Electronics Assembly


Lean manufacturing for PCBA hand assembly

How do you ensure operators place the right component in the right place and with the right orientation on the board every time? It’s easy, and it’s what we’ve been helping companies to achieve around the world for almost 30 years.

Mascot automates and streamlines the PCB hand assembly process, making it fast, reliable and productive. The benefits include improved product quality, increased throughput, the virtual elimination of set up time and reduced rework, helping to drive productivity.

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Mascot performance features

Mascot Systems

Mascot is a modular system for the assembly of any PCBA. Easy to implement, simple to follow and delivers guaranteed results. Mascot can be used to build a single PCB or even a Multi-board panel, in a Solder Pallet or directly on to a bare PCB board. The system manages the assembly process in a step by step method.

Guiding the operator to the placement of every component on the PCB. Brilliant visual instructions show the exact position, polarity, and technical data for each part. An Eye Safe Laser will point directly on to the PCB. Showing each part’s physical location, and even its polarity. Video instructions can also be presented to the operator while assembling, leaving nothing to chance.

Handling Small Parts

Providing the best guidance for an operator is only one stage of the process. Selecting and handling the correct component is equally as important as guidance. Mascot guarantee’s that only the correct part is delivered to the operator, at exactly the correct assembly stage.

At each individual step and part placement the automated rotary part dispensers (Carousels for short) will present a single pocket containing the correct component for placement. Only one pocket is rotated to the operator, giving one picking location, avoiding confusion. If multiple parts are to be placed from the same pocket the visual instructions indicate the quantity to be placed.

A count-down occurs as each placement is made and confirmed by the operator via a footpedal or touch button. On completion of the correct number of placements. The operator will be reminded to return any components in hand to the current pocket, before the next assembly step is presented. Smart part delivery is key to avoiding the most common assembly error.

Handling Large Parts

Larger components or pre-packed parts offer no difficulties to Mascot. Mascot employs a unique solution called Dynamic Pick to Light, (DPL for short). Conventional pick to light employs single indicators showing an operator where to select material from. Dynamic Pick to Light uses an ingenious system that lights the picking area matched to the size of the material packaging or container. It will indicate to the operator each individual pack uniquely.

Even if they are side by side but different in dimensions. Dispensing by DPL allows total flexibility between assembly processes. The indication automatically changes to indicate the correct part no matter the package type or size. The indication is fully adjustable in length from 16mm to 1.5m and variable in 16 colours.

Materials can be organised in a variety of containers or bins to match the most efficient picking and still be selected distinctly and without hesitation. Removing the possibility of mis-picking. Each visual instruction is linked to one dispensing location. Either a Carousel or DPL and only one component is presented at a time. Maintaining the process consistency independently of the component size or packing.

Board Handling

Receiving a PCB board at the Mascot station can be carried out in several different ways. If a standalone configuration is used. The board, pallet, or crop plate is placed into the Mascot fixture which can be set for any board size up to six hundred by five hundred millimeters.

The fixture will securely hold the PCB without additional clamps keeping the wok area clear. If a Mascot slide line configuration is used. The board or pallet travels between workstations on low friction rails or wheels. Each operator simply stops the board in the correct position and begins to assemble.

The ultimate solution is Mascot with integrated conveyors. Providing a low-cost, high flexibility solution to flow line production. A complete line can be implemented in hours and integrated upstream and downstream with the built in SMEMA interfaces. Board delivery to Mascot is seamless and simple.

Ready to Build

The operator can simply scan a PCB barcode to identify the product to be built or it can be selected from an on-screen list by the operator. The Mascot will check that all of the required parts are present in the workstation before the assembly begins. Preventing time being wasted on partial assembly. Any parts missing for the assembly job are directly indicated to the operator, before the first part is placed. If the assembly is being built on a flow line, then each portion of the build components are checked automatically before the stage is built. This guarantees that even high mix products and similar build variants are managed and controlled avoiding complexity or confusion for operators.

From the first part to be placed the operator is guided with images of the actual PCB board, text instructions and a laser indication. Video clips can be used with work instructions to make even the most complex assembly steps simple to follow. Each placed part is confirmed by the operator and a magnified image shown for verification. This simple step by step process guarantee’s assembly consistency. Each board and each variant flow’s through the same process removing the need for specialist training. Any operator that uses the Mascot system can build any board. The ultimate flexibility and upskilling of staff.

Simplify Pallet Design

Through hole components can tend to move prior to soldering, especially fine pitch devices such a TO packages. This often requires a complex solder pallet with component clamping to be designed. Even in this situation Mascot systems have the capability to help by adding the Mascot Clinch module.

Mascot clinch allows every component once placed to be secured to the PCB, by forming the component leg into a position that prevents the component from moving. The operator simply places the part as normal, holds the part in place and then an underboard clinch pin will form the component leg to the required angle and bend, securing it. This simple function eliminates the cost of a complex wave pallet and removes the setup time required by the operator.

The Mascot clinch module can be fitted to any Mascot variant, Stand Alone, Slide Line or Conveyor.

Delivering 100% Yield

To guarantee 100% yield the Mascot Plus module can be fitted to any Mascot system. Mascot plus will verify that every part has been placed correctly and that polarities have been maintained.

Any errors detected will be indicated directly to the operator at the end of each assembly stage. The operator can then correct the issue at the time of assembly eliminating off-line rework and preventing an assembly fault moving forward in the process. The Mascot is the only solution to produce 100% yield for THT assembly without effecting process times.

Mascot automates and streamlines the PCB hand assembly process, making it fast, reliable and productive.

The benefits include improved product quality, increased throughput, the virtual elimination of set up time and reduced rework, helping to drive productivity.

Robotas Expert Advice

Robotas Expert Advice

Robotas systems are modular, versatile, dependable and always affordable. Our consultants are here to help.

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