We made a comparison among the main 4 methods of connectors packaging systems. From tape and reel to plastic IC tubes, there are many ways to pack and ship connectors and small electronic devices and parts of.
We at Plastex are specialized in Tube IC Packaging and we believe that customized packaging can make a difference in the production chain of our customers. This particular packaging method is fast to unpack and easy to handle and can avoid the risk of damage to the connectors during handling and transportation.
We wish to take a look at the four principal methods of packing
Tape and reel is a packaging process in which connectors are loaded into individual spaces within a pocket belt or conveyor belt. In the tape and reel method, connectors are placed into carefully designed pockets in the plastic conveyor belt. A cover tape is sealed to the carrier tape to protect the components in their proper position.
The tape is then wound onto a rigid plastic spool that provides protection during handling and storage. These spools are dust-free and stored in a clean environment. The reel is later enclosed in one for shipment to the customer.
Tray packing types are best suited for the safe storage and transportation of larger pieces that are not compatible with the tape and reel system. This type of packaging is used to improve safety during transportation.
Trays are packed and shipped in multiples and are stacked and tightly bound together for stable support. Customers can choose units in single or multiple stacks, depending on individual specifications.
The thermoformed tray is a less durable system and can become damaged over time. Soft trays sometimes cannot support the weight of the pick-and-place robotic arm.
In these cases, rigid injection-molded trays are used. This type of packaging involves high production costs and is only recommended in cases where soft trays do not fit.
A designed hollow packaging container made of plastic is called tube (or stick) packaging. Parts are positioned in a row, and its special design allows the sliding inside and out of the tube itself with no damages of weaker parts.
Tube packing allows safe storage and transportation of larger parts that do not fit comfortably in tape packing. In this method, component sets are arranged in tubes that are isolated from the environment.
Advantages of Tube Packaging
- Tube packaging offers an advantage for customers dealing with bags of parts in the lab on a day-to-day basis, and the added protection of a plastic shield can add an extra measure of durability for components during shipping and receiving
- This added durability could mean lower levels of production loss, resulting in fewer components purchased for the same number of finished PC boards. This does not happen in every case due to drop testing and verifying other packaging methods.