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Root Cause Failure Analysis of Printed Circuit Board Assemblies Through Analysis of Product and Tooling Design

Presenter: Dale Lee
Company: Plexus Corporation
Date Published: 5/2/2010

Description: Failure analysis of printed circuit board production failures traditionally focused on supplier quality and/or manufacturing process issues. With the goal to reduce or eliminate assembly defects, determination of a failure’s root cause is critical to prevention of future failures. During the late 1980’s and early 1990’s, the Department of Defense focused failure analysis on mechanical failures instead of electrical failures. The goal was to address not only material failures but failures induced through product and/or assembly process tooling design.

With today's component packaging technology decreased size (length, width, thickness), increased interconnection density per unit area (thinner PCBs, smaller lines & spaces), increased functional performance (thermal, mechanical, electrical) at the same time as assembly processes are changing to lead-free assembly and other legislated requirements, root cause failure analysis of printed circuit board assemblies is critical to achieving a high first pass yield manufacturing process. This presentation and discussion will introduce the element of root cause failure analysis through the correlation of product and tooling design with assembly defects. The presentation will include examples of actual product design, manufacturing tooling design, and SMT & PTH assembly process issues matched to actual product failures.

Key Words: 

failure analysis, product design, tooling design, SMT, PTH

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