Agilent Doubles Throughput with 3D X-Ray Inspection System

Agilent Technologies Inc. (NYSE:A) announced a breakthrough for in-line 3D X-ray inspection systems that detect printed circuit board assembly (PCBA) solder and manufacturing assembly defects. The Agilent Medalist x6000 AXI reduces customers’ manufacturing conversion costs without compromising defect-detection capability. It accomplishes this by more than doubling the throughput of market-leading 3D solutions while using full 3D capability to find defects.

“The de facto standard for 3D X-ray inspection has been the Agilent Medalist 5DX system, with more than 800 systems installed,” said Kent Dinkel, Agilent’s AXI marketing manager. “The next-generation Medalist x6000 leverages that X-ray expertise to provide the uncompromised 3D throughput and fault detection necessary for today’s complex PCBAs.”

Agilent Medalist x6000 AXI 3D X-Ray Inspection SystemThe increased throughput of the Medalist x6000 has two clear benefits. First, it directly reduces the number of systems required to meet manufacturing volumes by cutting in half the required capital expenditures. Secondly, it enables complete 3D inspection of the entire PCBA at in-line speeds for the highest defect detection possible.

In the past, high-throughput 2D solutions have been used in limited applications where the PCBAs under test are predominately single-sided. However, today’s and future double-sided PCBAs require uncompromised 3D inspection so that users can discriminate between the top and bottom sides of boards where there is a high-density of solder joints. Typical communication and computation products can have 35-percent overlap or more between the solder joints, which severely compromises the test coverage effectiveness of in-line 2D solutions for these products. Alternative systems attempt to address this coverage gap by adding slow 3D inspection to a 2D machine. While this might appear to be a good solution, overall throughput is often compromised. Only the Agilent Medalist x6000 delivers high-throughput 3D coverage that can be used to inspect the entire board.

In addition to unsurpassed 3D throughput, the Medalist x6000 can also reduce implementation barriers caused by high employee turnover in outsourced regions. This turnover rate can be a significant hindrance to developing high-quality applications since effective programming knowledge-transfer is not consistent. The Medalist x6000 helps to address this problem by providing a new development environment that incorporates several automatic test development features that help new users to develop high-quality, high-coverage programs in half the time previously required.

U.S. Pricing and Availability
The Agilent Medalist x6000 will start shipping in May 2007.

About the Agilent Medalist Automated X-ray Inspection Family
Both the Medalist x6000 and the Medalist 5DX form an integral part of Agilent test strategies for the electronics manufacturing industry. The Agilent Medalist family of AXI solutions offers unsurpassed defect coverage and inspection flexibility to pinpoint defects on today’s complex printed circuit board assemblies.

About Agilent Technologies
Agilent Technologies Inc. (NYSE:A) is the world’s premier measurement company and a technology leader in communications, electronics, life sciences and chemical analysis. The company’s 19,000 employees serve customers in more than 110 countries. Agilent had net revenue of $5.0 billion in fiscal 2006.