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Pick and Place position file for component placement. DSPCB and Pro

Within the PCB manufacturing industry component assembly on to the PCB is processed by a "Pick and Place" automated system. This process requires a position report file for each component with position and orientation on the PCB or panel.

To generate the required file within DSPCB and Pro, from the menu bar (with the PCB as the active view) select Output > Reports and a list of available reports is presented.
Below illustrates DSPCB which is a subset of the options available within Pro.

Select "Component Positions CSV" and when <Run> the required "comma separated variable" sheet will be generated and opened in your program or application associated with the CSV file type. It is also saved within the project folder.

All positions are referenced to the "System Origin" which should normally be set to the bottom left corner of the PCB.

Note the alternative "Component Positions" generates a text file in DSPCB for manual component location and identification. Pro also produces a document but with live links to the PCB such that a component can be selected in the report and is highlighted on the PCB.

DSPCB Reports in more detail.

For DSPCB and Pro, select the report "Component Positions CSV" and click <Run> to produce the current configured format.

Output_-_Reports_-file_-_edit_ad5c1ab79b14261e0493d0317a7efec1ae1b2f4c.png also shows these steps.

The report file generated can also be configured with other options.

Why may you wish to edit the configuration?

The main reason relates to the X,Y coordinates that will be plotted, these are calculated by the following options:

  • POSITION X, POSITION Y use the "symbol origin", this is usually pin 1 but can be placed by the user as required.
  • PLACE X, PLACE Y uses the "placement origin" if it has been created, if not it uses the centre of the bounding box. 
    This allows users to override the bounding box centre which may not be appropriate for non-symmetrical components.
  • CENTRE X, CENTRE Y uses the centre of the bounding box ignoring any "placement origins" defined for the component.

Note: The default setting is Centre X,Y which works well for most SMD's, however it is easy to change.

The following shows how to change the configuration to Place X,Y. Once edited this new file will be saved for future use as can just be "Run" on future occasions.

From the image as shown above select the report file and click <Edit> and a new window opens.
Select "Component List" and click <Edit>.


Here "Component List" contents are shown with the current settings Centre X and Centre Y.
First we will change Centre X, select and then click <Edit>.


The new window allows you to select a different "Field" value from the pull-down list.
Select Place X and click <OK>.


The entry is updated; however, you now need to update the "Caption" for the column heading text and then click <OK>.


Repeat for Centre Y / Place Y and the configuration change is complete, click <OK>.


Before saving this new configuration you can "Test" to check it is correct and repeat the above if you made any mistakes.


Assuming all is correct, click <OK> and this will now be saved and ready to run when next required.

Do remember to set the System Origin prior to running any position report.

RS Components / Allied Electronics Support for DesignSpark PCB


November 11, 2020 11:56

"...the required Excel sheet will be generated..." isn't this a CSV (comma separated variable) file so it isn't Excel specific but can be loaded in to any spreadsheet program i.e. Numbers, Google Sheets etc?

0 Votes

November 11, 2020 11:55

@davecole, yes correct! The text has been amended to reflect this. Thank you.

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