Chris Jones, Managing Director at Micro-Epsilon UK, discusses how the latest thermal imaging cameras and confocal displacement sensors are helping companies inspect a variety of electronic devices, circuit boards and MEMS.
Thermal management of electronic circuits
Manufacturers of electronic components and printed circuit boards (PCBs) are increasingly turning to non-contact temperature measurement systems to capture, analyse and optimise the thermal behaviour of electronic components and fully assembled PCBs. By using thermal imaging cameras – in R&D, new product development and high volume production – hot spots and defects can be detected quickly and reliably, without influencing the target object.
Detailed, real time analysis of the thermal behaviour of integrated circuits can be carried out using infrared thermal imaging cameras. These cameras are able to capture and store thermal video and images with high optical resolution at high frame rates. Camera detectors provide excellent thermal sensitivities (typically 80mK-40mK) enabling the camera to detect extremely small temperature differences.
Micro-Epsilon’s latest thermal imaging camera, the thermoIMAGER TIM 640, is able to record radiometric video images at an optical resolution of 640x480 pixels and is the smallest VGA-resolution infrared camera available today. With dimensions of 45x56x90mm and weighing just 320g, compared to other similar-size cameras, the TIM 640 is the only camera that enables the recording of radiometric video images at 32Hz and a VGA resolution of 640x480 pixels. With a thermal sensitivity of 75mK, this camera can detect very small temperature differences. At ambient temperatures of between 0 and 50°C, the camera can measure object temperatures ranging from -20°C to +900°C. For easy process integration, the camera is supplied with the TIM Connect software as standard. This enables users to monitor and document measurements and to edit infrared video images. The software provides quick and easy set up together with a range of software tools that enable the cameras to be used in R&D tasks as well as process control.
A USB 2.0 interface allows video recording at 32Hz. This is highly beneficial for short term thermal measurement activities, which need to be analysed in slow motion playback. Individual snapshots can be taken from these recordings. Measurement points are freely selectable and can be analysed via user-defined areas of interest. Alarms can also be set up and displayed, as well as maximum, minimum and average temperatures.
The TIM 640 is supplied with an integral process interface for input and output of analogue and digital signals (alarms, temperature values, etc.). Open connectivity drivers are also provided for software integration via DLL, ComPort and LabVIEW, simplifying connectivity to fieldbus networks and automation systems.