Omron introduced the VT-S530 inspection system and the VT-X750 automatic high-speed X-ray inspection system at this year’s SMT, and was able to record strong interest in both systems. Customers’ discussions here focussed especially on high capability Solder Joint Inspection combining, high-speed in-line inspection.

“This year’s SMT was very successful for us,” confirms Kevin Youngs, key account manager — Automated Inspection Business Europe at Omron Europe B.V. “It turns out that the absolutely precise high-speed inspection of components has become extremely interesting for individual industries,” Youngs explains further. Particularly the Automotive supply industry sees opportunities in the component-inspection possibilities for accelerating the production process whilst maintaining quality reliability.

The VT-S530 and VT-X750 inspection systems introduced at the trade show enable Three-Dimensional Solder Joint Inspection (3D-SJI) in which visual as well as non-visual inspection processes are combined to capture 3D shape of solder. Therefore, 3D technology computer tomography (3D CT) is employed for non-visual X-ray inspection. In order to enable exact high-speed inspection, Omron has developed the parallel CT imaging inspection principle. Here, the X-ray camera is guided horizontally without rotation into the stationary XY image-acquisition system in order to achieve a large field of view and hence reduce the amount of field of views.

Inspection time is decreased by this reduced number of large fields of view. Furthermore, intelligent image processing increases the inspection speed. The 3D CT technology simultaneously processes the projection images and reconstructs the 3D image thereby achieving both great speed and high accuracy. For example, Head-in-pillow errors can be hereby automatically detected.

“Moreover, the VT-X750 offers further features that make it the ideal for high-speed inspection,” explains Youngs. For instance, the VT-X750 employs the most advanced vibration-control system, which further increases inspection speed. The VT-X750 can incorporate bottom electrode components, multilayer components, such as package-on-packages (PoPs), and insertion components, such as press-fit connectors into the inspection. The system moreover supports comprehensive inspection applications, including back-fillet inspection of IC leads and void inspection. Thanks to these functions, the VT-X750 enables a complete test of all surfaces, including solder connections. Solder joints on components can thus be reproduced, whereby the soldering’s connection strength can be inspected. Great repeatability is possible using the 3D-CT reconstruction algorithms.

The VT-X750 appeals to a target group that has to manage brief throughput times at high volume. “The VT-X750’s cycle times are up to twice as short as those in traditional AXI platforms. Added to this is the X-ray inspection of hidden solder points. That’s why the automotive industry’s suppliers are especially interested in the VT-X750,” confirms Youngs.