What are the major challenges today in inspection in the electronics manufacturing industry?

Mek THT AOIThe major challenge for AOI in today’s industry is one of protocol, improved track and trace and data logging for all the products coming in/ going out, including products which to date have rarely been inspected, like those still using THT components.

Pressure for increased inspection and traceability information comes from OEMs, wanting to protect their brand. AOI of course helps to reduce faults creeping through on the production line and traceability helps to facilitate product recalls should any issues arise.

Mek has seen a huge increase in the inspection of products in the THT arena driven primarily by the move towards electric vehicles and power electronics. Henk Biemans, Managing Director of Mek commented, “With power electronics you can’t typically work with surface mount components only, you need THT components. And these need to be inspected, especially the solder joints, because with high power, high current and high voltages come very high risks should there be any faults.”

Until very recently manual visual inspection was the norm in THT facilities, even when very expensive components were involved on complex assemblies. This is less and less permissible today. The automotive industry is driving the requirement for inspection of THT assemblies where inspection takes place not only from the top to ensure that the components are present, but also from the bottom to check that the solder joints are ok. Mek is a strong player in this area with a whole variety of solutions.

Another challenge in AOI today is to reduce human involvement in the process. We are striving to make the accuracy and effectiveness of our AOI less and less dependent on the programmer. By using more and more software and artificial intelligence we can reduce the human element involved in the programming of a machine.

Last week at IPC Apex in San Diego, we introduced the American market to our new M1 AOI system, a 3D AOI which can analyse not only the component bodies in 3D but also the solder joints, without programming them. So the machine takes over and analyses the solder joint using many more parameters than humans can actually grasp. It will combine all this data and basically use the statistics to program itself, so the results will be the same, whoever is managing the programming. Artificial intelligence takes away the uncertainty of programming your AOI and gives similar results across all products.

Watch the video of Henk Biemans being interviewed by I-Connect 007 at Apex where he discusses these challenges and the overall trends that are driving AOI.

THT Inspection was also discussed at length with SCOOP’s Philip Stoten at Productronica 2017 in Munich, Germany.

Find out more about Mek THT Inspection capabilities.

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99 Problems but Inspection ain’t one. At least not when using Mek 3D AOI equipment!

ISO-Spector-range - full 3D automatic optical inspectionWith 23 years of specialization in AOI solutions, Marantz Electronics (Mek) knows what you truly need when it comes to AOI systems: A full quality-control tool, with maximized defects coverage, with minimum human interaction, at the lowest cost. Right?

Our wide range of AOI solutions with cutting edge 3D technologies come in compact benchtop models to large XXL-size inline systems. At the heart of these systems are (full profile) height measurement capabilities enabled by methods varying from passive stereoscopic to multi-source active projection triangulation height measurement.

Mek 3D AOI

The accuracy and repeatability of Marantz Electronics systems guarantee you the highest level of quality for your assembled PCB’s.

So just what does make our 3D AOI solutions special?

  • Minimized need of an operator because of close to zero false calls
  • Accurate measurement of heights of even shiny and reflective cylindrical shaped components
  • Measure heights and display shapes of visible solder joints for detection of all kinds of solder related defects based on their profilometry
  • Inspect world’s smallest chip size of 008004
    Suitable for THT component and solder inspections
  • Industry’s fastest programming times
    Offline programming and debugging
  • Comfortable and user friendly verification and repair stations
  • Detailed SPC tools
  • Smart inputs and outputs for Industry 4.0 compatibility

Our systems are all 100% finished products, proven and ready for your 24/7 production environments!

Download ISO-Spector M1A brochure

Download ISO-Spector SL350/510 brochure

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6 sigma 3D inspection at Productronica and Apex

Mek at ProductronicaThe team from Marantz Electronics (Mek) enjoyed a very successful Productronica exhibition in Munich, Germany this year.
44,000 visitors from 85 countries came to Munich, an increase of almost 20% over the previous event and the Marantz stand was overwhelmed by the positive feedback from visitors and distributors, all impressed by the company’s new AOI technologies.
Productronica represented the European launch of Mek’s new flagship 3D AOI system ISO-Spector M1A, which will subsequently be rolled out across the rest of the world in 2018. Continue reading

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Meaningful SPI Production Control Through Automatic Normalization

Automated pre-placement solder paste inspection (SPI) has established itself in SMT assembly as an essential tool for optimizing the process and reducing end of line defects.  It’s been commonly accepted for many years that a majority of assembly defects can be traced back to print defects, and by using raw measurement data from printed PCBs for volume, area, height and offset, SPC histograms and control charts can quite readily be used to optimize the process. Continue reading

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