Picking Your Pick and Place System

At Wrabacon, we deal with automation systems every day. Some of the most common components we deal with are pick and place systems. With that in mind, the number of variations available with a modern pick and place system can make the process a bit daunting. For that reason, we’ve come up with a few guidelines on how to more effectively identify your needs. Read on to learn more!

For businesses around the world, the pick and place system is undoubtedly the heart of just about every assembly process. Many times, it is also the most important equipment decision a manufacturer or business can make. Especially for electronics applications involving SMT production lines, a pick and place system plays an incredibly important roll and will ultimately have an effect on not just the quality of the end product, but the efficiency of the entire production line.

When identifying the right pick and place system, first it’s important to know your requirements. Ask yourself, how many total placements will you need the pick and place system to make in one cycle? For example, if your specific pick and place system is for PCB’s, you’ll need to know four important pieces of information.

Consider your needs now

First, it’s important to know how many total placements you will ultimately need on each PCB. Second, it’s important to know your specific component packages in order to identify the best feeder size and delivery method. Will tape work best? Or do your applications call for a tube and matrix tray? This is a very important step that will ultimately influence the reliability and efficiency of your system.

Third: You’ll need to identify the best feeder size and delivery method, you’ll want to know the total number of unique components that will be on the printed circuit board. This dictates how many feeder slots are required for your specific system. Finally, you must know your smallest, largest, and fine pitch requirements.

Consider your needs for the future

It’s not just important to consider your production needs now, it’s important to also consider your needs for the future as well. Given that your pick and place system is a central part of your automation system, having to make adjustments to meet future demands will not only hinder your productivity, but force you to make potentially costly adjustments as well. By taking advantage of modular automation system components, you can easily adjust your system to meet your demands now while seamlessly accommodating for your needs in the future as well.

Identify your production requirements

In order to build a system that effortlessly meets your production needs, you first need to know what your production needs actually are. Your production requirements per hour, day, week, and year will have a drastic impact on the makeup of your pick and place system and your required machine speed.

The Bottom Line

Any automation system needs to keep the future in mind while remaining cost effective and powerful for today’s needs. By making a couple smart choices now, you can potentially eliminate the need to make a very expensive choice in the future. In the end, this can be said for just about any automation system. While SMT placement works as a very good example for how useful a pick and place system can be, pick and place systems have important applications in businesses and industries of just about every variety.

Click here to learn more about pick and place systems by Wrabacon Incorporated.

What Makes a Successful Pick and Place System

Here at Wrabacon, we have a knack for creative automation. Why? Because it makes a difference.  Ever since the Roman period, automation has been used to make all kinds of tasks easier. After all, you’ve probably heard the saying, “Work smarter, not harder” haven’t you? That saying could very well be at the heart of automation. Since then, the science has become a central part of the industrial and manufacturing worlds. But before we can get into the incredible possibilities of modern pick and place systems and what makes them successful, it might help to take a look back at where it all began.

Consider for a moment the industrial revolution. One of the most important industries during this time, the textile industry, experienced unprecedented growth that changed the world in a number of ways – all due to automation equipment like the spinning jenny and the Spinning Mule. These inventions, while primitive by today’s standards, were used to spin cotton and other fibers into yarn. You might be wondering, “What does that have to do with a pick and place system?” But consider it this way: In terms of innovation, this was the cutting edge. A machine was being used to produce a new product. To, “place” one component into another.  In the very same way, modern pick and place systems are used to more effectively produce all kinds of products, from food to electronics. While 19th century automation systems were “placing” one product into another to create yarn, modern pick and place systems go so far as placing surface mount devices onto printed circuit board. They might be different products, but the same principle is at play.

So what made textile automation successful so many years ago, and what makes a successful pick and place system possible today? First, it has to be efficient.  Looking back, coming up with a groundbreaking automation system during the industrial revolution might seem relatively simple by today’s standards. However, automation systems for manufacturing electronic components, for example, are a bit more complex.  Efficiency relies on every aspect of the production line working together to be faster, more  reliable, and more productive. In order for that to happen, you must understand your feeder requirement and your speed and capacity requirements.  On top of that, it’s important to remember that a pick and place system shouldn’t be designed for just the present. It should be designed for the future as well. This is one major difference between the earliest automation equipment and the advanced systems used today.

On another level, a successful pick and place system also needs to be versatile. While this might have been impossible for early automation systems, any advanced pick and place system will be able to accommodate for changes in production, product, component size, and more. This might involve modular design to introduce new automation components, such as tray feeders, stackers, and vision systems. When it comes down to it, just about anything is possible these days.

For more on pick and place systems, take a look at the pick and place systems page on our main site. Or just give us a call!