SMT, PCB Electronics Industry News

APEX 04: No Horizontal Turret Chip-Shooters

Feb 27, 2004

Just off the red-eye from LAX to PHL. It is a historical note that no placement machine manufacturer had a random-access horizontal turret head chip shooter featured in their display booth. The first random-access horizontal turret chip-shooters where introduced at the then NEPCON West show back in 1983-84 and is a Sanyo design. NEPCON West has been displaced by APEX as the premier west coast equipment show. Universal Instruments did not have a Sanyo/Hitachi machine, no need to since the new Lightning head dual beam Genesis machine has a placement rate of 56K CPH utilizing a vertical turret, which they own the patent on and first deployed on the Onserter designed in the late 1970�s. It was also noticeably absent from Fuji and Panasonic- the turret chip shooter kings. Fuji, Hitachi and PFA still have turret chip-shooters in their product portfolio.

Speed and flexibility was featured in new platforms from all high-speed placement machine suppliers.

Random access turret machines suffer from one significant design limitation - inconsistent placement rate over a range of board sizes and with varying amounts of part numbers. Most experts say the best you can ever achieve on a random-access turret chip-shooter in a �real world� environment is 75% of cycle rate. Having used four Fuji CP3 machines in production I would not disagree with that statement. For a machine that cycled at 14.4K CPH we would see boards range from 5K to 10K CPH. The industry wants a consistent placement rate. The Siemens Siplace S series is probably the best machine that achieves this. The Siplace S utilizes dual gantry and vertical turret heads.

Shall we now declare the turret chip-shooter dead and soon to be extinct? It was a tremendous 20-year run for a very successful design.

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