Altus Manages Miniaturisation Growth with 3D AOI Technology


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The use of AOI systems is a popular method of inspection, especially in today’s increasing use of microelectronics. The growth in miniaturisation requires state-of-the-art techniques and inspection methods to ensure circuitry runs as it should. This however is becoming progressively difficult due to the increasing use of very complex and intricate PCBs. 3D AOI inspection is answering this call and Altus Group, a leading distributor of capital equipment, has seen a substantial increase in its popularity.

3D AOI is the automated visual inspection of PCB manufacture which uses a camera to scan the assembly for defects that would lead to board failure. It can be used at many stages through the manufacturing process including bare board inspection, solder paste inspection and populated board inspection (pre and/or post reflow).

“As technology progresses and PCBs decrease in size, we are receiving many more enquiries for 3D AOI equipment which present meaningful data to our customers. More manufacturers are adopting 3D AOI to increase board quality. Measurement data generated from 3D AOIs provides an insight on the process and helps eliminate the root causes of a defect in a PCB.

“One of the most popular systems from our portfolio is Koh Young’s Zenith 3D AOI. Based on their innovative technology ‘Zenith’ it measures the true profilometric shape of components, solder joints, patterns and even foreign material on assembled PCBs with patented 3-dimensional measurement, overcoming the shortcomings and vulnerabilities of traditional 2D AOI. A great asset to any modern PCB manufacturing facility.

“We have delivered over 100 inspection systems in the UK and this figure is growing rapidly due to the importance of true 3D inspection. The challenges and limitations of optical inspection systems can no longer be overlooked, because they can be the cause for false calls and escapes. The growth of innovative high-tech inspection equipment will continue to increase in popularity. We are ready for this demand with equipment and engineers in place to provide the best possible service and advice,” said Matthew Jones, sales director at Altus.

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