$5000 pick and place


This is a $5000 pick and place by the people who made the reflow oven we bought yesterday. Not as cheap as the $3200 PNP discussed in the forum recently, but we can’t see that one because they are in Shanghai.

They demoed with 0402 and it worked quite well and super fast. Even on a non level table that was shaking like crazy. Has two pickups but only one seemed to place parts in the demo. Would be perfect for placing passives on prototypes in conjunction with a solder plaster dispenser.

Placement data was on an SD card in CSV format. The screen had an interface that seemed suspiciously like Windows Mobile or some similar poison.

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  1. Could you speak to how it finds the parts and laces them? Is it laser sighted or does it have a camera?

    And is it possible to purchase these in the states?

  2. That is definitely the same as the TM-220A. The only difference I can see is the panel says SMT System instead of TM-220A. I received my yesterday and it’s BAD ASS! I’m pretty sure it runs on a STM32.

    >Could you speak to how it finds the parts and laces them? Is it laser sighted or does it have a camera? And is it possible to purchase these in the states?

    The system is programmed with csv files. There is no vision system. When the machine starts it calibrates 0,0. The csv file has a section where you can offset the pickup point of each of the feeders (they call them stacks). I haven’t had to adjust the offsets so far but the option is there. There is a vacuum sensor that will detect a part that is not straight it will then drop it in the oval dish on the right hand side of the machine and grab another.

    Here is an except (pasted from excel so no commas):
    % Stack Offset Stack X Y
    65535 1 0 0 0
    65535 1 1 0 0
    65535 1 2 0 0
    65535 1 3 0 0
    65535 1 4 0 0
    65535 1 5 0 0
    65535 1 6 0 0

    There is another section where you set the advance rate for the feeders:

    % Feeding Set Stack Feed Rate
    65535 2 0 18
    65535 2 1 4
    65535 2 2 4
    65535 2 3 4
    65535 2 4 4
    65535 2 5 4
    65535 2 6 4
    65535 2 7 4

    % indicates a comment, 65535 means its a command the 2 is the command for the feed rate, stack is the 0-15 feeders and rate is the number of mm to advance the tape before each pick. (The head has a pin that come out to grab the tape and the head advances it)

    Here is an except of the section where you put in the x,y values, the stack (feeder) to get the part from, rotation and the height of the component.
    % Head Stack X Y R H skip Ref Comment
    1 1 0 5.01 29.87 0 0 1 C0 22uf PANASONIC_D
    2 1 0 45.75 12.02 180 2.95 0 E$1 HIH-5030_2
    3 1 1 39.65 24.17 270 0.9 0 C1 .01uf C0805K
    4 1 2 27.25 25.41 90 0.9 0 C3 .1uf C0805K
    5 2 13 12.52 27.11 180 2.8 0 C4 10uf C/6032-28R
    6 2 13 11.34 34.97 90 2.8 0 C5 10uf C/6032-28R
    7 1 1 27.06 31.61 0 0.9 0 C6 .01uf C0805K
    8 1 2 42.13 9.78 270 0.9 0 C7 .1uf C0805K
    9 1 2 15.2 36.86 270 0.9 0 C8 .1uf C0805K
    10 1 2 27.04 29.06 0 0.9 0 C9 .1uf C0805K
    11 1 8 7.48 20.31 270 1.25 0 D1 SOD-123
    12 1 3 31.13 20.12 270 1.15 0 D4 BAS54 SOT23-EBC
    13 1 5 24.75 25.49 270 0.9 0 L1 C0805K
    14 1 6 41.8 24.15 90 0.6 0 R2 100k C0805K
    15 1 7 25.76 21.27 0 0.6 0 R3 10ohm C0805K
    16 2 14 4.78 38.05 0 1.8 0 U1 5v Reg SOT223

    90% of this was generated automatically from Eagle layout. I just had to set the height, what head to use and what stack to get the part from. It will pick up 2 parts if 2 consecutive lines use head 1 and then head 2

    I got it yesterday morning and had it building boards after a few hours. No english manual so it took a bit of trial and error but I think I can bust out another design in 1-2 hours max. Placement accuracy is quite good but not perfect. I did 20 or so boards yesterday and had to correct(straighten) maybe 20-30 parts. Overall much better then hand placing and the reflow process straightens them anyhow. Each of the above boards takes about 15 seconds to complete on high speed.

    For me so far I’m very happy with the purchase. Shipping to US was $307 by Fedex and took 4 days to get here once they got it (took 4 days to get from their factory to the shipper (SFC))

  3. @Xinort, yeah, don’t know what’s going on with the formatting. Thanks for the replay, it sounds like it’s a really decent machine for the price.

    May I ask how much you paid for it (without shipping) and where you got it from?

  4. Wow, Xinort! Thanks for taking the plunge and giving us a report!

    You say 20-30 parts had to be straightened in 20 boards. What was the part count on those boards? Did the parts that needed straightening tend to be anything in particular? (e.g. large, small, fine pitch) Or, were they random parts?

  5. Paid $4101 shipped. That was ~$3658 for the pnp, $307 fedex shipping, and ~$160 for extra parts(That doesn’t add up to 4101 but I’m not sure where I saved).
    The extra parts were: a bunch various sized nozzles, replacement pins and springs for the feeder advance, replacement electromagnet for the feeder advance pin, a external “shelf” which is a 15″ reel holder(I’ve used this to hold cut tape). and a couple tools, one to remove the nozzles and another to adjust the torque on the tape peel away device. The extra tools aren’t really needed as the machine comes with them. I got it from the manufacturers Neoden tech. (cncsmt.com)

    There is 17 parts on that board, 0805’s mostly. I’m still learning the machine, I’d changed the nozzle to a larger size and it seems to have helped. I was using the smallest size that is for 0402-0805
    Nozzle size info I was given :
    XS:0402,0603,0805,SOT-23,Glass diode
    S:0805,1206,1812,2010,2512,LED(3528,5050), SOT-23,SOT89
    M:LED(5050),SOP-8,SOP-14,SOP-16,SOT-223,SOT-252 (size less than: 10*10mm)
    L: IC size more than 10*10mm, need to setup the height of component

    Attention: IC size must be under 16*16mm, 100 pins or less, fine-pitch above 0.5mm, the height of component must be less than 3mm.

    The jury is still out but I’m quite happy so far. I just need to figure it all out. I’m waiting to get reels of everything so I still haven’t made a real board with solder paste. Just double sided tape so far. One thing is the support from them is top notch. I get answers to my questions very quickly.

    1. Good day Xinort,
      You probably already know this or have figured it out, but use the largest nozzle you can for a part. This will minimize dropped parts as well as part shifting during the pick to placement step.

  6. @Xinort, thanks so much for being the guinea pig on this. Any chance we can get a more detailed blog post/instructable/whatever out of you documenting your experience and setup?

  7. Seeed is visiting factory on Monday I guess and looking into this more. I am buying one for sure and Seeed is going to get one to play with. Well see if there is discount on a two pack :)

  8. Thanks for the asessment Xinort. That price makes this quite tempting… I’m not sure if I could justify it at that price with the smaller quantities I work with, but if I went in on it as a group by with members of the local hackerspace (baltimorehackerspace.com) it could be worth it.

    How well does it handle larger components.. i.e. national semiconductors simple switcher: (LMZ10503)

    Also what did you pay for duty fees?

  9. @ Xinort,
    Do you feel the machine is *worth* 4K-5K (as a machine, not considering its function if that makes any sense)? When I look at the pictures of it I see maybe $2,000 or so.

    1. Having seen similar in China I would say yes. That’s a lot of engineering and development there that has to be recouped.

      1. What is your estimation of the R&D cost for that machine? $500 in parts and material, $500 to build it, $500 profit, $1,000 to recoup 1MM in R&D cost across 1K units still puts it at $2,500….It just seems a *little* too expensive for what it is. If it was the same machine with a PC interface and GOOD software $5k no problem, but it just seems a little too hokey for the cost. I am thinking of getting one though after we see some more real world reviews.

  10. Granted were trying to source a similar probably just rebranded machine for around 3000, I’m super surprised you guys think it is so much. I’ve never seen a pic and place even remotely as cheap, and this price if first offer for a white guy with none of the expected bargaining. With vision youre getting to 30,000 dollar territory in my previous look at pnps but I’m by no means an expert.

    I’m willing to go with your numbers but still think the price is reasonable by the retail standards I’ve heard at various kitbiz talks. Retail markup to.cover stuff like the market staff, booth, upstairs office, ware housing, etc is usually said to be 2.5 to 3x cost.

    1. Good day Ian,
      You can get new PnP’s with vision for way less than $30K. Madel sells one for $7500 and up.. look on ebay and they even have videos of the unit in operation. Is the Madell a good unit? I do not know and I have not found any real feedback on it so take that for what it is worth.
      You can also buy older commercial PnP’s that have vision for way less than $30K too.

  11. Hi Xinort,
    I have been doing doing some research to see if i can find feedback on this machine (TM240A) but i haven’t found much. do you have any updates with your experience with so far. i am toying with the idea of buying one for my prototyping and small projects.

    as much feedback as possible is much appreciated.

    Thank you.

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