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22 SMT007 MAGAZINE I JUNE 2019 Feature by Jenny Yuh, KOH YOUNG TECHNOLOGY, and Brent Fischthal, KOH YOUNG AMERICA Automated 3D solder paste inspection (SPI) and 3D automated optical inspection (AOI) systems have become an integral part of the printed circuit board assembly (PCBA) process because they help ensure high-quality produc- tion. As today's board complexity is increas- ing, inspection technology becomes even more critical. For example, while talking with Janet Tomor, senior business development manager at Sun- tronic Inc.—a contract manufacturer with facilities in Richardson and Houston, Texas— I-Connect007 Managing Editor, Nolan Johnson asked, "Streamlining must be something you talk about a lot [at Suntronic]." Tomor replied, "The biggest impact for us has been automat- ing almost everything except for putting your through-hole connector on the board by hand. We've automated most of our inspection and have improved quality. We went from 60% yield on our PCBA lines to 98.9% by adding automated 3D inspection from Koh Young." Tomor's team also added 3D SPI equipment, continuing "I'll give you an example. We have a solder paste inspection machine on every line. We once put on a stencil, and it wouldn't pass. The cause was that the stencil was too thick and applied too much solder paste. We would have had parts sliding all over the board because of the excess solder paste. That was a huge discovery and a change we made thanks to our SPI." While most manufacturers base quality deci- sions on a "good-bad" comparison of reference images, these decisions are easily influenced by variables like surface finish, board condi- tion, component proximity, and more. How- ever, data generated from 3D measurement sys- tems provides meaningful insights about the process and helps manufacturers identify and eliminate the root causes of a defect. When manufacturers trust the data from the system, this helps to transform their operations and accurately control and monitor the PCBA pro- cess. What are the requirements of an inspec- tion system to move from inspection to mea- surement, and ultimately to process control 3D Optical Inspection Provides "Eyes" for Process Improvements in Industry 4.0

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