ADCO Circuits and Koh Young Collaborate to Transform Through-Hole Inspection

By Brent Fischthal, Head of Global Marketing, Koh Young Technology

Sometimes it takes an avid enthusiast and user to really think freely and see extra potential in a piece of equipment. That is exactly what happened when the team at ADCO Circuits decided to use an AOI (Automatic Optical Inspection) machine from Koh Young to inspect their through-hole (THT) solder joints.

As ADCO Circuits’ Head of Operations Kevin Barrett states, it began with a realization that “our solderers were spending a lot of time doing inspections.” Kevin had looked for solutions in the market but really hadn’t found anybody that had the remedy he needed. Kevin approached Koh Young and asked if they had an interest in working with ADCO Circuits to find a solution.

Koh Young not only had an interest in it, but they had also begun to deliver algorithms and developed them for that process. Kevin was delighted by the response from Koh Young, who “once again, said ‘Hey, we’ll put a machine in your facility, and we will work with you’.” Kevin added, “they gave us direct names of contacts and they said as you move forward, you guys do what you want with the equipment, tell us what you need, and we’ll be there for you.” 

The outcome as Kevin explains is that “as I stand here today, we’re doing 100% bottom side inspection and we’re at about 80% of our top side inspection. And we would not be there had it not been for the machine and for the support for the machine from the Koh Young Team.”

Hannah Geisler is the Programmer at ADCO Circuits that took the lead on this project. Hannah shared her own experience, saying, “this wasn’t something that they had originally thought of to use the machine for. Typically, this AOI has been for looking at solder paste on a PCB. In this case we’re actually looking at components. So, we’re looking to make sure that the solder is a complete filet or that no surface mount parts have been thrown off during the selective soldering process.” Hannah added, “I’ve been working closely with Koh Young and anytime I have a concern I contact them. They’ll jump on the equipment themselves online and they’ll help me sort out any problems that I’m having.”

As with all ADCO Circuits’ Koh Young inspection equipment, it is not just about pass/fail inspection. Kevin Barret went on to say that “a second bonus to us is for parts that are on the bottom side. When we run a selective wave, we have the potential of knocking off components that are in those general areas. So, we’re not just looking at the through hole joint itself, we’re looking at surrounding SMT components to see if there was any impact to those. We’re also picking up any solder balling and measuring that solder balling. Thus, we’re able to decide whether it is a defect or not. It’s grown well beyond just looking at joints.” 

And there are unique technical challenges. Hannah explains, “It can be pretty challenging a lot of the time with a solder filet on through hole components. On the bottom side you can have a lot of mirrored surfaces, so the panel actually looks like it’s inverted. But I’ve been working closely with Koh Young to fix that. There’s some lighting levels that you can change. There’s some different ways that it’s actually looking at the part that you can change to get yourself the best image to see that solder filet come through. Hannah added that, “It’s also been challenging to look at the top side to make sure that nothing has been moved around. But again, I’m working with Koh Young, and they’ve been really helpful sorting that all out, trying to get the best angle and the best image.”

The next stage is to roll this solution out throughout the facility. Kevin Barrett was delighted with the collaboration and the result, he concluded that “right now we have the one machine to do the through hole inspection. It will probably be two or three quickly down the road.”

Koh Young has been delighted with this partnership and of course the value it delivers to not just ADCO Circuits and themselves, but to the whole industry as these innovations mature as products that are rolled out industry wide.

ADCO Circuits has multiple Koh Young KY8030-3 SPI and Zenith Series AOI solutions connected with KSMART software. You can learn more about these products and the rest of the Koh Young portfolio at Koh Young America. For more information about ADCO Circuits’ electronics manufacturing capabilities, visit ADCO Circuits. You can watch the video case study at ADCO Circuits and Koh Young Collaborate to Transform Through-Hole Inspection

About Koh Young Technology, Inc.

Established in 2002, Koh Young revolutionized the inspection market by launching the industry’s first 3D Solder Paste Inspection (SPI) system using a patented dual-projection Moiré technology. Since then, it has become the global leader in 3D measurement-based SPI and Automated Optical Inspection (AOI) equipment for the electronics industry. Based on its True3D™ measurement-based inspection technology, Koh Young has developed innovative inspection solutions for challenges with machined parts, press-fit and through-hole pins, conformal coatings, dispensed materials, and semiconductor packages. Through its constant innovation, Koh Young has secured over 3,600 global customers, and commands the dominant global market share position in the SPI and AOI markets with over 23,000 machine installations. A customer-centric R&D focus uses our core competencies to develop innovative solutions for new and existing markets by listening to users and researching trends and applications. From the headquarters in Korea, activities spread across the world through its global sales and support infrastructure spanning Europe, Asia, and the Americas. These regional offices ensure Koh Young stays close to the market, and more importantly, its growing user base. Learn why so many electronics manufacturers trust Koh Young for reliable inspection for a smart factory at our website at or

Koh Young America, 1950 Evergreen Blvd., Ste 200, Duluth, GA 30096

Brent Fischthal, Senior Marketing Manager, Koh Young America

About ADCO Circuits

ADCO Circuits, Inc., established in 1981 in Rochester Hills, Michigan, provides electronic circuit board assembly and module services to a wide range of companies in the industrial, medical, automotive, telecommunications, and aerospace/military equipment markets. As a full-service turnkey supplier of custom electronics, ADCO provides support from design and prototyping to new product introduction and full-rate production. Its state-of-the-art, 53,000-square-foot facility handles low- to medium-volume assembly and test. Advanced capabilities include an automated stockroom, automated selective soldering, and Flex-SMT lines with STI and AOT and off-line X-Ray. ADCO Circuits is IS0 9001, AS9100, and IATFI6949 certified, and ITAR and GIDEP registered. 

ADCO Circuits, 2868 Bond St, Rochester Hills, MI 48309 +1.248.853.6620