Printed Circuit Board Assembly & PCB Design SMT Electronics Assembly Manufacturing Forum

Printed Circuit Board Assembly & PCB Design Forum

SMT electronics assembly manufacturing forum.

aoi inline

Ian T


aoi inline | 3 August, 2001

hi my company is planing to purchase an aoi system to be used inline. is there anyone out there doing this, if so do you use all the machine options (pattern character recognition, bad board marks, correct part polarity...) or do you dumb it down(part there or not)? any info would be appreciated.

Ian Thompson senior production technician

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aoi inline | 3 August, 2001

We have purchased 2 and will be implementing them in our line shortly. We have one for component inspection and one for paste inspection. We are planning on starting with it "dummed down" and then adding more variables and tightening our criteria as we get more familiar with it. For the paste inspection aoi, we are most concerned with is whether or not the paste is there and collecting data so we can tighten our criteria to eventually say paste within .5 mil or not... With the component inspection machine, we are concerned with component there or not, and then we will add polarity checks later.


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Michael Parker


aoi inline | 3 August, 2001

Start with a definition of what you expect the AOI to achieve at each station.

Will your in-line machine be post print? Place (pre-reflow) or post reflow?

Rather than buy one very expensive machine to put at the end of the line, maybe a couple of cheaper models that are dedicated to doing a few things would be a better model.

I can't see why you would want to "dumb down" an expensive machine, if you are not intending to use all of its options. Kinda like buyin' a Ferrari just to go to the corner liquor store and buy one can of beer. A waste of horsepower and money. Of course, dumbing down and slowly adding options as you gain experience and control may be your intention.

AOI is still an infant industry, search the archives here for as much info as you can glean. A lot of "me too" companies brought out "AOI", a few clear leaders are still around. Go for solid reputation, local support, and software customization flexibility.. Be sure to understand the various lighting technologies as well as gray scale and other types. I have watched and evaluated AOI for several years with growing anticipation of that one thing that works best. Haven't seen it yet. One company demonstrated a great idea, only problem was it was a slide show in Windows, the real hardware wasn't even designed yet, was slated to begin design in 9 months. Be sure to get hard facts on installed base, Mean time between failures, cost of spares and replacements, maintenance costs, etc. Ask who the biggest competitors are, check them out too. Another test I used was to bring my own sample board, with defects already documented. See how long it actually takes to program the full blown capability to find all the defects. You can gage for yourself what efforts you will be subjected to once the machine is installed and you are on your own.

Good luck

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