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Pick & place file / custom names for 'Top' and 'Bottom'

ErikAltium , 08-09-2022, 01:31 AM
Our Pick & Place machine requires the following format for the Pick & Place file:

Designator,Footprint,Mid X,Mid Y,Ref X,Ref Y,Pad X,pad Y,Layer,Rotation,CommentC1,C_0603_1608Metric,36.9,28.5,,,,,T,90,100n/0603
I've created a custom BOM output job in Altium, that has the correct columns in the correct order, and it looks like this:
Our Pick & Place machine doesn't accept this format, because of the 'Layer' column.
Altium automatically fills in "Top" or "Bottom", but our machine only accepts "T" or "B".

I tried to change layer names but this doesn't work, as the 'Layer' column by Altium seems to use built-in values for Top and Bottom.

For now, I open the file in some text editor and perform a 'replace all' action, but it would be great if i can skip this step.

Does anyone have an idea how I could achieve this? Can I change the names Altium uses for 'Top' and 'Bottom', or can I create some custom (automatic) field which shows T for Top and B for Bottom?, or use some kind of script?

I cannot change anything in the software of the Pick & Place machine.
WhoKnewKnows , 08-09-2022, 08:12 PM
Perhaps check with the machine vendor to see if they sell a PC software for manipulating CAM data and introducing it to the machine.

Back when I was a manufacturing consultant, I had CM clients who were pretty good with Excel and they could take any customer's CAM data and use Excel to massage it into something that worked with their machines. It's not nothing, but it is do-able.

Why do you use a BOM output instead of generating a pick and place file? I didn't realize you could get positioning data with the BOM report tool.
ErikAltium , 08-10-2022, 12:03 AM
The vendor doesn't offer any additional software.
We could use Excel or any other tool to modify the data before loading it into the machine, but if there is a way to avoid that step, that would be ideal.

We're using the BOM report tool because it offers a bit more flexibility. For example, the pick and place output adds a lot of header lines to the .csv file, which our pick and place machine cannot handle correctly. The BOM report tool adds only a single header line which is fine for our machine.

And yes, for the BOM report tool, you can use info from the schematic and ActiveBOM, but also from the PCB layout to get coordinates for each component.
qdrives , 08-10-2022, 03:25 PM
On https://techdocs.altium.com/display/...nce#PCBScripts they mention a script with the name "PCB outputs".
Point 3 states: "Generate an output (PickPlace and BOM)"
WhoKnewKnows , 08-10-2022, 09:45 PM
The Excel tool was a pretty big spreadsheet with lots of cascading functions, and they essentially would copy the text of the csv file from a text editor and past it into one place in the spreadsheet, after a brief pause for the spreadsheet to do its thing, they would copy a result from another part of the spreadsheet. They had a few different spreadsheets dedicated to various input sources, but they always output the same format. It was pretty cool to watch work.
robertferanec , 08-16-2022, 04:46 AM
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