A method is presented to test automatically for latent faults, those which elude detection during conventional electronic testing, on printed circuit boards. Testing is intended for implementation in a volume manufacturing environment and involves the application of infrared imaging tools. Successful incorporation of infrared testing into existing test processes requires that: a procedure for handling variable radiation heat transfer properties across a printed circuit board be developed; a thermally-controlled test enclosure be provided; PASS/FAIL criteria be established. These tasks are addressed, testing procedures are described, and favorable results are presented. The feasibility of an infrared test process is demonstrated.

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