Beyond surface residues: new ways to diagnose performance issues

By Tracy Stout

Many of our clients know us as a surface residues expert, but our growing lineup of new reliability test methods is an equally important part of our story.




How we got started

Twenty-six years ago, Foresite, Inc. was founded by Terry Munson—a young professional with military and automotive experience who wanted to help electronics manufacturers solve reliability issues. While working for Delco in the Corrosion Studies Laboratory, he became involved in the development of ion chromatography applications to identify process residues and determine their effects on electronic hardware performance. During this time, he also became active in the Institute for Printed Circuits, furthering the development of ion chromatography as an analysis tool for the electronics industry. These techniques became the basis for Foresite’s early success.


Moving beyond ionic contamination

Foresite has grown significantly over the years, providing analysis and consulting services to over 3,000 clients. The first services we offered were focused on the identification of surface residues in electronic hardware, helping manufacturing companies understand the  detrimental effects of these residues on product reliability. Surface contaminants were our bread and butter. Over the years, our clients began requesting analysis services beyond ion chromatography; and for the last decade, Foresite’s technical depth and equipment capabilities have rapidly expanded to include more methods of reliability testing.


Developing new test methods

Allocating funds for equipment acquisition became a priority, along with planning for the addition of technical staff. To further our understanding of product reliability, the Foresite team has invested heavily in internal research and functioned as a partner on various grant programs. The results of this research have paved the way for new analytical test methods.


Today, we find ourselves solving reliability-related issues for some of the largest contract manufacturers and electronics suppliers around the globe, thanks to an expanding lineup of staff, knowledge and technical capabilities. Our growing list of services now includes:


  • Cross-sectioning
  • Microscopy
  • Imaging
  • X-ray
  • XRF
  • Shear
  • Pull
  • Inspection
  • FT-IR
  • Aqueous and plasma-based recovery cleaning.
  • Enhanced ion chromatography with the addition of an IC-MS system (ion chromatography - mass spectroscopy) configured for specific identification of organic acids


Pushing boundaries

We look forward to the next 26 years and the opportunity to continue growing our capabilities to better serve our clients. Look out for future posts as we explain some of these new services and answer commonly-asked questions.





Interested in learning more about one of our reliability test methods?

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