New visual inspection system from BI Technologies
Jun 27, 2006
Among BI Technologies' products are a number of surface mount components, which are produced on a reel containing up to 4000 components. Many of these components are glass covered, which presents particular problems in quality control testing.
According to Stewart Beveridge, Senior Manufacturing Engineer at BI, "We had four highly trained and experienced people checking the components through microscopes. It took up to an hour to check each reel and, although the components are sitting in a clear pocket with clear tape over it, the result was not easy to view and made the inspectors very tired."
"When an operator found a faulty component it had to be cut from the reel and if more than 7 components were found on a reel, the entire reel had to be scrapped and reprocessed. We clearly needed to find a better, more automated way to inspect these components."
BI decided to call in Envisage Systems, a company specialising in automated visual inspection systems for the electronic components industry. According to Mike Phillips, Managing Director of Envisage Systems, "We consulted Multipix Imaging, the suppliers of the cameras, frame grabbers, lenses and image processing software that we use in our visual inspection systems, and they were able to help us understand the problems and convince ourselves that we could solve these problems. With Multipix' help, we were able to put together a viable system, integrating the various hardware and software components."
Stewart Beveridge continued," The system does exactly what we want it to do. We expect new systems to pay for themselves in two years but this Envisage system looks like paying for itself much sooner than that."
The system used at BI was based on a flexible mechanical design known as CAPVIS. This machine was originally built as a capacitor inspection system but quickly evolved into a general purpose small part handling unit.