High speed Pick & Place for $3600

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Re: High speed Pick & Place for $3600

Postby matseng » Wed Dec 19, 2012 11:15 am

Royce wrote:Looking at the photograph, however, I see steppers and belts and other relatively mundane equipment. Every hobby PnP I have ever seen appeared to be constructed similarly but was far, far slower than this device. What's the secret sauce to such speed?

I think that having a double head would help increasing the speed a lot. It can pick up two parts before traveling the long way back to the pcb.

Also, most homebrews are based on CNC machines or possibly have too much of "CNC thinking" in the minds of the designers. CNC's are more of a slow and powerful breed since they need to lug around a big and heavy spindle-motor. A P&P only need to handle sub-gram parts with a lightweight vacuum pickup head, they can be built for much higher traveling speed and accelerations.
Last edited by matseng on Wed Dec 19, 2012 11:21 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: High speed Pick & Place for $3600

Postby sqkybeaver » Wed Dec 19, 2012 11:17 am

kineteka wrote:We are seriously considering importing these and reselling them.

How many of you guys would be interested?

-Mike
I don't see myself buying one. The majority of things i assemble are one off projects. i have no real need for PnP
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Re: High speed Pick & Place for $3600

Postby sam512bb » Wed Dec 19, 2012 11:51 am

bearmos wrote:
sam512bb wrote:Thanks for the info and links. This helps a lot.Most appreciated!

No problem! I'm glad it helped.

To put the rest of this post in context - I'm definitely not trying to talk you out of this. . .

sam512bb wrote:the cost for low volume assembly is quite high to the point where I can buy the Madell unit for less than two low volume assembly runs done here...hence the reason I am exploring my options...

You probably already realize this, but do factor in your time paying the PCB populating learning curve. Most of the setup fees the pro shops are quoting are NRE (usually a few hundred for a local board shop and a few hundred for SMD stencils/tooling/programming, etc). The small DIY-ish crowd can certainly get stencils made less expensively, but it's definitely low volume.

If you search for rsdio and PnP in this forum, you'll probably find some earlier discussions on PnP in-house assembly vs electronic contract manufacturers (ECM's). The consensus is, if you're being paid engineering wages for your time, it's probably wise to get an ECM to do the work for you since you'll wind up with a better quality product earlier and (depending on the quality of the ECM) much less of a headache. I agree with this for medium and high volumes. However, if you're doing "high mix / low volume", it'll probably be extremely hard to justify the cost of sending something out of house to be made - unless you've already worked the expense into the contract (if it's contract work).

All that being said - I certainly wouldn't mind having a PnP sitting on one of my benches/floor ;-)

Lots to consider..


Good day Bearmos,

Thank you for your response!

Indeed, lots to consider. I am quite happy using a ECM... but we have problems here in Western Canada (Alberta to be specific), where the cost and time to do things is very problematic. For example ECM NRE costs vary from about $1700 to $3000 plus the per unit PCB assembly charge...which is based upon volume. Some places even charge a hefty (i.e. $1000) recurring fee + PCB assembly fee for subsequent assembly runs. For low volume assembly, like my current one-off project where to have 16 PCBs (top/Bottom SMT + 20 TH connectors) the assembly cost here in Alberta ranges from $4000 to $5000 (CAD ... USD would be slightly more). The other issue is time to get the assembly done... most take 4+ weeks which is also an issue... My thought is that an in-house PnP would be used for prototyping and small production runs only and we would then use ECMs for formal production (i.e. larger volumes). The other option is to use Asian assembly houses, but then there could be a greater risk of quality issues, etc... not to mention the effort, paper, and transport logistics of exporting/importing assembly kits and final assemblies.... which is a lot of work to do for 10 to 15 PCBs and so the in-house PnP does look attractive. For my immediate project I will be using a ECM in Eastern Canada that specializes in low volume assembly and their rate is far more reasonable than our local ECMs (1/2 the price).

Like I said I am exploring options to see what makes the most sense (or cent$ :) )

Cheers,

Sam
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Re: High speed Pick & Place for $3600

Postby sam512bb » Wed Dec 19, 2012 11:55 am

kineteka wrote:We are seriously considering importing these and reselling them.

How many of you guys would be interested?

-Mike


Good day Mike,

I cannot commit, as I am still exploring my options. Further because my needs would be for prototyping or low volume assembly, visioning would be a strong consideration (i.e. for BGA).

If I do decide on this device I will certainly let you know. Although it may just be easier for us to order directly, as we import overseas goods periodically and so are familiar with the logistics.

Cheers,

Sam
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Re: High speed Pick & Place for $3600

Postby bearmos » Wed Dec 19, 2012 12:35 pm

sam512bb wrote: For example ECM NRE costs vary from about $1700 to $3000 plus the per unit PCB assembly charge...which is based upon volume. Some places even charge a hefty (i.e. $1000) recurring fee + PCB assembly fee

Wow, I'd be looking into doing small runs in house as well...that's considerably more NRE than I'm use to dealing with.

sam512bb wrote: My thought is that an in-house PnP would be used for prototyping and small production runs only and we would then use ECMs for formal production (i.e. larger volumes).

There's always this :) Really though, it seems like for one-off's assisted manual placement is a pretty good alternative when you take into account setup time for an automated machine. When you start talking about doing 16 boards at a clip, your techs might start getting a little upset though. Manncor has a commercialized version of the manual PnP(there are a few out there), but at > $4k it's a pretty hard sell.
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Re: High speed Pick & Place for $3600

Postby bearmos » Wed Dec 19, 2012 12:53 pm

kineteka wrote:How many of you guys would be interested?
-Mike


In this case, I'm just here for the conversation, Mike. Professionally I use ECM's and none of my DIY stuff is in any appreciable quantity.

Royce wrote:Looking at the photograph, however, I see steppers and belts and other relatively mundane equipment. Every hobby PnP I have ever seen appeared to be constructed similarly but was far, far slower than this device. What's the secret sauce to such speed?

Steppers with single turn fine pitch leadscrews are slow (just like matseng noted, these are usually used on DIY CNC's). Nema17 steppers directly driving a light load via a belt drive are an entirely different animal (for speed) - they can be quite fast. What you don't get with this arragement is torque or a lot of accuracy (you're at the mercy of the stepper/driver micro-stepping accuracy, sometimes not so good). Since there's no vision on this machine, the resolution of the steppers is probably a non-issue anyway (a 1.25mm pulley stepper being driven with 1/8th steps gives a theoretical resolution of under 1 um).

Speed and high accuracy is where ballscrews and servo's come into play. The ballscrews don't have nearly as much friction as the ACME thread and the servo's can provide the necessary torque at high speed. The fact that they're performing gear reduction increases the accuracy without the speed penalty (the penalty is your wallet instead!) - ballscrews are also made to much tighter tolerances, so positioning with them is more consistent.
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Re: High speed Pick & Place for $3600

Postby Royce » Wed Dec 19, 2012 2:15 pm

Steppers with single turn fine pitch leadscrews are slow (just like matseng noted, these are usually used on DIY CNC's). Nema17 steppers directly driving a light load via a belt drive are an entirely different animal (for speed) - they can be quite fast. What you don't get with this arragement is torque or a lot of accuracy (you're at the mercy of the stepper/driver micro-stepping accuracy, sometimes not so good). Since there's no vision on this machine, the resolution of the steppers is probably a non-issue anyway (a 1.25mm pulley stepper being driven with 1/8th steps gives a theoretical resolution of under 1 um).

Speed and high accuracy is where ballscrews and servo's come into play. The ballscrews don't have nearly as much friction as the ACME thread and the servo's can provide the necessary torque at high speed. The fact that they're performing gear reduction increases the accuracy without the speed penalty (the penalty is your wallet instead!) - ballscrews are also made to much tighter tolerances, so positioning with them is more consistent.


Thanks for the explanation. I guess I'm just surprised that as much hobbyist experience as there is with steppers and belts in arenas like 3D printing that there isn't a hobby effort closer to this.

That said, are we sure there is no vision of any sort on this device? I watched the demonstration videos again and noticed that one of the videos towards the bottom, where it works on a panellized PCB, there are clearly two LEDs shining down from the head and the head seems to pause on occasion.
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Re: High speed Pick & Place for $3600

Postby sam512bb » Wed Dec 19, 2012 2:59 pm

bearmos wrote:Wow, I'd be looking into doing small runs in house as well...that's considerably more NRE than I'm use to dealing with.

There's always this :) Really though, it seems like for one-off's assisted manual placement is a pretty good alternative when you take into account setup time for an automated machine. When you start talking about doing 16 boards at a clip, your techs might start getting a little upset though. Manncor has a commercialized version of the manual PnP(there are a few out there), but at > $4k it's a pretty hard sell.


Good day Bearmos,

Just out of curiosity, what ECM NRE charges are you familiar with and also what part of the World are you located?

Indeed, I saw the DIY manual PnP and I may build one up to try... Certainly the price is right :) The commercial manual PnP would not be an option given their price point...

Cheers,

Sam
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Re: High speed Pick & Place for $3600

Postby CheBuzz » Fri Dec 21, 2012 12:25 pm

What's the difference between the OP's post and this one for $1200?

http://item.taobao.com/item.htm?id=19757088609
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Re: High speed Pick & Place for $3600

Postby matseng » Fri Dec 21, 2012 12:37 pm

Both are the same machine - TM220A. My guess is that you link has it's price (8000 Yuan) wrong since the other sellers are charge 22800 for it.
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Re: High speed Pick & Place for $3600

Postby sam512bb » Thu Dec 27, 2012 12:27 pm

Good day All,

It looks like someone took the initiative and is selling the TM220A on Ebay... for $5000 USD! That is a hefty mark up... The Ebay item is 150970514362. The ad does show some better pics and it looks like the machine has two placement heads which could explain the fast placement rate... whether it truly can do 7000 cph is another question. Secondly, it does not like the device uses any type of visioning system and so this would certainly limit the device's capability. That being said I think there is a market for a device like this, but not in this price point in my opinion.

Here are the specs from the Ebay ad:
Version TM220A
Applicable PCB 20mm*20mm~220mm*200mm
XY axis moving range 305×350mm
Z axis moving range 15mm
Placement head quantity 2
Mounting capability 7000 components per hour
Mounting accuracy ±0.025mm
Applicable Components 0402-5050,SOP, QFN, IC
Components supply configuration Tape reel, bulk package (IC)
Tape width 8mm, 12mm, 16mm
Feeders 16
External Dimension L 830mm×W 455mm×H 285mm
Vacuum pump -92KPA (Mute type pump)
Vacuum pump quantity 2 (included)
Power supply 220V, 50Hz (convertible to 110V)
Average working power 100W
Weight 45KG (without packing: 25KG)
Packing size 0.32m³


Cheers,

Sam
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Re: High speed Pick & Place for $3600

Postby ammsolutions » Thu Jan 03, 2013 3:04 am

I just returned from Shenzhen in Southern China where I bought one of these. Appart from the lack of English on the menu (and no multi language support), the machine is well worth the $$ I compared to many machines around the world and this is by far the best value for money. We got it into production with about a days programming and testing and it's faultless. I am considering buying another to sit along side as the only real limitation is the reel capacity. I need more 12mm feeds.
Instructions are in Chinese and no softcopy has been made available to me which is a pitty as I could have translated it.
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Re: High speed Pick & Place for $3600

Postby matseng » Thu Jan 03, 2013 3:14 am

Oh, that's not bad at all - being in production almost instantaneous. What parts are you using it for?

Can you upload some closeup pics of the feeder mechanisms?
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Re: High speed Pick & Place for $3600

Postby Sjaak » Thu Jan 03, 2013 4:06 am

I was just looking at the vids on the taobaopage, but it looks impressive and fast. A bit out of reach for a hobbiest but nice for a startup.

By looking at is it hard to align the pcb into the machine or are there some pegs to align them more easy? Do you need to calibrate the machine with every board or is there a trick for this?
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Re: High speed Pick & Place for $3600

Postby xinort » Thu Jan 03, 2013 6:12 pm

I've been talking with the company that makes this and they'd indicated that the menus are available in English. The menus on the videos seem to indicate this as well(there is a language setting). One thing that is holding me up from purchasing is that there is no manual in English. I'm usually pretty good at figuring things out but this seems like a big gamble.

ammsolutions did you manually program or did you use the Protel/Altium tool? What is the procedure for programming? Also can it use trays? I see there is not a tube feeder option but it would be nice if there was a method to use loose components.

They also have the TM240A model which has more feeders and a bigger working area and is about $1300 more.
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