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Component Quality Defects: Identification, Investigation & Remediation
Keywords: Supply Chain, Component, Quality
Supply chain is at the top of a list of critical issues with which all assembly lines deal. Cost, lead times and quality are the primary components of that issue. Cost and lead times are both visible and able to be planned for before components ever reach the production floor, but the effect of the quality of incoming material is one that is sometimes learned the hard way. Supplier quality controls do not always discover all manufacturing defects, so it is up to assembly houses to work in conjunction with component manufacturers to improve the quality of incoming material to benefit all parties involved once an issue is discovered. Of course, these types of issues are the worst case scenarios because they are often not found until after costly components have been assembled, especially when changing component vendors. A specific case is discussed where component quality issues did not present themselves until assembly in line hermeticity testing and final visual inspection discovered them. A decrease in hermeticity yield prompted an investigation which revealed package manufacturing defects that caused leaking between the package castellations. Additionally, at final inspection, a previously unseen discoloration on a few package leads led to an investigation that revealed a problem with a plating process that resulted in thin gold plating, thus allowing nickel to oxidize on the surface during assembly heating processes. The details of the investigation are discussed and followed on by the ensuing discussion with the vendor and change in vendor processing is presented. MOVED FROM COST REDUCTION, OUTSOURCHING SESSION PER JIE XUE 4-30-09.
D. Michael Flint, Microelectronic Engineer
Department of Defense
Bel Air, MD

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