Site icon Creative Electron – The X-ray People

Are all batteries created equally?

What can we see with an X-ray? Obviously, the inside of things, but what purpose does this view ultimately serve? In manufacturing, whether that be: medical device, electronic component, automotive, material etc. QA is almost always a phase in the manufacturing process. What do protocols in quality assurance test for? By default, only parameters that have been programmed and essentially, known defects. As leaders in the field of NDT (non-destructive testing) we are regularly reached out to for help in solving some of the most baffling mysteries in manufacturing. How can a component have passed QA, failed in the field, returned to the floor, passed QA and additional extensive testing only to immediately fail again customer side? This back in forth is a loss of productivity, reputation and ultimately profits. What an X-ray image allows us to see is information beyond the numbers.

Electrical tests can pass a component based on ratings at the time of testing, but what if that cable or contact wasn’t soldered properly, this component would eventually fail in the field despite passing initial tests. Below are two images. Both are similar smartphone batteries and both passed QA, including visual inspection, electrical testing and even post RMA inspection. One of the two, eventually failed again. Did you spot the difference yet? We used the TruView™ Prime 90kV X-ray inspection system to look at the suspect battery and found that the ribbon connecting the i/o board to the battery had been cut and soldered. Components like this salvaged battery are resold as new parts every day. This battery caused multiple issues customer side, including overheating! Nondestructive X-ray testing helped us see what previous industry standards had missed. We have all heard the expression, “Knowing where to look,” here at Creative Electron, we often quote, “Knowing how to look.”

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