by Gerry Padnos, Juki Automation Systems
Abstract: Accurate component placement is a basic requirement for any pick-and-place machine. The first step
toward accurate placement is accurate centering, or measurement of the component’s position on the
placement head. One of the most widely used centering methods for ICs, connectors, and odd‐shaped
components are a camera based system that measures the component position relative to a known
point. Camera based centering systems include three main elements: lighting, camera, and software.
Each of these elements are critical to obtaining an accurate measurement of the component and
ultimately for accurate component placement on the PCB. As the old adage goes, the system is only as
strong as its weakest link.