ACI Technologies

ACI, an authorized IPC Training Center operating the National Electronics Manufacturing Center of Excellence providing analytical testing, manufacturing and repair services to the electronics industry.

Consultant / Service Provider, Standards Setting / Certification, Training Provider

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ACI Technologies Products

Failure Analysis Techniques for Electronics (Paperback) [Education/Training]

Failure Analysis Techniques for Electronics provides an overview of the characterization methods available at ACI Technologies, Inc. for determining the causes of failure in electronics devices.  This publication will assist the reader in making informed decisions ...

IPC J-STD-001 - Wires & Terminals - Certification Solder Training Kit [Education/Training]

This solder training kit is an easy and effective training method that supports all Certified IPC Specialist (CIS) module 2.

IPC J-STD 001 - CIS/CIT - Recertification Solder Training Kit (HASL) [Education/Training]

This solder training kit is an easy and effective training method that supports all Certified IPC Specialist (CIS) modules as well as the Certified IPC Trainer (CIT) certification program. Each kit contains a board, HASL ...

IPC J-STD 001 - CIS/CIT - Recertification Solder Training Kit (ENIG) [Education/Training]

This solder training kit is an easy and effective training method that supports all Certified IPC Specialist (CIS) modules as well as the Certified IPC Trainer (CIT) certification program. Each kit contains a board, ENIG ...

IPC J-STD 001 - CIS/CIT - Certification Solder Training Kit (HASL) [Education/Training]

This solder training kit is an easy and effective training method that supports all Certified IPC Specialist (CIS) modules as well as the Certified IPC Trainer (CIT) certification program. Each kit contains two boards, HASL ...

IPC J-STD 001 - CIS/CIT - Certification Solder Training Kit (ENIG) [Education/Training]

This solder training kit is an easy and effective training method that supports all Certified IPC Specialist (CIS) modules as well as the Certified IPC Trainer (CIT) certification program. Each kit contains two boards, ENIG ...

IPC 7711/7721 - CIS/CIT - Recertification Solder Training Kit (ENIG) [Education/Training]

This hand soldering kit supports all Certified IPC Specialist (CIS) modules as well as the Certified IPC Trainer (CIT) instructional program for the IPC 7711C/7721C Rework, Repair and Modification of Electronic Assemblies Workmanship Certification. Each ...

IPC 7711/7721 - CIS/CIT - Recertification Solder Training Kit (HASL) [Education/Training]

This hand soldering kit supports all Certified IPC Specialist (CIS) modules as well as the Certified IPC Trainer (CIT) instructional program for the IPC 7711C/7721C Rework, Repair and Modification of Electronic Assemblies Workmanship Certification. Each ...

IPC 7711/7721 - CIS/CIT - Certification Solder Training Kit (HASL) [Education/Training]

This hand soldering kit supports all Certified IPC Specialist (CIS) modules as well as the Certified IPC Trainer (CIT) instructional program for the IPC 7711C/7721C Rework, Repair and Modification of Electronic Assemblies Workmanship Certification. Each ...

IPC 7711/7721 - CIS/CIT - Certification Solder Training Kit (ENIG) [Education/Training]

This hand soldering kit supports all Certified IPC Specialist (CIS) modules as well as the Certified IPC Trainer (CIT) instructional program for the IPC 7711C/7721C Rework, Repair and Modification of Electronic Assemblies Workmanship Certification. Each ...


Inspection Services - Visual and X-Ray [Inspection]

ACI Technologies employs personnel that are Master IPC Trainers and Certified IPC Trainers for all IPC inspection standards. Visual Inspection Services ACI Technologies employs personnel that are Master IPC Trainers and Certified IPC Trainers for all IPC ...

Power Packaging Services [Design Services]

The manufacturing factory at ACI includes a clean room, power electronics assembly and packaging laboratory. This specialized facility aids in the development of manufacturing and assembly technologies that can exploit the advantages of advanced materials. The lab ...

Process Engineering Services [Design Services]

ACI's leading edge manufacturing technology and wide range of expertise with electronics technology offers a reliable solution to your engineering needs, including the development of new processes and materials for your packaging requirements. Our material scientists ...

Reliability Engineering Services [Design Services]

With our well-equipped environmental and test laboratories, we can assist customers in developing and validating reliability models to simulate product lifetimes and field failures for their products. ACI utilizes Environmental Stress Screening (ESS) and Environmental Stress ...

Sustainment Engineering Services [Design Services]

ACI maintains a proven track record of assisting Department of Defense program acquisition offices in the identification and solution of manufacturing technology issues affecting major weapons, aviation, and shipboard systems. Our staff of engineers, technicians, and ...

PCB Reverse Engineering Services [Design Services]

ACI offers a full range of customized reverse engineering services and support at the the component, board, and system levels. Our engineers have years of experience analyzing and designing products, parts and assemblies, acquired from various ...

Small Run Prototype Assembly Services [Prototyping]

Our experienced engineers and technicians can craft processes that require a variety of surface mount technology (SMT) and plated through-hole (PTH) assembly techniques. ACI can assist manufacturers that require process development with solder alloys not normally ...

Qualification of Bare Boards [Test Services]

Qualification of boards and assemblies is the comparison of the board or assembly to an industry standard. Specifically, we qualify printed circuit boards to IPC-6012 – Qualification and Performance Specifications for Rigid Printed Boards and IPC-A-600 ...

Reliability Testing Services [Test Services]

Environmental testing is a very useful tool in ensuring product reliability. We have an environmental laboratory that can assist with every aspect of this testing. Our capabilities begin with test planning with the customer and proceed ...

Counterfeit Component Screening [Test Services]

Counterfeit components screening is the investigation of components that are not performing as compared to the respective data sheet and/or have come from an unqualified or uncertified distributor. We can assist in the analysis of counterfeit ...

Cleanliness and Contamination Testing Services [Test Services]

Cleanliness and contamination refers to the analysis of residues and particulate that are present in electronics assemblies and components that could be harmful to the function and reliability of the system. Using our ROSE (Bulk Ionograph) ...

Advanced Imaging Services [Test Services]

Imaging at ACIT assists our scientists with visualizing the failures that have been described. The application of advanced imaging has a wide range of uses in our laboratory. Imaging provides a permanent visual record of samples ...

Failure Analysis Services [Test Services]

Failure analysis is a common term that is used in the electronics industry for the process of investigating variables that may have resulted in a defect or interruption in function. We can perform the investigation and ...

Rework and Repair Services [Rework & Repair Services]

In order to maintain the highest level of quality in electronics, most manufacturers will employ some form of process control methodology to identify faulty conditions or potential quality variances. The feedback provided by such a system ...

ACI Technologies News

ACI Offers IPC Online Certification

ACI Technologies is pleased to announce the addition of online certification training for the IPC A-610 "Acceptability of Electronic Assemblies" and the IPC/WHMA A-620 "Requirements and Acceptance for Cable and Wire Harness Assemblies" courses.

FREE Download of Failures Analysis Booklet from ACI Technologies

ACI Technologies invites you to download a free copy of its very popular e-booklet, “Failure Analysis Techniques for Electronics” from its Website store, which is located at http://store.aciusa.org/Failure-Analysis-Techniques-for-Electronics-Digital-Download-P181.aspx ...

ACI Technologies Technical Articles

A Non-destructive Approach to Identify Intermittent Failure Locations on Printed Circuit Cards (PCC) that have been Temperature Cycle Tested
[December 07, 2020]

Temperature cycling testing is a method of accelerated life testing done to PCCs that are exposed to normal operation temperature variations over its lifetime. During the testing, intermittent "open" failures can first occur at the ...

Ball Grid Array (BGA) Voiding Affecting Functionality
[November 09, 2020]

A customer contacted ACI Technologies regarding a high failure rate of their assemblies. They provided assemblies to be X-rayed and inspected for the purpose of identifying any process related issues such as (but not limited ...

Reworking ALD Coatings
[September 02, 2020]

Atomic layer deposition (ALD) is a process of creating coatings on a molecular layer by layer basis. Using an iterated sequence of self-saturating deposition cycles that are self-terminating, a single layer can be deposited at ...

ALD of Alumina Ceramic Films for Hermetic Protection
[August 05, 2020]

A primary issue in electronics reliability for military applications is the ability to ensure long term operability in harsh, extreme environments. This requires more rigid standards, such as the MIL-STD-883 (Department of Defense Test Method ...

Lead-Free Risk Mitigation -- A Case Study
[July 01, 2020]

A company approached ACI Technologies (ACI) for assistance with a new product that was about to undergo its initial proof-of-concept prototype build. This product was an item that was being furnished to the Department of ...

Lead-Free Control Plan
[June 02, 2020]

A commercial systems manufacturer working on a major defense program contacted the Helpline for urgent assistance with an issue of failed parts during reliability testing. They were attempting to incorporate commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) computer-related hardware into ...

Pad Cratering
[May 08, 2020]

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 ...

Product Design and Early Manufacturing Involvement
[April 01, 2020]

It happens much too often; manufacturing engineers are brought into a NEW product design phase at the very end of a design and are asked to provide input that should have been provided much earlier. ...

Cleaning No-Clean Fluxes Prior to Conformal Coating
[March 09, 2020]

A customer called the Helpline seeking advice for cleaning no-clean fluxes prior to applying a conformal coating. The customer's assemblies were manufactured with a no-clean rosin based solder paste (ROL0) and were cleaned with an isopropyl ...

Mechanical Drop Shock Testing
[February 03, 2020]

Accurate impact testing is a key component to establishing that a product is not only reliable, but durable in an end-use environment. ACI Technologies tested a high-g circuit board to demonstrate component durability and ruggedization ...


Atomic Layer Deposition
[January 13, 2020]

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 ...

Counterfeit Component Analysis
[January 02, 2020]

A customer contacted the Helpline with the concern that parts being used in their assembly may possibly be counterfeit components. The counterfeiting of electronics components is a world-wide problem, and the threat today is even ...

Masking for Conformal Coatings
[December 05, 2019]

Conformal coatings are regularly employed to protect the surface of a soldered printed circuit board assembly from moisture, chemicals in the PCBA's service environment, and foreign objects or debris. Conformal coatings are nonconductive and therefore ...

Fiber Optic Cabling
[November 13, 2019]

Fiber optic harnesses appear simple, but they have been designed to maintain all of the critical areas of aligning two fibers and minimize the losses associated with a break in the transmission path. In order ...

Investigation of PCB Failure after SMT Manufacturing Process
[October 21, 2019]

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 ...

Advanced Packaging Technology
[October 16, 2019]

A major goal of the development of advanced packaging technology is to reduce the size, weight, and power consumption of electronics components using state-of-the-art commercial technologies. One of the novel concepts involves the use of ...

Power Interfaces
[October 07, 2019]

Power interfaces are required when external power sources like solar panels, fuel cells, or batteries are used to generate power for electrical devices. There are two major power interfaces commonly used, direct current to direct ...

Cleanliness/Corrosion Mitigation
[September 27, 2019]

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 ...

Non-Destructive Test Methods
[September 23, 2019]

Failure analysis (FA), by its very nature, is needed only when things goawry. Before any testing is performed on the sample, a decision mustbe made as to whether or not the sample is allowed to ...

Virtual Manufacturing
[September 16, 2019]

“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 ...

Microscopy in Failure Analysis
[September 03, 2019]

Both optical and scanning electron microscopy (SEM) are powerful tools for failure analysis in electronics and are used for low and high magnification examination. This article will provide detailed, step by step information for examining ...

Automated Testing with Boundary Scan
[August 19, 2019]

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 ...

Selective Soldering and the Modular Approach
[August 08, 2019]

High mix production is the mainstay of many electronics assembly plants. Lot sizes and board complexities vary and the boards are often mixed technology, comprising a blend of both surface mount and through-hole technology. Modularizing ...

Attaching Fiber Optic Modules
[August 01, 2019]

Optical fibers transmit information in the form of pulses of light. The advantages of optical fibers over traditional copper wires include: higher throughput, greater signal distance and speed, smaller cable mass and diameter, greater pull ...

Conformal Coating Processes
[July 29, 2019]

ACI Technologies can assist its users with process development and experimentation through the use of the conformal coating capabilities in the Demonstration Factory. Four types of coating processes are available at ACI Technologies: dip coating, ...

A Systematic Approach to RoHS Analysis
[July 19, 2019]

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 ...

Design of Experimentation for Affordability
[July 11, 2019]

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 ...

Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy
[July 05, 2019]

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 ...

Computer Aided Design, Manufacturing, and Engineering
[July 01, 2019]

In the electronics industry of today, companies emphasize better quality, lower cost, and shorter lead time on their products in order to keep up with their competitors. ACI Technologies (ACI) has been utilizing Computer Aided ...

Manufacturing Cost Reduction through Automation
[June 24, 2019]

Defense systems and its manufacturers are often blamed for not embracing new and innovative technologies to manufacture products compared to its commercial counterparts. Commercial product manufacturers are known to think “outside the box” in coming ...

Investigation of Through-Hole Capacitor Parts Failures Following Vibration and Stress Testing
[June 21, 2019]

Recently, an ACI Technologies (ACI) customer called to discuss failures that they had observed with some through-hole capacitor parts. The components were experiencing failures following vibration and accelerated stress testing. Upon receipt of the samples, ...

Tin Whiskers: Mitigation with Conformal Coatings | Part II
[June 20, 2019]

One of the two basic risks of employing the commercially accepted, Restriction of Hazardous Substances (RoHS) compliant, lead-free (Pb-free) electronics is the threat to the electronics reliability from the growth of tin whiskers. The ...

Tin Whiskers: Risks with Lead Free | Part I
[June 19, 2019]

Tin (Sn) metal displays the characteristic of growing “tin whiskers” from pure tin coatings (most actively on relatively thin, electrodeposited or immersion tin coatings), usually months or years from the initial deposition of the ...

Use of Pelseal® 2078 Viton® Caulk in Decapsulation of Electronics Components
[June 18, 2019]

ACI Technologies is tasked with decapsulation of electronics components for testing and investigative purposes. In the normal method of decapsulation, an analyst will drill a small indentation, with a rotary tool, in the hermetic sealant ...

Fiducial Marks
[June 17, 2019]

Very often pick and place machines are programmed using CAD data. This data increases the accuracy, precision, and repeatability of its component placement objectives. CAD data makes fine pitch and small component assemblies repeatable, but ...

BGA Placement on Rework Station
[June 12, 2019]

The success of ball grid array (BGA) placement on electronic assemblies is as much a matter of proper preparation and planning, as it is technique. In some designs, it is more appropriate to apply BGAs ...

Reflow Experiment
[June 11, 2019]

An experiment was recently performed ACI Technologies for a customer that was interested in comparing the wetting of lead-free solders with varying temperature profiles and atmospheric conditions. In order to deliver an objective measurement of ...

Component Failure Analysis - Hermetic Packaging
[June 11, 2019]

Recently ACI Technologies was asked to perform failure analysis on a hermetically sealed transistor for potential electrostatic discharge (ESD) or electrostatic overstress (EOS). ACI was asked to determine if the field-failed transistor was damaged by ESD ...

Surface Finish Issues Affecting Solderability and Reliability
[June 07, 2019]

ACI Technologies was contacted in regards to poor solder joint reliability. The customer submitted an assembly that was exhibiting intermittent opens at multiple locations on a ball grid array (BGA) component. The assembly’s functionality did ...

Advanced Packaging of SMT Assemblies for Greater Cost Reduction
[June 06, 2019]

Legacy electronics assemblies, such as through-hole (Figure 1) and connectorized component packages, are robust and prevalent throughout industry. However, each of these assembly methods have reached their limits in terms of weight, volume, reliability, ...

Ceramic to Plastic Packaging
[June 05, 2019]

As electronic products increase in functionality and complexity, there is an emphasis on affordability, miniaturization, and energy efficiency. The telecommunications, automotive, and commercial electronic markets are the leading drivers for these trends. These markets see ...

Platings for Interconnections
[June 04, 2019]

Interconnection technology relies very heavily on the ability of the conductors on a printed wiring assembly to maintain reliable signal integrity. Harsh environmental factors can precipitate a loss of conductivity due to oxidation and ...

Corrosion Analysis
[June 03, 2019]

ACI Technologies was pleased to assist a customer by conducting elemental analysis on several assemblies displaying severe corrosion. Several board assemblies had failed in the field and exhibited areas of corrosion in close proximity to ...

The Power Packaging Laboratory at ACI Technologies
[May 31, 2019]

Microelectronics is the manufacture of systems built from extremely small electronic components. In today’s electronic world, devices must be portable, equipped with wireless technology and are driven by size, weight, power, and cost ...

SMT Component Reliability for RF Applications
[May 31, 2019]

ACI Technologies (ACI) characterized the reliability of surface mount RF components. The RF frequency band of interest was the X band (10.7 to 11.7GHz). A two pronged test for reliability of circuit card assemblies (CCA) ...

COTS Cooling
[May 31, 2019]

ACI Technologies (ACI) is working on a project where one of the challenges is removing a large quantity of heat from audio amplifier circuits. This challenge is further complicated in that the heat generating circuits ...

Thermal Interface Materials Testing
[May 30, 2019]

There exists a need to efficiently remove heat from power electronics within power systems to enhance performance. Thermal management is a critical function to that operation. Reducing the junction temperature of semiconductor power electronic devices ...

Identifying Battery Load Qualification Test Parameters
[May 30, 2019]

In a previous Tech Tip (see Battery Selection for Electronic Systems), considerations were discussed for selecting an appropriate battery for an application. After selection, testing should be performed to confirm that the battery can ...

BGA Reballing
[May 30, 2019]

In the current economic environment, the ability to reuse ball grid array(BGA) components that have failed due to solder defects may be an efficient way for electronics manufacturers to reduce costs. Cost may not be ...

Battery Selection for Electronic Systems
[May 29, 2019]

Battery selection should be considered early during the design phase of affordable electronic systems. The important choice of an appropriate battery can reduce system acquisition costs and keep logistics support costs down for the ...

Design for Test
[May 29, 2019]

Design for Test or Design for Testability (DFT) can best be described as the techniques utilized to add testability features to an electronic hardware product design. These added features make it easier to develop and ...

Decapsulation of Integrated Circuits
[May 29, 2019]

Decapsulation, or de-cap, is a failure analysis technique which involves the removal of material packaging from an integrated circuit (IC). After de-cap, visual inspection by optical microscopy of the internal circuitry may reveal areas where ...

Decapsulation of Integrated Circuits
[May 24, 2019]

Decapsulation, or de-cap, is a failure analysis technique which involves the removal of material packaging from an integrated circuit (IC). After de-cap, visual inspection by optical microscopy of the internal circuitry may reveal areas where ...

Coating Application Methods
[May 24, 2019]

Conformal coatings are applied to Printed Circuit Board Assemblies(PCBAs) using a variety of different methods. There are six main methods of applying conformal coatings: manual spraying, automated spraying, dipping, brushing, selective coating, and vacuum deposition.

Preparation for Reflow Profiling
[May 24, 2019]

There is a smaller process window and a much narrower margin of error when creating and using lead-free reflow profiles for surface mount parts on printed circuit boards (PCBs). Solder balls, dewetting, tombstones, voids, and ...

Identifying Flux Residues
[May 23, 2019]

Why identify flux residues? The primary purpose of flux is to reduce species of metal oxides from solderable surfaces, and to act as a mechanism for lifting and removing debris. If the assembly is not ...

Cleaning
[May 23, 2019]

Solvent and co-solvent cleaning involves the use of engineered solvents in a vapor phase system. The solvents classically used were Class 1 Ozone Depleting Substances, but new types of solvents have been developed that are ...

Wedge Bonding Tool Selection
[May 23, 2019]

Increasing I/O numbers, device complexity, and product miniaturization requires high precision bonding tools, and sophisticated equipment. Careful consideration should be given to wedge geometry while selecting the tool for a fine pitch wire bonding application. ...

Experimentation for Success
[May 23, 2019]

The technical tips have offered valuable details and techniques into various aspects of electronics manufacturing. This has been validated by the reader responses concurring with our assessments, offering additional insight, or in some rare cases, ...

Flip Chip Attach Techniques
[May 21, 2019]

Last month we presented Flip Chip Rework.As promised, this month we follow up with attachment techniques. Flip chip assembly is a key technology for advanced packaging of microelectronic circuits. It allows attachment of a bare chip ...

Flip Chip Rework
[May 21, 2019]

Flip chip components have been gaining popularity in the electronics industry since their introduction in the 1960s. Advances in attach methods and adhesives, as well as the drive for smaller and faster electronic devices made ...

Conformal Coating Inspection
[May 21, 2019]

In the field of electronics manufacturing, the end use of the product will always dictate the processes, procedures, and methods, not only for building the product, but also for testing, cleaning, and protecting the assembly ...

Thermal Profiling for Reflow
[May 21, 2019]

Reflow temperature profiling is the most important aspect of proper control of the solder reflow process. It may appear to some to be a magical art practiced by a select experienced few, who are able ...

Die Attach Dispensing Methods
[May 21, 2019]

Die attach material selection and process implementation play crucial roles in any microelectronic assembly. The chosen attach methods ultimately affect die stress, functionality, thermal management, and reliability of the assembly. Die attach applications are designed ...

ACI Technologies Training Courses

Live Online Training - IPC-A-610 (CIT)


Contact ACI Technologies

ACI Technologies, Inc.

One International Plaza
Suite 600
Philadelphia , Pennsylvania 19113 USA
610 362 1200

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