Getting a pick & place machine

12 Juli 2018

I think I just found the pick and place machine for me!

I found this EEVBlog list of topics mainly about pick and place machines.
In there I found a topic about the TVM802A / TVM802B, which are affordable machines as well.
The topic was started in 2016 but is still being replied to.

So the TVM802A is still available and just a bit more expensive than the cheapest of all, the ZB3245T.

I have to make sure to get the model with the latest firmware: “Our software version is from 1.XX to the current 3.XX, but if you are using 2.XX version software, you can upgrade to the latest 2.39 version, but can not use 3.XX.Because the hardware of 2.XX machine is not the same as 3.XX”.

11 July 2018

I started gathering model numbers and reviews of the older Chines machines:

  1. NeoDen TM220A – review
  2. NeoDen TM240A (27 feeders) – review
  3. NeoDen TM245P
  4. CHM-T36VA (with camera!) – review – YouTube – https://github.com/colinoflynn/chmt36va_hints
  5. Neoden 4 – reviewforum

It seems the NeoDen TM220A or TM240A are not offered anymore.
Maybe I can get my hands on a good used one, but otherwise my main interest goes to the ZB3245T.

10 July 2018

I got some feedback on Facebook mainly.
Someone told me about the Versatronic RV4 which I am going to check out.

I also sent a mail to the manufacturer of the ZB3245T, and I’m waiting for a reply.
I asked them about availability of parts in case there is a defect, especially after the 1 year warranty.

9 July 2018

So today I’ve started the search for a pick and place machine.

I already know I have several options, at this moment 3:
1. Liteplacer
2. The ZB3245T
3. One of the Chinese models I’ve seen some months ago, which may have better support since more people might own one already

Liteplacer

Liteplacer seems to be well-supported by its community, since there is a forum and the designer and seller is fairly easy to reach and speaks English.
The main downside however is that it’s very slow, as for example seen here.

Another thing I don’t like is the advised manual placement of parts.
The Liteplacer is sold as prototyping device, not for production purposes.

Its price is about the same as for the ‘low budget’ Chinese models.

The ZB3245T

The ZB3245T seems to be the Chinese pick&place that is currently being offered.
It seems fast (take a look at this video), and as far as I have seen has a lot reel holders and automatic feeders, which are very useful.

I’ve seen other models in the past, but they’re not available for the same price.

I haven’t yet found out if there is English support or even a community.
What I’m a bit worried about is how well it’s supported when it comes to defects and replacement parts.

An older Chinese model

I’ve seen several Chinese pick&place machines in the past, mostly on AliExpress I think, have to check.

One of the models that I can remember was one with only a handful of reel holders, whereas the ZB3245T has many more as far as I can see.