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Mirtec programming discussion

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This thread will be dedicated as a place where Mirtec owners... - Nov 05, 2010 by methos1979  


Mirtec programming discussion | 5 November, 2010

This thread will be dedicated as a place where Mirtec owners can discuss their programming tips, tricks and techniques. If you have any experience with these machines please post them here. If you have questions about specific issues with this system, also please post them here. Hopefully this will be a lively thread. I know the Mirtec folks are watching so they can jump in with info as well!

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Mirtec programming discussion | 5 November, 2010

This was a great post from another thread here with some tips:

Date: November 04, 2010 07:42 PM Author: eadthem Subject: Who has best desktop AOI ?

We do almost exclusively SMT parts but for solder with a 45 degree fillet angle use vertical light type and a binarise threshold of 128(1/2 dark 1/2 light) and use the 2nd option or dark=dark light=light _|"

in vertical light solder fillet is dark to black and blank pads are white in horazontal light solder fillet is bright white and blank pads are grayish

for TH you might want to favor the horazontal

our horizontal is usually 150 H 10 V 0 S our vertical is usually 0-10H 110-125V 10-25S our user is usually H0 V0 S125 iirc

i have used our machine to evaluate and measure the size of the holes in a board before its populated, the programming of witch is not easy.

As for what i think of mirtec they have a great machine but the repair plus software has a lot of issues. We moved from 3.5 to 4.2 because The OCR inspector is really just a weak reimplementation of a image mounting inspector. The OCR part works on easy to read parts only but if OCR fails it will still pass the part using the image match method. The 4.2 version adds character enhancement to mounting inspector, this turns the image black white and gray with a auto binerise threshold. It is by far better than OCR witch still dose not work properly in 4.2. 4.2 also inspects faster and has working color inspection and working binary inspection. 4.5 is beta but there support says its the most stable version yet, in both 4.2 and 4.5 we have had stability issues when we are updating or programming a new board file using stop on defect.

Both 4.5 and 4.2 have issues with sometimes not saving images for repair plus to use, and repair plus has a bug that makes it so you must review/rework a whole board at once, if you attempt to do 1/2 and come back you will need to manauly search for the serial number to find the board witch would then be listed as good.

As much headache as our MV3L causes at the end of the day its still extremely accurate at finding defects, and a lot better than hand inspection. The accuracy is Dependant upon the operators experience in programming.

If you want more assistance with your mirtec machine start a new thread and shoot me a email. I can give you a lot of details on a lot of there undocumented features(there manuals miss a lot of information/aren't updated with each version).

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Mirtec programming discussion | 5 November, 2010

I have had my system for three weeks now. It is an MV3L. It is running version 4.5.0 build 2.1.2 software and it is very stable. I have not had a single crash.

We are not a board manufacturer but rather use our system to inspect both populated and bare boards. Our populated boards vary in size but we generally have large, heavily populated boards with both SMT and TH components.

Here is a brief overview of some of the Mirtec's lighting and evaluation tools for those who are just lurking and don't have a system:

Inspection light: Vertical (V), Horizontal, (H), Horizontal minus Vertical (H-V), User (U). There are two more light sources that are on the newest software but one is greyed out and the other is a colored light using blue/red. this looks promising and I look forward to what they come up with.

From there you basically select your light source, a light curve (high to low (S) or low to high (Z)) a binarization level (0-255) and then a white pixel count percentage (0-100). Confusing for those without a system but helpful for those of us discussing techniques in this thread.

This past week I have been struggling to come up with good programming for inspecting bare boards. Vertical light seems to work the best. I generally construct four boxes around a TH or three around an SMT pad. Here is what and why:

Mounting box with User light and a low percentage match. I do this because the pads and TH move slightly and I need this box to snap the solder eval boxes into place. User light gives me the most consistent photo match and the low percentage allows for the variations.

Then next box is a solder inspection box that goes wide around the pad or TH. Light is V, Z, 75-100, 95%. I also make heavy use of the Do Not Evaluate (DNE) function and draw an inner box to ignore the actual pad or TH. This box is looking solely for an solder smear or scuffs that could cause bridging.

The next box is a solder inspection box that goes tight around the TH or SMT pad. Light is V, 2, 100, 60 - 75%. I mask out the outer and inner TH areas so I am just evaluating the pad 'ring'.

Last I create box around the inner hole on TH. (No need for this box around an smt pad of course.) I use V, Z, 100, 95% with DNE to mask out everything outside the hole. This box is to check for solder nodules.

I had great success with this last night. Some of my numbers might be off above but I will check in from work later and make corrections.

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Mirtec programming discussion | 5 November, 2010

I'm guessing when you say bare board you mean wet paste only?

When you say the pads move slightly are your boards warped at all at the Vscore?

What we do is use per modual fids. first you delete or don't make panel fids and then theres a option when you right click the minimap for per modual fids. This will depending on your modual size stop all shifting of pads as the pad shifting is for us normaly caused by a difference in height camera to PCB as well as angle from warping.

Ya its generally best to have a mounting inspector on a reliable part of the part normally for say a sot23 i will take a mounting of the whole top + a bit of lead so theres a shiny white spot. This helps it find the part. then i will mask off the top of the part so labels wont interfere with mounting and i mask off any PCB showing so i can use it with the library on a different board. Then i add another mounting to find the label and for it i use enhance character to make the image black white and gray ile set acceptance to 60-70% and angle comp(allows rotation) to 5 degrees. both mounting inspectors can have polarity on (it only helps speed on a 3 legged part as it will never stick to the pads backwards and have all solder boxes pass). Then add solder boxes using vert lighting masking out about 50% of the pin top with binarise at 128 pass rate around 30-60%.

For side angle inspection you will need to drag the camera out of the current frame then you can change the camera and add your inspectors. For the basis mounting inspector on a side angle camera you will need to allow a large search area 100-200 in the direction the camera is pointing, and genearly 20-50 side to side of the camera (top to bottom for east and west). This is because as the board height from the camera changes so will its position on the side angle cameras. Both of these we had to figure out ourselves.

A undocumented feature I found just yesterday is that you can select more than 1 inspector in a part and right click there will be a Set OR-Function option and a Reset OR-Function. this will let you set a mounting inspector for 1 light type and another for another light type and if either of them pass both will pass and there will be no false defect. Helpful for when manufactures get lazy on there label quality, usually hor or user will work but not usually both, this fixes it.

O do you have a manual for 4.2.x? There is no manual yet for 4.5 as i have been told? If not a mirtec tech agent can get you setup with FTP so you can download the 4.2 manual, There usually pretty helpful. Your email mentioned koringlish and our 2?.?/2HT(no side angle) manual that came with our 3.5/MV3-L was of this accent. The 4.2 manual helps a lot more.

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Mirtec programming discussion | 14 November, 2010

On the bare boards, no paste, just a bare FAB board. We get them from a PWB manufacturer and inspect them to IPC-A-600 and then ship them to another manufacturer to populate them and we then inspect them to IPC-A-610. I have written several programs for the bare boards with good success.

It took me a while but I found that Set OR function. I've used it a couple of times with good success. We have the most recent manual as far as I know. There is nothing written on it that says what version. I have not found the manual that helpful yet. The poor wording impedes it's usefullness. But I'm doing well just programming on my own.

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Mirtec programming discussion | 23 December, 2010

I have experienced the same issue with the repair plus software not saving or displaying images properly when the defects are being reviewed. Have you asked Mirtec about it? What did they tell you? Curious to know.

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Mirtec programming discussion | 27 December, 2010

Good Morning Methos 1979,

I have worked with the Mirtec MV2 and 3 for several years. I did perform some evaluation of the red/blue filters. We found it to be usefull for some specialty solder inspections but we found it most usefull for solder inspection of plated test points.The standard solder inspection was not consistant as the plating on the surface of the part would not give a clear indication of where the test point and the solder joint boundaries were. The red/blue filters allowed us to clearly identify the component edges so we could perform a valid solder inspection.

I hope this is usefull.



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Mirtec programming discussion | 29 December, 2010


The red/blue filter as you call it (on the MV3L it's called HorzVert Sum I think) has become my go-to light source view for manual visual evaluation of flagged solder defects. Of all the lighting sources available, this one gives me the best visual representation of an actual solder fillet. I'm quite excited and hopeful that the next release contains some algorithms to maybe do some programming. So far none of the other light sources are good for every component on our boards. We have crowded boards with high components so blocked lighting comes into play a lot. I was using H-V for the longest time but now tend to use the User light quite a bit as well. But neither is perfect. Still, a great machine. I have been suffering with the camera problems but I think we (Mirtek and I) are narrowing it down. It might have just been loose cables.

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Mirtec programming discussion | 10 January, 2011


I actually installed the Uniserver (apache mysql php) WAMP on the AOI machine and there is a setting to make it generate HTML board results, cant remember where off the top of my head. anyhow anyone in the inspection area can now open firefox and view inspection results.

Some of the issues can be fixed by rerunning/rescanning offline teach tool images.

If you have the NG marker you can use that(put 10 drops of water in the metal cup/cap every day and recap it at night so it wont dry out)NG marker + repair plus + HTML results seams the best way.There is a yahoo store where we buy the unipostica markers for the machine and inspection use we have not yet found anything better. < OEM on the mirtec NG marker system.

Also every board scanned gets a serial number on the edge, And every good board gets a orange/red stripe on a edge. When repairing when a board is done you put a orange stripe on the edge. End result, no matter what happens no board leaves without at least 1 orange stripe on each side, and if its not in repair plus, has a serial number and no stripe, it gets rescanned or hand inspection.

At this point we are waiting for a new version of repair plus.


You can do red/blue on ic lead inspection and solder inspection. i really don't remember the settings for it i know you have to set lead position/height to auto and you have to do some other settings to allow you to enable red blue. We use it on some IC leads and have been using more of it but thats about it for us.

When you say camera issues by chance could it be 1 of n s e w not being assigned to the right camera(After i did our upgrade 3.x to 4.5 i had to stick a part under the camera with the sides labeled to get it set right). Could it also be the software not saving witch camera a frame is meant to use, i have seen this on rare occasions setting it in "frame light" seams to fix it. The last camera related issue i've had was about once a month the side angle cameras would go blue or green or red, we then have to hit EStop and resume to get them back again(happens a lot more on 3.5 than 4.5). O then i also swapped the camera cables once but thats my own stupidity :p

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Mirtec programming discussion | 11 January, 2011

It is nice to hear that we are not the only one's either. I have been told that sometimes the frames get out of order which can cause the images to be incorrect. Even though we may not have altered the program in any way.

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Mirtec programming discussion | 11 January, 2011

Fortunately for me, we do not use Repair Plus so I can't comment on how well that works with the newest software. I have been thinking of doing the html saving though so my engineering and management team, especially those located off-site, can review board results. I've seen the html switch used to create these files but have not experimented with it. It was a while ago and I seem to remember it asked for a numeric web address to be put in. Does this mean you must set up a web page somewhere and the results for each file are published there?

I found a major hole in my programming recently. One of the things we require is that every board has every photo taken saved. During my brief training I made this quite clear to the trainer and he showed me the switch to save all good images. As you may or may not know, the good images and the defect images are kept in separate folders. However, I discovered the other day quite by accident that if you clear ALL flagged defects then the software automatically deletes the defect folder and all the images in it! So all the frame photos that contained flagged defects are then lost for good. I thought this was a major bug until I found yet another switch that allows for all false rejects to be saved. So now the system is doing what I wanted it to do in the first place but I've lost a ton of data on previously ran boards. And I'm a little annoyed that this wasn't pointed out during my training.

As for the camera issues, I was getting the occasional case where one of the side cameras would show nothing but lines like multiple interlaced photos. It was usually, but not always, the East camera. They sent up a new photo board and a tech to install it. I seemed to work at first but I did notice it the other day briefly again. I found that the two camera cables on the back of the unit were not tightened and tightened them as best I could and it seems better but we will see. On occasion I will notice that the side cameras seem to have a degraded, pixelated view but this only seems to be on the screen and the actual photos saved are all good. So the jury is out on this one. Mirtec is aware of the issue as I am not the only new machine with the problem.

I continue to write new programs and learn so much. I went back and rewrote the first board I did - a massive board with over a thousand components and almost 7,000 inspection windows - and I am quite pleased with the results. I have just begun experimenting with the grid feature on the solder inspection boxes and it has solved a big problem I had with detecting small, light bridges on bare boards quite effectively.


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Mirtec programming discussion | 11 January, 2011

Has anyone had any luck programming using the side cameras to inspect for defects on the sides of chip components? We recently had an escape of a damaged chip capacitor that was impossible to see from the top camera but was clearly visible with the side camera. As far as I can tell, you cannot program mounting inspection windows as part of the the library component. This means I would have to program each and every component individually with side camera views. Also, these windows would not 'snap to' with part movement which would mean I would get too many false rejects due to the minor part movement. It would be great if future software releases allowed for parts built and saved in the library to include side view inspection points that also are part of the snap-to function. This would greatly increase the use of the side view cameras inspection capabilities.

In the mean time, if anyone has any good tips at how to program side view inspection with minimal false rejects please chime in.



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Mirtec programming discussion | 13 January, 2011

Hello Scott,

Simply program the side angle cameras as you would for any other device using the downward camera. For instance, solder joint inspection for a PLCC would utilize a basis window, bridge inspection algorithm and individual solder joint inspection windows grouped together. The basis window will eliminate the false calls you are seeing due to component movement. You may also save this group to either the package library or the part number library. The user would then simply draq and drop the group from the respective library, rotate the group to the desired orientation and program around the device. We are pushing for future releases to incorporate side view frames as well.

For more tips on side view programming, please contact MIRTEC directly.

Thank you for your business Scott...

Brian D'Amico - President MIRTEC

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Mirtec programming discussion | 13 January, 2011

The big issue with the AOI machines is no tooling support. this makes side angle inspection a bit of a PITA. You can rig up some custom tooling to hold warped boards flat or just use bent aluminum strips on the sides to brace and correct warping in a panel.

For side angle inspection you will need to flip to the camera you want it on and then use the hand tool to move out of the current frame (the big border around the whole image part of the screen will disappear) you can then draw your mounting inspector on the part as well as group the part and link to the library.

when doing side angle mounting for part basis you must make your side to side search range wide (25-45 normally) and your up and down range search area huge (75-150 pixels on a 2meg machine).

A lot of the time I will base side angle inspectors off of a good fixed point with lots of high contrasting distinguishing features (Bright copper pad vr dark PCB, sharp edge of a component). The goal is not to do inspection with your bases mounting inspectors use them and program them for positioning only(IE mask off the labels of parts like always), add more mounting inspectors for labels fids and other stuff that are grouped to that part.

For all mounting inspectors used for positioning strong contrasting features are important and you need features it can align in X and Y on.

When placing a part from library for side angle you must drag off the current frame with the correct camera up. you can also set a new frame to use a different than normal camera after making the frame via frame lighting (rt click when nothing is selected).

For ceramic parts i generally favor the color inspector. BUT it is BUGGED and will not work by default. To work around the bug created in 4.x from 3.x you must rt click your desktop > properties > settings > troubleshooting > Set hardware acceleration to NONE > apply OK apply OK reboot.

without this any attempt to take a screen shot of the program will not save the image (because in a fruitless attempt to speed it up they have programmed 4.x to send the image right to the GFX card and the OS never gets to see it, This bypasses it). Now when you make a color inspector it can properly detect the color of the part you have drawing it on. The eye dropper tool to select color will also now work, as will the add and remove colors feature (lets you add additional valid colors like images to a mounting inspector). I prefer a 4x4 or 3x3 grid for chip caps and resistors with a R G B search range of 20 using the square option, you can always add more colors.


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Mirtec programming discussion | 14 January, 2011

Hello eadthem,

MIRTEC sells a center board support for our desktop series. Please contact our office directly for more information regarding this option.

I beleive that we might be able to offer you additional assistance with your side angle programming as well. Please set some time aside to work with us via Webex.

Thank you.

Brian D'Amico - MIRTEC

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Mirtec programming discussion | 18 January, 2011

CL, Can you help me out here. We currently have a MV2 and a MV3 and I am wondering if there is an option to move programs back and forth for these two versions. I hope Mirtec thought this through and didn't oversee this option.

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Mirtec programming discussion | 18 January, 2011

what is your software version for the MV2 and MV3 ?

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Mirtec programming discussion | 19 January, 2011

Hello Mark,

The centroid data you are currently using to program the MV-2HTL may be used with either platform. However, the libraries cannot be shared due differences in camera resolution. The MV-2HTL will have a 1.3 megapixel camera versus the 2 megapixel camera with the MV-3L. The bottom line is that some modification is required to overcome the compatability issue between the two different camera configurations. Some customers have had success by importing the library from the MV-2HTL and refreshing the images on the MV-3L machine thru ATT. This will force the machine to recapture images at the higher 2 meg resolution. For more information regarding this procedure, please contact MIRTEC directly at (203) 881-5559. It will be our pleasure to assist you.

Thank you for your business Mark.

Brian D'Amico - MIRTEC

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Mirtec programming discussion | 22 January, 2011

Hey "vpblf" i was wondering if you had herd much from mirtec about fixes for the repair plus issues?(good image duplicated on bad image, no arrows, missing good or bad images, missing problems, problems from a different board showing up under the wrong board?)

I'le contact mirtec again on Monday I guess and see if they have any bug fixes out.

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Mirtec programming discussion | 24 January, 2011

Hello Eadthem,

We have a preliminary release of software spcifically designed to address these issues with Repair Plus. Please contact our office directly at 203-881-5559 so that we may arrange a Webex with you to install this new software. We would appreciate your feedback regarding this enhancement.

Thank you,

Brian D'Amico - MIRTEC

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Mirtec programming discussion | 24 January, 2011

having a mixture of ISP and browser problems today. Delete Me

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Mirtec programming discussion | 25 January, 2011

After seeing the offers for help and you possibly “not having enough time”, I am just curious if your ax is sharp enough yet or do you still need to grind it some more?

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Mirtec programming discussion | 25 January, 2011

Hello Mark,

As far as I know, the programs are not transferable between platforms.



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Mirtec programming discussion | 26 January, 2011

So Ive talked to mirtec and there going to get us some info on getting a pre release to fix the issues we have had.

ATM our current tooling works ok for most things, but when they look in to another mv3, Ile mention that it might be nice having something less rigged(bent aluminum strips). Thanks Brian.


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Mirtec programming discussion | 26 January, 2011

After trying the patch for a week its fixed our problems. We are going to deploy it on the other repair stations tomorrow.

thanks ead

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Mirtec programming discussion | 10 February, 2011

It may be a good idea as you suggested to purchase an MVP AOI. You won't have those problems then.

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Mirtec programming discussion | 11 February, 2011

Hello eadthem,

I am pleased to hear that the new software is working well. Please keep us posted as to your progress.

If you need any further assistance, please do not hesitate to contact us at (203) 881-5559.

Brian D'Amico - President MIRTEC Corp

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