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Pick and Place Machine

Pick and Place Machine

Postby PHoodDaniel » Mon Jan 10, 2011 4:23 am

Hey All,

I have been working hard on a couple of machines and when I am finished with the development, I would like to start on a pick and place machine. I have found very little on a good DIY working system out there for cheap. If anyone would like to contribute research time, I would be most appreciative and I hope this will benefit you and others.

Short description: A pick and place machine is a general multipurpose machine that uses an end effector or vacuum pump to lift objects and place them on an appropriate location. The pick and place machine I am interested in developing is for surface mount devices (SMT, SMD), where the machine uses a vacuum pump connected to a very small nozzle that "picks" up a component and delivers (Places) the component to the appropriate location on a PCB (Printed Circuit Board). It could be really cool for the machine to route the traces, deposit solder paste and place the component, but I will focus on the former for now.

The tasks:

The sucker: Determine the nozzle (already manufactured part, a simple syringe or something in-between).

Software: Is there open source out there. I could also consider writing the program myself if there is no open source out there.

Camera: The camera is used for initial "teaching" of the picking and placing and orientation of the part. I would expect to have a camera mount where the tool location is to make it simple and then change it out for the sucker mechanism. A webcam will be my first consideration since it is easy to access in the programming language that I use (C#). Some folks have added some recognition algorithms with this, but I think I will forgo that for now unless someone can offer up some of this great information.

Reel holders: I will most likely move the reel to get to the next component using the foot of some kind at the end of the z axis so everything can stay simple. Adding motor or solenoids to each reel can get complex really fast, but I am not opposed to it. The reels can be located at the front and back of the machine.

Machine: I will be using the new upgraded blueChick (v4.2) as the main platform as this machine has a more than sufficient bed for most PCBs. I will only need to replace the router with the vacuum nozzle and webcam.

Let me know your thoughts on this and if you are interested in helping out and want to see a machine on the internet with prices commensurate with machines like the blackToe and blueChick (if that is possible).
PHoodDaniel
 
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Re: Pick and Place Machine

Postby jkp-cabinetman » Mon Jan 10, 2011 3:40 pm

Patrick

I hope this can be adapted , to use as a tool changing or - ATC- at some point..
and also upgrated or added to older machines..
I very sure what ever you put your mind to will be fantastic....please keep going.....
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Re: Pick and Place Machine

Postby airnocker » Wed Feb 09, 2011 10:56 pm

Patrick, I'd be interested in devoting some time into this endeavor.
airnocker

Everything depends on everything else
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Re: Pick and Place Machine

Postby Tomwellings » Tue Mar 22, 2011 9:54 pm

Hi Patrick,

First time poster but hopefully I can help contribute to this forum and offer something useful!

With regards to the pick and placer.

Would this unit be to complete repetitive tasks? Say one machine for one job? Or even just say running a batch of maybe 100 items?

I have put a little thought to this and maybe it would be something to consider as more of a blind unit? As much of the work carried out by the CNC machines is unintelligent (router side) and controlled through software could this not be used to propagate the PCB?

With software (I don't know of any) telling the CNC machine to go to point A, pick up unit, move to point B, place unit, move to C and so on? Surely all this would require is the points A, B, C etc to be constant? And to get the suction could you not utilise another control input say as if it were a 4Axis machine?

With regards to soldering the connections etc i cannot see a method of getting the same machine to do both jobs? As you would need a BlueChick layout above and below? One controlling the placement and one controlling the soldering? An example of whats being attempted on an industrial scale search "how its made pcb" on youtube

Sorry if this waffling post is confusing, hopefully as time goes on I will learn more about the CNC machines and be able to convey my ideas a little easier!

Tom - United Kingdom
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Re: Pick and Place Machine

Postby Tomwellings » Tue Mar 22, 2011 10:01 pm

Trying not to seem to eager....

A quick google search and I have found this?
http://www.perfectgoodhelper.com/goods.php?id=1277
Image

This is sold as a chip sucker.

Tom
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Re: Pick and Place Machine

Postby JimM » Wed Mar 23, 2011 2:53 am

Micro-Mark also sells a couple of different manual vacuum pickup tools.

http://www.micromark.com/Model-Pal-Vacuum-Pickup-Tool,7851.html

The squeeze bulb one looks like it could easily be activated by a hobby servo.
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Re: Pick and Place Machine

Postby airnocker » Wed Mar 23, 2011 4:04 am

I think another solution would use a steady-state vacuum source (pump) with some sort of air-bleed adjustment to control the amount of suction feeding a mechanical air valve, servo or solenoid controlled, to open or shut off vacuum to the picker suction cup. The hard part is using just the right amount of suction and turning it off quickly upon placing the part.

We used this type of air valve on radio controlled airplane, air-pressure controlled landing gear and would work equally well with a vacuum source.
airnocker

Everything depends on everything else
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Re: Pick and Place Machine

Postby shawjo » Wed Mar 23, 2011 5:31 am

We'd also need a 4th axis to rotate the part, since the same part might not be rotated the same way multiple times on the circuit board. I used to work for a company that made surface mount boards for their products. I was involved quite a bit with the workings of the QA issues with the vendor who did the pick and place for us. Usually the solder paste was silkscreened on the boards, then that parts placed, then the board placed in an oven of sorts to make the solder flow. Some of the larger parts would get a dab of glue to make them be more stationary during the oven process. Some of the newer surface mount resistors and capacitors are VERY small ie. .5 x 1 mm.

-shawjo
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Re: Pick and Place Machine

Postby ranger90 » Wed Mar 23, 2011 2:11 pm

I could see a few interesting challenges with this.

1. Do you use a gantry configuration? OR a robotic arm? A gantry system would be easier, from an engineering and geometry stand point. But the robotic arm would be sooo much cooler.

2. For a vacuum source. I see three sources. A) A plunger (piston). They wear, but have a long throw. B) A diaphram, won't wear as quickly, but getting a long enough through to create enough suction will be a challenge. C) A constant vacuum, from some pump, but the vacuum (not the pump, just the air pipe(s)) is turned on/off as needed.

3. To activate a plunger or diaphram, I see two alternatives. A) a servo, like an RC airplane servo. It would match well with a plunger, but could be too slow to make the machine useful. B) An electromagnet, matches well with diaphram. Applied current would activate the magnet, pulling the diaphram, creating vacuum.

4. rotation of part.. Since you're not working with exceedingly heavy parts here. A small servo (again, RC airplane servo comes to mind) could be used. It's light, small, and controllable.
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Re: Pick and Place Machine

Postby JimM » Fri Mar 25, 2011 3:03 am

This guy was doing pick and place with a Taig mill in 2006.

Lack of a reliable vacuum source was also a problem with his design.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bbBr9cbMqq4&feature=mfu_in_order&list=UL

There's no mention of it on his current website http://www.hightechsystemsllc.com
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