Technical Analysis


Analyses aim at finding technical evidence.

The way we investigate technical failures, apply various methods and collate the individual findings is very much like forensic investigation work.
The methods comply with the guideline VDI/VDE 3822 Blatt1 Schadensanalyse (defect analysis). Optical/Visual inspection, metallographic preparation and material analysis serve to detect and document weak points. The results of the analysis are compiled in an expert‘s report; we also act as experts in cases of litigation.

Our technical equipment and extensive know-how permit an effective examination with a high evidentiary value concerning defective objects or objects which are suspected defective. A critical chain of evidence can moreover be substantiated by simulating the defect mechanism.
Our activities focus on electronic assemblies, their fields of application and relevant processes.

An important and integral part of a defect analysis consists in developing solutions and improvements for the production process. This joint effort with the ordering party is aimed at avoiding future failure and reducing any possible warranty and loss of good-will.

Factors contributing to the occurrence of a defect

  1. Constructional faults
    • faulty dimensioning
    • faulty selection of materials
    • faulty process selection
    • faulty documentation
  2. Production faults
    • shortcomings in the process chain
    • shortcomings of the vendor parts
    • shortcomings in the adaption of parameters
  3. Storage / Transport
  4. Operational faults
    • operating and maintenance faults
    • consequential damage (wear and tear, corrosion,...)
    • overload
  5. Acts of God

Systematic Sequence of a Defect Analysis

Microscopical examination
Microscopical examination
Optical analysis

Defective Object

• Damage description


• Determination of the defect event sequence and the background

Defect Hypothesis

• Circumscription of possible causes

Selection of Investigation Methods

• Non-destructive tests, destructive tests,..., simulation efforts

Tests / Examinations

• Taking of sample - component - material - evaluation defect neighbourhood

Evaluation of Examination Results

• Target - Performance - Comparison

Defect Cause

• Definition of defect type and cause

Defect Prevention

Defect Report


Defect Analysis


Analytical Methods

Optical Inspection by Microscope and Micro-Endoscope
  • Bright field, dark field, interference contrast, polarization, UV light

Laser Topography
  • Optical surface scan, roughness measurement, maximum sample size 300 x 300 mm, resolution down to 10 nm

Metallographic Preparation
  • maximum microsection surface 160 x 30 mm

Light Optical and Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM)
  • SEM inspection + analysis by means of energy or wavelength dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDX / WDX)

Light Optical and Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM)
  • SEM inspection + analysis by means of energy or wavelength dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDX / WDX)

X-Ray and Ultrasonic Microscopy
  • maximum sample size 500 x 500 mm, resolution down to 5 µm

X-Ray Fluorescence (RFA / XRF)
  • Qualitative and quantitative determination of elementary composition and layer thickness determination

Fourier-Transform Infrared Spectroscopy (FTIR)
  • Identification of organic substances (polymers, adhesives, flux...)

Measurement of Ionic Contamination (J-STD-001 / IPC-TM-650)
  • Proof of ionogenic contamination of assemblies (e.g. process residue from PCB production, flux residues, handling residues...)
  • Process adaptation to customer specifications

Dye and Pry Test
  • Proof of cracks (microcracks) in BGA solder connections

Hardness tests
  • According to Shore, Knoop, Rockwell, Vickers, Brinell

Combined Tests

Kombinierte Prüfung
  • Burn-in and run-in: e.g. for ceramic capacitors as per MIL-STD-202
  • Temperature change with superimposed electric load: down to -50°C and 1.5kW electric dissipation loss of the test object, e.g. test as per VW 800.00 Life Cycle, Internal Power Cycling
  • Climate and climate change test with superimposed electric load for the evaluation of corrosion resistance and creep leakage resistance, e.g. CAF test as per IPC-9691
  • Contact test, e.g. milliohm measurement down to 0.1 µO and insulation resistance up to 2x10 E15 O under climate
  • Discharge capacity of ESD materials

Consulting and Training concerning

  • Defect mechanisms in solder joints
  • Defect mechanisms in components (e.g. ceramic capacitors)
  • Defect mechanisms in PCBs (keyword: Black Pad)
  • Evidential value of test methods
  • Evaluation of supplier agreements for technical relevance and implementability
  • Trial and error method for MTBF data

Measuring Technology

REM Aufnahme

SEM (scanning electron microscopy)

The scanning electron microscopy (SEM) has the great advantage of being able to analyze elements by means of energy dispersive or wavelength dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDX/ WDX). EDX as well as WDX are used to determine the qualitative and quantitative concentration of elements in micro volumes of solid state bodies.

FTIR (Fourier-Transform-Infrared)

The IR spectroscopy benefits from the absorption of infrared radiation by chemical substances to mainly determine the structures of organic substances. The IR spectroscopy is predominantly used for the identification of plastic material, such as thermoplastics, elastomers, duroplastics, rubber, varnishes, adhesives, etc.

XRF (X-ray Fluorescence)

The X-ray fluorescence belongs to material analytics. It is one of the most frequently used methods for the qualitative and quantitative determination of the elementary composition and the layer thickness measurement of a specimen.



Printed Circuit Boards

  • Compliance with rules and regulations as per IPC-A-600, IEC 61288, e.g. thermal resistance (solder bath, oil bath, sand bath), solderability as per J-STD-003
  • Evaluation of surface finishes (electroless Sn, ENIG, keyword: Black Pad), insulation resistance under climate RIS, tendency towards Conductive Anodic Filament CAF
  • Whisker test as per DIN EN 60068-2-82/JEDEC-JESD 201
  • Thermal robustness of base material
  • Evaluation of inner structure (inner layer separation, barrel crack, corner crack)
pull test


  • Solderability as per DIN EN 60068-2-20, 2-58, 2-69, J-STD 002
  • Mechanical robustness by shear test, pull test and shock test as per DIN EN 62137
  • Breaking strength of ceramic capacitors as per DIN EN 60068-2-21 Test Ue1 Substrate Bending Test + Burn-in and Voltage Conditioning as per MIL-STD-202
  • Abrasion resistance of connectors
  • Connecting safety of connectors and switches under vibration load, failure of melting fuses, online measurements during tests
  • Current supply max. 12 kW (1x60V/100A, 2x60V/50A), high voltage test 5 kV~, 6kV~, max. 100mA
  • Life cycle test, internal power cycling
  • Measurement of characteristic curves of components R, C, L, XL, XC (recording curve), inductivities with DC-bias
  • Tantalum electrolytic capacitors: Surge test, parameter test as per MIL-PRF-55365
  • Whisker test
solder ball

Auxiliary material

  • SMD adhesive, e.g. hot shear test as per SN 59651 / IPC SM 817
  • Chemical resistance of polymers, stress crack corrosion e.g. as per DIN EN VDI 3822-2.1.7
  • Casting resin, e.g. dielectric strength as per IEC 243
  • Adhesive strength of self-adhesive labels
  • Properties of solder pastes, e.g. slumping, corrosion behavior
  • Fluxes, e.g. thermal resistance, interaction with solder resist