03 JUN

Maintaining test probes: a key way to extend service life and improve test efficiency

  • Makeup Skin Care
  • Jamie
  • Nov 03,2023
  • 0

test printed circuit boards

In ICT or FCT testing, the probes get dirty on the fixture after a certain number of cycles of testing, resulting in an unpassable test.

Generally speaking, the spring and force of the probe is good, what leads to the failed test result is the dirt or flux covering, which creates a huge contact resistance between the tip and the test point, which has an effect on the test.probe test system We can usually take some effective measures to control the efficiency of probe application.

1. Create a good test environment

It is well known that probes are used to test printed circuit boards. Test probe accuracy is higher than manufacturing. We need to create a clean and dry test environment for in-circuit testing, whether it is for functional testing or other types of testing. The humid environment in many coastal areas such as China can accelerate the oxidation of the probes. Astronergy recommends that customers create a test environment with controlled temperature and humidity. In addition, a clean room is a necessary and essential capability for high precision assembly lines.

2. Use high quality fixture boards

Due to JY's many years of testing experience,RF probes we will use a large number of probes on our fixtures to quickly test the printed circuit boards on the production line. Typically, fixture probe boards made from quality materials will help extend the life of the test probes. First, the presence of fiberglass (FR4) can be reduced by using a good fiber material. If the fines get inside the probe, they can cause the spring to work in reverse. Secondly, accurate drilling has a significant impact on the vertical straightness of the test probes. Concentric round holes reduce the risk of unilateral compression during testing, thus extending the service life of the probes.

3. Choosing the right probe

The right choice of probe is also very important for probe maintenance. Occasionally we find probes that do not perform well at this test station and have many false detections during testing, even if they only last for thousands of cycles. Please consider carefully whether the probe tip has been selected correctly. We should use the most appropriate probe tip to test the appropriate object. For example, if we use a small 9-point crown tip to test a larger weld, it will increase the test failure rate.

4. Apply the recommended working stroke of the probe

JY has always insisted that our customers use the recommended working stroke to test their products because the probes maintain their design characteristics and test performance while achieving good test yields when using the recommended stroke. Many customers often use over-compressed working stroke to enhance the contact effect, which will result in shorter probe life cycle or even lead to board stabbing out.

5. Use good solder paste

Most customers may not consider using a good solder paste, but a good quality solder paste will help to extend probe life.probe card Poor quality solder pastes sometimes contain a variety of internal impurities. The impurities may exceed the hardness of the probe tip, which can easily damage the probe tip. High quality solder paste will relatively help the life of the probe.

6. Use good solder molding process

JY serves many customers, we jointly develop special solder molding process and test probes which can save a lot of time and cost. The solder molding process may seem negligible, but it is actually very important. A good solder molding process can reduce a lot of cost for the company, and a well shaped final formed solder paste spot will greatly improve the testing efficiency, similar to the shape of a goose egg will be easier and more continuous to test than a flat pad.

7. Develop a suitable probe replacement program

JY recommends that customers develop their own probe replacement program and replace probes based on standard lifetime expenditures. We should know exactly when to maintain our probes and sockets, when to clean the probes and check the fixtures, and also document things or send errors or problems to the supplier for help.

8. Spraying probe tips with an alcohol-like cleaning solution

After a long time of testing, various types of probes get a lot of dirt and flux. jy recommends that you use a special alcohol to clean the probe tip to prolong the use of your probe.

9. Ultrasonic cleaning

Similarly, JY recommends using ultrasonic vibration to clean the dirt left by the probe tip to extend the life of the probe.

10. Selecting a soft brush to clean the tip

Please be careful to choose a soft brush to clean the probe tip. Many customers incorrectly use wire brushes or hard brushes to clean the probes. Most probes are plated with gold. Harder wires will damage the gold covering of the probe. This will increase oxidation.

When it comes to routine maintenance of test probes, most customers have their own methods of measurement and operation. jy is only providing some references or suggestions so that engineers can effectively use the probes for the purpose of improving FPY. Good maintenance methods usually save a lot of time and money for fixture houses or ODMs and OEMs to make tests reliable. It will be better when we can continue to test the product after simple maintenance of the test probes, but sometimes you will find that it takes a lot of time and cost to clean or scrub the used probes, please don't hesitate to replace the probes with new ones correctly. We should consider other aspects such as using special tip heads, trying new working strokes and increasing or decreasing the spring force.