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84 SMT Magazine • October 2016 lot of customers still believe that this is not re- ally a necessity, but we do see that this phenom- enon is changing. More customers have come to realize the true value of the inspection machine especially when PCBs are getting smaller and PCB layout are getting denser. Rework becomes almost impossible and even more expensive if the defects are picked up only after the reflow process. Inspection machines play an important role: they serve as a gateway to pick up any de - fect right from the solder printing process. Overall, the customers they are expecting the machine to produce more, because by produc- ing more they are actually reducing the overall manufacturing cost. That's why there are more demands from the inspection machine. Las Marias: So manufacturers were not really con- cerned about the inspection side before, but now they're trying to look into it more closely. Perhaps because failure is really costly? Lau: That is one of the reasons behind it, defi- nitely. Nowadays, PCB sizes are getting smaller and smaller and the placement of components are getting denser and denser, so there is a need to have 3D solutions. We used to have 2D in- spection solutions, but those are just inspecting right from the top view, and actually what they are doing are comparisons. These are subject to a lot of failures due to lighting as well as gray scale comparison. We are doing 3D so that not only are we inspecting, but we are measuring. We are able to determine every single compo- nent's height and volume for SPI. They are still many PCBA manufacturers who believe that their 2D inspection machine is enough for now, but we do see a trend for a lot of customers moving from 2D to 3D. Las Marias: What is your outlook for the AOI and SPI equipment market? Lau: I would say that the demand would be more for the AOI. SPI has been one of our core products; in fact, Koh Young is the market lead- er in SPI—and our market share is always main- tained close to 50%. We see 3D SPI much more commonly used now, while 3D AOI is growing fast. Las Marias: What can you say about the industry trends right now, like Industry 4.0 or the Internet of Things? Lau: Industry 4.0, to me, is actually a very broad perspective, in a sense. Ultimately, it's about machines being able to communicate with each other, being able to react and execute actions on their own. I guess we are pretty far away from that, but we are definitely taking one step forward towards Industry 4.0. Down the pipeline, definitely we are talking about adding more innovations and incorporat- ing some form of artificial intelligence into our machines. We actually started three R&D cen- ters for AI, one in Korea and two in the U.S. We are working with some of the top universities on some of these AI developments, and trying to incorporate some form of AI to allow our ma- chines to think for themselves. One of the key features that I can mention is the auto-verification function, whereby a lot of times users don't know when to calibrate the machine. A lot of them will do it based on gut feeling. With auto-verification, you can do au- to-scheduling and preset it on your own. You can preset it for after every job, weekly, month- ly, or even every half yearly. The auto-verifica- tion function does a self-assessment in order to check whether your machine is actually run- ning in optimal condition. If there are any er- rors or anything that is out of range, a flag will go up and message the user to do the calibra- tion. Las Marias: What has your experience been at this year's NEPCON South China show? Lau: This year, we are definitely seeing a stron- ger response here as compared to last year. We are getting more visitors and a lot of them are actually showing key interest in our 3D inspec- tion machines and solutions. Las Marias: Great. Thank you very much again, Thomas. Lau: Thank you. SMT KOH YOUNG TALKS AOI LANDSCAPE AND TRENDS

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