Automating Circuit Board Assembly

Details

Components:

Actuators, ML

Retrofit or OEM:

OEM

Industries:

Electronics
Factory Automation
Semiconductor

Problem:

Assembling printed circuit boards requires repeatable performance and extremely subtle precision is usually too expensive for educational and small business markets. 

Solution:

The ML series of linear acutator is equipped with state-of-the-art components for accurate linear positioning; such as a ‘dove-tail’ style carriage comprising 14 plain bearing surfaces for high rigidity and smooth travel, all at a price that is affordable.

The ML series, mini-actuator XYZ gantry was controlled with a vision system. The compact, 28 x 32 mm profile of the mini-actuator offered the optimal size for small-scale circuit board assembly. In addition, the ML series is equipped with state-of-the-art components for accurate linear positioning. They include a ‘dove-tail’ style carriage comprising 14 plain bearing surfaces for high rigidity and smooth travel, single or dual external linear guide supports for enhanced stability, and a full line of accessories for use in multi-axis systems.

Circuit Board Assembly Figure 1

The diameter of our lead screws is one of the largest available in the industry for actuators of this size, which help to overcome the detriments of the phenomenon known as ‘critical speed’. They are also Teflon coated to increase life while lowering friction and drag on the motor.

A server was also added to allow rotation of the part. In addition, the gripper assembly was outfitted with a small camera to locate loose parts and give feedback to the user utilizing software designed by Professor Silverman. The camera compares images of assembled circuit boards to identify where all the pieces need to go and signals the gripper to re-align if adjustment is necessary. The system can also be switched over to manual control for special assembly projects.

Testimonial

Overall, Professor Silverman was very pleased with the low cost solution from PBC Linear, as well as the ML actuator's ability to perform the required tasks at hand.

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