x ray image for PCB

Over the years we have noticed the continuing trend for more smaller printed circuit board assemblies. It doesn’t matter in which part of electronics that you are in, we are constantly seeing new designs using significantly more ball grid array (BGA) and other types of devices with hidden solder connections.

Automated Optical Inspection (AOI) is a key process control in surface mount (SMT) manufacturing that greatly increases confidence in the quality of the finished product. However, what do you do about devices where you cannot optically see the solder connections?  X-ray is the answer.

X-ray is becoming increasingly vital in a modern electronics manufacturing and more and more companies are using x-ray as an answer to add value to their electronics manufacturing process. X-ray inspection is widely used in lots of applications such as medical, industrial control, and aerospace. Using X-ray as an in-process control can help remove the risk of producing assemblies that are impossible or uneconomical to repair due to misplaced ‘hidden connection’ devices. It is key to efficient implementation and monitoring of the reflow process for BGA, CSP and flip-chips.

X-ray can detect a multitude of processing problems including shorts, potato chipping, voids and popcorning. X-ray inspection also allows us to authenticate oven profile. X-ray inspection identifies inadequate solder and moreover reveals the paste dispense process as the cause of a difficulty. Using x-ray as a form of inspection resolves quality issues by identifying a variety of defects in assembly components.

 Circuit board image taken on our Unicomp AX-8200