SMT topics in focus
The SIPLACE SX is the most flexible placement solution available from SMT solutions supplier ASM, and its new smart options raise the possibilities for electronics manufacturers to new levels.
The SIPLACE SX’s interchangeable pantries, which are unique in the industry, make it possible to change gantries and placement heads on the machine in less than 30 minutes for quick machine and line reconfigurations. ASM calls this concept of rapidly scaling a line’s placement performance up or down without having to change the layout of the SMT line “Capacity on Demand”. Besides interchangeable gantries, the SIPLACE SX offers a multitude of smart, optional enhancements that make electronics manufacturing operations more flexible.
For example, the SIPLACE OSC Package enables the placement solution to master the challenges of OSC placement with aplomb. And with the Long Board Option, the SIPLACE SX can process PCB with dimensions of up to 1,525 by 560 millimeters (60 by 22 inches).
Teaching down to the smallest detail
In combination with the OSC Package, the high-tech vision system of the SIPLACE SX delivers the best possible process control for handling all types of odd-shaped components. For teaching simpler components, high-resolution 2D standard images deliver results that are good enough. For more complex components, however, they quickly reach their limits – examples include THT components or non-grid BGAs with multiple lead groups.
THT components, for example, which often have a simple design but large numbers of pins, require highly detailed descriptions. Only more sophisticated vision technologies and teaching solutions make it possible to measure the pins and check their condition with the appropriate accuracy. The fact that the pins often have different shapes and lengths makes it very difficult if not impossible to accurately determine the center of each pin with traditional 2D measurements. In addition, reflections and other component structures can interfere with the pin imaging and prevent the pin positions from being determined with the required precision.
3D imaging provides relief. With 3D models, the center of each individual pin can be precisely located, which in turn makes it possible to determine whether the THT component is actually placeable. 3D processes also support the inspection of components for their correct fit on the PCB after they have been placed – this ‘snap-in detection’ is part of the SIPLACE OSC Package. Other types of OSCs, such as complex transformers with vertically stacked leads and connectors, also require the use of 3D models because the features that come into contact with the PCB must be precisely defined separately from the other elements of the component.
Accordingly, ASM has developed the ‘3D Stereo Measurement’ process for highly complex OSCs, which is performed with the SIPLACE machine’s digital vision system. A particularly convenient feature is that it can be carried out with existing stationary camera systems on any SIPLACE placement machine without the need for additional sensors. The high-tech camera generates three-dimensional stereo images, similar to the way human 3D vision works. After two slightly offset images have been taken, the software superimposes them and uses sophisticated algorithms to calculate a three-dimensional model of the component’s topology. Depending on the distance from the camera, an object pixel is displayed in the stereo images at different points on the Z-axis. Based on its position in the respective stereo image, the system can then calculate its distance from the camera and generate a highly detailed image of the topology. This way, disruptive structures in the background that hinder the exact recognition of the component’s elements that are critical for its assembly are excluded and ignored. Up to six different lighting levels are possible, which can be adjusted in stages from 0 to 255, resulting in several trillion lighting variants. The ‘Automatic Illumination Optimization’ software module helps the user to automatically set the best lighting option. In combination with the determination of the maximum axes accelerations by the OSC package, high yields are guaranteed.
The ‘ASM Component Shape Wizard’ makes it easy for users to determine the exact target state of the component and store it in the system in order to ensure its correct alignment during future placements. The stereo measurement is performed via the so-called ‘micro-scanning’ process. Double image capture and smart algorithms achieve exceptional high resolution for the Z-axis so that the leads to be placed can be clearly separated from interfering reflections from other areas. The technology also enables the detection and description of leads in a way that is very different from other popular methods. By measuring the differences between light and dark areas, even the most exotic lead shape can be accurately defined and recorded. This is particularly helpful when OSCs have retaining or centering pins. Only if such pins are precisely measured can the correct alignment of the component be efficiently controlled during its placement.
Size still matters on occasion
As a general rule in electronics, components and thus PCBs are getting smaller and smaller. At the same time, there is continued demand for oversized boards, for example in the aerospace, military, medical and power generation sectors. Accordingly, the SIPLACE SX offers lots of flexibility in terms of board sizes to expand the spectrum of products and services that its owners can perform. With the Long Board Option, they can produce boards with impressive dimensions of up to 1,525 by 560 millimeters (60 by 22 inches).
ASM’s solution has been designed to be as uncomplicated for the user as it is space-saving. All it requires is two 650-millimeter-long ASM Smart Transport Modules that provide the necessary support at the beginning and end of the line irrespective of the number of placement machines between them. For especially heavy boards, the deployment of heavy-board support solutions may be necessary as well. The width adjustment of the machines is handled automatically when the placement programs are downloaded from SIPLACE Pro. A line is this capable of covering the complete size spectrum starting with the minimum board size 50 by 50 millimeter. Operators will like the fact that the user interface of the ASM Smart Transport Modules follows the style of the SIPLACE station software. Depending on the size of the board, the placement process is carried out in two or three stages. Measuring the stop position requires no additional hardware and is performed by the SIPLACE SX itself via its integrated laser barrier. The steps are determined automatically based on the component dimensions and the placement portfolio to ensure the effectiveness of the entire line even under extraordinary conditions. For applications with extreme accuracy requirements, an optional second laser barrier can be installed.
Support for complex projects
“Processing OSCs can be quite a challenge for electronics factories, which is why ASM provides its users with in-depth know-how via the ASM Academy and other sources,” explains Christoph Oeckl, who manages the ASM Center of Competence (CoC) in Munich. “In addition, special solutions like the Long Board Option require well-thought-out project planning to deliver the best possible results. That’s why we offer our customers the ability to benefit from the expertise of ASM experts in our CoCs all over the world. They can determine all required process parameters, setups and much more while accumulating advanced knowledge on site and in realistic environments in order to bring their projects to a successful conclusion.”
As the industry’s technology leader, ASMPT offers a broad portfolio of best-in-class products. Our solutions stand out with their perfect interaction of hardware, software and service components – powerful, smart, and ready to raise your production to a new level.