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Why use a Digital Microscope?
Is there a need for this technology?
Why not just use the traditional, stereo microscopes and ‘eyepieceless’ stereo microscopes that are available?
The need for PCB inspection equipment in the production area has risen sharply in the last decade as SMT components have become smaller and more complex.
Microscopes and then Stereo Microscopes were used in post production in
the inspection department to check for problems and ensure
quality was being maintained.
As SMT reduced in size, these Stereo Microscopes were
required in the production department for inspection during production
and for rework.
SMT continued to reduce in size and the stereo microscope became a standard feature when reworking small components.
Unless a dedicated stereo microscope is purchased for each operator, the scope needs to be adjusted to suit each operator before starting work.
The height of the stereo microscope, the distance between the eye pieces and adjusting the focus of each eye piece to correct any particular vision differences operators may have.
Operators need retraining as using the stereo microscope is a real skill.
Locating the area to be reworked with the soldering iron and wire can be difficult, needing to look through the scope and then at the work piece, the scope obscuring the view when trying to use the naked eye.
The stereo microscope certainly helped see the small SMT for rework but this was not a perfect solution.
Working at a stereo microscope for a long period is not comfortable as it is difficult to adjust for correct posture.
‘Eyepieceless’ stereo microscopes, such as the well known ‘Mantis’ and ‘Lynx’ Eyepieceless stereo microscopes were introduced, similar to the stereo microscope, but the eye pieces had been removed, the image displayed on a single screen, certainly a huge improvement.
Setting the ‘eyepieceless’ stereo microscope up for different operators was much easier.
A certain amount of skill and training was still required with the ‘eyepieceless’ stereo microscope, still difficult to look at the magnified image and at the soldering iron to see were you are working, the ‘eyepieceless’ stereo microscope obscuring the view of the work piece from the operators view.
Now we can inspect PCBs using a Digital Microscope.
No adjustment is required for the operator!
The operator is seated comfortably with good posture.
There is no equipment obscuring the view of the work piece from the operator.
We have come full circle, back to the days when PCB’s were inspected by the naked eye and reworked without the need for microscopes.
There are other advantages of the Digital Microscope, a problem can be shown to colleagues, to discuss a problem, images can be saved for future use or to be emailed to another department, measurements can be taken.
The Digital Microscope is now the preferred tool for PCB inspection, SMT rework and used general electronic production for inspection of PCBs before or during production.
Advantages of Digital Microscope over Stereo Microscope.
If you want to learn more about Digital Microscopes, please Contact Us.