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Customizing COTS Testing Systems
Publication Date: 12/14/2011


Off-the-shelf modular instruments (VME, PXI, VXI, CompactPCI, PCI, etc.) used to create automated test and measurement systems are designed to be general purpose, programmable, and flexible enough to handle a variety of input ranges and types, speeds, and functions.
High Performance Probe Sockets
Publication Date: 12/14/2011


The evolution of cell phones to today's high-end smart phones with a multi-core applications processor and memory has driven the industry to embrace 3D packaging solutions. 3D packaging can be achieved by die stacking in one package, package-in-a-package stacking or package-on-package ...
Innovative Marketing of Manufacturing Equipment
Publication Date: 12/14/2011


In the 1960s when transistors began to replace cumbersome vacuum tubes, a new industrial revolution was born. Soon, a young entrepreneur seized an opportunity. From his station wagon, Henry Mann began selling specially designed tools used to insert through-hole components in their holes ...
Boundary Scan: Test More, Pay Less
Publication Date: 11/11/2011


Today's test engineer is faced with a multitude of test technologies. The most common and best known test technologies are divided into two groups: optical and electrical.
How Flying Probers Optimize Test Strategy
Publication Date: 11/11/2011


Manufacturers are constantly looking for ways to maximize the use of the equipment on their manufacturing floor. Resources are limited, time is precious and traditional testing is being challenged by new technologies that continue the push to design with smaller components.
Boundary-Scan: The Technology Has Grown Up
Publication Date: 11/11/2011


Boundary-scan PCB testing has come of age largely because of easy-to-use and highly automated tools for developing boundary-scan tests. In addition, a newer range of low-cost or even no-cost test utilities have made this technology even more accessible. As a bonus, today's JTAG is also ...
New Test for Pad Cratering
Publication Date: 11/11/2011


A common failure mode in lead-free assemblies is pad cratering, where the contact pad on a printed circuit board or package substrate lifts away from the surface. There are many factors that cause this failure mode to be more prevalent in lead-free assemblies compared to tin-lead assemblies ...
How AOI Ensures Conformal Coating is Working
Publication Date: 11/11/2011


Everyday electronic devices such as mobile phone handsets are increasingly expected to withstand environmental stress while offering greater quality and longer lifetime; attributes that can be enhanced by conformally coating selected areas of their PCBs. In safety related electronics ...
Increased Probe Density with Guided Pin Fixturing
Publication Date: 7/7/2011


Although other test and inspection technologies such as automated optical inspection have tried to supplant it, in-circuit test (ICT), which has been around since the 1970s, still delivers the highest test coverage with the least diagnostic ambiguity at the least cost for circuit board ...
Improving Nano-Scale Imaging with Negative-Stiffness Isolators
Publication Date: 7/7/2011


Traditionally, bungee cords and high-performance air tables have been the vibration isolators most used for scanning probe microscopy (SPM) and near-field scanning optical microscopy (NSOM). The ubiquitous passive-system air tables, adequate until a decade ago, are now being seriously ...
Improving Inspection with Digital Microscopes
Publication Date: 7/7/2011


Visually inspecting parts can be both challenging and time-consuming, especially when using traditional optical microscopes. With a limited depth-of-field, an inability to save images exactly as they are seen, lack of measurement tools and difficulty in properly illuminating a target, inspecting ...
PC Board Product Assurance Testing
Publication Date: 7/7/2011


How can a user of Printed Circuit Boards know they received what they specified? Recently, a field failure called into question some of the traditional methods of ensuring product performance when the failure was traced back to a printed circuit board problem. During analysis of the product ...
Counterfeit Devices: An Ongoing Menace
Publication Date: 7/7/2011


About seven years ago an independent distributor asked us to examine some parts that he had purchased from an offshore source — in this case, mainland China. He was not sure that the parts were marked correctly. He asked we could determine if the parts were, in fact, correctly marked ...
The Ultimate High Resolution AOI Camera
Publication Date: 2/17/2011


The electronics manufacturing industry is a very demanding market with a wide range of inspection requirements. At one end of the spectrum are the high-speed, high-volume production requirements associated with mobile device and LED Back Light Unit (BLU) manufacturing. At the other end ...
What Are the Risks Buying Used X-Ray Systems?
Publication Date: 2/17/2011


Buying a new X-ray system can be an expensive proposition; there are numerous models and an unlimited number of features. One option is to buy a used X-ray system. Used X-ray systems can be a good value for the money spent if you apply some caution.
The Leak Test "Bubble" — Choosing the Right Technology
Publication Date: 2/17/2011


It is the simplest and sometimes the cheapest form of leak testing: seal your part, attach a shop air hose to the part and hold it in a tub for a few seconds looking for bubbles. We all have done it and we all have gotten wet when a major leak erupts in the water. However the time comes ...
Layout-Independent AOI Fault Detection
Publication Date: 2/17/2011


Automatic Optical Inspection (AOI) systems are an essential element in the PCB assembly process; they're needed as part of any quality assurance program. The user can choose from a virtual smorgasbord of system options characterized by many different performance parameters; so that a broad ...
Embedded Instruments for JTAG Testing
Publication Date: 2/17/2011


Traditional test and measurement equipment relies on connecting external probes — not readily possible given the state-of-the-art of today's shrinking electronics. Since probing is so often difficult if not impossible, other methods must be used.
Versatile Boundary Scan Also Programs and Debugs
Publication Date: 9/20/2010


The JTAG standard IEEE 1149.1 — developed by the Joint Test Action Group — was originally developed to facilitate structural testing of assembled PCBs, as well as testing boards where it is impossible to make contact with component pins with external probes. This type of testing becomes ...
Using Reverse Engineering to Recreate Lost CAD Data
Publication Date: 9/20/2010


What do you do when your customer, a major transportation equipment manufacturer has a big problem with its electronics? The company has a large number of older printed circuit boards that are still used for the company's legacy equipment. There is no PC board data in any form. CAD, BOM ...
 
 
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