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22 SMT Magazine • January 2016 substrate, reducing contamination and prevent- ing damage to delicate parts. Software can be the most differentiating part of an automated dispensing unit because it controls the system, enables system integration, provides the operator interface, and determines how easy or complicated the system is to oper- ate. Intuitive and easy to use, today's software in- corporates more process controls, programming capabilities, and closed-loop systems for process monitoring and on-the-fly feedback than ever. For example, a closed-loop system ensures that the dispenser is positioned where it needs to be. After being programmed into the system, the dispensing parameters allow the system to ad - just continuously during the dispensing process. The right robot for the right Job Automated dispensing systems come in a variety of configurations and platform sizes— automated dispensing systems incorporate a laser noncontact height-sensing device, as illus- trated in Figure 4. For example, because it is difficult to place probes onto the tightly spaced components on small PCBs, a laser can be used to mea- sure height variations. By incorporating laser height-sensing capability into an automated dispensing system, the system can detect the distance between the part and the dispensing tip or valve. The shape of the fluid deposit and its place- ment accuracy often depend on the positioning and the height of the dispensing tip in relation to the part. Laser height-sensing functionality enables operators to achieve proper placement and positioning so that they can maintain even deposit sizes for the entire length of a continu- ous pattern. Laser height-sensing capability also ensures that the needle will not touch the WHy MEDTECH ManuFaCTurErS SHOuLD auTOMaTE FLuID DISPEnSInG OPEraTIOnS Figure 4: Some automated dispensing systems incorporate a laser noncontact height-sensing device to manage variances such as part positioning, irregular surfaces, thickness differences, and distortion. FEATurE

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