David Bernard

Down the radiation rabbit hole!

Increased use of x-ray inspection throughout the component and PCBA supply chain to check the quality of optically hidden joints and features can elevate a component’s level of radiation dose during assembly. A simple and sensible question, therefore, is can this cause any issues? For example, could this increase the risk of component failure, either a complete, temporary or intermittent failure, that happens during manufacture or potentially at some later time in the field? A sensible and simple question perhaps, but, unfortunately in my experience, one that generates many further questions and uncertain answers.

In general, the industry consensus, together with the reality that x-ray inspection has been widely used for years, is that for most components there is probably not an issue with the radiation doses likely during x-ray inspection. But here we enter our rabbit hole of additional questions: What constitutes the “not most” components?

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