Component Management

Adjustable strip feeder suits low-volume, high-mix

22nd January 2015
Barney Scott

Count On Tools has announced that it will exhibit in Booth 3625 at the IPC APEX EXPO, scheduled for 24th to 26th February 2015 at the San Diego Convention Center in California. COT will debut its StripFeeder Mini, which condenses the design of its existing StripFeeder into a smaller package, 134x152mm, and is better equipped to handle shorter strips of components, such as 2-4" of tape.

The StripFeeder Mini offers increased lane capacity, with the ability to run two StripFeeder Minis in the same space as one original StripFeeder. The Mini is a lower cost option than OEM feeders for small strips of components, and is designed for loading tape-and-reel components onto compact modules in prototyping and low-volume, high-mix applications.

The reduced package size is suitable for smaller prototype and rework machines as well as most SMT pick-and-place equipment.

Additionally, the StripFeeder Mini features removable rails that can be mounted to accommodate a wide array of tape sizes in the same feeder. Unlike fixed width feeders, the StripFeeder Mini can be adjusted by removing the rails and re-positioning them on the base plate at the desired width (4mm pitched pattern). The rails align with precision pin locaters and lock down tightly with magnets to guarantee a stable, repeatable application.

The StripFeeder Mini rails also feature a mechanical lock-spring to hold the tape in place by the sprocket hole for part registration and repeatable pick-and-place applications. This means the user only has to teach the pick-up location one time and consistently reload the unit with the same parts over and over for longer runs.

The innovative design holds the components securely in the machined tracks to prevent parts from being mispicked, flipped in the pocket or lost. Customers also can remove rails to accommodate larger components up to 120mm tape width.

The StripFeeder systems are a cost effective way to load many components, including odd-form and custom components, without having to purchase expensive feeders. The quick-to-assemble, easy-to-install modules are designed for rapid loading of tape-and-reel components on existing SMT pick-and-place equipment. The trays, compatible with both paper and emboss tape simultaneously, enable fast changeover between product runs without unloading from the machine.

Other product lines that will be showcased at the event include the original StripFeeder, the LED Nozzle Series, ezLOAD PCB Supports and ezCLIP PCB Magazine Rack Stop Clips. In addition to the company’s standard product range, the LED Nozzle Series and a broad assortment of custom nozzle designs for odd-form components will be displayed. The INSTOCK Consignment Program will be launched at the show.

Products from the PB Swiss Tools division and Count On Tools’ Contract Machining Services also will be highlighted. All COT products and services are designed to optimise SMT equipment for faster production and lower build costs. The company supplies a range of SMT tooling, odd-form component tooling and design services, as well as other SMT consumables for the electronics manufacturing industry.

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