Testing and Inspection
We source the highest quality parts and ensure every single component aligns with the customer's BOM, traceable to an audited list of component suppliers.
Depending on the nature of industry and customer need, we can maintain history and traceability of the components to the board level (for example with MedTech devices).
We also institute ‘Advanced product quality planning’ (APQP) and ‘Production part approval process’ (PPAP) (example automotive segment) or any other controls as required by the customer.
See our Component Traceability for Medical Devices page for more information.
Reels of surface mount components
Solder Paste Inspection
This machine is used to conduct 3D inspection of solder paste printing.
This process provides increased assurance of the quality of solder joints.
Our Koh Young Technology KY-3020T Tabletop Solder Paste Inspection System
First Article Inspection
During each run, we inspect the first board to ensure it is 100% correct – producing a golden board. Our unique first article inspection system automates the process of comparing the golden board against the design supplied by the customer.
An image of a board being compared to the customer design
Automated Optical Inspection
We use Saki and Yestech machines for autonomously inspecting each board coming off a run against the golden board.
We check for shorts and opens, solder joints and other joint defects with reference to IPC 610. We ensure the correct components are in place including polarity and location.
Our Saki PCB optical inspection machine
Custom Reflow Profiling
As part of our quality control procedure we can also create a custom reflow profile for any new PCB assemblies that have an unusual thermal mass make up, or if our customer requests it.
We take the first board produced, or a sample supplied by the customer, and rig it with sensors attached to areas of significant thermal mass. This is run through the reflow oven to monitor the effects of the different heating zones on the PCB assembly's components.
A computer algorithm then calculates the optimal profile for temperatures and dwell time in each part of the oven. This data is used to program the oven and the board's profile is then saved for future runs of that product.
In the thermal profiling process, Circuitwise sacrifices a fully populated board, with the customer's permission. In some cases, it takes many hours to make this profile - which matches the solder paste specifications to the thermal density of the PCB.
Example of a new PCB assembly rigged up with sensors and ready for profiling.
Where required, we conduct x-ray inspection of boards. X-rays allow inspection of solder joints in
hard-to-see places such as with BGA and LGA components. We can check that invisible parts of a board are free of metallic debris, including inside the PCB or under the green mask.
In the rare circumstance where it is required, e.g. for the purchase of obsolete components, we can also verify parts are genuine by comparing the internal circuitry against the manufacturer's designs.
A typical Ball Grid Array integrated circuit that can be the focus of X-ray inspection. The joints are not visible when the IC is attached to the circuit board
We conduct in-circuit testing that checks for shorts and opens in the circuit board tracks as well as the values of basic components such as resistance, capacitance and inductance.
These tests are typically conducted using a bed-of-nails tester supplied by the electronics designer.
An example of an electrical testing device
After uploading firmware, we conduct functional testing to verify the device is working as intended, using a testing system supplied by the designer.
We can also stress-test the device by conducting these tests at high and low temperatures and cycling between these extremes. The environmental chamber can also test devices in high humidity conditions.
Example of a functional test in progress