Nikon Metrology High potential in the X-ray and CT inspection industry

Kamran Iqbal, Nikon, with high-precision X-ray test system XT V 160
Kamran Iqbal, Nikon, with high-precision X-ray test system XT V 160

The name Nikon is primarily associated with optics. Less well known however, is that with the founding of its specialized industrial applications division Nikon Metrology the company now also offers powerful test systems based on X-ray technology and computer tomography. Kamran Iqbal, Product Manager X-ray products at Nikon, sees great potential here for the company.

Nikon Metrology offers X-ray inspection systems specially tailored to the specific needs of various industries such as electronics, automotive and aerospace. Among the latest developments is an upgrade version of the XT V 160, a high-precision X-ray test system with flat detector that facilitates real-time imaging and detailed defect analysis. »Quality control of printed circuit board assembly (PCBA) today requires users to employ numerous measuring instruments, including X-ray inspection systems,« says Kamran Iqbal, Product Manager X-ray products at Nikon. »With increasing miniaturization and ever higher volumes, inspection is becoming more difficult. To be able to guarantee fault-free printed circuit boards, inspection systems must deliver the highest resolution, sharpness and measurement accuracy. We developed the XT V 160 with precisely these requirements in mind.«

The system comes with touchscreen or joystick control, and the sample manipulator enables easy and precise operation. With the real-time X-ray function, users can intuitively navigate thru complex printed circuits and electronic components and localize errors quickly. In automatic mode, objects are checked at a high thru-put rate. Another advantage is the design with an open X-ray tube (open-tube design). This means the user can exchange the filament, which generates the electron beam, locally and at a fraction of the costs incurred for closed X-ray tubes.

Real non-destructive testing
In conjunction with X.Tract, the latest test solution from Nikon, the XT V 160 allows real non-destructive testing, which is in no way inferior to computed tomography Iqbal is convinced. PCBA, components or wafers are positioned in an XT V 160 inspection system with X.Tract function. With accuracy in the submicron range 2D images of the printed circuit board area to be tested are then taken automatically from the 360 ° panoramic perspective. An up to 2400-fold magnification and object observation at an angle of up to 75° offer crystal clear images for quality testing. The 2D X-ray images are reconstructed to a detailed 3D model, which can be sliced and analyzed on each level.