Semi Automated SMT Pick and Place Machine for low volume PCB Assembly


The CAT90-SA pick and place systems are semi-automatic machines featuring software guidance and the latest high resolution vision technology. Systems are designed for placement of various SMT components such as capacitors, resistors, SOIC’s, fine-pitch QFP’s, and many other SMD’s. Software control ensures error free pick and place sequences on the assembly. This is a critical feature that greatly reduces debugging of prototype assemblies. High productivity is achieved by eliminating the need to refer to a PCB layout / schematic diagram as with manual machines.

Software guides the operator to pick up an appropriate component from a specific bin (handles loose parts) or feeders and then displays the corresponding placement location on a virtual PCB. The operator simply moves the placement arm along X and Y axis’ while as necessary, referring to the camera monitor for a magnified view. To place fine pitch components, the camera may be rotated to view all 4 sides of a component. With the placement arm automatically locked in place, X and Y micrometers of a positioning stage, along with Theta rotation are used to provide necessary fine adjustments for component positioning. The software also allows an unlimited number of feeders and carousels that may be programmed for each assembly. Both feeders and the carousel are interchangeable in mid assembly within a matter of seconds.

In comparison to manual pick and place systems, CAT90-SA delivers higher productivity (up to 1,000 CPH), eliminates placement errors, and greatly reduces operator fatigue. On the flip side, fully automatic pick and place systems require expensive feeders, are time consuming to program, and are unable to place loose parts. The overall cost of owning and operating an automatic system is typically not efficient for prototype and low volume assembly requirements. This makes the CAT90-SA a very attractive and cost effective solution for prototype and small volume assembly requiring, precise error proof placements.

  • Software Guided Assembly with Error Free pickup and placement
  • High Magnification Vision System with 21” LCD monitor
  • Easily programmable via Teach Mode or CAD data transfer (available offline)
  • Automatic Placement Release over target
  • Automatic Brake (adjustable) at the placement position
  • Motorized Carousel with 45 antistatic bins is software driven
  • Operates in both Manual and Semi- Automatic assembly modes
  • Expandable component library containing package type, value, size, and orientation
  • X- Y Positioning Stage and Theta rotation adjustment
  • Comprehensive and user-friendly software designed for Windows 7/10 Pro
  • Unlimited programs storage capacity
  • Unlimited number of Feeders and Carousels per assembly
  • Password protected Access modes
  • Armrest and Parts Tray
  • Maintenance Free
  • Designed and Manufactured in USA

Systems are designed to operate for component pick or place in a uniquely identified target area. This failsafe condition ensures that a component cannot be picked up from the wrong location, nor can a component be placed in the wrong location. The software guides an operator from where to pick up a component and where to place it on the PCB. Placement arm is guided by the operator.

A sliding armrest and a handle (integrated into the placement head) are provided for operator’s convenience. The handle also serves as the Theta adjustment, allowing rotation of the component. When the placement arm reaches the appropriate X / Y position, software controlled plunger automatically lowers it to a preset height. A braking action (adjustable) on the movement of the pickup head occurs automatically in order to avoid passing the component placement position. An optional dispenser mounts on the pickup head and is used for application of solder paste or adhesives. Activated by a foot pedal, it releases precise amount of material every time.

Pick signal is generated when vacuum head is positioned in the programmed pick area, and this causes the following:

  • Nozzle may be lowered to come in contact with a component. This action activates the vacuum automatically allowing pick up of that device. In the process, vision system may be used to align nozzle over a package. Target placement location is now displayed over the virtual PCB.

Place signal is generated when vacuum head is positioned over the target area, and this causes the following:

  • Arm break is automatically activated, applying friction.
  • In addition to the brake, arm lock may be actuated for fine pitch placements.
  • A lowering mechanism automatically drives the component down to be close to the board, eliminating operator misalignment.
  • Video display shows a live camera view allowing for placement.
  • Component is permitted to be released at placement.

Programming the system could be done by either teaching or importing CAD data. In the Teach mode, an operator simply assembles the first board while entering relevant data into the software for each placement (i.e. reference marking on PCB, package type, orientation). CAD data may be imported in a matter of seconds containing component’s placement coordinates, pick up location, reference marking on PCB, package type, orientation, etc.

A PCB may be programmed to use an unlimited number of feeders and carousels. If for example, a board has 130 different components (all of which are in loose form and are stored in bins of a carousel), the software will prompt an operator to remove the first carousel (after the first 45 components have been used) and replace it with the next. In a carousel, the correct bin automatically moves to the pickup position according to the assembly program. Changing feeders and carousels only takes a few seconds and may be performed with the partially assembled PCB still secured in the machine.

CAT90-SA-1 CAT90-SA-2
Software Guided Assembly
Semi-Automatic Sequencing
Error-Free Pick and Place
CAD Data Programming
Teach Mode Programming
Manual Assembly Mode
Automatic Brake Mechanism
Automatic Placement Release
Motorized Carousel
Software Package with library
Camera Vision with LCD monitor
Precision X-Y Positioning Stage
X – Included    N/A – Not Available
  • Carousel with 45 bins (Part: C45-CAT)
  • Notebook PC with Pre-Installed Software (Part: NPC-CAT)
  • Paste / Adhesive Dispenser (Part: AD-CAT)
  • Tape Feeder: 8mm, 12mm, 16mm, and 24mm wide (Part: TF_-CAT)
  • Stick Feeder (Part: SF_-CAT)
  • Feeder Bracket: holds up to 10 feeders (Part: FBCAT)
CAT90-SA-1 CAT90-SA-2
PCB Handling: up to 14″ x 16″ (355mm x 406mm) up to 14″ x 16″ (355mm x 406mm)
Placement Coverage: up to 12″ x 14″ (305mm x 355mm) up to 12″ x 14″ (305mm x 355mm)
Component Handling: down to 0402 down to 0201 and 15 mil pitch
Vision System: N/A CCD color camera with 19″ LCD monitor
Placement Accuracy:  +/- 0.004″ (100 microns)  +/- 0.004″ (100 microns)
Placement Rate: 1,000 CPH 1,000 CPH
Air Requirements: 80 – 100 PSI @ 1 CFM 80 – 100 PSI @ 1 CFM
Power Requirements: 120 – 240 VAC, 1 Amp, 50/60 Hz 120 – 240 VAC, 1 Amp, 50/60 Hz
Warranty: Five (5) years parts and labor Five (5) years parts and labor
Weight: 55 lbs / 25 Kg 84 lbs / 38 Kg
Dimensions with Feeders: 34″L x 42″W x 17″H / 864mm x 1067mm x 432mm 34″L x 42″W x 17″H / 864mm x 1067mm x 432mm
N/A – Not Available

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