Each electronic component sits inside a pocket on a reel of tape.
The tape is fed into the machine and the component picked out by a vacuum nozzle on the machine's mounting head, before being placed on the board.
An optical inspection system checks the alignment and positioning of each component, precisely lining them up with the correct solder point.
The machines monitor how many components are left and automatically order replacements ahead of time so the supply never runs dry.
Photo: Nick Heath / TechRepublic