US 10,798,856 B2
Apparatus for holding a printed circuit board
Niall Barrett, County Donegal (IE)
Assigned to PROTOSONIC LIMITED, County Donegal (IE)
Appl. No. 15/780,256
Filed by Protosonic Limited, County Donegal (IE)
PCT Filed Dec. 1, 2016, PCT No. PCT/EP2016/079405
§ 371(c)(1), (2) Date May 31, 2018,
PCT Pub. No. WO2017/093388, PCT Pub. Date Jun. 8, 2017.
Claims priority of application No. 1521345.7 (GB), filed on Dec. 3, 2015.
Prior Publication US 2018/0359887 A1, Dec. 13, 2018
Int. Cl. H05K 13/00 (2006.01); B23K 3/08 (2006.01); H05K 3/34 (2006.01); B23K 101/42 (2006.01)
CPC H05K 13/0069 (2013.01) [B23K 3/087 (2013.01); H05K 13/0053 (2013.01); B23K 2101/42 (2018.08); H05K 3/3421 (2013.01); H05K 3/3447 (2013.01); H05K 2203/0173 (2013.01)] 19 Claims
OG exemplary drawing
 
1. An apparatus for holding a printed circuit board when mounting components thereon, said apparatus comprising a base plate, a mounting device for mounting a printed circuit board spaced from and substantially parallel to the base plate, a plurality of elongate support pins, arranged in an array of rows and columns, extending through respective holes within the base plate to extend transversely from the base plate, the support pins being independently positionable in height with respect to the base plate to define a configurable support surface for supporting components mounted on the printed circuit board during soldering, wherein the height that each pin extends from the base plate can be adjusted such that the support surface defined by the support pins can correspond to the topography of the printed circuit board and the components mounted thereon, a locking mechanism in the form of elongate flexible members arranged to extend around each row of support pins in convolute manner to grip and lock the position of the pins in each row when tension is applied to the flexible members by a tensioning device such that the flexible members can be reconfigured between a tensioned configuration and a relaxed configuration;
wherein the elongate flexible members are arranged in a plurality of parallel rows corresponding to said rows of said array of support pins, said tensioning device comprising a pair of opposed anchor members between which the elongate flexible members extend, at least one of said anchor members being displaceable away from the other of said anchor members by an actuating device to define said tensioning device, whereby operation of said actuating device displaces at least one anchor member away from the other to apply tension to the elongate flexible members to place them in their tensioned configuration, thereby locking the support pins in position within their apertures.