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Heller Industries Inc.
Advances in Monitoring of Stencil Printing
Production Floor programs cover topics including:
CAD/CAM/CIM/EDA, Circuit Board Handling, Clean Room, Cleaning Operations, Component Insertion, Component Prep, Dispensing, Feeders, Fume Extraction, Hand Tools, Labeling/Marking, Lasers, Material Handling, Odd Form, Ovens/Curing, Packaging, Stencil Printing, Repair/Rework, Soldering and more.
The electronics assembly industry has long wished for and made great advancements toward developing a true, closed-loop automatic print verification and process monitoring technology. While significant progress has been made, many hurdles remain to be overcome. Recent developments in on-board inspection technology, however, have pushed the "lights-out" printing concept even closer to becoming reality.
This paper will present data on a novel print verification technology that uses a series of sensors to capture the full board image, analyze the data and accept or reject the print - all in real time. The system compares the actual print to that of the PCB‟s Gerber data to assess accuracy and paste presence/absence, among other print components, and can be integrated with additional machine performance tools to make the printing platform even more intuitive. By enabling the print and inspection processes to run concurrently and deliver 100% verification at full line speed, production rates can be maintained and throughput is exponentially improved. The technology can have a profound impact on cost reduction, as faulty boards are isolated and removed from the line at the printing phase instead of traveling fully downstream to final assembly. Additionally, integrating such high-speed and powerful inspection technology onto the printing system eliminates the requirement for a dedicated, in-line SPI machine, and saves even more resource including training and floor space.
The inspection component of this next-generation technology can also be combined with verification and traceability tools to confirm all print inputs and outputs and trace materials, boards and processes to origination. This is a requirement for many high-value applications such as medical, defense and aerospace and has tremendous benefit for traditional EMS and OEM assembly operations as well.