Interview with Dr. Subodh Kulkarni, President and CEO, CyberOptics with Trevor Gailbraith, Global SMT & Packaging

TG: Welcome to the CyberOptics booth at APEX 2018. A couple of new machines here. First of all, you have the SQ3000 3D AOI which you’ve had a few years now, but you’ve added the 3D CMM to it. Please explain a little bit to our viewers what it is and how it works.

SK: Sure. We have taken our proprietary Multi-Reflection Suppression (MRS) 3D sensing technology that we commercialized in our SQ3000 3D AOI system and now we have added CMM functionality. CMM stands for coordinate measuring machine. So, essentially what we have done is come up with an in-line CMM that can measure things, not just inspect, but measure things very accurately, very fast and in a very easy-to-use manner. We believe it is the world’s first in-line CMM that can measure any objects in less than 10 seconds and you can get hundreds of thousands of dimensions all at the same time, so it is truly a unique product to the world.

TG: And, actually very necessary because with the smart factory integration and need to improve the process, you need to use real data.

SK: Absolutely. You are right. In the smart factory, there is a need for not just saying whether the part is good or bad, but if it is bad, why it is bad and what precise measurements are bad, and you need to feed that data back to the rootcause as soon as possible so you don’t create further defects. So it is critical in the future smart factories to have measurements, not just inspections.

TG: Yes. I notice looking at these machines, the resolution is quite incredible and some of the capabilities are just staggering. Can we get a demonstration of how this works?

SK: Sure. Jeff, a CyberOptics Applications Engineer, is going to show you how to put any part in and inspect it and what you will screen is a typical socket metrology application, so in socket metrology, we are taking thousands of pins that are on the circuit board and then before a CPU or a GPU is mounted, you want to make sure that all of these pins are correct in heights and dimensions and angles before you bring in a CPU or GPU in play, so that’s when measurement is needed.

TG: So let’s bring Jeffrey in. Subodh, can you tell us what Jeffrey is doing?

SK: In this application, he is looking at a socket pin metrology application. As we say, there are thousands of pins that you see on the right hand side and what you see on this 3D rendition is the shape and the heights of the pins. These are metallic pins that are ultimately going to make contact with the solder bumps on the CPU or GPU. Typically today, every CPU or GPU is mounted in any system with the sockets and you want to do that so you don’t waste one because of some passive component of low value. They are much more expensive.

TG: You need to ensure the pins are in correctly so that you get the right contact, conductivity and everything else.

SK: Yes, so you want to ensure that all of those thousands of pins are accurate before you bring the CPU or GPU in play. Today, normally what is being done is a CMM type operation where they are doing sampling of the pins. It takes them hours and it’s not accurate enough, and still you don’t get 100% inspection, but with the SQ3000-CMM we can do 100% inspection of all the thousands of pins, all in less than ten or fifteen seconds and we can assure everyone that the pins are correct before we bring the CPU or GPU in play. What Jeff is doing here is taking a look at a few pins here and you can see the ones with the red heights are obviously off-scale and those are the bad pins, and the ones that the shape looks good and not red, they are the good pins, so you can very quickly inspect it and measure it and know which pins are good, which pins are not good and why they are not good – that’s essentially what we’re doing with this measurement approach right now.

TG: Okay, so the first real 3D metrology in-line CMM.

SK: Exactly.

TG: You also have another new machine in the booth today, which is the SE3000 3D SPI system. What are the key features of this machine?

SK: We are very proud of launching the new SE3000 3D SPI system with our proprietary MRS sensing technology. We have leveraged our sensor technology that gives us the high resolution, accuracy and speed, all at the same time and now put it in our new SPI system. The value proposition is it’s significantly better for gage reproducibility and repeatability (Gage R&R) so typically, high-end SPI systems including our own, run at about 4-5% Gage R&R, 6 sigma. This system is running at less than 2% Gage R&R, 6 sigma.

TG: So you are less than 2% vs. 4-5%, you are talking about the drift?

SK: The term Gage R&R is basically reproducibility and repeatability. The smaller number, the better and typically high-end SPI systems today are 4-5%, 6 sigma. Basically 1% per sigma if you will, whereas this one, our SE3000 SPI, is running at 2%, 6 sigma – so, a factor of 2-3 better than the best SPI systems out there right now. This can also measure very small pads, so for high-end customers who have extremely advanced electronic circuits where the pads are getting smaller, components are getting smaller and at the same time the reproducibility and accuracy has to be extremely high – this is the answer for their needs.

TG: The beauty of the CyberOptics systems is of course that you develop your own sensors so you have the complete control of that part of the process.

SK: Correct. We are fundamentally a sensing technology company and our focus really is on 3D high precision proprietary technologies. Our really secret sauce is our algorithms we have in our high-precision MRS sensors – that’s what differentiates us from the generic competition.

TG: Very innovative company and it’s great to see you breaking new ground with the metrology system. Thank you very much for sharing it with us.

SK: Thank you. I appreciate the interest.