Cycle Time Reduction in the Eye of AOI

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In our survey for this month’s topic for SMT Magazine—cycle time reduction—inspection was identified as one of the key issues highlighted by respondents as a bottleneck in their manufacturing process when it comes to cycle times. I spoke with Norihiko Koike, COO of Saki Co. Ltd, to get his insights on this, and how his company is helping their customers address the issue. He also talked about the future technology developments that we can expect in the AOI industry.

Las Marias: From your perspective, nori, what can you say about cycle time?

Norihiko Koike: As a provider of 2D and 3D AOI, and AXI inspection machines, 2D AOI is the most traditional inspection machine that we have. When we talk about 3D AOI there’s always not much issue about cycle time because ours is much faster than the cycle time of the production line; but when it comes to 3D AOI or AXI, cycle time is slower than the actual production time. So we need to start tightening up our technology so that it can meet the actual cycle time. Right now, the trend is 3D AOI. A lot of our customers are chasing us to trim the cycle time of 3D AOI mainly. Our 3D AOI is in the range between 1.2x and 1.5x the cycle time of 2D AOI. So I think it’s quite close, and I believe in the near future it will be within the requirement of our customers.

Las Marias: Considering your customers, why do you think they have longer cycle times in their processes, and how do you think they can cut that down?

Koike: The biggest issue from our customers’ point of view will be the slowest machine in the line. In 2D AOI, it will never be the bottleneck, but it will be with 3D AOI. From the customer’s point of view, the best solution is to have all equipment become faster and faster. So, it depends on what kind of line that our customer designs. If it is a very long line with mounters mounting many components, then often the bottleneck will be the mounters, not the AOI. But on the other hand, if the components are so tiny that they will need X-ray inspection, the problem is bottlenecking at X-ray inspection.

Read the full interview here.


Editor’s Note: This article originally appeared in the October 2015 issue of The PCB Magazine.


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