This project is funded by US
Dept. of Education, FIPSE grant P116B70787
The manufacturing equipment that the WISETutor models is the chip insertion
(or chipshooter) machine. It is a type of sophisticated machine that
is common to many complex electronic manufacturing lines that produce complex
circuit boards. The machine is depicted in figure 1 (front
view) and figure 2 (back view). The different types of chips to be
put on the circuit boards are sorted and put on difficult tapes that are
rolled up in a set of wheels. (see Figure 3). These wheels
are loaded on the insertion machine. One can image the chip shooter
machine similar to a Gatling gun with belts of different types of bullets.
Bare boards go into the machine. The insertion machine is programmed
to pull the tapes. A set of rotating heads (see figure 4) takes the
chips from the tapes and inserts them onto the circuit board. The
populated boards come out the other end of the machine.
Figure 1 – Front view of the Chip Insertion Machine
Figure 2 – Rear view of the insertion machine
Figure 3 – Components wheels containing the chips to be inserted by the insert heads onto the board
Figure 4 – Insertion heads where chips are picked up from the tapes
and inserted onto the boards.
Traditionally, the students learn to operate these machines by attending classes (about one week) and then be mentored while they are assigned to the machine. The WISE Tutor is designed to complement these traditional learning methods by providing the students with a set of problem solving exercises for them to practice, to identify trouble spots, and to implement fixes. These exercises can be done without the students taking up very valuable real machine time.
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