Let us recall our cellphones ten years ago and compare them to those tiny computers in our pockets, not rarely of greater performance than the big blocks under our desks could ever reach back then. The latter’s components could be seen as they were assembled. In the highly advanced technology, though, where layers of electric connections cram densely on a scanty surface and often overlap themselves, human eye feels lost. X-ray inspection is a safe way to visualise parts that are typically hidden from view.
Moreover, making a tiny mistake in such a tangle can put the whole device on the line. X-ray inspection for PCB Assembly does not leave a choice for producing the cutting-edge electronics as the costs of later servicing might be tremendous, if not overwhelming for the producer. It does save money as this is one of the tools which contribute to the quality control standard of a company. And the optimum quality is everything we want before launching anything on the market.
X-ray inspection irreplaceable in the factory
A single electronics component in a high-tech device can be comprised of: flip chips, BGAs, QFNs and other which all land on a printed circuit board (PCB) packed tightly. And only then – in its full functionality and when assembled – it is ready to go under the examination. Micrometre by micrometre an engineer follows each thread of the conductive tracks proving that the electronic device will work errorlessly.
The process does not only assure of the future device’s reliability but also goes into the deepest parts of a component noninvasively. Thus, all kinds of electronic components in their full assemblage are ready for this kind of test right on spot.
“In other tests, like the electric ones, when an integrated circuit burns or it gets a short, many things come as a potential cause. So you step back in the process, take to searching the damaged part and, at the end, try to mend the flaw in the whole series, which takes a ton of time – especially in complex projects. However, in X-ray imaging, the engineer foresees these situations with the accuracy that allows them to point the problem on the spot because he or she sees it. You take a look inside the device and you see it!” says Jarosław Krzyżanowski, PCB Assembly Process Leader.
The greatest advantage of imaging via X-ray is, in truth, how the machine works. It is analogical to the legacy PCBs with the less condensed structure where an engineer could just see everything. Nowadays, along with condensing electronic installations, the same engineer should still have the same comfort of… seeing. The X-ray inspection makes this comfort possible.