UK-based Interconics, which provides high-end electronic manufacturing services for customers such as supercar builders, the military and semiconductor manufacturers, is the proud owner of a complete new Yamaha surface-mount line, chosen to help the company win ultra high-tech contracts that demand the most advanced inline assembly capabilities available today.
Interconics made the switch to Yamaha having been impressed by the powerful easy to use factory-automation software and taking advantage of Try Before You Buy. The YSP screen printer, YS12 and YS12F mounters and YSi-12 hybrid optical/laser inspection with 10µm resolution are now in full-time use at Interconics’ Atworth, Wiltshire, factory.
Managing Director David Weston tells us more. “As the recession is ending, our customers are coming to us with new proposals that involve incredibly high PCB feature resolution and the most advanced chip and IC packages, which are beyond the capabilities of much of the surface-mount equipment currently installed in the UK.
“We handled the recession well and are now in a strong position to make the investment in new equipment that is vital to win these contracts. Our new Yamaha line gives the high resolution, high accuracy and precision, and the potential for high-speed throughput that we need, and the unified software environment greatly simplifies programming of all machines. We can generate inspection programs directly from assembly CAD data, for example, which saves a huge amount of time. Moreover, Yamaha offers a special 8-year warranty that allows us to calculate our ownership costs for the effective lifetime of the equipment, which gives us the control we need to make sure we are always in a strong financial position.”
Pushing the Boundaries with Advanced 3D X-Ray
To help develop and monitor highly repeatable processes for advanced packages such as LGA and fine-pitch QFN, Interconics has recently taken delivery of the first Yamaha YSi-X 3D X-ray inspection machine to be installed in Europe.
The YSi-X represents today’s pinnacle of X-ray capability for surface-mount production, and uses computed laminography to generate more accurate cross-sectional solder-joint images than can be achieved using 2D or conventional tomographic 3D radiology.
“With packages like LGA, the solder joints are completely inaccessible to human or automated optical inspection. Still, we need comprehensive inspection data because voiding in solder joints is a tremendous challenge,” Weston explains.
The underside of a package like LGA or QFN is ultra flat, with large pads and very low standoff height. There is little provision for vaporised flux to escape during reflow, which can result in random outgassing causing voids or blowing solder away from surrounding joints. There are minimum allowable standards for voiding in solder joints, but Interconics needed an accurate and reliable means of verifying compliance.
David Weston continues, “We have a lot of experience with X-ray inspection, and knew we would need significantly more advanced equipment to help perfect our assembly processes for LGAs and QFNs and verify the quality of production units.
“The YSi-X takes X-ray inspection to a new level. In fact, there is a steep learning curve to understand how to optimise the settings and interpret the data and images. I’ve been really impressed at the resources Yamaha is making available to help us achieve it. Actually we are climbing this learning curve together, and there’s a feeling of sharing the excitement, of pushing the boundaries and redefining the limits of what we can do.”
About Yamaha Robotics SMT SectionYamaha Surface Mount Technology (SMT) Section is a subdivision of Yamaha Motor Robotics Business Unit in Yamaha Motor Corporation. Yamaha surface mount equipment is highly acclaimed in the market for their “module concept” that enables them to keep pace with the trend toward smaller and more diverse electric/electronic parts being mounted on circuit boards.
Yamaha SMT Section has created a strong business in the surface mount industry that enables design and engineering, manufacture, sales and service to be conducted in one comprehensive system. Furthermore, the Company has used its core technologies in the areas of servo-motor control and image recognition technology for vision (camera) systems to develop solder paste printers, 3D solder paste inspection, 3D PCB inspection machines, flip chip hybrid placers and dispensers. This allows Yamaha SMT Section to offer a full line of machines for electric/electronic parts mounting and propose optimum production-line makeup to answer the diversifying needs of today’s manufacturers.
Yamaha SMT Section has sales and service offices in Japan, China, Southeast Asia, Europe and North America provide a truly global sales and service network that will safeguard best in class on-site sales & service support for clients.