Manual Surface Mount Pick and Place

       I make a bunch of LED strip boards using Osram PLCC surface mount LEDs. Due to the number of LEDs to mount, I deviced a way to assemble them manually since real pick and place machines are expensive and I don't do this often enough to warrant one.

       It's easier to explain with pictures so check out the ones I took while I was making a batch of 20 LED strip boards.

The dispenser is machined from acrylic/perspex and is used to hold the tape in place.
A pull on the cover tape advances the carrier tape and
exposes the surface mount part one by one:

The empty carrier tape hangs below the work bench.
The cover tape is kept taut by some ferrite toroids used as counter weights:

Stuck an aluminum rod at a convenient place to hold the reels:

DIY vacuum tweezer holding an LED.
The green silicone tube is connected to a small diaphragm pump.
The part is released by lifting my index finger which is
covering a hole in the top yellow part to release the vacuum:

The LED boards. One complete and another partway done:

Each part is manually soldered. I could use a stencil, solder paste and oven
but I don't do this often enough to warrant making the required reflow equipment:

Page created and copyright R.Quan © 21 Aug 2013.