Short Lead-Time Custom Carrier Tape

Short Lead-Time Custom Carrier Tape

June 25, 2018

Tape & reel packaging has traditionally been associated with the packaging of electronic components to provide an ideal means of packaging, transporting and feeding components for automated PCB assembly.  Developments in pick & place technology continue to drive demand for tape & reel packaging and increasingly more and more non electrical components are being packaged in tape & reel to take advantage of this widely adopted system for automated packaging & feeding.

Carrier tape slitting process
In-House Tape Slitting Process


In addition to packaging of typical active and passive electronic components it is now typical to utilise tape & reel to package components ranging from Connectors, RF Shielding Cans, Ferrites, Clips, Metal Stampings, Fuse Holders, Diodes and many other parts that can be automatically assembled.

The package of materials required for the tape and reel process include reels, cover tape & carrier tape and while reels and cover tape are readily available off the shelf items, finding a suitable carrier tape pocket to accommodate a non-standard or custom outline component requires careful consideration to ensure that the pocket design provides sufficient protection for the component, the chosen materials are suitable, particularly if ESD is a concern and also that the material meets cost expectations.


Highest Quality Base Materials Used


Since carrier tape can be be bulky to ship, proximity to place of manufacture can be a key consideration when selecting a carrier tape supplier in order to minimise freight costs and shipment time.  Since many carrier tape manufacturers are now producing in Asia, lead-times to Europe have greatly increased since freight is often by sea and can be as much as 12 weeks.  An alternative to this is to source carrier tape manufactured in Europe.


In-House Tooling Manufacture


Reel Service Ltd has been providing carrier tape from it’s manufacturing site in the UK for over 25 years which has resulted in over 3000 pocket designs now are available to support an ever increasing catalog of standard and non-standard component outlines .  Since these carrier tapes are produced in Europe, lead-time is reduced to days rather than weeks which is essential for today’s fast-paced quick-turn manufacturing environment.


Custom Carrier Tape Pocket


The entire design & manufacture process for all Reel Service carrier tape is performed in-house, including tape design, tooling manufacture, sheet slitting, and tape manufacture.  Being able to control each process under one roof allows us to minimise lead-time at each stage of the process which is essential when short lead-times are required for today’s fast-paced manufacturing environment.  For a custom carrier tape requirement, we can typically provide sample finished tape within 2 weeks with shorter lead-times possible when required.

For further information on our our range of carrier tapes and other tape & reel materials contact us at:


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