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CHICAGO In a September 27th ceremony during SMTA International, 19 Global Technology awards were presented to companies within the electronics manufacturing industry. Attentiveness to lead-free manufacturing and assembly automation garnered specific praise.
Aqueous Technologies Corporation of Rancho Cucamonga, Calif., received the cleaning equipment award for its self-cleaning wash tank. Designed without horizontal floor surfaces, the tank features multiple funnels mounted at the base. Water feeds into a small-diameter metal tube from these funnels at 15 ft/sec. The process pushes solder paste into a filter housing, reducing the possibility of contact between operators and hazardous chemicals in the pastes. The tank is available for SonicOne G3 stencil cleaning systems, with further availability on semi-automatic models by the end of 2006. The self-cleaning tank received an SMT Vision Award in 2006. To see coverage of the product, click here.
Indium Corporation of Utica, N.Y., received the soldering materials award for the Indium5.1AT lead-free solder paste. With an emphasis on end-product reliability, Indium created the formulation to minimize the impact of downtime on printed deposit volumes. The paste features ultra-low-voiding, which suits conditions for BGAs in microvia-in-pad soldering. To learn more about the paste, click here.
In cleaning materials, Kyzen Corporation's Micronox MX2188 low-COD aqueous precision cleaner was recognized. The Nashville, Tenn.-based company created the low-COD, low-VOC, non-flammable, non-corrosive, and recyclable cleaner to address challenges posed by lead-free manufacturing and RoHS regulations on environmentally hazardous materials. It is said to remove lead-free, water-soluble flux in tight pitches and with low standoff from the board. The material works with batch, in-line, or immersion cleaning systems. To see SMT's coverage of the product, click here.
In printing equipment, Shenzhen, China-based Icon Technologies won for the fully automatic screen printer Icon i8. The printing platform includes throughput and flexibility updates specifically designed for the Asian marketplace. New board introductions are facilitated by a short set-up and 12-sec. cycles. Compact auto-tooling, statistical process control (SPC), a fully programmable vacuum-under-stencil cleaner with wet and dry functions, and paste-on-pad solder verification are automated features on the machine. The Icon i8 prints at 2 150 mm/sec. on boards up to 350 × 300 mm.
Dage Precision Industries of Fremont, Calif., won the test equipment category for the 4000HS 3G high-speed bond tester. The bondtester detects brittle fracture failures in the ball-to-pad interconnection of lead-free BGA and CSP devices. Capabilities include digital transducer-signal processing, force versus displacement (FvD) curves, and fractional energy calculation.
Transition Automation, of North Billerica, Mass., won in the assembly tools category for the Permalex Paste Manager self-cleaning squeegee system. This system was equipped with an integrated active wiper system that clips paste from a squeegee with two small, precision-guided articulating wires. Squeegee motion passively actuates the system to wipe away solder paste after each pass. It cleans lead-free and tin/lead solder pastes. Find information about this product on our Website.
Inspection equipment AOI went to CyberOptics Corporation of Minneapolis, Minn. The company's Flex Ultra automated optical inspection (AOI) system features proprietary statistical appearance modeling (SAM) technology, and a single programming paradigm said to create low false call rates. Component offset measurement, 200- 450-mm configuration capacity, and 01005 recognition capabilities can be implemented pre- or post-reflow. The inspection system is featured on the SMT Website.
For its solder ball feeders, Europlacer won the assembly tools award. Headquartered in Dorset, U.K., the company produces solder ball feeders enabling ball placement within standard surface mount pick-and-place operations, while the machine assembles standard surface moutn device (SMD) parts. Design advantages include higher-density, cost savings, and solder ball usage with daughter board connections and shielding, according to the company. The technology is available in rotary and linear feeders.
BPM Microsystems, based in Houston, Texas, received a device programming award for the Helix programming system. When automated, the system uses two tube input and output handling systems, or a tray system, with eight programming sockets. After picking from the tube or tray, the system transfers parts to the socket, programs them, and then deposits finished parts to the final tray or tube. It does not require vision systems and manages throughput at 800 devices/hour, operating on two proprietary 7th generation FX4 socket sites. The Helix system received an SMT Vision Award in 2005.
Tempe, Ariz.-based FINETECH was the winner in the bonding equipment category with its FINEPLACER Pico automatic micro assembler (AMA). The modular platform accommodates flip-chip bonding with thermocompression, ultrasonic, or solder methods; dispensing; UV curing; fluxing; and other processes for optoelectronics, MEMS, multi-chip modules (MCMs), radio frequency identification (RFID) components, and sensors. The machine reportedly places with an accuracy of 5 µm at 3 sigma. Features include picture processing, self-propelled positioning, and automatic force generation.
Kester took the award for environmentally friendly products or services. The Des Plaines, Ill. company received recognition for the UltraPure K100LD lead-free bar solder alloy. With low copper dissolution and no silver content, the alloy comprises tin and copper with metallic dopants to control grain structure. Anti-drossing technology and a lack of shrinkage leave smooth, bright joints and topside fillets without bridges, according to the company. To learn more about the solder alloy, featured on our Website, click here.
Tyco Electronics of Willow Grove, Pa., took the ID systems category with its reel-to-reel RFID line. The system generates 9,000 cycles per hour (cph) with 12 µm placement repeatability at 3 sigma. In passive or active designs, the system performs direct die picks from wafers measuring .008" and larger. Positive displacement dispensing, modular construction, and capacity for ancillary components and tape-and-reel placement are also said to aid system effectiveness. The line was a 2004 SMT Vision Awards product.
The contract services award went to Wong Kong King Technology (WKK). Founded in 1986, WKK employs more than 3,800 people in Hong Kong headquarters, South China manufacturing facilities, and support offices throughout Hong Kong, the U.S., and Japan. Services recognized with this award include material sourcing and acquisition, manufacturing, test and inspection, and distribution. The company serves OEMs, original design manufacturers (ODMs), PCB assemblers, and systems assemblers.