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Printed Circuit Boards Quality Control Solution

For years, XRF Analyzers have been used for PCB Quality Control; now Skyray XRF offers a low-cost option for PCB Testing needs... 

Skyray XRF Solutions for Printed Circuit Board Quality Control:

Thick-800 : PCB Testing Equipment
Multi-Layer Thickness and Composition
More Info...


The Pocket : Handheld XRF
No limit to a samples size, shape or location
More Info...

Printed Circuit Board


Printed Circuit Board (PCB ) Overview:
Printed Circuit Boards (PCB's) are used to mechanically support and electronically connect electronics components; they are common in a wide range of manufactured products including toys, cellular phones, radios - virtually any electronic product.  PCB's consist of a non-conductive substrate (an insulator, generally fiberglass) and have threads of conductive material layed out on the board; the threads are usually copper (Cu) and are added by individually laying threads or coating the entire board in copper and then stripping away the excess.

Most current PCB's utilize components that are known as 'surface-mount' components; designed with small tabs the components are soldered into place on the board.  By using surface-mount technology circuit board manufacturers have eliminated the need for wiring (used in 'through-hole' mounting technology) to connect components; which results in lighter boards that are more efficiently produced. 


Why is X-Ray Fluorescence testing needed?
X-Ray Fluorescence is important to the Quality Control process of printed circuit board manufacturing; limiting time, capital and increasing overall production efficiency when properly utilized.  XRF is a non-destructive method for fast analysis of PCB's during the quality control process - and, thanks to Skyray XRF, can be an affordable technology that will add value to an organization.


The common uses of XRF Analyzers in PCB Quality Control are: 

Coating Thickness Measurements : The Copper (Cu) threads of a board are layered with a thin coating of tin-lead to prevent oxidation and are then covered in nickel and finally gold to promote conductivity - therefore throughout the manufacturing process XRF instruments are required to non-destructively measure the coating thickness amounts of Copper (Cu), tin-lead (Sn-Pb) and the multi-layer application of Gold/Nickel/Copper (Au/Ni/Cu).

Lead-Free Regulation Compliance : Various regulatations on lead-content have created a need to effectively measure levels of hazardous metals in a circuit boards soldering.  The well known lead related directive is the European Unions Restrictions on Hazardous Substances (RoHS) and similar regulations are now being developed in the United States.  By proving compliance to regulations with XRF Analyzers a PCB manufacturer can gain access to new customers and potentially increase their overall business.  

Printed Circuit Board QC
Skyray XRF analyzers offer many advantages over other testing options; including:
- Coating thickness measurements and hazardous substance detection are completed with only one testing instrument
- Non-Destructive quality control method
- Have no negative effects on electronics because they utilize relatively low energy x-rays
- Fast analysis of PCB's during the quality control process 
- Require almost no sample preparation
- Are an affordable technology (thanks to Skyray XRF) that will add value to an organization


Handheld Portable XRF or Desktop XRF?
Skyray XRF offers both portable (The Pocket) and benchtop models for printed circuit board testing needs.  Both technologies have advantages and the final decision on what style is best is determined by what is most important to an individual manufacturer.

Portable XRF Analyzers provide mobility and are not limited by the size or shape of a sample.  
However, benchtop x-ray fluorescence provide small spot sizes (down to 0.01 mm collimator) and color camera viewing systems for accuracy in sample alignment and precise measurements of a targeted location; which is important when measuring a small component, lead, terminal or solder joint.

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