Surface Mount Technology (SMT), which provides a more accurate and efficient technique to manufacture printed circuit boards (PCBs), has completely changed the electronics industry. The pick and place machine, a wonderful tool that automates the attachment of electronic components to PCBs, is at the center of the SMT assembly procedure.
This article examines the use of pick and place machines in PCB assembly, as well as their benefits, methods for programming them, degrees of accuracy, and selection guidelines（top 10 global pick and place machines manufacturers）.
How many machines are used in SMT ?
Several equipment are used in the assembly process of printed circuit boards (PCBs) when using the surface mount technology (SMT). Solder paste printers, pick and place equipment, reflow ovens, and inspection systems are the major machines used in SMT.
Depending on the difficulty and specifications of the PCB assembly, there may also be equipment for stencil cleaning, automated optical inspection (AOI), and X-ray inspection. The efficient and precise assembly of electrical components onto PCBs during the SMT process depends on each machine.
What is a pick and place machine in PCB ?
An essential tool used in the Surface Mount Technology (SMT) assembly process for printed circuit boards (PCBs) is a pick and place machine, sometimes referred to as a placement machine or component mounter. Its main job is to automatically put electrical parts on the PCB in precisely the right places, such resistors, capacitors, integrated circuits, and other surface mount devices. In order to do this, the machine selects components from predetermined component feeders and precisely places them on the PCB using manufacturing instructions from the PCB design.
What does a pick and place machine do ?
A pick and place machine is used in PCB manufacturing to automate and simplify the placement of electrical components on PCBs. In comparison to manual placement techniques, the pick and place machine thus has a number of important benefits. As it can handle thousands of components per hour, it considerably speeds up the assembling process.
Additionally, the machine guarantees outstanding precision by accurately positioning components according to the PCB design. This automation improves efficiency, decreases the possibility of human mistake, and makes it possible to construct complex PCB designs that could be difficult to assemble manually.
What is the advantage of a pick and place machine ?
A pick and place machine has several benefits and traits that make it essential in contemporary PCB manufacturing procedures.
-First off, it works quickly and efficiently, enabling the quick insertion of many components in a short period of time.
-The machine’s accuracy and precision assure that parts are positioned exactly where they should be, ensuring trustworthy electrical connections and reducing errors.
-Its adaptability makes it suited for a variety of PCB assembly applications since it can handle a wide range of component sizes and kinds.
-The machine’s uniform and automated positioning increases production yield while lowering manufacturing expenses.
-Furthermore, optical identification systems for component inspection are frequently used in pick and place machines, further boosting quality control.
How do you program a pick and place robot ?
A pick and place machine requires many crucial processes to be programmed. The PCB design data must first be imported into the pick and place program, often in the form of Gerber files or CAD data.
The pick-up locations, orientation, and other details unique to each component are then included in a library that you construct or load. The feeders are then set up, with each feeder being assigned to the relevant component on the PCB. The positioning technique is chosen to increase productivity and enhance machine mobility during assembly. The machine must be calibrated to ensure precision and to properly align it for component installation.
You program the pick and put points for each component after these first steps are finished, setting the pickup and placement positions based on the PCB design. Before beginning full-scale production, a test run is lastly carried out to ensure the programming’s correctness and functioning. Any necessary fine-tuning is then carried out.
How does an SMT pick and place machine work ?
An SMT pick and place machine assembles electronic components onto PCBs using a sequence of exact procedures.
First, different feeders positioned all around the machine are filled with electronic components. The location and orientation of the components in the feeders are aligned and verified by the machine’s vision system. A vacuum nozzle is used by the pick and place device to remove a verified component from the feeder.
Additionally, the PCB is accurately oriented on a placement table or conveyor using the machine’s vision system. On the basis of the manufacturing information fed into its programming, the machine then precisely installs the component at the desired spot on the PCB.
The solder paste that was previously deposited during the solder paste printing process melts in a reflow oven after all of the components have been put on the PCB, forming electrical connections between the components and the PCB. Some pick and place devices additionally have an inspection mechanism to ensure that the components are positioned and oriented correctly on the constructed PCB.
How accurate are pick and place machines ?
The reliability and functionality of the built PCBs depend heavily on the precision of pick and place equipment. The placement precision of modern pick and place machines is outstanding, often falling between 30 and 100 millimeters (1.2 to 4 mils).
The architecture of the machine, the caliber of its visual system, the calibration procedure, and the kind of components being used are some of the aspects that affect its precision.
High-end pick and place machines with cutting-edge vision systems and precise mechanics can achieve more accuracy, but older or less expensive machines may have somewhat less precise placement. When selecting a pick and place machine, it is critical to take the needed precision for your unique PCB assembly demands into account.
How do I choose a pick and place machine ?
For PCB assembly needs, choosing the best pick and place machine necessitates careful consideration of a number of parameters. To choose the right machine speed and capacity, first calculate the production volume you need to reach. Make sure the machine can process the variety of parts needed for your PCBs, including small, fragile surface mount devices.
Choose a machine that satisfies your PCB designs’ placement accuracy needs by taking into account those specifications. Make sure the machine can handle the types and quantity of feeds you’ll want for your components. Look for machines with sophisticated vision capabilities since proper component alignment and placement depend on a dependable vision system. Your production process will be made more efficient by user-friendly software with effective programming skills.
Additionally, confirm whether the supplier or manufacturer offers technical support and maintenance services. Finally, choose a budget for the machine and take your production demands into account when calculating the return on investment.
Top 10 pick and place machine manufacturers in the world
Some of the top 10 pick and place machine manufacturers (brands) in the world included
Fuji Machine Manufacturing Co., Ltd. (Fuji)
Siemens AG (Siemens Electronic Assembly Systems – SEAS)
Yamaha Motor Co., Ltd. (Yamaha)
ASM Pacific Technology Ltd. (ASMPT)
Hanwha Corporation (Hanwha Precision Machinery)
In conclusion, pick and place machines are crucial to the SMT assembly process and improve PCB manufacturing’s efficiency, precision, and consistency. They have become vital in the electronics sector thanks to their exceptional accuracy when handling a wide variety of components.
Manufacturers may improve their production processes and maintain competitiveness in the quick-paced field of electronics manufacturing by being aware of the elements that go into selecting the best pick and place machine. We may anticipate further advances in pick and place equipment as technology develops, which will push the manufacturing sector toward more automation.
Pick and place machine referred to as a placement machine or component mounter. Its main job is to automatically put electrical parts on the PCB in precisely the right places, such resistors, capacitors, integrated circuits, and other surface mount devices.
A pick and place machine is used in PCB manufacturing to automate and simplify the placement of electrical components on PCBs.
Fuji Machine Manufacturing Co., Ltd. (Fuji)
Siemens AG (Siemens Electronic Assembly Systems - SEAS)
Yamaha Motor Co., Ltd. (Yamaha)