Electronics Assembly Knowledge, Vision & Wisdom
Tools and Techniques for Material Assessment in Advanced Technologies
Tools and Techniques for Material Assessment in Advanced Technologies
Paper identifies limitations in the methods used for evaluating solders, circuit board materials and surface finishes.
Materials Tech

Authored By:
Martin Anselm, Ph.D., and Wayne Jones
Universal Instruments Corporation
Advanced Process Laboratory
Conklin, NY, USA
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Summary
As complexity in advanced manufacturing increases, especially for consumer electronics, the need to characterize the materials and processes used in electronic assembly also increases. OEM and EMS companies look to perform characterizations as early as possible in the process to be able to limit quality related issues and improve both assembly yields and ultimate device reliability. Many analytical methods are available to us on the market that each has their own risks and benefits.

This paper will help identify some of these key limitations in the methods used for characterizing and evaluating solders, circuit board materials and surface finishes available in the market today.
Conclusions
This paper simply discusses a small fraction of the techniques available to engineers tasked with material assessment. The intent of this discussion was to illustrate the methodology, benefits, and limitations of critical techniques that an engineer may utilize in determining the root cause of a failure. Moreover, any technique used by an engineer has its limitations and requires consideration.

Cost of failure misinterpretation and delay is astronomical and is the cause of significant waste in time and money in an electronics manufacturing factory. With some simple analytical techniques, isolation of the failure and determination of the root cause may be possible. In order to accomplish "root cause" the data collected from analytical techniques discussed in this paper (and others) must be combined with knowledge and experience. Only then can production and field failures be effectively limited and controlled.
Initially Published in the SMTA Proceedings
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