GPC Electronics Enhances Inspection Capabilities


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Modern communications products are becoming more challenging to manufacture with high density of placements and miniature devices. As a result, traditional human eye inspection methods are no longer effective. For example, 0201 is now common and 01005 and 008004 (0.25mm x 0.125mm) are coming through. These types of components cannot be effectively inspected by the human-eye, even with the aid of modern camera based inspection systems.

Older AOI systems were unreliable and ineffective due to the high level of operator intervention required due to “false failures” and the need to fine tune the equipment on-line. The ability to use flying probe and in-circuit test (ICT) becomes costly and impractical due to high component density that then results in a lack of test access.

When a number of OEMs in the field of high speed networking and communications products partnered with GPC Electronics, the challenge was verifying PCBA products with typically more than 5,000 placements, component footprints of 0201 or less and with limited or no test access.

The answer was to invest in the most modern AOI equipment available. With installations in GPC Electronics’ Australian, New Zealand and Chinese factories, the advanced AOI provides faster and more reliable inspection. The GPC Electronics advanced AOI can detect a comprehensive range of defects and errors. The key feature is the 4 MPX color camera with an optical resolution of 10µm–15µm. The advanced AOI uses dynamic imaging and its inspection functions include detecting missing components, tomb-stoning, bill-boarding, polarity resolution, wrong marking (OCV) and upside down or defective components. It can also detect excess solder, insufficient solder, bridging, through-hole pins as well as scratches and contamination. All this can be achieved in seconds even for the highest density PCBA’s, whereas more traditional test methods such as flying probe may take 10 minutes or more and still not provide adequate test coverage.

In addition to the ability to remove human eye inspection and achieve faster cycle times, the advanced AOI system provides GPC Electronics rapid process feedback. Moreover, due to the pre-determined programmed parameters, faults can be identified with consistency well before any final or functional test. This early stage verification provides higher product yields and the ability to rationalize down-stream test processes.

Reliability and consistency are the key to driving efficiency and low cost. The introduction of advanced AOI equipment has provided a valuable addition to GPC Electronics' capabilities.

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