What is a Pick & Place machine?

Pick & Place machines are relatively sophisticated machines that, as the name indicates, pick up parts or items and place them in other locations. Pick & Place machines handle repetitive tasks while freeing up human workers to focus on more complex work. They are a key element of any assembly line, enabling components to be automatically handled and placed on. The Pick & Place machines are pre-programmed with the information about the component position, so that they know where to place the component

Types of Pick & Place systems

  • Robotic arm – Robotic arms are the most common type of Pick & Place robots. A 5-axis robotic arm robot can be used for standard Pick & Place applications where objects are picked up and moved to other locations in a single plane. A 6-axis robotic arm is used for more complex applications, such as when objects must be twisted or re-oriented before being placed in another location.
  • Cartesian – Cartesian robots work in multiple planes. These robots move in three orthogonal axes (X, Y, and Z) using Cartesian coordinates. They can be constructed with any type of linear actuator and several types of drive mechanisms such as belt, ball or lead screw mechanisms. They typically have better positioning accuracy compared to 6-axis robotic arms.
  • Delta – Often used in applications where robots pick items in groups and place them in assembly patterns or containers, Delta robots have advanced vision technologies that enable them to distinguish various sizes, shapes and colors. There are several configurations of Delta robots, but most have three arms that operate on four axes. They have heavy motors affixed to a frame, with lightweight arms connected to linking rods with joints at either end of each arm (typically ball joints) to allow movement.
  • Fast pick – Fast pick robots are ideal for use in medium- and high-volume applications with high-velocity SKUs. Fast pick robots fully automate the picking process, freeing up the human workforce to focus on higher-impact activities. They are ideal for fast-moving “top-off” items, such as promotional items added to orders or batteries. These robots can pick up to 300 SKUs per hour from a pool of up to 8 SKUs.
  • Collaborative – Collaborative robots augment the work of humans by leading associates to pick locations and guiding associates through each task. By optimizing routes in real-time and keeping associates on task, collaborative robots help associates work more efficiently.


Sometimes accurate positioning is very important because some components require high precision positioning.

The head is controlled by the software, and it is pre-programmed with the information about component positions so that they know where to place the components.

On some machines, to ensure that everything is placed in exactly the right position are used optical devices to ensure that the required position is reached.

How SEE Engineering can help you?

SEE Engineering offers turn-key integrated solutions based on several types of Pick & Place systems and applications, which involve the applications mentioned above. These systems cover various ranges of capabilities which make them suitable for specific applications. 

If you have already decided on a certain Pick & Place system, we also offer Pick & Place integration services. Our skills and knowledge cover most Pick & Place solutions.

Don’t hesitate to contact us for any Pick & Place system-related needs.