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VOLUME -23 NUMBER 9
Publication Date: 09/1/2008
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Electronic Mfg. Services
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Special Feature: PCB and Assembly
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September 2008 Issue
Special Feature: PCB and Assembly
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Shrinking Components, Highly Complex PCBs Drive AOI Design
MV-3L benchtop optical inspection system.
By Brian D'Amico, President, Mirtec Corp., Oxford, CT
The continuing trend toward the miniaturization of electronic packaging technologies is perhaps the most prolific driving force behind new AOI product development. The advent of 0201 and 01005 packages and the industry-wide acceptance of BGA, CSP and a host of small outline ultra fine pitch IC devices has led to ever-increasing PC board density and complexity for the inspection process.
In order to contend with this complexity, today's AOI system must be extremely accurate and repeatable. Successful AOI manufacturers must place an emphasis on the design and development of technically advanced optics, lighting, and measurement systems needed to achieve these absolute industry requirements.
Because of these needs, Mirtec has recently introduced its most technologically advanced AOI platform for the PC board manufacturing industry. Fully configured, the MV-7L in-line AOI system provides one top down digital color camera with up to 4 MegaPixel resolution plus four 2 MegaPixel side view cameras to provide the resolution necessary to inspect 01005 components. The patented "Quad Angle Lighting System" of the MV-7L provides four independently programmable zones for optimal illumination of inspection areas. The revolutionary Intelli-Scan Laser System provides "The Third Dimension in Inspection Capability", the ability to precisely measure the Z-height of a given region of interest. This advanced technology provides:
Superior lifted lead detection for gull wing devices.
Four point height measurement capability for coplanarity testing of BGA, and CSP devices.
Enhanced solder paste measurement capability.
We are equally pleased to offer the industry's most advanced desktop AOI system. The MV-3L is the "World's First" Five Camera Desktop AOI system. It uses exactly the same optics and lighting system as the MV-7L to ensure 100 percent programming compatibility across the product line.
Speed Is Essential
Over the past few years, the electronics manufacturing industry has become increasingly polarized. On the one hand there are the North American and Western European markets, in which an emphasis on low to medium volume production will provide manufacturers with a competitive edge. On the other hand there are the Asian, Mexican and Eastern European markets whose predominant focus is on higher volume production. In order to address this growing rift between market segments, an AOI machine must be capable of dealing with unique requirements of each market.
In dealing with a low-to-medium volume manufacturing environment, the AOI machine must be quick and easy to program. This will allow manufacturers to changeover multiple different products in a given production day, thereby giving them a competitive edge. Of course, high speed inspection is also a benefit in this manufacturing environment, but fast programming provides much more "bang for the buck".
On the other hand, high-volume production just requires high speed inspection. In this environment, the AOI machine is the gating factor; it must keep up with the production line in order to maximize profitability. Fast programming is also a benefit in this environment, but is far outweighed by high speed-inspection capability.
Addressing both of these market segments is quite feasible with Mirtec AOI machines. Regarding the low-to-medium requirements for fast program generation, the company's system software is simple yet powerful. A comprehensive Package Type Library provides simple "Drag and Drop" component programming and the Automatic Teaching Tool (ATT) software provides automatic teaching of component locations using CAD centroid data. Typical programming time is under one hour per assembly. To meet the high-volume requirements for high-speed inspection capability, the company's advanced Four MegaPixel Digital Color Camera Technology yields unsurpassed PC board inspection speeds of up to 7.657-in.
/sec) thus exceeding the world's fastest production requirements.
Quality Tops the List
Quality is, of course, one of the major differentiators between electronics manufacturers. Customers are not only demanding products "yesterday", but they are also demanding that these products arrive with zero manufacturing defects. If an electronics manufacturer cannot meet these demanding requirements, chances are that they will lose the business. PC board manufacturers simply must rely on their AOI equipment to help them consistently achieve high quality manufacturing requirements.
To address this prerequisite, an AOI system must not only be extremely accurate and repeatable, but must also provide manufacturers with a way to improve their production process to completely minimize manufacturing defects at each step of the manufacturing process.
MV-7L in-line optical inspection system.
The MV-7L and MV-3L AOI systems bring unprecedented performance, quality and cost-effectiveness to the inspection environment. In addition, the company's AOI solutions offer built-in SPC data collection software which promotes continuous process improvement by allowing the user to track and eliminate defects on inspected assemblies. The objective is to provide customers with a clear view into the manufacturing process, thereby helping them achieve higher operating efficiencies and improved quality.
More Bang for the Buck
The last requirement is perhaps the most difficult to address in that customers demand faster delivery, and higher quality, but are not prepared to pay a premium for these requirements. Electronics manufacturers are faced with the predicament of having to produce high quality products very quickly and at low profit margins. They are therefore forced to maximize their production efficiency and stretch their buying dollars within the manufacturing supply chain. The overall purpose of the AOI machine is to provide a cost savings to the manufacturer by maximizing the efficiency of the production process thereby improving production yields. These are the primary criteria in selecting an AOI system. As with any equipment purchase, however, the AOI system must provide an exceptional cost/performance ratio for the manufacturer.
The AOI industry has changed dramatically over the past few years in response to these requirements. In fact, as recently as five years ago, AOI systems were limited in capability, were quite costly, and very complicated to program — so much for being "user friendly". Ultimately, the only companies that had an opportunity to benefit from AOI were those that could afford to purchase the equipment, and had the engineering resources necessary to program and operate it. Fast forward five years; today's AOI Equipment is one of the fastest growing market segments in the electronics manufacturing community. Perhaps the biggest reason why the AOI market has achieved such unprecedented growth is the advent of affordable equipment that is simple to operate and, best of all, actually performs, meeting the user's needs.
Mirtec AOI systems are quick and easy to program. We recognize that in today's lean manufacturing environment, engineering resources are at a premium. Therefore, AOI programming and operation must be performed by employees with only minimal technical expertise. Furthermore, we recognize that the days of the unlimited budget are long gone. Electronics manufacturers are looking for the biggest return on investment (ROI) for their AOI dollar. Mirtec has earned a solid reputation in the industry by providing unprecedented performance, quality and cost-effectiveness to the inspection environment at a very affordable price.
Contact: Mirtec Corp., 1 Jacks Hill Rd., Unit 1D, Oxford, CT 06478
203-881-5559 fax: 203-881-3322 Web:
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