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Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Copyright © 2004, Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Keywords: Patents, Inspection, Assembly
Applicant: Vectron, Inc., USAPatent number: US6,681,038Publication date: 20 January 2004Title: Electronic assembly video inspection system
An apparatus for automatically assessing the quality of electronic components on a printed circuit board is described. The apparatus uses a high-resolution, digital image inspection system, installed in a portable low-precision surface mount technology (SMT) type dispensing station. The system identifies the printed circuit board being inspected and locates visually detectable defects, and enables more efficient repairs to be performed and improve the throughput of automatic assembly mechanisms.
The apparatus integrates with existing relatively low precision automated SMT manufacturing systems as an inspection station that can be inserted at various steps in the assembly process or as a separate manually loaded station. The inspection station includes a high resolution video imaging system and a video image analyser comprising an onboard master computer that generates control signals to reposition the camera mounted within a screen on a movable carriage and/or reposition the circuit board, and adjust the lighting; and generates individual board status data to be archived, graphically displayed on monitors or otherwise utilized by a rework station. Data acquired by the system can be used for statistical monitoring of the history and status of an assembly's product.