Barcode Match in Electronics Manufacturing: A Use Case

Electronics manufacturing is a highly automated operation. A bare circuit board provides the substrate and connectivity for an array of components mounted to the board, providing its electronic functionality.

The completed circuit board is fabricated by numerically controlled (NC) pick and place machines, inserting the electronic components—diodes, resisters, semi-conductors and other types of components—onto the board. It is a high-speed robotic process, which requires precise placement of the components, whose contacts must align to contact pads or drilled holes on the circuit board. Components packaged on rolls, similar to a belt of bullets on a machine gun, feed inserters positioned over the circuit board passing under them.

A Production Manager’s Nightmare

Workers monitor the process and replenish rolls of components on the feeds. It is imperative that the feeders are loaded with the correct reels of components. It is not a difficult task but the reels often look very much alike. A mistake here is disastrous. Up to 5000 wrong parts on circuit boards can result in many days of expensive rework time—expensive not only in terms of man hours but also in delayed shipments and dissatisfied customers. Losses are also incurred when components are destroyed—and sometimes the bare boards too—attempting to insert wrong components into incompatible hole patterns.

Matching the part number of a reel of components to the assembly manifest is a simple task for the range of barcode match devices from Barcode Test LLC.  The very adaptable Android app can use a smart phone camera to scan and test the barcode match, or it can interface to a Bluetooth scanner and confirm the match. It works equally well with handheld, hands-free and fixed mount scanners.

Barcode match solutions from Barcode Test LLC range from the simple, inexpensive Android app to customized, user-spec software pre-installed on PDT’s. View demo videos and download data sheets at or contact technical sales at 630-235-6077.

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