“We would like you to propose a lens that can be used assuredly for the new semiconductor inspection equipment that we are developing.” The semiconductor inspection equipment manufacturer said so, and consulted with the system integrator S. However, the company S could not determine a way to evaluate the quality and performance of lens suitable for high-precision semiconductor inspection in which an error even in units of micron is not permitted.
- Company S wants to deliver lenses with guaranteed uniform quality and performance.
- Also, they want to reduce the time and labor spent for handling complaints of unexpected problems.
After the introduction of FUJINON lens with individual performance management
- Company S gained the trust of customers by delivering lenses for which full inspections are conducted and performance is guaranteed by Fujifilm.
- The serial number control system enables the checking of performance before shipment from factory.
Issue 1: To confidently propose a lens for high-precision inspection
Problem 1: The resolution performances of lenses often vary even for the same model.
The semiconductor inspection equipment is extremely expensive and continuously used after introduction. The machine vision lens that is incorporated into the equipment must be reliable and durable and have high-quality performance. However, the resolution performances often vary even for the same products by the same manufacturer, because they are assembled manually. The company S demanded the delivery of lenses with uniform performance.
Issue 2: To eliminate the time and labor spent in finding the causes of complaints
Problem 2: There is no method to promptly clarify that there is no problem with the lenses.
If a trouble occurs in the machine vision system, the company S that introduced the lens may receive an inquiry. In that case, it takes time and effort to find the cause even if the problem is not caused by the lens. In this way, other work is affected. The company S wanted to quickly solve this inquiry of troubles by selecting a lens with guaranteed quality.
The keys to solving these issues were...
a definite criterion for evaluation and internal manufacturing quality assurance and inspection.
Solution: Proposing a lens for which individual quality control is thoroughly implemented
The company S compared multiple lenses in the catalog specifications. However, these lenses were not numerically different from each other. The company S was at a loss in selecting a lens because in its previous experience, lenses with the same specification varied in actual performance. Then the manufacturer of image processing software, a business partner of company S, heard that “FUJINON lenses with ‘4D High Resolution,’ undergo the full inspections.” The company S decided to consult with Fujifilm.
Solution of issue 1: Recommendation of lenses manufactured, inspected for each, and controlled individually by own factory
The machine vision system is adopted in many companies and is used for various inspections. As a result, each lens manufacturer provides a wide range of lineup with different focal lengths to meet the needs. Because the number of types of lenses inevitably increases, there are cases where the manufacturing is outsourced and lenses of the same series are manufactured in another factory. In that case, there is a concern about consistency in product quality. In terms of quality assurance, Fujifilm has established a system in which all ‘4D High Resolution”’ lenses are manufactured in its factory. In this way, Fujifilm has set strict standards to mitigate differences in quality and performance among individual products, and ensured that all lenses undergo its own inspection and measurement instrument. We deliver only products that passed the inspection. Moreover, we thoroughly control the individual qualities by assigning a serial number to each product to record all products’ performance data that meet the standard. By only providing lenses with high quality and performance, we confidently propose our products for the vision system, such as semiconductor manufacturing equipment that is expensive and used continuously and requires high precision. The company S said with relief, “The FUJINON lens with ‘4D High Resolution performance’ provides customers with a sense of security.”
Solution of issue 2: Promptly recognizing the lens data to avoid complaints
Handling of problems requires time and labor. System integrators do not want troubles caused by their products. However, there is a rare case where a problem occurs after operation startup. As mentioned above, for all FUJINON lenses with ‘4D High Resolution performance,’ rare quality assurance is provided where the full inspections are conducted, the serial number is assigned for each product, and the performance data are recorded before shipment. If any problems occur in the vision system, the pre-shipment data can be checked using the serial number; additionally, if there is a problem in the lens, it can be traced promptly. The company S commented, “We used to have a hard time isolating the trouble, but using this lens allows the cause to be identified promptly by eliminating a possible cause that is due to the lens, thereby saves time and labor.”
Machine vision camera lenses that solved the issue
By manufacturing the machine vision lens with ‘4D High Resolution performance’ in its own factory, to realize the full inspections and ensure the serial number control for each product, Fujifilm guarantees the lenses’ consistent quality and performance, which allows the system integrator S to deepen its trust relationship with its customers. The contact personnel of the company S said, “we appreciate the FUJINON machine vision lens with ‘4D High Resolution performance’ because there has been no inquiry about problems [related to lenses].” The company S recommends Fujifilm lenses to various customers.