Optical inspection for conformal coating: Page 4 of 6

September 03, 2018 //By Francesco Argentiero
Optical inspection for conformal coating
One of the main challenges in the production of printed circuit boards (PCB) in the electronic industry is the protection against harsh environments with high humidity, strong temperature changes and dust or chemical contamination. Since the ‘60s, the conformal coating process has been proposed as a solution for these problems.

In order to facilitate calibration to a given thickness, the Dragonfly Next> series systems support an interface as shown in figure 6, which allows to use different models to measure the lacquer thickness, based on eddy current and on white light interferometry.

Fig. 6: Graphical interface of the Dragonfly Next>
series systems.

For each coating batch, users of the Dragonfly Next> series systems can measure with accuracy the default test positions, which are analyzed automatically and used to adjust the fluorescence model of measurement. Hence this automated optical inspection system is capable of verifying the presence of conformal coating on electronic boards, in a manner compatible with production times.

The systems of the Dragonfly Next> series ensure a fast and complete measurement of the coating lacquer thanks to the combination of LED multicolor illumination, UV LED illumination and camera. This type of scanning ensures the full detection of failures, providing objective and repeatable results.

The test results are displayed in the Repair Station, to ensure the documented repair of the component. This means time and cost saving, as well as a relevant improvement in quality.

The instrument can be used not only to measure the conformal coating thickness, but also in the monitoring of the manufacturing process. In fact, these systems can outline existing issues in the manufacturing process, like a blocked nozzle or materials changeover.

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