Quality control problem in printed circuit board manufacturing - An extended rough set theory approach

Tzu Liang Tseng, M. C. Jothishankar, Teresa Wu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Scopus citations


This paper presents a new heuristic algorithm, called extendedrough set theory, for reduct selection in rough set theory (RST) applications. This algorithm is efficient and quick in selecting reducts especially if the problem size is large. The algorithm is able to derive the rules and identify the most significant features simultaneously, which is unique and useful in solving quality control problems. A detailed comparison between traditional statistical methods, the RST approach, and the extended RST approach is presented. The developed algorithm is applied to an industrial case study involving quality control of printed circuit boards (PCBs). The case study addresses one of the common quality problems faced in the PCB manufacturing, namely, solder ball defects. Several features that cause solder ball defects were identified and the features that significantly impact the quality were considered in this case study. Two experiments with equal and unequal weights were conducted and the results were compared. The end result of the extended RST investigation is a set of decision rules that shows the cause for the solder ball defects. The rules help to discriminate the good and bad parts to predict defective PCBs. A large sample of 3,568 PCBs was used to derive the set of rules. Results from the extended RST are very encouraging compared to statistical approaches. The rules derived from the data set provide an indication of how to effectively study this problem in further investigations. This paper forms the basis for solving many other similar problems that occur in manufacturing and service industries.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)56-72
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Manufacturing Systems
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2004


  • Data Mining
  • Manufacturing Fault Detection
  • PCB Assembly
  • Quality Engineering
  • Rough Set Theory

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Hardware and Architecture
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering


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