• I'm considering purchasing a LitePlacer (Pick and Place machine) for dev and BETA boards

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 #15  by Travis Nano
 Sun Jul 15, 2018 6:05 pm
I'm quickly reaching the conclusion that anything is better than manually placing components. I don't wear eye glasses, but I may have to soon if I keep tweaking these SMD components by hand. :ugeek:

So I'm looking for entry-level machines that will not only be helpful for prototyping, but can also get us through beta kits and some initial production.

LitePlacer – The Prototyping Pick and Place Machine for Your Lab
https://www.liteplacer.com/

LitePlacer looks like an awesome machine for what it's intended to do. It's not a production machine, and the developer Juha is very clear that its intended purpose is for prototyping. But at 500 places her hour, it seems capable of filling a panel of 10 ECUs in around 1 - 2 hours. That would go a long way into taking care of our initial production as we bootstrap into more capacity later.

It apparently handles passives down to 0402, which would immediately open the door up for miniaturizing the ECU further (it's not called NanoEFI for nothin'). I'm currently using 0805 passives and they just take up too much space. I'd like to get the ECU from 3" x 2" down to 2" x 2" (52mm x 52mm).

As this is is my first pick and place machine purchase, I want something I can tweak and modify. Based on user reviews and feedback, it doesn't seem that I'll be continuously tweaking. If that's the case, I think I'm game on this one. Great job Juha!



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 #78  by Travis Nano
 Sat Aug 11, 2018 11:16 am
I'm going to make a decision on this soon. The Liteplacer is still looking very good to get us started, and it can be shifted into pure-prototyping use later so I don't see it losing value as we grow.

I've also looked at purchasing and freighting in an older Quad IVC, but don't want to end up using a huge chunk of development time refurbishing an older machine, running into unexpected costs, etc.

Any input or suggestions?

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