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104 SMT Magazine • February 2015 Manual and Semi-automatic Systems A manual pick-and-place system is desirable for small, growing operations that need to in- crease their hand-held production volumes in- crementally while also improving quality, thus reducing rework or rejects; however, the accura- cy of placement is still limited by the capability of the operator. Benefits of a machine-assisted manual system include: • Less operator fatigue • Fewer placement errors • Better control • Improved yield, less rework A machine-assisted manual system can be equipped with features such as an X-Y indexing table with vacuum pickup head or pen; ergo- nomic fixturing to help relieve operator fatigue; and additional fixturing for θ (rotation) and Z (height) positioning in addition to X and Y. HOW TO SeLeCT a PICK-aNd-PLaCe MaCHINe, ParT 1 continues Some machines offer an optional liquid sol- derpaste dispenser, which is applied just before placing the component on the board if a stencil printer has not been used. Additional options include: • Component handling trays • Liquid dispenser • Tape feeders • Feeder racks • Vision assist option • Optional stands In most cases, machine-assisted manual sys- tems can be purchased with just the bare neces- sities, and desirable options can be added later as they're needed. Semiautomatic Systems Today there are very few semiautomatic ma- chines still being made because of the increas- smt quiCk-tips Figure 1: example of manual head and armrest for support.

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