The latest in SMT inspection systems


A glimpse into the latest inspection systems launched in the last one year

By Srabani Sen

Monday, August 13, 2013: Studies have confirmed that approximately 50 per cent of all electronics assembly errors and 65 per cent of SMT defects are related to solder paste printing and solder joint formation. Studies have also pointed out that effective and thorough paste inspection immediately after screen printing is essential to ensure high yields, minimise rework/retest and reduce overall scrap costs.

Over the last several years, automated optical inspection (AOI) systems and solder paste inspection (SPI) systems have become more and more accepted as necessary tools in PCB assembly lines, particularly in industries where tough quality and safety standards apply.


It is not just the increasing board density and the miniaturisation of components that drive this success, implementation of AOI and SPI systems as part of the overall process control and test strategy has proved to be an unmatched return on investment for inspection equipment regardless of the volume and the mix of product. The most cited benefits are reductions in inspection and repair costs, significantly less downtime as well as alleviation of traditional bottlenecks.

The key to accurate solder paste inspection is the consistent measuring accuracy of various materials, surface treatment conditions, colours, and geometrical structures. This will reduce false calls and defect escape rates to zero per cent, and prevent wrong information to be used for printer setting and printing process.

Vendors now supply products that range from simple camera systems to complex three dimensional (3 D) x-ray systems that can fit into almost any automated manufacturing line. Here’s a glimpse into the latest SPI and AOI systems launched in the last one year.


Model: QX100 tabletop AOI system, Brand: CyberOptics, Company: CyberOptics Corporation, USA

Launched in March 2012, QX100 tabletop AOI system combines the performance of an inline inspection system with the flexibility of a tabletop system. At ≤200cm2/sec, QX100 is fast and is capable of inspecting component sizes down to 01005 using CyberOptics’ unique image acquisition technology—strobed inspection module (SIM).

QX100 is powered by autonomous image interpretation (AI2), a patented image analysis technique evolved from CyberOptics’ statistical appearance modeling (SAM) technology. AI2 is a robust statistical modeling engine that provides superior detection capabilities, lowest false call rates and improved clarity of defect identification through an active pixel marking feature.

QX100 is also equipped with the latest breakthrough in programming software, ePM-SPI/AOI, enabling a one step programming approach for generating both SPI and AOI programmes. It eliminates tedious programming by automatically creating the required task and search areas, thereby, dramatically reducing programming time. QX100 comes in two different model configurations to suit varying board requirements and includes software that is 100 per cent compatible with CyberOptics’ inline AOI systems.

Key features

Scanning speed: Up to 200 cm2/sec; Component size: 0402 mm (01005 in.); Board length and width: 50 mm to 330 mm (2.0 in to 13.0 in); 50 mm to 308 mm (2.0 in to 12.0 in), Imager: Multiple 5 megapixel colour CMOS cameras, Resolution: 17 μm pixel size

Contact details: Sean Lee, Asia sales director, Ph: +65 6744 3021, [email protected],

India distributor: SMS Associates Pvt Ltd and Maxim SMT Technologies Pvt Ltd


Model: VT-RNSII AOI & SPI system, Brand: Omron, Company: Omron, Japan

Omron launched this inline AOI and 3D solder paste inspection (SPI) system in January 2012. It is like having three inspection machines in one, as it can be easily configured to perform three different types of PCB inspections, making the VT-RNSII a very flexible machine that can be used to inspect PCBs at post-paste, post-placement or post-solder stages.

This machine can be used for component inspection as well as solder paste inspection. It is an inline PCB inspection system, which delivers fast and reliable results to prevent defective boards from reaching the customer. Its inspection programme has been simplified with Omron’s easy-to-use EzTS software to efficiently handle high mix/low volume production.

This machine can reduce post-reflow inspection times by 20 per cent by utilising faster shutter speeds and improved image processing. Omron’s 3 CCD camera and colour highlight technology provide accurate inspection capability.

Key features

Patented three colour highlight AOI technology; Data analysis function; User friendly software and installation; Optical character verification machine (OCV) function; Network compatible; Lead free enabled

Contact details: Omron Asia Pacific Pte Ltd, Singapore; Ph: +65-65476789; [email protected]

India distributor: Leaptech Corporation

For details about Leaptech Corporation, see Advertisement on back cover


Model: Speed|Scan AtlineCT, Brand: GE
Company: GE Measurement and Control, USA

Launched in early 2012, GE’s Speed|Scan AtlineCT is a new high speed computed tomography system for 3D mass production process control. With GE’s new industrial speed|scan CT system, this proven technology is available for high speed at-line process control. The proven, gantry based computed tomography offers > 200 x faster inspection compared to conventional industrial CT, thus substituting other NDT inspection and metrology processes. It provides fast 3D inspection and measurement of complex parts and complete feedback for improved reaction on process fluctuations.

Key features

Inspection concept: Manual loading and inspection for statistical process control; Max. sample size: Appx. 300 X 400 X800 mm; Max. penetration length: Up to 300 mm AI, depending on part geometry; Min. detectable defect size: > 0.5 mm, depending on part size; Detail detectability: > 0.325 mm; Sample weight up to 50 kg; Scan speed: 5 mm-35 mm; Geometric parameters: Focus to detector: 950 mm

Contact details: Thomas Paul, [email protected];

India distributor: Bergen Associates Pvt Ltd


Model: SPI HS70 series, Brand: PARMI, Company: Pattern Recognition and Machine Intelligence (PARMI), Korea

HS70 series is a fast inline solder paste inspection system with a fast measuring speed. It was launched in early 2012. Its laser head is mounted onto linear motors which gives smooth continuous motion and provides more stability in eliminating the effect vibration that can have an accurate measuring of height, area, volume and warp. The linear motor lifetime is longer due to the stable motion of the laser head.

Key features

Platform and mountable panel spec: 430 x 350 mm, thickness 4 mm; Measuring speed: 80cm2/sec at 20 x 10 um resolution and 40 cm2/sec at 13 x 7 um resolution; Can inspect smaller than 01005 pads and sizes as small as 100 um; Inspection cycle time reduced based on PARMI’s development of the RSC-6 sensor; Two magnification of camera lens for the RSC sensor delivering–0.42 x to 0.6 x magnifications providing more control to the engineers

Contact details: JP Park, [email protected], Ph (Korea): 042-478-9900 (8242478.9900);

India distributor: Bergen Associates Pvt Ltd


Model: OptiCon THT-Line & OptiCon SPI-Line 3D, Brand: Gopel Electronic, Company: Gopel Electronic, Germany

Launched in May 2012, OptiCon THT-Line AOI system enables efficient quality assurance of THT assemblies in the production process. It can be utilised either per manual feeding or as an inline system utilising a roller conveyor transport system. It enables automated inspection of THT assemblies with up to 80 mm component height.

OptiCon SPI-Line 3D, which was also launched in May 2012, enables precise three dimensional solder paste printing measurement in terms of height, volume, offset and smearing.

The core element is a specifically developed 3D camera head functionally based on the fringe projection principle, operating without moving parts. There are three different system configurations determined by lateral resolutions of 10 μm, 15 μm and 20 μm. In high speed mode the system achieves an inspection speed of up to 90 cm²/s with extraordinary precision.

Key features

PCB dimension: Min 80 mm x 80 mm, max 510 mm x 510 mm; Camera: 4 megapixel, 180 fps; Inspection speed: 90 cm²/s 51 cm²/s 20 cm²/s

Contact details: Frank Richter, Ph: +49036416896-0, +49-03641-6896-731, [email protected], [email protected];

India distributor: EMST Marketing Pvt Ltd


Model: S3088 flex AOI system, Brand: Viscom, Company: Viscom Machine Vision Pte Ltd, Germany

S3088 flex AOI system was launched in early 2012, for reliable, economical defect detection and fast process optimisation. From prototypes to large volume, this flexible platform with scalable modular camera technology can handle any inspection task. With the OnDemandHR function, the resolution can be switched between 23.5 and 11.75 μm/pixel. Furthermore, the high resolution of 16.2 and 8.1 μm/pixel in angular view also guarantees positive recognition of critical defects, such as fine pitch lifted leads. This standard resolution/high resolution capability detects even the smallest defects on 01005 components.

A key feature of S3088 AOI is the integrated defect verification. This feature ensures defect detection while reducing false alarms. This gives the system operator a convenient tool to support a zero escape AOI strategy. High performance add-on ­­modules such as verification, offline programming and SPC statistical­ process evaluation help to provide superior performance.

Key features

Field of view: 57.6 x 43.5 mm; Resolution: 23.5 μm (standard), 11.75 μm (high) switchable with OnDemandHR ; 4 megapixel cameras; PCB dimensions: 508 x 508 mm (20″ x 20″) (L x W); Inspection speed: 20 – 40 cm2/s

Contact details: Elvin Loh, Ph: +65-6285-9891 (Singapore); [email protected];, India distributor: Bergen Systems Pvt Ltd



Model: SHS60 SPI system, Brand: Samsung, Company: Samsung Techwin Co Ltd, Korea

This 3D solder paste inspection system was launched in 2010, which is reliable and accurate in 3D data. The innovative 3D laser triangulation method provides high robust 3D data against considerable variations of PCB colour and finishing condition, solder material and paste shape. The machine gives authentic inspection and measurement with no false call. The intelligent vision algorithm applied to the high quality 3D data detects every kind of solder paste defects.

The inspection job is fast and easy, and it has clear and prompt insight into printing process, not only to detect defects, but also to help customer to control printing process. Its inspection speed is high, and provides 100 per cent whole pads inspection in even fast assembly lines. The lateral resolution is set at 18 along the Y axis direction and the scan resolution along the X axis is set at 20.

Key features

Inspection type: Height, area, volume, offset, bridge; Inspection speed: High resolution 30 sq cm/sec; High speed 60 sq cm/sec; Laser triangulation method is applied which is least affected by environmental factors; High inspection speed and accuracy by 3D sensor; Head with DSP chip; Realtime SPC analysis programme; Supports all paste types—lead or lead free

Contact details: Sangyoun Seo, Ph: 0082-2-2145-3048; [email protected];

India branch: Samsung India

Model: MLD 1200 IDA, Brand: Modus, Company: Modus High-Tech Electronics, Germany

This inline system was launched in mid 2011, and offers practice oriented solutions for efficient, inline process monitoring. The orientation of the image acquisition device allows inspection from above or below, eliminating the need for a turning station. A double system can inspect both sides of the test object at once. With the latest generation of the Modus scanner, MLD1200 captures images in one pass, one or both sides of the PCB up to 300 mm x 410 mm in a timeframe of 3 to 25 seconds. This applies for all processes, solder paste, post placement, post reflow or post wave inspection with a scanning resolution of 1200 dpi and a structure resolution of 21 μm. It has two multi-LED illuminated scanner units and two patented special lenses which generate parallax free pictures.

Key features

Test speed: PCB area 300 mm x 400 mm at 1200 dpi, independent of the amount of the parts: 23 seconds; Dimensions: Inline system 1060 mm or 1590 mm x 1200 mm; Scanner unit resolution: 600-1200 dpi, RGB colour filter on CCD line sensor; Colour intensity 3 x 12 bit interior, 3 x 8 bit external; Light source: multi-LED-illumination

Contact details: Gerald Landt, Ph: +49 (0) 2154 89 590-0; [email protected];

India distributor: Bergen Associates Pvt Ltd


Model: Traqu, Brand: Essemtec, Company: Essemtec AG, Switzerland

Traqu 3D inspection and measuring system, which was launched in 2010 brings superior 3D metrology to the professionals in engineering and science. It is designed for the most demanding applications in industries like electronic or hybrid manufacturing, semiconductors, photovoltaic, LED manufacturing, sensors, fuel cells, forensic and other areas. The patented technology of the Traqu 3D inspection system avoids common shadowing effects of laser triangulation systems through a fully vertical view based on interferometer technology. This technology provides improved 3D analysis of surfaces and volumes, even if they are shiny.

The highly rigid and accurate machine base, combined with high resolution linear motor driven axis (x/y/z), guarantees ultra precise results for most complicated measuring tasks. The machine features automatic scanning of areas which is controlled by the software of the system.

Key features

Patented tomographic smart pixel sensor with in pixel signal processing of up to 1 million 2D slices per second; Motion drive system with 1μm resolution; Scan area up to 300 x 400 mm; Additional 2D camera; High precision 3D measurements; Wide range of applications; Programming interfaces included

Contact details: Jay Kumar, [email protected], Ph: +41-797291010, +41-419196060, [email protected],

India branch: Essemtec India


Model: AV 810 solder paste height inspection system & AV 870 AOI system, Brand: Mechatronic Systems, Company: Mechatronic Systems, Singapore

AV 810 SPI, which was launched in 2011, is easy to operate with Chinese and English Window interfaces. It has recordable and printable inspection data, with stable and consistence result. Various thickness can be inspected by adjusting focus. It can inspect various thickness, width and length measurement, with statistical analysis, solder paste in-process QC inspection, solder paste end process measurement and condition check. It is suitable for most application size measurement and QC inspection withing the scope.

Key features

Measure solder paste, thickness, length, width, pitch, diameter and angle; Provide various thickness refer point; Check and analyse solder paste thickness; Graphical chart of UCL and LCL results; X-bar, range; Charts of Cp, Cpk, and statical report.

AV 870 AOI is exclusively designed using inspection algorithms for high efficiency, precise and is user friendly for quality control and productivity. It provides inspection realtime result, reviewing inspection result of present board while inspecting the next board at the same time. Inspection result and statistic report can be saved for future use.

Key features

Graphic interface; Simplified programming; Short and flexible study mode; Powerful overview operation with link to the main window for easy programming, inspection route, selection of components for programming of different functions.

Contact details: Joshua Ng, Ph:+(65)-68767877, [email protected],

India distributor: Agate & Agate Marketing Resources ( I ) Pvt Ltd


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