Automatic Handlers



Sigma Environmental Test Handlers

The SIGMA series is the summation of every feature our customers have asked for in an SMD handler - there is no other test handler that combines these key elements at ANY price.

• Full Environmental Range
• Speaks Your Language
• A Serviceman's Dream
• The "Forgiving" Contact Set
• A Gentle Giant
• Dedicated to Change
• Practically Runs Itself
• Interfacing
• Mechanical
• Defrost Manifold
DUT Boards
• Quik-Change Kits





Full Environmental Range

Two basic SIGMA handlers are available -SIGMA 101provides ambient and elevated temperatures to + 155 degrees Celsius and SIGMA 102 offering the same elevated temperatures plus cold handling to - 55 degrees Celsius. A unique two-phase (liquid and gaseous) LN2 cycle in SIGMA102A provides the fastest possible cool-down and, because of the small contactor volume and its location (separate from the soak chamber), better contactor operation, fast purging and protection of critical mechanical assemblies is assured.

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Speaks Your Language

RS-232 and IEEE-488 communications are built into SIGMA to provide an easy fit into your factory automation system. Either one can operate simultaneously with standard discrete controls. Using either the built-in display or the selected communications, the operator is able to set or read any of the parameters within the handler including set temperatures in any of the zones, binning structure, soak times and many more.

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A Serviceman's Dream

Simplicity and straightforward design are the essence of SIGMA. Fewer moving parts means that when jams occur (as they do in every handler), troubleshooting is fast and spare parts requirements are kept to a minimum. Even during cold handling, jams can be cleared and SIGMA can be brought back on line in a matter of minutes without the typical frosting encountered with most cold handlers.

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The "Forgiving" Contact Set

A key component in the SIGMA handlers, our enhanced contact set provides high speed, high performance and long life. But most important, this long life contact set ensures low ohmic contact while also providing forgiveness for lack of coplanarity. Because of its unique design, it is likewise forgiving of variations in device dimension changes. With this revolutionary contact design, jams are a rare occurrence and, thanks to shielded device pins which can be grounded to your DUT board, you can also cross off crosstalk.

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A Gentle Giant

The seemingly self-canceling characteristics of ruggedness and gentle handling are brought together in SIGMA. Because of the simplicity of design, key mechanisms do not require delicate sub-structures, complex interconnects or critical alignments. The result - components are both precision-sensitive to the delicate devices they will handle and rugged enough to withstand the high throughput required of them.

This same design simplicity is applied to the handling dynamics of SIGMA via the easily adjustable gravity-flow input and output decks. The operator simply sets the angles required to provide the optimum gentle handling as determined by the device structure, and SIGMA does the rest.

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Dedicated to Change

The SIGMA family of handlers is the most versatile available today. They are capable of supporting device sizes in both ceramic leaded and leadless or plastic J-leaded packages from 18 to over 100 pins. "Quik-Change" kits allow "rededication" of SIGMA to other device types and back again in a matter of minutes. All change kit parts simply snap into place. This also allows the user to inexpensively re-dedicate an SMD handler to Mil-Spec DIP capability or to start with DIPs and later convert to SMD handling. These change kits are compatible with both hot and cold environments.

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Practically Runs Itself

SIGMA is a computerized, totally menu-driven, self-diagnostic handler. Both operation and maintenance are a one-man proposition with minimum training required. The user friendly software behind the control/display unit in SIGMA allows the operator or serviceman to completely follow a device through the handling process or single-step a device at any point to verify that all sensors and controls are operating properly. Password protection is also provided.

The ergonomically designed hardware features an easy-to-read CRT display, easy-to-use control panel and a 270° swivel capability of the control/display module to allow full accessibility from any position around the handler.

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Electrical and mechanical DUT interfacing to the SIGMA 101 and 102A is accomplished at the backplane of the handler.

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Mechanical - The SIGMA family of handlers is configured to accept a wide variety of standard docking mechanisms, manipulators, and test heads. We provide a series of docking kits and DUT interface boards to allow easy and convenient interfacing between the SIGMA handler and most popular test systems.

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Defrost Manifold - The use of LN2 for refrigeration in the SIGMA 102A handler requires particular care in the interface between the environmental zone and the ambient zone. The transfer of extreme cold energy to a more humid warmer area will cause frost build-up which may impair testing or affect test results.

One such interface is the CONTACT SET/DUT BOARD interface. Thermal energy transfer through the contact pins or through the contact set will cause frost to build up on the outside of the contact set or on the DUT board. SIGMA provides a flow of warm, dry N2 to this area in order to prevent such build-up. The area of contact set/DUT board is surrounded by a defrost manifold, creating a cavity into which N2 is fed. The slight positive pressure created by the dry N2 prevents frost build-up.

Each SIGMA 102A is supplied as standard with a Defrost Manifold Kit. This assembly kit, mounted to the backplane of the handler, surrounds the Contactor Bustle from which the contactor access pins protrude. These access pins are used to mount DUT boards or other test system DUT electrical interfaces. The applicable DUT board which is mounted onto the contactor either by soldering to the pins or using alternative mounting methods fits within the center of the Manifold or on top of the manifold (using electrically insulating material), forming a cover for the cavity in which the contactor sits. Nitrogen, which is burned off the soak chamber, is fed to the manifold to provide positive pressure within this contactor/DUT board cavity in order to purge this cavity and prevent frosting of the contactor and DUT during cold operation.

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DUT Boards

DUT (Device Under Test) boards are supplied unmounted and are available for numbers of device package styles and for most popular device test systems and their test heads.

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Quik-Change Kits

SIGMA Quik-Change Kits are designed to allow the SIGMA 101 or 102A to be rededicated to a specific device size. Each Quik-Change Kit consists of 7 assemblies which are “snapped" into place without adjustments of running surfaces or guide walls. Typical changeover time from one device size to another by an unskilled but trained person is approximately 20 minutes.

Each Quik-Change Kit is specific to a device size and a different kit is required whenever the dimensions of the device change beyond the limit of the running surfaces.

SMD Quik-Change Kits for the Sigma 101 and 102A are available for a wide range of devices from 18 to 84 leads, square or rectangular, for PLCCs and LCCs. Each kit consists of the following 7 assemblies:

  • Input Deck - Allows devices to be inserted into the soak chamber.
  • Input Shuttle - Moves devices from any of the 8 input tracks into the contactor assembly for insertion into the contact set.
  • Transfer Chute - Guides the device into the contactor assembly.
  • Contactor Assembly - Positions the device for insertion into the contact set while maintaining preset temperatures. Guides the device from the contactor assembly (after test) toward the output assembly.
  • Buffer Mechanism - Transfers the device from the contactor assembly to the output shuttle while maintaining "dead bug" orientation.
  • Output Shuttle - Moves devices from the buffer into one of 16 output tracks.
  • Output Deck - Devices are sorted into 1 of 16 programmable categories. Device tubes are inserted into ends of tracks for unloading devices.

All Quik-Change Kit running surfaces are conductive in order to eliminate ESD problems with sensitive devices.

DIP Quik-Change Kits also allow the SIGMA 102A to be rededicated for use as a DIP handler. These kits allows the manufacturers and users of DIP devices who are also considering the manufacture or use of SMD devices to prepare themselves with a low cost solution to their present handling problems. The DIP Change Kit consists of the same types of assemblies found in the standard Quik-Change Kits. Conversion time from SMD to DIP handling or back to SMD is less than 20 minutes.

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