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X-Ray Inspection Analysis At Pcba

12 November, 2020

Every electronic product manufactured today is virtually powered by one or more printed circuit boards (PCBs). In the past few years, designers have pushed PCBs' limits to fit a series of integrated circuits and critical connections with smaller sizing requirements. To keep up with these rapid advancements, PCB assembly (PCBA) providers, as Alpplas, must conduct quality assurance testing capable of thoroughly examining assemblies and detecting defects in nearly microscopic packages. Even an occasional deformity in high volume production runs will undermine manufacturers' fundamental goal of achieving higher yields with lower defect rates and reduced costs.
Today PCBA providers want to guarantee the quality checks of the used materials that ensure by manufacturers. They also validate each assembly with their inspections with the highest quality part for their end-user product. The most commonly utilized PCB quality inspection methods and tools are Optical Inspection (microscope & Visual & Inspection cameras), Automated Optical Inspection (AOI&SPI), In-circuit tests & Functional testing (ICT&FCT), and X-Ray Inspection.


X-ray inspection technology, usually referred to as Automated X-ray inspection (AXI), is a technology used to inspect the hidden features of target objects or products with X-rays as its source. Nowadays, X-ray inspection is widely used in many critical industries such as medical, industrial control, and aerospace to test the quality of PCBs.

In recent years, components such as BGA, QFN, flip chips, and CSP are used extensively. That kind of components makes solder joints hidden under the packages and impossible for traditional inspection devices to play their role perfectly in PCB inspection. In addition, traditional inspection methods, including optical, ultrasonic, and thermal imaging with smaller SMT appearance are insufficient to control the solder joints hidden and holes buried. Besides, it is a predicted fact that with increasing miniaturization in terms of semiconductor package, X-ray control will become more critical in the future. Compared with other inspection methods, the X-ray is capable of penetrating inner packaging and inspecting the solder joints.


This inspection system provides safe, reliable, non-destructive testing of electronic, microelectronic, and electromechanical products. It is crucial to find cracks, open solder joints, or voids via X-ray inspection. Additionally, X-Ray devices are used for the measurement of voids sizes and their distribution. Many of these inspections are performed for an improvement in the production process.

In X-ray images, the metal is dark, while glass, plastic, and ceramics are transparent. The metal plates in the capacitors are dark, while the thick-film resistor is mostly transparent except at the terminals. The inductor coil shows up as darker rings within the mostly metallic ferrite material.

In conclusion, X-ray inspection technology has brought new reforms to SMT inspection methods. It can be regarded as the best alternative for PCBA manufacturers to further increase the fabrication craft and product quality.

Tuğba Atilla

 Quality Assurance Manager