Technical Library | 2019-07-05 09:33:05.0
Fourier Transform Infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy exists as one of the most powerful techniques for chemical identification and the most practical for “first step” analysis. Analytical instrumentation such as GC-MS and LC-MS are commonly used for identifying organic compounds. However, these techniques are costly and often require extensive set up time, method development, and sample alteration. Reliance upon FTIR as a robust and versatile tool can be based on its attributes of simplicity, speed, sensitivity, and affordability.
Technical Library | 2019-07-11 11:07:08.0
Affordability is not exactly the primary word which comes to mind when discussing the use of design of experiments (DOE) principles, but is generally accepted as a necessary part of the engineering activities required in the development of a product or process. However, a number of studies have indicated that the cost savings derived from a well deliberated experimental design can be substantial in the initial stages where the conditions or parameters of a process are determined. Some studies have shown a greater than 50% cost savings compared to the more conventional means of trial and error approaches to process development. At ACI Technologies (ACI), we have found the use of DOE techniques fundamental in eliminating extraneous costs otherwise spent on unnecessary testing.
Technical Library | 2019-07-19 10:21:14.0
One of the most frequently asked questions of ACI Technologies (ACI) is how to qualify and verify that the electronic systems shipped by their respective companies are Restriction of Hazardous Substances (RoHS) compliant. The RoHS directive has been implemented since July of 2006, and the preoccupation with what constitutes a compliant product continues to confuse the electronic industry. ACI receives countless inquiries regarding how to qualify and verify that the electronic systems shipped by the irrespective companies are RoHS compliant. The approach to proving compliancy requires a sequential analytical process that utilizes a decision flow chart.
Technical Library | 2019-08-19 09:46:13.0
Boundary scan is a method for testing interconnects on printed circuit boards (PCBs) or sub-blocks inside an integrated circuit. It has rapidly become the technology of choice for building reliable high technology electronic products with a high degree of testability. Due to the low-cost and integrated circuit (IC) level access capabilities of boundary scan, its use has expanded beyond traditional board test applications into product design and service.
Technical Library | 2019-09-16 09:41:02.0
“What is Virtual Manufacturing?” The simplest answer is a manufacturing simulation using a computer. The more complete answer is that virtual manufacturing is the process of designing a model of a real system and conducting experiments with this model for the purpose of understanding the behavior of the system. In today’s complex manufacturing environment, processes must be completely understood before implementation in order to “get it right the first time.” To achieve this goal, the use of a virtual environment is essential for simulating individual manufacturing processes and the total manufacturing system. By driving compatibility between the product design and the assembly plant process, these virtual tools enable the early optimization of cost, quality, and time to help achieve integrated products, process and resource design, and affordability.
Technical Library | 2019-09-27 09:14:41.0
One of the most critical factors in preventing corrosion from occurring in electronics is maintaining the state of cleanliness. This is not an easy feat to achieve. Corrosion is defined as the deterioration of a material or its properties due to a reaction of that material with its chemical environment.  So, to prevent corrosion from occurring, either the material or the chemical environment must be adjusted. Adjusting the material usually means application of a protective coating or replacing a more reactive material with a less reactive material. Adjusting the chemical environment usually means removing ionic species through cleaning, and removing moisture, usually with a conformal coating or hermetic package. Ionic species and moisture are problematic because they form an electrolyte which is able to conduct ions and electricity. Any metal that comes into contact with the electrolyte can begin to corrode.
Technical Library | 2019-10-21 09:58:50.0
An ACI Technologies customer inquired regarding printed circuit board(PCB) failures that were becoming increasingly prevalent after the SMT (surface mount technology) manufacturing process. The failures were detected by electrical testing, but were undetermined as to the location and specific devices causing the failures. The failures were suspected to be caused predominately in the BGA (ball grid array) devices located on specific sites on this 16 layer construction. Information that was provided on the nature of the failures (i.e., opens or shorts) included high resistance shorts that were occurring in those specified areas. The surface finish was a eutectic HASL (hot air solder leveling) and the solder paste used was a water soluble Sn/Pb(tin/lead).
Technical Library | 2020-01-13 09:48:06.0
Is it possible to coat electronic assemblies with a thin, uniform in thickness, pinhole-free, moisture impervious, truly hermetic (by the MIL-STD-883 definition) film of ceramic material that is far more affordable than placing the same electronic assemblies in the currently used glass-to-metal sealed, thick, heavy, metal-and-ceramic-based hermetic enclosures? Since the coating (called a “conformal coating”) would be both hermetic (moisture proof) and hundreds or thousands of times thinner than the currently used enclosures, it would be both less expensive, lighter, and still just as effective in excluding moisture (hermetic) as the current heavy, bulky, expensive electronic enclosures are.
Technical Library | 2020-03-12 14:14:07.0
IPC's APEX EXPO is always exciting & always fun and, most importantly, always beneficial to those who exhibit and attend. From technical conferences to standards committees to new and exciting things on the show floor - APEX 2020 was indeed a success
Technical Library | 2020-05-08 18:22:31.0
A customer contacted the Helpline to perform analysis on a lead-free assembly which exhibited intermittent functionality. The lead-free assembly exhibiting intermittent functionality when pressure was applied to the ball grid array (BGA) packages. Industrial adaptation of a Restriction of Hazardous Substances (RoHS) compliant solder standard has created a new host of failure modes observed in lead-free assemblies. Pad cratering occurs when fractures propagate along the epoxy resin layer on the underside of the BGA connecting pads. While originating from process, design, and end use conditions, it is the combination of a rigid lead-free solder with inflexible printed circuit board (PCB) laminates that has advanced the prevalence of this condition. Pad cratering is simply the result of mechanical stress exceeding material limitations.