Author Topic: Solder paste opening for fiducials on PCB  (Read 420 times)

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Offline EEEnthusiast

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Solder paste opening for fiducials on PCB
« on: October 15, 2019, 12:06:50 pm »
Friends,
What is your opinion on having paste opening for the fiducials on the PCB. My assembly house insists on having it open so that the stencil can be aligned over the PCB with ease.
But most of the fiducial footprints available on KiCad, Altium etc have the paste layer closed on the fiducials.
What is your take on this?
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Offline SMTech

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Re: Solder paste opening for fiducials on PCB
« Reply #1 on: October 15, 2019, 12:30:05 pm »
Well a printed fiducial is without doubt going to be less well defined for the Pick&Place than your proper shiny PCB fiducial so this seems like an odd insistence. If the printer is purely based on a lookdown camera is can just as easily align the board using any other aperture on the stencil and matching that to a PCB feature.
To my knowledge it is more common for printers to have a lookup & lookdown camera view and so fiducial marks are often 1/2 etched into the stencil underside. I know Speedprint use look down cameras and they categorically can align without a fiducial at all if needs be.
 

Offline Fire Doger

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Re: Solder paste opening for fiducials on PCB
« Reply #2 on: October 15, 2019, 12:46:07 pm »
Having reference on the far corners of the panel will definitely help stencil alignment.
It's not your problem, maybe their pnp doesn't have any problem reading them after or they clean the paste from them. :-//
Do they ask for every fiducial (included local ones) or just at the corners?
 

Offline voltsandjolts

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Re: Solder paste opening for fiducials on PCB
« Reply #3 on: October 15, 2019, 01:51:27 pm »
I think you have misunderstood their request.
They will likely be asking for an opening in the soldermask (for solder resist coating), not the pastemask (for solder application).
 

Offline jmelson

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Re: Solder paste opening for fiducials on PCB
« Reply #4 on: October 15, 2019, 07:53:24 pm »
Friends,
What is your opinion on having paste opening for the fiducials on the PCB. My assembly house insists on having it open so that the stencil can be aligned over the PCB with ease.
But most of the fiducial footprints available on KiCad, Altium etc have the paste layer closed on the fiducials.
What is your take on this?
The only way I can see this working is if their stencil printer can guarantee no paste goes on the fiducial, or they have a kapton tape or something covering that aperture.
Then, the alignment could see through the tape, but paste will not get applied to the fiducial.

I know the fiducial sensor on my Philips CSM84 requires a pretty shiny fiducial.

Jon
Jon
 

Offline jmelson

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Re: Solder paste opening for fiducials on PCB
« Reply #5 on: October 15, 2019, 07:54:29 pm »
I think you have misunderstood their request.
They will likely be asking for an opening in the soldermask (for solder resist coating), not the pastemask (for solder application).
RIGHT!  You want extra pull-back from the fiducials, so there is nothing shiny near them to confuse the sensor.

Jon
 

Offline DerekG

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Re: Solder paste opening for fiducials on PCB
« Reply #6 on: October 15, 2019, 11:30:14 pm »
I think you have misunderstood their request.
They will likely be asking for an opening in the soldermask (for solder resist coating), not the pastemask (for solder application).

voltsandjolts is correct.

The industry standard is to place a 1.0mm round fiducial near each corner - but not evenly spaced from each corner as this picks up reversed panels/boards more easily.

The industry standard is then to open the solder mask by a further 1.0mm around the fiducial (ie the solder mask opening would be 2.0mm in diameter).

If you do the above, pretty much all the assembly shops will be more than happy :)
I also sat between Elvis & Bigfoot on the UFO.
 

Offline EEEnthusiast

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Re: Solder paste opening for fiducials on PCB
« Reply #7 on: October 16, 2019, 03:39:13 am »
Thanks for the replies. I double checked with them about the opening on the paste. They confirmed that they need an opening on the stencil. The volumes are low and they are doing a manual alignment of the stencil with the board and hence they need to see through the stencil. Probably they will mask out the stencil using tape for this purpose. I will visit them to see how they do that.
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Offline SMTech

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Re: Solder paste opening for fiducials on PCB
« Reply #8 on: October 16, 2019, 07:20:13 am »
I have a manual printer for low volumes... I use the apertures, as do all the demo videos you might choose to watch for semi auto printers like a Go23 etc aperture alignment has its weaknesses, relying on a 1mm+ feature will only amplifiy them.
 

Offline mrpackethead

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Re: Solder paste opening for fiducials on PCB
« Reply #9 on: October 22, 2019, 08:52:10 am »
I make octagonal shaped fids, that are made exclusively for this purpose. ( open )    These are different fids from the ones that the pnp uses for alignment.  It works well, i'm not concerned that paste gets put on these pads, as they are always on a tooling strip.




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