Welcome to Your Source for IDI Quality Assurance...
Our commitment to “first-cycle, every-cycle reliability” is backed by the extensive product testing and evaluation found in the Quality Test Lab. Sectioned into specific areas of test and measurement, here you will find the people and the equipment that provide the industry's highest quality assurance standards.
Whether you are a test engineer or product designer, your success can hinge on the performance of our products. We take this responsibility very seriously.
That’s why for over two decades we have made a major investment in the IDI Quality Test Lab, which has recently completed its third expansion phase. The return on this investment is a product line you can trust.
The lab has transformed the way that we manufacture our product. For example, IDI is the only spring probe manufacturer to build probes in a Class Ten Thousand Clean Room, eliminating the contaminants that can retard probe performance.
Our lab is completely integrated into our ISO processes. As an ISO 9001-2000 registered company, we use the ANSI/ASQC Z 1.4 to establish appropriate sample quantities. Our calibration system is maintained in conformance with ISO-10012-1 and is traceable to the National Institute of Standards and Technology.
Your product's quality journey starts here with the equipment that assures conformance of incoming components to the high quality standards and engineering specifications that our customers expect from us.
To give you the hardness data you need, heat-treated components are mounted, sectioned and polished for evaluation with the Leco Semi-Automatic Micro-Hardness tester. Measurements begin by selecting either the Knoop or Vickers indenters that are simultaneously mounted in the motorized turret. Loads as low as 1-gram are used for very soft materials or as high as 1-kilogram for hardened tool steels.
Customers can appreciate the high degree of precision the 1210 Laser Micrometer from Z-Mike provides in a non-contact measuring system. It is ideal for the measurement of many fragile or tightly toleranced products. With millionths of an inch resolution, it is extensively used for calibration and incorporated in the inspection process when the tolerances necessitate.
The surface finish of components is measured with a Precision Instrument, Model 440 Skidless Profilometer. The surface finish can be measured using a wide variety of finish scales and evaluated by nearly any means requested by our customers.
Spring Force Testing
The center of our product viability is our spring probe technology. Our customers should never have to think twice about spring performance. That's why our springs are measured using precision load cells controlled by National Instruments Hardware and Lab View software. The holding mechanism was designed in-house to meet our specific needs for accurate measurement of the smallest springs.
We understand the importance that plating consistency plays when you use our products. To this end, we utilize an Oxford Instruments, X-Ray Fluorescence Spectrometer (XRF) to verify plating thickness conformance from our platers. Although measurement data is supplied with each plated lot received, we sample selected lots to assure continued correlation and compliance.
When visual examination is needed by our customers, visual conformance is verified and documented using a Nikon 1000 microscope with a magnification range of 0.8x to 120x. The microscope is fitted with a
Panasonic KR222 camera which allows images to be captured and stored on our server for immediate e-mail communication with our suppliers, co-workers or customers around the world.
One of the key sources to customer peace of mind, is our ability to take an
observed non-conformance and analyze it to the root cause. For example, if a plunger's hardness is not to specifications, we treat the polished sample with a reagent and examine the grain structure under our Zeiss Axiovert 25 Metallographic Microscope at up to 1000X magnification. Through the use of various lenses, filters, and polarized lighting, the grain structure is examined, analyzed and photographed for the abnormality that caused the non-conformance. Using this ability in conjunction with our suppliers to eliminate problem areas enables us to continually improve the quality of our products.
A recent addition to our lab that many customers appreciate, is our ESPEC, Model SH-641 Temperature/Humidity Chamber. The temperature range is from -40° C to 150° C and the humidity range is from 30% to 95%. It allows us to document to our customers the effectiveness of passivated products, accelerated aging of plated surfaces, temperature and moisture absorption studies. These capabilities help improve our product reliability and control.
Maximizing the electrical performance of our products is critical to servicing our customers. Every effort is taken to design, enhance, and produce the best performing products for our customers’ application.
High Current Tester
Customers using our recently redesigned high current spring probe line are assured that it has been tested and rated based on actual performance through our high current test system. The High Current Test system is designed to meet the IEC standard 512-3 paragraph 2.3.1. The probe is protected from air drifts in all directions while under test and are subjected to progressively higher DC currents while the temperature is monitored and plotted over time. We can often emulate a customer specific or unique requirement application in our test system and offer supporting performance data.
Time Domain Reflectometer (TDR)
Customer confidence in our coaxial product line is reinforced thanks to the Agilent™ 54750A Digitizing Oscilloscope with a plug-in 54753A TDR module and a plug-in 54754A Differential TDR module. The TDR profile is used to extract the instantaneous impedance, time delay, and rise time degradation associated with the device under test.
The Agilent™ 4287A LCR meter is capable of providing quick bench top impedance measurements of production assemblies at frequencies that range from 1 MHz to 3 GHz. It also offers statistical functions that are not available on the VNA and TDR.
Test engineers have come to rely on IDI spring probes for the most consistent and lowest resistance levels. The resistance measuring system, called Resistance Resolution Distribution Determination, has helped achieve these unsurpassed standards. It gives IDI the unique ability to effectively isolate and measure the resistive interactions that occur within a probe. Although most customers are interested in only the total probe contact resistance, it is our goal to understand all of the resistance components that contribute to the total resistance associated with a probe design. With this knowledge, probe design can be optimized for low and stable resistance, first-cycle, every-cycle.
Network Analyzer and Spice Modeling Software Suite
Of significance to our high frequency products is the Agilent™ E8363B Vector Network Analyzer (VNA), used to evaluate our sockets, connectors and spring probes, which sweeps frequency ranges from 10MHz - 40 GHz. The Agilent™ Advanced Design System (ADS) modeling software is used to design an equivalent electrical circuit model for the
product topology. The parameter values for the model are extracted by comparing the measured impedance values with the simulated impedance of the ideal circuit model through inverse scattering. The bandwidth of the model is determined by its fit to the measured response of the real structure.
Life Cycle Testing
It's no accident that IDI spring contact probe life is the longest in the industry. Life testing is a critical component of our test lab. Testing the performance of a probe for a few cycles demonstrates only the "new" performance of the probe. We must cycle, measure and document the performance of our products through their expected life. To measure this, we have designed and built multiple life cycle testers to test in a variety of mechanical and environmental conditions.
Traditional Life Cycle Test System
You've come to trust us for first-cycle, every-cycle contact. In our quest to meet this expectation, our
traditional life cycle test system holds up to 128 probes with IDI receptacles or a fixture against a bed of gold plated solid pins. The probes are cycled against a high conductivity copper plate that is plated with silver and gold. The 4-wire resistance is measured, recorded and the probes are automatically checked for loss of stroke at programmable intervals throughout the test. The measured data is analyzed at the completion of the test. The same traditional life cycle testing can be performed at temperatures ranging from -70° C. to 177° C. The probes are cycled then automatically measured for loss of stroke and resistance while at the specified temperature.
Handler Simulation Test
A next generation life cycle tester has been added to the lab. This tester cycles up to 32 spring probes against a lead frame material that can be plated with a variety of alloys including lead-free solders. The 4-wire resistance is measured on each probe at programmable intervals. The advantage of this test system is that the board is mounted to a motorized X, Y table that increments between each probe cycle. Each probe's contact is at a virgin location on the board. This test emulates the end use application of our probes in test sockets where a new device with virgin pads is tested each cycle and the handler may introduce some small amount of scrub.
Failure Analysis & Product Improvement
Although "Failure Analysis" may sound to you like a terribly negative activity, it actually helps to provide our customers with the positive outcomes they need. Most failures examined in our lab were created from within. New designs, platings, modifications and experiments are extensively tested and analyzed to prevent problems for our customers and to improve our product.
Real-time Video X-ray
Customers value our ability to get an inside look at our products, even as they are being cycled. Thanks to the Nicolet NXR-10HR X-ray Imaging System we can view, analyze and photograph the fit and interaction of internal spring probe and product features. The probes are not harmed by the X-ray exposure, allowing us to view the items in real-time and freeze the image when the best view is displayed. We have the ability to magnify a specific feature and to record a live video X-ray of a probe being cycled. Both features allow a detailed analysis to be performed.
FEI Quanta 200 Variable Pressure Environmental Scanning Electron Microscope (ESEM)
As our customers are using smaller and smaller products that are more sensitive to contamination, it is critical that we evaluate our products with the greatest magnification available. The latest addition to our test lab, a Variable Pressure ESEM, gives us this unique ability. It has a magnification range from 7x to 1,000,000x with extensive motorized sample manipulation capability. It can switch between Secondary Field Emission and Backscatter electron detectors or combine them, to display the feature or material we want to evaluate. The system is designed to perform in variable
pressure modes allowing non-conductive and partially hydrated samples to be viewed and analyzed. A large field secondary detector was added to allow secondary imaging at high pressures as well as backscatter.
Oxford Instruments INCA Energy Dispersive Spectrometer (EDS)
To heighten our ability to provide customers with meaningful information from the ESEM, the EDS provides us with the analytical ability to determine the composition of contaminants and
materials observed in the ESEM. The Oxford Instruments EDS system was a critical addition to the SEM for failure analysis and R&D. By running a spectrum analysis, we identify the elements that are in the
material and the percentages of each element found in a spot or region of interest. Through the use of X-ray mapping, we can scan an area and assign color codes to each element, thus resulting in a color map showing the location of each element.
Founded in 1979, Interconnect Devices, Inc. (IDI) quickly established itself as the spring probe market-share leader in the Automated Test Equipment
Industry. In fact, test engineers ranked the Kansas City, Kansas, manufacturer as the "most recognized" and the "most preferred" brand of spring contact probes for the ATE industry in many recent third-party brand preference studies. Early in the 1990's, many established product designers turned to us for spring probes because conventional connection technologies were falling short of expectations. During this time, IDI spring probes had proven themselves as the top performing electromechanical connections for PCB testing. It was soon realized that these spring pins also made ideal interconnects for product design applications where higher standards were required for ultra reliability and durability.
In 1994, IDI utilizied IDI probes in customized electrical interconnect assemblies. IDI brought together the world's leading probe engineers and interconnection design specialists to focus on manufacturing advanced, customized interconnect solutions. IDI connectors and interfaces (utilizing IDI probes) are found in a variety of industries, where performance requirements are stringent, including:
- Automated Test Equipment
- Portable Electronics
IDI has grown to become the expert source for custom manufactured interconnect devices. The same innovation that had assured test reliability for over 25 years can be found in every IDI product today.