TT electronics integrated manufacturing services (IMS) specialises in the production of low volume, high mix electronics built for the aerospace, defence, medical, industrial and rail industries. These applications typically call for complex, densely-packed, advanced technology Printed Circuit Card Assemblies (PCB) for which Automated Optical Inspection (AOI) is an absolute necessity to ensure a robust quality product. Advances in PCB technology and reduction in component sizes have required TT electronics to upgrade to the latest Yestech AOI platform. Backed by local training and support from YesTech europe, this has improved productivity and quality both by faster online throughput and by easier, faster offline programming and changeover between products.
TT electronics integrated manufacturing services (IMS) specialises in the production of low volume, high mix electronics built for the aerospace, defence, medical, industrial and rail industries. Such customers and their target environments naturally demand consistently high quality from their suppliers’ products, while typically calling for these as relatively low volumes of densely-packed, complex and sometimes large boards and assemblies. Unlike large-volume manufacturers, TT electronics’ service is optimised to be the right fit for these customers’ specialised requirements, in terms of delivery, flexibility and innovation as well as quality and responsiveness. The Company’s business has grown from their ability to meet these challenges on a global basis.
Automated optical inspection (AOI) plays a key role in TT electronics’ business model, as it is one of the key elements they require to achieve the quality, coverage and throughput they need in their low volume, high mix environment. With today’s package densities, component sizes and throughput requirements, manual inspection is no longer fast or reliable enough, and, increasingly, not even possible. By contrast, AOI with its rapid programming, inspection reliability and fast throughput provides a viable solution, and in fact TT electronics has been using this technology for over ten years in both its Rogerstone, Wales and Perry, Ohio factories.
TT electronics has recently undertaken a development and upgrade programme, focusing their attention on their key markets and emerging needs. As well as this, the company has always embraced the steady advances in component and PCB technology. Among other developments, this meant that the existing AOI equipment was no longer able to handle the demands made of it. With TT handling 0201 devices, component sizes were becoming too small for the cameras’ resolution, throughput was not fast enough and the false failure rate was too high, due to aging algorithms.
TT electronics invited the existing AOI equipment supplier to offer a replacement, but they were unable to supply a comparable solution. Accordingly, TT decided to evaluate a number of other AOI suppliers to identify the best available answer for their particular requirements. YesTech europe was chosen after an exercise which included paper evaluations and equipment trials. Their evaluation system proved easy to program, and the evaluation boards ran through inspection quickly and easily on a short production run. The system’s pricing was attractive as well. TT electronics therefore asked YesTech europe to supply two Nordson Yestech FX in-line AOI systems for the Rogerstone plant, and another for the Perry, Ohio site. YesTech europe ensured TT’s uninterrupted production by loaning a benchtop machine during the transition. In all, up to about 300 inspection programs had to be transferred to the new AOI installation – this task is now nearing completion.