# pick and place machine

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#### Tom2

##### Full Member level 5
I am looking for a low cost pick and place machine. any suggestions ?

#### marce

##### Advanced Member level 5
Look for used electronic production machine auctions etc....

#### Tom2

##### Full Member level 5
Thanks marce but where?

Also isn't risk to buy used machines ?

#### ArticCynda

##### Advanced Member level 1
@Kick: OP is looking for a low cost pick and place machine, LPKF is definitely not a good choice for low cost equipment!

Personally I've had some good experience with the TM220A from Neoden, it supports 8mm, 12mm and 16mm reels, a tray for ICs and larger parts, and 2 nozzles which can be easily replaced. If your budget allows it, I would highly recommend it!

#### mtwieg

##### Advanced Member level 5
LPKF makes garbage but charges for gold, avoid them.
Personally I've had some good experience with the TM220A from Neoden, it supports 8mm, 12mm and 16mm reels, a tray for ICs and larger parts, and 2 nozzles which can be easily replaced. If your budget allows it, I would highly recommend it!
This looks very interesting, but I can't find any videos of it placing midsized ICs. How does it do with, say, TQFP or SOIC parts? Do you have to manually align them in the trays each time, or does it have a camera for that?

#### ArticCynda

##### Advanced Member level 1
I did a small run of 50 boards last week, with an SOIC-20 and TSSOP-20 package, and results vary. If the pitch is large enough (SOIC) then the placement error is usually within half the pitch, meaning that the melting solder will pull the part to its exact position (assuming the footprint is correct). For the TSSOP package I corrected manually where necessary, pushing it into place. I print the outline of the chips on the silkscreen where possible to help spotting poor automatic alignment and making corrections easier.

The machine doesn't have camera recognition, so all placement is dead reckoning. In other words, the placement is as accurate as you align the chips in the tray. Fortunately, the tray is designed for this, and a laser cross is provided on the machine head to determine offsets. The machine's nozzles do have a pressure sensor, so if the component falls off after being picked up or the tray is empty, the machine will automatically advance to the reel or tray to the next part. If after 3 attempts no component could be picked up, then it pauses and beeps to alert the operator.

mtwieg

### mtwieg

Points: 2

#### mtwieg

##### Advanced Member level 5
Thanks for the answers ArticCynda. So what you want to place several of the same IC in the same run? Each tray looks like it could only hold one aligned component, or maybe one in each corner.

Lack of a camera is a big issue if you have parts with 0.65mm pitch or less, but for anything else that looks like a very good deal.

#### ArticCynda

##### Advanced Member level 1
The machine supports panels, i.e. multiple identical PCBs in the same run. You just fill the tray with identical ICs, and the machine will automatically move to the next position as it remembers where it last picked an IC. If you need more than 10 identical IC's for the same panel then you can refill the empty places while the machine is busy, or wait until it pauses and beeps to alert you.

Indeed, in my experience the machine only has 4 major issues:
- no support for 24 mm reels (max. supported reel is 16 mm)
- reeled parts have a maximum height of 5 mm (which means you can't place electrolytic caps directly from the reel, but have to use the tray for them)
- only one type of part can be loaded in the tray at once because the offsets are defined per reel/tray instead of per part
- accuracy is too low to place mall pitch parts reliably, they require manual position correction

However, keep in mind that most parts CAN be placed automatically and reliably. Parts sized 0603 and up are placed without requiring manual correction, and these usually make up for the largest percentage of parts on a board, as well as the hardest to place manually.

#### hardware_guy

##### Newbie level 6
Hi. I also have been searching for cheap machine for a long time.
I did not bought it, because I wasted my money.

First you need to decide, how many reels you need in the machine at the same time. And, do you need 0402 and 0201.
That TM220, has something like 20 reels, this is useless. As someone said, it is "toygrade".
TM240 is somewhat better, but price is also "better", and the shipping, and the customs tax.

If you are from EU, or from USA, you can buy great "oldie but goodie" philips chipshooter, or siemens siplace, on ebay.
You will need a van or maybe something bigger. And make travel to Germany or California.
This is totally worth, you wont need to pay 20% customs tax (EU).
Most sellers don't want to arrage any shipping, and this is why most buyers don't want to buy it.
As a result, great machines are sold for ridiculous price. I saw many times, sold for 500 euro, or 1000 USD.

Yes, there might be some issues, that machine needs maintenance. But anyway, it totally worth investments. In the end, you will get great machine, industrial grade.
Do I really need to talk about Chineese quality and support? You might get lucky, but in my opinion, it is even bigger risk than old industrial machine.

You can search Chinese machines on aliexpress or ebay.

You might also be interested in this:
https://buildyourcnc.com/PickandPlaceMachineTheredFrog.aspx
https://briandorey.com/post/diy-pick-and-place-design-files.aspx

#### ArticCynda

##### Advanced Member level 1
hardware_guy said:
First you need to decide, how many reels you need in the machine at the same time. And, do you need 0402 and 0201.
That TM220, has something like 20 reels, this is useless. As someone said, it is "toygrade".
Low cost machines won't be able to place 0402 or 0201 adequately due to the lack of vision correction, but that is also not what these machines are designed for. Unless you're going really high density or parasitic capacitance/inductance plays a role such as RF, it's very easy to avoid them.

If you design your PCB carelessly, or expect all components to be placed automatically, then the TM220 will be a huge disappointment indeed. However, if you design the board with manufacturing in mind (minimizing jellybean count by sticking to common values and reusing them by putting them in parallel and series if necessary) you can easily reduce the number of different components on the board. I load mine with common parts like 18pF, 10nF, 100nF, 1µF, 1k, 4k7, 47k, 220k, green and red LEDs, 0805 beads, 1206 fuses etc. If you use them cleverly, 20 reels can get you pretty far. Jellybeans make up > 90% of all parts on most general purpose PCBs and are the hardest to place manually so I don't mind adding the "big" SOIC/TSSOP/QFN parts manually later. This works very efficiently, since the machine usually needs just as much time to place parts automatically as I need to add the "big" guys manually.

As far as my experience goes, these "toygrade" machines as you call them work very well for small runs up to a few dozen boards. For mass production you're anyways better off with a professional assembly house.

##### Advanced Member level 3
As ArticCynda says - older machines will not be able to place the smaller components correctly - this is probably why they appear on the 2nd hand market - because companies upgrade their equipment.

Look on the 2nd user sites, auction houses etc in your areas to see if any companies are closing down & selling off etc.
If you want one of these you will need top travel to collect it, to box it up and ship it etc.

None of us can tell you where to buy a placement machine from if we do not even know what country you are in?

#### ArticCynda

##### Advanced Member level 1
As ArticCynda says - older machines will not be able to place the smaller components correctly - this is probably why they appear on the 2nd hand market - because companies upgrade their equipment.
Another interesting source is actually the demo models of equipment manufacturers themselves. These are usually on display for a few months at the manufacturer to show potential customers the possibilities of their products, but the machines obviously don't accumulate many "hours" since they're only occasionally turned on. When they're out of assortment, they're sold off at half the price.

However, keep in mind that professional machines are designed to be used in an assembly and reflow line, they're very bulky and heavy, and will take up a lot of lab space. Additionally they'll need a steady supply of compressed air and distilled water, so you'll need additional equipment to operate them.

The advantage of a smaller machine like the Neoden pick and place machines is that they're truly bench top machines: small, light, and vacuum pump integrated. Mine actually sits on a table next to my desk.

#### Tom2

##### Full Member level 5
Is anyone who has use pick and place machine from Mechatronic :
www.mechatronic-systems.com

I need feedback / review for their products.

For example the SM​T​ automatic p&p ​​​machine ​P2​0​ machine

#### NickE

##### Member level 1
I am planning to make a PnP machine. Can someone recommend me a good camera for vision system? I have tried a few cam but I was not satisfied with the results.

#### ArticCynda

##### Advanced Member level 1
Take a look at this guy's home built pick and place machine, I believe he's using off the shelf USB webcams: https://www.vbesmens.de/en/

#### Decarboxylation

##### Newbie level 1
Desktop Pick and Place Machines

Hey guys!

I am conducting some research on pick and place (pnp) machines and thought I'd ask the best around. For those of you who don't know, a pnp machine is a manufacturing tool which can very rapidly and precisely pick up and place small surface mount electronics onto a circuit board, where they can be reflow soldered.

For fellow hobbyists/professionals such as yourselves, what are your thoughts on the concept of a desktop pick and place machine, designed for at home use?

What are your thoughts on current pick and place machines in the market such as NeoDen? -
...[moderator deleted broken link]

If you do own a pnp machine, which brand, and what are your thoughts so far? What kind of projects do you/would you use it for? If you would like one, what has stopped you from purchasing one? Are there certain requirements you are looking for before purchasing?

If you do not want one, why? Do you feel the value added by a pnp machine justifies the cost which can be anywhere from $2000-$6000?

All responses and opinions are welcome!

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#### ArticCynda

##### Advanced Member level 1
Haimi,

The NeoDen-4 doesn't look like a low cost machine, which was the initial discussion incentive for this thread. Can you provide some pricing information for the NeoDen-4?

#### ArticCynda

##### Advanced Member level 1

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