Skip to content

Now selling: Blinky Grid SMT pre-assembled kits

by Layne on April 16, 2018

Wayne and Layne is proud to announce that we are now selling pre-assembled Blinky Grid SMT kits!

A few years ago we purchased some “panelized” circuit boards of the Blinky Grid SMT design, which means that there are several copies (16 in this case) of the same circuit board design connected together in a snap-apart panel. This makes it easier (and quicker!) to assemble the boards in bulk.

The first step in bulk assembly is to apply solderpaste to all the exposed pads on the circuit board. We purchased a stainless steel stencil that matches the 16-board panels, then used a squeegee to apply lead-free solder paste through the holes in the stencil.

After all the pads have solder paste, the next step is to place each part on the board, stuck down into the solder paste. To place the parts, we use a machine called a Pick-‘n-Place (PnP). This is a desktop computer-controlled robot with a small vacuum nozzle that can pick up a part, optionally rotate it, and place it down in a precise location on the circuit board. Here’s a two-minute video of the PnP machine in action:

After the parts have been placed on the board, we need to heat it up to melt the solder to attach the parts. We use a small soldering oven to do this.

After the boards have been baked, the solder has melted and connected all the parts to the circuit board. The remaining steps include:

  • Solder the through-hole parts, like the pushbutton and sensors
  • Program the microcontroller with the Blinky Grid program code
  • Test that everything works correctly, including programming
  • Package and label each kit for sale

You can now find the pre-assembled Blinky Grid SMT kits in the Wayne and Layne Store.

From → Uncategorized

One Comment Leave one →
  1. Very neat to see the behind the scenes video and photos of the pick and place automation and the reflow oven used. Thanks for sharing!

Leave a Reply

Note: HTML is allowed. Your email address will not be published.

Subscribe to this comment feed via RSS