The A-Z Glossary of Tape & Reel – Part 1 A to G

Component Placement into Carrier Tape

The A-Z Glossary of Tape & Reel – Part 1 A to G

September 18, 2018

Whether you are very familiar with the tape & reel process or totally new to it, the Reel Service ‘ A-Z Glossary of Tape & Reel’ aims to be your go to reference for a handy list of terms relating to the process of tape & reel.  A process which continues to grow in relevance for the packaging of singulated components for automatic feeding.  Part 1 of 3 of the series covers letters A to G:

The A-Z Glossary of  Tape & Reel – A to G




 ACH Committee  Abbreviation for Automated Component Handling Committee, responsible for the content of the EIA-481 standard.
 Adhesion  Temporary bond between carrier & cover tape.
 Ao  ANSI/ISO/GDT drawing notation defining carrier tape pocket width.
 ASTI  ASTI Holdings Ltd, parent company of Reel Service Ltd & Telford Industries Pte Ltd.
 AT268  High-speed turret scan-pack handler for leaded & leadless devices.
 AT468  Current generation high-speed turret scan-pack handler for leaded & leadless devices.


 Bake  Abbreviated term for dehydration bake.
 Ball  Spherical interconnect terminal, typically part of a BGA package.
 Bare Die  A silicon die used in its bare form i.e. not asembled onto a leadframe & encapsulated into a formed package.
 BGA  Abbreviation for Ball Grid Array.
 Blow Forming  Process used to form carrier tape pockets whereby pressurised air is used to blow mould plastic strips into formed carrier tape pockets.
 Bo  ANSI/ISO/GDT drawing notation defining carrier tape pocket length.
 Bowl Feed  Abbreviated term for ‘Vibratory Bowl Feed’ a feeding method for automated equipment utilising a vibrating concave conical bowl, used to sort & orient bulk fed components ready for pick & place.
 Bubble Bag  Bubble wrap formed into a pouch, used for packing and protecting finished product during shipment such as vacuum packaged reels.
 Bulk  A term used to describe supply of components packaged and supplied loose, typically supplied in bags.
 Bump  Bumps are solder sphere interconnects attached to to the chip/die I/O pads during the wafer fabrication process before dicing.


 Camber Camber describes the curvature of the tape with respect to the X & Y axis, an important characteristic when feeding carrier tape into parallel tape guides.
 Carrier Tape  Carrier Tape is a strip of plastic tape of varying widths thermoformed to create a 3D formed pocket sized to accommodate electrical or electro-mechanical components for transport and automatic feeding.  The tape also incorporates punched sprocket/drive holes on one or both sides of the tape to facilitate tractor feeding.
 Cavity  A formed 3D recess on a carrier tape strip which is sized to adequately package electrical or electro-mechanical components for transport and automatic feeding.
 Clearance  The space between a component outer features and the inner walls of the carrier tape, required to permit release from the tape pocket without interference.
 CofC  Abbreviation for ‘Certificate of Conformance’, a document provided by an approved source which certifies that the goods or services being provided meet the required specifications.
 Collar  A band or strip of material plastic or cardboard wrapped around the outer wind of a reel, used to protect the inner wind of tape during transport and also stop the reel being deformed during vacuum packaging.
 Component  Can be used interchangeably with ‘device’ or ‘part’ to describe a single item used in electronic circuitry.
 Coplanarity  The term coplanarity defines the absolute distance between the true seating plane and the component leads/balls/bumps. The seating plane, calculated by measuring the individual lead tip heights, is the plane that the leads would contact should the device be placed leads down on a flat surface. To define a plane requires at least three points.
 Count  A term interchangeable with quantity which states the number of components packaged on a reel.
 Cover Tape  Cover tape is a thin flexible film with with heat activated or pressure sensitive adhesive on on the inside face. The film is applied to the top surface of the carrier tape and for heat activated cover tape, hot seal seal shoes/blades typically 0.5mm wide are applied to the cover tape surface.  To control the process, three parameters are closely controlled temperature, pressure & duration (time) to produce a temporary seal of the desired strength.  For PSA cover tape, the tape is pressed against the carrier tape with pressure being the only controlled parameter adjusted to to produce a temporary seal of the desired strength.
 Crop  A cutting process used to trim the leads of electronic components to the desired length.


 Depth  The height of the carrier tape pocket or component
 Desiccant  A drying medium, typically supplied in pouches which are added to vacuum packaging to absorb any moisture inside the sealed Moisture Barrier Bag.
 Detape  A process whereby components are removed from the carrier tape, can be performed manually or automatically.
 Device  Can be used interchangeably with ‘component’ or ‘part’ to describe a single item used in electronic circuitry.
 Die Sorter  A high-precision automated machine used to pick diced die from a wafer and place into carrier tape or waffle tray.  The machine may incorporate a flip mechanism to invert the die before placement or place without flip.  Typically multiple automated vision inspection systems will be integrated on the machine to check and automatically ‘sort’ the die before output.


 EIA-481  A commonly referenced standard document published by EIA (Electronic Components Industry Association Ltd), currently at revision E.  The standard is titled ‘8mm Through 200mm Embossed Carrier Taping and 8mm & 12mm Punched Carrier Taping of Surface Mount Components for Automatic Handling’
 Embossed  Refers to the process by which the carrier tape pocket is formed
ESD Abbreviation for Electostatic Discharge, which is ‘the sudden flow of electricity between two electrically charged objects caused by contact’. ESD protection is a primary concern during the tape & reel process and any stage where handling electronic components.
 Expansion table  A module used as part of a wafer sorting process whereby a wafer which has been diced and mounted to a film frame is loaded to an expansion table where the film is heated then stretched over the flat platten on the expansion table to separate the die ready for the pick process.


 Film Frame  A metal or plastic frame used to frame and transport silicon wafers & ceramic substrates which have been mounted to adhesive backed film.
 Flange  The outer flat faces of a reel.
 Flip  The process whereby a silicon die is inverted during the pick & place process.
 Forming  The process used to mould strip plastic into formed carrier tape.  Can be achieved by the combination of various methods including blow and/or vacuum moulding.


 Grid Array  A grid array device incorporates it’s I/O points on the underside of the device to utilise the larger surface area.  The I/O points are laid out in a grid pattern to provide a dense array of I/O points which can be balls (Ball Grid Array), pins (Pin Grid Array), Pads (Land Grid Array).