Is there no standard for pick and place?

I don’t see this as the “lack of control” as in this case you could expect random orientation of individual parts.
It’s more “we don’t care” attitude if the manufacturer allows that one contractor does it consistently one way, and the other one another way. And if they can do it consistently their way, it could be done consistently right. If only someone would care about it/communicate this.

It seems that there is an opportunity to become a bearer of standards in this way. Maybe Kicad can lead at the front with regard to standards for Pick and Place and TR.

Perhaps a way to select orientation at any point and everything update accordingly. Probably more complicated than Im thinking with whats involved but hey… making standards is never easy :slight_smile:

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It’s not the EDA thing, it’s the EMS and components manufacturers thing.
There are standards for “Pin1 orientation” EDA notation (IPC-7351C).
However there’s no standard for the interpretation of the given data (some EMS do interpret rotation in relation to component orientation in the tray/reel [WRONG imo] instead of IPC-7351C). Parts manufacturers also do not seem to follow any rules when it comes to packaging in tapes/trays.

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I can only repeat what e.g. fred4u said, and refer to the KiCad Library Standard KLC, which was already quoted by paulvdh saying:

Footprints should be oriented such that Pin 1 is located in the upper left corner (IPC-7351).

Basically, KiCad already does everything it should do. The rest is up to the other parties involved.

I understand it may sound exciting to have KiCad doing different rotations etc. However, it doesn’t make the work easier for the user (pcb designer). It could make it easier only for the assembly factory, and even then they still have to check everything manually. There’s no way to escape the problem of non-standardized reels. Someone is responsible for translating between reel orientations and software data. It’s practically impossible to push that burden to the pcb designer and nobody would accept that. The assembly factories deal with it anyway all the time, for every order, they are used to it and know how it works.

We already have standards, KiCad already obeys them, the part manufacturers don’t do it that way.

When all the part manufacturers start to publish standardized files describing rotations for all their parts (order numbers), then KiCad could adopt that and do rotations automatically. On the other hand the assembly factory could do that as easily. Until then it’s enough for KiCad to use existing standards.


Well, some of these pains are alleviated by advancements in optical systems of modern pick-and-place machines but it still requires at least some manual checks and edits (i.e. the manufacturing data processing is not fully automated)