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MIRTEC Europe Ltd.
Unit 10, 71 Sisna Park Road,
Estover, Plymouth, PL6 7AE
United Kingdom

Local: +44 (0) 1752 696695
Global: +1-800-420-45114
Reg: UK 6472971

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Q&A with Brian DíAmico President Mirtec USA



Brian D’Amico Biography:

I have over 27 years experience in the electronics manufacturing and test equipment industry.  I started out my career in field service and applications engineering with Eaton Corporation’s Memory Test Systems Division.  This is where I developed strong technical skills as well as an enthusiasm for effectively managing customer expectations. 

I then took a National Sales Manager position with Contact Systems where I effectively managed a global network of manufacturer’s representatives and distributors in the sale of automated SMT and Thru-Hole assembly equipment. 

I also worked with both Mydata and Quad Systems Corporation in a similar capacity selling automated SMT assembly equipment.  In 2004, my partner Chanwha Pak and I established MIRTEC Corp, MIRTEC Co LTD’s North American Sales and Service Division.  Together with a talented team of sales and support professionals, we have achieved remarkable success in making MIRTEC inspection systems a recognized leader throughout North America.  This is only the beginning!
What impact does MIRTEC’s 15 Mega Pixel ISIS Vision System have on the Electronics Inspection Industry?

MIRTEC’s ISIS Vision System brings unprecedented speed and performance to the Electronics Inspection Industry.  This new technology will, undoubtedly, set the standard by which all other inspection equipment will be measured.  As you are aware, the electronics manufacturing industry is a very demanding market with a diverse range of production requirements.  At one end of the spectrum is the high speed, high volume production requirements associated with mobile device and LED Back Light Unit (BLU) manufacturing.  On the other end of the spectrum is the high end, high accuracy inspection requirements associated with manufacturing of micro-electronic components.  MIRTEC’s ISIS Vision System is the industry’s first optics system fully capable of addressing this diverse range of inspection requirements with a single state-of-the-art camera system.  ISIS is an acronym for Infinitely Scalable Imaging Sensor. As the name implies the ISIS Vision System may be scaled or modified to address the specific inspection requirements of virtually any production environment without sacrificing speed or performance.  By changing the magnification of the Precision Telecentric Lens the resolution of the ISIS system may be scaled from 18.2 microns/pixel with an FOV of approximately (70.6mm x 70.6mm) which suitable for extremely high speed manufacturing; down to 5 microns/pixel with an FOV of approximately (19.4mm x 19.4mm) which is suitable for high end micro-electronics manufacturing.  Please note that even with a resolution of 5 microns/pixel, the FOV is still very generous allowing for high speed, high precision inspection.

What sort of throughput improvement can be expected with this 15 Mega Pixel Technology?

Taking a census of the current inspection equipment market, there are a few players that have introduced 8 Mega Pixel Camera Technology, however, the majority of high resolution camera systems use 5 Mega Pixel Technology.  Preliminary throughput comparisons between 5 Mega Pixel Technology and 15 Mega Pixel Technology have resulted in an increased throughput of nearly 400%.  This is a tremendous improvement in production efficiency which, you can imagine, will certainly be leveraged by our global customers in volume-driven sectors.

What is the value of a desktop inspection system, as opposed to an In-Line unit?

This is a question that I hear quite often.  Depending upon the manufacturer’s production requirements, there may be some significant advantages in using desktop AOI versus in-line AOI.  First and foremost there is a cost differential that must be considered.  Desktop AOI systems are typically 60% of the cost of a comparable in-line AOI system.  There is also the consideration of flexibility.  Since the desktop unit is not dedicated to one individual line, a manufacturer may run several lines of production through a single offline system.  Throughput must, of course, be considered with this scenario.  Another benefit is the fact that an off-line desktop unit may be used to inspect PCB’s at any given stage of the manufacturing process; post screen print, post placement or post reflow.  Having said all this, it is important to understand that many desktop units do not offer the same level of performance that is typically found in an in-line AOI unit.  This is where we at MIRTEC have a considerable advantage.  Without a doubt, MIRTEC offers the most technologically advanced desktop AOI machine on the market.  In fact, our customers enjoy better performance with their MIRTEC desktop AOI systems then would normally be found in most competitive in-line AOI systems.  Furthermore our desktop AOI systems are 100% compatible with our in-line AOI systems adding to the ultimate flexibility of our product line.

MIRTEC is continually improving its current products and coming up with new faster products.  How does the company manage to stay one step ahead?

Quite frankly, it is a matter of survival.  As the electronics manufacturing industry becomes increasingly more volatile; manufacturers have become ever more selective in purchasing equipment that will add value to their business and provide them with a much needed competitive edge.  Equipment suppliers are, therefore, forced to either develop new products which address specific customer requirements or risk extinction.  We at MIRTEC are extremely focused upon advancements within the electronics manufacturing industry as well as the ever changing requirements of our valued customers.  We invest heavily in Research and Development persistently focused on using state-of-the-art optics, lighting and laser technology to develop the industry’s most technologically advanced inspection solutions.  As testament of our commitment to continuous improvement, over the last 18 months we have increased the number of R&D Engineers from 21 individuals to 45.  Our goal is quite simple, to be the number one supplier of inspection solutions to the electronics manufacturing industry.  The only way to get there is to stay not one, but THREE steps ahead of the competition!

How do you encourage capital equipment investment in a market where credit is still difficult to secure?

Current market conditions are such that electronics manufacturers are competing to capture as much business as possible in an environment which yields ever decreasing profit margins. There is little expectation that these market conditions will change in the foreseeable future. The reality of the situation is that electronics manufacturers must invest in automated solder paste inspection and automated optical inspection equipment in order maximize efficiency and acquire quantitative information that may be used to streamline the manufacturing process and reduce manufacturing defects. By increasing first pass production yields, manufacturers are able to decrease costs, save time, and reduce the need for non-value added rework and repair.  Once again it is a matter of survival.  Those manufacturers that recognize the need to automate the inspection process will have a competitive edge over those manufacturers that do not grasp the reality of this situation.