lnterview: Brian D’Amico, MIRTEC USA

Brian D'amicoMIRTEC has just celebrated it’s ninth year of consecutive growth in the United States with a record year. The success of the company is driven by its continuous flow of new innovative machines, high quality cameras manufactured in-house and a strong marketing presence that turned the company into a truly global brand. Trevor Galbraith caught up with Brian D’Amico, President of MIRTEC USA at productronica.

There is a lot of new equipment on your Stand this week coming out of Korea, starting off with this combination behind us, the new MV6E. Tell us what this machine offers?

This is our MV6 Omni and what we are introducing here is our AOI/SPI fusion technology. So, we are able to do both AOI and SPI on a single platform. The unique thing about that is it lends flexibility to the manufacturing process so if a customer is looking for a machine that is a standalone unit they can use that machine for SPI verification or also AOI verification. It’s kind of nice to have that additional flexibility.

This is certainly going to help a smaller shop, where they are doing small production, but presumably in the larger shop they would still want to have a separate SPI and AOI?

For the most part that does make sense, but also there are times when people want to have that standalone unit for maybe doing NPI type of manufacturing. So it definitely does add a benefit to that, but certainly yes if the machine is in the line, it is very difficult to use it both as SPI and AOI so you are correct there.

Does it contain all the technologies of your SPI and AOI, or are there any tradeoffs because they are together?

The difference between them is that the SPI is really dealing with a very small up to 450-micron level of solder. What we had to do was to upgrade the firmware in our system to be able to do that. So here we are using the exact same firmware, hardware for AOI and SPI. So the only tradeoff is if you are looking at very small pads like 03015 that’s not capable on this system, but other than that is done very well it’s very reputable and seriously just by taking and modify the firmware for our projectors, that worked out very well for us.

I’m guessing this is going to probably be a financial benefit having it all in one box rather than buying two?

Absolutely, maybe not good for me, but absolutely it is good.

So what else we’ve got that’s new this week?

Well, actually this machine is also introducing AI deep learning methodology. We have an auto program that uses deep learning to reference a database of 2D images so when you take inspecting and creating programs for multiple different assemblies we can capture the information thru deep learning so we are able to program it much more quickly. The machine kind take the guess work out of it. The machine, by taking a look at the components is able to tell what kind of package it is 0201, 0105, 0603 and that’s part of the hurdle when you’re creating program. So, the goal is to program as quickly as possible. What would have taken about one hour to program has been reduced down to 10-15 minutes to program and that’s wonderful. That’s what most people are looking for it and that’s part of that whole drive towards Industry 4.0, taking advantage of these machines and what they have to offer. They are very sophisticated and they should be able to handle a lot of work load that human beings do it right now.

Your automatic programing has been reduced to 15 minutes per board, that’s incredible!

You can come up with a production program in that amount of time. Now, with first-time boards there’s a little bit more debug of course, because you’re dealing with just one PCB, but if you put in multiple PCBs as well, it refines the process. You are actually doing the debug on the fly, but the whole goal is to come up with that production program so fast, you can actually take it into production in 15 minutes. That’s unheard of it.

You can rely 100% on that library of data that’s pulling from.

Exactly.

I heard also that you have something very special on the other side of the booth?

Yes, we do. Its called Alpha machine, I would like to show you that.

The Alpha AOI is your latest and greatest. Tell us a little bit about what you have done with it?

So with the Alpha we introduced fusion technology. The goal when you’re dealing with inspection is to have as close to raw data as possible. The problem is images don’t look as pretty with raw data so we have combined a couple of different technologies, moire and a proprietary technology in order to come as close to raw data as possible. This is what we call the sushi principle – cooked data is not good, raw data is good. The closer we can get to raw data the better the performance, the more accurate we can be with our inspection process and that’s really what’s this is all about it. Its geared towards the automotive industry where high reliability counts, zero escapes count. We have the capability of doing up to 35 millimeters tall, so with one system we can do perhaps pin type inspections, tall pins they have in automotive, but we can also have that accuracy that is absolutely requirement for automotive.

So, I notice that you are still getting really sharp images. You said raw data doesn’t look pretty, but it still looks very sharp to me.

Thank you, it is supposed to, but frankly we are doing a lot less filtering than would be necessary with a standard non-fusion type of technology. That’s the key thing, the image quality has to look good, of course that’s what we are geared towards but, once again we want to eliminate as much filtering as possible. Thank you for the compliment about the image, I will tell my engineers they did a good job.

This machine is also fully capable of doing both SPI and AOI, as well and also has the AI engine that we built in our standard products, so it has deep learning capability as well. This machine is really the above all AOI type machines out here.

A high-end, high-reliability machine. Thank you for showing us this machine Brian, it is it’s first time out the box – the Alpha AOI from Mirtec.

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