Altus adds inspection technology to electronics assembly portfolio

Altus Group, a leading distributor of electronics assembly equipment in the UK and Ireland, has announced the launch of Essemtec’s latest innovation, the Integrated Inspection System (I2S) designed to maximize quality and throughput for electronics manufacturers utilising an all-in-one platform.

I2S is designed for precise inspection of dispensed and jetted material and placed SMD components pre-reflow. It efficiently addresses key challenges: improving production quality through integrated inspection and minimising capital costs by eliminating separate inspection systems. This helps to ensure that only high-quality products enter reflow ovens, and the automated repair function contributes to maintaining optimal production standards.

“Inspection and quality verification for solder paste and pre-reflow placement is very important for manufacturers looking to ensure quality and improve first pass yield,” said Joe Booth, CEO at Altus Group.

“The market is already used to screen printers with performance verification built in, but Essemtec is bringing that to dispensing and pick-and-place in their ‘all-in-one’ SMT Assembly system. Utilising hardware already within the unit to offer that verification is vitally important, and the I2S function paired with an ‘all-in-one’ configured system allows customers to use one process to jet solder, inspect, place components, and inspect in a single 1x1m square system. This is a completely unique offering, and I’m sure this will be a warmly received functionality in the market for the small scale, high mix OEMs and CEMs that are our sweet spot.”

The I2S is aimed at detecting defects and process issues, ensuring the precision and accuracy of boards. Whilst I2S is not as capable as a dedicated standalone 3D inspection unit, this capability enhances quality assurance and keeps capital expenditure low by saving investments in separate dedicated SPI/AOI systems for companies starting their manufacturing journey. Its seamless integration into combined processes on the machine, complete with traceability features, provides manufacturers with a cost-effective and efficient solution for quality assurance. The automated repair function further enhances the overall efficiency of the assembly line, keeping operating expenses low by preventing production stops and maintaining high process accuracy.

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