Interview – Bernhard Mürkens


Bernhard Mürkens – Vice President of Electronics, YXLON

YXLON had one of the larger presences at electronica 2016 with three machines. We were there with Bernhard Mürkens, Vice President of the Electronic Sector and spoke a little about the new technologies and the FF Series of equipment.

You have a Cheetah here with some very brand new things on them. Perhaps you could outline them briefly for us.

For us, we actually have two highlights, but you asked me about the first highlight we have here at the show. A very new, very high-precision, inspection table where we are about ten times more accurate than any other supplier in that market for repeatable inspection. This gives the customer a very good benefit when you do mass-inspection, middle-volume inspection, checking the PCB boards, and we have provided the solution with repeated inspection.

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Does it also helps with the CT recontructiion because you have a lot more accuracy and also for the automated inspection movement?

There are two things. Board designs are changing and manufacturers with double-sided boards want to see defects only on the top side of the board, or just the bottom side of the board, therefore we are using laminography technology, slicing images of the board. From the top side, from the bottom side, utilizing our new XY high-precision table, we get much better results. This is really a big benefit for our customers.

The laminography is effectively incline CT, or what we would call partial CT.

Exactly. The big benefit is you don’t look top down view or from the side. When you do that, you will miss some information because you simply do not know where your connection is. Is it on the upper side?, is it on the lower side? You can see all this kind of information with laminography.

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This is obviously a major step forward, something really interesting for the people coming to visit. I see also beside us, you have a horizontal CT system. Can you tell us a little us this as well?

For that machine, the FF35 CT, we are very excited, for it is the first time we presenting this type of machine at the electronica show. The electronica show is a little bit different than other shows. It is a combination of SMT and components and semiconductor people. We wanted to address exactly for this audience, this machine. We are talking to people in the board assembly who want to check final assembly of their board, they want to make accurate measurements, they want to see are my components accurately placed? In 2D, you cannot do this type of thing.

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With this machine, we take a full 3D scan of the board, maybe up to the size of an iPad, then you can make accurate measurement analysis. On top of that, if you like, you can also compare this data with your CAD data. This is also a very good advantage for our customers, to make a comparison, not only visually, but also with the 3D data from x-ray. This addresses the first audience. The second audience here, the components and semi conductor industry people, they want to se the smallest, tiniest defects in their chips and their designs. Regular machines have limitations in term of magnification. This machine here has two-times bigger magnification than any other machine in the industry. We can provide a very high-resolution CT scan for chips. Not only providing this kind of resolution, on top of that, we have a lot of intelligent software integrated into that package

We have two excellent, patented highlights that are unique in the market. One very important thing is, when you have tablet and you have some devices on the side of a tablet, normally you cannot inspect this in the proper way with a real 3D machine. We can do that, we are using something called flex-center, it is a virtual rotation axis, We are rotating only around this area of interest with this particular software tool. With that, we can achieve very nice images, very nice results, so you can analyze this kind of assembly in a much better way.

The second thing is we are very much concerned about user-friendliness in the daily routine of how the people are using the machine. When you are doing 3D, for the high-resolution scan, typically you have to move the test sample very close to the x-ray tube. This is very tricky in a normal machine. Our machine is very simple today because we have integrated, so-called, intelli-guard system. Intelli-guard is an automated collision protection system. It is fully automatic, it is a visual camera, reading out the outer shape of the test sample, automatically calculating it back into the CT machine. You do this right away after 30 seconds, you can start a CT scan with a very high resolution.

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How is your system able to cope with the high power demands you have on one side of the industry? When you talk about electronics and chips, what we traditionally would call the electronics type issues?

This is also a very interesting approach we are doing here. We have, actually, two tubes, in that machine. We can do the very tiny things on the semiconductor side, on the components side. We are using a unique new tube we have designed only for that machine. It is 190-degree transmission tube which has very high, tiniest resolution. We achieve this, not only with the tube design, but we have also incorporated an extra inside tube cooling. This means that, in the higher Kv-range, we have a very small focus spot for best image quality. On top of that, the tube power is above all industry standards for a transmission tube, it is about 80-watts tube power. With that, we can generate a very good contrast image. This is for the people on the components side, on the connector side, a very important device.

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If it is getting even larger, the board, or if you have, in aerospace or military, really thick components, with ceramics, extra material you can use an even higher tube power. The second tube we have integrated is about 225 Kv. It is not only the Kv that makes the best image, here the most important is, in CT, for that quality you are doing long time scans. The more scan time you use, the more images you can acquire, the better is your image quality. To do that, you need a very stable tube. We have made a lot of benchmark tests in the industry about tube stability and this tube is really the number one. Which means a very good scan, a very good image quality where, in the end, our customer can a make a very good analysis of the objects.

Great. In summary, you have a system which introduce metrology into x-ray which has always been one of the challenges and it allows you to work back to CAD design, which has always been on the wish list of people, but not actually happening, effectively, to us an automotive term, you almost have it as a crossover machine, where it has a foot into two, maybe three different industries. Even though it is not a cheap machine, it should soon become a very good seller for you.

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For us, it is already a very good seller, We are looking forward to that because of exactly the summary you made already. The key is that it is a system you can use for all kinds of applications. It is addressing customer’s needs in the Failure Analysis lab , in the R&D center. You can even run that machine close to production because we have a lot of things like automated program sequence integrated. If you have a ramp-up of your product, you can even use it in the ramping-up of consequential CT scans, checking and checking all of the time, 24/7. This machine is, also, to support your production.

Thank you for taking the time to explain this to us. It definitely sounds like a winning combination.



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