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3D AOI

How Does 3D AOI Increase Manufacturing Quality?

AOI and production quality

PCB suppliers in the automotive space greatly accelerate their time to market through automatic optical inspection (AOI) systems during PCB assembly. 


However, the next-generation technology is not limited in scope to the automotive industry - it has many implications for the entire PCB industry.


What is 3D AOI?

To best understand the benefits that 3D AOI offers you should compare it to its predecessor 2D AOI. In the past automated optical testing processes have allowed electronics manufacturers to identify performance defects and other problems during the final stages of PCB assembly.


In a typical AOI definition, a camera is installed on top of an accurately measured image camera of finished circuits and compares the results to a highly detailed schematic file. 


The parameter differences that pass a certain threshold are marked and a human operator checks the product in question.


The result of this process is that human operators no longer have to manually validate every parameter of a finished circuit board - for modern PCBs, it will take far too long. Now a small operating team can verify a very large volume of PCBs and select the damaged ones with great accuracy.


3D AOI builds on this premise by using two cameras to develop a 3D image of the PCB. This allows the AOI process to validate smaller components than ever before. 


In some cases the addition of a close-fitting stereo camera kit allows the optical image technology to build a full processing of the board that enables unprecedented accuracy and quality control.


Who uses 3D AOI for PCB testing?

As of mid-2017, this technology is used almost exclusively in the autonomous vehicle industry. The ability to identify and measure defects in the board quickly in dealing with particularly small components is an important factor that contributes to making autonomous vehicles a daily reality.


However, as time passes, this testing process will become more common and will significantly reduce the time and energy invested in PCB testing. 


Manufacturers are constantly looking for more efficient and effective testing methods that offer real-time feedback. 


In this way, it is possible to identify defects in the PCB at an early stage of the production process and save the customer grief and the reputation of the company by preventing potential damages or in some of the claims in the industry.


Combined with AOI direct laser imaging technology AOI improves yield by minimizing costly waste materials. The combination increases the traces of the supply chain and helps manufacturers identify the factors that create manufacturing failures.


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