[ECTest News: Volume 2 No. 3 February 1997]

See it at NEPCON and IPC

Ultra-fine Center Testing is a Snap 2"
The new Snap 2" Test Fixture allows for testing PCBs with pitches of less than 10 mil. The Snap 2" provides solutions for testing boards with ultra fine center pad spacing by utilizing a shorting device that permits board test in one-pass.

Viper II - Even Better!
Last year we reported the dramatic reduction of test times achieved by software and hardware enhancements to the 9090. Again, the latest revision of Viper software will enhance your productivity. A totally rewritten DetECT II module speeds fixture setup and diagnosis by providing "real time" graphical error displays. The improvement will be provided to every 9090 owner with the next release of Viper software.

Detect Real Time and Repair
DetECT software will be available as a stand alone repair station which is easily networked to the 9090. Additionally the latest release of DetECT (DetECT II) will allow the operator to view errors graphically in real time, as each board is tested. For prototype applications the advantage of real time graphical data is of great benefit.

Registration Compensation Solutions!
ECT will be demonstrating multiple registration compensation solutions at the NEPCON West and IPC shows. Please stop by and see the range of solutions from fixture to system, low cost to highly system integrated. ECT is offering a variety of solutions to fit applications from prototype to high volume - high technology of course!

False Opens Reduced Again!
ECT has enhanced the 9090 stripper plate with stiffener bars. The stiffener will improve the performance of high point count fixtures as well as providing additional fixture enhancement for testers utilizing the HyperSort unloader. The upgrade is available by contacting Joyce Dolan at (909) 625-9342.

ECT Welcomes New 9090 Series Test System Customers

Zycon has taken delivery of their 4th and 5th 9090 for use in their Malaysian facility. Zycon cited high throughput and low fixture costs as reasons for the purchase.

Motorola, Singapore, has installed a second 9090. The system was selected for proven throughput.

Probe Test of Forest Grove, Oregon, has taken delivery of a double sided 9090. This facility provides testing for Mirex Corporation. The ability to provide close center testing and higher throughput were cited as reasons for the purchase.

Dynamic Circuits of San Jose, CA, has purchased their first Model 9090 tester. Fixture technology and lower costs were main reasons for the purchase.

Continental Circuits of Casselberry, FL, has taken delivery of a fully automatic Hypermation" test system. In addition to fully automated testing, the Hypermation was chosen for its ability to test thin boards. Continental supplies PCBs in high volume to the computer and telecom industry.

CircoCraft, headquartered in Pt. Claire, Quebec, has taken delivery of their third 9090 with HyperSort unloader for installation in their Puerto Rico facility.

Unicap has purchased a second 9090 Hypermation automatic test system for its Taiwan facility. The system was selected as a result of the excellent performance results of the first system installation.


Ultra-fine Testing is a Snap 2"...
It's not that simple, right? Wrong. ECT's ValuGrid" fixturing using 3.75" ValuGrid pins is capable of extremely high densities and very fine test centers. In this case, we're talking about ultra fine center capabilities. The standard ValuGrid fixture currently can handle .010" centers or .005" pad widths. Excellent, unprecedented, but not enough. Some of our customers are challenged by pad widths below .005" and centers less than .010", often found in "flip chips". Some of you may have heard of, and possibly seen, micro ball grid arrays (BGA's) with centers of .020"-.030". Just when you were getting comfortable with .050" center BGAs, some engineers are pushing these challenging devices into board designs.

These devices provide some very significant challenges in electrical test. Initial approaches include; not testing, visually inspecting, or high call out AOI. Multiple test fixtures or split net fixtures may be used at high cost, greatly reduced throughput, and potentially compromised fault coverage. Increased test escapes due to increased handling is another possible down side.

Multiple fixtures can be used with the first leaving the ultra fine center device(s) not accessed to test for isolation (shorts) and a second using pieces of shorting rubber to short the device(s) and test for continuity (opens). This method has an increased fixture cost and reduced throughput, but can be more consistent on ultra fine centers. The method reduces the rest of the fixturing task to a lower and easier technology level, often .020" - .025" centers. This can also reduce registration compensation requirements. Sounds encouraging but further challenges are the machining of the fixture top plate to accept the strips of rubber, retention of the pieces wedged into these slots, and the life of the rubber folded into position. These challenges require a significant amount of maintenance and diligence.

Well, enough with problems and challenges. ECT has a solution! It is called Snap 2. It is a device sized, pneumatically actuated, replaceable shorting pad. They snap into ValuGrid fixtures and can be removed and reused. Shorting rubber tops can be easily replaced when they wear. A variety of tops, and molded patterns are available. ECT ValuGrid NTS fixturing software automatically places Snap 2 at appropriate device sites, routes the pneumatic tubing, and segments the test program. A board being tested by a fixture containing Snap 2, is placed on a single fixture and tested in one pass. The Snap 2 module is not engaged while the board is testing for isolation (shorts). Then the 9090 pneumatically snaps them up, and the board is tested for continuity (opens) without cycling the test system. Boards with multiple ultra fine center device sites may have the Snap 2's engaged sequentially to increase fault coverage.

Board technology marches on and so do high technology electrical test solutions from ECT. Call ECT or your local rep for more information on the Snap 2.


ECT/BSL Partners in Test

On January 2, 1997, Everett Charles Technologies and Bath Scientific Ltd. (BSL) announced a "Partnership in Test". The partnership will serve as a vehicle for developing innovative electrical test solutions to the printed circuit board industry.

BSL, of Melksham, England, was founded in 1984 and has been a leader in flying probe testing ever since. BSL's products address the test market segment related to prototype bare board circuits, multi-chip modules (MCM), thick film hybrid circuits (HIC), and other ultra-fine pitch packaging. The 1996 introduction of the LinearProbe II marked significant advancement in flying probe test speed and accuracy for reliable probing of product down to .002" pitch. Combined with ECT's widely accepted product line of medium to high volume production test equipment and related accessories, this partnership offers our customers an unprecedented range of test technology and solutions. The potential for new solutions integrating the companies' core technologies promises an exciting future and continued innovative approaches to advanced technology test requirements. Concurrent with this test partnership announcement was an overhaul of the BSL North American sales organization to mirror that of the ECT product line. This common channel of sales will strengthen BSL's position in North America and ultimately enhance the value of ownership to customers of both BSL and ECT.

As we embark on this new chapter in Everett Charles Technologies' history, the ECT/BSL "Partnership in Test" will serve as the cornerstone of our commitment to offer world class test solutions to our mutual customers and the ATE industry in general. We invite you to join us in this partnership.


"Probing The Needs of Tomorrow."

These words have been used to describe BSL test systems for the past few years. Truer words have never been spoken by a flying probe manufacturer.

The latest offering from BSL, the LinearProbe II, probes faster with more accuracy, providing more test features than ANY probe system available today. BSL's success is due in part to a willingness to work with their customers, listening to them, and providing test solutions based upon their needs. BSL is "Probing The Needs of Tomorrow". Think about that for a minute. A growth path for tomorrow meets the needs of today as well, providing standard systems with pitch capabilities as fine as 2 mils (0.002"). This means a cost effective solution that meets or exceeds the requirements for future boards.

What can I do with my probing system? For starters, testing double-sided boards with pitchs down to 2 mils, but let's not stop there: also mylar or flex circuits, warped boards, cofired ceramic, and boards with buried components. Cavities in boards present no problem with individual probe height adjustments over a total of 800 mils. In addition, combination testing with grid based test systems and fault verification are easily accomplished using the LinearProbe II.

Think about using a BSL Test System to test extremely high point count circuit boards, or boards produced in very low quantity where testing with a fixture system is cost prohibitive.

Contact your local rep for more information on probers.

Who's Who at ECT

Tom Couts, Field Service Manager of the Test Equipment Division has been with ECT two years. Tom reports to Dave Zimmer, Director of Operations, and is responsible for supervising a staff of field service engineers and electronic technicians. He brings to ECT experience which includes health care electronics and aerospace.

Tom and his staff provides 9090 customer training, service and repair, overseeing installations and resolving customer problems. His field staff is responsible for 9090 systems worldwide. Providing quality service to ECT customers by doing whatever it takes to satisfy customer needs is Tom's number one goal.


ECT Test Network


Test Network Partner Focus TQC Testlabs, headquartered in San Jose, CA, has been providing test fixturing and testing services to printed circuit fabricators since 1985. TQC's facilities for testing fine-pitch, high density printed circuit boards to a netlist are supported by the Everett Charles Technologies 9090 and Trace 948 test systems. The fixture engineering and netlist extraction processes are supported by ECT, GCA, Infinite Graphics and Lavenir software. Fast fixture turnaround is provided by three Excellon drilling machines, led by Excellon's latest Uniline 2000 drilling machine. Board repair and fault verification is supported by the ECT DetECT and EPC software.

TQC is a leader in loaded and bare board backpanel test fixturing and testing and was a significant contributor to the development of the ValuGrid" style fixture. TQC Testlabs has lead the way with new and innovative fixturing techniques. Both dedicated and universal fixturing techniques are offered for loaded backpanel testing. Level II (shorts and opens) and Level III (shorts, opens and components) testing for populated backpanels is available utilizing their state-of-the-art MDA test system.

For more information please contact Bill Maillet at 408-435-9290.


CM Wings
835 Stewart Dr.
Sunnyvale, CA 94086
408-524-4080 - Ask for Scott or Paul
Circuitest East
41 Simon Street
Nashua, NH 03060
603-882-2621 - Ask for Rhonda or Mike
Circuitest West 1510 Old Oakland Road
San Jose, CA 95112
408-452-1091 - Ask for Veronica
Electronic Test Center 1460 Bernard Drive
Addison, IL 60101
708-628-6646 - Ask for Jeff or Kurt
ET Consultants

5140 Cottonwood Lane N.
Plymouth, MN 55442
612-550-1327 - Ask for Pat

Innovative Test Solutions 15300 Minnetonka Blvd.
Minnetonka, MN 55345
612-933-8378 - Ask for Todd or Brian
TQC Test Labs 780 Montague, Suite 506
San Jose, CA 95131
408-435-9290 - Ask for Bill or Linda
ECT - Telefixture Service 2887 N. Towne Avenue
Pomona, CA 91767
606-621-9511- Ask for Joyce
BSL House 29 Lysander Road
Bowerhill Estate
Melksham, Wiltshire
SN12 65P, UK
01225 706707 - Ask for Clive Shipley
BSL N. America

26 Main Street
Lakeville, MA 02347
508-946-2660 - Ask for Gordon

Everett Charles Japan

Dai Ichi Sokuryo Bldg.
18 Hanazaki Cho 1 Chome Naka-Ku
Yokohama, Kanagawa 231, Japan
81 45 955 3991 - Ask for Ted Ikoma



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