Meet “Bullwinkle.” Lovingly named after everyone’s favorite fictional moose…


… see the resemblance?


Our Special Applications Team was recently tasked with picking and placing a very large and unique edge connector for a customer’s automotive industry application. The component is tray fed and, as you can see in the included picture (left), is placed in the tray in two positions (180 degrees difference in orientation).

Based on the size, weight and pick surface of this component, our team identified a Gripper for the InLine 4 head as the best tool for the job. Once we tested our new Gripper we realized that the force required to place it (12lbs) caused the component to break at each elbow. That is when our little “Bullwinkle” was born… our team custom designed aluminum arms that support the component and spread the down-force evenly at placement. We then created an operation in the machine software that allowed us to handle the reverse orientation location of the component within its tray.

End of story? Not really. “Bullwinkle” is only part of the larger puzzle that our team put together for this particular customer.


First, we had to pick and place a smaller tray-fed connector to the board using a separate Gripper in our arsenal.





Then we placed the larger component on top of the smaller connector and applied the required force to lock in place onto the board.


Lastly, we designed bowl feeders to supply the customers odd-form shields to a specially-designed gripper that could place the component with such balance that they could stand upright on a dry board… like balancing a nickel.