SMT, PCB Electronics Industry News

Big Boards Matter

May 31, 2021


Starting with the basics and the mechanical designs associated with probe cards and their construction, the very first constraint a user may notice is the size of the cards themselves.

Traditional flying probe test area sizes can be a limiting factor, so much so, the probe cards don’t even fit in the test area.

To accommodate this market requirement, Seica developed a flying prober, named the Pilot V8 XL Next>, to accommodate boards with sizes up to 810 cm x 675 cm (31.88 x 26.5 inches). However, the area of the board may not be the only limiting factor, as board thickness and weight are also a concern. Board construction easily exceeds 50 layers in most cases, and the boards will not meet traditional thicknesses of 0.093” to 0.125”. 

The Seica “XL” structure can accommodate up to a standard of 7 mm0” (7 mm0.276”) with options for even larger thickness. One benefit of Seica’s architecture is the vertical nature of mounting the unit under test. If this was a horizontal flying probe system and as the board size/span increases, the weight would increase in a corresponding fashion resulting in bow and deflection of the UUT. The vertical architecture of the Pilot V8 Next> Series of testers reduces significantly the bow and deflection, allowing for faster speed and accuracy of the probing needles on the very small test points. The vertical architecture does not require the use of bottom side flying probe supports, or expensive jigs and shuttles that ultimately could inhibit test area for bottom side testing. With the enhanced vertical clamping design, probe cards that exceed 15 pounds have been tested in this configuration.

The physical size of these probe and interface cards is not only large in some cases but their CAD data and component counts can be extensive.

With very large CAD files and component counts exceeding 10,000 parts, the flying probe provider needs to have the latest personal computers and robust upfront easy to use CAD processing software.

VIVA>NEXT> Software and MES integration Option

The Pilot V8 XL Next> test system uses the VIVA>NEXT> platform that is available in a 32 and 64 bit version with a new graphical interface and a guided environment for an easy and quick test program creation. It is fully integrated with NI-VISA drivers and with third-party test management software.

Since the customer manages the production and material flow through the MES software, the Seica Pilot V8 XL Next> can be connected to the customer MES (Manufacturing Execution System). Through its proprietary Adapter, Seica can integrate all customer MES platforms.

Founded in 1986, Seica S.p.A. is a global supplier of automatic test equipment and selective soldering systems, with an installed base of more than 2500 systems on 4 different continents. Seica offers a complete line of test solutions, including bed of nails and flying probe testers able to perform MDA, in-circuit and full functional tests of assembled electronic boards and modules and printed circuit boards, as well as LASER-based selective soldering systems for electronic board manufacturing and a full range of test application services. Company headquarters are located in Strambino, Italy, with direct offices in USA, Germany, China, Mexico and France, supported by a vast distribution network covering the rest of the world. Since 2014, Seica S.p.A. is supported by a sister company Seica Automation, located in Milan, and producing board handling systems and other automation equipments for the electronic manufacturing industry

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