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Slide2-most common-PCB-problem

Recent surveys revealed that finish solderability, shorts and opens are the most common PCB issues

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Our recent surveys have shown that 55% of all respondents are still having some sort of PCB solderability issues.

The “What is the most common PCB problem?” survey showed that 29% of all respondents had problems with solderability finishes and 26% were having shorts and opens related issues. The above findings could be possibly linked to the Class 1 PCBs – the most common type on the market where the quality of solder joints or component positions is not a top priority and expected not to last very long, but this would need further research.

Only a small part of the survey participants (5%) indicated delamination as a common issue. This could mean that the structure of the PCB and the quality of adhesion on multilayer PCBs have vastly improved for the past few years. Cosmetic faults scored a substantial 25% of all issues, but this type of defect has only visual impact on the PCB and doesn’t affect its functionality or connectivity.

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The “What PCB surface finish do you most commonly use?” poll revealed that almost half (43%) of the Printed Circuit Board had gold (hard, soft and flash type) finish now, one quarter (24%) had tin finish followed closely by solder levelled types (22%). Silver and copper finishes corresponded to only 11% of all manufactured PCBs.


The “When specifying PCBs to IPC what Class do you require?” survey showed that the most common type of PCB is Class 2 (66%), typically requested for non-critical electronic assemblies where longer term reliability is desirable, rather than essential. According to the same survey, one quarter (25%) of attendees had manufacturing requirements for Class 3 PCB types – the highest IPC standard, and aim at more critical PCB assemblies, and Class 1 only related to 14% of all PCBs.

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Photonex logo

Showcasing Custom Optics capabilities at Photonex Show 2016

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Vision Engineering, a global supplier of ergonomically designed optical inspection systems and provider of tailor-made optical solutions and manufacturing services, will be exhibiting at the Photonex Show in Coventry being held between 12th and 13th October 2016.


Vision Engineering optical engineers can ensure you get the best specifications offering advice and interpreting optical demands to ‘production ready’ drawings. Our strength is streamlining optical integration into assembly and manufacturing processes, as we’ve been doing this for over 50 years with our own stereo microscopes and non-contact measurement systems.

Vision Engineering’s optical team can simplify your procurement of spherical lenses, prisms, mirrors, beam splitters, optical filters optical windows and stage glass.

Visit us at the Coventry Ricoh Arena, UK at Photonex stand #B05.

Lynx EVO wins microscopy today 2016 award

Lynx EVO Stereo Microscope Wins the 2016 Innovation Award

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Vision Engineering’s Lynx EVO eyepiece‐less stereo microscope has won the 2016 Microscopy Today Innovation Award for its advanced, patented and ergonomically designed viewer and unrivalled 3D imaging.


The new Lynx EVO represents the pinnacle of a long-running investment by Vision Engineering to create the ultimate high productivity eyepiece-less stereo microscope.

Lynx EVO shows what can be achieved when the focus is creating a stereo microscope that is truly ergonomic – and easy to use. The patented eyepiece-less design removes the need for conventional microscope eyepieces, helping operators overcome the ergonomic challenges faced with traditional binocular microscope design, including neck and back strain, and eye fatigue.


The ergonomic advantage

Lynx EVO is a true optical stereo microscope. High resolution, true-colour optical images are viewed through an ergonomic eyepiece-less viewing head, permitting unrivalled freedom of head movement. Lynx EVO even allows users to wear prescription glasses at the time of (specimen) inspection or where safety goggles are required. With stunning 3D viewing and a high technical specification (10:1 zoom, 240x max. magnification), the new Lynx EVO suits all applications where speed, accuracy and efficiency are demanded – over extended periods of use.


Power your productivity

Stephen Sanderson, International Product Manager at Vision Engineering, explains:

by improving user ergonomics, Lynx EVO allows operators to work more efficiently and effectively, maintaining high levels of accuracy for prolonged periods. The user benefits from significantly improved comfort and the company benefits from improved quality and productivity.”

Read more about Lynx EVO »

Free Electronics webinars

Learn from the experts with our FREE Electronics Academy Webinar Series

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Vision Engineering has teamed up with industry-expert Bob Willis to bring you a FREE Electronics Academy Webinar Series, taking an in-depth look at the issues affecting PCB/SMT assembly and the challenges of achieving Zero Defect Manufacture.

Covering a range of topics from Solder Joint Inspection to Counterfeit Component Detection, the free webinar series is a great way to gain valuable insight and learn expert tips to identify quality issues and understand the common causes of solder joint failure.


Thursday 16th June
Solder Joint Inspection & Process Defects

Wednesday 29th June 2016
Counterfeit Component Inspection & Detection

Thursday 21st July 2016
Conformal Coating Inspection & Coating Faults

Thursday 15th September 2016
Crimp Connector Inspection & Quality Control

Wednesday 12th October 2016
Printed Circuit Board Inspection & Quality Control

Thursday 10th November 2016
Inspection of Conductive Adhesive Joints

In the first webinar, Bob will explain the best ways to inspect solder joints on conventional and surface mount assemblies with reference to international standards (e.g. IPC 610 and IPC J-STD-001). In addition, the webinar will illustrate some of the most common joint failures, why they occur and the corrective action required.

Places are limited, so sign-up now »

About Bob Willis

Bob Willis is a globally-recognised expert in surface mount and area array technology, providing training and consultancy to electronics manufacturers worldwide for the past 30 years.

He is a Fellow of the Institute Circuit Technology, an NVQ Assessor, Member of the SMART Group Technical Committee, Member of the Institute of Quality Assurance and Society of Environmental Test Engineers.

Bob regularly speaks at international events, providing expert knowledge to improve skills and knowledge for electronics production staff and engineers.

Lynx EVO eyepiece-less stereo microscope

New Lynx EVO pushes the boundaries of stereo inspection

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Lynx EVO is a new high productivity stereo microscope without eyepieces, powering your productivity through stunning 3D (stereo) imaging and unrivalled ergonomics.

Building on the strengths of its market-leading predecessor, Lynx EVO eliminates the difficulty and strains of using ‘eyepiece’ stereo microscopes, significantly improving ease of use and operator comfort, driving quality improvements and reduced costs.

The patented eyepiece-less design of Lynx EVO promotes simple hand-eye co-ordination, critical for precision inspection tasks, re-work, repair and other manipulation activities.

Operators can maintain the highest levels of performance, even across an entire shift.


Benefiting from a high optical specification, the 10:1 zoom ratio with long working distances provides users the ability to inspect up to 120x magnification (6x – 60x standard), ideal for a wide range of applications.

The modularity of Lynx EVO system provides unlimited versatility, and making use of the integrated HD camera with software makes training and reporting quick and easy.

Mark Curtis, Managing Director said:

 “The new Lynx EVO is the most advanced eyepiece-less stereo microscope we’ve ever produced, helping businesses overcome the daily challenges of increasing quality demands, smaller components, greater efficiencies and accuracies.“

Why not experience the eyepiece-less Lynx EVO stereo microscope for yourself? From May 5th 2015, Lynx EVO will be appearing at numerous tradeshows worldwide, including Control (Stuttgart), SMT (Nuremberg) and Plast (Milan).

TIM5 metallurgical microscope

Versatile materials inspection microscope for both beginners and experienced engineers

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Whether it’s inspection of alloys, plastics, ceramics or other materials, the TIM5 routine inspection microscope allows both beginners and advanced users to achieve detailed analysis of a wide range of material subjects.

Vision Engineering has introduced TIM5 to provide an uncomplicated high quality solution for inspecting surface details of materials.  Whether you need to view surface structures, ceramic porosity, or material cross-section, TIM5 comes equipped with all the ‘features’ necessary for ’routine requirements’.

TIM5 is a materials and metallurgical inspection microscope with a range of illumination options including bright-field, dark-field and polarised light – designed to be modular so it can be optimized for its user’s application requirements.

Incident and transmitted illumination options with aperture diaphragm provide greater versatility, allowing a greater range of components to be inspected (e.g. translucent or more opaque characteristics).

EPI infinity plan achromat objective lenses up to 1,000x, along with digital image capture through a C-mount adapter, means you can see an excellent image and capture a great digital image for detailed reporting and profiling samples. Versatile – user friendly – with great optics.

Vision Z2 digital microscope

Exceptional digital inspection with VisionZ2

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Utilising the power of full-HD (1080p) digital imaging, Vision Engineering’s new VisionZ2 video inspection system provides ultimate optical performance in a high quality, compact design – now including integral image capture via USB, so there is no need for a separate PC.

Suitable for production environments, VisionZ2 was designed to be simple to operate, with superior optical performance delivering perfect inspection results, time after time.

Perfect imaging requires not only an exceptional high performance full HD (1080p) camera, but also a ‘live’ image for easy hand-eye co-ordination. VisionZ2’s image rate of up to 60 fps (frames per second) provides ultimate optical performance, far superior to most television images (which have an image rate of 25 fps), making detailed inspection and manipulation easy.

With an extremely large field of view, zoom magnification options up to 122x and a range of configurations, VisionZ2 is the professional choice for a very wide range of precision magnification tasks including: production areas, R&D, laboratory, micro assembly, electronics, micro mechanics, automotive, dental technology, medical device, forensics, quality control tasks, presentation and training.

Technik Consult logo

New distributor in Bulgaria

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Vision Engineering welcomes Technika Consult who are our new partners in Bulgaria. The trade company, with headquarters in Sofia, manufacturers a range of material testing equipment, surface roughness measuring systems, profile projectors to laser marking systems. It will now complement it’s product portfolio with Vision Engineering stereo microscopes and non-contact measuring microscopes.

You have the chance to meet our partners at the “International Technical Fair” in Plovdiv (Bulgaria), from 29th September to 4th October 2014, Technika Consult will be exhibiting on their stand the Mantis Compact and Mantis Elite  eyepieceless stereo microscopes, the full-HD video inspection system VisionZ2 and the measuring system Swift Duo.


Planning permission granted for new Global HQ

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Good news! Vision Engineering has been granted planning permission to build a new 80,000 ft² (7,432 m²) Global HQ behind the existing facility in Send, Surrey, with construction of 23 new houses to replace the current factory.

The investment in new state-of-the-art facilities will further enhance Vision Engineering’s manufacturing capabilities, providing a long-term base for continued growth, as well as both manufacturing and environmental efficiency savings.

Vision Engineering’s customers have come to expect superior quality and performance from patented optical products and the new factory will deliver a positive contribution to both Vision Engineering and the local economy for decades to come.

Mark Curtis, Managing Director adds:

“Ultimately, this will benefit not only our employees, but also our customers by implementing further “lean management” structures, improving throughput and delivery times as well as focusing more resources on the development of our superior eyepiece-less microscopes”

EEV blog review on Youtube

EEVblog.com reviews Mantis Elite

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Here at Vision Engineering, we have a really smart bunch of people who design and manufacture the pioneering eyepiece-less optical designs incorporated in many of our stereo microscopes and inspection systems. We are naturally very proud of the products we produce and there is no greater pleasure than when a customer tells us that they love our products.

So when we hear great comments, it is always nice to share these with others.

Here’s what Dave Jones of EEVblog.com thinks of our Mantis Elite eyepiece-less stereo microscope.

Dave Jones runs EEVblog.com, an “off-the-cuff video blog about electronics engineering, for engineers, hobbyists, enthusiasts, hackers and makers”. Dave “tears down” electronic equipment, new and old, discusses anything Electronics.. he even has an ever popular “mailbag Monday”, where Dave opens all his (electronics-related) mail!

But it’s his “tell it as it is” style that his viewers love, which is probably why he has more than 80,000 followers on YouTube, 8,000 followers on Twitter, plus an active electronics discussion forum.

You can find Dave Jones at www.eevblog.com, on YouTube (www.youtube.com/user/EEVblog), or Twitter (twitter.com/eevblog).