Guidelines for Returns

Introduction

MtronPTI strives to provide quality products and is continuously improving products, processes and services.

To enable an efficient and effective quality review process, and to avoid unnecessary false failures, it is critical that MtronPTI understand the customer’s alleged issue with a suspect MtronPTI part, and separate it from any application issue that the customer may be experiencing. It is equally crucial that the suspect MtronPTI part not incur damage during removal, handling, or shipping.

In this document, MtronPTI has combined established guidelines and best practices describing verification and handling processes targeted to achieve this objective.

Nothing in these guidelines gives rise to any obligation on the part of MtronPTI to conduct verification or analysis.

Handling Overview

These following guidelines must be followed when suspect parts are being returned to MtronPTI:

  • Verify and confirm the issue
  • Carefully de-solder the part from the PCB/board
  • Return parts free of mechanical damage and in a testable condition
  • Ensure that there is no obvious electrical overstress (EOS) damage
  • Affix and return the part in the proper container
  • Pack the part in a shielding (S) bag or container for return shipment
  • Include a detailed description of the alleged issue with the MtronPTI part

Failure to observe these guidelines may cause technical issues and and/or render a proper quality review impossible. MtronPTI reserves the right to reject requests for review, verification, or analysis if a customer is unable to demonstrate compliance with these guidelines.

Handling Process Requirements

  • Verify and confirm the issue

Only return suspect MtronPTI parts that have been tested through by A-B-A swap cross check to confirm the observed issue is not system related.

A-B-A  Swap Method:

To perform the A-B-A swap:

(A) Remove the suspected MtronPTI part (A) from the original failing board.

(B) Replace the suspect MtronPTI part (A) with known good MtronPTI part (B) and check if the original failing board is now working correctly.

(A) Mount the suspect MtronPTI part(A) to a known good board and see if the observed issue continues to occur.

The last step is critical to exclude the possibility that the issue is caused by an interaction with another part on the board.

  • Carefully de-solder the part from the PCB/board

All suspect MtronPTI parts returned for MtronPTI verification and analysis must be carefully removed from the  customer printed circuit board (PCB) prior to shipping.

MtronPTI will advise customers in advance in rare cases were a complete PCB with the MtronPTI part(s) mounted   is required.

De-Soldering:

Manual de-soldering of any electronic part is not recommended. Instead, use a rework station allowing control of the soldering temperature according to the JEDEC soldering profile.

Uncontrolled de-soldering may damage the part.

Do not cut off the pins / leads from the MtronPTI part, as that will prevent any further electrical testing.

Fresh / Virgin Parts:

Do not return fresh/virgin MtronPTI parts unless explicitly requested to do so by MtronPTI. There might be special  cases when MtronPTI would like to get back fresh/virgin MtronPTI parts, such as:

  • solderability issues
  • generic tape & reel, tray or tube related issues
  • reel cover tape issues
  • Return parts free of mechanical damage and in a testable condition

Suspect parts must be carefully removed and appropriately handled to allow for a proper root cause analysis.

Unacceptable / untestable conditions such as:

  • mechanical damages to the part package,
  • remainder of coating material,
  • cut-off / broken or bent leads / pins, or
  • excessive solder residues in-between the leads / pins

are in most cases a result of inappropriate part handling. MtronPTI may reject the analysis of such parts and label them as “Non-actionable cases.

To improve the effective quality analysis, MtronPTI focuses on verification / analysis of returns that can give   value to our customers.

  • Ensure that there are no obvious electrical overstress (EOS) damage

In cases where the issue seems to be induced by electrical overstress (EOS) with visible signs of damages, a MtronPTI failure analysis will have a limited chance to find the true root cause.

Heavy EOS damage masks the issue. MtronPTI is not in a position to know the customer’s operating, environmental and temperature conditions at the time of the issue to determine what may have caused the EOS damage. There is no useful action MtronPTI can take in such cases.

  • Affix and return the part in a proper container

When returning a suspect MtronPTI part for analysis, always:

  • Select a suitable shielding (S) shipping container, and
  • Fix parts properly to prevent them from moving around or touching one another.
  • Pack the part in a shielding (S) bag or container for return shipment

Electronic parts must be handled, packed and shipped appropriately. Shipments might go through rough uncontrolled areas and might be exposed to high electrical fields, for example, when a shipment is inspected by customs or when the shipment is exposed to high electrical fields from conveyor belt motor drives in logistic centers.

Consequently, electronic parts that are not packed in shielding (S) bags / containers can be easily damaged directly (direct discharge) or indirectly (electromagnetic pulse) by external electro static discharge (ESD) during shipment.

ESD-safe Packaging for Shipments:

Always use packing material that provides shielding (S) protection as illustrated below.

Although dissipative (D) “pink / green / blue” or conductive (C) “black” bags or containers provide protection against tribocharging, they do not protect against electric fields. These bags (examples illustrated above) can only be used within an ESD protected area (EPA*)!

Do not use standard plastic (PE-LD) bags or containers for shipments as these bags may charge up the parts inside.

Improper Packaging for Shipments:

If these types of packaging are used, the original issue may be masked by external ESD damage. Failure analysis of such a part might therefore give misleading results.

In summary, it is crucial to protect against external ESD during shipment. MtronPTI will only accept returned  parts that are packed such that later damage can be ruled out. The interior of shielded bags / containers may be regarded as a “mobile EPA*”.

  • Include a detailed description of the alleged issue with the MtronPTI part

To streamline analysis, MtronPTI requests that the following information be provided with any returns:

  • Full orderable MtronPTI part number and customer part number;
  • Customer reference number;
  • A clear and detailed description of the alleged issue at the MtronPTI part level including, set-up and use     conditions for stimulation of the alleged issue;
  • Quantity, frequency and clustering, related volumes and observed potential failure rate of suspect MtronPTI parts;
  • Photos of the suspect MtronPTI parts’ top and bottom marking;
  • Photos of the MtronPTI labels attached to the original shipping carton/boxes/bags or reels; and
  • If possible, the schematic drawing of the application circuitry including set-up, voltage and current conditions of the suspect MtronPTI part in the customer application.

Failure to include the required information could jeopardize an efficient and successful analysis.

Summary
These guidelines are meant to enable an efficient and effective issue-solving process. thank you for your careful attention to, and compliance with, these guidelines

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