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42 SMT007 MAGAZINE I JULY 2021 Feature Article by Graham Naisbitt GEN3 ere are a multitude of electronic circuit assembly manufacturers, high volume/low product mix to low volume/high product mix. Only you will know where you are in that def- inition. Either way, the removal of the discredited ROSE test using an accept/reject criteria of 1.56 µg/cm 2 is causing mayhem in the indus- try. Today, the non-negotiable requirement is to produce objective evidence. Once the production process (material set) has been characterised, the user needs to have a fast, reliable, and repeatable test that will identify any ionically detectable changes in the final assembled product. Note: Such tested assemblies need to be assessed as suitable for shipment. e new Process Ionic Contamination Test (PICT) [1] does precisely that. • Fast: Less than 15 minutes • Sensitive: At the same level as ion chromatography, but without the spectrum • Repeatable: Proven acceptability to Six Sigma levels e SIR "process characterisation of a mate- rial set" is best defined in a new Test Method: IEC 61189-5-502 published earlier in 2021. Where Can SIR Be Used? SIR can be used for process validation, pro- cess verification, and process or material char- acterisation. SIR testing is usually done by process mate- rial manufacturers to qualify their material to meet certain standards requirements such as solder flux, coatings, resists, and more, in iso- lation to all other materials. In the case of a process "material set" char- acterisation, we are using a representative

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