OMRON Launches World’s Fastest CT X-ray Inspection with New VT-X750-V3 AXI System
- 100% Inspection Achieved of Rapidly Expanding Electronic Assemblies for EVs and 5G Products -
- November 10, 2021
OMRON Corporation (HQ: Shimogyo-ku, Kyoto; President and CEO: Yoshihito Yamada) has announced the development of a new VT-X750-V3 system, the world’s fastest (*1) CT-type X-ray inspection device (*2) to date, and said it will be released globally on November 20. The VT-X750-V3 delivers advanced, true 3D inspection of electronic substrates to meet the growing needs of fifth-generation mobile communication systems (5G), electric vehicles (EVs), and autonomous driving application products. OMRON contributes to the security and safety of society through high-speed, PCB design constraint-free, 100% X-ray inspection of electronic substrate assemblies to maintain and improve productivity while simultaneously ensuring the quality of customer products.
Realizing even faster, high-quality, CT type X-ray automated inspection with the VT-X750-V3
In recent years, demand for electronic substrates to support 5G, EVs, and autonomous driving applications has grown rapidly, which in turn continues to raise the quality requirements of these substrates. These advanced applications may involve risks to human life and the highest-quality inspection is necessary to ensure the reliability, performance and safety of the final products. Design, manufacturing and inspection challenges are growing such as progressing PCBA densification through IC chipping, which relates to parts mounting on both sides of the board and further consolidation of parts to increase the number of components mounted on the board. To inspect these components with true accuracy and stability, traditional 2D X-ray imaging techniques are insufficient or incapable and 3D inspection has become essential. However, 3D X-ray imaging, image processing and inspection take time. It is very difficult to achieve both operating effectiveness and high-quality inspection. Historically, in order to keep pace with antiquated 2D X-ray cycle-times or meet production demands, 3D CT inspection may have only been used on a portion of the assembly, for the most critical components or in an offline inspection cell away from the production line to meet 100% inspection requirements.
Comparing X-ray technology imaging of solder defects: traditional 2D-2.5D (left) and true 3D CT (right)
The VT-X750-V3 delivers an inspection speed 1.5 times faster than the current model, making 100% CT X-ray inspection of even complex substrates more achievable than ever. High speed acquisition of clear 3D images has been actualized with unique, continuous imaging technology(*3) and seamless, smooth, motion through OMRON’s own machine control equipment and a camera with two times(*4) the sensitivity of conventional technology. This allows for high performance inspection within a shorter cycle time. In addition, the CT imaging condition settings used for inspection are more automated through ongoing OMRON AI development in order to further reduce program tuning time. OMRON’s expertise, experience and continuous innovation have been helping to improve customer productivity for more than 30 years.
Today’s more complex substrates/components require 3D CT AXI
OMRON’s strategic concept of "innovative-Automation" consists of the three i’s: "integrated (the evolution of control)," "intelligent (intelligence developed through IoT and AI)," and "interactive (new harmonization between humans and machines)," OMRON is driving innovations on the production floor. By combining the integration of the widest range of control devices and the use of AI fully versed in solder inspection, the VT-X750-V3 is the latest offering from OMRON that embodies the "innovative-Automation" concept. Omron offers total solutions designed to achieve zero defect production lines.
1. Achieving inspection speeds 1.5 times faster than the current OMRON system through unique, continuous imaging technology.
OMRON continues to maintain high quality imaging of 3D CT data (3D images) alongside optimized hardware control to realize inspection times 1.5 faster than the current model. This enables high-precision, 100% inspection without any compromise to productivity. To develop the advanced optimization of hardware control, OMRON concentrated in-house knowledge and expertise alongside OMRON motion control devices to actualize high-speed, seamless, continuous imaging and more accurate positioning with real-time feedback control. Through these unique and innovative technologies OMRON can deliver clear 3D CT images. Additionally, the high-speed, high-sensitivity camera combined with OMRON’s latest 3D algorithms reduce X-ray noise to even further improve overall automated inspection capability and stability.
Comparison of Omron VT-X series 3D CT AXI inspection speeds over time
2. Power device inspection
OMRON has introduced new inspection logic to optimize inspection for components such as IGBT and MOSFET(*5) power devices. OMRON VT-X series 3D CT X-ray continues to be heavily utilized for solder filling inspection of through-hole connectors, inspection of press-fit connectors and inspection of SiP/PoP packages(*6), which have seen a continual increase in utilization over recent years.
Inspection of power devices in particular is becoming more critical as power semiconductors are changing from Si to SIC or GaN(*7) and heat release issues are becoming more important. When facing growing EV challenges and demands for increasing mileage per charge, higher power and reductions in size and weight, heat release issues are unavoidable. OMRON has developed advanced and proprietary inspection algorithms to target the critical void inspection of solder joints to help address heat release issues.
Inspection of GaN power device (left) and SiP (right) using OMRON 3D CT X-ray imaging
3. Improving automation and reducing skill level requirements with OMRON AI
X-ray inspection frequently requires a need for the optimization of imaging conditions due to various test objects, component types or components locations on both sides of the PCB. Multiple parameters can be adjusted when setting these conditions. The conventional method was frequent, manual setting through trial and error until the optimal imaging condition is identified. However, it is now possible to automatically make these determinations with AI to significantly shorten the tuning process.
3D CT data, captured with the VT-X750-V3, need advanced and powerful technology to process 3D images. By registering the 3D image processing settings beforehand, the VT-X750-V3 is able to achieve true, automated inspection at the production site. However, the tuning of these settings may require specialized skills. New AI tools are helping to automate some of these processes; and thus reducing both the setting time and necessary skill level.
4. Reducing the risk of X-ray exposure
In addition to preventing X-ray exposure to operators, reducing risk of failure due to over-exposure of semiconductor components on the products being inspected is a real concern. OMRON has developed a feature that can accurately simulate the exposure level per component, in any location and on both sides of the board. This new function reduces the risk of component failure due to excessive X-ray exposure by verifying dosage amounts.
X-ray exposure simulation per component
- (*1) The world’s fastest: As a full 3D CT-type X-ray automated inspection system, it is the world’s fastest in the substrate inspection industry, according to OMRON’s research as of October 2021.
- (*2) CT (computed tomography)-type X-ray automatic inspection device: Inspection device equipped with technology to capture computed processing data of 3 dimensional images when capturing the image of continuous cross-sections inside of structures that are invisible to the human eye using X-rays. The same technology as CT scanning systems utilized by medical institutions.
- (*3) Continuous imaging technology: Technology for imaging stereoscopic images without stopping.
- (*4) Twice as much as before when comparing the detection range of the conventional model and, in the same imaging condition, the degree to which an image sensor (imaging element) detects X-ray as light.
- (*5) IGBT and MOSFET: Power devices are components that are necessary to drive motors and convert DC electricity from a battery or other sources into the AC needed by the drive motors. In recent years, it has become one of the more important components for electrification of automobiles and railways. In household electrical appliances, electricity from outlets can be used as-is to drive motors; but in automobile or PHEV applications, batteries are used as the driving source, and it is necessary to convert from DC to AC. IGBT or MOSFET are a typical power devices utilized and adopted differently depending on the application.
- (*6) SiP/PoP package: SiP = System in Package, PoP = Package on Package. Both are the names of components used on sophisticated PCB designs. The Existing IC/LSI component’s inner structure is a single layer; but the SiP or PoP component inner structure is multi-layered and consists of more complicated structures. The more complex the structure, the more critical 3D X-ray inspection capabilities and high-quality imaging becomes. SiP devices are frequently used for 5G communication components such as connected cars and smartphone devices while PoP devices are frequently used for processor applications like primary CPUs.
- (*7) SiC or GaN: Conventional semiconductor devices are mainly made of Si (silicone) including power devices; but many such power devices may experience heat issues as electrical voltage and current increases. SiC (Silicone carbide) or GaN (Gallium Nitride) devices have stronger heat resistance and are expected to dominate next-generation power semiconductor device designs.
OMRON will introduce the new VT-X750 –V3 3D CT AXI system at exhibitions in Germany, North America and Japan. Visit the OMRON booth to receive a demonstration of the advanced and automated, 3D CT X-ray inspection of electronic assemblies and components.
Exhibition: Productronica 2021
Dates: November 16 (Tue.) - 19 (Fri.), 2021
Venue: Messe Munchen, Germany
Booth number: A2 Hall 433
Exhibition: IPC APEX EXPO 2022
Dates: January 25 (Tue.) - 27 (Thu.), 2022
Venue: San Diego, CA
Booth number: 2732
Exhibition: Internepcon Japan 2022
Dates: January 19 (Wed.) - 21 (Fri.), 2022
Venue: Tokyo Big Sight, Japan
Booth number: East 3 Hall
Recently, OMRON has developed a manufacturing innovation concept called "innovative-Automation." With this concept, OMRON is currently committed to bringing innovation to manufacturing sites through three key innovations, or three "i's." Through these innovations in the area of automation, OMRON aims to enable significant productivity improvements in manufacturing sites in order to achieve high-value-added manufacturing. With the first "i," "integrated" (control evolution), OMRON will seek to advance automated control technology so that virtually any operator, even an inexperienced operator, can effortlessly perform work that previously required the expert skills of experienced workers. With the second "i," "intelligent" (development of intelligence by IoT and AI), OMRON seeks to create constantly evolving equipment and production lines. By adopting a wide range of control devices and artificial intelligence (AI), machines can learn through experience and maintain themselves in optimal condition. For the third "i," "interactive" (new harmonization between people and machines), OMRON pursues the development of a new harmonious relationship between human operators and machines; as they work together in the same workspace. Machines will be able to assist human operators by recognizing human thoughts and behavior in a way that only OMRON, a specialist control equipment manufacturer who knows production floors inside and out, can realize.
About OMRON Corporation
OOMRON Corporation is a global leader in the field of automation based on its core technology of “Sensing & Control + Think”. OMRON's business fields cover a broad spectrum, ranging from industrial automation and electronic components to social systems, healthcare, and environmental solutions. Established in 1933, OMRON has about 30,000 employees worldwide, working to provide products and services in around 120 countries and regions. In the field of industrial automation, OMRON supports manufacturing innovation by providing advanced automation technology and products, as well as through extensive customer support, in order to help create a better society. For more information, visit OMRON's website:https://www.omron.com/global/en/
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