ART offers novel infrared test and inspection system

Montreal, Quebec, Canada - ISIS (Infrared Screening and Inspection Solution) for printed circuit board assembly (PCBA), from ART Advanced Research Technologies Inc., applies the company's advanced laser and thermal imaging methods.

By Frank J. Bartos, executive editor October 18, 2001

Montreal, Quebec, Canada ISIS (Infrared Screening and Inspection Solution) for printed circuit board assembly (PCBA), from ART Advanced Research Technologies Inc. , applies the company’s advanced laser and thermal imaging methods. ISIS provides fast, noninvasive, and reliable detection of PCB defects and anomalies, said to be beyond the capabilities of traditional test and inspection systems. The method can complement (or provide an alternative to) traditional in-circuit testing, automated optical inspection, or X-ray procedures.

After a PCB is powered up, ISIS analyzes the board’s thermal signature via an infrared (IR) camera that can scan areas up to 16 x 12 in. with up to 156 K pixels/image. (Two cameras cover PCB sizes up to 16 x 24 in.). ISIS compares thermal signatures of test PCBs with those of good boards based on statistical sampling. The system detects thermal differences that can be related to various PCB defects. Thermal signatures hotter or colder than normal in certain areas of a board indicate that more or less current is flowing, for example, due to a missing component. Other common PCB defects found by ISIS include broken traces, lifted leads, and reversed installation of components. The system also serves a debug or recover function for failed PCBs ’caused by inexact testing,’ says ART.

Setup of ISIS is easy, taking about an hour. Programming is not needed. Typical inspection time runs 8-15 seconds per board. Two ISIS systems are offered: Model 2020 for semi-automatic testing and Model 7070 for in-line automatic screening. Both ISIS versions were demonstrated at Assembly Technology Expo in Chicago, earlier in October.