Manufacturers of advanced PCB (printed circuit boards) assembly know that simultaneously producing cost competitive products and meeting the quality expectations of customers are vital to their success.

Identifying the PCB shorts, PCB voids, opens, misalignments and solder integrity of area-array chip packages is crucial. The SMT (Surface Mount Technology) circuit assembly consists of three major processes:

  • Solder paste inspection
  • Component placement
  • Post re-flow inspection

The use of a microscope is becoming essential as the components of the boards are becoming smaller so that the PCB can hold more components.

Accurate PCB inspection

In the intricate task of PCB manufacturing, reliable inspection and measurement of different connections, vias and clearances is paramount during and after production. Microscopes are utilized in PCB inspections to enable users to improve quality and increase output.

The Mantis inspection microscope is used in FAI (First Article Inspection), which is a requirement to ensure that the first product produced is 100% correct. In our industry, we need to ensure that the first off from the SMT assembly line is perfect before running the rest of the batch.

Mantis Stereo Magnifier, ideal for electronics PCB inspection and rework

Mantis is a stereo microscope ideal for electronics PCB inspection and rework. The patented optical viewing head of Mantis provides unrivalled 3D images, plus significant ergonomic advantages, where fatigue and eye strain associated with working under magnification are eliminated.

Extra-long working distances are a considerable advantage where engineers can solder under magnification with the advantage of plenty of room between the lens of the microscope, the PCB and soldering iron. With superior optics, pads and joints can be easily soldered with optimum clarity and contrast.

SMT Inspection made easy with Lynx zoom microscope

With hundreds of components mounted on to PCBs, it is crucial that (at least) batch inspection takes place, especially if the boards are new lines.

A combination of different material (solders) and technology (including placement systems) result in different defects such as non-wetting of the toe, paste alignment, popcorn cracking, cracked joints and poor reflow etc.

The Lynx stereo microscope allows for easy inspection of SMT/PCB, with a range of accessories to further simplify the inspection. For example, the optional oblique and direct viewer of Lynx provides a full 360° oblique rotating view of mounted components, with the ability to simply switch back to a conventional direct view.

FREE Electronics Academy webinar series

An in-depth look at the issues affecting PCB/SMT assembly and the challenges of achieving Zero Defect Manufacture.

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  • Identify common causes of failure
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Key points: 

  • Inspection
  • Measurement
  • Quality control
  • PCB Shorts
  • PCB Voids
  • Rework
  • Through hole soldering

Application examples: 

  • Through hole soldering
  • Surface Mount inspection

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The world’s best companies know that superb image quality and a comfortable working position are not luxury features – they are the key to increased productivity and quality. So if you want to magnify, inspect and measure, in complete comfort, make the smart choice.