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AOI in the future



AOI in the future | 14 May, 2001

What role will AOI play in the future in PCB Assembly?

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AOI in the future | 14 May, 2001

As the face of business changes through revolutionary factors, such as the increasing rate of outsourcing, manufacturers (especially EMS plants) will strive to fine tune their test strategies to ultimately improve and sustain product quality and to remain competitive.

As a result, AOI should become an integrative part of the process that provides and uses process parameters and production performance results from defect data and other production systems to improve the total quality of the PCB assembly manufacturing line.

AOI will need to support the inspection needs at multiple inspection points through the assembly process. Leading AOI suppliers should provide comprehensive, flexible, and easy-to-use solutions for all inspection stages. With advanced 2D and 3D defect detection technology and innovative analysis and feedback tools, users will be able to improve the quality of their process and optimize it in real time. The AOI workflow methodology should be based on an intelligent, adaptive decision process that results in the highest detectability with the lowest false alarm rate. At pre-reflow, AOI will typically be used as a metrology tool to control the paste stencil process (a major contributor to solder joint quality post oven), or as the tool to measure and check the placement process. At post reflow, the role of AOI will increase in importance as the "gate keeper" which on one hand provides an optimum overview of the whole process health, and on the other makes sure that no bad material leaves the line to the marketplace. In addition, new developments will add value and capabilities to the post reflow AOI, as it will soon be able to offer a level of process control and capability analysis previously not available. Looking into the near future, lead-free solder will give rise to the need for tools to be able to monitor and control the inevitable variance associated with the introduction of new lead-free processes. An AOI solution that can enhance the ramp-up of the new process generation will play an important role in this major change.

To support the demanding requirements of manufacturers with plants throughout the world, AOI suppliers should have an extensive global infrastructure that provides responsive, professional service when and where it is needed. Having a total AOI solution, superior technology, full line integration and global service is the essential mix in the coming years.

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