Uses of a digital microscope in electronics industry

A digital microscope with high magnification levels is becoming more and more needed in the electronics industry due to the reduction in the size of components such as PCB’s. Operators find that magnifying lamps or optical microscopes are no longer useful and efficient to perform such operations and many specialists are moving towards using a digital microscope with camera. Optical microscopes, usually considered the alternative to magnifying lamps, have the disadvantage of a small field of view which limits your working area and thus making it difficult for the operator to work under the microscope. Therefore digital microscopes are a great alternative and one that comes with many great benefits for the user but for the business as well.

 

QC and QA

In the electronics quality control (QC) process by which entities review the quality of all factors involved in production, a visual product inspection is often performed. Here, every product is examined visually, often using a microscope due to the miniaturization before the product is sold into the external market.

Inspectors will be provided with lists and descriptions of unacceptable product defects such as cracks or surface blemishes. Using a digital inspection microscope enables the inspector to faster detect product defects by checking the magnified boards in FULL HD image quality.

Preventing mistakes or defects in manufactured products and avoiding problems when delivering solutions or services to customers are natural concerns to EMS providers. Digital microscopes integrated as part of the Quality Assurance in production and R&D departments can often play an important role to clear these concerns. 

Quality Assurance using a digital microscope could also be used by R&D engineers who need to inspect a prototype of a board manually, since there is currently no procedure to inspect it automatically. This process is also called First Article Inspection (FAI) and is crucial to prevent quality issues later on when the product hits production and thereby the damage is far less comprehensive.

In the video below you can see Image comparison application, developed to increase the efficiency in quality control. WIth this application you can compare a sample with a golden sample in multiple ways.

 

Visual inspection of PCB

When inspecting PCB’s, bare solder boards, connectors or other components, digital microscopes allows the operator to zoom in on the product to either proof quality or to detect mistakes and defects and thereby change the production setup, preventing errors to continue. There are multiple stages in a PCB assembly where a visual inspection microscope can be necessary in the detection of quality issues. For example you can use the digital microscope to inspect wires on a bare board, solder paste, checking the placement of components on the board or a post reflow check.

Focus stacking is a digital microscope application developed to reduce blured images and create ultra sharp images to enable accurate and precise inspection. Watch the video below to see how does the application work.

 

Repairing and reworking PCB’s

Using a digital microscope instead of traditional magnification tools to repair and/or rework defective boards will improve the operator’s user experience and pave the way for more efficient quality control thanks to the bigger working area and real time image display. Once a printed circuit board has been identified as faulty during quality control, repairing and reworking will most likely include hand soldering. However, due to the miniaturization of components in, e.g. smart phones and tablets, traditional tools such as magnification lamps and optical microscopes become insufficient or inexpedient.

Using a visual inspection microscope to repair faulty boards helps the operator to work more efficiently, in a more relaxed and comfortable way which can lead to an increase in productivity.

A digital microscope will also display a live image of what happens beneath the camera with no delay, eliminating moments of irritation and improving the quality control working conditions.

 

Benefits of a digital microscope in Electronics

Electronics industry is one of the industries where a digital microscope is used greatly especially in quality control and quality assurance. Using a digital inspection microscope to inspect different electronic parts can help electronics manufacturers improve their products quality and reduce errors. Some of the biggest benefits for using a visual inspection microscope are:

High quality live image

Inspect a sample by looking at a monitor that displays live image of the object under the microscope. This feature allows the operator to take accurate decisions and perform precise inspections. When inspecting or repairing PCB’s it is easy to observe any errors due to full HD display at 1080p and 60 frames per second. This ensures there is no delay or distortion in the displayed images.

Documentation is important

Documentation is crucial when checking for quality control in electronic industry. A digital microscope allows you to capture images of the sample and store it for different purposes. Whether you want to save your image internally or on an USB drive, different format types, with or without graphics, TAGARNO microscopes give you the option to save your documentation in multiple ways. The quality of the images is in FULL HD quality. Having the right documentation matters, that’s why with TAGARNO visual inspection microscopes you can save images in full HD and you can use as well different software applications and accessories that enhances the quality of your documentation.

Multiview

Ability to check for the quality of a PCB together with your colleagues by looking at a monitor that is connected to the digital microscope. This makes the process easier and with fewer errors as you can discuss and debate on different parts of the sample in real time, eliminating the subjectivity of an inspection.

Ergonomics

Having the right working posture when soldering or repairing circuit is important as operators can experience neck pains, back pains and many other health related problems. When inspecting a PCB with a microscope the operator can stand even 8 hours in an uncomfortable position making it a difficult job. A digital microscope solves this problem by allowing the user to look at a monitor in a normal position as opposed to a optical microscope or a magnifying lamp. After using a digital microscope from TAGARNO, Nordic Seed has recorded fewer sick leaves from the employees.

Adding applications

Perform better inspections with the use of software applications that you can add to your digital microscope. TAGARNO is developing digital microscope solutions that help quality control managers to perform their job easier and more precise by eliminating the subjectivity of human vision. Image comparison is one of the app we have developed for electronics where the operator can test a sample to a reference golden sample. Easily upgrade your device with software applications that are specially developed to perform fast and accurate visual inspections. If you already have a TAGARNO digital microscope, you have the option to try any application for free for up to 30 days.

Adding accessories

By adding accessories to a digital microscope you can perform better inspection that is most suitable for your need. For example when inspecting a PCB board you can use a circular tilting table that can be used to examine various parts of the PCB from a different angle. Upgrade your digital microscope to improve the quality of your inspection by adding lenses, light systems, tables, control boxes and other.

 

 

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