Author Topic: Neoden 4 pick and place  (Read 348508 times)

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Offline spool_of_wire

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Re: Neoden 4 pick and place
« Reply #150 on: January 22, 2016, 07:07:56 am »
Just was wondering if you guys had read up on this machine:

http://www.smallsmt.biz/home/vision-placer-vp-2x00d/

I've only seen it listed over on the dangerous prototypes forum.

They have a few different models but I'm interested in the high end ones.

Unfortunately it requires a PC to run and it's not a quad head system.They're also using shafts on the higher end models so there's no belt to change but perhaps it's not a big deal to swap a belt?

It looks like it has working vision and also the 15mm vertical clearance (at least that's how I read it in the spec)

Also the largest setup can handle (I believe) 81 different parts!

That's the big issues I have with the neoden 4. It can't handle a ton of parts.

I'm hoping to be able to afford one of these later this year so i very much I appreciate the discussion of you guys who know more about it than I do.
 

Offline rwb

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Re: Neoden 4 pick and place
« Reply #151 on: January 22, 2016, 02:19:26 pm »
I was able to verify that the CharmHigh CHMT48VA machine just like the NeoDen 4 has a maximum part height of 5mm. See her reply below.

Our machine highest component is 5mm. If over 5mm height, not very much suitable for mounting.

------------------
Best regards,
Kimi Liu
kimi@charmhigh-tech.com
Tel: +86 135 106 75756
Skype: kimiliu89


Kimi responded to my first email within a 12 hours so they are responsive.
 

Offline sedelman

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Re: Neoden 4 pick and place
« Reply #152 on: January 22, 2016, 03:05:20 pm »
@spool_of_wire I had come across this before but lost the link. Thanks for providing it. I really like the screw drives (or spindles) for X-Y movement. I also like the fact it uses Samsung industry standard pickup nozzles. What I don't like is the fact that they have this pneumatic push feeder (a single one per north/west/south quadrant) that is back on a belt drive! I like the simplicity of a pull pin and solenoid over this solution and it also does not appear to improve their placement performance of 2000 CPH. The other issue that I see is that the reels are not attached and need to be mounted external to the machine. There is also no takeup reels for the tape covering. It looks quite messy. They claim a vertical pickup clearance of 15mm and a maximum component height of 12mm. Their software seems to be very impressive and allows you to select various optimization strategies. I think this machine is worth a further look.

 

Offline Royce

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Re: Neoden 4 pick and place
« Reply #153 on: January 22, 2016, 03:15:33 pm »
VisionBot (http://visionbot.net/) is another one running around one those boards. It seems further towards the hobby end of the spectrum, but maybe that meets someone's needs..

Perhaps we should break up into separate threads for separate machines? Or maybe start collecting the reviews on the Wiki?
 

Offline TheSteve

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Re: Neoden 4 pick and place
« Reply #154 on: January 22, 2016, 06:12:44 pm »

@TheSteve Any updates on your NeoDen4 progress?


Progress has been slow, we're still trying to get fiducial markings to work as we expect them to.
VE7FM
 

Offline Jefferson

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Re: Neoden 4 pick and place
« Reply #155 on: January 22, 2016, 09:55:15 pm »
5 mm, I think it's for the components that are in the tape. Because they used pressure spring. And that size limits high component.
 

Offline MTNELECTRONICS

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Re: Neoden 4 pick and place
« Reply #156 on: January 23, 2016, 02:55:41 pm »

@TheSteve Any updates on your NeoDen4 progress?


Progress has been slow, we're still trying to get fiducial markings to work as we expect them to.

What specifically is the issue?  I've got a NeoDen4 en route to me as we speak so I am also hoping to document any issues I run into, which will hopefully not duplicate of your issues. 
 

Offline rwb

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Re: Neoden 4 pick and place
« Reply #157 on: January 23, 2016, 08:50:51 pm »
@TheSteve  & @MTNElectronics  Can either of you guys speak about what your major motivation was behind purchasing the NeoDen4?

Was it the time savings of being able to run your own boards?

Was it the cost savings over having to pay a 3rd party to do this for you?

Was it that you like electronics and just wanted to buy a new toy?

I'm just getting into manufacturing my own PCB's for some products I'm building so I'm interested in hearing about how much time and money a reliable PNP machine can save you.

Any info on this subject is greatly appreciated  :)
 

Offline mrpackethead

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Re: Neoden 4 pick and place
« Reply #158 on: January 23, 2016, 10:21:30 pm »
Ive gone full circle on this in the last few days,  From liking to hating and back to liking.   

the board size and 5mm limit were starting to worry me.    Yesterday i sat down and made 12 boards, using my Manual PNP ( Dima FP-600).   And it occurs me me that the combination of A low cost automatic Pnp Like this neoden,  coupled up with a manual PNP might be a good idea.   The manual PNP can handle the exceptions, the odd ball stuff.  As a general rule they end up only being a few of the parts anyway, and if 95% of the parts are placed automatically its probably not all bad.

When we go to larger volumes ( > 500 boards ) then its time to send them to the factory.
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Offline rx8pilot

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Re: Neoden 4 pick and place
« Reply #159 on: January 23, 2016, 10:32:21 pm »
I do not have the Neoden4, but I do have a sub $10k pick and place for my small business. In general, I needed one for a few reasons.

1. Small batches are slow and expensive.
The setup of the machine is not trivial and must be paid for. It is a small amount if you are doing a bunch of boards or your boards are very simple. My typical boards (6 different designs) are all double sided and odd shaped and low-volume. I have a high mix from 0201 passives to 56mm connectors. Various fine pith parts. To send a PCB to a CM, you need to document it and kit it (gather the parts and organize them). This is a slow process and very unforgiving so it needs to be done well. Not difficult, but time consuming. On the other end, the CM has to go through your kit and match everything up, verify that the parts are place-able, maybe splice short tapes, or whatever they need to do to prep the job for their system. The parts need to be over-supplied to make sure that you have enough. They will then put the job into the system, put the parts down, cook them, and send them to you. That is when you find out if your diodes are the right way or the wrong way - after it is all said and done a week or two after you start. If you are like me, needing 15pcs or 3 different PCBs, it's expensive, slow, and attracts problems if you don't pay attention to the tiniest of details.

2. I need to verify the 1st board before the rest are run. Most of my designs are new and may need tweaks.
Many of my PCBs are fresh and new designs that may need some decisions made on the fly. I could build a few manually on my bench and do all the testing/documentation or have a P&P line in-house that allows me to run one PCB, do the tests and changes and then just go run 10-15 more immediately. If the board is really not right, I can simply stop with no penalty.

3. I need assembly RIGHT NOW and be able to make changes immediately.
The PCBs I make are fairly high-cost so I really only want to make slightly more than what the current sales demand is. If I get a big sale, I can be making PCB's in minutes and all is well. With a CM, I would have to wait on whatever their schedule is and/or pay big bucks to expedite to the front of the line.

Having a P&P has turned out to be a very good decision for my little operation. It did not, however, come easy. The P&P machine itself is the fancy center of attention, but PCB assembly is a process with a lot of moving parts and skills. Managing the parts, paste printing, setup, inspection, etc. Tons of details regardless of what type of machine you have in the middle. It, like most things in manufacturing, is unforgiving. A few days ago, I made a batch of boards and forgot to check some SOD323 diodes that were backward. I had to manually repair all the boards which is of course a slow process. Best to catch silly mistakes on the first board, don't get lazy or impatient.

My line has just recently come up to full speed. Now I am focused on the details of physical organization of the pieces, parts, and machines involved to optimize the process for reliability and speed. Going from manual assembly to P&P, one of the biggest challenges was to keep track of how many parts I have. Passives are easy because they are cheap and easy to keep many 1000's on hand. For expensive silicon, I need to be more precise. I have created my own software solution that helps keep count but it is hard. Current active part list is about 120 or so.

A comment on the Neoden4 and others with small capacity. The machine I got was chosen largely because I could put a whole bunch of parts in it. The goal was to get enough parts in the machine to do all of my 'normal' designs without having to re-configure the machine. This required some tweaks and special holders but I did it. I can get around 110 parts in the machine which drastically reduces setup time (nearly zero) when running a batch of 6 different boards. As for speed, it does not matter much in my little world. My single head machine perfectly optimized can do 3600CPH. I run it slow (fewer mis-picks and less wear) at about 1000-1200CPH. At that rate I can still barely keep up with all the ancillary processes - baking, inspection, testing, printing.

I estimated that the financial and time cost of the machine will break even in about 2 months for my operation. It's tough to do a solid analysis, but that is about right. That includes the month of my time it took to get up and running (my machine was used/broken and needed many repairs).

The Neoden4 seems like a good value overall. If used wisely, can be a good stepping stone for a small business. Don't be naive to the challenge though. It does not make PCB's by magic, it still takes a lot of work which is true of ANY P&P machine.
Factory400 - the worlds smallest factory. https://www.youtube.com/c/Factory400
 
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Offline mrpackethead

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Re: Neoden 4 pick and place
« Reply #160 on: January 23, 2016, 10:48:21 pm »
I do not have the Neoden4, but I do have a sub $10k pick and place for my small business. In general, I needed one for a few reasons.

What do you have again.. maybe you said, but i can't remember.
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Online mikeselectricstuff

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Re: Neoden 4 pick and place
« Reply #161 on: January 23, 2016, 11:06:20 pm »
Following on from rx8pilot's comments about having in-house P&P - totally agree with all those points. Another  aspect is  when you're doing small batches, it is very important to have a streamlined process for setup.
e.g. matching your PCB part library to the machine's library, with not just correct outline sizes, but different variants for different heights and vision attributes  (e.g. caps vs. resistors in 0805), and polarities matched to feeder orientations so you know parts will be placed the right way round.
This is why software quality and documented file formats are probably more important on a low-end machine, as setup will often be a significant part of total end-to-end job time.  You therefore want to set up a streamlined  process, maybe with a bit of your own software to make conversion from PCB software pick/place report to file that the P&P machine wants, ideally including fiducial points, panelisation etc.
 
I'm just in the middle of a job that started from nothing last Monday afternoon - Design finalised Tues, PCB layout sent to local PCB place Wed AM, Firmware done Thurs/Fri, PCBs received today and 72 PCBs are now assembled, programmed and tested (including jigging to support large thin PCB panel), ready to be delivered to customer Monday.
Try doing that with a subcontractor!
 
 
 
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Offline rx8pilot

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Re: Neoden 4 pick and place
« Reply #162 on: January 23, 2016, 11:10:51 pm »
Quad 4000C (An updated IV-C from Precision Placement Machines)

Manufactured late 90's, converted to Windows in 2009. Super flexible machine, but very clunky software. Stable and relatively bug-free, but strange and non-intuitive. Up and down vision but the real magic is the 'Quad Align' which is a head mounted side scanner that aligns the parts while traveling. I rarely need the up camera since the side scanner can nail just about any part.

Tall parts, wide parts, no problem. Heavy parts, no problem. 1005 passive, no problems. Quick programming, problem. Need to move the machine, problem.

EDIT: Quick programming can happen, it just required a lot of work on my part to get there. The learning curve is rather steep on may chosen machine. Things you would think are simple are carried out in seemingly endless steps. The scripts that I made and on-machine templates have vastly improved this.

Image was the day I picked it up, totally unusable.

« Last Edit: January 23, 2016, 11:48:04 pm by rx8pilot »
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Offline rx8pilot

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Re: Neoden 4 pick and place
« Reply #163 on: January 23, 2016, 11:23:57 pm »
Another  aspect is  when you're doing small batches, it is very important to have a streamlined process for setup.
e.g. matching your PCB part library to the machine's library, with not just correct outline sizes, but different variants for different heights and vision attributes  (e.g. caps vs. resistors in 0805), and polarities matched to feeder orientations so you know parts will be placed the right way round.

HUGE! Great point.
I spent a considerable effort designing the library to match my MRP and EDA software. I wrote some scripts to automate the process of getting the design data into the exact format needed for the P&P. The up-front effort has a big payoff when you have that fast turnaround project like mikeselectricstuff just mentioned. I can now have my machine programmed very fast and totally setup when the PCB's arrive from fab. You can use a paper print of the PCB to verify programming ahead of the actual PCB.


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Offline TheSteve

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Re: Neoden 4 pick and place
« Reply #164 on: January 24, 2016, 02:08:50 am »

@TheSteve Any updates on your NeoDen4 progress?


Progress has been slow, we're still trying to get fiducial markings to work as we expect them to.

What specifically is the issue?  I've got a NeoDen4 en route to me as we speak so I am also hoping to document any issues I run into, which will hopefully not duplicate of your issues.


We had an issue where parts never really ended up where we wanted them, or where they should be. That specific problem may have resulted because we created our data and then updated to a newer software version but it left behind some board alignment data in the CSV file. We are not really sure where it came from. We do know there is an alignment button now greyed out in the newer versions that wasn't before.

So with that solved we had parts close but still in the wrong places. At that point we stopped following the video instructions and tried some other ways of setting it up. That lead to much greater results but still with one problem. The parts tend to walk to the left on the X axis as we go up the Y axis. This is occurs even with the use of fiducials. The panel we have been testing with can be seen in one of the pics I posted previously. It is 3 boards in a 1x3 matrix. We were using the fiducials at the edges of the panel. The last thing we tried was using fiducial markings on each board instead of the panel. This seems to make the placement plenty usable but does leave doubt in my mind over larger boards as these really aren't that big. The smallest passives we place are 0603 and the finest pitch IC is the FTDI FT232RL which is TSSOP28 0.65mm.
VE7FM
 

Offline mrpackethead

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Re: Neoden 4 pick and place
« Reply #165 on: January 24, 2016, 02:20:32 am »
We had an issue where parts never really ended up where we wanted them, or where they should be.

That is somewhat of a serious issue for a PNP machine.

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Offline TheSteve

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Re: Neoden 4 pick and place
« Reply #166 on: January 24, 2016, 03:00:14 am »
We had an issue where parts never really ended up where we wanted them, or where they should be.

That is somewhat of a serious issue for a PNP machine.

Agreed!

Yet at times it has placed parts perfectly. I feel like we may be hitting a software bug or something, I have seen enough to know the hardware is capable of producing results. I do believe in time the issues will get resolved. Once a few people have the machine we can compare results. We are also learning what speeds we can run the machine at, the defaults are pretty much 100% on everything which just isn't possible.
VE7FM
 

Offline Jefferson

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Re: Neoden 4 pick and place
« Reply #167 on: January 24, 2016, 10:56:27 am »
We use Assembleon Topaz. It's also possible to compare with Neoden TM-240A. Then of course the pros have won (Topaz), without a doubt.
TM-240A helps to reduce the time for passive parts only.

Now we think of Neoden 4. I'm worried that there is still need to work on soft.
I think not provide high accuracy even for 0201, 0402 size.

For deviations from the reper (feducial) marks, found themselves a problem on PCB also.
Possibilities of producing PCB isn't all perfect. Then any P&P automat not guilty.
« Last Edit: January 24, 2016, 12:05:22 pm by Jefferson »
 

Offline Kjelt

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Re: Neoden 4 pick and place
« Reply #168 on: January 24, 2016, 11:24:39 am »
I'm just in the middle of a job that started from nothing last Monday afternoon - Design finalised Tues, PCB layout sent to local PCB place Wed AM, Firmware done Thurs/Fri, PCBs received today and 72 PCBs are now assembled, programmed and tested (including jigging to support large thin PCB panel), ready to be delivered to customer Monday.
Try doing that with a subcontractor!
Now I am convinced you have a huge S on your shirt. Incredible.  :)
 

Offline coppice

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Re: Neoden 4 pick and place
« Reply #169 on: January 24, 2016, 02:51:42 pm »
I'm just in the middle of a job that started from nothing last Monday afternoon - Design finalised Tues, PCB layout sent to local PCB place Wed AM, Firmware done Thurs/Fri, PCBs received today and 72 PCBs are now assembled, programmed and tested (including jigging to support large thin PCB panel), ready to be delivered to customer Monday.
Try doing that with a subcontractor!
Depends where you are.  :)
 

Offline MTNELECTRONICS

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Re: Neoden 4 pick and place
« Reply #170 on: January 24, 2016, 07:51:28 pm »
@TheSteve:  I hope that your issues are resolved quickly.  It is a bit discouraging to hear about the fiducial recognition and accuracy problems. 

I already have a LitePlacer and was hoping that this machine would be a little bit more "turn key" than that one was (it is a kit, so issues were to be expected :) ).  It took me 100+ hours to build that one and get it working well.  I still use it a bit, but for the type of boards I build I realized in a hurry that I needed feeders---I spend way too much time reloading and playing around with that side of things.  How NeoDen responds to these issues will be telling.  I'm not naive enough to expect a perfect or easy experience out of the box, but I was hoping that most of the issues would be with my understanding of the machine and not the machine itself. 
 

Offline Royce

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Re: Neoden 4 pick and place
« Reply #171 on: January 24, 2016, 08:45:08 pm »
I already have a LitePlacer and was hoping that this machine would be a little bit more "turn key" than that one was (it is a kit, so issues were to be expected :) ).  It took me 100+ hours to build that one and get it working well.  I still use it a bit, but for the type of boards I build I realized in a hurry that I needed feeders---I spend way too much time reloading and playing around with that side of things. 

Do you have a write up of your LitePlacer experiences?
 

Offline rwb

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Re: Neoden 4 pick and place
« Reply #172 on: January 24, 2016, 08:46:19 pm »
@Royce  Here is a thread that I started about the Light Placer :http://liteplacer.com/phpBB/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=226
 

Offline MTNELECTRONICS

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Re: Neoden 4 pick and place
« Reply #173 on: January 25, 2016, 07:16:49 pm »
I already have a LitePlacer and was hoping that this machine would be a little bit more "turn key" than that one was (it is a kit, so issues were to be expected :) ).  It took me 100+ hours to build that one and get it working well.  I still use it a bit, but for the type of boards I build I realized in a hurry that I needed feeders---I spend way too much time reloading and playing around with that side of things. 

Do you have a write up of your LitePlacer experiences?

No, I don't have a writeup.  The mechanical build instructions were very well laid out, and although that part took a long time it was fairly frustration free.  I spent a lot of time during the build making sure that everything had thread locker on it, was square, etc. 

After the mechanical build portion was finished, the instructions on the electrical side were a lot less clear.  I got everything hooked up but had several different issues with program crashes, loss of communication, poor accuracy, inability to get cameras to work correctly, etc.  The cameras that came with the kit simply did not work well, and upgrading them was very helpful.  I also upgraded a few other things, like adding a separate buck controller to be able to adjust the LED brightness, among others.  I had a few faulty and missing parts, which were quickly replaced at no cost to me.  It was a lot for me to take in because I had no experience with stepper motors, pick and place machines, etc.  I would have been absolutely lost without the support forum and without the support of the machine's creator (Juha), who was very responsive all along the way. 

It is a unique machine because it can be customized to do pretty much anything you want, as long as you are willing to take the time to learn the quirks and get it set up correctly.  For me, the biggest detractor is the lack of feeders.  I do a lot of small boards that have a component count of only 6-8 different SMD components, and I found out quickly that I was getting sick of reloading the tapes all the time.  It would be an even better value for someone who does boards with lots of different components who doesn't have the budget for a machine with dozens of feeders, but I am at the point now where I want to load a reel of 5000 parts and let it run for a while. 

I will probably end up selling the Liteplacer after I get the NeoDen up and running.  It is a good machine, but just not the best fit for my needs.  The speed isn't super fast (I don't run it at 100% speed usually), but it is plenty fast for anything I need (even 300-500 cph would be enough to keep up with the other steps of my process and would allow me to do other things during that time, so a 5000cph machine isn't really necessary for me). 
 

Offline mrpackethead

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Re: Neoden 4 pick and place
« Reply #174 on: January 25, 2016, 07:47:10 pm »
Just was wondering if you guys had read up on this machine:

http://www.smallsmt.biz/home/vision-placer-vp-2x00d/

I'm hoping to be able to afford one of these later this year so i very much I appreciate the discussion of you guys who know more about it than I do.

Does anyone know of one of these in the wild?   On paper at least this machine is a better fit for me than the Neoden 4.   I'm In China in Late Feb, and i'm thinking that i might go and check these guys out.  Its not too far out of my way, and would be a good day trip. 

I'm not adverse to it running on a PC.   I do really like that it will support a very large number of reels. Even if its a bit slow.

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