Automatic optical inspection technology

Paul Boughton

Steca Elektronik is an electronics service provider and manufacturer based in Memmingen, Germany. The company manufactures up to 18,000 printed circuit boards per day and offers electronic services for residential, automotive, agricultural, environmental, traffic and building technology as well as for the industrial and medical sectors.

Steca also has a solar division developing products for feeding the public grid, stand-alone systems and solar hot water systems. The company is actively involved in research projects for efficient energy use and climate protection and uses only manufacturing processes that conform to strict ecological criteria. 
Steca selected the iSpector HDL 650 following trials with multiple suppliers to acquire comparable performance data.  A matrix was developed and points awarded to each system for capabilities most significant to Steca's manufacturing model: Overall system speed; maximum PCB size; speed and ease of entering and processing CAD data; best evaluation of the solder joint; inspection of tall components.  At the conclusion of the trials the Mek iSpector HDL 650 was the AOI system with the largest number of points and became the AOI system of choice.

AOI is typically at the heart of quality control procedures within PCB manufacturing and the iSpector and Catch yield enhancement software will provide Steca with a completely closed loop, powerful process monitoring and quality control tool.  The iSpector HDL is designed for customers for whom production quality is priority. It reliably inspects SMT and THT component bodies for presence/absence, type, polarity, offset, text, colours etc. and components solder fillets for excessive, insufficient or no solder, shorts, lifted leads etc. Suitable for use in pre reflow, post reflow, post wave and post selective, it can also be used for 2D solder paste inspection and first article inspection.

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