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Feature Articles

Application-Specific Machine Vision Systems in the Electronic Industry – Populated PCB Update

by Nello Zuech, Contributing Editor - AIA


It has been a while since we have written about the landscape associated with application-specific machine vision systems in the electronic industry. While they still address the same generic applications – bareboard and populated board – much has been going on driving the necessity to consider these systems today more than ever before.

Line widths continue to get smaller, solder pads continue to get smaller, interconnect density continues to increase, component sizes continue to get smaller – all factors which make it increasingly more difficult for people to perform the inspection. At the same time driven by worldwide consciousness of environmental issues manufacturing processes have changed (e.g. lead-free solder), which, in turn, has made process verification and yield management even more important.

The suppliers have also undergone changes. Some companies that were in the market, no longer are. More companies from outside of North America have emerged as suppliers. In order to reflect as accurately as possible the performance of the systems on the market, companies known to be suppliers of populated PCB systems were asked to complete the following tables. Those that responded have been included in this article.
The insights associated with the respective suppliers noted in the tables are meant to provide guidance to mapping the performance of these systems to specific perceived requirements. Success with these systems requires that performance match company objectives in purchasing such equipment.




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