All of the PCBs are assembled in arrays, which later need to be separated. Manual depaneling is carried out on smaller batch sizes and suitable PCB board layouts. A "pizza cutter" board separation device or by hand are both used to separate the boards.
For larger batches, we use automated depaneling machines. Here is how it works: by scanning the QR code on the PCB, the depanelizer automatically selects the right gripper and cutter for the design. Once the PCB arrives on the machine, it takes a picture of the fiducial markings and recalculates the cutting trajectory according to the actual position of the PCB. With the help of the fiducial recognition feature, the machine can cut with a stable accuracy of 100 microns. For even greater accuracy, a machine vision-aided cut inspection can be performed after the first cut to measure the actual position deviation of the cut.
The cutter spins and cuts the panel from the bottom. It revolves at a angular velocity of 60 thousand rotations per minute to ensure a fast tact time and optimal dust extraction. To further prevent dust accumulation during milling, an ionized air stream is blown at the top of the PCBA, and a vacuum nozzle removes the lifted dust from the bottom. The air stream removes the effects of electrostatic dust adhesion, and the vacuum completely removes dust from the machine environment.
During the cutting, a robotic hand with a gripper grabs the PCBA from above. Once the cuts are done, it carries them into a specifically designed tray.