Munich (Germany), Dec. 17, 2019 – Technology leader ASM presents the latest generation of its self-learning expert system for printing process optimization. The ASM ProcessExpert consists of the ASM ProcessLens 5D SPI system and the ASM ProcessEngine real-time expert software. The ASM ProcessExpert measures the solder paste deposits and controls and optimizes the printing process completely autonomously while learning with each print cycle – 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. When new products must be introduced, the expert system also determines matching printing parameters almost instantly and runs virtual prints to check whether and with which parameters a stable printing process can be ensured for a particular stencil design. Electronics manufacturers will also be pleased to learn that they can move to this smart future in stages by first running the extremely precise ASM ProcessLens 5D solder paste inspection system as a classic SPI system before upgrading it to the ASM ProcessExpert with the ASM ProcessEngine software.
Even with the basic ASM ProcessLens system, ASM is setting new standards in the area of modern, high-precision inline SPI technology. Where other systems reduce productivity by triggering unnecessary line stops as a result of measurement inaccuracies, the ASM ProcessLens reduces such effects to a minimum with its uniquely precise and intelligent measurement system.
Like other high-end SPIs, the ASM ProcessLens employs the moiré fringe pattern method, but with an entirely new digital technology. The stripe patterns for the optical measurement are not generated with rigid piezo grids, but digitally and flexibly with a processor chip that holds over 8 million micro-mirrors. Its unique advantage: the grids are not rigid. By changing the mirror settings, additional pictures can be taken. This enables the system to operate with extreme precision and a larger measurement area – up to 1000 µm without compromising the height resolution.
For the camera positioning, ASM uses high-performance drives from its high-end semiconductor manufacturing solutions. The resulting X/Y positioning accuracy of 12,5 µm is the best among SPI systems. The system also features multiple light sources for shadow-free measurements. The bottom line: better paste deposit measurements and exceptionally convenient visualization. ASM ProcessLens can even operate in dual-conveyor mode. The system combines 2D and 3D measurements and compensates PCB warpage in doing so. This allows a fast and precise measurement; the number of false alarms is massively reduced.
Software turns the SPI system into an inline expert system
Adding the ASM ProcessEngine real-time software, which stores all SPI measurements and learns from each print cycle, turns the ASM ProcessLens into the ASM ProcessExpert. The expert system replaces the traditional, reactive process control with its machine stops and operator assists with a totally autonomous machine optimization system. The ASM ProcessExpert analyzes the printing results in real time, determines corrective measures, and transmits these to the stencil printer before productivity and quality are jeopardized. For example, cleaning cycles are no longer executed after a rigid number of print cycles, but in accordance with actual need. In most cases, this leads to longer cleaning intervals and improved lines throughput without affecting the printing quality.
Design for manufacturability
The DFM HealthCheck function makes it possible to load and analyze the Gerber data of stencils before they are used on the production line. Using printing simulations and virtual prints, the ASM ProcessExpert determines whether the stencil design is suitable for a stable printing process and highlights any critical areas. New product introductions (NPIs) also benefit from the ASM ProcessExpert. It recognizes interdependencies by performing multivariant analyses in seconds and determine suitable printing process parameters with a few autonomously controlled tests. As a result, experienced operators no longer have to determine these parameters with a multitude of cumbersome test prints. The ASM ProcessExpert ensures successful NPIs – even during night or weekend shifts with reduced personnel.
New technology for todays lines and the digital future
The ASM ProcessExpert delivers multiple benefits for electronics manufacturers by allowing them to start out with the innovative and extremely fast and precise ASM ProcessLens before laying the cornerstone for the smart SMT factory of the future with the optional ASM ProcessEngine software. Instead of fixing problems with time-consuming trial-and-error methods, the ASM ProcessExpert allows them to optimize their printing processes quickly, reliably, and even autonomously for more quality, productivity and profitability.