NPL builds PCB defect database

The UK's National Physical Laboratory (NPL) has started to build a database of printed circuit-board defects to get a better understanding of the manufacturing problems that the industry is seeing.

The UK's National Physical Laboratory (NPL) has started to build a database of printed circuit-board defects to get a better understanding of the manufacturing problems that the industry is seeing.

NPL has found from a recent survey that open joint failures are the most commonly experienced faults. Open joints are the most difficult to detect in manufacture - the root cause of these defects can be a simple process control issue or a more complex technical problem requiring laboratory analysis. PCB solder finish is seen as the second biggest issue and is understandable due to the number of different options and the need to change surface coatings for lead-free assembly.

The online defect database lets engineers search through a range of defects covering components, PCB and assembly problems. The aim is to add more defects each month to complement the online submissions.

"The reason for conducting three surveys is to allow comparisons between defects submitted online and the trends seen in industry," said Davide Di Maio of NPL. "The database will take time to populate with defects, but with worldwide industry cooperation and introducing defect types from our own research studies this will result in a unique resource."

Industry Defects Database

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