NUREMBERG, GERMANY-Siemens Automation and Drives (A&D, Nuremberg, Germany), has acquired Opto-Control Elektronik Prüfsysteme (Bochum, Germany). The acquisition adds high-precision automatic optical inspection (AOI) systems to Siemens's Siplace surface mount technology business. Opto-Control's inspection systems are fully automated and use 3-D sensor technology to detect any solder or placement flaws.

Process controls and automated inspection are becoming increasingly more important in electronics manufacturing to maximize manufacturing quality. AOI systems help operators, as well as process engineers, to optimize their processes and monitor output.

Siemens'expanded Siplace portfolio combines AOI systems from Opto-Control with Siemens' SMT placement machines.

The business with AOI systems will be integrated into the Optical Solutions unit of Siemens A&D's Electronics Assembly Systems division, where it will benefit from Siemens global sales and service network. The company says it wants to take advantage of this structure to expand its system with fully automated 3-D inspection systems in the future.