Hal Hendrickson of Nordson Dage

At SMTA International in Chicago, Illinois, Trevor Galbraith spoke to Hal Hendrickson Sales Director at Nordson Dage

We’re here at SMTAI 2014 standing here in front of one of your flagship machines, the XD7600 and it is fitted with the X-Plane, which is the system you introduced a couple years ago. Can you tell us a little bit about how the X-Plane system has been rolled out and how it has been excepted in the marketplace? We’ve been very pleased with the acceptance of the X-Plane across the industry. We can put it on either the Diamond system which is the high-end or the Ruby system. It gives us the ability to capture a 3-D image inside a printed circuit board in a designated area. And essentially the way we capture it is that we rotate the image intensifier or the flat panel, depending on which the customer has put in their system, then send it off to a viewer to be able to see 3-D images. It is a totally unique capability to Dage. It is becoming a very popular technology around the industry. The beautiful thing about it is it’s nondestructive. Correct. You can capture a 3-D image, do computer tomography, without having to cut the board down. It really has been a big step in the technology of x-ray. I’m sure people with $30,000 boards would be happy to have one of these. Absolutely, they hate to cut up those boards if they can help it. The nice thing is it gives you an excellent images if you’re looking for hidden pillow, if you are looking for opens, things that are a little harder to see if you’re looking at a 2-D image trying to differentiate. Once you get into computer tomography you’ll have this beautiful 3-D image that is very easy to interpret. A lot of the interpretation is taken away, so that is really the value of X-Plane. You touched on full computer tomography, which has higher resolution. What is the difference between the two? That is an important distinction, because it sometimes gets confused in the industry when you’re talking about computer tomography because they’re both computer tomography capabilities. The big difference is, in full CT, you’re limited in the window in which you’re collecting images and because it’s a higher-end compilation, you have to be able to rotate that image 360°. When you’re talking about signaled components or modules, full CT becomes a really good option. It takes a little bit longer to accumulate because we take so many more images, but the quality of the images are very high. X-Plane on the other hand is very quick, does not require you to cut the board or reduced the sample, but you don’t get quite as much detail in a X-Plane as you would get in full CT. So in full CT, the sample size by definition has to be quite small and therefore, you may have to cut the board up to do that. Yes, down to about 90 mil by 90 mil is what were at, it really is a limitation, a very small kind of capability and that is why X-Plane has been so good, because as you said, people who have $30-$45,000 boards, they want to look at a BGA in the middle of that board, there is no cutting board. Up until X-Plane, they have had to rely on 2D technology which is still very good. There’s a little bit of luck in addition to science when you start doing that. Once you get into X-Plane, you are doing computer topography, it gives you the capability to have really clean, really nice images. X-ray as an inspection technology is growing. More people are demanding it and they want to do more volume. Surely that points to it going in-line.One of the things that Nordson is doing right now is investing heavily in automated x-ray inspection. We see that as one of the open areas in the industry where there really are some requirements that many people are not being able to meet right now. The ability to automatically identified and pinpoint a hidden pillow for instance. It’s very difficult to do in the present technologies. We introduced a 3D automated inspection system for the wafer level which we showed at Semicon West. We have been pursuing that capability to where the XM8000 is able to very quickly do a full inspection of a wafer for bumps. We are stretching it into TSVs, so there are a lot of capability there. We are hoping we can apply some of that technology back into the printed circuit boards, but we’re quite aways away from actually doing that. At some point, I think we able to do that, we do have a 3D x-ray machine now that has been transferred from Yestech to Dage under the Nordson umbrella. Inside the test and inspection groups we are both pursuing our core competencies, where Yestech is pursuing the development of AOI technologies and capabilities. Dage is pursuing in-line automated x-ray inspection. Yestech is a very good in-line AOI system, have done very well in the industry. They have receive the excellence in service award in three of the last four years. They are a well recognized brand in the arena.

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