Laser Drilling and Scribing Alignment

Precise alignment between drill and the part helps avoid damage

Laser Drilling and Scribing Alignment

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Laser drilling and scribing is used to manufacture a variety of electronic hardware and components. A laser’s beam intensity and heat output are capable of drilling holes of different sizes and diameters into a range of materials including metal, plastic, ceramic, composite, and glass. Most commonly, laser drilling is used to bore tiny “microvias” into PCBs during circuit board assembly. This process requires precision alignment between the drill and the board to avoid even the slightest hint of damage, which could cause machine downtime and lower product yield. Depending on the piece of hardware being manufactured, a machine may need to drill or scribe multiple workpieces and perform several X-Y position adjustments.

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The Cognex AlignSight alignment sensor uses industry-leading vision technology to locate a PCB based on its fiducial marks or corners. It then translates image coordinates (taking into consideration rotation and offsets) to guide the drilling machine to its starting position or “golden pose.” The AlignSight sensor performs this vision-to-motion control calibration quickly and automatically, so that the drilling machine can accomplish its alignment task and proceed to the next stepwithout the intervention of a vision expert. High accuracy results mean that equipment makers need less support, have lower service costs, and encounter shorter downtimes. The sensor’s single camera platform includes integrated lighting, optics, image sensor and processor in an industrialized package making it a cost-competitive total package compared to a custom build.

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