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08840 Viladecans Barcelona

+34 93 647 39 50
+34 93 647 39 51

Special cables and e-chains for SMD pick and place machines from Assembléon

Tested in the laboratory: Cables for 400 million strokes in pick and place machines for circuit board assembly

Well-matched, harnessed energy chain systems are already a standard in many machines today and thus significantly increase the functional reliability of entire processes. This is also the case with Assembléon, a manufacturer of pick and place machines. Cables had to be found for a new series of vending machines that would last for at least 400 million strokes with the many extremely fast lifting movements. With chainflex cables, which were specially developed for semiconductor assembly in the world's largest laboratory for moving cables, the customer today benefits from minimal wear and tear and maximum reliability.

User story - At a glance

  • What were the requirements? With many extremely fast movements in the pick and place machine, the cables must achieve at least 400 million strokes.
  • Which products were used? Pre-assembled readychain energy supply systems, chainflex cables
  • What is the benefit for the customer? With pre-assembled energy chains, Assembléon saves time during assembly and has cables that are perfectly matched to the e-chain to reduce abrasion. The chainflex cables have been put to the test especially for pick and place machines in the largest test laboratory for moving cables.
Pick and place machine A line usually consists of the three modules iFlex T4, T2 and H1. A look inside the pick and place machines. (Picture: Assembléon)


The company Assembléon Netherlands B.V. has developed a new generation of fully automatic pick and place machines of the series iFlex T4, T2 and H1 with vision system. They can be used for low and high volumes. The SMD assembly is carried out by robots on one or both sides in serial quality for components from a size of 0402. The part handling is between 51,000 (T4) and 12,000 (H1) per hour. The acceleration and speed are 35m/s2 (y-axis) and 20m/s2 (x-axis) on the one hand and 2m/s and 1.5m/s on the other.
In short, there are many, extremely fast movements in the pick and place machine. On the one hand, a high level of placement accuracy is important, on the other hand, the process flow must be correct at all times. Waste and downtime must not occur. All components must be perfectly matched to each other for a long service life, including cables and cable guidance. The numerous cables for motor, measuring system, data and cameras in pick and place machines are often considered the weakest link in the process. In order to meet the required service life of 400 million cycles, which amounts to seven years of continuous operation, manufacturers with system competence are required especially in this sector.


Assembléon obtains the energy chains and cables from us together in a package as pre-assembled energy supply systems. This not only saves time during assembly. The jacket material of the cables is also perfectly matched to the sliding material in the chain to avoid abrasion. Specially developed conductor and shield materials also meet the electrical requirements to ensure durability, stability, functional reliability and service life. The entire system is delivered ready to install, including strain relief, connectors and machine attachments made of stainless steel and carbon.
In addition to the extensive documentation in production, the extensive quality assurance tests in the world's largest test laboratory for moving cables in Cologne are responsible for the flawless condition of the chainflex cables. Since the requirements in pick and place machines are so great, two test systems were specially implemented, which exclusively simulate the special requirements of the pick and place machines (further information on the test processes in our laboratory can be found below).
The entire range of available chainflex cables is used in the assembly machines. They include motor, measuring system, data and camera cables. There are at least twelve pieces, all of which have been specially made for the Dutch company. The stranding structure is tailored to the bend radii, the conductor material is a special in-house development and the UL issue was also met.
Energy chains Harnessed energy chain systems and heavy-duty special cables ensure the functionality of the pick and place machines. A total of 400 million strokes are required. (Picture: Assembléon)
Pick and place machine The entire system is delivered ready to install, including strain relief, connectors and machine attachments made of stainless steel and carbon.
Work specifications, documentation, assembly aids and a quality assurance check ensure that every system is in perfect condition.

chainflex cables: tested in the in-house test laboratory on 3,800 square metres

When simulating pick and place machines, the cables are tested and continuously monitored in three different radii, each in duplicate, in addition to high lateral acceleration. With the aid of these test machines, which have been testing cables for assembly machines around the clock since 2010, we receive clear statements about the service life and any necessary preventive maintenance measures.
In addition, the chainflex cables and plastic energy chains are matched to each other in the technical centre in Cologne so that they always meet the required operational safety in practice. The multi-sector customers should always be able to rely on the result.
Test laboratory Our in-house test laboratory offers 3,800 square metres of space for extensive tests. Among other things, 800 parallel tests are carried out here at 64 test facilities.
In addition to the test stations for the simulation of pick and place machines, many other tests are also carried out. On a floor area of 3,800 square metres and with more than 800 ongoing tests, the chainflex cables are tested under high push/pull forces for coefficients of friction and wear, drive forces, bending forces as well as abrasion under a wide variety of conditions and speeds. Influencing factors such as dirt, weather, cold or bumps and blows are also included. The focus is not only on new developments, but also tried and tested cable types are repeatedly subjected to continuous quality tests. All test results are summarised in databases, which today enable precise and reliable information about the actual service life of our products.
Find out more about the chainflex test laboratory

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