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Advanced Imaging Magazine

Updated: July 8th, 2008 05:26 PM CDT

Image Sensor "Lead Free" Soldering Problems Solution

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With the advent of RoHS, the increase in “lead free” soldering temperatures has increased the risk of damage to the image sensor color array. Also, the use of tin/lead solders provided a softer soldering connection, while lead free solders provide a harder soldered connection.

The problem occurs when the sensor ceramic substrate expands because of operating temperatures, and stresses the harder tin plated soldered joint. The result is cracking of the soldered joint. This becomes a serious problem, especially in expensive vision equipment and the accompanying down time to repair.

There are other production line PCB assembly problems such as, electrostatic discharge (ESD), and PCB cleaning solvents which can damage the glass cover by clouding or scratching.

Andon Electronics has the solution to these problems. Based upon over forty five years of experience in “high-rel” aerospace and military interconnect problem solving, Andon has developed a new image sensor socket contact that prevents movement of the sensor under shock and vibration. These contacts are produced in-house.

The Andon Image Sensor Socket is soldered on the PCB. After PCB assembly, cleaning and inspection, then the Image Sensor is installed in the socket. There is a cost savings by assembling a large quantity of PCB’s without the image sensor and installing the sensor as needed. The result is better cash flow management and ease of replacing defective sensors, without de-soldering and the risk of blistering multi-layer PCBs. It also makes for easy field upgrades.

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