Wednesday, April 25, 2012
Essemtec’s ePlace 4.0: A Quantum Leap
Next generation software is faster, user friendlier and easier to integrate
Fourth generation ePlace software makes operating an SMD pick-and-place machine easier while saving both time and money. Due to Windows 7 and an SQL database, the system is simpler to integrate as well.
ePlace 4.0 is the most modern graphical user-machine interface from Essemtec. Currently, various SMD placement machines are compatible with ePlace, including Paraquda and Cobra.
ePlace 4.0 uses Windows 7/64 bit as its operating system. Windows 7 is replacing Windows XP more often in business applications and machine controls because 64-bit computers can calculate highly accurate numbers and measurements faster. Operators can profit from quicker screen displays and faster calculations of complex simulations and optimizations.
The Windows 7 operating system simplifies the integration of the pick-and-place machine in a company’s network. The fact that ePlace 4.0 now works with an SQL database further eases the integration. The user can chose between MS-SQL, MySQL and PostgreSQL. In the past, ePlace used a highly efficient XML database, which remains available with the 4.0 release. However, data now can be exported from XML to an SQL database and vice versa via a simple mouse click.
ePlace 4.0 is as easy to understand as previous versions because the user interface appearance remains unchanged. However, user help has been expanded with numerous additional documents and process information. Many details of ePlace have been adapted to customers’ growing needs. For example, components with no visible leads such as BGAs now can be shown from bottom-up alternatively.
In conjunction of ePlace with the pick-and-place machine, the vacuum detection of the placement head has been optimized. The vacuum generator is now stabilized in tighter limits. As such, pick-up errors can be detected quicker and more reliably for even the smallest components. Additionally, if one places round components (e.g. MELFs) with flat pickup tools, the feature can be deactivated for these components.
ePlace 4.0 automatically corrects all systematic changes due to temperature drift. ePlace 4.0 automatically recalibrates the pick-and-place head during the short production breaks when switching circuit boards on the conveyor.
The conveyor system now can be altered from left-right to right-left operation with one mouse click. Also, the multi-stage system automatically switches to synchronous mode if required by the length of a PCB (e.g. 600 mm long PCBs).
The new ePlace 4.0 is a further quantum leap in the development of the graphical user interface. Speed, user friendliness and the integration capability of ePlace 4.0 are world leading. Additionally, engineers have implemented many small improvements in the software, which are unobtrusive by themselves, but combine to save significant amounts of time and money in daily production.