Electronic Components are used in nearly every industry and every area of life today. The components themselves come in all shapes and sizes, and their defects are equally varied. These basic elements of electronics systems must themselves be of a quality and origin that are above reproach, or they can contribute to a failed automobile engine, mobile phone, or artificial heart.
Inspection of these components is tricky because each type of component has unique measurements, shapes, and stress points. The challenge only increases as components shrink in size. A very small irregularity could result in poor solder-ability. The inspection process must be able to detect many types of irregularities and defects, such as bent leads on IC packages and non-uniform balls on BGAs. This type of problem accounts for one significant area of defects. But the largest-growing area comes from counterfeiting. Counterfeiting can happen at any point in the supply chain, and can include misrepresenting the origination of a device, as well as selling used components as new or higher grade.
The most useful inspection tools provide the flexibility to address different sizes and shapes of Electronic Components. They allow operators to change the area of focus gradually and continually, so they can see the effect minute defects can have on the larger component. They also permit operators to easily share information with others for training or collaboration.
The visual inspection stations from FSInspection.com, including the HDMag, X-Mag, VERSAMag, and PKMag, are ergonomically designed so operators do not have to hunch over a camera or position their face onto an uncomfortable eyepiece. Users can sit comfortably and view results on our large monitors, minimizing fatigue and reducing the chance of errors of tiredness. The design also permits collaboration: Operators can share results on the screen, or can freeze and capture images to save to file.
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Counterfeit Parts Prevention
Counterfeit parts have grown exponentially with advancements in technology and manufacturing. Counterfeit components and parts have been altered or used, misrepresent specs, or have reached the end of life. These counterfeit parts pose significant risks to end product performance with the potential to compromise safety and operational effectiveness. Manufacturers from many industries are taking steps to reduce the introduction of counterfeit parts into the supply chain and minimize their impact through counterfeit parts detection and prevention.
The growth in counterfeit parts led to the Department of Defense issuing a “Final Rule” in May 2014 that establishes the responsibilities and actions that contractors must take to detect counterfeit parts and components and prevent their use in Defense projects. Other industries and organizations are following suit. With the burden of identification placed more heavily on the supply chain, inspection strategy through early detection and testing is becoming more important. The inspection line is one of the first lines of defense in counterfeit detection. Inspectors need to be able to visually compare suspicious parts with known good parts through magnification, captured images, and measurement of defects and irregularities.
The visual inspection stations from FSInspection have been designed to assist in counterfeit parts prevention. Our high-magnification, auto-focus visual inspection systems are efficient, accurate, and powerful tools for visual detection of counterfeit parts and components.
HDMag and the FSInspection Software provide high-resolution magnification, onscreen measurement, and image capture.
Measurements and EXIF properties -Inspector name, Batch Number, PO Number, Supplier, and Date Code, etc. - can be attached to the image and saved for quality control and audit tracking.
High-definition images can be easily projected to any monitor to provide convenient collaboration among peers and supervisors, as well as shared by email with suppliers and/or customers. The magnified live image can also be shared real-time via video conference while measurements are taken and issues are highlighted.
The auto-focus camera minimizes time spent adjusting settings for each different component, resulting in increased throughput and improved operator accuracy.
This ergonomic design promotes good posture for reduced operator eye, neck, and back strain.
FSInspection's high-quality visual workstations are simple to use, easy to learn, and more ergonomic and cost-effective than traditional microscopes. Learn more about how the HDMag High-Definition Inspection Station can help your team in the fight against counterfeit parts and components.
PCBs, including both unpopulated and fully assembled PCBs, must be of uniform high quality to satisfy the needs of OEM and EMS customers in highly competitive marketplaces. With surface mount components constantly shrinking in size and more functionality compressed in a given space, the value of multi-layer, double sided PCBs continues to rise. Surface mount assembly lines also face challenges due to tighter tolerances and chip-scale packaging.
Visual inspection of these PCBs is essential to secure the success of manufacturing and distribution businesses. Inspection must encompass screen-printing solder paste, component placement, solder bridging, opens, and overall integrity of solder joints. PCB manufacturers and distributors must also look for uniformity of conductors, tooling hole dimensions, via-test points and solder pads, PCB score-lines, and lettering of various component identifiers. Each of these potential defects requires looking at different areas of the PCBs and components, sometimes with different angles and lighting.
The smaller size of these PCBs and components means inspection tools must be able to focus on an extremely small area and magnify it while retaining sharpness and depth, all without distortion. The best inspection tools must also be able to aim lights at a highly targeted area to minimize the effect of shadows on the inspection process. The use of magnifiers can increase throughput without reduction in efficiency and accuracy.
The visual inspection stations from FSInspection.com, including the HDMag, X-Mag, VERSAMag, and PKMag, use smooth, continuous magnification that can resolve even the smallest defect. They have the depth of field to place the component in context. Our Visual Inspection Stations all include lights that can be turned on or off, and aimed precisely to bring even the most subtle irregularity out of the darkness. Our Visual Inspection Stations are also ergonomically designed so operators do not have to hunch over a camera or push their eyes into awkward and uncomfortable eyepieces. Users can sit comfortably and view results on our large monitors, minimizing fatigue and reducing the chance of errors due to tiredness. The design also permits collaboration: Operators can share results on the screen, or can freeze and capture images to save to file.