Combining Flexibility with High Throughput

atg Luther & Maelzer introduced the highly automated A8a Flying Probe Test System

atg Luther & Maelzer GmbH introduced its new A8a Automatic Bare Board Flying Probe Test System. The A8a provides the flexibility of flying probe test while delivering high throughput.

To achieve high throughput the key feature of the A8a is a new design dual shuttle system, which reduces the product exchange time to zero seconds. In addition to superior test speed of up to 140 measurements per second the A8a provides innovative load /unload and pass / fail sorting for true automatic „lights-out“ operation.

Typical features such as high accuracy Kelvin 4 wire, embedded component and latent defect test are available as well as a tension clamp set up for flexible products.

atg Luther & Maelzer Sales Director for Europe and responsible product manager, Peter Brandt, highlights: “The A8a is atg-LM’s latest innovation in high performance, high accuracy automatic flying probe testing. The A8a can significantly contribute to the profitability of our customers by combining widest flexibility with high throughput.

To learn more about the A8a, please visit http://atg-lm.com/A8a

ECT’s ZIP™ Z0-040 Spring Probe Increased Life by 500% in Head to Head Comparison

Z0-040RHJ High Performance Spring Probe for semiconductor test out performs the competition in a challenging application contacting NiPd pads

Everett Charles Technologies (ECT) successfully won a head-to-head evaluation using Z0-040 probes made with HyperCore™ material in a high volume production environment at a large Asian OSAT. The Z0 probes reached 250k insertions, more than a 500% increase of the probe life compared to the competitor’s spring probe while exceeding first pass yield expectations.

Z0-040RHJ went head to head in an evaluation with another industry leading probe. The customer was in search of a longer lasting probe that would lower total cost of test.  The application required reliable and repeatable contacting of NiPd pads, which are known to be very challenging due to their hardness and abrasiveness. The primary goal of the evaluation was to increase probe life and lower cost of test. The target parameters for success were to exceed 200k insertions while maintaining consistent 1st pass yield performance.

ZIP Z0 probes built from HyperCore present a new level of accuracy, scalability and performance. The proprietary non-plated, homogenous probe material possesses properties that prevent oxidation, ensuring premium performance throughout high volume production cycles. With 600 Knoop hardness, the probe is inert to common wear related to contacting hard, rough surfaces and abrasive cleaning. Additionally, ECT’s patented ZIP Z0 probes feature a number of innovative design features that provide superior contact capability. ZIP Z0 probes have a large internal contact area resulting in low contact resistance, superior bandwidth and excellent conductance.

Tony DeRosa, Senior Product Manager explains: “In applications like this one, our proprietary Hypercore material provides a substantial advantage due to its extraordinary hardness. We are proud that based on the evaluation performance the customer qualified ZIP Z0 for their most challenging applications where DUT pads are comprised of NiPd.  Customer’s production has begun to transfer contactor designs to Z0.

To learn more about ZIP™, please visit http://ect-cpg.com/semiconductor-probes

 

 

Xcerra to Establish Direct Sales and Support Operations for its Semiconductor Test Solutions in Taiwan and China

Growth in China and Taiwan drives strategic realignment of resources

Xcerra announced that it will be establishing a direct sales and support operation for semiconductor test solutions in Taiwan and China. With Xcerra’s business accelerating in the region, especially in China, customers have been requesting a greater direct presence from the company. Our initial response to our customers’ request was the establishment of the Xcerra Development Center (XDC) in Shanghai, China. The XDC is an engineering center intended to establish high level contact between our customers’ and Xcerra’s system level engineers. Xcerra’s operations in Taiwan and China will be expanding to include day-to-day operations in sales and support. This operational change will take place during a twelve month transition period with Spirox Corporation, our current sales channel in the region. Spirox has been a valued partner and will continue to fully support Xcerra’s customers and business during the transition period.

The move to establish direct support for Xcerra’s semiconductor test solutions will expand the company’s existing direct presence in China and Taiwan, for its PCB / PCBA test solutions.

Dave Tacelli, president and chief executive officer, commented, “Spirox has played an important role establishing Xcerra as a major test equipment supplier in Taiwan and China. With that success has come greater demand from customers expecting direct access to Xcerra. This change will enhance Xcerra’s growth opportunities in these critical regions and is expected to improve our profitability once the transition is complete. Xcerra and Spirox are committed to making this change seamless for our customers. ”

For any questions please contact us under customer.relations@xcerra.com

ECT’s BTP/BTLP Series Supports Bead Probe Testing of PCBs

Leveraging ECT’s Expertise and Innovation for this Advanced PCB Test Approach

Everett Charles Technologies (ECT) has developed a series of spring probes, BTP and BPLT, specifically for bead probe test. Combining well-established design and plating principles with an innovative tip design to fully support the special requirements for contacting bead probes.

Spring probes used for bead probe test must be capable of reliable and repeatable positional accuracy to contact the hemi-ellipsoid target shape. Since bead probe structures are sensitive to contamination from solder and other materials, the test probe tip geometry must be sharp to minimize transfer.  Sharp tips also allow for lower spring force probes which can increase mechanical reliability of the test fixture.

ECT has developed an innovative flat and “micro-textured” tip that is optimized for contact to the hemi-ellipsoid shape of bead probes as small as 0.004”.  The textured surface is formed by closely spaced triangular pyramid shapes.  This geometry ensures highly accurate contact of the typical bead probe which is long, but also small in width when placed on a PCB trace.

ECT’s BTP and BTLP probe series leverage the proprietary POGO Plus® design applying the bias ball technology to maintain an excellent internal contact between the barrel and plunger even at the low forces required for bead probe applications.

ECT’s LFRE plating, which is a proven solution for lead-free contacting based on its extreme hardness of 550 to 650 Knoop, ensures a less porous and more durable surface that is less susceptible to solder and material transfer from bead probes.

Tony DeRosa, Product Manager, explains: “With the BTP/BTLP probe series, ECT enables our PCB Test customers applying bead probe technology to significantly improve their first pass yield in high volume applications. We support this technology with OEM’s, contract manufacturers, and test fixture partners.

To learn more, visit http://ect-cpg.com/bead-target-probes

atg Luther & Maelzer to introduce the highly automated A8a Flying Probe Test System at IPC APEX 2017

atg Luther & Maelzer GmbH will introduce its new A8a Automatic Bare Board Flying Probe Test System at IPC APEX EXPO 2017, which is scheduled to take place on February 14 – February 16, 2017 at the Convention Center in San Diego CA.

atg Luther & Maelzer North American Sales Director, Klaus Koziol, highlights: “The A8a is atg-LM’s latest innovation in high performance, high accuracy automatic flying probe testing. The A8a provides the flexibility of flying probe test while delivering high throughput. “

To achieve high throughput the key features of the A8a is a new design dual shuttle system which reduces the product exchange time to zero seconds. In addition to superior test speed of up to 140 measurements per second the A8a provides innovative load /unload and pass / fail sorting for true automatic „lights-out“ operation.

Typical features such as high accuracy Kelvin 4 wire, embedded component and latent defect test are available as well as a tension clamp set up for flexible products.

To learn more about the A8a, please visit http://atg-lm.com/A8a

ECT Fixture Press Adapter: A Major Step towards Automation, Ease of Handling, Reliability and Cost Reduction

Everett Charles Technologies (ECT) recently introduced the new ECT Fixture Press Adapter for in-circuit testing, which utilizes the well-established ECT VG interface to offer a standardized module in the PCBA test setup. Complexity of the fixtures is reduced leading to significant benefits in cost, lead time and reliability, as well as to reductions of the fixtures weight and size. Additionally, the ECT Fixture Press Adapter requires less operator effort.

The Fixture Press Adapter allows for separating the actuation hardware from the core functions of the fixture. The actuation is taken over by the Fixture Press Adapter, which can receive the exchangeable fixtures. The fixture itself can be designed fully dedicated to the actual test without components for actuation. The reduced complexity of the fixture substantially lowers the fixture cost and shortens the lead time. Additionally, the lowered weight and the smaller fixture size provide enhanced ease of operation and reduce the space requirements for storing.

The Fixture Press Adapter is placed onto an existing ICT machine. Inside the adapter, internal connections remap the ICT test interface to the ECT VG 12 block VG (Pylon) interface. Since the adapter has a built-in linear pneumatic press, cassette type fixtures can be quickly loaded into the system for board test. Loading the upper and lower cassette items takes less than 15 seconds.

The ECT Fixture Press Adapter supports PCBAs up to 400 mm x 210 mm and a maximum cylinder travel of 250 mm with an operational speed of 1 to 1.1 seconds. The ECT Fixture Press Adapter is able to deliver a force of up to 8700 N, which corresponds to compressing 3150 8oz probes.

To learn more about ECT’s in-circuit test fixtures, please visit http://ect-fsg.com/incircuit-test-fixtures or contact us at marcom_ECT-FSG@Xcerra.com to request the data sheet of the ECT Fixture Press Adapter with more technical information

Xcerra launches a comprehensive support program for test handlers

OEM Protect Offerings Ensure Full Performance of Handling Equipment

Xcerra’s OEM Protect program offers multiple options to ensure highest equipment uptime and performance in combination with simplified processes and optimized price structure for onsite maintenance and spare parts supply. OEM Protect supports Xcerra customers in achieving the highest return on investment for their test handlers.

Professionally maintained equipment with high quality and reliable parts will yield best production performance, highest Overall Equipment Efficiency, reliable test quality and finally, best cost of test. The Xcerra OEM protect program is based on four generic types of contracts, which will be tailored to the actual requirements of the customer.

  • OEM PM Contract: Effective and efficient savings of preventive maintenance cost.
  • OEM Parts Contract: Easy and cost-efficient spare parts supply
  • OEM Plus: Combines the OEM PM offering or the OEM Parts offering with professional onsite labor support

To meet the needs of HVM production sites, all of these offerings are designed to reduce the administration effort and includes priority escalation services.

For R&D sites or ramping businesses, the OEM Protect program includes the fourth contract option:

  • OEM Ramp Pack: The most flexible short term contract that provides maintenance support through new product ramps and customer deliveries.

Jamie Luke, Vice President Global Field Service, adds: “With the OEM Protect program, we developed a set of flexible contract offerings that provide our customers flexibility and the opportunity to leverage the knowledge gained from our long-term support of a large installed base of equipment. Our global assistance network ensures prompt support in every time zone. Equipment availability and performance is a decisive differentiator and a major contributor to the overall success of our customers. ”

To learn more about the Xcerra OEM Protect program, please visit www.Xcerra.com/OEM-Protect

Choosing the Right ECT Spring Probe for ICT and FCT Testing

How do I select Base Material / Plating, Spring Force, and Tip Selection?

In the world of spring probes, choices abound when it comes to selecting materials and platings for plungers, barrels and springs. Choosing the right options can greatly impact yield, probe life and cleaning frequency.

Base Materials

BeCu is a popular choice for both plungers and barrels and has outstanding mechanical properties with high electrical conductivity. Steel is significantly harder and is typically used for plungers with aggressive tip styles. Nickel Silver is very resistant to corrosion and is well suited for barrels. Bronze has good wear resistance, cold formability and high electrical conductivity. Lastly, brass is a high quality material with high electrical conductivity and good wear resistance.

Plating Choices

Choosing the right plating depends on the application and customer preference.  Gold is widely used and provides excellent electrical performance and good corrosion resistance. To address lead free solder challenges, ECT has developed a proprietary plating material called LFRE which is approximately 5 times harder than gold.  LFRE plated tips are much more durable and wear resistive than gold and have proven to last more than twice as long as gold plated probes. LFRE probes are also less susceptible to solder and material transfer and require less cleaning than gold plated probes.

Spring Force

Spring force selection is mainly dependent upon the application. It provides the required compliant force at the plunger tip and the contact force between the barrel and the plunger. Higher spring forces provide more effective penetration through contamination contact points, but leave heavier witness marks on the test point. Lower spring forces should be used where no witness marks are welcome or to prevent board flexing on higher pin count applications.  Stainless steel must be used for springs when test temperatures exceed 100°C.

Tip Selection

Most tip styles can be used for a variety of different applications. However, some test targets are better suited for unique tip styles. Some applications require a non-aggressive tip to be used on pads, such as radius, crown, or flat.  These tips leave little to no witness marks on test pads. For through-hole vias ECT offers: blade, star, or pyramid tip styles. These are well suited for contact through the outer ring of the via surface. Over time solder builds up oxide layers, therefore medium to very aggressive tips like the serrated, crown, blade, pyramid and point are used. Posts, pins or screws are more unpredictable and therefore more challenging. For these applications, tip styles like the cup, serrated and crown are best suited. Other applications may require more unique tip styles depending on test target material, size, shape, access and cleanliness.   With over 50 years of making high quality spring probes, ECT has developed a vast library of probe options for all your testing needs.

Product Selection Made Easy on shop.ect-cpg.com

The new e-shop provides sophisticated filters to make your product selection as convenient as possible. To learn more about the ECT offerings for ICT / FCT test, click here.

To learn more, visit http://ect-cpg.com

 

 

ECT Test Fixtures: Customized Solutions on a Global Scale

Everett Charles Technologies’ (ECT) is a true global test fixture and programming services company, supporting customers worldwide with test design for high volume production PCBA’s. This global presence ensures prompt support while at the same time holding to our global standards and ensuring they are reliably met.

ECT’s Fixture Services Group offers customization for both In Circuit Test as well as Functional Test Fixtures. ECT experts provide support for Supply Chain and Product/Project managers with our ability to offer worldwide fixture duplication and global test fixture installation and support with manufacturing and service centers in the Americas, Europe, Asia, and Mexico.

With the application of global fixture standards that are developed in close cooperation with our customers, ECT ensures exact duplication of test fixtures that can be manufactured and deployed globally.

The global product and service portfolio of ECT includes ICT Test Fixtures, FCT Test Fixtures, VG Mass Interconnect Systems, Total Solution Turn Key Projects, Pneumatic Fixtures, Dual Stage, Dual Access, Loopbacks, Bare board and Backplane Test fixtures,

Scott Manty, Director of Sales, explains: “The standardization of parts on a global scale allows us to ensure that the same quality standards are adhered to for meeting the demanding requirements of today’s test industry wherever your product is manufactured. Our ability to deliver, install and support almost anywhere in the world give our customers the advantage of knowing that assistance is very close for part or process change support or ECO implementation.”

To learn more about ECT’s global presence, please visit http://ect-fsg.com/global-services

 

Better Contacting Yield by Innovative Proprietary Design

Link HB Contactor Compensates for HIB tolerance

Multitest launches a new design of the well-established Link contactor. The Link HB adds boardside compliance to compensate for board fabrication tolerances ensuring increased contact reliability and multisite stability.

The offset vertical architecture of the Link probe is designed to support superior test yield, maximum repeatability and low repair and replacement cost. The wipe motion of the probe provides scrub through oxides on the IC pads and cleans itself when moving back to its original free height.

This motion is fully decoupled from the connection to the test interface board resulting in a stable connection between the probe and the load board pad, avoiding pad wear and carbon debris buildup. This implementation also eliminates the potential for arching between the probe and the test interface board pad.

Striving for continuous improvements to ensure best performance Multitest has developed a solution, which adds boardside compliance with improved pin/pad concentrated contact. This proprietary design of the Link HB (patent pending) compensates for load board planarity tolerances, which are particularly critical in multisite application.

To learn more about the Multitest Link Contactor family, visit http://multitest.com/link