PCB Quality Control Systems
When it comes to PCB’s most companies focus their attention on the number of Flying Probe Electrical Testers or AOI (Automated Optical Inspections) machines a factory or company has. While this is one of our key requirements for any of our circuit board factories, Quality Management Systems of today must go much farther than this.
As our industry is fortunate enough to have an industry standard IPC spec to guide us in product quality, as a leading edge manufacturer of PCB’s we have developed many additional processes in order to assure quality that is above and beyond industry norm.
Below are just a few of the investments that Epec has made to ensure that our customers receive the highest quality product every time.
Random Laminate Tg and Td Verification
99% of all PCB customers don’t have the ability to test the base laminate to make sure that it is what they want, which means that they don’t find out that the material is wrong until they have populated the parts. Because of this, four times a month Epec will choose a random job and send samples to a third party laboratory to confirm that Tg and Td values of the laminate that we specified for production has been supplied.
We share these results with our suppliers as a mechanism to make sure that they have a good process in place to keep their laminate properly segregated and labeled.
Thickness and Purity Measurements of Surface Finishes
Epec has invested over $100,000 in an X-Ray Fisherscope which allows us to test the metal thickness and purity on every job. As with laminate above, most customers cannot measure this and it doesn’t rear its head as a problem until it’s causing an issue at the assembly stage. We share these results with our suppliers as well so that they understand that we check this parameter on every job.
Full Documented Inspection Package, Solder Samples and Cross Sections
For the most demanding applications, Epec has developed a full set of testing, documentation and retention procedures which allow us to assure that every board that goes to our customers has met Epec’s stringent requirements. We then retain all of the records electronically by shipment so that they can always be retrieved.
"Ultra Clean" Ionic Cleanliness Requirements
IPC allows up to 10 ug NaCl equivalent /in2 for an unpopulated PCB. Epec has some customers that require as little as 2 ug NaCl equivalent /in2. Because of this we have developed an in house process which utilizes an ultrasonic alcohol bath followed by a conveyorized clean and drying procedure. After this procedure the parts are immediately vacuum sealed so they can meet this specification.