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KIC Smart Automation

KIC’s Automatic Systems solutions expand our Data Intelligence Tools, offering a range of unparalleled data analysis, process control and process monitoring capabilities.


Reflow Process Inspection for Every PCB

A reflow oven is a very busy machine striving to control multiple variables while heating and cooling PCBs. The purpose of the oven, however, is very simple.
A. To create a specific PCB profile
B. To maintain required throughput.
The KIC RPI optimizes both of these outputs while sharing the data on a continuous basis with the authorized personnel.

PCB Profile Traceability
The RPI utilizes embedded sensors for heat and conveyor speed to automatically measure and display the following information:

  • PCB profile
  • Profile’s “fit” to the process window
  • Continuously displayed production details:
    • #PCBs produced
    • Product name and lot ID
    • Production date and time stamp
    • Oven name
  • PCB reflow profile for oven traceability
  • SPC & Cpk charts
  • Statistics of defects and process yields
  • Pareto chart on out of spec occurrences

The RPI features include:
– Profile optimization software
– Barcode reading software
– Remote Process Monitoring software
– Alarm Relay
– Light Bar

Fail-Safe Operation
There are numerous opportunities for mistakes and defects to occur in the reflow process.
Human errors include loading the wrong oven program or loading the wrong PCBs. The RPI’s bar code capability prevents such mismatch.
Another common defect occurs when the process drifts out of spec or out of control. The RPI will immediately alert the responsible personnel of such occurrences and can shut down the infeed conveyor if desirable.
SPC charts will alert the engineer of upcoming trouble, typically when the reflow oven is still operating within spec.

KIC Probot

Automatic profiling
The ultimate output from a reflow oven is an acceptable thermal profile. The reflow oven is essentially a profile machine. The ProBot compliments the reflow oven by automatically recording the profile for each and every processed PCB. On the fly, the profile is compared to the established process window to determine whether it is in spec or not. This occurs in the background without human intervention and without interrupting production. The ProBot is programmed by running a manual profile using a KIC profiler.

Flexibility to Add Enchanced Capabilities
Because no one wants to pay for features they don’t need, and because no one knows how their needs will develop over time, the ProBot is designed with a very deep list of optional features and capabilities. All of these options can be added to the ProBot from an a la carte options list, either initially or later at any time.

KIC 24/7 Wave

The KIC 24/7 Wave brings an innovative level of automation to the wave solder process: around-the-clock monitoring, SPC charting, analysis, documentation, and production traceability — ALL in a single, easy to use product. Continuous tracking occurs in the background, never interrupting your production. The realtime process data enables engineers and managers to make crucial cost containment and quality control decisions.

Automatic Thermal Profiling for Wave Soldering
The KIC 24/7 Wave includes dual custom 14-TC KIC Probes installed inside the wave solder machine at the product level. The probes run the length of the preheat section and gather real-time process data. The KIC 24/7 Wave uses this data to automatically calculate the preheat profile for every product manufactured. Additionally, the solder pot temperature and conveyor speed are all continuously monitored. Through this automation, the need for periodic verification profiles is eliminated.

Automatic SPC charting
Process data is automatically charted for all critical process specs: maximum preheat temperature, soak time, slope, wave temperature, etc. The data is plotted on real-time control charts and Process Capability (Cpk) is calculated for each specification. Any process drift outside of control limits or defined Cpk value will trigger a warning. The overall Process Window Index (PWI) is also charted, providing a real-time Cpk for the entire preheat process. Any out-of-spec process (PWI is over 100%) will immediately trigger an alarm that can shutdown the in-feed conveyor. Automated real-time SPC helps identify potential defects before they happen.

The KIC 24/7 Wave provides full process traceability. All process data and its fit to the available process window is automatically recorded and stored for every product, and can be retrieved at any point in the future. When combined with the barcode option, process data for every product is automatically linked to the product’s barcode number.