Failure Analysis Services

  • Depending on the nature and scope of the problem, our failure analysis services for (PCBAs) generally utilize a combination of analytical techniques. These include but are not limited to visual and X-ray inspections, cross-sectioning, Dye & Pry, and SEM/EDX. During initial consultation, the failure analysis techniques we employ are carefully managed to optimize data and minimize cost.
  • A thorough knowledge of board and component materials, solder materials, fluxes, and assembly processes are applied to the design of the analysis. The failure symptoms, assembly construction, board and component surface finishes are all taken into consideration. Covalent Metrology’s technical staff has over 30 years of experience in PCBA failure analysis.

USES & LIMITATIONS OF OUR FAILURE ANALYSIS SERVICES:

  • What it is great for:
    • To determine the root cause of a failure as soon as possible to minimize production downtime and eliminate defective assemblies.
  • Limitations:
    • Includes destructive tests, boards cannot be returned to service.
    • Sometimes remaining bare boards/components from suspect lots are no longer available, making difficult to isolate the root cause.
    • Critical information from the board and/or component suppliers can be difficult to acquire.

EXAMPLE PROJECT & FAILURE ANALYSIS REPORT: PRINTED CIRCUIT BOARD FAILURE ANALYSIS

Client Problem Statement
  • Assemblies for Company Inc. were experiencing failures at the U5 BGA. The corner marked with the red dot was most suspect.
  • The PC Board uses Electrolytic Gold over Nickel for the surface finish.
  • The reflow profile provided by the customer shows 55 – 59 seconds at reflow temperature. The normal range is 45 to 90 seconds.
  • Three failed assemblies and one bare board (fab) were submitted for evaluation.

Failure Analysis Techniques Used:

  • Cross-sectioning
  • Dye & Pry Testing
  • Scanning Electron Microscopy with Energy Dispersive X-ray (SEM/EDX)

Image from the Sample Report

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