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Nikon video measuring machine becomes the mainstay of PCB manufacturer’s inspection department

Story posted 16/03/2018

A Nikon Metrology video measuring machine has successfully taken over the quality control of printed circuit boards (PCBs) at Stevenage Circuits Limited (SCL) after the graphics card failed in a piece of similar equipment from another supplier. The new iNEXIV VMA4540 is used virtually continuous for 2-D optical coordinate measurement of machined features and copper tracks. It underpins not only first article inspection of boards and printed reports for customers, but also process control in the drilling, etching and routing departments.

Alternatives to a replacement video measuring machine were evaluated, such as table-top varieties of measuring cameras and coordinate measuring machines. Even the possibility of subcontracting first article inspection to an external bureau was considered. However, it was decided that established in-house procedures and control would need to remain, so Robert Brown, owner and managing director of SCL and James Pickett, quality engineer, set about sourcing the best equipment for their requirements with productivity and affordability being key.

“We were influenced by Nikon’s name as a manufacturer of top quality cameras and optics, you could tell the difference between their equipment and the competition’s during trials which we carried out.”

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