Pan Pacific Symposium Conference Proceedings

Recent Advances in the X-Ray Inspection Technology with Emphasis on Large Board Computer Tomography and Automation

Authors: Evstatin Krastev and John Tingay
Company: Nordson DAGE
Date Published: 2/11/2014   Conference: Pan Pacific Symposium

Abstract: The need to non-destructively inspect electronic components and assemblies is the main driver behind the development and advancements of the X-ray inspection technology for the electronics industry. In many cases, the only other alternative to inspect an optically hidden component or solder joints is via mechanical cross-section technique. Disadvantages of the mechanical cross sectioning include being very time and resource-consuming. Also, there are chances to miss the defects if not careful with the polishing process, or “create” defects that were not present in the original device. The main downside, of course, is that the expensive device, PCB or component is being mechanically destroyed and made useless after the sectioning.

Through the years, due to the never ending trend of miniaturization combined with vastly increased functionality, particularly with needs of mobile devices, the complexity of the electronics assemblies and components increased tremendously. Due to their advantages in performance and functionality, currently microns-size devices and multi-level architecture is becoming widely used and constantly developed, improved and further miniaturized.

The above trends are constantly presenting new and more difficult challenges for the X-Ray inspection technology. The need of sub-micron resolution and extremely high definition images is combined with the requirements of speed and of course, automation. Naturally people desire to automate the inspection process in order to optimize it and make it as efficient as possible. The hope is to reduce the number of “expensive” operators and also remove the “human error” factor during the inspection. However, the current extreme complexity of the electronics assemblies coupled with the multi-level architecture result in very complex X-Ray images exhibiting significant variations. These are easily analyzed by trained human operators. Yet, the challenges are significant to develop robust and repeatable software/hardware inspection algorithms capable of tackling the above complexity and variations.

In this paper, we discuss the above challenges together with the latest X-ray inspection developments and trends trying to address these hot issues. We cover complex real life examples and case studies involving 2D/3D Inspection, 3D Large Board Computer Tomography and Automated X-Ray Inspection.

Key Words: 

X-ray inspection, AXI, Automated X-Ray Inspection, X-ray technology, Computer Tomography, CT, Inclined CT, Partial CT, CT without cutting, Large Board Computer Tomography

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