Pick and place data

PnP data is usually generated by the CAD system used to design the PCB. If PnP data is not available, it can be created manually.

Typically, PnP data consists of four, five or six values per component:

  • Designator
  • X position (typically in mm, inch or mil)
  • Y position (same unit of measure)
  • Rotation in degrees (usually counter-clockwise)
  • Description (perhaps in several columns)
  • Side (top or bottom; bottom sometimes called mirrored)

Click on the Import button in the Pick and place actions toolbar to select a PnP file for import. Alternatively, click on the small down-arrow in the lower right corner of the button to import a file which is already attached to the product.

Some CAD systems generate separate top and bottom PnP files. In this case, use the Bottom button to import the bottom side PnP file.

Macaos automatically imports several PnP formats. For those which are not recognized, or which have some level of ambiguity, the Pick and Place Data Import dialog box helps to specify how the data should be interpreted for import.

PnP Import dialog
  • If necessary, specify the number of header rows to ignore, and the prefix character for comment lines.
  • Specify whether the input file has delimited or fixed-width columns. For delimited columns, specify the delimiter character (and quotation character, if necessary). For fixed-width columns, specify the column widths.
  • Specify the unit of measure used for X and Y coordinates. If incorrectly specified, the scale of the component layer will not match the scale of the PCB.
  • Specify whether rotations are clockwise or counter-clockwise.
  • Specify the input column numbers for each output field.

Once the data format has been correctly specified, click the OK button to import the data.

If the pick and place data does not have the same coordinate origin as the Gerber data, then the component symbols will be offset from their correct position on the board. This may be corrected by aligning the pick and place data with the Gerber data.