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SMT & Inspection | March 01, 2007

Ericsson moved AOI & reduced errors by 50%

Ericsson's factory in Katrineholm, Sweden has gone through some structural changes in order to reduce waste and errors. Bottlenecks, errors and waste was in focus when the production engineers started their work.
Ericsson has 330 employees at its industrialization and development facility in Katrineholm, Sweden. One of the most important actions to reduce errors in the production was to move the AOI from the end of the line to before the reflow oven. By moving the AOI (Automatic Optical Inspection) the problems could be discovered earlier. Even the minor problems with components out of place could be discovered since the reflow oven corrects minor problems with the component placement.

Ericsson decided to purchase testers from Agilent and they re-arranged the production line so that one Agilent AOI SJ50 S3 was placed before the reflow oven and one Agilent SP50 S3 was placed after the solder paste printer. Ericsson also hired an X-ray tester from Agilent which they placed after the selective soldering machine. The X-ray machine discovers problems that the function tester doesn't find, voids and brittle failure for instance. These problems occur only when the product is subjected to a number of temperature cycles and at that time the product could already be sitting in a telecom base station.

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