Original Date: 01/24/1994
Revision Date: 01/18/2007
Information : Analysis of Electronic Device Failures
Harris established a Product Failure Analysis Solution Team (PFAST) in 1989 to concentrate on resolving failure analysis (FA) issues on returned products. Because of logistics complications from merging several companies with Harris Semiconductor in 1988, multiple departments worked on the returned product in a serial sequence and, as most of these departments also had many other responsibilities, there were delays in determining root causes of problems and defining corrective actions. In addition, transferring returned products between geographically remote sites for different portions of the FA caused major delays. The PFAST effort included goals such as providing test verification of failures within three working days, issuing the FA interim report in 28 working days (or less if in response to a specific customer need), and ensuring the interim report included, as a minimum, the identified containment actions and the identification of the root cause of the failure if possible.
The process flow established by the PFAST included the standard destructive and nondestructive FA process flows. The team also identified FA performance measurement metrics including influx and response time output, quarterly analysis load, failure defects output, and responsible area output. As a result of this effort, Harris developed a number of innovative ways to improve its FA performance including:
Developing its own automated E-mail system to notify the responsible person of delinquent FA actions/responses to the customer to promote a pro-active FA environment
Initiating use of plasma etchers (that were being excessed from production areas) to de-encapsulate plastic parts (the production equipment has a higher rate and higher capacity of removing plastic package material than standard laboratory plasma etchers)
Inverting a Tektronix LV 500 tester on a mobile test stand so it could be directly interfaced with a Schlumberger IDS 5000 Plus for E-beam probing of failed die using a common device under test fixtures between the two units for mechanical and E-beam probing
Developing a $50 equivalent out of standard hardware parts instead of spending approximately $1000 on a single specialized IR temperature controller for use in testing LCD devices
As a result of Harris' program to improve the FA process flow, its on-time delivery of FA reports has increased from 20% in 1990 to approximately 50% in 1993, while the analysis load increased from 25 requests per month to 150 requests per month. Also, the ratio of the number of failure analyses completed to the number of new FA requests received has increased from 0.6 in 1990 to approximately 1.0 in 1993.
Several Harris customers have indicated that more critical customer response needs are being met by assigning specific failure analysts to work solely on the customer's returned product. Harris has also realized cost savings due to the elimination of duplicate FA efforts as well as a reduction in the number of product problems from timely implementation of corrective actions.
For more information see the
Point of Contact for this survey.