Introducing Defect of the Month from NPL and IPC: Toe Fillet Defects

In this video, industry expert Bob Willis uses the National Physical Laboratory (NPL) Free Defect Database to discuss problems with toe fillets and why they are difficult to solder. This will be a feature each month on the IPC blog. Additional defect videos and more are available on the IPC YouTube Channel.

The NPL industry defect database is available at http://defectsdatabase.npl.co.uk/ . The defect database allows engineers to search through a range of defects covering components, printed circuit boards, solder joints and assembly problems. The aim is to add more defects each month to complement the online submissions with further support from the industry to make this a global resource to industry.

Experience shows that open/joint failure is the most common issue seen by industry. Open joints are the most difficult to detect in manufacturing; the root cause of these defects can be a simple process control issue or a more complex technical problem requiring laboratory analysis. PCB solder finish is seen as the second biggest issue and is understandable due to the number of different options and the need to change surface coatings for lead-free assembly.

“The database will take time to populate with defects, but with worldwide industry cooperation and introducing defect types from NPL research studies, it will result in a unique resource,” comments Dr. Chris Hunt, principal research scientist, NPL.

The NPL Industry Defects Database is available 24/7 to allow engineers to submit defects online with full details and solutions to current problems.

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