What is Manufacturer Standard Packing?

What is Manufacturer Standard Packing?

Manufacturer Standard Packing (MSP) is the method by which manufacturers of electronic devices, such as semiconductors, passives, or interconnect, pack components for transport and storage from the manufacturing plant to the customer’s board-assembly site, and when feeding components to automatic placement machines for surface mounting on board assemblies.

Today’s placement machines can pick and place thousands of components per hour with a very high degree of accuracy. To achieve this performance, the component delivery system must be capable of feeding parts at high speeds in a consistent orientation, indexed to the demands of the machine. These must be protected from damage during shipment, handling, and placement, particularly where parts have leads.

There are three basic types of packing configurations that are currently used for this purpose:

  • Tube
  • Tray
  • Tape and reel



The shipping tube was developed in the early days of the electronics industry. Tubes are typically constructed of rigid clear or translucent polyvinyl chloride (PVC) material, extruded in outlines that conform to industry standards, and are treated with an antistatic surfactant.  This allows visual inspection of units within the tube, and provides electrostatic discharge (ESD) protection of components during shipping and handling. Carbon-impregnated, black conductive tubes are also available where required by a particular device type or usage, and for long term storage.

Tube profiles are designed with a minimum amount of clearance over the maximum package dimensions to reduce damage caused by movement of the device within the tube.  For certain package types, tubes have rails on which the package rests to protect the leads. Translucent polyvinyl chloride, nylon tacks, or rubber plugs are used to retain the units.

Tubes are packed and shipped in multiples of single tubes and loaded into intermediate containers (bags and boxes) to form standard quantities, for ease of handling and order simplification. For semiconductor devices, tubes are widely available for package types: DIP, PLCC, LCC, SOIC, SOJ, SOP, SSOP, TSSOP, QNF, MFL, and LPCC.



IC trays are made of electrically conductive material that protects components from ESD damage. They are constructed to withstand different temperature ranges according to their use. Trays are moulded into rectangular Joint Electron Device Engineering Council (JEDEC) standard outlines, containing matrices of uniformly spaced pockets that protect the component.

The tray is designed for components that have leads on four sides (QFP and TQFP packages) and require component lead isolation during shipping, handling, or processing. Trays are stacked and bound together for rigidity and to form standard packing configurations in single or multiple units.

Trays must be compliant with a clean room environment and be exempt from toxic materials in conformance with the Restriction of Hazardous Substances Directive (RoHS). After first use, they can be cleaned or recycled, and an entire supply chain is in operation to collect, regrind the trays and re-compound them.


Tape and reel

The preferred packing system today for most volume requirements is tape and reel. In the tape and reel format, the components are placed in sequential individual pockets embossed in a plastic antistatic carrier tape to provide ESD protection. The cover tape is sealed to the carrier tape to keep the parts in place in these pockets. A row of sprocket holes is provided along one edge of the embossed tape to facilitate indexing. The tape is then wound onto a rigid plastic reel that provides mechanical protection during handling and storage.

The reels are dust-free and compatible with a clean environment, and for pick and place purposes must be in conformance with the EIA Standard 481 “Taping of Surface-Mount Components for Automatic Placement”.   Two standard reel sizes are available (7″ and 13″). The majority of package types are suitable for the tape and reel system.


RS rollout of manufacturer standard packaging in full reel quantities extends purchasing options for all customers

RS offers manufacturer standard packaging on a range of interconnect and passive products from top brands including Panasonic and TE Connectivity.

Customers can now purchase a selection of thin film resistors, inductors and crimp terminals in full reel quantities to meet their pre-production needs.

The availability of standard pack sizes gives customers the flexibility to order parts for both prototyping and full production requirements from RS, saving them time and money in the sourcing and purchasing process.