Automated detection and classification of non-wet solder joints

Asaad F. Said, Bonnie L. Bennett, Lina Karam, Jeffrey S. Pettinato

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


Non-wet solder joints in processor sockets are causing mother board failures. These board failures can escape to customers resulting in returns and dissatisfaction. The current process to identify these non-wets is to use a 2D or advanced X-ray tool with multidimension capability to image solder joints in processor sockets. The images are then examined by an operator who determines if each individual joint is good or bad. There can be an average of 150 images for an operator to examine for each socket. Each image contains more than 30 joints. These factors make the inspection process time consuming and the output variable depending on the skill and alertness of the operator. This paper presents an automatic defect identification and classification system for the detection of non-wet solder joints. The main components of the proposed system consist of region of interest (ROI) segmentation, feature extraction, reference-free classification, and automatic mapping. The ROI segmentation process is a noise-resilient segmentation method for the joint area. The centroids of the segmented joints (ROIs) are used as feature parameters to detect the suspect joints. The proposed reference-free classification can detect defective joints in the considered images with high accuracy without the need for training data or reference images. An automatic mapping procedure which maps the positions of all joints to a known Master Ball Grid Array file is used to get the precise label and location of the suspect joint for display to the operator and collection of non-wet statistics. The accuracy of the proposed system was determined to be 95.8% based on the examination of 56 sockets (76496 joints). The false alarm rate is 1.1%. In comparison, the detection rate of a currently available advanced X-ray tool with multidimension capability is in the range of 43% to 75%. The proposed method reduces the operator effort to examine individual images by 89.6% (from looking at 154 images to 16 images) by presenting only images with suspect joints for inspection. When non-wet joints are missed, the presented system has been shown to identify the neighboring joints. This fact provides the operator with the capability to make 100% detection of all non-wets when utilizing a user interface that highlights the suspect joint area. The system works with a 2D X-ray imaging device, which saves cost over more expensive advanced X-ray tools with multidimension capability. The proposed scheme is relatively inexpensive to implement, easy to set up and can work with a variety of 2D X-ray tools.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number5454354
Pages (from-to)67-80
Number of pages14
JournalIEEE Transactions on Automation Science and Engineering
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2011


  • Automatic mapping
  • defect detection
  • joint's centroid
  • non-wet
  • reference-free classification
  • region of interest (ROI) segmentation
  • solder joints

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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