New features enhance the flexibility of Assembléon GEM machines

Soldering & Surface Mount Technology

ISSN: 0954-0911

Article publication date: 1 December 2004



(2004), "New features enhance the flexibility of Assembléon GEM machines", Soldering & Surface Mount Technology, Vol. 16 No. 3.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2004, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

New features enhance the flexibility of Assembléon GEM machines

New features enhance the flexibility of Assembléon GEM machines

Important new features, some debuted at APEX 2004, further enhance the flexibility of Assembléon’s proven GEM range of entry-level to medium-volume pick-and-place machines (Plate 1).

Plate 1 Assembléon’s GEM range has important new features

Feeder developments including Assembléon’s innovative Twin Tape Feeders are now available on the Topaz-XiII and Emerald-XiII machines. Unique feeder design, based on Dual Tape Single Slot (DTSS) technology, enables the user to double the number of unique 8 mm components to a maximum of 160 per machine, in addition to the 120-tray feeder capability provided by the Large Component Sequencer. Patented technology now allows off-line set-up of any mix of intelligent tape feeders.

Additional feeder developments include feeder trolleys with battery back-up, and Adaptive Feeder Trolleys which accept feeders from other machine vendors to minimise conversion cost from any third-party manufacturing environment to Assembléon’s modern, flexibility-driven approach.

An innovative method for on-line and off-line identification of feeders is based on a small RF-ID tag attached to the bottom of the feeder. This communicates with antennae embedded in the feeder bars for automatic set-up verification and real-time component inventory management. This feeder identification method also enables elegant lot traceability solutions. Compatibility is assured with the large installed base of Topaz, Opal, Emerald and Sapphire machines with pneumatic feeders.

Also on all XII machines, on-the-fly 3D vision now supports the drive for zero-defect process capability. By using two line array cameras – one slightly angled and one vertical as standard – detailed 3D topography images of, for example, QFP and BGA can be created in real-time with no speed penalty. The new advanced image processing allows immediate recognition of any co-planarity issues or damaged BGA ball patterns.

A new gantry solution on the entry-level Opal-XII allows for 100 pneumatic feeders in addition to the 120-tray feeder capability provided by the Large Component Sequencer. It also enables very large boards up to 850×650 mm (33.5×25.5 in.) to be processed in batch, while the machine can be converted back to the standard in-line capability in less than 15 min.

Finally, a new off-line vision file creation tool speeds new product introductions. New components are presented to an off-line camera/illumination system, identical to the system used in the XII machines, and a vision file is automatically created. The system also provides compatible vision files for legacy GEM machines.

Assembléon’s constantly evolving GEM XII range comprises the multifunctional Topaz-XII, multifunctional/fine-pitch/oddform Emerald-XII, entry-level multifunctional Opal-XII, and Sapphire-XII chipshooter. GEM machines offer mix-and-match flexibility and an upgrade path via compatible A-series machines.

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