SMT Caddy is primarily suited for taped and reeled components. Infrequent and odd-shaped components are managed through manual presentation on the provided small tray. Taped (cut tape for small quantities and reeled for larger volumes) are by far the most common supply method for electronic components.
SMT Caddy provides two feeder banks, each capable of accepting up to 10 individual and modular feeders if configured for 8mm width tape. Wider feeder configurations reduce the number of maximum, concurrent feeders. A 4mm feeder bank pitch allows for dense population of feeder modules in the bank, independent of the feeder width configuration.
Each feeder module is supplied as a kit, with the necessary components to configure the feeder in 8, 12, or 16 mm wide tape formats. The rails, take-up spool, and supply reel widths can be configured in any of the three tape widths. No tools are necessary to reconfigure the feeders. A feeder can be set up with new tape within about a minute.
These subminiature feeders are motorized and manually activated. Depressing the button on the feeder (via the pick stylus) advances the tape forward and automatically peels the protective cover tape. The cover tape is spooled on a small bobbin. The component tape is advanced through spooling the cover tape.
A feeder module is simply plugged into any location in the bank, automatically making electrical contacts for the motor.
Generally, paper tapes are not to be spooled (customarily used for passive components). Paper tapes are quite rigid and do not spool well on small reels. A cut section of tape (virtually, any length of interest) is loaded into the feeder.
Plastic tapes are much more flexible and can be spooled onto the provided reels (100mm OD, 40mm ID). The reel is loaded over an idler hub with a light, built-in friction mechanism to avoid unwanted tape unspooling through flex memory of the tape material.
Feeder changeover and setup can be performed in about a minute.