BETHLEHEM, PA - Confirming what Ovation Products and its customers have known with certainty for many years, a new study by the well-respected Fraunhofer Institute for Silicon Technology has proven that Ovation’s Grid-Lok automatic board support does not cause any component damage, even to the most delicate devices.
“As today’s assemblies increasingly incorporate highly miniaturized and fragile components, ensuring that board support is non-damaging is critical,” explains Marius Popitiu, European Sales Manager for Ovation Products. “While Grid-Lok customers know that the thoughtful design of the technology does not result in component damage, many electronics specialists considering the use of Grid-Lok had concerns about its impact on today’s fine-pitch, delicate devices. The results of this study should certainly eliminate any reservations.”
Technologists at the Fraunhofer Institute utilized five assembled printed circuit boards (PCBs) and, on each board, tested ten different areas of the assembly where a variety of devices were mounted. Intentionally selecting some of the industry’s most challenging components including plastic housing LEDs, glass diodes, BGAs, bare die soldered with µBGA, TQFPs, ceramic capacitors and resistors, transistors and MLFs, the analysis was designed to evaluate the force load and force resistance of the devices when supported by Grid-Lok. Each PCB was subjected to a force of 20 Newton (N), which is ten times greater than a placement machine would typically impart and one and a half to two times greater than that of a stencil printing machine. Using inspection by microscopy and x-ray radiography (2D), each assembly was tested and the results documented before and after the force was imparted. Electrical function of the samples was also evaluated with a digital multimeter.
Not surprisingly, the results substantiate Ovation’s long-time assertion that Grid-Lok is the most robust automatic board support tool for the electronics assembly printing and placement processes. The Fraunhofer analysis observed no visible damage to the components or solder joints. Additionally, the randomly electrically-tested components showed no functional damage whatsoever. Going a step further, it was concluded that the soft caps on each Grid-Lok pin deliver gentle component support with a shock absorber effect during the placement and printing processes, as the pins automatically collapse if a force larger than 8 to 10 N is applied. The outcome of the study also definitively proves that Grid-Lok prevents bending of the PCB during the printing and placement processes, eliminating any opportunity for stress or strain on the components and solder joints, or vibration to the PCB.
“It is very gratifying to now have an independent third party further authenticate the gentle effectiveness of Grid-Lok,” says Popitiu in summary. “I am very much looking forward to sharing this great news with our future customers, as they are clearly the ones who will benefit from Grid-Lok’s ability to enable their processes.”
To download a full copy of the Fraunhofer Institute report, visit http://www.ovation-products.com/Ovation-News-Fraunhofer.html.