Bridging the PCB assembly gap

05 April 2019

Ucamco UcamX  Assembly  Seat_580x280

Ucamco, a leading developer of software, photoplotting & direct imaging systems for the PCB industry, has launched UcamX Assembly Seat, a powerful addition to its CAM platform that bridges the gap between bare board production & assembly.

Before any electronic product reaches its final customer, it will have gone through multiple processes carried out by a series of independent specialist manufacturers who rarely communicate directly with each other.

For the most part, this works – but it can be a problem for assembly companies who must put bare boards and components together. They require detailed information about both elements in order to make valid decisions  about how to place components, and whether the design constraints are in line with their own manufacturing capabilities and specifications.

Intelligent integrated solutions that combine data about bare boards and components are scarce or come at a premium, so many companies are using ad-hoc systems that are neither streamlined nor efficient.
With a decades-long commitment to developing leading-edge integrated production software that truly responds to, and grows with, the needs of the PCB manufacturing industry, Ucamco makes it a priority to listen to its customers and work closely with them. So when it was asked for help in improving assembly front-end processes, it stepped up willingly, as Ucamco’s Adam Newington explains: “What was needed was an easy way for assembly companies to understand the PCB, identify the components and placement requirements, and see and analyse board and component characteristics”.

All fairly straightforward information that should normally be provided by the design company but is not always forthcoming. As it happens, board designers generally output this information in Gerber and/or ODB files, together with the bare board data that PCB manufacturers need.

It’s a data format that UcamX handles every day, all over the world, so it was a natural enough step to extend the platform to encompass assembly-specific  data management. UcamX Assembly Seat identifies the assembly data and reads it into a job database, putting it into an easily understandable visual format that can be interrogated, zoomed in on, collated and analysed to clarify quickly and easily exactly what the assembly process requires, while annular ring and solder pad land sizes and clearances can be analysed to see how they impact assembly.

UcamX Assembly Seat allows interrogation of components singly and by type, reference designator information or part name, PIN numbers and reference net names. Components, connections and net  designators can be traced back to the designer’s original schematic, and BOMs and production documents can easily be generated. And there is potential for a whole lot more functionality.
Ucam has been facilitating front-end PCB manufacturing processes for decades. Now, with UcamX Assembly Seat, this powerful front-end electronics manufacturing solution takes a momentous first step across the PCB-assembly bridge, supporting assembly companies with intelligent, integrated functionality, all delivered with Ucamco’s trademark ease-of-use and simplicity.

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