SMTAI Global SMT Panel Experts Discuss Current and Emerging Challenges in PCB Inspection

Global SMT Live Panel

How important is metrology in 2D and 3D inspection?

Held on Wednesday, September 28th, 2016, SMTA International, Rosemont, IL

PCBA inspection has come a long way in the past 10 years, but the landscape is changing and miniaturization and other challenges are making inspection much more complex.

At this year’s SMTAI show, a live video was recorded with a panel of 4 experts in the field, including CyberOptics’ Tim Skunes.


Q&A segment from the live panel:

Q – Trevor Gailbraith, Global SMT:

“PCB inspection has come a long way in 10 years, the landscaping is changing, miniaturization and other challenges are making inspection much more complex. This panel brings together a team of experts to discuss current and emerging challenges.

How are modern AOI systems coping with miniaturization? What are some of the key challenges that you face when measuring very small components? Is it just the sheer size, magnification or are there specific challenges? Shadowing is a problem that will continue to make 100% inspection a problem, what do AOI systems have to do to get around this problem? Lighting, cameras and software play a big role, but perhaps what plays a bigger role is sensor development – what sensor technology do you see we need to development?”

A – Tim Skunes, VP Technology & Business Development, CyberOptics:
“We have customers that are doing pilot production of metric 0201 so you need the resolution on the order of 6-7 microns to do those things. It’s not just the miniaturization, but it’s the density of the boards and so it’s very small components and with the density you have shadow problems with the miniature components next to very tall so not only do you have to deal with the miniaturization, you have to do 100% inspection, so now, it’s dealing with the shadows but often you’ll be next to a component where you’ll actually get multiple reflections coming off – maybe it’s an RF shield with a capacitive component next to the RF shield. CyberOptics has developed and utilizes a technology called Multiple Reflection Suppression (MRS) that allows you to identify the multiple reflections and then eliminate and suppress the multiple reflections. So it’s not only going to the very small components, it’s also then when you’re shadowed in those situations and you have multiple reflections, it’s still generating accurate data as you still need to do 100% inspection in those cases.

So I would say as far as the sensor technologies, of course increased camera resolutions are important, projection technologies, so the micro displays and the things that are doing the fringe projections continue to advance. One thing that’s very important for us is compute horsepower, so the GPU technology and riding that wave with the GPUs. Steve mentioned just getting the sheer amount of video data that you need because with the small resolution you’re generating that much more additional information with the high resolution. It becomes imperative to be able to keep up with all of that, even modern video standards still need to keep pushing into the future.”

Q – Trevor Gailbraith, Global SMT:
“There’s a problem, there’s plenty of computing power to deal with the high data, but the problem is the connection, getting something to transfer that data.”

A – Tim Skunes, VP Technology & Business Development, CyberOptics:

“Correct. That’s currently close to a bottleneck right now so we’ve developed proprietary systems to do that and we still need to continue to evolve to keep advancing technology.

Other sensor technology, it’s not just the hardware itself, but it’s the algorithms for analyzing so doing the multiple reflection suppression (MRS) or the 3D to get good data. There are all sorts of innovations in the areas of computer vision, even deep learning so there’s applications that make AOI easier to program or provide better analysis. So there are all sorts of innovations that continue to push forward in academia and in industry.”

Q – Trevor Gailbraith, Global SMT:

“You mentioned algorithms and we had a small discussion about that this morning. There’s an increasing amount of metrology data to drive systems forward for the factory automation debate. How do you see that developing? My view was that algorithms gave one result, but you said they give multiple, maybe you can explain that.”

A: Tim Skunes, VP Technology & Business Development, CyberOptics:

“Sure they can, but for actionable data and metrology in particular, even the 2D systems have some metrology capability. They are going to measure component positions and offsets and so forth. The 3D gives you that additional information for metrology. You get Z dimensions, you get lead height, package coplanarity, tip and tilt, shape of a solder joint, so all of those pieces of information are available from a metrology perspective so, that will feed into other expert systems and full line solutions.”

Inspection – how important is metrology in 2D and 3D inspection from Global SMT TV on Vimeo.

CyberOptics® Corporation
Technology Leadership. Global Solutions.


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CyberOptics will lead a poster presentation during the Technical Exhibition at the European Mask and Lithography Conference (EMLC), June 19-20 in Grenoble, France.

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CyberOptics will demonstrate the MRS-Enabled SQ3000 with multi-process capabilities including 3D AOI, SPI and CMM applications at SMT Nuremberg, Germany, June 5-7 at the Messe GmbH in hall 4, stand 101.

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