“At Boston Semi Equipment (BSE), our goal is to create innovative automation solutions to improve the productivity of semiconductor package testing. It all started when a group of industry veterans had a vision to develop test handlers that would be recognised as the most innovative and reliable systems available. The company is on a mission to provide customers products and services that increase the productivity of semiconductor test cells and set the industry benchmarks for quality, performance, and reliability,” begins Colin P. Scholefield, Co-CEO and President, BSE. Combining decades of industry experience with high standards of work and professional excellence, BSE has emerged as an innovator in the test handling market.
BSE has developed an entirely new approach for pick and place handlers. Starting with a “clean sheet of paper,” the company collected and analyzed the factors that prevent a pick and place handler from continuously running in production, such as jams and kit changes, and designed a machine to eliminate them. Traditional pick-and-place machines use package-specific adaptation kits to process packages through the machine so they can be positioned into a test fixture. The kits are needed to locate parts, so mechanisms know where to pick parts from and where to place them as they are moved from input trays to test and then into sort trays on the output. Kits have many pieces, and handlers use six to nine mechanisms to move a package through the entire part path.
BSE has a new approach based on eliminating the adaptation kits and all the movements and mechanisms associated with them.
The BSE pick-and-place handler uses a network of cameras and proprietary algorithms to identify the locations of packages as they are processed through the handler. Using vision to locate packages eliminates the need for kits; the BSE solution requires only three steps and two mechanisms to move parts from input trays, to test and then into sort trays on the output. This dramatic simplification, made possible using proprietary image processing algorithms, results in a handler that is more available to run production tests. It does not stop due to jams and requires only minutes to change over to run a different package type versus hours for traditional pick-and-place. This vision is used for all package positioning within the handler, including placement into the test socket. The use of vision alignment at the test site makes it possible for the accurate placement of ultra-fine pitch packages, including packages requiring contacting on both sides of the package. This is yet another capability of BSE’s revolutionary new concept for pick-and-place.
The company is on a mission to provide customers products and services that increase the productivity of semiconductor test cells and set the industry benchmarks for quality, performance, and reliability
BSE is also an innovator in the handling of MEMS pressure sensors used in automotive, industrial, and medical applications; and the handling of high voltage ICs used in electric vehicles and energy-saving applications. The MEMS solution delivers the industry’s lowest cost of test, while the high voltage enables testing at the highest levels used in production today.
Looking forward, BSE has plans to expand its pick-and-place handlers into specialty applications and create a version for engineering/ lab environments. “We look to align our product roadmap with the objectives of our top clients as we continue to focus on their technology and challenges. R&D is our strength, and we are building our offerings based on the technical requirements of clients,” concludes Scholefield.