12, 2018, 02:21:03 pm »
The "under $US500" manual printer world seems to fall into three categories -
  • stuff aimed at an occasional user making small lots with frameless stencils, usually less than $US200
  • basic, no frills and little adjustment 30x40cm framed, single sided board focus, ($US300-$400) and
  • basic, hints of frills and a bit more adjustment 30x40cm framed, with "support" for dual sided boards ($US400-$550)

The Neoden printer (resold by many at widely different price points) is in the last category; it supports board standoffs and thus 2-sided boards, with X, Y, Z and horizontal twist adjustment.  I have this printer, and it works well for small to mid volumes and 0602 jellybeans with little to no alignment registration problems; it takes me about 5-10 minutes to align and set up a new board/stencil set, and 2-3 minutes to do the same with something I've set up before.

Similar looking ones in the $200-$300 range sometimes are only for single sided boards - look to see if the stencil hinge is in the same plane as the board mounting platen instead of ~1/2" above it...

I haven't used the "$US 1k+" ones, but they look to offer more and better frills and features - chief among which seems to be better/repeatable framed stencil registration / alignment and less slop/play/backlash in the hinge assembly to work better with fine pitch.

Key for me (I've got 10x-20x board designs in my "product line") is to design for fabrication consistency - I use a common board frame "component" with similar fiducials and alignment pin/holes across all my designs to minimize the board to stencil registration/alignment adjustments when swapping between jobs.   
 

Offline rx8pilot

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Re: The Reality of a Pick and Place Lifestyle
« Reply #95 on: July 12, 2018, 03:41:25 pm »
This is not my pick and place lifestyle, but I am drooling for just a moment.....




Now....back to our regularly scheduled programming.....
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Offline forrestc

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Re: The Reality of a Pick and Place Lifestyle
« Reply #96 on: July 12, 2018, 04:44:54 pm »
Somehow missed this thread starting, guess it's better late than never....

My story goes something like this:

Back in 2006, I decided to start selling some products I had designed.  For ease of assembly (so I thought), I designed these products with through hole technology.  Initially, I was hand soldering each board.   Then someone told me about dip soldering, so I was dipping boards in a pot of molten lead or more accurately a electric skillet modified so it would get hot enough to melt solder in it.   That was very nasty.   A year or so later, I bought a wave solder machine.

Fast forward to 2010 and I had a really good year, well at least on paper.   Because of the details of the US tax code, I had about $80K or so of profit according to the books and very little cash to show for it - since most of the $80K went into inventory which you can't call an expense until you actually sell it.     I had also been looking at/for a pick and place machine for some time - mainly because through hole was becoming so obsolete it was hard to find certain types of components in through hole.   Because of another part of the US tax code, one way to resolve these issues is to go out and buy a big piece of equipment, write it off in a single year,  and then pay the loan off over time, spreading the tax impact over several years.   So, I went out to a vendor which I had been looking at for some time and bought a surface mount line consisting of a Manncorp/Autotronk MC384 P&P machine, a small batch oven, and a dry box.   

This was one of the best purchases I've made for the business.    I typically use the same parts over and over in my designs - I have around 30 different boards we assemble, and all of them use the same power supply section, I use the same capacitors, etc.   Because of this, once a part goes on the machine it stays one the machine.    There are some very very low volume parts that we do hand place, but almost everything else is just one the machine.   (we probably hand-place around 100 parts/month, if even that many).

I did spend some extra money on a high-precision dot dispenser for solder paste on the machine.   This allows us to do a certain amount of assembly without a stencil.   For instance, all of the prototype boards which come in are done on the board, and I don't bother with a stencil.   There are a few very low volume products (like we build maybe 20-30 a year) that we also use the dispenser for.   I wouldn't recommend this for high volume runs (we have a stencil printer for those), but for prototypes it's great.

I will say that the machine has relatively trouble free.  I suspect a lot of this is because it was a brand new machine.  Not to say it isn't without it's problems.   I think the biggest two I'm aware of are issues where the cover tape on a reel will remain stuck to the carrier tape and the feeder misfeeds when it reaches the pick location.   And the other are odd vision issues which prevent proper placement - usually caused by some component change or difference such that the vision doesn't do a good job of figuring out the actual alignment of the part on the head.

Every once in a while I'll send out one of our higher-volume products for an assembly quote just to check to see how we're doing cost-wise.   Although it's getting closer to what it costs us to do assembly every time I do this, so far it really hasn't come close enough to seriously consider it.   Plus, I have to consider the somewhat intangibles such as control over the process, and also that ability to do one-off prototypes using the actual machine and parts we'd be using in production.
 
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Offline SimonD

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Re: The Reality of a Pick and Place Lifestyle
« Reply #97 on: July 12, 2018, 05:00:44 pm »
wow !!!
Is there somebody who knows the prices of this wonders ?
( Just for our imagination ...  :o )
is a USA company ? in their site i see offices in USA, Europe and China.
 

Online mikeselectricstuff

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Re: The Reality of a Pick and Place Lifestyle
« Reply #98 on: July 12, 2018, 05:30:46 pm »
On the subject of printers, I use the Eurocircuits one, which has no adjustments except tension and height. It uses a pin registration system, which works very well, but is ridiculously over-engineered.
I think with some clever design, something similar could easily be done for between a quarter and a third of the price.

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Offline mrpackethead

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Re: The Reality of a Pick and Place Lifestyle
« Reply #99 on: July 12, 2018, 07:08:51 pm »
On the subject of printers, I use the Eurocircuits one, which has no adjustments except tension and height. It uses a pin registration system, which works very well, but is ridiculously over-engineered.
I think with some clever design, something similar could easily be done for between a quarter and a third of the price.

Is that one that uses frameless?    The main lissue i have with framed stencils is they take up a lot of space to store.
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