Advantech PCI-1241 Specifications

Motion Control
Application Stories
Versatile Form Factors to
Meet Diverse Applications
Flat Panel Display Production
Semiconductor Production
SMT/PCB Industrial Assembly
Electronics Assembly
The market for electronics manufacturing is among the biggest
in the world, and more and more of the production is now being
outsourced to facilities in the fast-growing economies of Asia.
At the same time, new technologies are being implemented
to minimize inventory, improve quality, and cut design time to
launch products faster than ever before.
The outsourcing model of manufacturing has often improved
economies of scale, but has also highlighted the importance
of a wholistic approach to making products. Manufacturing
needs to be seamlessly integrated with areas that earlier
were considered to be different from manufacturing.
• To reduce inventory, the manufacturing of parts needs to
be linked to the demand for these parts in the factories
that need them for assembly of systems.
• Integration of processes related to design, manufacturing,
and quality control engineers helps improve quality
Flat Panel Display Production
• Design cycle times are being reduced so that
manufacturing teams can achieve volume production
as soon as possible, and make their products reach the
market before anyone else.
Today, hundreds of factories all over the world are seeing
their inventories shrink, and their product development cycle
being shortened; thanks to equipment based on Advantech
technologies and system integrator expertise.
SMT/PCB Industrial Assembly
Table of Contents
Flat Panel Display Production
LCD Panel Loader/
P. 5
TFT Defect Inspection in
LCD Panel Assembly
P. 7
TFT Defect Repair in LCD
Panel Assembly
P. 9
TFT Light Testing in LCD
Panel Assembly
P. 11
Semiconductor Production
Electronics Assembly
Automated Programmer
for ICs
P. 13
RAM Module Compatibility
P. 15
Laser Marking for
P. 17
Solder Placement System
for BGA/CSP Chipsets
P. 19
SMT/PCB Industrial Assembly
Semi-Automatic PCB
P. 21
SMT/PCB Line Mounter
P. 23
Auto-Optical Solder
P. 27
Automatic Solder
P. 29
Electronics Assembly
Semiconductor Production
Quality Control of
Frequencies for Mobile
Keypad Quality Control for
Mobile Phones
P. 33
High-Precision Motion
Control for 3D Laser
P. 35
Tube Bending Machine
P. 37
P. 31
Complete Application-Ready Platforms for the General
Advantech offers application-ready platforms that range from industrial workstations and industrial-grade CPUs, to motion control, encoder input and isolated I/O cards for
general motion control (GMC) application such as SMT/PCB, semicondutor and LCD manufacturing machines. As machine automation develops, high speed, effective distance
transmissions, and convenient wiring become increasingly important for system integrators. Advantech Distributed Motion Control (AMONet) is a series of products with innovative
architecture that is designed for versatile industrial automation application, and are especially suitable for distributed motion control requirements.
Motion Control Configuration
Distributed Motion Control
Centralized Motion Control
Indicator & Sensor Handwheel & Jog
Indicator & Sensor
What is the difference between centralized and distributed motion control ?
Machine control system architectures generally fall into two categories - centralized or distributed.
In a centralized system, all control loops including logic, trajectory generation, and PID control, are
executed on a single processor on a programmable automation controller (PAC). In a distributed
system, the trajectory generation and logic control executes in the central processor, but the
PID control loop is executed in the intelligent slave module. A distributed approach gives more
processing power, while it reduces overall wiring cost and system complexity.
Centralized Motion Control
The Distributed Motion Control Products are categorized in two groups - Master Cards and Slave
Modules. Communication between master and slave is based on a custom-engineered technology
based on RS-485, which saves wires, transmits over long distances at high speeds, and have
time-deterministic features.
The communication interface between master and host PC is based on memory mapping. Various
functions can be chosen on the slave modules, and the industrial DIN-rail mountable design makes
it easy to distribute them in the field. The master card collects information from slave modules and
publishes the data to its host PC, and vice versa.
Sensors and Actuators
Sensors and Actuators
Sensors and Actuators
Motion Control Market
Voltage-command Motion Control
Embedded Motion Control
Indicator & Sensor Handwheel & Jog
Indicator & Sensor
Distributed Motion Control
Sensors and Actuators
Sensors and Actuators
Sensors and Actuators
Sensors and Actuators
Sensors and Actuators
LCD Panel Loader/Unloader
Flat Panel Display Production
Project Requirements
LCD screens have replaced CRT’s as the preferable choice for computer monitors, and
increasingly, TV’s as well. Therefore, LCD production is currently one of the fastest growing
product categories in the consumer electronics market, and rapid growth is expected for
many years to come. Due to rapid technology development and competitive pressure, an LCD
manufacturer in Taiwan switched from a proprietary to a PC-based control system to track
production and utilization information in real-time. This new motion integration control system
not only reduces standby time, but also decreases data acquisition time to improve quality
Proprietary control is a very cumbersome
technology. It not only operates under an unpopular
and sophisticated programming language, but it
also consumes a large amount of time for control
changes. Furthermore, the price of maintaining
proprietary control is quite expensive compared
to PC-based control. These lead to inefficient and
expensive manufacturing processes.
In order to set up a flexible and PC-based motion
control system, the following components are
•High-speed motion control card to accurately
control the robotic arm as it moves LCD panels
between storage and processing
•Slave module with digital inputs to capture
information from sensors that detect the
position of the panels on the conveyor belt
Solution Description
The system has a robotic arm to load or unload the
panels from the stack, and conveyers to move panels
through the belt. On top of the conveying processes,
there are sensors set up for panel alignment. Finally,
the panels are placed to the designated machines
or into storage with another robotic arm. In the
traditional way, a proprietary system is used to
control the robotic arm and a PC-based controller is
used to integrate the product information with MES
(Manufacturing Execution System). However, this
requires manpower and is very time-consuming.
With the implementation of PC-based AMONet solution, PCI-1202 and ADAM modules, many inefficient
areas of the process can be mitigated. The system will have less standby time, higher performance, a
lower error rate, and is much more cost-effective. The user can have real-time processing updates and
flexibility in modification. Advantech’s AMONet solution also provides the following benefits:
•Suitable for both standalone and automated systems
•SEMI protocol compliant
The operation information can be integrated into the MES (Manufacturing Execution System) or CIM
(Computer Integrated Manufacturing) System.
The alternate and new solution our customer adopted
is Advantech’s PC-based AMONet module, the PCI1202; which provides 20MHz of data transfer speed
(updating 1024 Digital I/O channels within 1.04ms)
and is capable of fulfilling high-speed control
requirements. The PCI-1202 can control and update
both robotic arms and the conveyor through the
high-speed serial communications. Each robotic and
sensor station uses Advantech’s ADAM-3752FN/
3754FN/3756FNN series. Each ADAM acts as a
medium between mechanical stations and a master
control, and also provides accurate alignment of the
glass and error control.
Digital Input/Output
2-port AMONet™ RS-485
Master Card
TFT Defect Inspection in LCD Panel Assembly
Flat Panel Display Production
Project Requirements
During the LCD manufacturing process, having a zero fault tolerance is almost impossible.
Moreover, LCD panels are very delicate products, and can frequently have minor defects.
Therefore, defect inspection is essential at each assembly station. Our customer wanted
to increase the efficiency of their defect inspection stations and speed up their overall LCD
production. They were using the traditional method of inspection, which consisted of having just
one camera to complete the process, which is slow and cumbersome. With a new PC-based
automation solution from Advantech, more cameras can be set up for inspections, allowing a
smoother and faster production flow.
Defect inspection is an extremely important part of
the production process. It prevents a vicious cycle
by not allowing defects to continue further along the
manufacturing process. With the implementation of
more than one camera, increased processing speed
and network expansion are necessary. In order to
efficiently inspect each large LCD panel, using a
PC-based operating system is the optimal way.
Furthermore, it allows data communication between
the database and each station. To formulate such
a system, we need the following components to
complete our automated solution:
•A master control card for handling all the
commands and data flow
•A motion control card for all the camera
•An isolated Digital I/O card for the command
and handshakes between stations
Solution Description
Each camera at the inspection station takes photos
of different segments of each LCD panel. The
processed picture will be compared to reference
pictures for examination. Even though the idea of
having more cameras seems obvious, it is limited
by the hardware and software capabilities. In
the old proprietary system, the non user-friendly
programming language and poor compatibility
impeded the manufacturing resources.
Defect inspection can be a hassle if resources and
expansion abilities are limited. With the automated
solution provided by Advantech, more cameras can
be set-up, increasing the defect inspection efficiency,
and streamlining the entire LCD panel assembly
process. Furthermore, it will provide real-time updates
and monitoring, effectively upgrading quality control.
With Advantech’s automation solution, more cameras
can be implemented due to the large expansion
capabilities, and more motions and commands
can be installed. PCI-1202 is a master control card
which can be implemented in the PC to process all
the motion instructions and data communications.
As for the inspection station, ADAM-3212/J2S
can be used for camera or conveyor motions and
ADAM-3752/3754 can be used for sensors to
ensure the inspection has operated thoroughly.
Moreover, Advantech’s AMONet has built-in CPU for
each module and allows Ethernet communication
between stations. This provides a real-time updates
and monitoring.
Digital Input/Output and Motion Control
1-axis AMONet®
RS-485 Slave
1-axis AMONet®
RS-485 Slave
2-port AMONet™ RS-485
Master Card
TFT Defect Repair in LCD Panel Assembly
Flat Panel Display Production
Project Requirements
LCD Panels can have defects that need to be repaired during the panel assembly process.
Spending resources to find problems, but not being able to solve them in the most efficient
way degrades the flow of the entire process. LCD panels have infinitesimal arrays and cells
embedded in the panels, and require a precise laser to fix the minor defects in the pixels.
Therefore, it is critical to have a flexible and fast repairing system that will efficiently fix
problems and at the same time not impede the overall flow.
To be successful, manufacturers have to balance
the need for consumer demand, resources and
competition. Although balancing these factors can
be difficult, the key is to focus on managing day
to day production. The most efficient method to
manage production is a PC-based distributed motion
control system. It allows for an open architecture
with excellent expansion capabilities and high
To formulate such a system, we need the following
•A master control card for handling all the
commands and data flow
•A motion control card for the laser positions
and orientations
•An isolated digital I/O card for the command
and handshakes between stations
Solution Description
The repairing system is designed to identify each of
the damaged pixels and have the coordinates sent
to the mechanical laser arm. Then, the laser will
burn the right spot for damage control. The whole
process may seem very simple; however, the data
acquisition and information flow are extremely
complex. The coordinates may vary from 2D to 3D,
and the commands for the mechanical arm have to
be extremely accurate due to the size of each array
on the panel. With Advantech’s machine automation
solution, the master card PCI-1202 can handle
different sets of complicated instructions. The
motion control module ADAM-3212/J2S is capable
of varieties of motion controls that allow different
laser orientations. For the data flow, the Digital I/O
card ADAM-3752/3754 has up to 64 inputs and
outputs. More controls and data communication
are feasible. At last, a PC-based system can provide
a real-time manufacturing status and keep in track
of the utilization rate at each station. Therefore, the
maintenance allows operations at the maximum
efficient level, and the system can stay in the best
During the manufacturing process, it is inevitable to
have defects in the products. Having a flexible and
efficient repairing system will not only maximize
the whole production quantity but also enhance
the quality standard. With Advantech’s PC-based
machine automation solution, all the limitations
provided by the old proprietary system should not
be a problem anymore. The new repairing system
can meet up with the production flow and increase
the overall quality control.
Digital Input/Output and Motion Control
1-axis AMONet®
RS-485 Slave
1-axis AMONet®
RS-485 Slave
2-port AMONet™ RS-485
Master Card
TFT Light Testing in LCD Panel Assembly
Flat Panel Display Production
Project Requirements
Some manufacturing industries focus on mass production, while others focus on the quality
of the product being created. In the growing LCD market, both quality and quantity are in high
demand. An Advantech customer in the LCD market wanted to increase the quality control of
their LCD inspection process, and decided to focus on the lighting inspections for their TFT
panels. In such a demanding manufacturing environment, upgrading to a flexible PC-based
machine was the only option.
LCD panels are very delicate products; during the
assembly process the panels have to be treated
with great care. An efficient light tester is used to
confirm correct assembly of the panel, including
the raw panel with driver ICs and the backlight unit.
Furthermore, position adjustments and function
tests require great accuracy and speed. In order to
achieve these goals, the following components were
•A motion control card responsible for moving
the panels along a conveyor
•An isolated digital I/O card responsible for
sensors, push buttons, and the handshake
signals between stations
•Master control card for handling all the
Solution Description
Due to the complexity of the LCD manufacturing
process, orientation and spacing are extremely
critical. With Advantech’s PCI-1202 and ADAM3752FN/3754FN modules, sensors make sure
all the panels are in the right order and correct
position on the conveyor. All the push buttons are
also integrated within this system. Furthermore, the
handshake signal between this station and other
stations (such as in-between material handling and
unloading) ensures good traffic control. For the
panels to be accurately mounted into the inverter
for software testing, Advantech’s ADAM-3212/J2S
motion control card will control the mechanical
tilting device and ensure the connectors are fastened
to the inverter for the benchmark lighting test. The
panels will then be tilted for engineers due to the
limitations on the viewing angles for lighting quality
examination. Once the panel has passed the test, it
will travel to the next station.
LCD production is a very time-consuming and
precise process. The traditional way of using
proprietary systems lowers efficiency, is inflexible,
increases costs and is difficult to maintain. Also it
is not easy to integrate the production and utilization
information of this station into a CIM/MES system.
With a PC-based testing machine, the process is
now much more cost-effective, and defect rates have
been decreased. Moreover, the overall efficiency of
the entire process has been increased.
Digital Input/Output
1-axis AMONet®
RS-485 Slave
1-axis AMONet®
RS-485 Slave
2-port AMONet™ RS-485
Master Card
Automated Programmer for ICs
Semiconductor Production
Project Requirements
A handheld electronics manufacturer faced the risk of not meeting customer demands when their
assembly process slowed to a crawl. They wanted to run their machine vision simultaneously
with motion control to save time, but the performance of their system became sluggish due to
the large memory requirements of the vision software. Our customer needed a major upgrade
to their assembly system, and wanted an automated system with real-time monitoring.
Our customer wanted the system to operate a variety
of input and output options with tray, tube and tape
thus providing programming, marking and packing
conversions for most IC products on/in tray, tube
and tape.
In order to fully maximize the speed and accuracy,
machine vision is required to perform tasks with
the robotic arm simultaneously, which requires a
huge CPU memory cache. It became evident that an
integrated PC-based system was required to allow
high-performance automated control running in the
conjunction with the machine vision software.
To achieve such a system, the following components
were required:
•A master card controlling all the motions and
data processing
•A control card commanding actions of each
Solution Description
The automatic pick and place operation runs in the
sequence of loading, position, marking, targeting
programming, sorting and unloading. These steps
can be time consuming, and a heavy duty motion
control card is required to accomplish such tasks.
Accuracy and speed are key elements for pick &
place programming tools. The variety of motion
control and the large data flow can cause huge
traffic in the assembly process. With Advantech’s
motion control PCI-1240U cards, intelligent,
accurate operation and high throughput can easily
be achieved. Moreover, by implementing Advantech
solutions, the pick and place tools are now much
more accurate and efficient, and the entire process
is now automated with real-time motion control.
Advantech’s PCI-1240U, the master control card,
supports these accurate and fast motion controls.
Its onboard ASIC incorporates a variety of motion
control functions which can be performed without
any processing jams. Moreover, it allows a major
upgrade from single manual to dual auto/semiauto. Additionally, large data flow and programming
control will not be issues anymore. Moreover, the
two precise CCD cameras equipped within the
robotics arms for IC targeting and socket or pick &
place spot positioning can both be operated under
the command efficiently and swiftly. Even though the
mechanical and optical operations can be extremely
complex, PCI-1240U can allow both operations to
work simultaneously. With Advantech’s PCI-1756,
all the push buttons, indicator bulbs and the light
tower are well integrated. Moreover, the PCI-1756
provides the handshake signals with the tray and
tube devices.
64-ch Isolated Digital Output Card
Digital Input/Output
Motion Control
Switch, Button and
4-axis Universal PCI Stepping/
Pulse-type Servo Motor Control
Nozzle Mechanism
RAM Module Compatibility Test
Semiconductor Production
Project Requirements
To improve test speed and accelerate changes in their production line, a large RAM module
manufacturer chose to switch from PLC to PC-based machinery for compatibility testing. The
new system, designed with Advantech’s PCI-1240U, and PCI-1750, completely integrates
motion control and data acquisition, dramatically reducing standby time and increasing
The customer’s system used proprietary system for
motion control, which were difficult to operate with
the PC-based RAM modules and motherboards used
for testing. The basic requirement therefore, was to
simply implement a PC-based system. Additionally,
the system should have the ability to allow one tray
of RAM modules to be tested while the second tray
is being loaded. Not only would this allow for more
efficient operation, but also double the testing speed
while only requiring one operator.
Solution Description
The system is designed to test compatibility with
RAM modules in common motherboards. For this
application, two trays of RAM modules are prepared
and a pick-and-place tool moves the modules into a
motherboard for the compatibility test. After the test,
the modules are placed on an output tray.
The process starts with loading the dimensions,
pin assignments, profile, and batch number into the
system computer. A tray of RAM modules is then
placed in the machine, and the operator presses a
button to start the test.
•The new system is entirely based on industrial PCs, meaning maintenance and operation has
been considerably simplified
•The PC-based system provides a larger memory and an open architecture that is easier for
PCI-1750 starts by using a digital input for a sensor
that detects the presence of the RAM module tray.
If present, digital output channels are used to turn
on the activation light and inform PCI-1240U that
it is time to start moving the modules. PCI-1240U
responds by using three of its axes to pick the first
module from the tray and place it into the fixed
motherboard. When placed, PCI-1750 uses a digital
output to turn on the power of the motherboard.
programming and expansion
Software running on the machine’s computer fills the
memory of the RAM module with a pattern, which is
then read back and checked to see if anything had
changed. If not, the module has passed the test and
is placed in an output tray leading to the packaging
machine. If there is an error, the module is moved to
a tray for defect modules. No matter what the result
is, the system records the test result in a database
over an Ethernet connection, together with the serial
number of the RAM module.
The test continues with the pick-and-place tool
moving to the next RAM module on the tray until
all are tested. While one tray is being tested, the
operator prepares the second tray.
32-ch Isolated Digital I/O and Counter Card
Digital Input/Output
Motion Control
Switch, Button and
4-axis Universal PCI Stepping/Pulse-type
Servo Motor Control Card
Pick & Place Mechanism
Laser Marking for Microchips
Semiconductor Production
Project Requirements:
One of the final steps in the production of microchips is the printing of the information on the
chip itself. Most chips just have a batch number and logo, but there is a new trend to include
more information and have more complex patterns printed on the chips as well.
When the pattern to print on a microchip becomes
more than just a few dots, transferring it to a
PLC through a decoding program can become
troublesome. Logos and patterns are often created
in AutoCAD, Pro/E and other PC-based applications.
Using a PC over a PLC allows operators to load these
patterns directly into the machine instead of having
to go through an additional decoding process. This
results in a faster turnaround and the capability to
have more complex designs.
A customer used Advantech’s PCI-1761, PCI-1240U, FPM-3120 and ACP-4001 with a machine
vision system to create a fully automatic laser marker for microchips. By using PC-based
products, their new system is more powerful, more versatile, and can easily adapt to changes
in the market.
To fully automate this system, machine vision is
necessary. And for high quality machine vision, the
captured images are so large that only a computer
can process them. It was fairly obvious that if the
whole system was PC-based, system integration
would become easier. The requirement was therefore
to get a PC-based system to replace the customer’s
low-performance PLC-based system.
Solution Description:
The machine loads a pattern file into its memory
and calibrates the machine vision software so that
it knows where to print on the microchip, and where
to check the finished markings. Microchips are
brought to the machine in a continuous stream on
a conveyor belt.
One axis of the PCI-1240U is used to control the
speed of the conveyor belt, which can help ensure
there is coordination with other machines in the
production line. When a microchip has entered the
machine, a door closes, and the digital output of
PCI-1240U turns on a warning indicator. A sensor
detects if the door is closed properly and sends a
signal to the PCI-1761.
Another image is captured of the microchip, this time
to verify that the marking has been successful. If not,
this will set off an alarm, and a copy of the image
will be stored on the system for troubleshooting.
If successful, PCI-1240U turns off the warning
indicator, and activates the 4th axis to start the
conveyor belt that brings the microchip out of the
•Fully automatic system removes the need for operators
•Faster processing for intricate or large patterns compared to proprietary systems
•No need to decode programs between the computer and proprietary systems
•Reduced support costs as system can be remotely diagnosed. By using software like PC-
Anywhere or NetMeeting to check the machine over the Internet, the need to visit field sites can
often be eliminated. For this customer, it meant saving several international trips every year.
When the PCI-1761 receives the signal that the door
is closed, it will initialize the frame grabber card.
The frame grabber card captures an image of the
microchip, and the machine vision software analyzes
the image and determines the orientation and exact
position of the microchip. It also sets the reference
point for the X and Y axes. With the reference point
now set, the two axes of the PCI-1240U can be used
to direct the laser beam over the surface.
Digital output signals from PCI-1240U are used
to switch the laser on and off during the marking.
Circular and linear interpolation enables intricate
patterns. On completion, the laser is moved back to
its secure position.
8-ch Relay Actuator and 8-ch
Isolated Digital Input PCI Card
Digital Input/Output
Motion Control
Switch, Button and
4-axis Universal PCI Stepping/
Pulse-type Servo Motor Control
Laser Marking for
Solder Placement System for BGA/CSP Chipsets
Semiconductor Production
Project Requirements
The soldering process is a critical stage in the circuit assembly process, as any faults can cause
severe damage to the device. Furthermore, technology improvements and higher consumer
demand for electronic products have forced circuits to evolve smaller and smaller. At the same
time, the need for mass production is inevitable; therefore, having a fast and highly precise
soldering machine is extremely important. With a PC-based solution, both the demand for mass
production and need to keep pace with technology trends can be met.
In a traditional PLC-based system, programming
sophistication and poor data acquisition have limited
efficiency and quality control. Especially for soldering
BGA or CSP chipsets, the solder placement system
requires high quality control and low tolerance for
errors. The newly introduced PC-based solution
has flexible control and real-time monitoring,
and also allows a fully automated operation. In
order to achieve such performance, the following
components are required:
•A PC-based industrial computer for central
processing with high-speed performance
•Highly precise soldering process for small
Solution Description
The concept of a proprietary solder placement
system is to have a central computer compiling all
the data and to provide real time monitoring for the
users. Advantech’s UNO-2160 is a compact and
fanless computing platform with two PC/104 slots
allowing high expansion abilities. It has no moving
parts and excellent vibration resistance. Usually
older compact computing platforms are designed
as proprietary systems, which create bottlenecks
when connecting to MES system from isolated to
integrated automations. Therefore, UNO-2160 will
not only allow higher flexibilities, but also generate
larger data processing abilities.
With the combination of Advantech’s UNO-2160 and PCM-3240, having a highly precise and reliable
solder ball placement system is made possible. In terms of users’ point of views, real-time monitoring
and data storage allow higher quality control. On the other hand, anti-vibration and a large number of I/O
channels decrease the errors and increase the expansion capabilities for the future. There are also few
more benefits using these two Advantech products.
•SEMI protocol compliant
•Data could be integrated into the MES (Manufacture Execution System) or CIM (Computer
Integrated Manufacturing ) system, with a Windows-like GUI for easy operation
The role of an embedded motion control card is to
accurately control the solder printer. The printing
precision and motion are very critical in the soldering
process. They do not allow any movements that will
cause inaccuracies. Therefore, we recommended
Advantech’s PCM-3240 for this solution. It can
provide 4-axis pulse-type servo or stepping motor
control, and moreover, its compact size can be fitted
inside the chassis of an UNO-2160, yet provide the
same functions as a standard industrial computer
and plug-in motion control card.
PCM-3240 has 12 channels of digital input and 16
channels of digital output which allow high bits for
highly precise motor and sensor controls.
Digital Input/Output
4-axis Stepping/Pulse Servo
Motor Control Card
Switch and Button
Solder Paste Printer
Semi-Automatic PCB Separator
SMT/PCB Industrial Assembly
After many tough years, the PCB industry has learned that survival relies on investing in new
equipment and technology. Chief among the new PCB markets is mobile communications, where
handsets need highly compact and flexibly shaped PCBs. To meet this demand, a machine
builder in China used Advantech chassis, I/O and motion control products to create a new
general-purpose PCB separator. The new machine offers high precision, and allowed separation
of complex PCB shapes.
Project Requirements
•To deal with the demand for smaller PCBs, the
system had to be very precise.
•PCBs for handsets required rounded and
irregular edges.
•Integration with machine vision software
needed to be easy and simple.
Solution Description
A PCB separator is used to cut PCB boards into
separate circuits. By keeping several identical circuits
on the same physical board during component
placement, the pick-and-place tools do not have to
be changed out so often. This speeds up component
placement, which usually is the bottleneck of a PCB
production line.
The system starts with the operator placing a fixture
filled with PCB boards into the machine. When the
fixture is in place, the operator presses a button to
activate the PCB separator. PCI-1750 captures the
button signal with an input channel and uses an
output channel to move the fixture to the separation
area. A sensor confirms that the fixture is in place
by sending a signal to an input channel on PCI1750. This unlocks the secured laser cutter, turns
on the warning light, and initiates the machine vision
For more precise separation, machine vision
software is used to set the cutting coordinates. A
picture is taken of the PCB and cutting coordinates
are calculated and sent by the machine vision
software to the PCI-1240U motion control card.
The laser starts cutting the PCB, using PCI-1240U’s
interpolation features for the rounded and irregular
shapes. PCI-1750 is used for on/off control of the
laser beam.
At completion, the laser is secured, the warning
light is switched off, and the fixture moves out
from the separation area while a second fixture
moves simultaneously into the separation area. The
operator picks up the fixture with complete PCBs
and replaces it with a new one.
•The use of PCI-1240U together with machine vision software has resulted in a PCB separator
with cutting precision of ±0.01 mm.
•The interpolation features of PCI-1240U made it unproblematic to perform cutting of rounded and
irregular PCB shapes.
•With a PC-based system, integration with machine vision software was quick and easy
•The customer was so pleased with the semi-automatic PCB separator that another fullyautomatic model has since been designed with Advantech products.
Product Implementation
•PCI-1240U is a 4-axis universal PCI stepping/
pulse-type servo motor control card, and was
used to control the laser movement in this
•PCI-1750 is a 32-ch isolated digital I/O
and counter card, used for simple fixture
movement, sensor input signals, operator
interface communications, and on/off control
for the laser.
•Both cards are placed in an IPC-644 4-slot
MicroBox Desktop/Wallmount Chassis for
compact and protected storage.
32-ch Isolated Digital I/O and
Counter Card
Digital Input/Output
Motion Control
Switch, Button and
Miller Mechanism
4-axis Universal PCI Stepping/
Pulse-type Servo Motor Control
SMT/PCB Line Mounter
SMT/PCB Industrial Assembly
Project Requirements
In the electronics industry, mass production has become a necessity for any manufacturer who
hopes to succeed. To keep pace with market demands, the traditional methods of manual labor
have become obsolete; so much so that no company can survive without the help of an automated
solution. PC-based pick & place machines can quickly and accurately place the right component
to the right place, with live updates. Our customer wished to upgrade to an automated pick &
place machine to increase their production and streamline their manufacturing process.
In the manufacturing process for PCB boards,
complexity and preciseness are extremely critical.
With a PC-based automated pick & place machine,
the entire manufacturing process is much more cost
effective. Furthermore, it increases high-density
interconnect (HDI) and high layer count (HLC). In
order to formulate such a machine, the following
control components are required:
•A central control card to manage motion and
data processing
•A motion control card to command the
movements of the mechanical station
Solution Description
One of the current implementations uses a PLC to
control the nozzle, and a PC-based controller to
integrate product information to MES. However,
this is not very efficient; the need to maintain two
different technologies is cumbersome and time
consuming. The newly proposed solution with a
plug-in motion control card integrates nozzle control
and production information to MES in one system,
and can be made possible with Advantech’s PCI1240U. PCI-1240U provides 4-axis stepping and
pulse-type motion control. Moreover, the onboard
intelligent motion ASIC builds in a variety of motion
control functions such as 2/3-axis linear interpolation,
circuit interpolation, T/S-curve acceleration and
deceleration. These functions can be performed
without processor loading during operation.
Keeping pace with new technology trends is always difficult. With a PC-based pick-and-place machine,
however, our customer will have luxury of expansion capabilities, and increase their overall efficiency. The
goal of staying on top of the high manufacturing status can be fulfilled.
•High speed placement of smaller SMT components
•Low loss ratio improving placement reliability
•Using a PC-based system to reduce the system cost and easy to expand
•PC-based architecture can be integrated with MES to achieve low loss ratio, improving placement
Another important process in the automation solution
is quality control. There should be sensors checking
the quality and accuracy of each PCB board.
Advantech’s PCI-1756 provides 32 isolated digital
inputs and 32 isolated digital outputs with channelfreeze functionality. It allows reset protection function
which enables the default configuration in the event
of an incorrect operation during an unexpected
system reset. The final product quality can be easily
ensured, and overall, the performance level can be
raised significantly. .
Digital Input/Output
64-ch Isolated Digital I/O Card
Motion Control
Nozzle Mechanism
Switch and Button
4-axis Universal PCI Stepping/
Pulse-type Servo Motor Control
Auto-Optical Solder Inspection
SMT/PCB Industrial Assembly
Project Requirements
Printed Circuit Boards are used in virtually every electronic device today, from cellular phones
and personal computers to industrial and medical machinery. One of the most integral steps in
assembling Circuit Boards is the solder placement.
Our customer was using an outdated system that
required 2 expensive machines, one for machine
vision and one for machine control. Furthermore, this
system was only capable of 2D solder inspection,
which is not good at judging the corners/angles of
the placement and can cause weak connections,
leading to faulty boards and potential short-circuits.
They desired to have an entirely new system, with
the following requirements:
Our customer was having issues in the creation of their Circuit Boards with misplaced and weak
solder joints. Furthermore, they were using 2 separate machines for 2D solder inspection. To
save costs, increase reliability, and speed up the inspection process, the customer wanted
only 1 machine that could handle machine vision and control with 3D solder inspection
•They wanted 1 machine that could handle
both machine vision and control
•The system needed to have 3D solder
inspection capabilities
•They wanted a higher-performance PC-based
•The system needed to have high inspection
accuracy with high-speed motion control
•They wanted a system that required less
Solution Description
The system is comprised of an Optical
Inspection machine which examines
the surface of the PCB board. In the
machine architecture, there are 2
subsystems, one for moving the PCB
board and the other for visual quality
inspection. These systems work independently
within the machine providing a combined solution.
In this application, the motion “trajectories” are sent
from the host to the drives. The drives interpret the
trajectories and drive the servo motors accordingly.
The drives also run supervisory monitoring programs
and can execute a programmed script that is stored
in flash memory.
Previously, a centralized controller with a PC frontend was used to interface with I/O pneumatics
and the motion system. This put the burden of the
machine control on a single processing system in
which all devices received commands and reported
back data (feedback position, sensor state, etc.).
Advantech’s PCI-1240U was applied for the highspeed motion control, giving the added performance
from motors. For the I/O card architecture,
Advantech’s PCI-1751U DI/O card is applied, helping
the moving motor control different lighting for visual
judgment, which helps make the inspection clear
and reliable.
By combining Advantech’s PCI-1240U and PCI-1751U cards, a high-performance, highly reliable, and
cost-effective solution was found. The customer now had 1 machine that controlled machine vision and
motion control, with 3D solder inspection capabilities. Furthermore, the system provided the following
•3D solder paste printing inspection machine
•Ultra simple and highly precise in-line PCB inspection system
•Ultra high-speed inspection
•Real-time judgments of failed patterns
•High-speed and easy Human Machine Interface
•SPC (Statistical Process Control) System providing Online fault Pareto listing
The main purpose of an SPC (Statistical Process Control) System is to collect quality-related data during
production process for further statistical analysis, and to discover any abnormality in the production
Having two subsystems running independently
(automatic soldering application and automatic
visual inspection) with the ability to interact with
each other for coordinated motion, allowed the
overall machine to provide 20% more throughput.
This, coupled with a quicker changeover process,
provided greater machine utilization when smaller
production runs dictated machine usage.
48-bit Universal Digital I/O and
Counter Card
Digital Input/Output
Motion Control
Switch, Button and
Optical Inspection
4-axis Universal PCI Stepping/
Pulse-type Servo Motor Control
Automatic Solder Dispenser
SMT/PCB Industrial Assembly
Project Requirements
According to Moore’s Law, the number of transistors doubles on integrated circuits every 18
months. This shows that the electronic components become smaller and more complex as
technology improves. For SMT/PCB board, same story applies. More components are needed
to be implemented and the gaps between pins are narrower. Therefore, it is inevitable to have
an accurate and fast dispenser for mass production. With Advantech’s automation solution,
the PC-based operating system can cope with the technology growth and future trend.
Soldering components on each SMT/PCB board is
not a simple task. It not only requires identifying the
orientation of the board, but also adjusts the quantity
of the glue for each component on the board. Thus,
the dispenser needs to have a large data flow and
allows a variety of soldering motions. To formulate
such a system, we need the following components:
•A motion control card commanding all the
•An isolated digital I/O card for data
communications and handshakes
Solution Description
The purpose of a dispenser is to enhance mounting
large-sized components on SMT/PCB boards.
When a SMT/PCB board is on a move through the
assembly line, there is a tendency that the large
components may shift out of the position. Therefore,
the glue from the dispenser between the board and
components are used to ensure an accurate and
stable placement.
As technology thrives, the role of the dispenser is
necessary in the process of manufacturing SMT/PCB
boards. With the help of Advantech’s automation
solution, the combination of PCI-1756 and PCI1240U can support the needs of a dispenser and
fully operate to its maximum efficiency.
Before any glue can be implemented, the sensor
needs to detect the order of the board for traffic
control. Furthermore, it ensures the perfect
orientation for the components on the board
avoiding the future short or open circuit problems.
With Advantech’s PCI-1756, a variety of sensors
can be implemented possible. It allows a large data
flow between stations, and more external controls
are enabled.
For the central control, Advantech’s PCI-1240U is
the best choice for the job. It not only allows a variety
of motion movements for gluing, but also keeps
tracks of traffic control. Large data flow of the I/O
and the device itself will not be a problem. Moreover,
the control card is PC compatible which also means
a large expansion capability.
Digital Input/Output
64-ch Isolated Digital I/O Card
Switch, Button and
4-axis Universal PCI Stepping/
Pulse-type Servo Motor Control
Dispenser Mechanism
Quality Control of Frequencies for Mobile Phones
Electronics Assembly
Project Requirements
The high cost of state-of-the-art quality control systems for mobile phones has created a
demand for more cost-effective alternatives. A leading ODM mobile phone manufacturer in
Taiwan found such an alternative with Advantech. Standard products from Advantech were
used to verify GSM and GPRS signals of mobile phones. The basic quality control procedure
for frequencies used to require the phone to be tested, an operator, a test instrument, and a
test station. This test would take approximately 1 minute per phone.
Although a fully-automatic system would be ideal,
there are usually many different mobile phone
models running on a production line. It is therefore
rarely cost-effective to replace an operator with a
robotic arm to move mobile phones in and out of the
test stations. The goal here is therefore to reduce the
working process of the operator to the simplest tasks
possible. In this case, the process was reduced to
placing and removing mobile phones from a test
station, discarding any malfunctioning units.
After implementing the new test equipment, the testing time was reduced to one operator using
4 test stations to simultaneously check 4 phones in 20 seconds; an output improvement of
1,200%. Reduced human error was another bonus, and the entire process is now accomplished
at the fraction of the cost of a high-end, quality control system.
Solution Description
The new process starts with an operator placing
4 mobile phones into the 4 test stations, and then
pressing a button to start the test. The PCI-1762
is used as a multiplexer to switch between output
channels, creating a connection between the analog
signals from the PCI-1723 and the mobile phones.
PCI-1723 sends an analog output signal to each of
the mobile phones. This simulates a dial-out signal,
and the phone responds by sending out a 900 MHz
GSM signal. This signal goes to the Agilent 8960
instrument, which measures the frequency and
passes this information on to IPC-6806 via the
PCI-1670 GPIB card. The measured frequency is
captured by software and beep codes are output to
signal to the operator if the frequency is within the
acceptable range. (Visual signals are also possible
with VGA output to a screen).
The steps are repeated two more times to test 1.8
GHz GSM and GPRS signals.
Software takes care of switching from one test
mode to the next, so the operator simply places
mobile phones into the fixture, and listens to audio
signals to see if the phone passes the test. After the
three modes have been tested, the test results are
automatically stored in a database together with the
product’s serial number. The operator removes the
phones from the fixtures, and replaces them with
four new phones.
Before this system was implemented, the operator
would have to manually adjust the instrument to
the wanted frequency range. Then dial out using
the keypad of the mobile phone, and check if the
frequency was correct by reading the frequency
displayed on the instrument. The test data was then
entered into a database by hand. Obviously, there
was room for many human errors as one minute
was not much time to complete all the required
Project Implementation
•Agilent 8960 Test instrument with 2 frequency input channels
•Increased output of approximately 1,200%
•Fewer human errors with automated quality control
•More efficient usage of equipment with one operator using four test stations and two instruments.
•Scalability. The system diagram shows a system where the Agilent instruments are the bottleneck
as they only have two input channels. The cards currently in this system together with eight
instruments with two channels each would have a capacity of 16 phones
•Adaptable; minor modifications can make the system capable of running many similar tests
•Open standard; a variety of suppliers for all components in the solution
Although this solution is specific for mobile phones,
similar solutions can be used for testing PDAs,
CD-ROMs and other electronics. Together with
Advantech engineers, you can develop a customized
solution that removes the bottlenecks in your quality
test system.
Agilent 8960
Verify GSM, GPRS signal
Relay Actuator and Isolated D/I Card
Non-isolated Analog Output Card
GPIB Interface PCI-bus Card
Agilent 8960
Verify GSM, GPRS signal
Keypad Quality Control for Mobile Phones
Electronics Assembly
Project Requirements
One of the basic tests in the Quality Control of mobile phones is checking the output signals
after pressing keys on the keypad. This can be done manually by an operator (pressing the
keys one by one and verifying the signal output with a multimeter), but a far more efficient
and quality-assuring process can be created with a few Advantech I/O cards and a fixture. A
leading ODM mobile phone manufacturer in China created a solution with the PCI-1758UDIO
to drive mechanical silicon fingers, and a PCI-1711L to capture the output signals from the
phone. This simplified the operator’s tasks, reduced errors, and increased the overall speed
and efficiency of the testing process.
In mobile phone production lines there are usually
many different models being quality tested
simultaneously, making it very problematic to depend
on a fully automated system. Human operators are
required in order to manually place each phone
into a corresponding test station, and make quick
judgments when discarding malfunctioning units. In
this type of production line, it is better to increase
the efficiency of human operators rather than work
towards creating an automated system.
Solution Description
The process starts with the operator placing the
phone in the test station’s fixture and pressing a
button. This sends a signal to a digital input channel
on PCI-1758UDIO, which initiates the test program
on IPC-6806. The test starts with PCI-1758UDIO
sending a digital output signal to a relay on the fixture,
which starts the mechanical process of pressing a
silicon finger towards the first key on the phone’s
keypad. At touchdown, several functions will activate
(depending on phone model).
If a numeric key is activated, a digital output code
for the Touchtone signal is output to PCI-1711L, and
compared to the correct codes by software.
Pressing a numeric key should also make the speaker
of the phone output an analog output signal at the
correct frequency. This is tested by an analog input
of PCI-1711L. For color LCD displays, the difference
in voltage levels defines the color. By testing these
voltage signals with PCI-1711L, correct color
display can also be tested.
After verifying the various functions of the first key,
a signal goes to PCI-1758UDIO to inform that it can
proceed to the next key. The process continues to
check each key on the keypad. When complete, a
digital output channel is used to alert the operator
so that the tested phone can be exchanged with a
new one.
•The new system has led to clear productivity and quality improvements. The keypad functionality
test has reduced testing processes from a minute to 5 seconds, and test accuracy has increased
from 95.7% to 100%
•The system is adaptable as minor modifications can make the system capable of running many
similar tests, and adding identical cards can increase capacity
•With open standard components, there is a choice of suppliers for the application
If a key press results in an error, it can halt the
output of signals for the silicon fingers, and wait
for operator action. The system can also record the
error into the database together with information
on where in the test procedure the error occurred
and the serial number of the product. This makes it
easier for production engineers to troubleshoot the
production line and do quicker repairs.
The system diagram shows a well balanced system
to test four phones simultaneously, but can easily be
scaled by adding more cards. PCI-1758UDIO can
activate the 16 numeric keys on four phones with its
64 output channels.
The 16 digital inputs of PCI-1711L are used to
capture the digital Touchtone codes (four channels
per phone), while the 16 analog inputs are used for
testing the LCD, LEDs and speaker. The 16 digital
outputs can be used to activate more silicon fingers
for extra function keys, bringing the maximum
number of keys on a phone up to 20.
Active Silicon
128-ch Isolated Digital I/O
100 kS/s, 12-bit , 16-ch S.E.
Input Low-cost Multifuction
Card w/o AO Function
Color LCD Display
High-Precision Motion Control for 3D Laser Engraving
Electronics Assembly
Project Requirements
Although lasers have become a widely accepted tool in the industrial market, many 3D laser
engraving machines are still being driven by proprietary systems. While functional, these
systems lack the high-performance and high-accuracy capabilities that many of today’s
demanding optoelectronic applications require.
A customer needed to engrave 3D patterns with over
10,000 cuts into tiny plastic cubes. To engrave these
intricate patterns on such a small scale requires an
extremely accurate laser with precise control of
timing, energy, and accuracy.
For a machine producer in China, Advantech products were used for upgrading their laser
engraving system to a PC-based system with higher performance, higher accuracy, increased
speed, and better stability.
Additionally, our customer wanted to increase
their production runs. This could be accomplished
through quicker loading of the pattern files into the
production line.
Solution Description
The process starts with the operator placing a tray
of 12 plastic cubes onto the machine’s fixture, and
then loading the 3D pattern file. A button is pressed
on the fixture to start the laser engraving process.
A signal is sent to a digital input channel on the PCI1240U motion control card, the pattern file is read,
and the moving table goes to the highest point of the
vertical Z-axis and the starting point for the X and Y
axes. The twelve mirrors and lenses are moved in
position over the 12 cubes.
By engraving one horizontal layer at a time, a simple
stepping motor can be used for vertical control,
while a more complicated servo motor can be used
for horizontal control to allow greater speed.
The 4th axis of the motion control card is used
to move the laser from its secure position to the
engraving position, while a digital output signal is
used to light up a warning indicator to show that the
laser is active. A digital output of PCI-1240U is used
to switch on the laser that carves the first point of
the first layer.
PCI-1240U switches off the laser after the allocated
time, as the size of the cut depends on the time spent
engraving. The table moves to the next point on the
same layer where PCI-1240U again fires the laser.
When all points on the same layer have been carved,
PCI-1240U moves the table down along the Z-axis
to create a higher layer of cuts. On completion, the
laser is moved back to its secure position and the
warning indicator is switched off. The operator takes
the tray with crystals and replaces it with another.
•The new solution doubled the speed from 500 kbps to 1 Mbps, saving the customer time &
money and effectively doubling their output
•By moving from their old proprietary system to a PC-based system, training operators became
easier, and the complexity of patterns could be increased due to the higher memory and storage
capacity. Programming the PC was also cheaper than earlier proprietary programming, and with
the high costs of proprietary system, this PC-based solution was clearly a more economical
•The new system has more precise position control for the lenses and the moving table.
•The on/off switching time is shorter
•The patterns could be changed much easier, which means that shorter production cycles were
Motion Control and Digital Input/Output
4-axis Universal PCI Stepping/Pulse-type Servo
Motor Control Card
Laser and 3-axis Robot
Tube Bending Machine
Electronics Assembly
Project Requirements
As creative technology improves, new metal alloys have become stronger, lighter, and more
durable. Many of these new metal products are being used in the airplane and aerospace
industries, which require strong, light metal tubes with complex shapes and curves. Therefore,
having a quality PC-based bending machine is extremely important to ensure correct bending
angles, appropriate stress limits, and to provide real-time motion control.
Metal tube bending machines may seem simple,
but hidden behind the bulky machinery lies complex
software programs that are the result of years of
research. To ensure that bending does not weaken
the tube, the machine has to take some factors
into consideration, such as the materials’ property,
density, weight, size, angle, shape, and more.
Normally the machine makers utilize PC-based
software to analyze these parameters, and then
transfer the profile into a specific data format to
meet the proprietary machine controller’s language.
This can be costly, however, as it requires at least
two engineers to handle the PC-based software and
machine controller. By adopting a PC-based machine
controller, material analysis and data transfer can be
achieved while saving time and money. In order to
formulate such a machine, we need the following
•A card to act as the master; to control the data
and communication between stations
•A high rate controlling card to manage the
motion of each mechanism
Solution Description
Bending machines function by taking advantage of
separate motors to create differential torque. A tube
traveling through the motors will be bent due to this
opposing force. Sensors will then perform quality
checks on the bent tube to ensure proper shape and
smoothness. For a voltage type driver controlling
motor speed and torque, Advantech’s PCI-1241 uses
an ASIC with a DDA (Digital Differential Analyzer) for
4-axis servo positioning and synchronizing controls
in order to evenly move the axis. Furthermore, the
closed-loop control is implemented with P control,
and -10 to +10V signals are used for outputs to the
servo motor driver. With PCI-1241’s 128 isolated
digital input and outputs, functional expansions are
made possible.
In order to operate such a delicate job, using voltage command motion control cards from Advantech
is the optimal solution. The high bit control and data acquisition rates ensure quality and preciseness of
the tube.
•PC’s are easily selected by touch limiting potential errors
•Computer modem dial up link with factory service center for software upgrades and operational
•Operators can set up the pop feeding/stop position and protection device for easier control and
Before any bendling can be implemented, the sensor
needs to detect the metal tube for length control.
Furthermore, it ensures the perfect shape for the
metal tube avoiding the unexpected operation. With
Advantech’s PCI-1756, a variety of sensors can be
implemented. It allows a large data flow between
stations, and more external controls are enabled.
Digital Input/Output
64-ch Isolated Digital I/O Card
Motion Control
4-axis Voltage-type Servo Motor
Control Card
Switch and Button
Bending Mechanism
Wiring Table
Panasonic® MINAS-A
Yaskawa® SGDM
Mitsubishi® MR-J2S
Oriental® LIMO EZMC
Please verify specifications before quoting. This guide is intended for reference purposes only.
All product specifications are subject to change without notice.
No part of this publication may be reproduced in any form or by any means, electronic, photocopying, recording or otherwise,
without prior written permission of the publisher.
All brand and product names are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective companies.
© Advantech Co., Ltd. 2006