Ensuring Quality in High-Reliability Electronics

By Robert Martini, Director of Business Development, Precision Assembly Technologies

PATsKeeping up with the demands of high-reliability electronic systems requires continual investment in state-of-the-art technology and production equipment. Along with a focus on equipment, manufacturers must comply with stringent regulations. EMS provider Precision Assembly Technologies (PAT) has been working in the high-reliability field for almost two decades and is an approved vendor for companies that include Lockheed, L-3, GE Aviation and Power, Unison Industries, Telephonics, Siemens Medical, Kongsberg, B/E Aerospace and Flight Display Systems.

Based in Bohemia, NY, PAT provides a full spectrum of advanced electronic engineering, design and manufacturing services to a wide range of OEMs. The company serves the high-reliability military and commercial aerospace, medical, instrumentation, communications, industrial, research and computer sectors.

The Benefit of Investment

PATPAT delivers Class III mission-critical aerospace hardware, medical products and other high-performance systems in prototype, pilot and production run quantities. These products go to companies that create technologically sophisticated, highly reliable commercial, industrial and government systems.

At the center of the company’s manufacturing facility are its SMD assembly lines. To support its high-mix customer base with high-reliability placement accuracies, PAT has exclusively chosen MYDATA SMD lines. The company recently acquired another MYDATA (now Mycronic) MY15. Adding this fourth pick-and-place machine will considerably increase the company’s capacity and its capability to support future production.

Key characteristics of the MYDATA pick-and-place machines are their high accuracy and repeatability, achieved by their linescan vision system (LVS). This high-speed positioning system inspects and aligns fine-pitch components at a speed of 6,100 components per hour and ensures the placement of all leaded and BGA components. Another important aspect of the MYDATA machines is their flexibility. Setup and changeover times are fast and the systems can be easily reconfigured if production requirements change. This way, the pick-and-place machines are always optimized to keep output at the highest level, even when the jobs are complex or when batch sizes vary.

Ensuring quality

Whether PAT is manufacturing prototypes or complete aerospace assemblies, the company needs to ensure that the resulting products meet the most stringent quality and reliability standards. Using the optimal reflow oven profile for each product is one of the most critical elements to ensure long-term quality and reliability.

2D inspectionAlthough some manufacturers use a standard recipe or one-size-fits-all approach to profiling, PAT’s engineers design a dedicated profile for each circuit card assembly. Each day the company is confronted with new circuit cards of various sizes and layer counts that have a wide variety of mass distribution on either or both sides, including back-to-back high ball-count BGAs with integrated heat spreaders or 0201 passives. A dedicated reflow profile is one aspect of the company’s high-reliability manufacturing process that offers significant value to customers.

Adhering to a strict AS9100 quality management system, combined with state-of-the-art equipment, Class III workmanship and continuous process improvement, allows the company to support the most demanding requirements. The company uses its time, money and resources to invest in ultimate customer satisfaction with the goal of long-term sustainable business relationships.

As an integral part of its quality processes, PAT uses the latest in high-tech inspection equipment to perform what traditional methods are unable to accomplish. With increased density and higher-complexity assemblies, surface inspection is no longer a sufficient option for all cases. As most electrical connections remain hidden from view, the ability to run high-resolution, real-time x-ray is more important than ever.

Designed for 100% µBGA, multi-layer and PCB solder joint inspection, PAT’s XT V 160 2D/3D BGA x-ray system is used as a high-precision, flexible solution that facilitates defect analysis in populated PCB assemblies. PAT’s engineers can perform 100% BGA, µBGA, multi-layer board and PCB solder joint inspection with quick analysis of BGA ball wetting, attachment, cracks and delamination.

To achieve the quality that its customers expect,  Precision Assembly Technologies continues to invest in cutting-edge technologies. The company strives for quality in each of its high-reliability products to meet the high standards of military, commercial and industrial systems. From prototype to full production, PAT offers a high-reliability solution.

Precision Assembly Technologies, Inc. will be exhibiting in booth 2435