Forward-looking electronics manufacturing is characterised, among other things, by the fact that the individual machines – and therefore the entire manufacturing process – are networked. This not only enables efficient work, but also creates transparency and a seamless traceability of data and process flows. With the ViCON system software, Rehm Thermal Systems has developed a user interface that enables the user to work intuitively. ViCON has now been redesigned for the special requirements of the dispensing and coating systems of the Protecto series (ViCON Protecto).

The specifications of the ViCON Protecto are derived from the fundamental elements of the ViCON, which have already proven effective in the convection soldering systems of the Vision series from Rehm Thermal Systems. The ViCON Protecto can be operated through various gestures via a touch user interface. Another feature of ViCON Protecto is the direct import of ECAD data or image files. An optionally available camera also allows the user to create an overall image of the circuit board using several individual images (“stitching”).

As the ViCON was being developed for the Protecto series, care was taken to optimise the operating sequence for the user. A wizard guides the system operator through the entire program and the creating of the painting image, while tips in colour show the current status, making operation considerably easier. Among other things, incorrect entries in the painting image creation and unsaved changes are colour-coded. The software also contains a paint database that has already been filled by the application specialists from Rehm Thermal Systems – allowing the user to select the best paint for the selected paint applicator with just a few easy clicks.

For simple and intuitive paint job creation – from individual points to lines and surfaces – different tools can be selected, depending on the applicator. Filled polygons and surfaces can also be created with ViCON Protecto: an integrated 3D function also enables the assembly to be viewed as closely as possible while the painting image is being created. This extended drawing function can also be used to define restricted areas that are to be blocked out during the painting. An arrow at the start of the line to be painted also indicates the direction in which the paint will be applied. The painting sequence can be changed via the protocol list and tested in live mode with or without paint, which offers efficient painting with minimal empty runs.

Additional features such as a grid or magnifying-glass function and collision detection ensure simple and convenient creation of the painting image. The collision detection prevents components from being damaged during the subsequent painting. For the collision detection, information on the height of the components must be available in the ECAD data record of the components.

In addition to the functions specially tailored to the requirements of Protecto, ViCON Protecto also offers all the features that the basic software for the vision systems already came with. The current system operating status is clearly recognisable for the user, while a colour coding of the status and alarm messages enables the system status to be easily recognised and assigned even over a greater distance, allowing the operator to react quickly and intuitively to the coloured messages.

Access rights, views and favourites can be tailored precisely and individually for each user. In addition, multilingualism is integrated directly into the ViCON: the simple “on the fly” switch to the preferred language simplifies worldwide remote maintenance access to other Rehm systems and operation in an international environment.