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1. (WO2016188569) NACELLE, ENSEMBLE ET PROCÉDÉ DE MANIPULATION DE COMPOSANTS ÉLECTRONIQUES
Note: Texte fondé sur des processus automatiques de reconnaissance optique de caractères. Seule la version PDF a une valeur juridique

Claims

1 . A boat which comprises,

a surface on which a plurality of electronic components can be supported, the surface having a plurality holes defined therein through which a vacuum can be passed to hold components on the surface; and a first vacuum inlet which is in fluid communication with the plurality of holes, wherein the first vacuum inlet can be fluidly connected to a first vacuum generating means so that the first vacuum generating means can provide a vacuum at the plurality of holes;

a second vacuum inlet which is in fluid communication with the same plurality of holes with which the first vacuum inlet is in fluid communication with, wherein the second vacuum inlet can be fluidly connected to a second vacuum generating means so that the second vacuum generating means can provide a vacuum at the plurality of holes.

2. A boat according to claim 1 wherein the boat further comprises,

a single vacuum chamber which is provided below the surface of the boat;

wherein each of the plurality holes is in fluid communication with the single vacuum chamber; and

wherein the first vacuum inlet and the second vacuum inlet are each in fluid communication with said single vacuum chamber.

3. A boat according to claim 1 or 2, wherein the first vacuum inlet is configured such that it can be selectively fluidly connected to the first vacuum generating means so that the first vacuum generating means can provide a vacuum at the plurality of holes; and

wherein the second vacuum inlet is configured such that it can be selectively fluidly connected with an output of a second vacuum generating means such that the second vacuum generating means can provide a vacuum said plurality of holes.

4. A method of handling electrical components, using a boat according to any one of the preceding claims, the method comprising the steps of,

fluidly connecting the first vacuum inlet on the boat with a first vacuum generating means so that the first vacuum generating means is in fluid communication with the plurality of holes;

generating a vacuum at the plurality of holes using exclusively the first vacuum generating means;

placing a plurality of components on the surface of the boat as the first vacuum generating means exclusively generates a vacuum at the plurality of holes;

fluidly connecting second vacuum generating means to the second vacuum inlet, while the first vacuum inlet is fluidly connected to the first vacuum inlet, so that the second vacuum generating means and first vacuum generating means simultaneously provides a vacuum at the plurality of holes;

stopping the fluid communication between the first vacuum inlet on the boat and a first vacuum generating means so that a vacuum at the plurality of holes is generated by the second vacuum generating means exclusively.

5. A method according to claim 4 further comprising the steps of,

transporting the boat from a location where the components are placed on the surface of the boat, to another location, and

generating a vacuum at the plurality of holes using the first vacuum generating means exclusively, as the boat is being transported.

6. A method according to claim 4 or 5, wherein the method comprises the steps of,

receiving the boat into a loading area;

fluidly connecting the first vacuum inlet on the boat with a first vacuum generating means; and

wherein the step placing a plurality of components on the surface of the boat as the first vacuum generating means exclusively

generates a vacuum at the plurality of holes comprises, placing each of the plurality of components consecutively on the surface of the boat using a component handling heads provided on a rotatable turret.

7. A method according to any one of claims 4 - 6, wherein the step of fluidly connecting second vacuum generating means to the second vacuum inlet comprises,

receiving the boat into a gripper which has a conduit which is fluidly connected to the second vacuum generating means and wherein the conduit is positioned in the gripper such that when the boat is received into the gripper the conduit will be fluidly connected to the second vacuum inlet of the boat.

8. A method according to claim 7 wherein the gripper is provided on a rotary table, and wherein the method further comprises the steps of,

transporting the boat between a plurality of temperature control stations, by rotating the rotary table; and

adjusting the temperature of the boat using heating means and/or cooling means, when the boat is located in each of the temperature control stations.

9. A method according to claim 8 wherein the method further comprises the step of,

applying a vacuum to the boat when it is positioned in a temperature control station so as to reduce the air interface between the boat and temperature control station thereby increasing thermal conduction between the boat and heating means and/or cooling means.

10. A component handling assembly comprising,

one or more boats according to any one of the preceding claims.

1 1. A component handling assembly according to claim 10 wherein the assembly further comprises,

a first vacuum generating means which can be fluidly connected to the first vacuum inlet on the boat so that the first vacuum generating means is in fluid communication with the plurality of holes;

a means for placing a plurality of components on the surface of the boat as the first vacuum generating means exclusively generates a vacuum at the plurality of holes;

second vacuum generating means which can be fluidly connecting to the second vacuum inlet, while the first vacuum inlet is fluidly connected to the first vacuum inlet, so that the second vacuum generating means and first vacuum generating means can simultaneously provide a vacuum at the plurality of holes.

12. A component handling assembly according to claim 10 or 1 1 wherein the assembly further comprises,

a means for transporting the boat from a location where the components are placed on the surface of the boat, to another location, and and wherein the first vacuum generating means is configured so that it can generate a vacuum at the plurality of holes using the first vacuum generating means exclusively, as the boat is being transported.

13. A component handling assembly according to any one of claims 10-12, wherein the assembly further comprises,

a rotatable table having a plurality of grippers each of which can hold a boat; and

wherein each gripper has a conduit defined therein which is fluidly connected to the second vacuum generating means and is

positioned in the gripper such that when the boat is held by the gripper the conduit will be fluidly connected to the second vacuum inlet.

14. A component handling assembly according to any one of claims 10-13, wherein the assembly further comprises,

a platform having a plurality of temperature control station defined therein each of which can receive a boat; and

a heating and/or cooling means, which is arranged to be in thermal communication with the plurality of temperature control stations, for adjusting the temperature of boats which are located in a respective temperature control station.

1 5. A component handling assembly according to claim 14, wherein the assembly further comprises,

a third vacuum generating means which is fluidly connected to one or more temperature control stations such that it can apply a vacuum to boat(s) positioned in the or each temperature control station, so as to reduce the air interface between the boat(s) and the temperature control station, thereby increasing thermal conduction between the boat and heating means and/or cooling means.