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Services: Process Qualification
Process Qualification Services
Process qualification is a test protocol used to provide objective data indicating whether an existing or proposed manufacturing process meets the minimum requirements for the manufacturing standard or specification applied. The requirements selected may be a national standard, such as IPC-610, or an internal quality standard. Process qualification generally follows a down-selection of candidate materials and processes. Ion Chromatography (IC) testing may be included in the qualification test protocol to identify the process residues present, and Surface Insulation Resistance (SIR) testing may be used to examine the effects of those residues.

Other qualifications tests can be executed as needed.

Foresite engages in consultation with each customer prior to any activity to identify project goals, design an applicable test matrix, and provide technical information derived from our experience and knowledge of contamination effects on product reliability.

Foresite Final Report Deliverables

  • Specific Project Goal — defined at time of quote
  • Description of customer specifications — cleanliness levels, SIR
  • Description of Foresite test protocol to accomplish project goal
  • Process Sequence Flowchart — as defined by customer
  • Material matrix indicating fluxes and chemistries used in process
  • Identification of the requirements of the standard or specification applied
  • Residue analysis data — identification and amount of residues present
  • Electrical performance data — from specified tests
  • Education regarding the general sources of the specific ionic residues found
  • Foresite cleanliness limit recommendation for each ionic species identified
    • Foresite limits derived through 10 years of Failure Analysis and Process Qualification experience
  • Foresite interpretation of data and conclusions from our technical team
  • Foresite recommendations for any process optimizations or corrective actions
  • Formal project report electronically sent to customer project contact (fax or e-mail)
  • Original hard copy report mailed upon completion of project
  • Telephone support included for discussion of report
Project Completion Timing Options
  • IC Testing
    Project completion timetable determined from testing options selected


  • SIR Testing
    SIR schedule will be determined at time of quote acceptance


  • Project Start and Stop Dates
    determined at time of quote acceptance


  • Project Start Requirement
    Receipt of Approved Purchase Order via fax or mail

Foresite Inc. Process Qualification Requirements

To provide the customer with the support outlined, cleanliness and reliability parameters must be established to evaluate if the proposed process meets the specifications. The background information collected will become the foundation for the test matrix design, down-selection criteria, final report analysis, and process verification. The accuracy and completeness of the requested information is imperative to the success of the project.

The following information will be required for process qualification:

  • What is the established standard or specification being applied?
  • Has your company qualified the current manufacturing process?How? By whom?
  • Has the existing process performance been baseline validated to establish a reference?
  • What are the product requirements and goals for field reliability? (IPC Class 2 or 3)
  • What is the product classification? (automotive, medical, military, general commercial)
  • What is the service environment of the products produced?
  • Will this process change/eliminate/replace the existing operation?
  • Is the product manufacturing a captive operation or contract service? Where is the assembly plant located?

To establish the test matrix, the materials and process options must be identified:

  • Material specifications base laminate material, surface finishes, solder resist, fluxes

  • Solder resist vendor and formulation nomenclature
  • Flux types used OA (water soluble), NC (no-clean/low-residue), other
  • Flux vendor and formulation nomenclature
  • Flux application method (spray or foam)
  • Cleaning technology used tap water, DI water, solvent
  • Cleaner type vendor, batch or in-line
  • Stage(s) at which assembly will cleaned (post reflow, post wave, hand, rework)
  • Assembly equipment to be used (automated and hand)
  • Types of components to be assembled (thru-hole, surface mount, COB, BGA, HDI)
  • Thermal profiles for all heat excursions product will see (reflow, wave, hand, rework)
  • Atmosphere to be used during reflow and wave process - (oxygen or nitrogen)
  • Solder pot temperature
  • Other assembly materials (adhesives, temporary masks, coatings)
  • All hand operations and materials (post-wave, irons used, cleaning methods)

Process samples will be required at specific stages (as applicable)
  • bare boards (all suppliers)
  • after wave soldering
  • after hand soldering (rework, repair, hand placement)
  • after conformal coat (if used)
  • after Surface Mount
  • after cleaning (all occurrences)
  • finished product ready to ship
  • assembly drawings
  • process sequence flow charts
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