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What Is Taped Packaging?

Taped packaging is a common way to package small parts in the electronics industry which allows for the parts to be fed into a pick-and-place machine setup. There are a couple types of tape to be considered for this form of packaging. In this article, we will be exploring these two types along with sharing some basic information about how taped packaging is used in the electronics industry overall.

How Does It Work?

Taped packaging is essentially a flat strip of material with pockets for holding components. Looking much like a strip of film, the ribbon may be made of a cardboard-like paper or a black embossed plastic and has sprockets along at least one of the sides. This form of packaging is used for many electronic components including surface mount capacitors, resistors, integrated circuits, diodes, and switches, among other items. For compact organized packaging, the tape is generally loaded on a reel with the tape wound around the center.

Specifically, the elements of a factory reel include a leader, the strip of components, a trailer, cover tape, and the plastic reel itself. The leader and trailer are empty pockets of tape either preceding or following the strip of components. These empty pockets vary from manufacturer to manufacturer, but are generally 4-18 inches in length to allow the parts to be fed into a pick-and-place machine. The cover tape is used to provide a removable layer of protection for the components placed in the tape. In order to fit most machines, reels often have a diameter of 7 inches for small surface mount parts and 13 inches for large components or large production quantity reels. Other sizes are available, but the 7 inches and 13 inches fit a wide spectrum of common parts.

Taped packaging has become a popular method in electronics handling for several reasons. To begin, it allows components to be fed into a pick-and-place machine for board assembly. With many of the instruments on a printed circuit board requiring very precise placement at a small scale, computerized manufacturing is indispensable. Using a tape reel such as this helps simplify the process for all involved. Taped packaging also ensures that delicate components are protected during shipment, handling, and storage. Finally, it keeps parts oriented in the correct direction to be placed by the machine.

What Is Cut Tape?

While factory reels offer a great way for delivering items in bulk, they may not be an ideal option for small quantity buyers, engineers, and students who need smaller quantities. Cut tape solves this problem by offering an option of removing the leader, counting out the quantity requested, and cutting the factory tape at that amount. By doing this, a manufacturer can minimize excess material while maintaining the functionality of tape packaging.


Taped packaging has become a popular method for handling electronic components meant to be loaded into a machine for board assembly. These components are not only important for manufacturing, but are also a common method for shipping small avionics parts. As such, if you need electronic components packaged in factory rolls such as these, you can rely on Stacked Purchasing for all that you require. As a leading online distributor of aircraft parts, we work with a widespread network of international partners to bring our customers access to an array of products at the top of their class. When you are in need of high-quality components, you may browse our expansive online catalogs and use our Request for Quote (RFQ) service to receive quotes for your comparisons on any items of interest. Begin procuring the parts you need today with ease when you source with the dedicated experts at Stacked Purchasing!


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