Gardien Group Now offers Insulation (IR) Testing and Micro-Short Detection

Gardien Group | 01-14-2022

As part of Gardien’s growing list of options for quality control in the printed circuit boards industry, we now offer Insulation Testing and Micro-Short detection on our Flying Probe lines running the Gardien FPX software.

IR Test, unlike Hi-Pot Testing, supplies a selected voltage and monitors the isolation of the nets or planes tested to a pre-determined resistive threshold. With standard Hi-Pot, the high voltage is applied to the planes or nets and looks for a current leak or breakdown. IR testing has grown in popularity in recent years, especially with high speed and Aerospace designs.

Micro-Shorts have plagued manufacturers for years and Gardien now offers an option which detects these very small shorts. Although standard Isolation testing will find these shorts, there is a possibility the current being passed during the Isolation Test could burn the microfilament and upon retest, pass the board. The problem is that residue may remain at the filament site and over time metalogical activity may cause the short to reappear down the road resulting in a field failure.

Micro-Short Detection using the same principles for isolation testing but used very low current during the test so that any of these micro-shorts may be detected before the main Continuity and Isolation tests are performed. Gardien’s FPX solution offers selectable currents and the micro-short test is performed as a part of the test cycle with the regular test. Although this option does add time to the overall test, It makes perfect sense to use this option on product that may have a history tight space microfilament shorting. “It can save you from a costly return from the field” stated Rick Meraw, one of Gardien’s R & D members. 

Gardien has constantly upgraded and added new technologies and most advanced features to its new and existing machines during its long journey in the field. Consistent R&D and the ability to adapt to drastic changes have made Gardien one of the most dynamic names in the PCB industry.

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