Thermal electronics inspection

Thermal electronics inspection

Thermal imaging in PCB prototyping and repair

The potential of thermal imaging for the development or repair of Printed Circuit
Boards (PCBs) is still often underestimated. Early detection of Surface-Mount Technology (SMT) resistors running hot allows system engineers to re-size them before board qualification, saving a considerable amount of qualification time. A potentially very costly field repair can also be avoided in case long-term reliability problems would arise only many months later.

We will illustrate a successful customer case using a prototype PCB.

The thermal image of the Gobi cameras reveals three major hot spots after initial power-up of the PCB (see Media & Downloads). At the top, leftmost you can see a faulty logic Integrated Circuit (IC), probably damaged during production of the prototype. The two remaining hot spots under indicate small resistors getting too hot. After further investigation the customer learned that the resistors could operate too close to their maximum dissipation rating and chose other values.

The IC is responsible for auxiliary signal generation, and its failure is not obvious
from a system perspective. Quick identification of a failing IC with our Gobi thermal imaging camera saved the customer precious debugging time.

Thermal imaging in power electronics motor drives

Electronic motor controls use Insulated Gate Bipolar Transistors (IGBTs) to control current in the electric motor windings. Sophisticated motor control algorithms ensure the drive’s excellent speed and position accuracy as well as efficiency. A single IGBT chip capable of carrying more than 100 A must be capable of dissipating more than 200 W, but weighs not more than 1 gram. Verification of the thermal design using a Gobi thermal imaging camera is therefore essential.

We have a broad selection of avanced thermal imaging cameras with our Gobi series. They come with different resolutions and different interfaces. 

Key fatures Gobi

  • High sensitivity
    Detection of temperature differences as small as 0.05°C
  • Automatic alerts
    Adjustable threshold set at 1°C above average temperature, with visual and audible alarms
  • Suited for machine vision applications
    Industry-standard interfaces for easy communication and reliable data transfer
  • High image quality
    Custom image processing algorithms on the camera hardware
  • High speed in smaller window
    Reduced window of interest for higher frame rates
  • Flexible programming in an open architecture
    Software Development Kit (SDK) supporting C++, Visual Basic, Labview or Linux.

You can easily make the right Gobi camera selection with our Product Selector Guide

Contact us for more information

World's first InGaAs camera photon emission microscope

Xenics enabled Semicaps to realize the world's first InGaAs camera photon emission microscope in 2004. Since then Xenics and sInfraRed have supported us in our endeavors for better sensitivity and resolution in photon and thermal emission microscopy.

Chua Choon Meng, CEO Semicaps