Addressing the Need for Reliable, Accurate Inspection Results


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Nori Koike, COO of Japan-based Saki Corp., one of the leading providers of AOI systems, discusses with I-Connect007’s Stephen Las Marias how the latest trends in the automotive electronics space is driving the developments in AOI technology.

Stephen Las Marias: What major changes or trends have you witnessed in the automotive electronics industry?

Nori Koike: From the SMT equipment point of view, obviously the amount of production has increased. This has been stated by various automotive electronics manufacturers, but it is a fact. Various functions in the automotive are changing the structure to use the PCB, and this trend shall continue. While it has acted as a replacement of old functions which contributed to improving the function, except navigation, now it will add value that automotives didn’t have in the past (i.e., auto driving, traffic control, network, and electric power source), to name a few.

Las Marias: Automotive electronics manufacturers need to build reliable electronic products with increasing density, complexity and sophistication. Where does Saki come in to help your customers achieve this?

Koike: Saki is an inspection company using various image processions. We acquire images through 2D, 3D, and X-ray, because inspection is becoming impossible only with 2D, when considering the increasing density and complexity of the boards. Any kind of inspection needed for parts on the PCB will be covered by these technologies. Also, many of the automotive electronics manufacturers grow their business on a global base. They will need to control the quality at the same level in each area. To realize this, they need the same inspection result in the same production. Looking from the inspection point of view, it will need simpler programming with higher accuracy. 3D and Xray technologies will contribute in this area using height and cubic measurement. When using this additional 2D information, we will be able to provide simpler programming with low false calls, which contributes to operational efficiency and moreover, improves the accuracy.

Las Marias: What about shorter product lifecycles and keeping costs in check?

Koike: Basically, it will be the same story as the above. Shorter lifecycle and innovation means low volume, high mix. On the other hand, they cannot increase the cost to program, and lowering the quality is not an option. They need to improve the quality. This is why we provide 3D AOI and true cubic 3D X-ray inspection.

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Editor's Note: This article originally appeared in the September 2015 issue of SMT Magazine.

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