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Publication Date: 09/1/2008
Archive >  September 2008 Issue >  Product Preview: ATExpo/IPC-MW > 

Desktop AOI System from FocalSpot
AOI for first-article inspection.
San Diego, CA — FocalSpot, Inc. has introduced a scanner-based Optical Inspection System named the "FA-Inspector". The new system captures an image of the entire PC board assembly to automate first article inspections and subsequent production inspection tasks without programming. The system uses a high-resolution 1200 dpi scanner and advanced optical inspection software to inspect boards in a single scan.

It single-scans boards up to 11 x 16-in. (279 x 406mm), and is capable of handling boards up to 19 x 24-in. (483 x 610mm) in size. Using specialized high illumination lighting, the FA Inspector can identify defects on SMT parts down to 0402. In addition to placement defects, basic post reflow solder defects can also be verified. Bar code labels can be read directly for automated test and report file management.

The FA Inspector runs in either of two modes. AOI Mode allows inspection routines to be "taught-once and run many times" semi-automatically, without programming. After the board is scanned, the operator verifies each unique package type; this process builds the inspection routine while performing traditional first article verification of all parts on the assembly.

Comparator Mode uses a "Golden Board" image as test reference. Inspection views are user-configured for best magnification and throughput. Inspections are computer-assisted and faults are classified and logged in real-time by the operator.

Both AOI and Comparator Modes generate comprehensive fault reports complete with error location marks, fault classifications including the full PC board image or XY layout for easy rework. Reports can be emailed to customers for rapid prototype review; viewed, printed or saved for use at a future date.

Electronic Manufacturing Service companies (EMS) start multiple builds per day, each requiring First Article Inspection before the line is released. In many small-to-medium sized EMS shops today this process is completely manual and very time-consuming. According to the company, the FA-Inspector is a perfect fit for this type of high-mix, low-volume manufacturing environment as well as Rapid Prototyping builds.

Conventional first article inspection methods typically include a light ring or microscope, hard copy Bill of Material (BOM) and assembly drawings wherein the operator locates and inspects each part while the placement line sits idle. The system's AOI capabilities further improve speed and accuracy of the inspection process, by eliminating the need to manually locate and identify parts. First Article AOI inspection ensures 100 percent of the parts are inspected and eliminates 99.9 percent of human error-related faults.

Contact: FocalSpot, Inc., 9915 Businesspark Ave., Ste. A, San Diego, CA 92131. 858-536-5050 fax: 858-536-5054 E-mail: Web:

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