€1m boost to optical inspection and placement machines at TDK-Lambda

August 02, 2019 //By Nick Flaherty
TDK is installing new optical inspection and production line equipment at its power supply manufacturing plant in the UK as part of a €1m investment.
TDK is installing new optical inspection and production line equipment at its power supply manufacturing plant in the UK as part of a €1m investment.

As part of the overall €1m investment at the TDK-Lambda plant in Ilfracombe, Devon, UK, the company is adding a new YSi-V AOI machine from Yamaha (above). 

The inspection process on AOI requires multiple images of the board to be taken and processed. The movement time for the camera far outweighs the processing time required for the image, so reducing the number of images required during inspection has a direct impact on the throughput of the machine.

The existing NV-175 equipment takes 65 images of the board, the much larger field of view on the Yamaha system requires only 9. Board handling then adds a similar amount to the processing time for each system and, as such, the increase in throughput offered through the new equipment varies depending upon board complexity but is generally in the region of increasing the current throughput by 150% to 175%.

Three placement lines are also being added, using Yamaha YSM-20 placement machines with a new optical detection system. The new machines provide placement accuracy of +/- 25µm @ 3 Sigma, compared to 50µm for the existing machines. However, the accuracy of component placement is not solely dependent upon how well the machine can repeatedly find the placement location. To place the component correctly, once the device has been picked, the machine must examine it to determine where its centre is. If the machine cannot accurately determine the centre of the component, it will not be able to place it in the desired location, irrespective of how accurately it can locate the position the device is to be placed at.

The current equipment uses a laser alignment system, shining a thin beam of light across the device and determining its centre by looking at the shadow it creates.


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