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52 PCB007 MAGAZINE I MARCH 2018 After a brief hia- tus, I'm back with a sharp pencil. With I P C A P E X E X P O 2018 still fresh in o u r m e m o r y I ' m sure you had time to see automated visual inspection (AVI) equip- ment at the show. Those who came by our booth saw one in action. This technology is gaining traction in our industry due to sever- al factors. The "automation vs. human" debate contin- ues. There are experts with many years of ex- perience performing final inspection with pre- cise detail. This is not debated. However, in the course of human events, circumstances change with unpredictable results. This presents chal- lenges to manufacturers striving to deliver prod- uct on-time and within specification guidelines. Let's face it: The specifications and requirements are more challenging day by day. Ever-changing IPC, ISO, AS9100, military, ITAR and required cybersecurity are all playing substantial roles in our daily life. Further complicating matters are the constraints of time-to-market de- mands vs. cost. The gap is shrinking be- tween the market's willingness to pay vs. cost of manufac- ture, and with this comes the need to conjure whatever magic possible to stay afloat. Tough decisions to be sure whenever automation vs. human element is concerned. The question comes up quickly: What can AVI do for me? It's another capital expenditure and what is the return? What is this thing go- ing to provide? Automated visual inspection is a straight- forward term for exactly what this equipment does. Much akin to AOI, the PCB is scanned in its final form for defects previously done by an inspection technician. AVI algorithms al- low for unwanted defects to be automatically identified and displayed clearly for review. These defects are preserved in a database for further review and can be used for statistical analysis of process capability. AVI—Your Tireless Friend in Final Inspection Testing Todd Feature Column by Todd Kolmodin, GARDIEN SERVICES USA

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