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Essemtec Boosts Accuracy of Traceability Data
The pick-and-place head camera is enhanced to scan bar codes or data matrix labels on the PCB.
Aesch, Switzerland — Essemtec has invented the integrated PCB identification system that no longer can be bypassed. A traceability solution should be able to assign assembly data to products, leaving no room for ambiguity or misunderstanding. Many systems, however, are likely to fail if there is manual intervention.

Manual intervention is poison for traceability systems in automatic production. Most user actions are not registered and interfere with the data collection. This is due to the separation of the identification system from the production machine. Usually the identification device is located in front of the pick-and-place machine. If an operator manually exchanges a board inside the machine, the data collection system is not aware of the change. As a consequence, assembly data is allocated to the wrong PCB, which is bad news for quality assurance and traceability.

Essemtec has invented the integrated identification system for its Cobra and Paraquda placement machines to avoid such problems. The new system cannot be bypassed and, furthermore, saves expensive production space.

Today's assembly machines have high-resolution cameras for detecting reference marks on PCBs, measuring component dimensions and detecting feeder positions. These cameras and their image processing system are of high speed and precision as they are directly responsible for the machine placement accuracy.

Essemtec's integrated ID system uses these existing resources. The function of the pick-and-place head camera is enhanced to scan bar codes or data matrix labels on the PCB. As such, the system cannot be bypassed by manual interference because the pick-and-place rescans codes before placing components.

In a pick-and-place program, the machine treats identification labels in a way similar to reference marks. Therefore, the label is defined in board layout and the coordinates are transferred with the standard CAD file. Thus, traceability is automatically integrated in the normal workflow of printed circuit boards and does not require any additional programming steps.

Contact: Essemtec USA, 816 N. Delsea Dr., #308, Glassboro, NJ 08028 856-218-1131 fax: 856-218-1134 E-mail: sales@essemtec-usa.com Web:

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