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First Article Inspection, Lower End AOI

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First Article Inspection, Lower End AOI | 17 May, 2011

Our shop builds lowere qty (2-40 pcs) high complexity electronics. When we get in to bd counts greater than 10 pcs with a high number of placements (3-4K) missings and polarity are issues that bite us. We have looked at different simpler scanner type board inspection systems as well as more moderate inspection systems. Does anyone have any top 2-3 list of vendors o speak with on this tpe of inspection system?



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First Article Inspection, Lower End AOI | 25 May, 2011

As the Americas distributor, there's a chance that I'm severly biased here but even with that, you should check out the Cluso Vision System for FAI. I've worked with many AOI platforms over the years, back even when each machine shipped with it's own Ph.D. level programmer! Despite how much AOI has advanced over the years, there are still some limitations &, across the industry, there are many combinations of companies/products/quality systems that still make human visual inspection necessary. I won't get into the many & varied arguments about what defines FAI vs. AOI but suffice it to say that there are still many who justify visual inspection & there are now some alternative systems, like Cluso, that can dramatically improve on traditional visual inspection techniques. Such systems try to improve both the efficiency & the effectiveness of the FAI process at a level higher than the usual "crayon" colored inspection sheet that's been converted to an interactive PDF for "automation" purposes! There may also be some significance to the lower cost of such FAI systems when compared to even desktop AOI solutions.

Check here for more info :

I'm still not sure if I've got this posting process right, as I've never posted here before, & I offer my apologies concurrently, if I've transgressed any boundaries that I should be aware of. I'm not even sure that I'll be able to find my way back here to check! Please just email me ( & let me know, I'm really not some foul, nasty marketing guy trying to put one over on anyone but I have become a believer in the compatibilty of these new FAI systems with our AOI universe. Best Regards, Paul.

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First Article Inspection, Lower End AOI | 25 May, 2011


First Article Inspection, Lower End AOI | 25 May, 2011

The SimmScope is an inspection system that uses an overhead digital microsope on a motorized gantry to inspect the board - much like an AOI - except that it does not automatically make the pass/fail decisions. It is up to the operator to make the decision based on a visual comparison of the live image to the stored golden board image. The advantage over the scanning type systems is the higher resolution of the microscope for viewing small parts.

The system imports both the Gerber data and the XY list. It uses them to display a graphical "roadmap" of the board that can be used for point to point navigation. It can also be used to detect and correct errors in the pick and place program, as bad rotations will show up on the graphics. The corrected XY list can be exported back out to the Pick and place machine

A post inspection report is generated for traceabililty, as well as a color coded graphical printout. The report can also be loaded back into the machine to re-inspect areas of the PCB.

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First Article Inspection, Lower End AOI | 30 May, 2011

BWET, I think that you're missing the obvious - you need to address why your SMT line is creating defects. I would expend my effort on the cause - not trying to detect the defects.



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First Article Inspection, Lower End AOI | 31 May, 2011


Besides the 2 machines mentioned which are part comparison machines that require the operator to provide a pass/fail on each ref id, there is a system called the FA Inspector which offers the mode described above and two additional modes: 1. Automated Mode wherein the software, not the operator, makes the pass/fail decision, and 2. Golden Board. Here a picture of the entire card is taken and compared region by region..the operator make the call.

Check out:

Call me or email me if you have any questions.

Best Regard, Frank Silva. 858-536-5050x111,

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First Article Inspection, Lower End AOI | 3 June, 2011

Amen... Until the process is designed, documented, employees trained and proficient, equipment maintained and calibrated, parts issues resolved, programming corrected, attitudes adjusted, and timetables reasonable, there is no need to tweak the inspection system. I've done mostly low volume, hi rel, and trying to program another machine seems less productive than doing the first one right. Use the money saved on some new feeders, and fixing some of the other issues. Quality is built in, not inspected and reworked in.

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First Article Inspection, Lower End AOI | 18 October, 2012

Hi, I am curious. What solution did you choose in the end? How is it working for you? I am looking at a Cluso system, so am interested in your thoughts. thanks wayne

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First Article Inspection, Lower End AOI | 18 October, 2012

We test drove several machines including the Yestech, Omron and Orbotech. For our Proto operations YesTech was about as easy to use as the rest, had adequate resolution and the right speed for the small lot sizes we are involved in.

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First Article Inspection, Lower End AOI | 18 October, 2012

Thank you. Any reason for not looking at Cluso?

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