PCB inspection challenges solved using X-ray system

17th May 2017
Posted By : Lanna Cooper
PCB inspection challenges solved using X-ray system


Nikon Metrology has recently provided its high-precision, flat-panel based X-ray inspection system, XT V 160 to help Saline Lectronics inspect its most complex and challenging technical assemblies to a high standard.

Saline Lectronics, is an electronics contract manufacturer based in Saline, US. The company offers assembly and manufacturing support for a range of products which incorporate highly-complex, extremely dense circuit board assemblies. Because of this, inspection is vital in order to guarantee a product’s performance throughout its lifecycle.

To stop the subjectivity of measuring accurate connections in leadless components, Saline Lectronics invested in a Nikon XT V 160 with a Varian 1313Dx flat panel detector and X.Tract technology. This new, high-quality PCB inspection system gives technicians a highly-magnified view at component connections for complex PCBAs.

Traditionally the company relied on manual visual inspection, or 2D X-ray systems, to determine whether or not a connection was acceptable, however due to electronic devices getting smaller and more complex, the problem of inspection to ensure the product is fault free is complex, and these techniques were simply not providing the best inspection method.

“Our old machine was simply an X-ray,” commented Scott Sober, VP of Operations and Manufacturing at Saline Lectronics. “The Nikon XT is a proper inspection tool. With it, I will definitively know that my manufacturing process is providing excellent results for all bottom-terminated components.”

The Nikon XT V 160 will expose any hidden features allowing further examination into BGAs and other array style package as well as inspect heels of solder joints, fine pitch packages, and internal characteristics of solder joints. With a proprietary NanoTech 160kV X-ray spot and electromagnetic lens, the system offers the latest digital imaging technology available and produces clear, sharp images at the micron level.

Jason Sciberras, Saline Lectronics Manufacturing Manager said: “We chose the Nikon system because of the X.Tract software. The laminography technology gives us an unprecedented, magnified view of any ball underneath a BGA. Even if the BGA has 2,000 balls, I can examine each one individually from any angle. This technology will completely revolutionize how we measure appropriate connections.”

The system includes the Inspect-X feature which provides a full, real time, automated reporting system that details the X-ray system’s inspection results and clearly defines passed and failed components with quantifiable data to support those determinations. With a variety of customers in the medical and aerospace industries with Class 3 assembly requirements. The company can now supply these clients with real time data and 3D visual images that guarantee the solder joints on their assemblies, and therefore the functionality and reliability of the entire PCBA.

Mario Sciberras, Saline Lectronics President and CEO concluded: “As a future-thinking organisation, we are always investing in the appropriate tools and resources to provide our customers with unparalleled quality. This Nikon X-ray system will better ensure quality for highly-complex circuit board assemblies with leadless components.”

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