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  1. #1
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    SMD pick and place

    Is someone interested in building a SMD pick and place ?
    I mean a little, not-so-fast, not for very small package pick
    and place.
    Any idea about hardware and software is really appreciated !

  2. #2
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    I am interested.. I already started something but the results are really not very good.. I made a "bindomatic"... The space between the bearings blocks is too big and it just binds all the time. I will have quite a hard time to fix it without spending much more money than I already have..

    Do you have any clean ideas in mind ? The software part will not be the hardest if your PCB program can export XY coordinates for the parts centering.]

    Best regards,
    Alexandre

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by alexg
    I am interested.. I already started something but the results are really not very good.. I made a "bindomatic"... The space between the bearings blocks is too big and it just binds all the time. I will have quite a hard time to fix it without spending much more money than I already have..

    Do you have any clean ideas in mind ? The software part will not be the hardest if your PCB program can export XY coordinates for the parts centering.]

    Best regards,
    Alexandre
    Cute....a bindomatic... :banana: you can probably patten it...but seriously, I suspect that you have an alignment problem, or is your base is not flat & stable to the movement that will torque your rails out-of-alignment.

  4. #4
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    Are you trying to place electronic components onto pads for some vapor soldering? If so then it's more then just simple x-y...there is component size, type, orientation, alignment to the pcb's datum lines, etc.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by ViperTX
    Cute....a bindomatic... :banana: you can probably patten it...but seriously, I suspect that you have an alignment problem, or is your base is not flat & stable to the movement that will torque your rails out-of-alignment.
    The "bindomatic" new word is something I read at one of John "cranky" ********** message somehwere.. It really defines my first go on the machine very well...

    I used Igus bearings and the guy that made the mechanics for me ignored my warnings that the bearings should be at 1/2 the width of the space perpendicular to them as Igus clearly states for their bearings. It will just keep binding until that rule is covered or I get other kind of bearings.

    Best regards,
    Alexandre

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by ViperTX
    Are you trying to place electronic components onto pads for some vapor soldering? If so then it's more then just simple x-y...there is component size, type, orientation, alignment to the pcb's datum lines, etc.
    They will go into a reflow oven. Component type and orientation is also part of most BOM generated by PCB's programs. And for small productions that could even be entered by hand without much trouble. If someone can make me do a nice machine I can come with the software that will read the info from a text file and move the steppers around to make it all work.. My problems really are with the mechanics and specially the lack of good mechanical tools. I would love to see some simple and fast stuff that could be produced with just hand tools.. Or something that I could just submit to a machine shop and have the parts done easily. This machine is different from a router because it has to be much faster and do not have to cope with cutting forces.


    Best regards,
    Alexandre

  7. #7
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    Let's start !

    I think we can cut a big problem in some more smaller problems, and so on till we find a good, working, inexpensive solution. Is this way OK for you ?
    The machine is SOFTWARE + HARDWARE.
    Software can be a problem for me, but probably not for Alexg, so first problem is solved
    Hardware: we can cut in 3 parts: the X Y Z plus Rotation " plotter",
    feeders, and the most complicated part, the "head" with all the pick and place goodies.
    Alexg: can you tell us more about your experience?
    Thanks to all, we are a good team.
    Paolo

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by ciccio
    I think we can cut a big problem in some more smaller problems, and so on till we find a good, working, inexpensive solution. Is this way OK for you ?
    The machine is SOFTWARE + HARDWARE.
    Software can be a problem for me, but probably not for Alexg, so first problem is solved
    Hardware: we can cut in 3 parts: the X Y Z plus Rotation " plotter",
    feeders, and the most complicated part, the "head" with all the pick and place goodies.
    Alexg: can you tell us more about your experience?
    Thanks to all, we are a good team.
    Paolo
    Ok.. Let's forget the software by now... It is not trivial but more than easy enough to solve when the machine is operational..

    The Z, rotation and vacuum pick and place is also quite easy. What I made was using 2 small steppers with screws attached to them that go on a Igus Drylin N "shuttle". The top one drives the "shuttle" up and down and the bottom one is connected to a small vacuum pickup tool and makes the rotation.

    X and Y should be quite fast to be usefull..

    In my humble thinking we can survive with about 0.3 mm of combined precision. That should not be a big problem..

    Another problem to be dealt with afterwards is how to take the components from their original rools. But that is a hole new story...

    Best regards,
    Alexandre

  9. #9
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    Let's start picking the SMDs

    I have just received from Distrelec a " P 830 vacuum pick up ":
    it does NOT work, suction cups are not precise, and move easely.
    What do you suggest ( and are using ) to pick up the SMD?
    What vacuum pump do you use ( refrigerator or bigger pump) ?
    The suction cup is my biggest problem, I do not think to have
    problem with the " plotter", I will use FLEXLINK or BOSCH RETHROT
    alluminium and accessories, plus SYNCHROPOWER belts, as used in
    my Bungard PCB driller : simple, noiseless, fast, and , after all, inexpensive.
    If needed, I can send you pictures and RS catalogue part numbers.
    How are built suction cups in commercial pick & place ?
    Any picture of simple " squaring station "?
    Paolo

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by ciccio
    I have just received from Distrelec a " P 830 vacuum pick up ":
    it does NOT work, suction cups are not precise, and move easely.
    What do you suggest ( and are using ) to pick up the SMD?
    What vacuum pump do you use ( refrigerator or bigger pump) ?
    The suction cup is my biggest problem, I do not think to have
    problem with the " plotter", I will use FLEXLINK or BOSCH RETHROT
    alluminium and accessories, plus SYNCHROPOWER belts, as used in
    my Bungard PCB driller : simple, noiseless, fast, and , after all, inexpensive.
    If needed, I can send you pictures and RS catalogue part numbers.
    How are built suction cups in commercial pick & place ?
    Any picture of simple " squaring station "?
    Paolo
    I am planning on just using the table for small components... Not for the big ones that need the suction cups. I use a aquarium pump modified to make vaccum for the manual pick and place I use today and "flat" hypodermic needles for picking up.. It works very nicely for manual application and should be enough for the machine also. The area is very small, the vaccum pump does not need to be powerfull..

    I think I can get Bosch stuff down here in Brazil also.. Not cheap but maybe be easier than other options...

    Best regards,
    Alexandre

  11. #11
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    Flat needle

    Can you please tell me more? Did you simply "cut" the needle?
    I will test as soon as you answer me !
    A commercial "suction nozzle" is about 150 USD !!!!!!
    Paolo

  12. #12
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    Genial idea !

    Thank you for the GREAT idea, Alexandre !
    I could not wait, so I built the gear with a flattened needle and
    an aquarium pump ( preiously used for the PCB bubble etcher )
    and a piece of tube: it works great!!
    I'm here in front of my pc, answering you with one hand, and with the other
    shaking with decision the needle with attached a SMD 1206 resistor:
    it stays attached to the needle without problems!
    Now I'll find a small 200 step stepper, and I'm thinking the best way to
    attach the needle to the stepper, then to the Z axis.
    Is a good idea to use a solenoid for Z axis as in LPKF pcb drillers ?
    Paolo

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by ciccio
    Thank you for the GREAT idea, Alexandre !
    I could not wait, so I built the gear with a flattened needle and
    an aquarium pump ( preiously used for the PCB bubble etcher )
    and a piece of tube: it works great!!
    I'm here in front of my pc, answering you with one hand, and with the other
    shaking with decision the needle with attached a SMD 1206 resistor:
    it stays attached to the needle without problems!
    Now I'll find a small 200 step stepper, and I'm thinking the best way to
    attach the needle to the stepper, then to the Z axis.
    Is a good idea to use a solenoid for Z axis as in LPKF pcb drillers ?
    Paolo
    I cut the needle with a sharp "xacto" blade rollingundefined it back and forth slowly to get it as flat as possible and if necessary I use very fine grit sandpaper to finish it up. www.smallparts.com has some needles already flat. They are nice..

    The Z axis motors do not need to have 200 steps at all !!! You do not need much precision for rotation and the up and down movement has much precision added by the driving screw. I am using a small motor that was originally used to position a tape head in a streamer backup unit.. A solenoid on the Z axis would be a bad idea... Even resistors have different heights depending on the value and maker. Capacitors are much worse. We need some precision there.

    The attachment of the needle to the rotation head needs something done on a lathe... I can't imagine other way.. The format would be something like this:

    -----------------------
    | |___
    \
    \ /-----
    \ /
    ------- -------
    \ /
    \ /



    Bad ascii art.... :-)

    If you can get me a easy and cheap way to do the XY movement I can solve most of the other problems ;-)

    Best regards,
    Alexandre

  14. #14
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    My machine

    After some expensive experiments with CNC, I will use:

    FRAME: Flexlink aluminium structural system, does not require milling,is a sort of " Lego" game, just cut and go, with lot of accessories,angle, brackets,fixings, etc.
    MOVEMENTS:it has to be lightweight,fast, easy to move,precise, easy to build, inexpensive: 3 or 4 small V-grooved bearings running on 2 shafts, there is an alluminium accessory to fix 2 shafts on Flexlink lateral T slots, they can move with a breath of wind ( try this with 4 linear bearings... )
    POSITION CONTROL : no expensive and noisy ballscrews, but easy to install, noiseless,inexpensive Synchropower timing belts with related timing pulleys
    ( a professional version of movements used in every ink-jet printer)
    :::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: :::::::::::::::::::::::::::
    Milling and lathingis are expensive, time consuming and sometimes not very precise; consider the use of some extruded structural aluminium similar to Flexlink, after all you can save money and time and have a very precise machine.
    A timing belt is very precise and ( very important for us) allows some small misalignement ( users of leadscrews know what I mean ! )
    and no backlash at all. You can see Flexlink also on www.rs-components.com
    and there are many similar aluminium systems.

  15. #15
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    Z axis

    Do you use a stepper on Z axis ? No problem if feeders and PCB are not very well leveled?
    About needle :your plastic tube rotates 360 degrees , or 180 degrees ?
    Will you consider the use of an IC as pressure sensor ( to know if something goes wrong, and to gain some speed when picking the SMD component )?
    How small are your steppers?
    Paolo

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by ciccio
    Do you use a stepper on Z axis ? No problem if feeders and PCB are not very well leveled?
    About needle :your plastic tube rotates 360 degrees , or 180 degrees ?
    Will you consider the use of an IC as pressure sensor ( to know if something goes wrong, and to gain some speed when picking the SMD component )?
    How small are your steppers?
    Paolo
    Yes, one stepper for up and down and another one for rotation. The neddle actually rotates 270 degrees. I have not got to the point of actually picking up the components :-( My idea is to have some flexibility on the needle coupling to cope with the small differences in the level of the board and feeders. In the first version I am planning on using just cut pieces of the components tapes. Nothing fancy...

    Best regards,
    Alexandre

  17. #17
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    Wow !

    Just arrived from the famous "my friend with a lathe".
    We tryed to drill the axis of a small stepper ( we can !)
    to have an axial output for the air-vacuum from the needle
    ( pratically: the needle is on the axis of the stepper, the axis is drilled,
    the tube is connectet to the top of the axis, coaxial to the needle, soory, my
    english...). We think to use a small stepper normally used as carriage
    driver in ink-jet printers.They are the smallest steppers with bearings I can find. We want to try to use some elicoidal spring to push needle against PCB and feeder ( Z axis), to avoid problems with not-so-leveled PCB and feeders.
    Z axis will have gear and pinion, to gain speed.
    No idea for the squaring station, but it is not important now, till I use 1206 SMDs.
    I hope to find ( for free ) a refrigerator pump, just to see how much void it can create.
    SMD pick and place....not so easy, but lot of fun !
    Paolo
    PS Is there a way to exchange pictures ?

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by ciccio
    Just arrived from the famous "my friend with a lathe".
    We tryed to drill the axis of a small stepper ( we can !)
    to have an axial output for the air-vacuum from the needle
    ( pratically: the needle is on the axis of the stepper, the axis is drilled,
    the tube is connectet to the top of the axis, coaxial to the needle, soory, my
    english...). We think to use a small stepper normally used as carriage
    driver in ink-jet printers.They are the smallest steppers with bearings I can find. We want to try to use some elicoidal spring to push needle against PCB and feeder ( Z axis), to avoid problems with not-so-leveled PCB and feeders.
    Z axis will have gear and pinion, to gain speed.
    No idea for the squaring station, but it is not important now, till I use 1206 SMDs.
    I hope to find ( for free ) a refrigerator pump, just to see how much void it can create.
    SMD pick and place....not so easy, but lot of fun !
    Paolo
    PS Is there a way to exchange pictures ?
    Hi, Paolo

    Using rack and pinion for the Z is not a good idea in my humble opinion. We do not need speed there, it will just move some milimeters to clear the right of the SMD components !! And we need precision there to handle different component heights.

    If you couple the needle with a small piece of silicone tube you will probably have enough compensation for misslanignents and height differences..

    The idea of making a hole on the stepper axis is a little too radical to me :-) It maybe a good idea but how to make a hole that small ? And what about the debris ? And the heat inside the motor ? I was thinking more in the idea of using something in front of the stepper that will hold the needle and have a hole in one side to get the vaccum tube in..

    I think we can attach pictures to the messages or create a picture folder in the photo gallery.. I will try to take some pictures of my "bindomatic" junk this weekend..

    Best regards,
    Alexandre

  19. #19
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    Z axis

    Z axis: do you think to consider component high with software?
    In any case I think to have some sort of " backlash" ( say 1 mm )with a small spring to counterbalance height.Can I have high precision with a piece of
    silicone tube from motor to needle (how your experience ) ?
    A small hole in the stepper axis is not a problem wit a lathe , and helps to solve the problem for +-180 degrees rotation.My problem is: is my stepper
    used for rotation SMALL ( 39x39x32mm )enough ( weight) ? how small (mm) is your? Does it have bearings? Can you simulate time required for this part of the cycle( Z axis goes down, then sucks the SMD, then goes up again )?
    What kind of movement are you using on Z axis ?
    Paolo

  20. #20
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    Research and developement

    Z axis again: what kind of adhesive do you think to use?
    Has the machine to PUSH the SMD over the adhesive, or just to let it drop over? This will tell me if I ( we) need a small sping or not on the Z axis.
    .....an adhesive dispenser on the same axis....no !!!!!!
    This is really R & D.
    I'm lucky to be the second builder, I can have a lot of infos from you !
    Again
    Paolo

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