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Method and device for conditioning electronic components into tubes and electronic component outputting device

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000032337D
Publication Date: 2004-Nov-01

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database

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Method and device for conditioning electronic components into tubes and electronic component outputting device

       The present invention concerns a method and a device for conditioning electronic components into tubes. The present invention also concerns a device for conditioning electronic components into tubes which can also be used for extracting components from conditioning tubes.

Electronic components are generally conditioned in tubes,

 5 generally of rigid antistatic plastic of globally rectangular section, offering good mechanical protection and in particular permitting their transport. In certain cases, the tube's profile is specifically adapted to the type of component it contains, for example to the shape and distribution of their pins. During their conditioning, the components are slid one after the other 10 into a tube, in which they are held one behind the other. The tubes are closed at each extremity by a generally crude stopper designed to prevent the components from coming out.

          In order for them to be subsequently processed, for example by a testing line or by a printed circuit populating device, the components must 15 be extracted from the tubes. This operation is generally performed by a feeding device that, after having extracted the electronic components from the tubes, transports them to a location from where they will for example be transferred onto the testing line or the printed circuit populating device.

Most of the prior art devices use the force of gravity in order to

20 have the components slide out of the tubes. One of the two stoppers closing the two extremities of each tube is removed. The tubes containing the components are then placed, generally horizontally, in a receptacle from where they will be taken one after the other. The closed extremity of the sampled tube is elevated by means of an often complex mechanism, 25 having the electronic components slide towards the tube's open extremity. However, since the components must preferably be placed horizontally for them to be transferred to another device, their orientation when exiting the tube must be corrected. The components are thus generally slid from

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the tube onto a curved conveyor that will bring them in the desired position.

          These prior art devices have several disadvantages. The mechanism allowing one extremity of the tube to be raised is often complicated and its processing speed is limited. Furthermore, curved 5 conveyors are delicate and costly to make. They are generally guides having a very precise profile along which the components slide under the effect of the gravitational force. With generally increasing rates of processing lines and decreasing sizes of components, these guides must be machined with a very high degree of accuracy in order for the components to be able to 10 slide on them with the necessary throughput and precision. Each time the type of component processed by the device changes, a new guide must be instal...