Tuesday, December 13, 2011
Affordable Digital X-ray for Every Production
Essemtec introduces Stingray table-top X-ray inspection
Stingray table-top digital X-ray inspection from Essemtec features ease of use and quick setup. The affordable device is ideal for measurement and inspection in electronics production, incoming goods departments or process laboratories.
by Adrian Schärli, Azular GmbH
Without X-ray images, it is impossible to verify BGA positioning. Surprisingly, however, X-ray inspection systems still are rare in the industry and even large electronics subcontractors may not use such equipment. Common reasons that manufacturers avoid investing in X-ray technology include high machine costs, large machine size and complicated operation.
Essemtec, the Swiss manufacturer of production systems, is changing that with the debut of the Stingray, a table-top X-ray system that is an affordable alternative for electronics manufacturers.
High-Resolution Images Available Quickly
Stingray is a small, lightweight, easy-to-operate X-ray inspection system. The measuring chamber is easily accessible from the front and a cross laser mark helps the operator to position the test sample. Significant X-ray images from a sample are obtained in a matter of seconds.
The digital X-ray film measures 36.5 x 25.8 mm and the resolution is specified at 1916 x 1358 pixels. As such, the system delivers high-quality X-ray images that can even be enlarged and optimized by the Stingray software.
Optimization, Measurement and Archiving
The Stingray software runs on a Windows 7 operating system. It offers extensive functionality for image optimization and archiving. For example, it allows important details to be highlighted by means of selective enlargement, contrast optimization or grayscale-to-color conversion.
All X-ray images are marked with date and time and can be assigned to a product or a product category. Also, the operator can input article numbers, product information and notes.
The Stingray software features onscreen measurement of distances and angles. The results can be shown or hidden and are saved with the analysis. As such, any findings are well-documented and can be quickly retrieved when needed.
Transportable and Secure
The table-top system weighs less than 100 kg, making it virtually a lightweight compared to other systems on the market. The system is insensitive to vibrations and, therefore, is easily transportable. It is ready for operation quickly — a calibration is necessary only if absolute distances are to be measured.
Stingray uses a high-voltage X-ray generator as opposed to a constant X-ray source like other systems. Stingray produces the X-ray pulse using a high-voltage peak of 60-70 kV, ensuring minimum power consumption and maximum security.
The operator is fully protected. Radiation is completely shielded by the housing and if the measuring box is opened, the X-ray generator is switched off automatically.
Stingray has been developed for the X-ray analysis of electronics. The universal, swivel mount PCB holder enables vertical and tilted images. Vertical images, for example, are used for BGA positioning verification, tilted images can show the wetting of a solder joint.
Another field of application is the incoming goods department. The X-ray system sees into potted products or assemblies. As such, product quality can be inspected or fake components can be detected.
Stingray’s measuring box can be transformed easily. Therefore, the system also can be used for applications outside electronics production, for example for biological analysis or for measuring tasks in the mechanical industry.