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Printed Circuit Board Assembly & PCB Design Forum

SMT electronics assembly manufacturing forum.

Programming feeder Setup


Programming feeder Setup | 18 August, 2004

I have a Flexa question for you and hopefully it�s an easy one. Ok, I have a customer with us that we do a lot of business with and our setup times are way to slow. Is there a way to adjust the programs so all the feeders are adjusted that we can minimize changeover. There is probably about 10 to 15 parts that I know of that we use more of than the others. I could easily go into all the programs and adjust all the feeders to all the same stations but I was wondering if there�s a way that you all know of to help take care of these changeovers. I know there is more parts that are used on all jobs but I just started this and was looking into this and seeing if you have heard from others or something that you all have tried there to help in this situation. Thanks for the time and effort into reading this and have a nice day.

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Programming feeder Setup | 18 August, 2004

I guess you want to try a permanent feeder setup. This is possible if the total number of feeders needed to cover all of the different products can be installed on your machines. Then just use the same setup data for all your product. Each program will use only the appropriate feeders. You will never need to do feeder setup changeover. If one machine is not enough to hold all the feeders, then just add more machines :-)

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Programming feeder Setup | 20 August, 2004

Yes, you need to use "dedicated feeders" and only make changes when you run out of a part. It may even be better if you could convince the stock room and keep stock for those parts right on your line. The environment has to be proper for that though, dry cabinets etc. You can also do the same thing with tray parts, if you're using any.

The next stage is "off-line setup". While your operators are running the line, few other people has to prepare the setup for the next product. You need to have good planning at least to know what product to run next, and also enough feeders. You can always do this for the feeders you have, and if you need to buy feeders, you can buy the cheap types and live with the reel replacement of the expensive feeders.

Further, if you have two machines, you can keep the first machine cycle-time a bit higher than the second. And place a buffer after the first machine or use the conveyor to save boards while the second machine setup is being done. Once the second machine is ready, it would catch-up with the first one considering the difference in cycle times.

Depending on the cycle-time ratio of the two machines, your first machine may be finished placing parts for that lot while the second machine is trying to place the boards, so you can start setting up the first machine for the next board type again. Screen printer can also be done in advance, using the buffer concept. Please be careful though, if you run 20 boards and anything unexpected happens to one board, you will not have your screen printer to print another board, or your first machine to place the parts again.

So, these techniques are a bit risky, you're the one to decide whether they will improve your line efficiency or not.

Hope these help.


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Programming feeder Setup | 24 August, 2004

Look into the Multi-Job Line Balancer. You select a group of products that you want to run and WHAM-Oh! A setup sheet is created that tells you what you need to move once you run out of room or a part number is no longer needed. Contact Fuji America for details.

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Programming feeder Setup | 23 November, 2004

Has anyone else used the Multi-Job Balancer? I am considering this but of course cost is slowing down the decision making. On average we do a 30-60 feeder setup and switch out to about 4 jobs a day. So any input would be highly appreciated.

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Programming feeder Setup | 23 November, 2004

I will let you use our software for free before it goes retail (planned for january - february 2005), if pricing is a concern for you.

We do feeder setup optimization as well as assembly sequence optimization (however we don't do line balancing).

Check it out at or contact me directly at

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Terrapin Station


Programming feeder Setup | 23 November, 2004

At 30 seconds each feeder change = 30 min x 4 times each day. that is 2 hours. Based on 5 days each week x 50 weeks, you have 250 working days (do not know how many holidays you have). 250 working days x 4 hours =1000 hrs.

How much does each hour of downtime cost you Vs. the price of software?

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Programming feeder Setup | 24 November, 2004

I got more into the detial on this and for the Fuji Mulit-Job Balancer it is not supported for the CP43. And Rodion Pronin I will be visiting your site or contacting you this week or next hopefully.

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Programming feeder Setup | 24 November, 2004

You might want to look into one of the machines from Europlacer or Mydata that have very high feeder capacities(200 or more) and intelligent feeders. They were designed for minimal change over time in high mix environments.

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Programming feeder Setup | 2 December, 2004

The best solution is to use a software tool which offers program optimization, feeder set-up and line balancing even if different machine types are in the same line.

Check out the leading solution provider:

In my view, your problem is very simple to solve...on the scale of "Programming 101". Wait 'til you see what more you can do with a good software tool!

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