eC-placer is a camera-assisted manual pick and place machine designed and priced for assembling prototype and small batch PCBs. It forms the final link in Eurocircuits” prototype assembly solution, from the eC-stencil-mate solder-paste printer, through the eC-reflow-mate reflow soldering oven to the eC-test-mate fixtureless test system. Users already report that reflow soldering using the eC-stencil-mate printer and eC-reflow-mate oven is three times faster than hand soldering and 60% – 70% cheaper and faster than sub-contracting. The camera-assisted eC-placer gives a further boost to these savings, helping designers bring time/cost sensitive projects to market on schedule and on budget.
Set-up and operation are straightforward.
The eC-placer is built around a precision-engineered XY table. Its robust construction ensures long term accuracy and repeatability delivering an optimum return on investment.
Components are picked up from the feeders and placed on the solder-pasted PCB using a vacuum head controlled by a simple foot-switch. eC-placer comes with four quick-change nozzles for different sized components as well as 23 adjustable feeders for component tapes and sticks. As the machine is ESD-safe, larger components can be placed in boxes on the bed of the machine. The vacuum pump is built-into the machine.
The operator has a clear view of the component, the feeder and the location on the PCB via the high-definition camera linked to a USB-port on his PC. As there may be differences in height between the component in the feeder and the top surface of the PCB, the camera system includes parallax compensation to ensure fast and accurate placement.
The eC-placer work table has a matrix of registration holes on a 10 mm pitch. This is the same pitch as the eC-registration system so that PCBs can be securely located on the bed with the registration pins provided. The X- and Y-axis sliders move between programmable stops which can be set using a second foot-switch.
eC-placer has four functional modes to give the best combination of speed and accuracy across the range of components. The modes are selected using an LED switch.
Free mode. The vacuum head, camera and LED light can move freely to any location on the PCB.
Lock mode. Locks the head at the desired location to avoid accidental movement when lowering or rotating the component.
Array mode. Used for fast, accurate placing of a row of components. The user sets the X-axis stop on the row of components. He then needs to concentrate only on the Y-axis to populate the array.
Copy-paste mode. Used for BGAs and other larger components which are difficult to place by eye. The copy-paste mode uses the printer stencil as a template. BGAs, FPGAs and similar components centre automatically in the stencil openings. The axes are then locked so that the user needs only a single movement to place the component accurately over the correct location on the PCB.
eC-placer”s combination of a clear display, robust ergonomic construction with a solid hand rest on the placement head, and guided location for component arrays and complex components makes for increased productivity and less operator fatigue, getting prototypes assembled faster and safer.