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3D Smart Camera from Sick for checking printed circuit boards

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Optically checking the quality of printed circuit board pins with a 3D smart camera from Sick saves time and increases productivity.

Approximately 300,000 reducing agent metering systems for the after-treatment of exhaust gas in commercial vehicles are produced annually at the Bosch plant in Hallein, Austria. The insertion of wiring harness pins in a printed circuit board is an important stage in production in the field of electronics manufacture. All pins must be present and straight and protrude at a defined height. If one of these features is missing, the printed circuit board is scrap. Previous checking processes using mechanical scanning took approx. 15 seconds.

Bosch's aim was to reduce the checking time and to optimize production line productivity by integrating quality checking measures into the production process of the printed circuit boards. The checking process has to be able to reliably and precisely check the geometrical features regardless of fluctuations in contrast and the influence of ambient light and must also transfer measurement results to a PLC for further processing.

Checking pins with 3D Smart Cameras as the printed circuit boards pass through the machine saves 1,250 hours of process time per year. With the 3D smart cameras (IVC-3D), Bosch in Hallein is adopting the optimum solution for pin checking. Space-saving and economic assembly was made possible thanks to the integration of the laser-optic system, lighting and evaluation system in the camera housing. From above the printed circuit board transfer belt where it is installed, the laser-optic system scans the surface of the printed circuit board. The presence, the height and shape of the pins are recorded, evaluated and compared with taught-in, saved samples.

Features of the 3D smart cameras:

  • Constant level of quality
  • High flexibility, future and investment security
  • Early recognition of defective printed circuit boards
  • Increase in plant efficiency by eliminating checking times

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