As board densities increase and component sizes decrease, the need for a fast, accurate and more efficient inspection process is critical. BTW is jumping ahead of the curve and investing in the future by implementing two new AOI, automated optical inspection, systems in the fall of 2019.  AOI inspection offers very distinct advantages to manual inspection which in turn provides BTW customers with the highest-level inspection capability and the ability to ensure best production yields. AOI is an essential tool within our assembly line to maintain process control and detect any faults before they are passed down the production line.

Automated Optical Inspection (AOI) machines were originally implemented in the 1980’s; however, they were difficult to use and justifying an ROI was nearly impossible without running high volume, low mix production. The original AOI’s were tough to program, expensive to maintain and they just didn’t have the capabilities that were needed to be successful. Thanks to many rapidly growing technology options in hardware and software, AOI has proven worthy as a powerful key to success.

BTW has a pair of identical JUKI SMT assembly lines. In late 2017, these lines were upgraded with new pick and place machines affording the opportunity to optimize production capacity. Adding new and upgraded AOI systems with the latest inspection technologies to each of these lines ensure the added ability of more concise accuracy, speed, efficiency and flexibility to improve the customer’s bottom line.

AOI equipment comes in many different configurations and BTW’s Engineering Manager, Scott Oestreich researched the many options available to the market with his team. Scott shared his focus, “It was my priority to select an AOI that fit our process by means of overall capability. Repeatability, ease of programming, reduced false calls, data collection and retrieval for process improvements were keys factors in our decision.” He also shared, “Our team learned a lot through this process and is eager to get the machines in house and up and running soon”.

BTW’s President, Bill Bartley added, “These new AOI machines not only bring excitement within BTW but add a positive impact to our customers which is our end goal. I welcome companies looking to partner with a first-class contract manufacturer to connect with us and visit our state of the art facility. Big things are happening at BTW and we can’t wait to share them with the world.”.

BTW is located just minutes north of Minneapolis, MN. You can connect with them via email at, visit their website or call (763) 767-4625 today!


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