If you follow me on Twitter, then you are aware that I’m working on a larger project building an SMT pick and place machine :-). The fun with this project is that it includes electronics, mechanics and all kind of 3D printing and laser cutting. That machine picks SMD components and places them on a PCB. One sub-project is to build a SMD cut tape holder:
There are several ways to feed parts into such a Pick&Place machine. Below the current state:
The easiest one is have a strip of parts taped on the machine with a double-sided tape. The machine uses the vision system to locate the parts and follows the holes along the tape.
Below is the 3D module of the initial design.
- Magnets to keep the holders on the surface
- Magnets to combine multiple tape holders
- Keep SMD parts at the same Z position in the machine
- Cover to securely remove stripes
- Insert for vision system contrast
- Label for part/stripe identification
- Currently using 8 mm stripes
On the top the holder for 8 mm stripes, followed by a 1 mm plate inserted below the tape.That plate keeps the tape in place and it can be printed in a different color to better support the vision system of the machine. On the bottom the tray cover with two magnet holders glued on top of the cover.
Magnets keep the holders on the ground, and the same time multiple trays can be combined side-by-side:
At the start of the tape there is space to place a sticker to name the parts used:
The cover film must be removed manually (e.g. with tweezers). The concept supports keeping the removed film in place with the magnet of the cover:
With that cover it is possible to remove the tray from the machine without loosing any parts: peel back the cover film and it secures it with two magnets:
The concept works very well so far. One thing to remember is that many SMD parts are ferromagnetic. But I have not seen any problems with this yet, but I need to keep this in mind.
If you want to see the prototype in action: https://twitter.com/McuOnEclipse/status/974942659465891840
Happy Placing 🙂