NPL to provide monthly defect database service for readers

National Physical Laboratory NPL have created an interactive assembly and soldering defect database allowing engineers to search through a range of defects covering components, printed circuit boards and assembly problems. The aim is to add more process, material and environmental defects each month to complement online submissions from readers.

“The database will take time to populate with industry defects, but with world wide industry cooperation and introducing defect types from research studies across Europe this will result in a unique resource” said Bob Willis “We are very excited in our cooperation with IPC, SMART Group & SMTA in the USA. We hope that this interactive tool will help engineers solve their problems and obtain practical advice day or night. A very practical benefit is its on-line global availability 24/7 to shop floor operators as a reference and training resource.


Fig 1 Shows the front page of the NPL Defect Database where engineers can query the database for soldering defect, process, alloy type etc. Alternatively if the defect is not available then it’s easy to submit a photograph for inclusion in the online database.


Fig 2 Shows an example of one of the defects found after a search of the database providing information on the defect, how it occurred and possible corrective action.


Fig 3 Selecting the image provides a larger view of the defect and the opportunity to print out the results for shop floor staff and discussion with other engineers and suppliers..

The NPL Industry Defects Database is now available to allow readers to search for solutions to common problems or submit defects online with full details or requesting advice and a possible solution to the process issues or failures at

National Physical Laboratory
Queens Road
Middlesex TW11 0LW
Tel: +44 20 8943 6759