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Offline mrpackethead

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SmallSMT - Discussion Thread.
« on: January 26, 2016, 12:46:44 am »
Moving the off topic discussion from the Neoden 4 Thread to over here.
On a quest to find increasingly complicated ways to blink things
 

Offline spool_of_wire

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Re: SmallSMT - Discussion Thread.
« Reply #1 on: January 26, 2016, 02:21:27 am »
Yes, to the best of my knowledge Michael designed it and was going to have it made in China and then have a later model made in Germany. I think costs were going to be too high (I'm guessing at this part) so he partnered with someone in china and he's doing the design / support / software work in Germany but the actual product is built in China.

Here is the original thread where he started talking about it:

http://dangerousprototypes.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=68&t=6477&sid=b5fa37d5a57cd46cf57f365f7278d83e

His original site was smallsmt.com (that site now points to his updated site smallsmt.biz)

He was going to name them something like SMT500D, SMT700 SMT600 (I might be somewhat off on the numbering) The 600 was the latest model (and better than the 700 but I degress) He was working on it for a while and then suddenly he released the VP2X00D (basically put VP for Visoin Placer in the front.) He though there were a lot of other pnp machines with similar names so different would help prevent confusion - which I really appreciated.

Anyway I was interested in his SMT600 (or was it SMT600D?) but with the newer models I'm interested in the one with the highest capacity of parts.

Here's the thread where he later announced the actual product:

http://dangerousprototypes.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=68&t=7340&sid=b5fa37d5a57cd46cf57f365f7278d83e

Anyway, that's the best I understand about it's history. I've been following it since the original thread and he sounded like he might be willing to let me get it piece by piece as my budget allowed. I just can't drop 10k on a machine all at once at this time. I was thinking I could get just the basic largest machine available and then gradually add a side of feeders or something as my funds allowed. He seemed to make it sound like the software was pretty capable of allowing different setups. but again I haven't seen the software and I believe English is his second language (which is muchbetter than my German) so I take what I hear with a grain of salt   :)

Also he claims the numbers of parts per hour are the actual numbers and not a "potential" number. If he's posting real numbers rather than just trying to paint a pretty picture that makes me lean towards his machine since he being upfront and honest - another thing I like especially when buying something from China. Again I'm not building a million boards so if it take 10 minutes - or 15 minutes to build up a board that won't bother me too much at this time.

For me I'm trying to work on a product and start selling it so I can't afford to stock full reels of the expensive parts all at once. So I won't  be building up a lot of boards at a time. I'm more inclined to build up one or maybe two boards at a time. Or first just have the machine put on the small "cheap" parts I can afford like 0603 resistors and place the rest by hand and eventually (as funding allows) get more parts in stock and on the machine and buy additional pneumatic feeders as required.

But what I was really wondering is if it could be set up in the program to do a single board. then if I needed to do 2 boards just lay a second board next to it. or if I wanted to do 4 I could lay 4 boards next to each other in a square. (sort of cheating at a 2 x 2 array but not nearly as precise as an array from a fab) He made it sound like his software could make it so it checked the fiducials on each board individually and adjust each board accordingly. For me that's huge, so I have a machine that could build up a single board just fine, or I could lay 4 of them in there and let it run for 40 minutes or so and then that's it. I plan on using this machine for a small (in the basement) setup so for me that sounded ideal.

Again, I've never seen the software or the machine (other then the dropbox videos he posted of the machine running - didn't see software) so I can't give any really good first hand experience. but if you are able to check out an actually live setup I would LOVE the feedback as this sounds like the best / most flexible option of a machine. Especially since he seems pretty dedicated to working on it and improving it. Plus the few people that have commented about the machine have said his help has been awesome.

The other thing I liked about the machine was you got the pneumatic feeder for each side of tapes you're going to use and you're good. So I thought that was really great because if you had all the parts for 3 sides of tapes you had 81 feeders (or whatever the number was). How this works with larger size tapes I'm not sure - but that's another question I'll have to figure out.

Whether or not the pneumatic feeders are better than the other types of feeders out there I don't have a clue - this is where my inexperience with pnp machines shows.
 
One other thing I noticed is it seem to require a high volume of compressed air to run. Perhaps it's because of those pneumatic feeders? but I really don't know. I have a smaller type compressor that's really nice and quiet but if I can't use it and have to buy a larger one with a higher air volume I will. A new compressor is way less expensive than a pnp machine.

Anyway that's about all I know about it's history but any info you're able to get I'd appreciate.

-J
 

Offline Smallsmt

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Re: SmallSMT - Discussion Thread.
« Reply #2 on: January 26, 2016, 12:30:40 pm »
Hi,

the machine picture you show is the new 4 head prototype we release the machine in May.

Our current machines look like this:
VP-2500D  Belt machine stepper motors


VP-2500HP Ball screw spindle servo motors


We have a lot of informations on our website please read the know how section too.

Yesterday I did some videos for the current VP-2500HP Ball screw spindle, servo motors on x and y axis, and linear guidings.
The result was impressive the machine can place 0402 using vision in perfect quality and running high speed without vision in good quality.

This machine is fast and precise we reach 3600 cps / h using one head and it's possible to use the second head together to increase the speed.
If you run our machine on mid speed using vision for every part you reach up to 2700pcs / h using one head.

Please view my Twitter postings showing videos and placement results.
https://twitter.com/SMALLSMT

Vor a VP-2500D customers report please read Alans feedback
http://www.smallsmt.biz/customer-report-allan/

You find us here www.smallsmt.biz

In the next months we add vibration feeder and nozzle changer to our machines.
It is possible to upgrade your machine at any time.

If you have any question feel free to ask me!

I have an good overview of the market and used Neoden machine before too.
Last year I visited Neoden and Qihe factory.

This was my first machine construction ;)




Best regards
Michael







« Last Edit: February 05, 2016, 03:44:33 pm by Smallsmt »
 

Offline Smallsmt

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Re: SmallSMT - Discussion Thread.
« Reply #3 on: January 26, 2016, 12:48:55 pm »
I forgot to answer the question sorry!

>>Whether or not the pneumatic feeders are better than the other types of feeders out there I don't have a clue - this is where my inexperience with pnp machines shows.
 
The cheap machines including neoden TM245P / TM240 / Quihe TVM802 / Charming High CHMT36 .... have drag feeder using a solenoid to push a needle inside the traktor hole and drag the tape using the head mechanics. On feeder problems you may loose the head position and second problem the needle shaft is not very precise for moving.
 
>>One other thing I noticed is it seem to require a high volume of compressed air to run. Perhaps it's because of those pneumatic feeders? but I really don't know. I have  a smaller type compressor that's really nice and quiet but if I can't use it and have to buy a larger one with a higher air volume I will. A new compressor is way less expensive than a pnp machine.

You only need a small silent air compressor because we have vaccum generators inside consuming less air so you need a small compressor delivering 6Bar 110L/minute oil free compressed air.
 

Offline rwb

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Re: SmallSMT - Discussion Thread.
« Reply #4 on: January 26, 2016, 08:19:02 pm »
@SmallSMT  The more i look at your machines the more I like it's features.

Looking at my current design I have a tad over 100 different parts which I'm sure can be brought down to 80 some parts which would allow me to load your machine with all parts and complete the board without having to load new parts into and run the board 2 different times.

I also have radial CAP's that are 10mm high and your machine picks up parts that are up to 12mm high so its nice that the machine could place the caps also. With the CharmHigh & Neoden 4 machines the max part height is 5mm so I was going to have to place the Cap's by hand.

I wanted to ask you about how much more accurate using the screw drive and linear rails are vs using the Belt Drive that most other systems use. The CharmHigh vision system now has encoders which I think is ideal for a belt drive but can you educate us on why you made the machine using the screw drive?

I have a laser cutting machine that uses belt drive and it has worked perfectly for years now. I have CNC machine that uses screw drive and it works perfectly for years now also. I do see most professional PNP machines using the linear slides and screw drives so it must be best.

Also you say on your website that you using your machines to professionally produce finished PCB's and you would not sell a machine that you were not personally happy with. That is good to hear, is there any way you could share some pictures and video of the production runs and boards that your machines are producing?

Is your PC software open source or is it something custom? Do you consider it better than the PC software that comes with the NeoDen 4 based on what you have seen or do you know?

I think the more you can share via pictures and videos of the machine in action the more people you will have interested in buying one. There are quite a few options on the market now in the 5-10K price range so its getting harder for the beginner to choose which is right for them and as a beginner it's important that we get it right since most of us are working with limited budgets.

Stuffing boards sucks when your doing it by hand so the demand for the machines will never go away.

Sorry for all the questions but I'm sure I'm not the only person wanting to know all the details.
 

Offline Smallsmt

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Re: SmallSMT - Discussion Thread.
« Reply #5 on: January 27, 2016, 08:57:55 am »
Quote
I also have radial CAP's that are 10mm high and your machine picks up parts that are up to 12mm high so its nice that the machine could place the caps also. With the CharmHigh & Neoden 4 machines the max part height is 5mm so I was going to have to place the Cap's by hand.

The machine can take parts 10mm height but you need to take care to avoid collisions. I think the modern caps can replace your 10mm height component at 6.6mm height which is much better for your placement.

Quote
I wanted to ask you about how much more accurate using the screw drive and linear rails are vs using the Belt Drive that most other systems use. The CharmHigh vision system now has encoders which I think is ideal for a belt drive but can you educate us on why you made the machine using the screw drive?

First of all you need to know a belt machine need to be calibrated because the belt length change over time. A belt need to be replaced too depend on your usage.
So you loose precision over time and need to adjust from time to time. Second problem is the belt machine loose precision if the speed is high because if the head need to stop it swings around the position. A ball screw machine stops immediately. We add the servo motors to our high precision machine because you suppress the vibration of the placement system caused by a stepper belt drive combination. So finally if you add the linear guide you achive the best precision over time especially if machine runs on high speed too.
A lasercutter has the advantage to cut when moving and it is mostly traveling one direction so if it stops the laser stop too. That's a different way of use.

Quote
Also you say on your website that you using your machines to professionally produce finished PCB's and you would not sell a machine that you were not personally happy with. That is good to hear, is there any way you could share some pictures and video of the production runs and boards that your machines are producing?
I showed some things on Twitter but I prepare some vidos and results soon.

Quote
Is your PC software open source or is it something custom? Do you consider it better than the PC software that comes with the NeoDen 4 based on what you have seen or do you know?

I think neoden 4 software is at the beginning and need some care to get finished but I believe our software is more user friendly.
We are now running our software for more than one year and it's been used on more than 140 machines so I can say it's not perfect but well tested.
The main problem of an integrated pc is the machine vibration and you need to maintain two systems as manufacturer.
As I asume Neoden software is running on windows XP did you ask if the software is licensed? And how about the network functions of an unsupported operating system?
We use an external PC and a windows 7 up to windows 10 compatible software build in dotnet.
Our main knowledge is inside this software so we can't share the source sorry!

Quote
I think the more you can share via pictures and videos of the machine in action the more people you will have interested in buying one. There are quite a few options on the market now in the 5-10K price range so its getting harder for the beginner to choose which is right for them and as a beginner it's important that we get it right since most of us are working with limited budgets.

I think the main problem is to buy a machine without the knowledge to operate.
We offer a online web training free of charge and before you buy the machine too!
We have operating manual and maintainance manual in english for our machine.
So you know all advantages and disadvantages before you buy!
I didn't cover our disadvantages.

Neoden 4 has a nice conveyor function if you need to produce long PCB we can build up to 360x500mm PCB's.

The addressable clear tape peel off is nice too because Neoden 4 can move a single feeder line to peel of the tape we can only run the peel off for the whole feeder on one side this can cause a tape cut on unused feeder after some time.

Modular feeder is only an option for Neoden 4 machine because you can't move out feeder and reel together. It's only to have a flexible configuration for your machine to apply different feeder sizes before you mount all the reels. A bigger pnp machine use a feeder cassette to carry the reel too.

We have a similar placement speed for a single or double head operation depend on the distance the head need to travel.
The feeder count on our machine is higher depend on machine and feeder size we can use up to 93 Feeder 8mm lines in one placement job.

Neoden 4 can take a picture for all 4 nozzles at one time we need to take the pictures in a line.

We add a nozzle changer soon and it is possible to upgrade any machine in field.
The vibration feeder on south side is coming too.
And for the last point I think our HP machines are nice because of ball screw spindle, servo drives, and linear guides. I was impresssed about the precision and performance compared to our belt machines.

So finally it depends on your needs which machine is better for you.

Best regards
Michael
 

Offline mikeselectricstuff

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Re: SmallSMT - Discussion Thread.
« Reply #6 on: January 28, 2016, 10:11:29 am »
Quote
I also have radial CAP's that are 10mm high and your machine picks up parts that are up to 12mm high so its nice that the machine could place the caps also. With the CharmHigh & Neoden 4 machines the max part height is 5mm so I was going to have to place the Cap's by hand.

The machine can take parts 10mm height but you need to take care to avoid collisions. I think the modern caps can replace your 10mm height component at 6.6mm height which is much better for your placement.

That is not an acceptable answer to the question of max height. Max height is the tallest part that can be placed with no risk of collision in any circumstance, typically 50% of the nozzle travel height across the panel.
If there is some way to support taller parts then this should be stated as additional functionality along with any constraints (e.g. whether supported by feeders, whether placement needs to be in a specific order etc.)

And how exactly do you "take care to avoid collisions"? Does the software support automatic or manual path planning?
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Offline Smallsmt

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Re: SmallSMT - Discussion Thread.
« Reply #7 on: January 28, 2016, 11:03:11 am »
@Mike

yes we are planning to do a function to avoid collision but now you are able to sort your parts by selecting different placement strategy.
You can use the partname field to do a different sort order too by applying a sorting key.

I do a video for the tall parts soon to show the travel range.

« Last Edit: January 28, 2016, 11:21:48 am by Smallsmt »
 

Offline Smallsmt

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Re: SmallSMT - Discussion Thread.
« Reply #8 on: January 28, 2016, 11:17:30 am »

We use a 1.6mm PCB for the test.

Here you see a 6,3mm cap under the nozzle >5mm space left under the part and 10mm cap on the right side.



Here you see a 10mm cap under the nozzle >1mm space left under the part and 6.3mm cap on the right side.


So if you have a lo of tall parts you need to take care but the machine can move and place!

 

Offline mikeselectricstuff

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Re: SmallSMT - Discussion Thread.
« Reply #9 on: January 28, 2016, 11:24:11 am »
The problem with dealg with it by sorting placement order is dealing with mis-picks etc. that need to be placed after everything else.
The point of a P&P is that it can be left to get on with the job with minimum attention.
Therefore when a feeder runs out, or you get too many retries, it should not stop, but continue with the next part, until it has placed everything possible, and then alert the operator that some parts were not placed, so the problems can all be sorted out at once and the board completed.


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Offline Smallsmt

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Re: SmallSMT - Discussion Thread.
« Reply #10 on: January 28, 2016, 12:04:46 pm »
Quote
The problem with dealg with it by sorting placement order is dealing with mis-picks etc. that need to be placed after everything else.
The point of a P&P is that it can be left to get on with the job with minimum attention.
Therefore when a feeder runs out, or you get too many retries, it should not stop, but continue with the next part, until it has placed everything possible, and then alert the operator that some parts were not placed, so the problems can all be sorted out at once and the board completed.

Nice idea Mike but  I did not know a machine in this segment which can do like this.
If you have a cover tape the machine need to stop because if you don't care many other problems occur.
What's the real problem you receive cut sheet parts and the stripes will be re reeled so you have the extension problem maybe to thick and tape hangs or the cover tape was extend using a glue tape and maybe cuts or glues on a useless position.
The machine didn't know the strength of problem.

On feeder pickup errors you have a lot of options to prevent the machine to stop.
1. the pick up retry count limit
2. the feed limit count if the first pick up limit was reached you can define how many parts will be feed and pickup retries occur until machine stop.
3. the vacuum detection switch limit to detect if a part hangs under the nozzle.

We are talking here about prototyping machines the have a limited feature set but if customers need a function and are willing to pay for it everything is possible.

 

Offline mikeselectricstuff

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Re: SmallSMT - Discussion Thread.
« Reply #11 on: January 28, 2016, 12:13:13 pm »
Quote
Nice idea Mike but  I did not know a machine in this segment which can do like this.
If you have a cover tape the machine need to stop because if you don't care many other problems occur.
What's the real problem you receive cut sheet parts and the stripes will be re reeled so you have the extension problem maybe to thick and tape hangs or the cover tape was extend using a glue tape and maybe cuts or glues on a useless position.
The machine didn't know the strength of problem.
[/quote ]
All these are singe-lane issues, so there is no reason it can't carry on with other parts

In my experience, with my machine (Versatronics RV4) which does this, it generally makes sense - you just leave it going and deal with all issues in one go afterwards . By far the majority of errors are things that only affect a single lane, so carrying on with other parts is the best strategy.

Quote
On feeder pickup errors you have a lot of options to prevent the machine to stop.
1. the pick up retry count limit
2. the feed limit count if the first pick up limit was reached you can define how many parts will be feed and pickup retries occur until machine stop.
3. the vacuum detection switch limit to detect if a part hangs under the nozzle.
None of these help if the problem is that parts have run out, or the tape is jammed.
Quote
We are talking here about prototyping machines the have a limited feature set but if customers need a function and are willing to pay for it everything is possible.
It's just a simple software feature so no reason it should add any cost.

It would be good to at least have the option for the user to specify the action on error - stop, or continue with other parts.
All you need is the ability for it to flag parts that haven't been placed.
Consider the situation where the machine is located in another room, or even the other side of the room.  Do you want to get up to go fix every issue as it arises, or once to fix everything at the end when most of it is done?

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Offline Smallsmt

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Re: SmallSMT - Discussion Thread.
« Reply #12 on: January 28, 2016, 12:52:38 pm »
@mike
I put it on the customer feature request list thank you for the idea.
 

Offline Smallsmt

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Re: SmallSMT - Discussion Thread.
« Reply #13 on: January 28, 2016, 06:27:11 pm »
We solve the 10mm part placement problem by moving the nozzle to -5mm z axis position while moving so we receive 6mm free height under the part. It should be easy to avoid the collision if the 10mm part is 6mm above the pcb surface.
 

Offline Smallsmt

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Re: SmallSMT - Discussion Thread.
« Reply #14 on: January 29, 2016, 06:17:05 am »
The Z axis can move -15mm but head 2 moves down to so I decided to use -5mm to keep 10mm distance between head 2 and the pcb surface.
If we have the nozzle changer the second nozzle can be send to the nozzle cart and we have enough space left for single head operation.
We are discussing now how to add this Z axis feature to our machine.
 

Offline mikeselectricstuff

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Re: SmallSMT - Discussion Thread.
« Reply #15 on: January 29, 2016, 10:20:03 am »
The Z axis can move -15mm but head 2 moves down to so I decided to use -5mm to keep 10mm distance between head 2 and the pcb surface.
If we have the nozzle changer the second nozzle can be send to the nozzle cart and we have enough space left for single head operation.
We are discussing now how to add this Z axis feature to our machine.
Would an option be to simply not fit the second nozzle?
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Offline Smallsmt

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Re: SmallSMT - Discussion Thread.
« Reply #16 on: January 29, 2016, 11:26:12 am »
Yes the only problem is you need to change manually.
 

Offline Smallsmt

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Re: SmallSMT - Discussion Thread.
« Reply #17 on: February 03, 2016, 10:46:12 pm »
I just finished a test our VP-2500HP spindle machine can place 0201 parts using vision system alignment!

www.twitter.com/smallsmt

This is the result 0402 and 0201 resistors placed at mid speed 0.6 x 0.3mm sized parts!


« Last Edit: February 04, 2016, 06:52:11 am by Smallsmt »
 

Offline Smallsmt

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Re: SmallSMT - Discussion Thread.
« Reply #18 on: February 04, 2016, 06:48:24 am »
Quote
Does the 2500 and 2800 work pretyt much the same way, with the differnece just being the size of the workspace and the number of reels on the machine.

The High Precision machine VP-2500HP and VP-2800HP work the same way because have spindle and servo motors and linear guides.

Our mid range VP-2X00D machine has it's limit placing 0402 components because it's a belt machine using microstepping stepper motors.

But we have a common software and vision system all machines have the same features only different precision and placement quality.

Please compare the 0402 placement results for our belt machines (VP-2000D, VP-2500D, VP-2800D) in our know how section http://www.smallsmt.biz/home/know-how/vp-2500d-0402-placement-test/

We offer a wide range of different working table sizes and feeder configurations.



Only the 2500 / 2800 range offer up to 3 side feeder and High Precision mechanics plus servo motors on X / Y - axis. (VP-2500HP, VP-2800HP)

I do some placement and software videos next week too busy just now sorry!

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

Shop catalog http://www.smallsmt.biz/shop-catalog/

VP-2500HP machine used for this test run.



Top view of VP-2500HP machine having 3 side feeders.
« Last Edit: February 04, 2016, 07:49:41 am by Smallsmt »
 

Offline es

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Re: SmallSMT - Discussion Thread.
« Reply #19 on: February 05, 2016, 03:29:21 am »
Moving the off topic discussion from the Neoden 4 Thread to over here.


Are the three slots pictured in the four heads prototype machine used to route the spent component tapes underneat the machine?

The spent component tapes management on the current machines doesn't seem very practical IMO. It's an area I'd like to see improved before considering getting such a machine.
 

Offline Smallsmt

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Re: SmallSMT - Discussion Thread.
« Reply #20 on: February 05, 2016, 06:30:12 am »
Quote
Are the three slots pictured in the four heads prototype machine used to route the spent component tapes underneat the machine?

The spent component tapes management on the current machines doesn't seem very practical IMO. It's an area I'd like to see improved before considering getting such a machine.

The current tape routing works perfect for West and North feeder only if you use the East feeder it cause a problem.
The East feeder should not be used to place a lot of parts in one placement job so you need to cut the waste tape ever 100 pcs maybe.

Now we try to route the waste tape down under the machine so our 4 head prototype will be the first time we use this way.
If it works we add this feature to the other machines too.
 

Offline rwb

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Re: SmallSMT - Discussion Thread.
« Reply #21 on: February 05, 2016, 06:35:41 am »
I have to admit your machine does hit the spot in many different ways like Good Software, Tons of Feeders, 12 mm max part height, ect......

Looking forward to seeing the machine videos once you get them done.
« Last Edit: February 05, 2016, 06:57:54 am by rwb »
 

Offline Smallsmt

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Re: SmallSMT - Discussion Thread.
« Reply #22 on: February 05, 2016, 06:57:01 am »
@rwb

The maximum part height is 10mm because you need some space under the part for movement but up to 7mm is preferred now (for VP-2X00D machines!).
We try to improve soon using a head retract mode the head will stay on -5mm Z-axis position while moving so it should be possible to place 12mm tall parts and keep more than 5 mm under the part to avoid colissions.
« Last Edit: February 05, 2016, 04:06:35 pm by Smallsmt »
 

Offline Smallsmt

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Re: SmallSMT - Discussion Thread.
« Reply #23 on: February 05, 2016, 02:59:31 pm »
There is an important change for VP-2500HP and VP-2800HP we can take 10mm tall parts and the space left between PCB and part is 5mm.
So the total range is 15mm!

VP-2500HP taking a 10mm tall cap!

« Last Edit: February 05, 2016, 03:45:31 pm by Smallsmt »
 

Offline Smallsmt

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Re: SmallSMT - Discussion Thread.
« Reply #24 on: February 05, 2016, 04:20:34 pm »
Here is the result of my placement tests today.

I took the picture using  a lens in front of the camera!

This is a professional placement result!

We placed 0402 at different speed and 0201 at mid speed.



 


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