The latest in high-volume pick-and-place machines

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It is important to evaluate the accuracy and performance capabilities of high-volume pick-and-place SMT machines before making a purchase, to ensure you unlock the true potential these machines offer during PCB assembly.

By Baishakhi Dutta

As the demand for higher volume output with better quality increases, more and more manufacturing units are adopting Industry 4.0 and automation in their factories. As a result, pick-and-place surface mount technology (SMT) machines are also being upgraded to increase the accuracy and speed of printed circuit board (PCB) assembly operations, ensuring high quality products with lower time to market. High-volume pick-and-place equipment is getting better with respect to capacities, and becoming more flexible and simpler to use for operators.

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High-volume pick-and-place SMT machines are big investments, requiring purchasers to scrutinise the features and capabilities of the product carefully. We look into some of the latest offerings in the market today.

The latest products available

Model: NXT III; Manufacturer: Fuji Japan
Fuji has launched its latest NXT III machine platform which delivers placement speeds of up to 42,000 CPH with a H24S placement head. By loading the newly developed H24G head on the NXT III, 0.25mm x 0.125mm (008004”) components can be supported without any change to the specifications of the machine (speed: 35,000 CPH; accuracy: ±25μm). The Intelligent Part Sensor (IPS), which checks the orientation of parts on the nozzle and ensures that the part does not remain on the nozzle after placement, is standard on the H24G placement head.

As part sizes get increasingly smaller and more delicate, the force of the impact during placement needs to be lowered. The 0.25mm x 0.125mm part nozzles developed for the H24G head achieve an impact force that’s no greater than 0.5N without any reduction in operation speed.

The NXT III/IIIc has been designed as a scalable placement platform, which meets the needs of future generations of components (such as 03015). In addition, it ensures compatibility with its predecessor NXT II. Many existing machine elements, such as placement heads, trays and feeder units, can be used even on the NXT III/IIIc.

Key features:

  • On-site head exchangeability
  • Field upgradability
  • Machine reconfiguration to handle very small chip parts, as well as large odd-shaped parts
  • Heads can be exchanged in minutes without tools
  • The feeder can be replaced during production without stopping the machine in many cases
  • Compatible with the AIMEX series
  • Weight: 1350kg

Contact details: www.nmtronics.com, [email protected], +91 120 460 3500
India distributor: NMTronics India Pvt Ltd

Model: Hybrid SiP; Manufacturer: Kulicke & Soffa (K&S)
Kulicke & Soffa’s placement machine is the first hybrid flip-chip/passive placement machine with the speed and accuracy needed for cost-effective system-in-package (SiP) manufacture, claim company sources. The model now accepts 300mm (12 inch) wafers directly to combine fast flip-chip and bare-die bonding with ultra-high-speed chip shooting for making SiP and other advanced packages.

It can be reconfigured (for recipe change, transport and feeder set-up) to switch production between SiP/MCM/FC-BGA/modules, embedded/RFID/smart cards, package on package (POP), memory, fan-out wafer level packaging (WLP), and even regular SMT. The new wafer feeder offers the advantages of SMD manufacturing for back-end semiconductor processing—high-speed component placement, single-pass rather than batch processing, and ultra-low placement defect levels. The manufacturer claims the machine trebles the output of the market’s fastest wafer bonder (in terms of units placed per hour), with half the footprint.

Key features:

  • Accuracy up to 25µm; CpK > 1.0
  • Placement defect levels below 1 dpm
  • Output up to 140K
  • 0201m/008004 capability
  • Places thin components without cracking
  • Has full control of the process
  • Full traceability

Contact details: www.kns.com

Model: Z:LEX YSM20W; Manufacturer: Yamaha
The newly launched Yamaha Z:LEX YSM20W pick-and-place machine accommodates a wide range of production formats with flexibility, along with a mounting speed of 80,000 CPH.

The YSM20W can adapt to various components. Its production changeover capability is based on its ‘one-head solution’ concept, which accommodates a wide range of component sizes—from super small chips to large components—with a single type of head. The YSM20W helps in increasing XY-axis speeds and revising the actions involved from pick-up to placement, along with improved mounting speeds. Also, by improving the performance of the wide-scan camera on the head, the YSM20W can mount components up to 12mm x 12mm in size (up from 8mm x 8mm) at high speed, thus improving productivity.

Key features:

  • Speed: 80,000 CPH
  • Weight: 2500kg
  • Applicable components: 0201 to 45mm x 45mm
  • Power supply: 3-phase AC 200V, 208V, 220V, 240V, 380V, 400V and 416V; +/-10 per cent, 50Hz/60Hz
  • Air supply source: 0.45MPa or more, in clean, dry state

Contact details: www.global.yamaha-motor.com

Model: Atom4; Manufacturer: Europlacer
The newly launched Atom 4 uses Europlacer’s pulsar heads and offers high speed manufacturing (up to 104,000 CPH). This has been achieved without removing any feeder from the 264mm x 8mm positions. The new high-speed placement Atom’s range uses the same intelligent feeders as found on Europlacer’s iineo+ platform, giving users flexibility and high speed assembly.

Key features:

  • 264mm x 8mm feeders
  • 01005 to 13mm x 13mm components
  • PCB sizes of up to 2059mm x 715mm
  • Component height: 7mm
  • Component testing capability, with independently verifiable calibration (UKAS, NIST, PTB, etc)
  • Every nozzle position can place all component types, for real line balancing and no limitations
  • Can adapt to assembling components of odd forms and has smart nozzle banks

Contact details: www.europlacer.com

Model: AIMEX III/IIIc; Manufacturer: Fuji Japan
Fuji has launched the latest AIMEX III machine platform, a highly flexible and expandable ‘one machine solution’ with DynaHead support, as well as the capability of handling components up to 102mm x 102mm.

The all-in-one assembly AIMEX III/IIIc has been upgraded and builds on the AIMEX concept to offer additional flexibility and expandability. AIMEX III/IIIc heads and many interchangeable units (component feeding options, camera and other optional units) are shared with the NXT series. The AIMEX III/IIIc inherits the flexibility of the NXT series. It is possible to expand a line for high-mix/low volume production with an AIMEX III/IIIc in order to get additional feeder space and also to install additional placement portals.

Key features:

  • Feeder capacity: Up to 8mm tape
  • PCB load time: 2.9 sec
  • Machine dimensions: 1280mm (L), 2656mm (W), 1556mm (H)
  • PCB size(L x W): 48mm x 48mm to 774mm x 610mm (double conveyor), and 48mm x 48mm to 774mm x 710mm (single conveyor)
  • Field upgradability

Contact details: www.nmtronics.com, [email protected], +91 120 460 3500
India distributor: NMTronics India Pvt Ltd

Model: MC-389; Manufacturer: Manncorp
The newly launched high-speed, high-mix pick-and-place machine, the MC-389, is based on the Manncorp series’ heavy-duty ball-screw and linear-encoded drive train. Its three heads and on-the-fly vision allow accurate placement of any SMD, including 01005 chips, µBGAs and 12-mil pitch quad flat pack (QFPs). With a placement area of 650mm x 460mm (25.6” x 18.1”) and a capacity for up to 160 smart tape and stick feeders, the MC-389 can be configured for virtually any high-mix project, claim company sources.

Key features:

  • Standard voltage: 220V AC, 50Hz/60Hz
  • Weight: 1100kg (approximately)
  • Dimensions (L x W x H): 1300mm x 1420mm x 1460mm
  • Number of placement heads: 3
  • Alignment method: Dual-vision alignment system
  • Placement rate: 10,500 CPH

Contact details: www.manncorp.com

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