What is Pick and Place Machine?
The PCB assembly process requires the addition of electronic components like ICs, resistors, capacitors, inductors etc. to Printed Circuit Boards. During the prototyping stage, the components are usually placed on the board manually one by one, however when a large number of PCBs need to be assembled, the placement of components on the board needs to be automated or done by a machine. To do this we use a Pick and Place Machine.
Pick and place machines are robotic machines that are used to pick up components from reels or packages and place them on the board very accurately and quickly. Since this process is automated, these machines can be used to assemble thousands of boards very accurately and quickly.
When using Pick and Place Equipment, solder paste is applied on the board and loaded on to a platform or conveyer where the components need to be placed on the board. The Pick and place machine has feeders and heads. Each feeder holds a reel of components, and each head is a robotic arm that can pick up components from a tape, stripe, stick or tray and place it on the board. Then the robotic arms of the Pick and Place machine, also known as heads are programmed to place the components on the board. The head uses a vacuum to pick up a component from the feeder and place it in the correct configuration at the required location on the board. The head is accurately controlled by the software to ensure the exact and accurate placements of components. The head has the ability to move on the entire area of the board.
When Looking for PCB Pick and Place Equipment these are some important parameters to consider:
Type of Equipment: Pick and Place machines are usually automatic, however manual options are also available, where the head of the equipment can be controlled manually without programming.
Placement speed: It is the rate at which components are picked up, inspected, and placed onto a PCB. It is represented in components per hour (CPH) or parts per hour (PPH).
Feeder capacity: The number of feeder tapes that can be loaded onto the pick and place machine at one time is called the feeder capacity of a pick and place machine. Feeder slots of pick and place machines are usually designed for 8mm tape feeders.
Number of Heads: This is the number of robotic arms that the PCB has which can be used to pick up and place components on the board.
Component Size: Pick and place equipment can handle up to a certain component size which is usually mentioned in the spec sheet.
Component pitch: It is the center to center distance between components. If it is less than 0.7mm, then it is called a fine pitch.
Overall placement accuracy: It represents the accuracy of the exact placement of components at its place by the machine. The accuracy of the placement of components is represented by ± X micrometers.
Rotational axis resolution: It represents the angle of accuracy in the placement of the components. It is represented in degree.
PCB edge clearance (top and bottom): It is the minimum distance between the edge of a PCB and components. It is represented in mm
Maximum Assembling Heads: It represents the number of assembling head in the machine.
Maximum Dispensing Heads: It represents the number of dispensing head in the machine.
Standalone type machine: Machine can operate in standalone mode.
Inline type machine: Machine can operate in inline mode.
Compressed air: It is the required air supplied at a controlled pressure to perform pick and place operation. The air pressure represents in the bar.
PCB Directory has listed Pick and Place Equipment from the leading manufacturers in the industry and made it easy for users to find pick and place machines based on their requirement. Users can specify the type of equipment, number of heads, number of feeders, minimum component size and other parameters to find equipment that meets their requirement. They can then view component machine specifications, download the spec sheet and get a quote. Quotes requested are routed to manufacturer of the pick and place device.