EMP Customer Solutions

Circuit Board Quality Control

Challenge: Find a solution that can identify when conformal coating is applied incorrectly to circuit boards.

Solution: Addition to existing vision inspection system: 12MP Baumer camera, Microscan’s Vision-scape software, custom interface program.

Story: A circuit board manufacturer, for HVAC products, identified a quality issue in their product. Each board requires conformal coating to be placed in specific locations. This process is done manually, and the operator often accidentally sprays excess coating, causing unwanted components to become coated. These boards are then shipped to the customer with the excess coating. The excess coating causes the boards to fail when placed in the HVAC products and tested. The boards are sent back and cannot be salvaged.

The excess coating can’t always be detected by the human eye, so the engineers at EMP Technical Group decided to test the coating for any presence of UV. When a UV light was applied to the coating and viewed through a UV filter on a camera, the excess coating immediately started to glow. It became very apparent which spots had coating and which did not. The engineers utilized the “contrast” vision tool in order to identify the “hot-spots” that contained coating where it should not be located.

Once the vision tool was correctly identifying the excess coating, the team at EMP wrote a custom program that allows the customer to select the board that they are running, and the saved settings automatically populate. It also allows the customer to load any future boards into the system and inspect for excess coating.

The new solution has greatly improved the quality of product that is going out their door, while at the same time reducing the amount of boards that are scrapped.

If you have a quality issue that you would like to address, please contact the team at EMP Technical Group to assess your application today!


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