AOI at Electronica in Munich 2012

With this page I want to give you some details and personal impressions of the Electronica 2012 exhibition in Munich, Germany. Last year I had actively compared several AOI manufacturers and given you a brief synopsis of my findings. This year my resources are limited to single day at the Electronica exhibition. Electronica deals mostly with the components used in the construction of electronic assemblies however six manufacturers of AOI systems did display their products. This is what I will call for personal reasons, "The Cinderella Year". The only award that Zentroid will give this year is the "Would like to try it out!" award. This goes to the company Göepel.

AOI Manufacturers that Exhibited

Prüftechnik Schneider & Koch

To start I must tell you that I had printed at the last minute a t-shirt with my Zentroid Logo on it and some text on the back. I was curious how I would be greeted or accepted in this professional environment. Prüftechnik Schneider & Koch lost several points in this category. They did follow-up my visit by sending further documentation, which a professional business should.

Their systems and documentation (PR) give a good impression. Their new table top system can include angled cameras with 360 degree FOVs. They include telecentric optics with an integrated light source which should give very good results. They seem to have application for double-sided testing machines as these are also part of their production machines.

A possibly interesting feature for applications with ceramic Pcbs is that the their systems with automatic transports can test without clamping the Pcb. This could also be a great possibility for the many customers that have poor fiducial and/or tool strip layouts. The clamping system however looks somewhat primitive and I am not sure if it would limit angled FOV testing. These are considerations you should evaluate at your own demonstration of a Prüftechnik Schneider & Koch system.


Well I wish I could tell you more about them but every time I went by their staff were occupied. Since I personally have not heard about them I also was not worried to rush an interview. After the exhibition I did a little surfing in regards to TRI. I was surprised to find that they offer many AOI solutions/machines. Another note of interest was that at their display on the side of their AXI machine was a rather large label suggesting their AXI had won a "Best in Test" award of some description.


Last year I was very impressed with Omron and their technology. This year they still impress with their new VT-S720. Angled cameras should help with poor layouts and difficult solder joints. There was however a deficit of highly trained AOI specialists at their booth.

Orpro Vision GmbH

At the Orpro Vision booth things seemed to be relatively scaled down, perhaps awaiting new technology. I am not sure that they, at that time, were producing AOIs for the market or not. If so it appears they are concentrating on desktop units. At the end of 2012 I have become a renovated Orpro Vision Advantage 22 (like) machine to support AOI testing. More on my impressions of that system on a separate page in the near future.

Viscom AG my alma mater

Thanks to a couple of old friends I had a nice visit at the Viscom booth. Viscom remains a top contender for large scale application. In other parts of Zentroid's site you may glimpse reasons why I feel they do not support smaller scale businesses so well. This year we are all still waiting for the emergence of V Vision. From what little I know and can divulge I would guess that Viscom is WPF technology from Microsoft's visual studio software to create wonderful looking user interfaces. The touch screen is somewhat of a concern for myself as a seasoned Viscom programmer. Although touch screen GUIs are great for marketing, functionality and speed of programming can suffer. You may know of or have used Viscom's VVP User Interface. That was/is an attempt to simplify or consolidate the various user interfaces. In my opinion it only succeeded in making the systems more prone to crashing. Let's hope that V Vision is a much better improvement.

Just as a note I still work with a Viscom 2088 built in 2008. Since the purchase of this machine the axis systems have continually created problems. A series problem was found in the built in PCs. Viscom Exception Handler diagnosis actives often if you try to mix newer libraries with the old orthogonal library. Currently the axis problem remains, the unit opens to facilitate unloading only in seconds to close again automatically and the software crashes leaving a vague message. We are still working on a solution.

Göpel Electronic

I bet you thought I had forgotten Cinderella. Well for myself this year was a surprise. I'll elucidate...

At the end of 2007 I was a AOI programmer searching for a new machine. An old Orbotech machine I had been using with a pixel size of 40um or so was at it's limits. Orbotech had decided to change it's operating system from OS/2 to windows and all our existing programs would not be convertable. After a short course at Göpels headquarters I received a new Opticon system to test. After several weeks I prematurely concluded the test due to software and support problems the company Göpel had at that time. A year later we heard from a neighbouring company that they had a Göpel machine collecting dust in their corner for some similar reasons. Last year I noticed lots of activity at their Productronica 2011 exhibit but still did not investigate. This year I did and "Cinderella".

From the interviews I was given this year on subject "AOI" the best was from Martin Brückom an applications engineer from Göpel. Even with my unprofessional attire Martin gave me a first-class update on the features of their current AOI machines and software. Features like a 360 degree FOV that can be used to inspect simultaneously two pin groups at 90 degrees to another. Complete offline programming possible once the selection of image types is made and images are taken. For over 2 years they have supported customers with the use of Teamviewer on an instance basis which is allowable by most system administrators. Thanks Martin for the update!

If a new AOI was in my planning this year I would once again be trying out an Opticon. I get shivers thinking about what I could do with a 360 degree FOV from a telecentric optic.

In Closing

If you have read my page on the "Best of AOI 2011" you know that I find software documentation a very important part of marketed systems. Viscom does a poor job, Orpro Vision even worse, in my opinion. Support, online at this point with the technology we have, should be common place. Think of all the personal, travelling thousands of kilometers to serve customers, that could be more often at home helping develop healthy families. Good documentation and online support is valuable not only for the operator sitting starring at a difficult to program component but for all in general.


Kevin Tough


I almost forgot. I went to Electronica hoping to take a first look at AOI systems offered by the company MVP - Machine Vision Products. I have read some information from and about them and I like what I see. Unfortunately I missed them or they cancelled their exhibition at Electronica. On their website they list Productronica in Munich in 2013. A stop at their booth may well be a good investment of your time. Cheers!