Author Topic: Pick & Place Preview (DipTrace vs Protel issue)  (Read 4441 times)

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Offline chriscTopic starter

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Pick & Place Preview (DipTrace vs Protel issue)
« on: December 05, 2013, 02:16:23 am »
Was wondering if anyone know of a program that could give a visual preview of component placing as determined by a pick and place output file, superimposed on an image of the board. Basically something like Alciom SMT Assistant but instead of showing you placement step by step it would draw the outline (presuming the centroid file has dimensions as well as position) as an overlay on the board.

I have a design which is about to be manufactured and the assembly house my client chose is complaining they can't do a visual preview because my design can't be imported into Protel (I used DipTrace). Attempts to export from DipTrace into various formats that could possibly be imported into Protel haven't resulted in anything they can use.

The issue isn't in the centroid file itself (they can use that for the actual assembly) but in the fact that they can't do the verification step that they usually do prior to loading the machine. Their explanation is that they have a means to generate a visual preview of placement using Protel and the CSV file, and then inspect that as part of their QA process prior to doing the actual assembly.

I had a hunt around and didn't find anything that seems to do what I want (basically, read the centroid file exported from DipTrace and draw outlines onto a separately-acquired scan of the board so as to allow for visual inspection).

It isn't essential to do this but if it's not done and there are problems with the component placement due to an issue with the exported data itself it leaves the possibility the assembler could claim that it's partly my fault for using a "non-standard PCB tool" (paraphrased, but that's the feeling I was given) that they couldn't run their standard validation tests against.

Alternately if anyone has been successful in bringing a DipTrace layout into Protel I'd appreciate hearing from them.

Offline Alphatronique

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Re: Pick & Place Preview (DipTrace vs Protel issue)
« Reply #1 on: December 05, 2013, 02:54:58 am »

that was your assembler responsibility to check part centroid , many (if not all) machine permit to made simulated assembly  , that was exemple on my  My-Data Machine

and most if not all assembly shop software may  create the X ,Y ,Theta file based on gerber
also no one rely only on user submitted pick place file since rotation will never fit 
since CAD and machine not have same 0 deg position

also that check was made on pick place machine since part orientation in tray or reel
was not standard as exemple same tantalum cap  was backward if made in USA vs made in asia
since IPC and Jedec not have same standard on tantalum reel orientation  !!

so that wly that was made on machine itself since canot easy to made on third party software
so normally you design your board and respect IPC part spacing rule (IPC 7351 courtyard)
and send gerber and centroid file to your assembler and it will do the rest ...

it may good to add  assembly layer on CAD ,Same as SILK but whit bigger font on refdef and
put it on part center  ,so it help for validate  or if hand assembled

Hope it help
« Last Edit: December 05, 2013, 03:11:06 am by Alphatronique »
Marc Lalonde CID.  IPC Certified PCB Designer.
Alphatroniqe inc.

Offline chriscTopic starter

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Re: Pick & Place Preview (DipTrace vs Protel issue)
« Reply #2 on: December 05, 2013, 07:39:43 am »
Thanks for the video, it confirms what I thought. They should not need a protel file, but that's what they are asking for :-(

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