PCB Chat Episode 40: Zach Dismukes of Bowman

June, 2019 – Zach Dismukes discusses the use of XRF as a quality control tool to measure coating thickness. He also contrasts benchtop versus handheld units, and explains how to ensure consistency throughout the workday with PCB Chat host Mike Buetow.


“G” Series in SUR/FIN’s Spotlight

May, 2019 – Get up-close with the year’s most notable XRF system at SUR/FIN, June 3-5! Bowman’s G Series measures the widest range of sample sizes, shapes – and up to 5 layers simultaneously, all of which can be alloys. Ideal for automotive applications such as ZnFe/Fe and ZnNi/Fe; plumbing applications including Cr/Ni/Cu/ABS; tooling applications including TiCN/WCo, and TiAlN/WC. The proximity of the X-ray tube to the detector produces more than 3X the photon counts of conventional XRFs in a shorter time.

More at booth 334, or on our G Series product page.


Bowman XRF systems are exhibited worldwide, with 13 shows remaining in 2019. Shown here, Les Murphy and Larry Wozniak from Delta Sales at Bowman’s SUR/FIN booth in 2018.

Specialists Add Clout to Bowman Partner Network

May, 2019 – Two experts in PCB fabrication, each the owner of a company that represents top manufacturers of PCB chemistry, tools and equipment, are the latest additions to the Bowman Partner Network, a global alliance of distributors and rep firms.

Richard Hegg and his company, ROH Sales, is based in Lake Bluff, Illinois, and will manage sales and service for Bowman XRF systems in Illinois and Wisconsin. “The Bowman line is clearly the right product at the right time, thanks in part to IPC specification 4552-A,” says Hegg. “ENIG, and what’s required to do it efficiently, is always part of the conversation,” he adds, “and there is strong interest in ENEPIG as well with IPC 4556.

“Bowman is strong among board shops, because it truly listens to customers,” he adds, “and it’s building its brand fast among OEMs. People also recognize they have a great service organization, which is a huge advantage.”

Scott Griggs, and his company, International Process Technologies, have become the Bowman Partner company for Minnesota. Based in Minneapolis, “IPT” focuses on both the PCB and metal finishing industries. In regard to the former, “4552 and the ENEPIG specs have tightened,” says Griggs, “and made accuracy more important than ever. This bodes well for Bowman equipment, because it tells you immediately if you’re meeting those specs.

“As a chemical vendor, I’m always asking how the plating bath is working. I’ve also seen the chaos that ensues when foreign-made XRF equipment goes down and the customer is unable to get support – or even a return phone call – for weeks.”

Eastern Inspection Solutions
Bolsters Bowman Dominance
In Critical Northeast Region

March, 2019 – Bowman, a manufacturer of precision XRF plating analysis instruments, has significantly bolstered its sales and service capacity in the New England states with the addition of Eastern Inspection Solutions to its Global Partner Network.

Headquartered in Framingham, MA, Eastern Inspection specializes in the sale and service of hand-held XRF analyzers and, according to owner Mike McCarthy, “had wanted a strong line extension into the benchtop XRF arena.

“We sought an introduction to Bowman because of its advanced detector technology,” adds McCarthy, “and because their reputation is they’re very customer-centric. That’s very much in line with our philosophy as well.”


Xralizer 3.0 Released

March, 2019 – Xralizer 3.0 is a major milestone in Bowman analyzer development, fulfilling what customers have told us are their top priorities for XRF analysis:

  1. “Multi-method” Auto-Focus
    Bowman competitors support just one auto-focus method; Xralizer 3.0 offers multiple ways to focus; the operator just hits “measure” and the system does the rest, ensuring the sample is optimally focused before measurement.
  2. Element Al (see image, right) locates element peaks within the sample, identifies unknown samples, and flags contaminants.
  3. Material ID sorts unknown samples using our library of known standards. Operators get quantitative analysis with one quick click! Samples are classified by material grade, eliminating the need for hand-held XRF.

Xralizer 3.0 also has other important features:

  • Sample IQ warns if you’re measuring a sample with the wrong analysis file.
  • X-ray calibration routine guarantees accurate beam positioning at all focal distances.
  • Energy cal reminder.
  • Recert reminder helps you maintain ISO accreditation.

As always, software upgrades are free for Bowman XRF customers.

Photo Chemical Systems
Joins Bowman Network

March, 2019 – Bowman has announced the addition of Photo Chemical Systems to its global network of sales and service partners.

Headquartered in Knightdale, NC, with 5 offices serving 13 mid-Atlantic and southeastern states, Photo Chemical Systems specializes in capital equipment and process chemistry for the printed circuit industry.

According to Bowman President, Tom Leone, “PCS has an excellent reputation among board shops, and within the military sector; this makes them an excellent fit for Bowman. Our 5-year plan is to take the lead as America’s #1 manufacturer of precision XRF benchtop analyzers; I’m confident PCS will help us achieve that.”

Photo Chemical President Preston Averette adds, “The Bowman XRF line was recommended to us by our largest customer as the most direct – and most cost-effective route to compliance with IPC standards: both the ones that are official now, and the ones that are likely to follow. We were also impressed that Bowman units are highly suitable for solution testing – an important consideration.”

Unique Measurement Geometry and Entry-Level Price Distinguish Newest XRF System

January, 2019 – Bowman has re-introduced an important instrument in their suite of 7 benchtop XRF plating measurement systems.

Bowman’s G Series XRF is a robust system that’s ideally suited for jewelry and other precious metal analysis applications, also components such as fasteners and connectors.

Its two most distinctive features are “bottom-up” measurement using a motorized Z-axis with laser-based autofocus, and precision video imaging. An available manual XY stage with 1.5 X 1.5” travel facilitates easy positioning of small and large parts.

The standard G Series configuration includes a single fixed collimator, solid-state PIN detector, and long-life micro-focus x-ray tube. As with all Bowman models, the components can be upgraded to include multiple collimators, a variable focal camera, or an SDD detector.

Like others in the Bowman XRF portfolio, G Series instruments simultaneously measure 5 coating layers, and 10 elements in each layer.

“Home of Hubble” Picks Bowman XRF

November, 2018 – Goddard Space Flight Center, home to Hubble operations, the upcoming James Webb Telescope – and the nation’s largest organization of scientists and engineers dedicated to spacecraft and the study of the solar system, has chosen Bowman as its supplier of choice for XRF thin film measurement technology.

The Bowman XRF measurement system selected is a Model P, a system with the capability to measure an exceptionally wide range of sample sizes and shapes. At Goddard, the Model P will precisely analyze ENIG, ENEPIG and alloys on printed circuit boards.

Goddard engineers have extensive capability for designing and building sensitive instruments; one of the main factors that led to the purchase was Bowman’s IPC 4552A capability and the instrument’s ability to precisely determine phosphorus composition in electroless nickel through the gold layer for incoming PCBs. The Model P measures up to 5 coating layers simultaneously; In addition to plating thickness measurement, it also performs elemental and solution analysis.

The Bowman Model P XRF plating measurement system chosen by Goddard Space Flight Center (Greenbelt, MD) to analyze ENIG, ENEPIG and alloys on printed circuit boards.

Bowman Strengthens Baltic Sales Team

November, 2018 – Bowman announces the expansion of its international distribution team with the appointment of ANITEPO, a distributor and service provider of laboratory instruments with a specialty in x-ray imaging technology.

Headquartered in Warsaw and serving all of Poland, ANITEPO works throughout the metal producing sector, from foundries, to steel plants to metal products manufacturers, and is well known for its installations and service reputation in the automotive sector. The company also serves manufacturers of electronics and printed circuit boards, a diversity that matches perfectly with Bowman’s own.

Explains Bowman President Tom Leone, “the Bowman P Series XRF, which accommodates the widest range of sample sizes, shapes and quantities, is ideally suited for quality labs serving automotive. The W Series, which measures the smallest features in electronics, will give companies in that sector an important accuracy advantage – and ANITEPO an important competitive one.”

ANITEPO is owned by its Director, Artur Roznowski, who had a lengthy tenure as an electronics technician before founding ANITEPO in 2011.

“The competitive situation here is ripe for Bowman technology,” suggests Roznowski. “Our company has long sold an excellent instrument for measuring single elements. But customers are now looking for highly accurate, proven systems that measure multiple element layers. That is the definition of the Bowman, which measures up to 5 layers, all of which can be alloys.”

The other factor where Roznowski believes they have an edge is service. “From day one,” says Roznowski, “we will be able to provide expert installations, and ongoing service and repair for Bowman, as well as other major-brand XRF coating measurement systems.”

ANITEPO Director Artur Roznowski at EuroLAB, an international trade show for analytical, measurement and control computers.

Bowman Innovation Sets the Stage for Faster, More Agile QA Throughput

September, 2018 – Bowman, the premier manufacturer of world class, American-Made XRF measurement instruments, has introduced an extra-long, extended stage option for its XRF plating thickness instruments that are primarily used in the semiconductor / wafer manufacturing industry.

In this sector, circuit density, trace spacing, board gauge, aspect ratios and microvias dominate, and demand is strong for a way to measure more and smaller test points.

In some high-volume operations, rigid / flex boards can be as large as 610x530mm, and while it is impractical to cover that surface area in one pass, the Bowman extended stage option allows the task to be accomplished with just a single, quick re-positioning step.

The Bowman extended stage option had its genesis with two long-term PCB customers, independent of each other, who requested a 400x300mm (16×12”) table stock with a tabletop size of 800x600mm (32×24”).

A longer stroke potential and a more expansive tabletop has created an efficient and unprecedented new dynamic for quality labs throughout the microelectronics sector.

Bowman’s extended table precision is ±3µm. The option is now available for 3 of Bowman’s 7 XRF coating thickness instruments:
“P” Series “O Series” “M” Series