Author Topic: PnP Machine for House Garage  (Read 5637 times)

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Offline mendez

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PnP Machine for House Garage
« on: June 04, 2019, 02:12:06 am »
I need a bit of advice on a pnp machine purchase.

Due to the Tariff increase, I'm planning on making all my boards in USA (at my garage) (0402, 0603, and 0805 sizes).

My original plan was to get an old Production PnP (ex. Juki, Europlacer) for my garage, but there is a possibility that I need to move to a new house/state in 1 year.

Should I purchase a benchtop (ex. NeoDen 3V) to save some $ and put on hold a more reliable/rigid pnp or stick to my original plan? My biggest concern is moving out a 900kg  (2K Lbs) machine (it will be a nightmare to move it from a garage)

Any advice will be appreciated
 

Offline rea5245

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Re: PnP Machine for House Garage
« Reply #1 on: June 04, 2019, 02:24:11 am »
I just bought a small lot (30 pieces) of assembled PCBs from China.

They slipped into the US without being hit with a tariff (shhh!!). However, when the ICs were sent from the US to China for assembly, they incurred a Chinese tariff. In theory, that should be refundable when the assembled boards are exported, but that requires paperwork and the company I used has not done it. (Admittedly, they have little incentive to do so - I'm the one who ultimately paid the Chinese tariff).

So before you take the plunge into buying a PnP and doing the assembly work yourself, have you figured out just how much the tariffs would actually cost you, and whether part of that would be refundable?

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Offline mrpackethead

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Re: PnP Machine for House Garage
« Reply #2 on: June 04, 2019, 04:15:53 am »
Just wait for next years election and yoru PNP tarrif problems will go.
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Offline IconicPCB

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Re: PnP Machine for House Garage
« Reply #3 on: June 04, 2019, 05:48:15 am »
And if it does not change.. dont worry.. the whole planet is going to be in an equalised state... another world wide recession is just around the corner courtesy US trade sanctions.
 
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Offline mrpackethead

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Re: PnP Machine for House Garage
« Reply #4 on: June 04, 2019, 07:42:52 am »
And if it does not change.. dont worry.. the whole planet is going to be in an equalised state... another world wide recession is just around the corner courtesy US trade sanctions.

Are there tarrifs on vacumn cleaners?
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Offline IconicPCB

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Re: PnP Machine for House Garage
« Reply #5 on: June 04, 2019, 11:11:45 am »
to return to the topic.

I'm not familiar with the neoden machine.
The question to ask is what You want to achieve.
Hit the road running ?
How fast do You need to be running that is how many components per hour do you need to place?
How robust does the machine need to be and what performance in term of placement accuracy and repeatability do you need?
Some of the old ironmongery is heavy, bulky and worn out, some of the newer machines have lighter perhaps more flexib;le frame suggesting lower level of performance, Is that good enough?
You can always slow down the particular high resolution placement machine stroke in order to gain placement repeatability.

As in any endeavor there are trade offs to be had.
I await arrival of our new machine , a SmallSMT , to take place within the next couple of weeks.
I too shall add to the commentary on machine performance.




 

Offline mrpackethead

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Re: PnP Machine for House Garage
« Reply #6 on: June 04, 2019, 11:56:29 am »
Are you going to be selling those smallSMT machines in OZ iconic?
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Offline mrpackethead

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Re: PnP Machine for House Garage
« Reply #7 on: June 04, 2019, 12:04:48 pm »
I need a bit of advice on a pnp machine purchase.

Due to the Tariff increase, I'm planning on making all my boards in USA (at my garage) (0402, 0603, and 0805 sizes).

My original plan was to get an old Production PnP (ex. Juki, Europlacer) for my garage, but there is a possibility that I need to move to a new house/state in 1 year.

Should I purchase a benchtop (ex. NeoDen 3V) to save some $ and put on hold a more reliable/rigid pnp or stick to my original plan? My biggest concern is moving out a 900kg  (2K Lbs) machine (it will be a nightmare to move it from a garage)

Any advice will be appreciated

Its a bit of a depends question.

If you are goign to be doing any more than a few boards, then the desktop machines are just going to end up being a fustration. They requrie constant attention.      The next class of machines, ( SmallSMT, TVM925, etc etc ) are better but slow for anything but small runs, and they need some attention.    You start getting into more professional machines, and you get more reliability and less drama.

However, theres MUCH more to a sucessful SMT line than just the PNP.   DO not underestimate the need for good paste application, and reflow.   

Good 2nd hand is an option, but not one i recommend to anyone who does not have a good workign knowledge of the machinery. Its a steep learing curve, and you might be on your own.

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Offline MagicSmoker

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Re: PnP Machine for House Garage
« Reply #8 on: June 04, 2019, 12:24:30 pm »
Generally speaking, there are two broad types of PnP machines: high production rate and rapid prototyping. The former type is absolutely the worst possible choice for what you likely want to do as they are incredibly difficult to set up, the machines and "accessories" (like nozzles, reel holders, etc.) are expensive, and are just miserable to deal with unless you are making runs in the 10^3 to 10^6 range. Their saving grace is that they are *fast*, hence the common sobriquet, "chip shooter."

Rapid prototyping machines are easy to setup but tend to put down parts very slowly, and despite this slower speed may not be terribly accurate unless machine vision is an option (which greatly adds to the cost and setup headaches), and you will need machine vision for 0402 parts (generally, 0603 is the cutoff here). Venerable old standbys made by Quad and Mydata are still popular for rapid prototyping, despite being 20-30 years old at this point. I have no personal experience with "desktop" PnP machines, but all the anecdotal evidence I've seen is that they generally suck and that if one is building a few boards at a time then a manual PnP is typically a faster/better option (what I ended up with after dicking around with a Quad for 2+ years). A manual PnP is basically a vacuum pickup tool on an articulated arm or xy gantry that makes it much easier/quicker to pick up SMT parts and place them by hand than would be possible using tweezers or a handheld vacuum pen (e.g. Hakko 394). The one I have and which I have been very pleased with is: https://abacom-tech.com/product/manual-smt-pick-and-place-machine-ezpick/. For example, one board that I make a few of per year has 188 SMT components on it and it takes about 4 hours to place all the components by hand, but under 2 hours with the ezPick. Granted, the old Quad IV PnP could place all the components on this same board in about 15 minutes, but that was AFTER loading all the reel holders with the components, programming the centroid and Z height for each part (admittedly a one-time job, but it still took several hours), etc. If you need to make more than about 20-30 boards per batch the rapid prototyping type PnP will likely be faster (though still a long way from being economically justified), but if you are just doing a board here or there, especially if they are all different, then the manual PnP is likely a better choice.
 

Offline ebastler

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Re: PnP Machine for House Garage
« Reply #9 on: June 04, 2019, 01:06:07 pm »
Due to the Tariff increase, I'm planning on making all my boards in USA (at my garage) (0402, 0603, and 0805 sizes).
[...]
Should I purchase a benchtop (ex. NeoDen 3V) to save some $

If you are worried about tariffs, it seems a bit counter-intuitive to buy a Chinese PNP.  ;)
A 25% tariff does apply to those.

Assuming that the high tariffs are a transient thing, i.e. will last shorter than the amortization life of a PNP machine, you would probably be better off paying the tariffs on populated PCBs for a while. Or look at American-made PNPs and check whether the cost-savings math still works.
 

Offline SMTech

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Re: PnP Machine for House Garage
« Reply #10 on: June 04, 2019, 03:51:03 pm »
In theory at least, of all the processes you could have done in China its SMT where you stand to save the least as the work is done by machines not people. That appears to be less true for lower volumes and finding an assembly house is not always as easy as it might be (a high quote is code for we have better things to do as much as anything else). However you will notice that large assembly houses with multiple location have them pretty much everywhere right across europe,asia&the americas dodging a China tariff for this one process should be easy, the difference is they might not have a nice online quotation portal.

 

Offline SMTech

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Re: PnP Machine for House Garage
« Reply #11 on: June 04, 2019, 03:59:46 pm »
Generally speaking, there are two broad types of PnP machines: high production rate and rapid prototyping. The former type is absolutely the worst possible choice for what you likely want to do as they are incredibly difficult to set up, the machines and "accessories" (like nozzles, reel holders, etc.) are expensive, and are just miserable to deal with unless you are making runs in the 10^3 to 10^6 range. Their saving grace is that they are *fast*, hence the common sobriquet, "chip shooter."

Rapid prototyping machines are easy to setup but tend to put down parts very slowly, and despite this slower speed may not be terribly accurate unless machine vision is an option (which greatly adds to the cost and setup headaches), and you will need machine vision for 0402 parts (generally, 0603 is the cutoff here). Venerable old standbys made by Quad and Mydata are still popular for rapid prototyping, despite being 20-30 years old at this point. I have no personal experience with "desktop" PnP machines, but all the anecdotal evidence I've seen is that they generally suck and that if one is building a few boards at a time then a manual PnP is typically a faster/better option (what I ended up with after dicking around with a Quad for 2+ years). A manual PnP is basically a vacuum pickup tool on an articulated arm or xy gantry that makes it much easier/quicker to pick up SMT parts and place them by hand than would be possible using tweezers or a handheld vacuum pen (e.g. Hakko 394). The one I have and which I have been very pleased with is: https://abacom-tech.com/product/manual-smt-pick-and-place-machine-ezpick/. For example, one board that I make a few of per year has 188 SMT components on it and it takes about 4 hours to place all the components by hand, but under 2 hours with the ezPick. Granted, the old Quad IV PnP could place all the components on this same board in about 15 minutes, but that was AFTER loading all the reel holders with the components, programming the centroid and Z height for each part (admittedly a one-time job, but it still took several hours), etc. If you need to make more than about 20-30 boards per batch the rapid prototyping type PnP will likely be faster (though still a long way from being economically justified), but if you are just doing a board here or there, especially if they are all different, then the manual PnP is likely a better choice.

I think you might be surprised by just how easy a lot of "production" machines are these days, there has been much more focus on NPI from all the big players. Some machiens focus on it very heavily, Europlacer & Mydata build their business around low volume high mix as does Essemtec, all perfectly accurate machines (and Essemtecs can be small the other 2 not so much). If you can find one 2nd user that hasn't got into the hands of a broker or back to the manufacturer they can be priced quite nicely. (Essemtec refurb from factory is really not that cheap)
 

Offline MagicSmoker

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Re: PnP Machine for House Garage
« Reply #12 on: June 04, 2019, 04:23:36 pm »
Generally speaking, there are two broad types of PnP machines: high production rate and rapid prototyping. The former type is absolutely the worst possible choice for what you likely want to do....

I think you might be surprised by just how easy a lot of "production" machines are these days, there has been much more focus on NPI from all the big players. Some machiens focus on it very heavily, Europlacer & Mydata build their business around low volume high mix as does Essemtec, all perfectly accurate machines (and Essemtecs can be small the other 2 not so much). If you can find one 2nd user that hasn't got into the hands of a broker or back to the manufacturer they can be priced quite nicely. (Essemtec refurb from factory is really not that cheap)

Yeah, I had my eye on an Essemtec when I decided enough was enough with the Quad, but I just couldn't justify it now matter how badly I wanted to based on the number of boards I make per year. You really need to be doing annual volumes of at least several hundred boards before any of the automated PnPs start to make sense.
 

Offline mendez

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Re: PnP Machine for House Garage
« Reply #13 on: June 04, 2019, 05:56:29 pm »
Thanks everyone for all the feedback.

I will be doing min 500 boards per year (production). But, I will be doing some prototype boards as well. I'm trying to get away from China SMT production.

I guess, my biggest concern is moving a 900kg machine to my garage and then moving it out; so spend like 2K (forklift service) each time I decide to move the machine; or buy a desktop pnp for now (1yr) and then sell it.
 

Online TK

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Re: PnP Machine for House Garage
« Reply #14 on: June 04, 2019, 06:55:02 pm »
How large is the board and how many components?  500 boards/year, 42 per month, 2 per day... Do you really need PnP machine?  I estimate hand placing will be easier and you will get better results than from a cheap PnP machine.
« Last Edit: June 04, 2019, 08:13:55 pm by TK »
 

Offline ebastler

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Re: PnP Machine for House Garage
« Reply #15 on: June 04, 2019, 07:37:54 pm »
How large is the board and how many components?  500 boards/year, 42 per month, 2 per day... Do you really need PnP machine?  I estimate hand placing will be easier and you will get better results than from a chip PnP machine.

That's what I thought when I read about the volume. Look at it as "10 boards once a week", or "20 every other week", and it sounds quite manageable for manual placing. Recruit a kid from the neighborhood -- no tariffs!  ;) 

By the way, once you populate the boards, how do you solder them? Do you have a reflow oven; what failure rate do you get? Maybe better stick with an external service, in China or elsewhere, to do both placing and soldering for you?

Combined with your not-entirely-compelling argument about tariffs being your trigger for this decision, I get the feeling that the real reason is that you want a new toy. Which is a perfectly fine reason, of course, as long as you are honest with yourself.  8)
 

Offline mendez

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Re: PnP Machine for House Garage
« Reply #16 on: June 04, 2019, 10:57:12 pm »
Thanks guys.... Well I have around 15 different PCB designs and my largest board has around 150 components (603 size); I tried doing them manually and 2 boards takes me around 4-5 hrs to complete (they have also some Through holes). The stencil printer I have is the UNIPRINT PM-LIFT and I have no issues with it; very accurate.

But manually placing the components (specially in the 150pcs board) is just a waste of man power since PCBs assembly is just 10% of my job. I'm most of the time programming, working in CAD and manufacturing in a CNC. So, my plan was to get the PnP so that I can do the boards in-house only for a few days and continue with my other tasks.

« Last Edit: June 04, 2019, 11:02:56 pm by mendez »
 

Offline mrpackethead

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Re: PnP Machine for House Garage
« Reply #17 on: June 04, 2019, 11:40:01 pm »
Macrofab. They are now very competitive.
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Offline Reckless

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Re: PnP Machine for House Garage
« Reply #18 on: June 05, 2019, 04:20:46 am »
I have 2 Juki 730s I'd let go for $2500/ea.  They need minor repairs, I just don't have the time to fix.  Something with video card I think.  They are pretty light ~1800 lbs and the 730 has 3 nozzle heads which multiplied placement speed.  For garage manufacturing they are perfect.  Seriously the easiest way to get into SMT business.  Spares are readily available in China.
 

Offline OwO

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Re: PnP Machine for House Garage
« Reply #19 on: June 05, 2019, 06:00:42 am »
Discord: スメグマ#2236
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Offline mendez

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Re: PnP Machine for House Garage
« Reply #20 on: June 07, 2019, 02:57:38 am »
I decided to make this instead; I might blog the build. I know it might be slow (500-100cph) but it will be a fun learning experience.
 

Offline ebastler

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Re: PnP Machine for House Garage
« Reply #21 on: June 07, 2019, 07:59:47 am »
I decided to make this instead; I might blog the build. I know it might be slow (500-100cph) but it will be a fun learning experience.

Is that a kit (which one?) or your own design? What are you planning to use for control and software?
 

Offline mrpackethead

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Re: PnP Machine for House Garage
« Reply #22 on: June 07, 2019, 08:25:56 am »
Think a lot of us might have thought we could/would build a PNP machine.    IN the mean time you need to get products otu the door.....
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Offline Ribster

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Re: PnP Machine for House Garage
« Reply #23 on: June 07, 2019, 08:55:40 am »
I decided to make this instead; I might blog the build. I know it might be slow (500-100cph) but it will be a fun learning experience.

Is that a kit (which one?) or your own design? What are you planning to use for control and software?

I know at the school in belgium where i was it, they bought a PnP kit from a german guy. With decent servo drives and stuff.
If you want to know, i can request the exact model.
It was well documented, but they spent a lot of time setting it up tho.
Think the school started to develop their own software in Qt also, to communicate with the machine.
In the end, they just bought a decent one :p
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Offline Smallsmt

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Re: PnP Machine for House Garage
« Reply #24 on: June 07, 2019, 09:24:11 am »
Quote
I know at the school in belgium where i was it, they bought a PnP kit from a german guy

https://www.vbesmens.de/de/bestueckungsautomat.html
 


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