What is Your Real Output?


Reading time ( words)

How should you define your output? Highest area productivity, lab speed, actual speed, optimum speed, IPC speed, or maximum speed? And is it speed or throughput we should be looking at? Neither is clearly defined, and we all have our rules of thumb (e.g., actual speed is 60% of IPC speed, which is 60% of maximum speed).

Currently, there is only one standard representing a fair comparison between pick-and place equipment: IPC-9850. It measures equipment speed (providing that components are placed within the specified accuracy of the equipment itself). IPC established IPC-9850 in 2002, defining the measurement procedures for specifying, evaluating and verifying surface mount placement equipment. With machine manufacturers producing a wide range of accuracies and outputs, it details how measurements must be made consistently, and is therefore the only real way to compare them. It has become a basic industry reference, but unfortunately doesn’t tell the whole story. Several pick-and-place machine manufacturers, for example, currently claim the industry’s fastest placement speeds on the basis of the IPC reference speed.

One key difference lies between the IPC-9850 speed and the actual speed you will reach in a particular application. And that is where IPC-9850 falls short.

For this reason, IPC published an updated version in January 2012: IPC-9850A. Since the release of this update, it has been adopted by…practically nobody. Admittedly, the new standard is far from perfect, as applications are usually still more complex than even it allows for. It is a step closer to the truth, though. Why have so few adopted it? Why do most manufacturers avoid publishing the results? It seems that this minor change in specification degrades output results so drastically that it is commercially too sensitive.

IPC-9850 and IPC-9850A: The Differences

IPC-9850 speeds are measured by placing a simple matrix of components (for example 80 SOIC-16s or 400 identical 0603 capacitors) on a 200 x 200 mm substrate. However, the standard says nothing about the electrical value of these 400 capacitors, for example. That allows sequential placement machines to use gang pick (simultaneous pick by multiple placement heads) using an optimized placement path. Gang pick, however, artificially inflates the performance figure since it can virtually never be used in an actual customer application. You just don’t get many circuits incorporating hundreds of identical 27-nF capacitors on a board in a small matrix in a 200 x 200 mm area.

Read the full column here.


Editor's Note: This column originally appeared in the March 2014 issue of SMT Magazine.

Share

Print


Suggested Items

Tech 2 Tech: KYZEN’s Short Technical Sessions a Big Hit

01/20/2021 | Nolan Johnson, I-Connect007
Nolan Johnson gets an update from Tom Forsythe on KYZEN’s Tech 2 Tech sessions. These brief 15-minute sessions were set up during the pandemic by KYZEN for customers, prospects, and new engineers around cleaning, and have since found traction with their manufacturers, reps and distributors.

Tales from a Trailblazer: An Interview with Christine Davis

01/05/2021 | Steve Williams, The Right Approach Consulting LLC
Columnist Steve Williams recorded a series of interviews with new I-Connect007 columnist Christine Davis, president and founder of contract manufacturer CAMtek, who recently joined Zentech Bloomington. As a female business owner in a male-dominated industry, Christine has a unique perspective on what it takes to thrive in the electronics industry, and shares some of her stories and lessons learned along the journey.

Chapter 1 Excerpt: The Printed Circuit Assembler’s Guide to Process Validation

12/31/2020 | Graham Naisbitt, Gen3 Systems
The original principle underlying the IPC’s ionic cleanliness requirement was that the mobility of surface ions, detectable from SIR measurements, would correlate to a maximum value of detectable ionic elements permissible on the circuit surface. The industry required a test that was both fast and accurate for process control. Thus, a simplified ion chromatograph that was able to detect ionic elements without differentiation was created.



Copyright © 2021 I-Connect007. All rights reserved.