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          1. Better IC boards lead to safer driving

            2020-02-26 15:04:41 sunrise-auto Read

            ICT (In-Circuit-Tester), an automatic online tester, is a test equipment produced by the printed circuit board assembly (PCBA) necessary for modern electronics companies. ICT has a wide range of uses, high measurement accuracy, and The detected problems are clearly indicated, and it is very easy for even the average electronic worker to deal with the problematic PCBA. The use of ICT can greatly improve production efficiency and reduce production costs. ICT Test is mainly used to test the test points coming out of the PCB layout to detect the open circuit, short circuit of the PCBA, and the welding of all parts. Field-effect tube test, IC pin test and other common and special components are missing, wrongly installed, parameter value deviation, solder joint continuous welding, circuit board open and short circuit and other faults, and which component or open short The point tells the user exactly. (Higher recognition ability for component welding test)

            Online testing is usually the first test procedure in production, which can reflect the manufacturing conditions in time, which is conducive to process improvement and promotion. The fault boards tested by ICT, due to accurate fault location and convenient maintenance, can greatly improve production efficiency and reduce maintenance costs. Because of its specific test items, it is one of the important test methods for quality assurance of modern large-scale production. ICT provides better automotive electronics and electrical integrity solutions for Industry 4.0.



            As more and more people focus on autonomous driving, when asked how to better test autonomous vehicles, 5G and C-V2X seem to be the best candidates. Behind this exciting buzz is a powerful automotive electronics manufacturing services (EMS) industry, which is innovating in materialized technology.

            In recent years, EMS providers are increasing their operational efficiency in response to complex printed circuit board assemblies (PCBA) in electronic systems that enter the back of intelligent transportation systems. Includes sensors for powertrain, electronic control unit (ECU), advanced driver assistance system (ADAS), comfort features such as sensor-controlled temperature control and adjustable seats, infotainment, and planned C-V2X functions New applications, etc. These applications will drive the automotive electronics industry to reach its $ 400 billion target over the next five years.

            In order to keep up with changes in market demand, automotive electronics manufacturing service providers are taking advantage of the new capabilities of Industry 4.0's Online Testing (ICT), which is a key quality gatekeeper in the production of automotive electronics

            ICT strengthens quality inspection

            The electrical integrity of components loaded onto PCBA is one of the most important parameters for measuring PCBA quality. A typical automotive ECU PCBA can contain more than 100 components, and a data communication board can easily accommodate more than 5000 components. In the near future, 5G data-driven communication will make self-driving cars possible. In this case, accuracy is critical to ensuring the safety of people and the environment, and every tiny component must work perfectly.

            Traditional surface mount technology (SMT) production lines may experience some errors that cannot be tolerated by autonomous driving systems and autonomous driving environments that require zero failures. At the PCBA level, many things can become abnormal. For example, a batch of resistors with incorrect power may be manually loaded at the pick and place station, and these resistors are likely to escape detection before reaching the ICT station.

            Some parts are as small as needles, and they may be thrown away. When operators manually load PCBAs to offline ICT stations for testing, they can also be damaged by electrostatic contact discharge. Another hidden rule is that operators choose not to participate in specific tests in test projects, so that their shifts can produce better yields.

            Test managers are using off-the-shelf ICT solutions from Industry 4.0 to test millions of components that pass through the production line. The quality control team can now detect erroneous electrical faults before shipping.

            Traditional process automation

            With millions of mission-critical components being tested on the production floor every day, automotive EMS suppliers are looking to smart machines to collect data to help them proactively create quality improvement measures.

            Electrostatic discharge shocks or rough handling by operators are common causes of board damage. Many automotive EMS companies minimize human error on expensive circuit boards by moving offline ICT stations to the SMT line. SMT lines now have fully automated online ICT capabilities. Automation helped them bypass the need to manually handle sensitive PCBAs. It also solves the problem of manually changing the test plan to reflect the return rate during shifts.

            Less than 10 years ago, early adopters of inline ICT systems were mostly automotive EMS providers. They are now considering leveraging the large amounts of data generated by ICT systems to save workflow and improve product quality.

            A typical ICT workstation can test more than 4,000 components per minute. In today's smart factories, a large amount of test data is automatically provided to the factory manufacturing execution system (MES) to support the new IPC-connected factory exchange (IPC-CFX 2591) platform. Within a few milliseconds, ICT detected an anomaly and was flagged. The feedback goes upstream to pinpoint a fault on the board; for example, a stray resistor or a shorted capacitor.

            Next-generation ICT systems will also support the New Industry 4.0 IPC-HERMES standard. HERMES is a machine-to-machine (M2M) communication protocol that will replace the old SMEMA standard.

            IPC-CFX 2591 and IPC-HERMES 9852

            The IPC-CFX 2591 standard connects multiple processes at the production layer, allowing test managers to better track products, track materials, manage assets, and monitor every step of the manufacturing process from design to product shipment. This helps them meet OEM's stringent quality standards for automotive panels.

            IPC has confirmed that they recognize the Hermes standard as the next-generation solution of the "SMEMA standard" IPC-SMEMA-9851. Therefore, the Hermes standard was assigned an IPC naming code: it can now be officially called IPC-HERMES-9852. IPC-HERMES-9852 is a modern, open standard based on TCP / IP and XML, designed to replace the outdated SMEMA standard for transmitting board-related information. It was developed and introduced to the market by the Hermes Standard Initiative, an independent open group of leading SMT assembly equipment vendors. IPC-HERMES-9852 includes all of SMEMA's features for board switching, but addresses a wider range of additional requirements related to board handling. It supports exchanging pcb-related data between different machines of the electronic assembly line, and reduces equipment investment, line length, and the need for operators to interact with the SMT line. In fact, IPC-HERMES-9852 is a complete solution that combines advanced technology and established standards into a completely new solution.

            SMEMA's past

            Over the years, from incompatibilities of cables and connectors to limited M2M communication, test engineers have been working within the limits of SMEMA. Each workstation requires a barcode reader to read specific information before the machine can perform its functions. The operator must also manually adjust the width of the conveyor belt to fit the route each time the new board size flows down.


            In the SMEMA model, advanced line control has limitations due to lack of data and no closed-loop switching.

            In the old SMEMA SMT line, the machine could not send specific circuit board information from one machine to another, such as why the circuit board failed; it also did not allow the SMT machine to admit that the board succeeded from one machine Transfer to another machine.

            In HERMES, only one barcode scanner is needed on the upstream production line. The product or equipment under test can trigger instructions at different locations on the SMT production line. For example, in automotive EMS production lines, as production increases, operators no longer need to manually adjust the width of the conveyor belt. The information provided by the circuit board will automatically trigger the line width adjustment according to the product type, saving time.

            IPC-HERMES 9852 supports full process data availability, maximum line throughput and traceability.

            In the highly competitive EMS field, IPC-CFX and HERMES have opened up new possibilities for improving test plans, managing inventory and improving manufacturing processes by providing important data points to MES.

            Production analysis

            With billions of data available, test managers can use the power of software to understand this data and increase productivity. Industry 4.0 electronics manufacturing analytics solutions can perform advanced analytics. These manufacturing analysis solutions automatically extract data from different SMT processes to drive process improvement and better product quality.

            Data analysis tools, such as Keysight PathWave Manufacturing Analytics, detect minor anomalies in automotive board components during the circuit test phase and trigger the rectification process

            Using powerful machine learning algorithms, manufacturing analysis tools can provide predictive and prescribed information in the time required by traditional manual methods. For example, when analysis software detects anomalous performance of a single capacitor during the ICT phase, the software can flag upstream problems in seconds or minutes-loading the wrong component or test probe showing wear or tear. Manual testing requires operators to spend hours or days checking data and tracking down faults.

            Cloud-based analysis provides test managers with access to real-time event anomalies, including instant prediction of fixture and equipment failures at networked factories operating on different global sites. Data analysis supports pre-emptive downtime and resource planning, minimizing disruptions to production plans.

            The Industry 4.0 manufacturing test platform means higher yields, lower costs, and better productivity. Circuit boards that meet new stringent safety and performance standards will create a truly intelligent transportation system for today's ADAS capabilities and tomorrow's autonomous vehicles.



            The SMT production line is also called Surface Mount Technology. It is a new generation of electronic assembly technology developed from hybrid integrated circuit technology. It is characterized by the use of component surface mount technology and reflow soldering technology. Generation of assembly technology. The main equipments of SMT production line are: printing machine, placement machine (upper surface electronic components), reflow soldering, plug-in unit, wave furnace, test packaging. The extensive application of SMT has promoted the miniaturization and multi-function of electronic products, and provided conditions for mass production and low defect rate production. SMT is the surface assembly technology, which is a new generation of electronic assembly technology developed from hybrid integrated circuit technology.

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