SMTA International Conference Proceedings


Author: Jon Dupree
Date Published: 9/26/2004   Conference: SMTA International

Abstract: Using X-ray inspection for defect prevention allows manufacturers to correct problems before they occur. Effective defect prevention requires an offline high magnification, high-resolution X-ray monitoring program capable of detecting extremely small variances. In the past few years, significant advances in both X-ray tube and detector device technology have allowed the effective nondestructive testing of electronic components and assemblies for key industries, such as aerospace, automotive, semiconductor, and medical device.

However, with components becoming increasingly compact, it is critical that component test and inspection technology keep pace with these developments. X-ray image quality alone does not satisfy the requirements of today’s manufacturers. While micro- and nanofocus advancements have allowed inspection of increasingly complex components, advanced packages and assemblies now require fully functional 2D and 3D imagery.

Volume CT (Computed Tomography) is a recently developed 3D X-ray inspection technique that greatly reduces the time required for the collection of CT data from the object. The technique uses an area detector (such as a camera coupled with an image intensifier or scintillating screen) to collect 2D radiographic projections of the object while it is rotated 360º. These projections are then reconstructed to create 3D visualization models. Volume rendering software visually steps through the object model layer-by-layer, revealing views of the innermost structures. With Volume CT X-ray inspection, cracks, voids, delamination, and other crucial component anomalies are viewed in their actual 3D position, providing insight into the design and manufacturing processes of these devices.

The volume rendering software used with this 3D X-ray inspection technique is critical to its success. Whereas conventional 3D computer graphics are created using polygonal meshes to represent an object’s surface, volume rendering allows the operator to see the entire object in 3D, including the internal materials and structure. This provides the operator with the data needed to thoroughly analyze complex components, packages, and assemblies.

This paper will discuss the importance of combined 2D and 3D inspection capabilities in non-destructive testing. The practical application of Volume CT technology will be summarized, as well as specific examples of complex electronic devices that require a 2D/3D inspection solution.

Key words: X-ray inspection, 3D inspection, Computed Tomography

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