ICSR (Soldering and Reliability) Conference Proceedings

An Interesting Approach To Yield Improvement

Authors: Lauri Märtin, Kristjan Piir, and Keith Bryant
Company: Enics Eesti AS and SMT Solutions
Date Published: 5/9/2016   Conference: ICSR (Soldering and Reliability)

Abstract: Whilst many forward thinking companies invest time, effort and cost into up front work to fix snags which would lead to issues with yield during production, this paper shows the efforts of a company who take things further.

With increasing pressure on cost reduction within our industry, companies are looking ever more closely at their manufacturing process. In order to remain globally competitive and even to succeed in their local market every dollar saved here helps the bottom line. However, in many areas there is a danger that lower price equals lower quality and therefore actually higher costs in the end.

The approach here involves spending a little more money than normal at the start of project but less than hundreds of dollars and the results show savings of many times more than this outlay. However, it is acknowledged that this does take a little more time to get the job onto the shop floor.

The key to this methodology is that it needs the time and effort of a skilled team and time on a production line before the job is started. But as the paper shows it really does improve yield, reduce cost, save the potential issues around repair and gives better reliability.

In essence the results of the printing process are analysed, after the components are placed, using x-ray and these results compared to the results after reflow soldering. The resultant pre reflow solder paste shapes are impossible to see with the naked eye or by lifting the components, as the paste would not release evenly. This allows the engineer to determine how differences in printed paste shape and volume react when components are placed on them and how ultimately this affects product quality.

Post reflow problems including mid chip solder balls were found to be common faults, as were issues under BGA’s including insufficient solder and shorts.

The product is run on a "real line" and the results evaluated. Improvements are then made to the stencil design and other key process parameters to ensure that when in production the board is producing acceptable yields.

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