Printed Circuit Board Assembly & PCB Design SMT Electronics Assembly Manufacturing Forum

Printed Circuit Board Assembly & PCB Design Forum

SMT electronics assembly manufacturing forum.

Agilent 5DX

Views: 7009



Agilent 5DX | 22 January, 2009

Hi all,

We are currently evaluating the above mentioned Xray system.

I would appreciate some feedback from users on good & bad points and maybe things to look out for.

At this moment and time it is mainly 2series systems due to obvious reasons, but feedback on 3 series would be welcome also.

Thanks in advance,


reply »


Agilent 5DX | 22 January, 2009


I had a presentation on this system not long ago. That is probably the best you can buy for money. It can really show details for everything. Some issues : - very expensive - too many software options - so it's not that easy to teach it. That's waht happens when the machine can do evevrything. - machine is doing a lot of calibrations all the time. They are self calibrations, but it makes me feel, like there is sometyhing wrong. In general I thing this machine is the best.


reply »


Agilent 5DX | 22 January, 2009

Yup, Emil is right. The Agilent 5DX is the "cadillac" of AXI systems.

I haven't been involved in this machine for several years, but as of about 2003, they have upgraded their software to make it more graphical based, and the programming more "sequential". Their old DOS-based software was not intuitive at all, and required lots of training.

As with any AXI/AOI system, it's very touchy, and a very delicate balance between minimizing false calls vs. making it a very expensive conveyor.

reply »


Agilent 5DX | 22 January, 2009

If purchasing used is a consideration, I recall a fat registration fee upon ownership transfer with these units in the past. Not sure if that has changed much.

reply »


Agilent 5DX | 29 January, 2009

Allow me a contrary viewpoint. I've had these things on my floor and had customers get outsourced evaluations done with them.

Most expensive boat anchors I've run across.

First the good points:

The automated scanning and pattern recognition is good for sampling characterization of process shifts. That is it will capture variations in how some components or boards are wetting out, or solder printing skips. So will any conventional AOI. For RF, where solder joint geometery can affect performance, the 5DX does a better characterization of the overall joint shape.

Now for the reality check:

There is NO "laminography" involved. The terms "laminography" and "slice" that are thrown around by Agilient are the most deceptive advertising that I've ever seen. Most importantly, other than gross solder volume changes, the machine is blind and usless with BGAs. The very thing it is most often touted for. It CAN NOT discover a crack or fracture in a BGA joint. No xray machine can. But the operating principal of the 5DX makes it especially blind to BGA interfaces. Just run one in evaluation mode and translate the Z axis past the interface level. You will still see a round dot. That gets smaller the further away from the interface you get. This is the shadow of the widest part of the ball. As it unfortunately turns out the angle the system uses just about perfectly matches the form of a BGA joint. This system was developed before BGAs and this angle was fine for reducing the image density of backside components.

This is what the machine was designed to do. There used to be a little flash video on Agilent's site that showed how it worked, but they've d it. By angling the beam/detector arrangement, and spinning it, anything in the center of that angled rotation appears still. As you move away from that center (what Agilent calls the "image plane"), anything that is imaged rotates in the field of view. The further away, the larger the circle it rotates in and the blurier it gets. The image gets distributed over a larger area and therefore is less dense.

So, what you get in real life, are two cones with their bases together at the "image plane". Anything within that shape is obscured and the machine is blind to it. Including BGA solder interfaces. Remember, the BGA ball looks just about exactly like those two cones with the tips chopped off. But the machine can't see anything within those cones.

A marginally useful production screening device at a high cost. But very limited in evaluating BGA's and doing any FA.

reply »


Agilent 5DX | 9 February, 2009

We looked at the 5DX as well, but it was way too cost prohibitive at the time and ended up purchasing the Yestech stand alone x-ray system. At the time Yestech did not have a comparable system to the 5DX, but I understand they do now.

With Agilent leaving the business you may want to look at yestech's unit.

Just my 2 cents.

reply »



Agilent 5DX | 10 February, 2009

Hi DevGru,

Thanks for that, looks a lot more user friendly.

Will arrange an evaluation and let you know how it goes...


reply »


Agilent 5DX | 10 February, 2009

Agilent is exiting the AOI and AXI inspection machine business FYI:

I think Teradyne may be the only game in town now for in-line 3D AXI. More to come though....

It looks like Viscom has an offering too:

reply »


Agilent 5DX | 10 February, 2009

Looks like an improvement to the spinning stuff, but gads, I wish these people would stop using the term slice. The Teradyne still does not create a slice. It infers things from different sized shadows. It still cannot actually image a slice though a fractured BGA joint

reply »


Agilent 5DX | 12 February, 2009

Hi AJ, I typically don't reply to posts in this forum since I am an equipment supplier and this forum is for Eng to Eng information swap, but in this case, I did want to support an above post regarding YESTech's 3D X-ray product.

YESTech does have the YTX-X3 3D AXI system. The unit and specifications can be found via the following link:

We would be pleased to discuss the product with you at your convenience. Please let us know what we can do to help you.

David Upton Regional Manager

reply »


Agilent 5DX | 12 February, 2009

Purely from a technical interchange perspective, how thick is a slice? That is, what is the Z axis resolution of the machine? This isn't listed on the web link. There are pictures that imply separate of a BGA on the top and discretes on the bottom. This is good, but the inference that it is a 3D machine implies that you can see all the physical attributes of some shape such as a BGA solderjoint with some significant degree of resolution beyond a black dot.

reply »


Agilent 5DX | 7 April, 2009

I would recommend looking at SAKI/MacroScience.

I have seen the images created by MSX3000 from MacroScience which is now under SAKI and can tell you with certainty that it CAN detect solder joint integrity at the pad to ball interface (I am not saying it can detect cracks) but it is by far the most comprehensive 3D/2D X-Ray inspection system.

The system will be sold World Wide and fully supported by SAKI.

reply »

Six Sigma Training

SMT Prototype Stencils - BEST, Inc.