If you don’t pay attention to PCB inspection, your customers may receive faulty products. In that case, your company may lose money via warranty payments or returns. At the same time, your customers may lose the trust they had in your company and transfer their business elsewhere. In the worst scenario, a faulty PCB can lead to severe injury or death if it is used in a medical or an automotive device. This condition will drastically spoil your reputation and ends up with expensive litigation.
Inspection of PCBs in every phase of its manufacturing or assembly process enables you to find the defects so that you can fix them and improve the overall process. At times, one-off defects may affect one or more PCBs. Hence, this inspection step helps to ensure the product quality and save your time and money from wasting on a defective product. In this way, you can improve your business consistently by performing PCB inspection.
The enormous escalation of surface mount technology leads to the invention of more complicated PCBs (Printed Circuit Boards). Nowadays, PCB boards are densely populated with smaller components including chip many packages through which you cannot view hidden solder connections using Automated Optical Inspection (AOI). Usually, the solder in the PCB board is made of heavy metals like silver, lead, and tin while the other components on PCB are made of light metals like copper, aluminum, silicon, and carbon.
This is where X-ray inspection equipment plays an ideal role to inspect densely packed PCBs. Heavy metals absorb more, while light metals absorb less. Hence, it is possible to differentiate between the materials. Instead of getting reflected, X-rays can penetrate through an object to see through chip packages and inspect the solder connections underneath them. Unlike AOI, you can check for any bubble formation inside the solder joints. As there is no shadow formation in the way, the X-ray system can view the heels of solder joints and check the presence of defects like crack, pore, etc.
· Exceptional 2D/3D image quality in the shortest time
· User-friendly operation for high-tech inspections
· One-click solutions for advanced manipulations
· The optimal yield enhancement solution
· Real-time communication and reporting of failures and trends
· Continuous process improvement made easy by real-time data integration
· Has X-ray tube technology, High Power Target technology, a finely calibrated, long-life flat-panel detector, and a manipulator with cushioned bearings
· The ultimate verification process optimizer
· The variety of sample tables ensures that it can generate 2D and 3D images in extremely high resolution
· Can be upgraded for CT with the optional microCT module for in-depth 3D examination of inspection items via virtual cross sections within a minute
· Industry-leading magnification at 300kV
· High-quality 3D images via scatter|correct technology
· High-speed scans
· Industry-leading detector performance
· Increased image quality
· Unprecedented scan speed
· Improved efficiency with higher throughputs
· Automated CT process
· Enhanced reliability with real time results
· Optimized performance
· Maximum flexibility
· Precision metrology
· Innovative equipment designed with nothing short of quality in mind.
· This machine incorporates high resolution, high capacity, and a high magnification feature.
· The Ax8400 comes packed with special inspection capabilities, and is quite adapted for electronic connector module inspection, printed circuit board solder joint inspection and flip chip inspection.
· Super optimized, due to its automatic NC programming makes highly accurate conclusions.
· High Definition image capturing chain exposes all manner of defects
· Custom micro-focus technology
· Intuitive software interface
· Advanced ergonomics for ease of use
· Strict adherence to FDA certification standards.
· High quality and minimal maintenance X-ray machine which comes with the exclusive million-pixel digital camera and 4″ image multiplier (Optional 6”). Its large windows make identifying product defects relatively easy.
· Make great use of lead glass, thicker lead plates as well as lead-containing rubber.
· 90KV / 100KV-5-micron X-ray source
· High-performance stage control
· Megapixel digital camera (optional 6-inch) and 4-inch image intensifier
· Simple mouse click operation to write detection program
· Positive and negative 60-degree rotation and tilt, allows for special perspective detection samples
· High detection repeat accuracy
· Large navigation window- easy to find and identify defective products
· The automatic BGA detection program accurately detects each BGA bubble in real time and judges according to customer needs and outputs an Excel report
· Used in production lines and failure analysis laboratories.
· With a precision intuitive joystick, system users control the 5-axis sample manipulator.
· Fast automated component inspection through customizable macros
· 4K Ultra HD display for combined measurement and real-time analysis
· Low cost of ownership and maintenance with open-tube technology
· Proprietary NanoTech 160 kV source with submicron spot size
· True concentric imaging
· Superior image resolution provides up to 36000x system magnification
· Advanced user-friendly software interface
· Low cost of ownership and maintenance with open-tube technology
· Ready for CT applications
· Reconstruct 3D models quickly using our 5-step guided wizard
· Comprehensive acquisition, processing, and archival program with user-friendly interface
· High performance image processing and measurement functions
· 3D Computed Tomography reconstruction and visualization
· Optional dual tube head configuration
· Digital X-ray Detector Types: Flat Panel (DDA)
· Manipulator can rotate and move vertically and horizontally
· Steel/lead/steel construction
· Touch screen operation
· Includes one ergonomic desk and chair
· The cabinet is completely self-contained. Manufactured in steel with complete lead shielding.
· Equipped with X-Ray sources from 160kV up to 450 kV or Micro – focus sources up to 150kV
· Equipped with Digital Flat Panel Detector (different sizes and resolution available).
· One Click CT – simple and easy Computed Tomography function
· Cabinet designed with a double sliding door for casting loading with a lead/glass inspection window.
· Loading door equipped with safety light curtains.
· High speed door movements controlled by inverter.
· Electronic safety circuits controlled by multifunction controller (level 4 safety class compliant) with no mechanical contact switches.
· Blinking X-ray on warning lights interlaced with light fail circuit
· Creates high resolution images at all power levels, to see even the minute details and detect defects quickly.
· The in-house designed high-performance X-ray tube and detector allows feature recognition down to 100nm and magnification up to 68,000 times.
· Its latest generation X-ray source is 10 times brighter and intrinsically more stable than conventional X-ray tubes.
· It uses a LaB6 emitter instead of a traditional tungsten filament, and an ion pump to support a higher quality vacuum.
· Aspire Flat Panel detector combines 16-bit contrast with 6.7 MP resolution to produce images of unrivaled quality
· Presence of over 30 advanced filters brings out the sharpest images to show the finest details.
· Intuitive “point and click” user interface.
· Comfortable to use for prolonged periods without fatigue, Quadra is designed to SEMI S8 standards for ergonomics.
As the PCB board and component sizes continue to shrink, achieving the top-notch X-ray inspection for a specific application depends on choosing the right suitable x-ray test equipment. This informative guide provides five tips to pay attention in detail while selecting the appropriate one.
Imagine you were planning to buy a camera. The one with the higher pixel, say 64 MP, is better than the one with 16 MP, right? The pixel rate determines the resolution of the image. The higher the pixel rate, the higher will be the price. If you are a professional photographer, a 64 MP resolution camera works for you. What if you are an ordinary school student? A camera with less resolution is more than enough, especially if you are going to use it for fun.
Similarly, in the case of the X-ray machine, price varies according to the requirements. But the X-ray machine is even more complicated. There are many factors such as the voltage, power, detector resolution, spot size, and the proximity of the X-ray source to the object that can affect the image quality.
For example, the normal PCB with a thickness of about 5 microns requires an X-ray tube of 90KV. But the military-based PCB of more than 3 mm thickness requires above 130KV.
Other factors such as certification for importing or installation, application support, provision of continuous service maintenance, and training (online/offline) support should be considered before selecting the equipment finally.
Still, the image quality is a subjective opinion, which depends on the object to be tested. Here is the good news that you can find varied X-ray machines to inspect PCB which delivers the image quality ranging from good to excellent. It is better to be clear with your needs and assess the type of X-ray machine that suits your requirements. Eventually, you get what you pay for.
2D or 3D?
Selecting either 2-D or 3-D with online or offline options depends on the quantity of the test object, the expected quality of inspection, and the time taken to complete the inspection step.
|1||Displays two-dimensional images of the PCB at the same time||Displays three-dimensional images of PCB by forming a series of 2D cross-sections.|
|2||The principle is similar to the traditional medical X-ray||The principle is similar to the medical CT (Computed Tomography) scan|
|3||2-D can be operated either online or offline||3D CT method can be operated offline, whereas 3D laminography can be operated online and offline|
|4||No laminography method in 2D||3D can also function using the laminography method by combining cross-sections to focus on a specific area|
|5||2-D inspection equipment can tilt and rotate the sample by mechanical arm||3-D imaging system not only allows top-down views. It also tilts and rotates samples at oblique angles to the X-ray beam. This oblique viewing technique provides a look at the critical third dimension, allowing operators to check parts from multiple orientations.|
|6||The 2-D analysis takes less time||3-D analysis can take longer than a 2-D inspection|
|7||2-D increase the speed of the PCB production||3-D slow down the PCB production|
|8||2D X-ray is an excellent fit for single-sided PCB board components||3D is the best fit for high-density double-sided boards.|
But 3D laminography has higher throughput, unlike 3D CT. It results in successful production implementation at many facilities throughout the world.
The modern 2D/3D X-Ray inspection system can be changed from 2D to 3D CT mode within a few minutes. This change facilitates the joint use of the two techniques, thereby delivering non-destructive and powerful analytical functions.
The Germans are usually recognized for producing the best qualitative products in the world due to their efficiency. The X-ray inspection machines are no exception. But in recent years we have come across more reliable Chinese products that even German manufacturers have shifted the production to China, aiming for higher profitability and productivity.
Now there are only a handful of active X-ray machine manufacturers in Germany. If everyone thinks that German-made components are the best, why are they losing their market? The quality and performance of X-ray machines being produced maintain good value for money at the low price in China so that the end user can accept. This is their formula for success.
Having seen some German and Chinese X-ray machines in person, the Germans do seem to produce a lesser number of variations paying attention only to the quality. But there are many high-quality X-ray manufacturers producing equipment with many varied features suitable for long-term use at a low cost. Though brand loyalty can give reliability and peace of mind, it can also be worth considering X-ray machines from other credible companies, before taking the final decision.
How can you decide which ‘budget’ X-ray machines are okay to use? Well, the truth is, you don’t. Despite specifying a minimum “Tier 1” manufacturer, there is no guarantee about the product quality. Every company advertises the values of their reliability, warranty, service level agreement, etc. But the only way to check the credibility is to verify the manufacturer’s bankability. Be sure they are making ample money so that they will be in the same business when you require a warranty claim, or when it is backed by a reliable insurance company.
The thumb rule is to judge a company on its personal merits, not just the place of origin. Again, picking the right one is the hard part, but that’s why we are here to help.
The choice of online versus offline devices totally depends on the level and quantity of inspection required.
|1||Can quickly and repetitively test the product during the production process||Quick to run|
|2||Expensive with less quantity.|
More cost-effective with increased product quantity
|Less cost-effective with increased product quantity|
|3||Used online for data collection and comparison||Helps to achieve sampling inspection and panel inspection|
|4||Easier to process a large quantity of complex PCBs||Can process only less quantity PCB|
|5||The level of inspection is complex||The level of inspection is simple|
Open or closed tube? Which one is the best choice? Perhaps, the perfect choice depends on how much you are going to use the X-ray system.
|S.No.||Open tube||Closed tube|
|1||New technology, expensive||Mature technology, stable, and inexpensive|
|2||It saves time and money to replace. But you need to do every 200-300 hours or so of use.||‘Closed tube’ types can last for years. Filament lifespan will be about 5000-10000 hours|
|3||Minimum resolution ≤1μm||Minimum resolution ≥1μm|
|4||Maximum tube voltage ≥160KV||Maximum tube voltage 100KV|
|5||Maximum tube power 10-30W||Maximum tube power 5-10W|
|6||High magnification||Low magnification|
|7||System maintenance cost:Filament/device maintenance; pro vacuum pump is required to pump vacuum||Not required|
|8||Advantages:Excellent resolution for low density componentsGood magnification for failure analysisLow replacement cost||Advantages:Optimized resolution for BGAsHigh image repeatabilityHigh system uptimeLow initial capital cost|
|9||Disadvantages:Low image repeatabilityLow system uptimeHigh initial capital cost||Disadvantages:Low resolution for low density componentsLow magnification for failure analysisHigh replacement cost|
If your PCB requires an exceptional form of inspection, Uni X-ray can offer specialized X-ray inspection equipment to meet your needs. Our internal team of experts knows the significance of quality control and we will work with you to assure your PCB device meets all expectations of performance. We would love to help you in selecting the right PCB X-ray inspection equipment for your products at the best affordable price. Stay assured to get more for less!