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Essemtec to Define a New Standard - Paraquda is the world’s most advanced pick-and-place machine

Nov 11, 2009

Paraquda: The new SMD pick-and-place from Essemtec.

Paraquda: The new SMD pick-and-place from Essemtec.

Four at the time: The Paraquda’s fly-by vision system is extremely fast.

Four at the time: The Paraquda’s fly-by vision system is extremely fast.

ePlace’s intuitive user interface provides numerous benefits including secure operation, intelligent search and context-sensitive help.

ePlace’s intuitive user interface provides numerous benefits including secure operation, intelligent search and context-sensitive help.

Highly flexible: The Paraquda reduces the setup cost.

Highly flexible: The Paraquda reduces the setup cost.

Paraquda is the newest SMD pick-and-place machine that Essemtec has introduced at the Productronica exhibition in Munich, Germany. The machine sets a new standard for flexible placement machines: Drive technologies, materials and software are state-of-the-art, machine operation is a user friendly and the application range is wider than ever before.

The developers of the Paraquda have been inspired by the latest developments in mobile communication devices. The new placement machine from Essemtec has a very modern design and makes use of the latest technologies.

ePlace Simplifies Complexity

Paraquda is the first machine that uses ePlace for operation and programming. ePlace is an intuitive, graphical user interface that provides a level of comfort heretofore unseen on a pick-and-place machine. ePlace makes operation secure, offers tool-tips and context-sensitive help, completes entries automatically, searches intelligently, and sorts lists usefully. In short, ePlace always reacts the way the user expects it to and provides help when needed.

Above all, ePlace makes controlling a complex machine an easy task. Because not every operator speaks English and a staff with language skills is expensive, the software uses graphical representations to create clarity, and when text is unavoidable, the support of multiple languages is prepared. Education lessons are integrated as well, allowing new staff to be trained quickly.

Working with ePlace on the Paraquda requires neither mouse nor keyboard ? the software is directly controlled via a 19" wide ergonomic touch screen. The screen can be adjusted vertically and angled into a position that is most convenient for the user. ePlace also supports users with unlimited zooming functionality and optimizes views for less scrolling and clicking.

Quality Management Prevents Errors and Costs

Setup and placement errors must be avoided because they can lead to costly repairs or can turn a complete series into electronic waste. Therefore, ePlace gives Paraquda a quality and job management system that controls the main source of error ? the human.

The base is a job management with archiving system on which other functions build up, such as a job planning module, a setup optimization routine, a setup list generator, component storage management and more. For feeder setup and retrofitting, a bar code reader is used, which is the safest and fastest way to assign a component to a feeder. Setup errors are excluded and the stock of available components is updated automatically.

The only error sources left are mislabelling or mix-up from the vendor because most of the SMD components look very much the same. However, the Component Verification Unit (CVU) option provides protection against these errors. It checks the electrical values of a component before mounting, for example, the resistance, the capacity or the polarity.

Places All Parts and Dispenses Too

The Paraquda is four machines in one: a chip placer, a fine-pitch placer, a special component placer and a dispensing machine. In addition to the SMD mounting head, up to two dispensing valves can be integrated. Those can be used to dispense solder paste, adhesives, flux or other liquids. Dispensing of lines, curves or dots is possible. With this, a Paraquda can also be a die bonder, an IGBT assembly machine or it can be used for hybrid technologies.

The placement head is equipped with four axes, each one of them with its own vertical and rotation drive system and each can be controlled individually. The range of components that can be placed with this head is vast: It spans from 01005 resistors up to 100 mm square components. The maximum component height is specified with 25 mm, the minimum pitch with 0.3 mm.

New Technologies Make the System Highly Dynamic

The fly-by vision that has been developed especially for the Paraquda allows all four components to be measured and verified simultaneously. Several flashlight levels, each of them individually programmable, provide optimum lighting for the vision system. The high-resolution 2 mega pixel camera in combination with high-performance hardware using Cognex SMD 4 technologies provides fast and reliable image processing.

The Paraquda is designed for the highly flexible SMD assembly in the upper performance range. Therefore, the development team has implemented a real-time motion control system, high-resolution measuring devices, a reliable H-Drive system and a mineral cast machine bed. The latter has at least 10X more damping properties than steel and can absorb the dynamic forces that occur due to the fast acceleration of the assembly head.

The placement head control system makes use of a high-resolution position measurement in real time. Because of this, the trajectory of the head can be optimized in all axes simultaneously. The travel path is minimized, speed is optimized and productivity is maximized.

Reducing Changeover Cost

To work flexibly with an SMD pick-and-place system, three things are required: A large feeder capacity, intelligent feeders that are automatically recognized and feeders that can be exchanged during production. Essemtec has more than 18 years of experience in the construction of highly flexible assembly systems. Therefore, the Paraquda offers these qualities.

Essemtec always has built the narrowest SMD feeders in the world ? thanks to Swiss watch technology ? and these are used on the Paraquda, too. They are the same feeders as on the FLX pick-and-place systems. Therefore, a customer can easily switch to the faster Paraquda, whose feeder capacity is also higher: 240 feeder slots are available on a standalone machine, 120 on an in-line model.

The large feeder capacity handles fixed feeder sets that allow the production of several jobs without the requirement for feeder changeover at all. Additionally, it produces PCBs with very high complexity, where on other machines at least two or more passes would be necessary.

As previously mentioned, Essemtec feeders are intelligent. They are recognized automatically by the Paraquda and they can be retrofitted while the machine is running. This shortens the changeover effort, reduces standing time between two jobs to almost nothing and increases the system’s utilization rate. Therefore, the Paraquda can generate significant savings in setup costs, an important contribution to the reduction of manufacturing costs.

All from One Source - Worldwide

The Paraquda is available in two models, a standalone and an in-line system with SMEMA interface, which enables an easy connection to other in-line machines. Essemtec also provides all other machines required for functional SMT assembly from one source, such as printers, dispensers, soldering and curing ovens, handling modules, storage systems and software for production planning.

The Swiss machine manufacturer Essemtec is a market leader in manufacturing flexible production systems for industrial users. Essemtec has been developing, manufacturing and marketing Swiss quality equipment and machines for the electronics industry since 1991. Today, the company’s well-developed network of partners and subsidiaries provide expertise and high-quality support worldwide.

With the Paraquda, Essemtec introduces a new product destined to become a leading position in the pick-and-place market. The technologies developed for this machine such as the ePlace user interface, the high-speed vision system or the new damping materials are used for the first time in pick-and-place machines and are trendsetting.

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