Electronic and Electrical Component Analysis


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Failure analysis and construction analysis of electronic and electrical components have been the primary emphases of the Southwest Research Institute (SwRI) Component-Analysis Group since 1978. Using specialized equipment, experienced analysts perform:

  image of contact-arm pivot

Normal wear out of the contact-arm pivot in this snap-action switch diverted some of the load current through the spring in the over-center mechanism. Joule heating raised the temperature of the spring high enough to melt the thermoplastic actuator, thus allowing the spring to move into a neutral position that disabled the over-center snap action and made the switch inoperative.

  • Package opening and decapsulation

  • Microscopy

  • Mounted cross sectioning

  • Unmounted cross sectioning

  • Plasma etching

  • Wet-chemical etching

  • Material removal

  • Microprobing

  • Hermeticity testing

  • Wire-bond strength measurement

  • Particle-impact-noise detection

  image of integrated circuit die that failed because of an accidental short circuit during manual probing of the circuit board

This integrated circuit die failed because of an accidental short circuit during manual probing of the circuit board. Future failures were avoided with more careful probing techniques.

Industries Using Electronic Failure Analysis

Over the years, the Electronic and Electrical Component Analysis Group has served a wide range of industries, including:

  • Aerospace

  • Automotive

  • Computer

  • Consumer appliance

  • Electric utility

  • Electronic component

  • Government

  • Industrial control

  • Petrochemical

  • Semiconductor

Component Analysis Services Available

  • Failure analysis

  • Root-cause analysis

  • Construction analysis

  • Destructive physical analysis (DPA)

  • Design review

  • Vendor audit

  • Mean-time-between-failure (MTBF) computation

  • Qualification testing

For more information about electronic and electrical component analysis, failure analysis, or how you can contract with SwRI, please contact Stan Silvus at ssilvus@swri.org or (210) 522-2742, or Ken Bennett at kbennett@swri.org or (210) 522- 5242.


Contact Information

Stan Silvus

Electronics and Power Systems

(210) 522-2742


Related Terminology

electronic failure analysis

root cause analysis

component analysis

electrical destructive analysis

construction analysis

design review

destructive physical analysis


plasma etching

vendor audit

mean-time-between-failure computations

MTBF computations

pre-cap visual inspection

qualification testing

Related Links

Electronic Device Failure Analysis Society (EDFAS)

International Reliability Physics Symposium (IRPS)

Other Failure Analysis Capabilities at SwRI

Dept of Electronics Systems & Robotics

| Department of Electronics Systems & Robotics | Applied Physics Division | SwRI Home |


Southwest Research Institute® (SwRI®), headquartered in San Antonio, Texas, is a multidisciplinary, independent, nonprofit, applied engineering and physical sciences research and development organization with 9 technical divisions.

August 07, 2014