MUNICH – Messe International Fairgrounds in Munich, home to Productronica, is the largest electronics manufacturing trade show outside Asia, with more than 40,000 visitors attending the four-day event.

Colocated with SemiCon Europe, the show fills nearly 8 halls, each the size of an airplane hangar. All the major players in every aspect of electronics assembly production are here, as well as hundreds of smaller companies. Inspection is everywhere here: There are more than 40 companies offering surface inspection, 28 showing AOI, and another 20 with x-ray equipment.

Mirtec reports more demand for wafer-level package inspection. Light shined on bare die using standard moiré tends to reflect. The MV-3 Omni desktop AOI automatically inspects for defects both pre and post reflow. Designed to capture inline capability for an offline price, it uses a blue LED projection moiré to characterize those highly reflective devices and solder joints that standard moiré or t laser cannot handle.

Viscom has extended its S3088 Ultra with the Chrome configuration, one of three standard configurations the 3D AOI comes in. The previously available entry level Blue line is aimed at companies primarily using 2D capability; the top of the line Gold model is a high resolution, high speed 3D inspection machine. Chrome targets users who desire speed along with 3D quality. The new X8068 SL inline x-ray features automatic loading and targets larger boards, power electronics and “massive” components.

Saki continues to report strides in the automotive sector. The new 3D platform has an beefed-up aluminum frame to reduce vibration, and linear encoders with scalable accuracy to 0.1 micron for better control of the head position. The standard 12 micron resolution head can be adjusted to optional 7 micron resolution by swapping the lens. The system is 180% faster than the previous model. A user-friendly Wizard performs auto-programming based on IPC standards. The new 3Si-LS2 SPI is built on the same platform as the AOI, and also applies scalable resolution, and has an accuracy of 3 microns at 3 Sigma.

ALeader has come a long way since I first saw them in China more than a decade ago. The new ALD8700S 3D AOI platform now measures height. Using its new interface, users can apply Gerber files to locate pads and make go/no go decisions based on built-in IPC Class 1,2 or 3 specifications. It looks for component shift, coplanarity, tombstones, shorts, and lifted lands using a single camera and digital projection system.

Yxlon has extended its x-ray systems to fit the end-user application. The Cheetah EVO SMT is for manual or automatic applications, and takes advantage of dynamic image enhancing filters. The Cheetah EVO Semi targets the semiconductor industry, offering void measurement and "on the fly" inspection. The Cheetah EVO Plus is a microCT system aimed at the lab.

TRI has a full array of machines, ranging from 2D and 3D AOI to 3d CT AXI. The new TR7500 SIII 3D AOI features one top and four side cameras.

Nordson YesTech has a unique configuration for its FX-940. The 3D AOI has a new projection system, with a projector and multiple cameras, and software that reduces reflections and shadowing to improve metrology. It is being shown integrated with the Nordson Asymtek conformal coater featuring a UV curing system underneath as part of a dispense-cure-inspection configuration. See Twitter.com/mikebuetow and the CIRCUITS ASSEMBLY Facebook page for pictures.

The FX-942 double-sided through-hole inspection system introduced earlier this year has two heads, one on each side, and UV light for conformal coating coverage and thickness.

MVP’s Spectra II is among the machines that now has pin-in-hole test as part of its array of inspection capability.

Newly acquired by Mycronic, Vi Tech’s PIE SPI has a touchscreen user interface that eliminates the mouse and keyboard. SIGMA software correlates SPI and AOI data, and is said to review manufacturing processes in 3D and in real time. A color code system indicates the process is nearing the end of its tolerance range. It ties into the Mycronic printer and pick and place. The related 5K3D AOI shows real metrology in 3D.

Parmi is showing Xceed, is hybrid SPI/AOI, available for in or offline usage. While the name is the same as the AOI model released two years ago – and which Parmi says it may change – this version performs bottom-side inspection. Another feature is a laser that looks inside holes, for press-fit connectors, for instance, and can measure dimensions.

New to the scene is Ash out of Ireland. The microscope manufacturer is showing its competitively priced Omni line, which can tilt the board under inspection, digitally measure lead to lead distance, and imports DfX or Gerber and uses those files as a digital overlay on the screen to compare with the parts on the board.

Hailing from Great Britain, LRD Electric launched four machines in the past year, two benchtop AOI and two inline systems. The entry level Kite line scan model has a topdown camera and performs first article or fully automated inspection on parts down to 0402. Merlin, the other benchtop model, offers a 5Mp camera with a telecentric lens, for inspecting parts down to 01005 and 0.3mm pitch. Osprey is a standalone inline version of Kite, a linescan camera with a telephoto lens, while Falcon is the higher resolution inline model. All are competitively priced.

Another newer player is MagicRay of China, which has the TD7000 3D AOI and the just released V5300 inline AOI with double-sided inspection.

Many of these systems are part of the Hermes Initiative, an ASM-backed protocol for line to line communication. This is one of several protocols for machine to machine communication that has emerged on the electronics industry scene in the wake of Industry 4.0. More on that shortly.

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