Sanmina-SCI, Agilent Develop X-ray Inspecting for Backplanes and PCBs

7/2/2004 - Sanmina-SCI Corporation (Nasdaq NM: SANM), a leading global electronics manufacturing services (EMS) company, and Agilent Technologies Inc. (NYSE: A) announced a new technique for rapidly generating high-resolution, sub-surface 3-D scans of complex multilayer backplane and printed circuit board assemblies (PCBAs). Using Agilent's 5DX Series 5000 Automated X-ray System, the new method verifies how well press-fit connectors with compliant pins are positioned within plated-through-hole (PTH) conduits. The sub-surface 5DX application, an industry first for production environments, provides efficiencies not previously achievable.

"We have been effectively using Agilent's 5DX to verify solder integrity of surface-mount devices and other components in production environments, but such X-ray testing has been limited to scanning only the surface interconnects," said Carl Hornig, technical director of Sanmina-SCI's Backplane Division. "Recognizing the 5DX's potential to rapidly perform sub-surface scans of some 20,000 to 40,000 press-fit connections having compliant contacts, we asked Agilent as our technology test collaborator to help us develop a 5DX application to realize this benefit."

Hornig further noted that the backplanes manufactured by Sanmina-SCI are among the most complex used in the electronics industry. Featuring multilayer construction that can exceed 48 layers, Sanmina-SCI's backplanes deploy high-density, press-fit connectors into PTH conduits with diameters that often measure 0.022 inch and smaller.

Commenting on the new sub-surface scan technique, Kent Dinkel, Agilent's Imaging marketing manager, Automated Test Group, said, "Our Series 5000 5DX System was designed to be a powerful X-ray tester always looking for new problems to solve. We salute Sanmina-SCI for galvanizing a 5DX application that has enabled the industry's first sub-surface 3-D scans of complex backplanes in production environments." Dinkel also noted that press-fit connectors having compliant pins are becoming more widely used in a number of PCBA markets. "Testing press-fit connectors is a new feature in 5DX software that will be made available to both current and new 5DX users as a software update," he added.

According to Sanmina-SCI, the new 5DX sub-surface scan application has clearly proved to verify press-fit connector contact integrity far more quickly and thoroughly than what is currently possible with conventional assembly inspection and test methods in production environments. The company noted that when multiple component types, including surface-mount devices, populate a backplane or PCBA, the new inspection method can scan the entire backplane - both surface and sub-surface simultaneously - to check solder contacts of components as well as press-fit connector contact integrity.

For more information about the expanding range of 5DX applications, visit

About Sanmina-SCI
Sanmina-SCI Corporation is a leading electronics contract manufacturer serving the fastest-growing segments of the global electronics manufacturing services (EMS) market. Recognized as a technology leader, Sanmina-SCI provides end-to-end manufacturing solutions, delivering unsurpassed quality and support to large OEMs primarily in the communications, defense and aerospace, industrial and medical instrumentation, and computer technology and multimedia sectors. Sanmina-SCI has facilities strategically located in key regions throughout the world. Information about Sanmina-SCI is available at

About Agilent Technologies
Agilent Technologies Inc. is a global technology leader in communications, electronics, life sciences and chemical analysis. The company's 28,000 employees serve customers in more than 110 countries. Agilent had net revenue of $6.1 billion in fiscal year 2003. Information about Agilent is available on the Web at

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