In View | This Month
Connectivity, 3D Features Equip New PCB Inspection Systems

utting-edge printed circuit board (PCB) inspection systems from leading manufacturers are being released to the market one after another. New models of three-dimensional (3D) inspection systems and with machine-to-machine (M2M)-capability with mounters extend their existing portfolio of products. More recently, some manufacturers have entered the solder paste inspection (SPI) machines market as well.

Amid the shortage of skilled engineers, the needs to prevent human errors, and the requirements for high quality production, the demand for PCB inspection systems, as replacement to the conventional manual visual inspection, has been increasing worldwide particularly in Japan, China, and countries in Southeast Asia.

Classification of PCB Inspection Systems
PCB inspection systems are classified into SPI systems and automated optical inspection (AOI) systems.

SPI systems inspect whether an appropriate amount of solder is applied accurately in accordance with the wiring pattern. Meanwhile, AOI systems inspect whether components mounted on PCBs are accurately soldered in accordance with the wiring pattern.

PCB Inspection Systems
New 3D versions of PCB inspection systems are being introduced in the market to support smart factory.

3D Inspection Systems on the Rise
Recently, 3D inspection in which height direction is added to the conventional two-dimensional (planar) inspection has been becoming the mainstream.

Following its entry into the SPI systems market, Yamaha Motor Co., Ltd. started offering YSi-SP since Apr. 2018. It supports diverse, high-speed, and high-precision solder paste inspections using a single head, and inspects the printing quality (volume, height, area, misalignment) of solder paste printed on PCBs.

JUKI Corporation has seen increased sales of RV-2-3DH, its new 3D AOI system. It highlights a 12-million-pixel camera, allowing expanded angle of view to be shot at a time from 30×30mm to 48×36mm, thereby achieving a 192 percent wider viewing angle from its predecessor. Using the process mode, it can be adopted not only in electronic circuit board manufacturing plants, but also for measurement and visual inspection in factories of various products. With the RV-2-3DH 3D AOI system, JUKI has started proposing new applications to industries other than the PCB industry.

CKD Corporation has been deploying the VP5200-V and VP6000-V 3D SPI systems as its main products. The company sells these 3D SPI systems as machines for constructing smart factory through collaboration with various mounter manufacturers.

Saki Corporation offers SPI, AOI, and X-ray AOI systems. The company has been deploying new products, including the 3Si Series SPI system, 3Di Series AOI system, and 3D-AXI X-ray AOI system, as flagship products. The company has been strengthening its collaboration with mounter manufacturers and eagerly proposing mounting solution with inspection technology at the core, leading to smart factory creation.

Rexxam Co., Ltd. has been releasing new design models of the Sherlock Series AOI system in stages. Sherlock-300R backside inspection system, which is specialized on flow solder surface inspection, features an entire-surface inspection mode. It inspects non-soldering, bridges and missing pin of the registered land position simply by introducing a printed wiring board to be inspected and designating the land section in the screen in one click.

Omron Corporation has released the VT-M121 AOI system, which simultaneously inspects dimensions, and defects, such as scratches and cracks. It detects defects, which have conventionally been detected only by human eyes, using the FH Series high-performance image processing system with the Multi-Direction Multi-Color (MDMC) Light that can freely change illumination colors and angles. Omron has commercialized the AOI system in collaboration with SIIX Corporation, a Japan-based electronics manufacturing services company.

Nagoya Electric Works Co., Ltd. offers the NVI-S300 3D SPI and NVI-G300 3D AOI systems, and NVI-G250 AOI system for pre-reflow inspection as its main products. NVI-G250 also supports 3D inspection through the addition of an optional 3D projector.