At the ASM in-house Technology Show 2015 held at the SMT Center of Competence in the company’s Munich headquarters to coincide with Productronica in Munich, ASM Assembly Systems – a leading global manufacturer of production solutions for the electronics industry – demonstrated two variants of the KUKA LBR iiwa (intelligent industrial work assistant).

The robot was featured as a stationary variant supplying material for production and, mounted on a mobile platform, as the KMR iiwa during ongoing operations in a SIPLACE SMT line. The aim of the application was not so much to present a finished solution as to demonstrate options for the Smart Factory to visitors from the ASM partner network.

LBR iiwa enables new automation solutions without safety fencing
As part of the showcase applications, the LBR iiwa takes component reels from the SIPLACE Tower and places them on the component trolley in the desired order. In doing so, the sensitive lightweight robot interacts with the human operator without the need for a protected space. “The showcase consisting of the two applications was a highlight at our in-house Technology Show in November 2015,” explains Bernhard Fritz, Head of the SMT Center of Competence at ASM Assembly Systems. The primary objective for the use of robots is to boost productivity while maintaining high quality.

“This robot-based automation will allow our customers’ employees to avoid errors and simplify tasks in the pre-setup area and placement line in the future,” says Fritz. Thanks to its integrated sensor systems, the LBR iiwa is designed for direct collaboration with its human “colleagues”, can safely handle sensitive products and does not require a protected space. SMT users would be able to pass workpieces to the robot directly if required, making the production process even more flexible and space-saving.

Further links:
ASM Assembly Systems
KUKA LBR iiwa product page
KUKA KMR iiwa product page


JJS Stresses Need for Baking Prior to flex Printed Circuit Assembly

UK-based JJS Manufacturing is an EMS firm which specializes in end-to-end procurement, manufacture (Electronic Board assembly, box build, cabinet, electro-mechanical) and supply chain solutions. The enterprise supplies complicated, hugely configurable, low-to-medium-volume industrial electronics products across a variety of markets for instance, industrial automation, process control, test and measurement, and lab technology.

Editor Stephen Las Marias spoke with Russell Poppe, manager of technology, on the challenges of dealing with flex circuit assemblies and provides ways to address them.

Stephen Las Marias: From your experience, what are the primary concerns in flex circuit assembly?

Russell Poppe: From an assembly standpoint, baking the flex circuits just before manufacturing assembly is significant since they can be at the mercy of delamination. That said, baking any Electronic Board before manufacturing is best practice and something we always carry out at JJS.

One of the primary concerns in flex circuit assembly is assuring the circuits remain flat, particularly through the printing and pick-and-place processes. The parts of the circuit demanding SMT placement must have an FR-4 stiffener designed in underneath; but it is equally important to work with the Electronic Board supplier up front. Getting the panelization right is essential so that the boards don’t bend when the parts are put or when they move through reflow. Panel design generally is a difficult task as flex circuits are frequently unusual shapes! It might also be vital to have a customized carrier or pallet to hold the flex circuits in place through the entire process; nevertheless, these carry extra costs-commonly a few hundred pounds each.

Know more from JJS Manufacturing Russell Poppe

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