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3D Board Stress Analysis for Fixture Designs

ECT BSA28 April 2016 - Everett Charles Technologies (ECT) has added Board Stress Analysis (BSA) as standard step to their design process of all fixtures. BSA ensures substantial savings of time and cost for the customers by minimizing the risk of broken PCBs. Board Stress Analysis was first developed and validated by ECT in the late 1980s. It is a mathematical model that incorporates CAD, Finite Element Analysis (FEA), and design for testability rules, along with custom software to integrate the packages.

BSA has been a useful tool for designers and fixture manufacturers for more than a decade. This tool has allowed designers to minimize induced stresses on the printed circuit board (PCB) under test, and eliminate the potential for damage. Board Stress Analysis (BSA) allows for a simulation to be performed before the unit-under-test (UUT) is subjected to potentially damaging forces. Further, once the simulation is run, push fingers, board supports and even probes can be repositioned to reduce flexing and lower stresses placed on the UUT.

The increasing risk for damage to PCBAs has led ECT to the decision that BSAs will be performed on all Test Fixtures during their design. The BSA is in effect the only way to “gage” the fixture before it is built.

Thomas Merline, Director of North America Sales, explains: “3D board stress analysis is a vital fixture development tool that provides a realistic, static view of the relative forces that will be placed on the PCBA during test. It is the best option available for eliminating potential damage to the PCBA and its components during production test. A damaged PCBA can cost thousands of dollars to replace, and lost time. Recognizing the need for improved quality, ECT decided to make 3D BSA a practical part of the fixture design process.”

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