Author Topic: CHMT48VB is up and running!  (Read 3383 times)

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Offline Rat_Patrol

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CHMT48VB is up and running!
« on: June 11, 2020, 03:34:37 pm »
I can afford either, but I would like to eventually upgrade to a superior system. However, for the moment I am bouncing between these two machines.

The basic question is one significantly superior than the other? I would get the full NWE setup with the VP-2500DP, so it would have more capacity than the Charmhigh unit.

Reliability/durability is my main concern. I need something that can be setup and then just work. Either machine would fit all components I use, though the Charmhigh just barely, so no switching component reels for different boards, just when the spool runs dry.

I hear mixed reviews on the Charmhigh unit, but I see very little about the Small SMT offering either way, other than Small SMT seems to be active on the forum here.

I need to order this by tomorrow, so any quick opinions are greatly appreciated!
« Last Edit: June 29, 2020, 09:51:03 pm by Rat_Patrol »
 

Online asmi

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Re: VP-2500DP vs CHMT48VB pick and place machines. Choosing is hard.
« Reply #1 on: June 11, 2020, 03:48:59 pm »
I would pick the Charmhigh machine as it's simply a better known quantity, I more-or-less know what to expect from it.
I doubt any of machines in this price bracket will "just work", that is what you're saving on when you choose these machines over more expensive ones like T560P4 with CL feeders.

Offline Smallsmt

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Re: VP-2500DP vs CHMT48VB pick and place machines. Choosing is hard.
« Reply #2 on: June 11, 2020, 03:59:49 pm »
Hi,
why don't choose VP-2500D-CL22 https://www.smallsmt.biz/vision-placer-budget-pick-and-place-machine/

It's a little cheaper but has the flexibility of using CL feeder on North side.

- 22x8mm CL feeder slots on north
- 26x 8mm push feeder West
- 26x 8mm push feeder East

I can't speak about charmhigh because don't know well but our machine has US support and fully flexible software for all placement situations.
 

Offline Rat_Patrol

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Re: VP-2500DP vs CHMT48VB pick and place machines. Choosing is hard.
« Reply #3 on: June 11, 2020, 04:15:03 pm »
We will be upgrading the machine when we move into a new facility next year, so I do want to keep the cost as low as possible, as this machine will end up as a prototype/backup machine in 12 months.
 

Offline Rat_Patrol

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Re: VP-2500DP vs CHMT48VB pick and place machines. Choosing is hard.
« Reply #4 on: June 11, 2020, 04:16:59 pm »
@Smallsmt

What is the lead time for the VP-2500DP-WNE?

Minimum feeder requirements:
8mm x45
12mm x10
16mm x10
24mm x3 **I could live without the 24mm feeders if needed.
« Last Edit: June 11, 2020, 05:23:17 pm by Rat_Patrol »
 

Offline Smallsmt

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Re: VP-2500DP vs CHMT48VB pick and place machines. Choosing is hard.
« Reply #5 on: June 13, 2020, 11:57:59 am »
I think lead time is around 3 to 4 weeks now.
 

Offline Rat_Patrol

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Re: VP-2500DP vs CHMT48VB pick and place machines. Choosing is hard.
« Reply #6 on: June 13, 2020, 04:42:31 pm »
I ended up pulling the trigger on the Charmhigh unit.

The US re-seller for the SMT did add $1500 onto the price, but then also added 25% as a "tariff" charge, even though the US is NOT charging tariffs on PnP machines. The price ended up being double that of the Charmhigh unit, instead of 40% more.
 

Online up8051

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Re: VP-2500DP vs CHMT48VB pick and place machines. Choosing is hard.
« Reply #7 on: June 19, 2020, 09:46:26 pm »
Before you buy Charmhigh watch this video:

 |O
 
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Online asmi

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Re: VP-2500DP vs CHMT48VB pick and place machines. Choosing is hard.
« Reply #8 on: June 20, 2020, 01:26:13 pm »
Before you buy Charmhigh watch this video:
What's funny is his previous pnp was also Charmhigh and it worked well.

Online up8051

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Re: VP-2500DP vs CHMT48VB pick and place machines. Choosing is hard.
« Reply #9 on: June 20, 2020, 04:47:43 pm »
The main problem is how Charmhigh  reacted to reporting defects.
 
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Offline zerohimself

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Re: VP-2500DP vs CHMT48VB pick and place machines. Choosing is hard.
« Reply #10 on: June 21, 2020, 01:00:00 am »
I've got a 560p4 on the way. After seeing unexpected makers video of the rough time he's had, i'm seriously second guessing my purchase. But I already pulled the trigger, all I can do now is hope and pray, and address any issues that pop up. I'm hoping for the best.

I can leave some feedback once mine arrives and we get it going.
 
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Offline Rat_Patrol

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Re: VP-2500DP vs CHMT48VB pick and place machines. Choosing is hard.
« Reply #11 on: June 22, 2020, 04:15:44 pm »
Already had the feeders delivered for my Charmhigh unit. Expecting the main delivery this week.

Hopefully I get a good unit, or can get through any issues quickly, but I used PayPal just in case I have an issue with a defective unit that the company doesn't want to work with me on...
 

Offline ebclr

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Re: VP-2500DP vs CHMT48VB pick and place machines. Choosing is hard.
« Reply #12 on: June 23, 2020, 09:55:40 am »
Pray a lot, You just bought Chinese crap  :horse:
 

Offline Rat_Patrol

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Re: VP-2500DP vs CHMT48VB pick and place machines. Choosing is hard.
« Reply #13 on: June 29, 2020, 09:50:17 pm »
Got it setup today, enough to do a "hello world" run of a total of 4 resistors on a PCB.

Once I figured out the UI and some of the Chinglish translation attempts, I think I have a basic idea of how this machine operates.

I still haven't done any builds from a .csv file, just made a simple pick program right from the PnP machine itself. Actually, it's handy and quick to do; perfect for prototyping smaller PCBs.

I have it turned down the the minimum run speed of 50%, but I wish I could cut that in half. The folks who buy these machines aren't looking to make 10k widgets a day, we just need to reliably and accurately place components on PCBs. The CPH rating isn't the bottle neck in the operation... I'd rather it be slower and reliable than fast and screw up. You can turn each feeder's tape advance and actual pickup down to 1% though, and I found that 5% is too slow for anything but something huge (far slower than needed for passives or other small components).

I can see me wanting to buy at least 4-5 extra tape advance solenoid pin things to keep on the shelf, as I see those getting damaged here and there.
 

Offline shanekent

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Re: CHMT48VB is up and running!
« Reply #14 on: July 02, 2020, 04:44:49 am »
I still haven't done any builds from a .csv file, just made a simple pick program right from the PnP machine itself.

I'm happy to hear that you've gotten your CHMT48VB up and running!  I've had mine since February this year, so let me know if you're having any trouble and I might be able to lend a hand!

With regards to generating a build from a .CSV file: definitely check out the WorkFile Converter tool that is floating around out there.    It has allowed me to quickly generate a workfile for designs with >200 components in under a minute or two just by using my normal PnP outputs from Altium!

-S
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Online asmi

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Re: CHMT48VB is up and running!
« Reply #15 on: July 02, 2020, 12:41:30 pm »
I'm happy to hear that you've gotten your CHMT48VB up and running!  I've had mine since February this year, so let me know if you're having any trouble and I might be able to lend a hand!
Can you please describe your experience with machine in a bit more details? What kind of parts are you placing? Specifically I'm curious if it can place 0402, even if slowly. I got some boards with about 100 0402 parts which I'd like to automate, so I don't care about speed, but I do need to make sure they are placed "good enough" for reflow.

Offline Rat_Patrol

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Re: CHMT48VB is up and running!
« Reply #16 on: July 02, 2020, 02:28:53 pm »
I'm happy to hear that you've gotten your CHMT48VB up and running!  I've had mine since February this year, so let me know if you're having any trouble and I might be able to lend a hand!
Can you please describe your experience with machine in a bit more details? What kind of parts are you placing? Specifically I'm curious if it can place 0402, even if slowly. I got some boards with about 100 0402 parts which I'd like to automate, so I don't care about speed, but I do need to make sure they are placed "good enough" for reflow.

So far, after learning the UI, all I've done is manually make build files on the machine for testing. I've been 3D printing 7" spools to transfer my components onto to feed the machine, and otherwise settings up the machine's work station this week. I also need to work on a 3D printed custom IC tray.

I'm placing no smaller than 0805/SOT23, but I feel 0402 could be pushing it. Even at the minimum speed settings, this machine moves too fast I think. That, or I haven't figured how to slow it down more than the 50% speed in the settings menu. I can't see how you could run the machine at 100% other than bolting it to a concrete alter, it would throw itself off the table! I wish I could get into the stepper settings and change the acceleration values...
 

Offline Rat_Patrol

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Re: CHMT48VB is up and running!
« Reply #17 on: July 02, 2020, 02:31:00 pm »
I still haven't done any builds from a .csv file, just made a simple pick program right from the PnP machine itself.

I'm happy to hear that you've gotten your CHMT48VB up and running!  I've had mine since February this year, so let me know if you're having any trouble and I might be able to lend a hand!

With regards to generating a build from a .CSV file: definitely check out the WorkFile Converter tool that is floating around out there.    It has allowed me to quickly generate a workfile for designs with >200 components in under a minute or two just by using my normal PnP outputs from Altium!

-S

2 questions actually:
Is there a way to slow the machine down other than the 50% minimum in the setup menu?
Do you have a link or search terms for the converter tool? I haven't tried to run a program from a csv file yet.
 

Offline shanekent

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Re: CHMT48VB is up and running!
« Reply #18 on: July 02, 2020, 06:08:41 pm »
Can you describe your experience with machine in a bit more details? What kind of parts are you placing? Specifically I'm curious if it can place 0402, even if slowly. I got some boards with about 100 0402 parts which I'd like to automate, so I don't care about speed, but I do need to make sure they are placed "good enough" for reflow.

Great question!     
  • TL;DR - take your time when calibrating each roll and do as the manual says and you'll be extremely happy with the results.
  • I've been placing a large variety of parts:  QFN, SOT, 1210, 0805, 0603, and hundreds of 0402. The smallest/most difficult parts that I've been placing lately are these 0402 LEDs https://www.digikey.com/product-detail/en/SML-P13PTT86R/846-1197-1-ND/5355789.   Here's a video I took a few weeks back that shows some of this operation:

    .

    The BEST suggestions that I can recommend are to install the machine on a really sturdy base and take your time when first calibrating the machine and when calibrating each new reel that you install.   I did a run of >100pcs of those boards in that video and only 2 boards needed any components tweaked on it after the machine was done and both times it was caused by issues in with my solder paste.

2 questions actually:
Is there a way to slow the machine down other than the 50% minimum in the setup menu?
Do you have a link or search terms for the converter tool? I haven't tried to run a program from a csv file yet.

  • No, 50% speed is the minimum speed that the machine can run at.   If you're having problems with the quality at that speed, then step back from the machine and judge whether or not there are a lot of vibrations in your setup during motion.   Touching on my point above, the BEST thing you can do for this tool is to provide it with an extremely sturdy base.
  • I was able to track down the converter tool after talking with my Charmhigh sales rep for a while and I can't seem to find it anywhere else online at the moment.     I've uploaded it to my Google Drive here: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1U27Lk51EJagnwL8bIrRKqXrka7Sw7zPI.   Of course, I'm just some dude on the Internet, so run the contents of this ZIP through your favorite Antivirus software before running it for some peace of mind.    I might just be abundantly cautious  :-DD    I can through together a quick video on how to use this software if needed, just let me know!

-S
anything worth doing is worth doing right
www.electron-shepherd.com
 
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Online asmi

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Re: CHMT48VB is up and running!
« Reply #19 on: July 02, 2020, 06:35:55 pm »
 
  • TL;DR - take your time when calibrating each roll and do as the manual says and you'll be extremely happy with the results.
  • I've been placing a large variety of parts:  QFN, SOT, 1210, 0805, 0603, and hundreds of 0402. The smallest/most difficult parts that I've been placing lately are these 0402 LEDs https://www.digikey.com/product-detail/en/SML-P13PTT86R/846-1197-1-ND/5355789.   Here's a video I took a few weeks back that shows some of this operation:

    The BEST suggestions that I can recommend are to install the machine on a really sturdy base and take your time when first calibrating the machine and when calibrating each new reel that you install.   I did a run of >100pcs of those boards in that video and only 2 boards needed any components tweaked on it after the machine was done and both times it was caused by issues in with my solder paste.
Thanks for your answers and especially for video! I don't have it yet as I'm still trying to justify the expense to my wifeaccountant ::) I work on a board for a client right now, who still hasn't decided if he wants to handle production himself or let me do it, I'm trying to persuade him to work with me as this will make a purchase a no-brainer.
Initially I wanted to get some CL-based machine, but after studying the subject I realized I don't really have space for them, nor can I really handle it myself as it's way too heavy for a single person.
One more question for you - now that you got a handle on things, approximately how long does it take for you to swap a reel? I get that it's never going to be as quick as CL swap, but I'd like to at least get an idea on the order of magnitude.

As for videos - I'd really appreciate if you can make some videos showing typical operations, like setting up and calibrating a reel, setting up fudicials for alignment, setting up a run for panelized boards - basically everyday operations. I've read and watched quite a bit of material about that, but more is always better!
Thank you again!
« Last Edit: July 02, 2020, 06:37:49 pm by asmi »
 

Offline shanekent

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Re: CHMT48VB is up and running!
« Reply #20 on: July 02, 2020, 06:42:16 pm »
One more question for you - now that you got a handle on things, approximately how long does it take for you to swap a reel? I get that it's never going to be as quick as CL swap, but I'd like to at least get an idea on the order of magnitude.

This is a hot topic in the world of Charmhigh pick and place machines!   I've found that it takes ~5mins to swap a reel plus another 2 or 3 minutes to calibrate the newly installed reel. My recommendation would probably be to buy reels of parts that you know you're going to use a lot of (0.1uF or 10kΩ in 0402 packages) and then keep those reels in their specific reel location for all of your builds.  It really helps speed up some time.     I buy most of my components from my suppliers in Shenzhen as opposed to Digikey, so that allows me to buy larger quantities.  Something to think about!

As for videos - I'd really appreciate if you can make some videos showing typical operations, like setting up and calibrating a reel, setting up fudicials for alignment - basically everyday operations. I've read and watched quite a bit of material about that, but more is always better!
Thank you again!

I'll definitely consider doing this.   I've found the documentation for the CHMT48VB is a little lack luster and while the community support is strong there doesn't seem to be much organized information.   I suppose I can help out there!

-S
anything worth doing is worth doing right
www.electron-shepherd.com
 
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Online asmi

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Re: CHMT48VB is up and running!
« Reply #21 on: July 02, 2020, 07:36:56 pm »
This is a hot topic in the world of Charmhigh pick and place machines!   I've found that it takes ~5mins to swap a reel plus another 2 or 3 minutes to calibrate the newly installed reel.
That's not nearly as bad as I thought it would be!

My recommendation would probably be to buy reels of parts that you know you're going to use a lot of (0.1uF or 10kΩ in 0402 packages) and then keep those reels in their specific reel location for all of your builds.  It really helps speed up some time.     I buy most of my components from my suppliers in Shenzhen as opposed to Digikey, so that allows me to buy larger quantities.  Something to think about!
I already buy most passives on reels at LCSC since they are so cheap, and already accumulated quite a bit of them. My plan is to place the bulk of parts using machine, and place the rest by hands. This way I can minimize amount of reel swaps I need to do, and I've been building boards with 250+ parts manually up until now, so I've become pretty efficient at it. I also have a single part which is 0201 cap (decoupling cap under BGAs as nothing larger fits in there), and something in me is hoping it can place them too (I've seen some videos on YT showing that it can), but I suspect that might be a bit too much to ask from $5k machine. Though even if it would be only somewhat precise - with some manual nudging required - it would be a big plus for me.

I'll definitely consider doing this.   I've found the documentation for the CHMT48VB is a little lack luster and while the community support is strong there doesn't seem to be much organized information.   I suppose I can help out there!
Thank you again for your efforts!

Offline shanekent

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Re: CHMT48VB is up and running!
« Reply #22 on: July 02, 2020, 08:10:58 pm »
I also have a single part which is 0201 cap (decoupling cap under BGAs as nothing larger fits in there), and something in me is hoping it can place them too (I've seen some videos on YT showing that it can), but I suspect that might be a bit too much to ask from $5k machine.

This is probably possible, but I wouldn't count on it.  You will definitely need to get a smaller Juki nozzle than any of the nozzles that come with the machine.  You'll likely need to get a Juki 501.

-S
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Online asmi

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Re: CHMT48VB is up and running!
« Reply #23 on: July 02, 2020, 08:45:45 pm »
This is probably possible, but I wouldn't count on it. 
Like I said, even if it will need some nudging into place after placement, it would still be a bug help to me. I have a good vacuum pickup tool, but the nozzle for 0201 is so small that it gets clogged very often.

You will definitely need to get a smaller Juki nozzle than any of the nozzles that come with the machine.  You'll likely need to get a Juki 501.
Yea that's a given.

Offline Rat_Patrol

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Re: CHMT48VB is up and running!
« Reply #24 on: July 03, 2020, 03:36:10 pm »
 
  • TL;DR - take your time when calibrating each roll and do as the manual says and you'll be extremely happy with the results.
  • I've been placing a large variety of parts:  QFN, SOT, 1210, 0805, 0603, and hundreds of 0402. The smallest/most difficult parts that I've been placing lately are these 0402 LEDs https://www.digikey.com/product-detail/en/SML-P13PTT86R/846-1197-1-ND/5355789.   Here's a video I took a few weeks back that shows some of this operation:

    The BEST suggestions that I can recommend are to install the machine on a really sturdy base and take your time when first calibrating the machine and when calibrating each new reel that you install.   I did a run of >100pcs of those boards in that video and only 2 boards needed any components tweaked on it after the machine was done and both times it was caused by issues in with my solder paste.
Thanks for your answers and especially for video! I don't have it yet as I'm still trying to justify the expense to my wifeaccountant ::) I work on a board for a client right now, who still hasn't decided if he wants to handle production himself or let me do it, I'm trying to persuade him to work with me as this will make a purchase a no-brainer.
Initially I wanted to get some CL-based machine, but after studying the subject I realized I don't really have space for them, nor can I really handle it myself as it's way too heavy for a single person.
One more question for you - now that you got a handle on things, approximately how long does it take for you to swap a reel? I get that it's never going to be as quick as CL swap, but I'd like to at least get an idea on the order of magnitude.

As for videos - I'd really appreciate if you can make some videos showing typical operations, like setting up and calibrating a reel, setting up fudicials for alignment, setting up a run for panelized boards - basically everyday operations. I've read and watched quite a bit of material about that, but more is always better!
Thank you again!

Be advised that there is NO WAY you are moving the 48VB around with a single person. Even if you could lift the weight (around 150 pounds), its large size makes it too awkward to do w/o risking damage by holding it in a weird position.
 


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