Inspection helps SME fight financial crisis

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Electronics manufacturer Minel, a small company of just 15 employees, has turned to optical inspection to raise production standards and reduce production costs.

Jack Schlappi, business manager at Minel, said: 'Because of its flexibility and economic benefits, only an AOI (automated optical inspection) system corresponds to the high requirements set by low volume, high mix production. ICT, flying probe and functional testing make less sense in our case; they are very expensive and less flexible.'

High inspection depth, refined hard- and software and simple programming were high on the company's list during their decision process. With the new system, the most diverse types of assemblies can be inspected.

Minel selected the AOI system S3088-II from Viscom. The system was designated to inspect printed circuit boards populated with SMD components, THT solder joints and miniature components after the soldering process. The inspection scope includes short circuits, component presence and polarity, solder joints and text recognition on ICs. Angled view is employed quite often, since many solder joints can no longer be inspected from above.

Schlappi added: 'With the combination of orthogonal and angled cameras, we have consciously chosen a flexible system configuration so we are also in the position to inspect very specialised components. This is the only way we could also cover upcoming customer requirements without further investment; now we are well equipped for the future.'

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