Demand for custom nozzles and grippers is on the rise Placing exotic components fast and reliably
ASM Assembly Systems, the maker of SIPLACE equipment, experiences rising demand for custom-designed nozzles, grippers and feeders. Compared with last year, the volume of inquiries for these products has risen by 40 percent. Special designs are needed when new, complex or highly sensitive components cannot be picked up with standard nozzles or grippers, or require special feeders for efficient volume production. In addition to designing and building the nozzles, grippers and feeders, SIPLACE's special design service also determines the proper machine and vision system settings, supplies special magazines and tests its products under realistic conditions. According to the SIPLACE engineers, the demand for these items is driven predominantly by new products and services in segments such as medical, automotive and industrial applications, as well as by the lack of process orientation in component development.
"If you compare the first six months of 2012 with the same period last year, you will see that the demand for special nozzles and grippers has increased by over 40 percent. This development is driven by new applications such as the rising share of SMT modules in road and rail vehicles, airplanes, medical products and industrial controls. We are also seeing that component manufacturers integrate more and more functions into their products, but continue to pay little attention to the requirements of the production line. This means that the electronics producers are stuck with the resulting problems," explains T.-Khanh Hong from the SIPLACE team's special designs department.
Whether the culprit is the component'' shape, height, asymmetry, hard-to-handle surface or all of the above – if an electronics manufacturer cannot find suitable nozzles or grippers in SIPLACE's online catalogs, he can describe the component on a special web form and send a request to the SIPLACE team. If even the SIPLACE technician cannot come up with a suitable nozzle or gripper, the customer can provide samples of the particular component in its packaging and request a special design. The SIPLACE service includes not only the design, manufacture and testing of the custom part, but information about machine and vision system settings, pickup tests and even the development of special magazines or feeders.
Multi-Gripper Kit To provide its customers with more flexibility when handling odd shapes or new components, the SIPLACE team is also offering the SIPLACE Multi-Gripper Kit. Users can use its special parts and components to build special grippers on their own – quickly and with a great deal of flexibility. This is a solution that saves time and money, especially when it comes to prototypes and small lot sizes. A customer needs a mere two minutes to construct his own special gripper, yet a special design order can take up to several weeks to arrive.
"Our goal is to be able to pick up as many components as possible with nozzles. This raises the placement performance of our machines and the productivity of our customers. Whether flat-tipped nozzles or rubber-tipped nozzles for sensitive components or dual nozzles – our technicians and our tools will help you become more productive. In this context it is important to remember that nozzles and grippers are merely one link in the process chain. The component provision, the delivery system and the placement force are other important factors that must be taken into account in close cooperation with the customer if you want to place each component with maximum reliability," explains Hong.