Facing the Challenges of THT Inspection

SpectorBOX - bottom up AOI inspectionThe deployment of AOI technology for THT inspection has historically been restricted by a number of factors. These include the physical configuration of most wave and selective soldering lines, which do not lend themselves to conventionally designed AOI machines that are now popular in SMT flow lines. Product is processed in pallets moving on a continuous drive with automatic return on which the inspection must take place.
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Simultaneous Top & Bottom PCB inspection addresses growing new needs in electronic assembly.

SpectorBOX - bottom up AOI inspectionInline Bottom side PCB Inspection with up to 9 cameras, configurable to simultaneous Top & Bottom PCB inspection with up to 18 cameras addresses growing new needs in electronic assembly. 

Emerging trends in printed circuit board assembly, in particular high power automotive electronics, present an increasing requirement for automated inspection of THT.  Rework is increasingly forbidden, pressurizing selective and wave soldering yields, and making AOI the solution of choice.

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New Mek PowerSpector AOI technology is launched

Last week at SMT Nuremberg we showed our new generation of AOI technology.

The new Mek AOI systems have several Inspection head options, each using Cameras with large pixel size giving better colour fidelity and improved signal to noise ratio and custom telecentric optics with true colour image processing. Head selection is based on application requirement, position in the process and inspection depth and resolution required. Applications include component only pre-reflow inspection through to multi-camera, multi light source meniscus profiling.
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THT AOI Inspection

Through Hole Technology for assembling electronic circuits is often described as an old fashioned technology that is losing its popularity and becoming less applied and replaced by SMT, surface mount technology. No wonder, as electronic devices where SMT is used are more compact, thinner, lighter, faster and consume less energy. Besides, SMT is much more efficient from an assembly point of view and SMD, surface mount device components cost less. Basically the replacement of THT by SMT is nothing recent but has been on-going since  the introduction of SMT in the late 1980s but increased significantly in the last decade. Except for high-power circuitry where SMT is being combined with THT, we can say that MT is the current widely applied assembly technology. Typically, the main focus of most vendors is to invent and develop equipment that is specialized in packaging, placing, solder reflowing, reworking, inspection etc. of SMD parts. Only a small number of vendors are developing and offering THT equipment. This equipment is mainly focused on the soldering part of the assembly process.
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