Pick and Place Machines

DDM Novastar is one of the top manufacturers of pick and place machines for use in automatic and manual SMT systems. This equipment is specifically designed for facilities needing quick set-up, ease of operation, and high reliability in low to medium volume pick & place applications.

  • Economical manual and automated surface mount placement systems
  • Benchtop and free standing floor models
  • SMTrue Run Optimize Software for offline programming of automated pick and place machines
Read the article "Selecting a Pick & Place Machine."
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You can compare up to three products within a single category. Choose from the following or use our handy Product Selection Tool.

Automated Systems

The NovaPlace Series    The Low-Cost NovaPlace Pick and Place Machine
The NEW NovaPlace Series is a complete, low-cost turnkey automatic pick and place system that can be put in production right out of the box.

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LS40V Pick and Place Machine with Vision    LS40V Pick and Place Machine with Vision
Premium model with unmatched precision for low to medium production runs utilizing Cognex Vision system.

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LE-40V Pick and Place Equipment with Vision    LE-40V Pick and Place Equipment with Vision
Pick and place equipment with the finest assembly precision for low to medium volume PCB assembly production runs utilizing Cognex Vision system.

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LE40 Pick and Place Machine    LE40 Pick and Place Machine
Benchtop model with the finest assembly precision for low to medium volume assembly production.

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LS40 Pick and Place Machine    LS40 Pick and Place Machine
Premium model with unmatched precision for low to medium production.

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LS60V Pick and Place Machine with Vision    LS60V Pick and Place Machine with Vision
Most flexible premium model with Vision and unmatched precision for low to medium automatic production runs utilizing Cognex Vision system.

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LS60 Pick and Place Machine    LS60 Pick and Place Machine
Most flexible premium model with unmatched precision for low to medium production.

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Manual Systems

MPP-21 Manual Pick and Place System    MPP-21 Pick and Place System
Efficient and accurate manual pick & place with dispenser designed for low volume prototype and medium volume production runs.

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MPP-11 Desktop Pick and Place System    MPP-11 Manual Desktop Pick and Place Machine
Cost effective manual pick & place and dispenser system for short run and prototype assembly of printed circuit boards.

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SMTrue Run Optimize Software    SMTrue Run Optimize Software
Off-line programming and management software module for increased efficiency and throughput.

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Read the article "Selecting a Pick & Place Machine."

SMT Quick-Tips: Selecting a Pick and Place Machine

How do you select a pick and place machine?  A Pick and Place machine is the second step in a paste, place, reflow assembly operation. The “Place” function follows the “solder paste” function (stencil printer). The ‘place’ operation selects and delivers a component over the board and drops it into position. The simplest form of pick and place operation is by hand, that is, manually picking a component from a bin and, with the aid of a pair of tweezers and a magnifying glass, positioning it on the board and completing the operation with a hand-held soldering iron.

This method works well if you are only doing occasional boards. Other things to consider – the size of the components (big or small) – affect the time required to hand place and solder. Fine pitch components are another issue, where more precision and accuracy are required, and the human factor comes into play. The work then become more tedious and time consuming.

First, we will focus on machine-assisted manual systems for users interested in going from a couple boards a day to much higher production volumes. Fully automatic systems are complex enough that we’ll cover them separately.

Check out DDM Novastar's wide range of Pick and Place Machines.

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Let’s start by addressing production ranges for various types of machine-assisted manual systems. For purposes of comparison, since all circuit boards vary in size and complexity, we’ll talk about volumes in terms of components per hour, or CPH. This will help you to decide what level of automation you’ll need.

On the very low side of the scale – using a manual hand system – the only expense is the appropriate hand tools for non-machine assisted manual placement. At the high end of the spectrum, these machines are often modular or customized for high speed unattended operation. Buyers in this market are likely looking more at ROI than initial cost.

Manual and semi-automatic systems

Fig 1:Example of manual head and armrest for support

A manual pick and place system is desirable for small, growing operations that need to increase their hand-held production volumes incrementally while also improving quality, thus reducing rework or rejects; however, the accuracy of placement is still limited by the capability of the operator. Benefits of a machine-assisted manual system include:

    Less operator fatigue
    Fewer placement errors
    Better control
    Improved yield, less rework

A machine-assisted manual system can be equipped with features such as an X-Y indexing table with vacuum pickup head or pen; ergonomic fixturing to help relieve operator fatigue; and additional fixturing for θ (rotation) and Z (height) positioning in addition to X and Y.

Fig 2: Component trays and feeders

Some machines offer an optional liquid solder paste dispenser, which is applied just before placing the component on the board if a stencil printer has not been used. Additional options include:

    Component Handling Trays
    Liquid Dispenser
    Tape Feeders
    Feeder Racks
    Vision Assist option
    Optional Stands

In most cases, machine assisted manual systems can be purchased with just the bare necessities, and desirable options can be added later as they’re needed.

Fig 3: A vision-assisted manual machine

Semi-automatic systems

Today there are very few semiautomatic machines still being made because of the increasing affordability of some of the more automated systems on the market. They were originally introduced at a time when the leap from manual to fully automatic systems was just too cost prohibitive and were made available with some features to assist the manual operation.

More correctly referred to as “enhanced manual” systems, semi-automatic pick and place machines typically include a computer interface with a vision system that shows where the components go, but the placement itself is still done manually. This type of machine helps the operator position ultra-fine pitch components more accurately for low-volume applications, an operation that is very difficult to accomplish using a simple machine-assisted manual machine.

Ease of use

Most pick and place machines will handle a fairly wide variety of board sizes, with a work table designed to accommodate boards up to 16” x 24”. There is also ease of control over the components, which aids in accuracy, along with a simple learning curve. In most cases, no training is required.

Don’t overlook electrical requirements. Make sure the machine you buy will plug-and-play in your environment without pulling in new wiring or else plan on an adapter/transformer.


We will start by talking about two aspects of machine capability – accuracy and repeatability, and Pick and Place centering methods.


For production machines, we typically recommend looking for a machine with accuracy of +/- .001” and down to fine pitch capability of 12 mil on a repeated basis. Less expensive machines often don’t meet this spec, so that’s something to be aware of.

Most low-cost machines will also not come standard with a computer or software which could help with the repeatability aspects if not the accuracy. While some may offer enhanced technology – most do not.

Read the Entire Article "Selecting a Pick & Place Machine."

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