Automatic Optical Inspection (AOI-Testing)

Automatic or automated optical inspection, AOI, is a key technique used in the manufacture and test of ALL Electronic printed circuit boards (PCB’s) currently manufactured by SK Electronics Ltd. Automatic optical inspection, AOI, enables fast and accurate inspection of electronic assemblies and in particular PCB’s, this is to ensure that the quality of product leaving the production line is high and the items are built correctly and without manufacturing faults.

The need for AOI, Automatic Optical Inspection.

Despite the major improvements that have been made, modern circuits are far more complicated than boards were even a few years ago. The introduction of surface mount technology, and the subsequent further reductions in size mean that boards are particularly compact. Even relatively average boards have thousands of soldered joints, and these are where the majority of problems are found.

This increase in the complexity of boards also means that manual inspection is not a viable option these days. Even when it was an accepted approach, it was realised that it was not particularly effective as inspectors soon tired and poor and incorrect construction was easily missed. With the marketplace now requiring high volume, high quality products to be brought to market very quickly, there is a requirement for very reliable and fast methods of Inspection and Test to ensure that product quality remains high. Therefore, SK Electronics Ltd utilises Automatic Optical Inspection in our Production Process, it is an essential tool in an integrated electronic test strategy that ensure costs are kept as low as possible by detecting faults early in the production line.

SK Electronics Ltd.’s Automatic optical inspection systems are placed into the SMD production lines both before or after the solder process, depending if Glue or Solder Paste is used. In this way they can be used to catch problems early in the production process. This has a number of advantages, due to faults costing more to fix the further along the production process they are found, this is obviously the optimum place to find faults. Additionally, process problems in the solder and assembly area can be seen early in the production process and information used to feedback quickly to earlier stages. In this way a rapid response can ensure that problems are recognised quickly and rectified before too many boards are built with the same problem.

SK Electronics Ltd, also uses Automatic Optical Inspection systems after the Flow Solder Process, this ensures the quality of Wave Soldered PCB’s, for solder quality including Bridges, Dry Joints, Unsoldered joints and placement accuracy.

What do we use?

SK Electronics Ltd made the decision to purchase AOI Machines from Mirtec Europe, who are a Global Leader in Inspection Technology. Due to the manufacturing of a very varied portfolio of Electronic Equipment and PCB’s from a large customer base. We believe the MV-2 and our latest MV-3 Machines are the best and most adaptable Machines for the production processes currently being used by SK Electronics Ltd.


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