Title:
TAPE AND COMPONENTS FOR TAPE AND REEL PACKAGING
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A combination of a carrier tape and electronic components for a tape and reel product feed, includes components arranged along the carrier tape held by an adhesive surface. Also, a dispensing device receives the carrier tape and includes a mechanism for peeling the components from the carrier tape onto a staging surface. The mechanism includes a gap and the carrier tape extends through the gap and the components are peeled from the carrier tape over the gap and onto the staging surface. A method is provided for carrying components on a tape using an adhesive surface and peeling the components off of the tape in a controlled fashion, one component after another, onto a staging surface for removal by a pick device.



Inventors:
Ziberna, Frank J. (Winfield, IL, US)
Application Number:
13/864994
Publication Date:
10/23/2014
Filing Date:
04/17/2013
Assignee:
Bi-Link Metal Specialties, Inc. (Bloomingdale, IL, US)
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
156/247
International Classes:
B65D81/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
OSELE, MARK A
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Erickson Law Group, PC (WHEATON, IL, US)
Claims:
The invention claimed is:

1. A combination of a carrier tape and electronic components for a tape and reel product feed, comprising a plurality of components and a carrier tape having an adhesive surface, the components arranged along the carrier tape held by the adhesive surface.

2. An assembly for holding and dispensing components, comprising: a carrier tape having an adhesive surface; a dispensing device having a surface for receiving the carrier tape with components held on the adhesive surface and having a mechanism for peeling the components from the carrier tape.

3. The apparatus according to claim 2, wherein the dispensing device comprises a corner adjacent to a staging surface, wherein said carrier tape is drawn over said corner and components are peeled onto the staging surface.

4. The apparatus according to claim 3, wherein the dispensing device comprises a first block portion that carries the carrier tape and a second block portion that carries the staging surface and the corner is adjacent a gap between the first and second block portions, wherein the carrier tape extends through the gap and the components are peeled from the carrier tape over the gap and onto the staging surface.

5. The apparatus according to claim 4, wherein the first block portion is a separate piece from the second block portion.

6. The apparatus according to claim 4, comprising a cap portion that covers a top side of the carrier tape with components at least over the first block portion.

7. The apparatus according to claim 4, wherein the staging surface comprises a length at least as long as two components such that a lead component will be pushed along the staging surface by a trailing component being peeled off the carrier tape.

8. The apparatus according to claim 4, wherein the staging surface includes a pick up area wherein components are removed for processing, and including an optical sensor below the pick up area to communicate to machine control the presence or absence of a component in the pick up area.

9. A method of carrying components and dispensing components for assembly comprising the steps of: providing an elongated strip having an adhesive surface; applying components to the adhesive surface; providing a dispensing apparatus; feeding the elongated strip with attached components into the dispensing apparatus; using the dispensing apparatus, peeling components off of the elongated strip onto a staging surface.

10. The method of claim 9, wherein the step of peeling is further defined in that the staging surface has a pick up area, and wherein a trailing component peeled from the elongated strip pushes a leading component into the pick up area.

Description:

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

This invention relates to methods for packaging electronic components, and in particular to a tape and reel packaging process.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

A tape and reel packaging system is a system often used in the electronics industry for shipping surface mount devices for automated circuit board assembly. In tape and reel packaging systems, surface mounted electronic components such as capacitors, resisters, and substrates, and other components, are deposited into specifically designed pockets in a carrier tape, which provides a continuous array of pockets. A cover tape is used to seal the pockets to keep the components in place. The tape is then wound into a reel for packaging and shipping.

The reel is loaded for use with pick-and-place machines which can easily pick up the surface mount devices for placement when the reel is unwound and after the cover tape has been peeled back from the carrier tape. Surface mount devices contained in the reel can be fed through pick-and place machines at high speeds, and in a consistent orientation because the orientation of the component as it was packaged is preserved, thus saving time and facilitating placement by machines. The use of taped products in conjunction with a pick-and-place machine eliminates the need for additional equipment, such as part alignment and orientation devices.

Tape and reel packaging systems can hold hundreds to thousands of surface mounted components or devices which requires less frequent loading, thus reducing labor and manufacturing costs.

Existing carrier tape packaging systems typically include a carrier tape with a plurality of cavities or pockets arranged in a row, such as the packaging system described in U.S. Pat. Nos. 4,606,171 and 4,657,137, wherein small electronic components are placed in the pockets. A backing tape is used to seal the components in place within the cavities for shipping. The backing tape may be a thin flexible gel layer such as described in U.S. Pat. No. 5,524,765, which holds the component in place securely during the packaging, transporting, and loading process. U.S. Pat. No. 4,724,958 provides a carrier tape comprising a plurality of rows of cavities. The carrier tapes typically include a column of indexing holes that are used to drive the tape at a controlled rate.

The use of carrier tape with spaced apart formed pockets requires a precise placement of components into the pockets, typically done by pick and place robotic arms.

The present inventor has recognized the need for a carrier tape for holding components which decreases material costs as well as assembly costs of the components onto an article.

The present inventor has recognized the need for a carrier tape which reduces the thickness of the carrier tape and components for a more densely packed carrier tape/component reel.

The present inventor has recognized the need for a carrier tape which alleviates the requirement for precise placement of components into pockets on a carrier tape.

SUMMARY OF INVENTION

The invention provides a combination of a carrier tape and electronic components for a tape and reel product feed. The combination includes a plurality of components and a carrier tape having an adhesive surface, the components arranged along the carrier tape being held by the adhesive surface.

The invention also provides an assembly for holding and dispensing components that includes a carrier tape having an adhesive surface holding components and a dispensing device having a surface for receiving the carrier tape with components and having a mechanism for peeling the components from the carrier tape.

The dispensing device can also include a corner adjacent to a staging surface, wherein the carrier tape is drawn over the corner and components are peeled onto the staging surface. The dispensing device can include a first block portion that carries the carrier tape and a second block portion that carries the staging surface. The corner is adjacent to a gap between the first and second block portions, wherein the carrier tape extends through the gap and the components are peeled from the carrier tape over the gap and onto the staging surface.

The first block portion can be a separate piece from the second block portion. The dispensing device can include a cap portion that covers a top run of the carrier tape at least over the first block portion. The staging surface can comprise a length at least as long as two components such that a lead component will be pushed along the staging surface by a trailing component being peeled off the carrier tape either pushing directly or through an intervening component.

The staging surface can include a pick up area where components are removed for processing, and include an optical sensor below the pick up area to communicate to machine control the presence or absence of a component in the pick up area.

The invention also provides a method of carrying components and dispensing components for assembly. The method includes the steps of:

providing an elongated strip having an adhesive surface;

applying components to the adhesive surface;

providing a dispensing apparatus;

feeding the elongated strip with attached components into the dispensing apparatus; and

using the dispensing apparatus, peeling components off of the elongated strip onto a staging surface.

The step of peeling can also be further defined in that the staging surface has a pick up area, and wherein a trailing component peeled from the elongated strip pushes a leading component into the pick up area either directly or through an intervening component.

Numerous other advantages and features of the present invention will become readily apparent from the following detailed description of the invention and the embodiments thereof, from the claims and from the accompanying drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a carrier tape with held components;

FIG. 2 is a fragmentary, perspective view of a portion of a dispensing mechanism interacting with the carrier tape with held components of FIG. 1 with parts removed to view underlying parts;

FIG. 3 is a perspective view of the assembled dispensing mechanism interacting with the carrier tape with held components of FIG. 2 in a first stage of dispensing;

FIG. 4 is a perspective view of the assembled dispensing mechanism interacting with the carrier tape with held components of FIG. 3 in a second stage of dispensing;

FIG. 5 is a perspective view of the assembled dispensing mechanism interacting with the carrier tape with held components of FIG. 3 in a third stage of dispensing;

FIG. 5A is a sectional view taken generally along line 5A-5A of FIG. 5;

FIG. 5B is a sectional view taken generally along line 5B-5B of FIG. 5A;

FIG. 6 is a perspective view of the assembled dispensing mechanism interacting with the carrier tape with held components of FIG. 5 with a cover; and

FIG. 7 is a perspective view of an alternate carrier tape with held components.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

While this invention is susceptible of embodiment in many different forms, there are shown in the drawings, and will be described herein in detail, specific embodiments thereof with the understanding that the present disclosure is to be considered as an exemplification of the principles of the invention and is not intended to limit the invention to the specific embodiments illustrated.

FIG. 1 illustrates a combination 10 of carrier tape and components including a carrier tape 12 and components 20 according to an aspect of the invention. The carrier tape 12 includes an adhesive surface 22 having sufficient adhesion to releasably secure the components to the tape 12. The components 20 illustrated advantageously have flat bottoms to provide a sufficient interface between the components and the tape to ensure sticking of the components to the tape 12. The components can be electronic parts such as metal tabs, covers, circuit elements, board level components, capacitors, resistors, MEMS devices, and the like. The components can have a width U and a length V and be spaced apart in the longitudinal direction L by a spacing S. According to the illustrated embodiment the dimensions U can be 3 mm, V can be 8 mm and the spacing S can be 0.50 mm. Other sizes and spacings are possible. The tape 12 can have a width W that is less than the width V as shown, although a width W of equal to or greater than the width V is possible. Although a linear upper run and a linear lower run of combination 10 are shown it is understood that the combination 10 would be wound and stored in a reel and unrolled and dispensed into the upper run on the right side of FIG. 1 or the left side in FIG. 2.

FIG. 2 illustrates the combination 10 engaged with a dispensing apparatus 28. Parts of the dispensing apparatus are removed in order to view underlying parts. The combination 10 is wrapped around a guide block 30 (see FIG. 5A) and moves longitudinally in the direction L1 on a top run from left to right and longitudinally in the direction L2 on a bottom run from right to left. The combination 10 is laterally guided by a side block 32 along a recessed sidewall 33. The guide block 30 includes a top surface 30a, a corner 30b and a curved under surface 30c. The top surface 30a, the corner 30b and the under surface 30c can have a consistent width X equal to or slightly wider than the width W of the tape 12 and preferably a lesser width than the width V of the components. The tape 12 is wrapped around the top surface 30a, the corner 30b and the under surface 30c of the guide block 30.

FIG. 3 illustrates the complete assembled apparatus 28 which includes a front side block 36 and an end block 40 which substantially conceal the guide block 30 in FIG. 3. The front side block 36 is substantially mirror image identical to the side block 32 across a vertical, longitudinal centerplane of the tape 12 except for being thinner in the lateral direction K. The side block 36 includes a recessed sidewall 41 parallel to the recessed sidewall 33 and together the sidewalls 33, 41 laterally guide the combination 10 for movement in the longitudinal direction L. The opposite lateral outer edges of the components 20 are closely fit against the sidewalls 33, 41 and are guided for longitudinal movement thereby. The end block 40 provides a guide indentation 42 that acts a staging area for components 20 peeled off the tape 12. The guide indentation includes recessed sidewalls 33a, 41a that are continuations of the recessed sidewalls 33, 41 and have the same depth. The recessed sidewalls 33a, 41a guide the lateral edges of the components 20 for longitudinal movement in the same way as the recessed sidewalls 33, 41. An optical sensor 44 is arranged below the indentation to sense the presence of a component reaching an end region of the indentation, referred to as a pick up position 46.

Carrier tape 12 is a continuous smooth ribbon-like film with a width “W” and a thickness “T” which are selected to suit the size and weight requirements of the electronic components 20. The carrier tape 12 may be made of plastic, such as polyester, polyvinyl chloride (PVC), and the like, or plain paper.

An electrically conductive carrier tape can be used for carrying electronic components which may be susceptible to damage due to an electrostatic charge. A carrier tape may be made electrically conductive, for example, by mixing carbon into a foamed plastic, such as polyethylene.

FIGS. 5A and 5B illustrate the corner 30b separated by a gap 30d from an indented edge 40e within a notched region 40n of the end block 40. The corner 30b fits partially into the notched region 40n. The tape 12 partially fills the gap 30d as it wraps around the corner 30b. the sensor 44 senses the presence of a components in the pick up area and communicates to a control 43 that can be used to control a pick and place apparatus for removing the component 20a and subsequent components from the pick up area.

FIGS. 3-5 illustrate a progression of components 20 peeled off of the tape 12. In FIG. 3 a first or leading component 20a is peeled from the tape as the tape is threaded down through the gap between the guide block and the end block. FIG. 4 shows the leading component 20a pushed to the right on the staging surface 42 by a trailing component 20b peeled off of the tape 12. FIG. 5 shows the leading component 20a pushed further to the right into a pick up area 46 by a subsequent component 20c peeled from the tape 12 pushing the trailing component 20b against the leading component 20a.

FIG. 6 illustrates a cover or cap 50 that can be fit over the combination 10 and the blocks 30, 32, 36 but leaving the pick up area 46 uncovered for access by a pick and place robot arm or the like to remove the component 20a and subsequent components.

FIG. 7 illustrates an alternate embodiment combination 10′ that includes the tape 12 and a different component 20′. In this embodiment the component can be any component, advantageously a component having a flat bottom, such as LED bulbs or lamps, for engagement by the adhesive side 22 of the tape 12. Each component can have a square base having side width Q and a longitudinal spacing R between components 20′ on the tape 12. The width Q can be 2.5 mm and the spacing R can be 0.3 mm. Other sizes and spacings are possible.

From the foregoing, it will be observed that numerous variations and modifications may be effected without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention. It is to be understood that no limitation with respect to the specific apparatus illustrated herein is intended or should be inferred.