Hitachi High-Tech wins award for innovation that makes meeting IPC 4552A easier

At this year’s JPCA show (2019) in Japan, Hitachi High-Tech unveiled new technology that helps plating suppliers meet the stringent demands of IPC 4552A. This technology enables the simultaneous measurement of plating thickness and phosphorus concentration for electroless nickel plating under gold in ENIG. The innovate ion won the 15th JPCA award, given to outstanding products and technologies that support the advancement of the electronic circuit technology and industry.

The new technology – demonstrated in Hitachi High-Tech’s FT150 XRF analyser – supports the 2017 amendment to the IPC 4552A guidelines. The revised guideline emphasises the need to maintain the quality of the nickel and gold layers in the ENIG plating configuration. It’s this need that makes this new development such a breakthrough for plating manufacturers.

Simultaneous measurement of ENIG thickness and P concentration

It’s important to control the P concentration in the ENIG and surface treatment to ensure the reliability of the surface finish. The ability to analyse both the concentration of phosphorous and the plating thickness during the same measurement reduces the time needed to analyse each component, helping to maintain high-throughput for busy plating facilities. Another aspect of the new technology is that the method works whether you have a gold layer present or not. This means that you can take a reliable thickness and concentration measurement after you have completed the plating process, again helping to support high volume production.

To help plating suppliers understand the new technology, we’ve created a technical report that introduces examples of analysing ENIG plating on flexible printed wiring boards (FPC). The report presents results for P concentration for different Au thicknesses, outlines analysis conditions and compares Ni-P thickness and P concentration results for Au vs no Au layer.

You can download your copy of the report here:

Technical Report XRF No. 105: Simultaneous determination of Electroless Nickel Immersion Gold (ENIG) plating thickness and P concentration by FT150

Find out more about the FT150 and our range of XRF coatings analysers here

Your guide to meeting IPC guidelines for printed board surface finishes.

 The IPC 4552A guideline is just one of four surface finishes discussed in our guide on meeting IPC guidelines. Acknowledging that XRF analysis is at the core of meeting the standards set by the IPC, we’ve created a guide that explains why it’s crucial to meet the spec given (and what happens if you don’t) and how best to use your XRF equipment to get a reliable result.

 You can download your copy of the guide here:

Using XRF to meet IPC specifications: A guide for manufacturers.




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Date: 11 July 2019

Author: Hitachi High-Tech Analytical Science

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