RELIABILITY ASSESSMENT OF MIXED TECHNOLOGY DRIVEN BY AVAILABILITY OF LEAD FREE COMPONENTS
Authors: Lucian Kasprzak, Milind Sawant, Gerry Adams, Brian Lewis, Paul N. Houston, Daniel Baldwin, and Mike Nahorniak Company: Dade Behring Inc; Engent, Inc.; and Libra Industries Inc. Date Published: 7/7/2006
Abstract: The availability of Lead Free components at this point in the transition to a Lead Free Electronics Industry is problematic at best and in some cases may exacerbate the path to a Lead Free product. Many components will be discontinued and others will not be modified. The path often leads to a redesign based on what is available sine Lead. The additional cost of a design change and subsequent assessment only further delay the time when the product is Lead Free. These circumstances have prompted some initial investigations at Dade Behring, which attempt to measure the reliability of products in transition. We have used a Lead Free process to build SMT PCBs with components which are by and large Lead Free but have allowed the use of Leaded components, where Lead Free are not yet available. The objective of these investigations was primarily to determine the exposure to reliability problems with the Lead Free components. The value of the investigations is that they allow early assessment of issues surrounding the transition to Lead Free. We will describe a series of tests we have used to evaluate these SMT PCBs. Our internal goal was to start the changes necessary to the internal infrastructure so that a smooth ultimate transition will occur as we evolve to a Lead Free environment at Dade Behring.
Keywords: SMT, PCB, Lead Free Reliability, Diagnostic chemistry