Automatic parts kitting with this innovative SMD tape slicer

No one likes a tedious manual work that is prone to repetitive stress trauma and such tasks appropriately inspire an automated solution. This automatic SMD tape cutter is a good example of automating this type of work, leaving plenty of room for further development.

We’re used to seeing such strategic automation projects [Mr Innovative], Each of which focuses on a strangely specific task. In this case, the task involves cutting a strip from a reel containing a certain number of SMD resistors, presumably to assemble a kit of parts. The process is simple: a stepper motor with a rubber friction wheel to run the tape and a bad looking guillotine to cut the tape. The cutter is particularly attractive because it carries a holder for a razor blade using a short length linear bearing that is mounted vertically with SMD tape. The holder is mounted on a small motor through a crank, and when the correct number of parts are fed, the motor makes one rotation, quickly lowers the angular blade, and then backs up. This results in a shearing cut instead of a clipping action in this automatic wire cutter, also [Mr Innovative].

Interestingly, there seems to be no response mechanism to measure how many resistors have been distributed. We think [Mr Innovative] Only the steps are being counted, but integrating the photosensor seems to be easy enough to count the number of drive sprocket holes on the tape. It also looks like a few simple changes will allow this machine to accommodate SMD tapes of different sizes, making it generally suitable for SMD cutting. It’s still great as a strategic project, though, and does a great job of inspiring future improvements.

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