Label Feeders to suit most major placement machines, now it’s easy to place a label or masking requirement automatically.
Traceability of boards through SMT production lines requires a barcode label to be applied to each board.
Given the high density of current board designs space on the PCB is of a premium and therefore these labels will be small, typically 4-6mm high and 4-15mm wide. The size of the label eliminates the use of traditionally (1D) barcodes like Code128 – there simply isn’t room and therefore we can use a 2D code like Data Matrix to allow barcode readability at much higher densities.
Placing these miniature labels on each circuit is demanding, not only in terms of handing very small labels but in also in accurately positioning them so that the barcode image readers within the SMT line can read them – SPI, Placement machines, RPI (Reflow Process Inspection), AOI & testers.
It’s therefore necessary to look at automating the label application process itself and this can be done using a Label Feeder on the SMT placement machine or by adding a label applicator station In-Line or in stores to pre-label the boards as part of the kitting process. These feeders/applicators can handle a wide range of Auto-Apply Labels, materials and sizes and can also place other materials like masking dots for solder and conformal coating masking applications.