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I'm working on a prototype that has a few fine pitch (0.5mm) components. I'm thinking about adding local fiducial marks for these components as an afterthought. My idea was to place them close to the components where there is space for them. However, I have read here that local fiducials should be part of the component landmark. Do local fiducials really have to be placed directly at the component to be useful for the pick and place machine? Are they usually part of the footprint?

An example for my naive approach looks like this:

local fiducial placement for fine pitch component

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    \$\begingroup\$ The only reason they're suggesting adding the local-fiducial into the actual footprint (CAD library component) is so that you don't forget to add them manually each time you use that 'fine-pitch' footprint in future. In reality I've never had an assembler ask, pre-emptively or retrospectively, for local fiducials, but as Ron Beyer said, it's always ultimately up to the assembler (and their equipment capabilities and processes), so they're the ones you should ask. P.S. Perhaps in future give a bit more time for more replies to be provided before awarding a correct answer :-) \$\endgroup\$ Mar 7, 2021 at 16:21
  • \$\begingroup\$ Thanks for the additional information. I will wait a bit longer with accepting in the future. \$\endgroup\$ Mar 7, 2021 at 16:42

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Best thing to do is to call (or email) your board assembly house and ask what they prefer. All assembly houses do something differently depending on the machines and set up that they do. They may prefer certain types of fiducials, placement, size, etc.

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