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PCB MagazineThe 700 Series PCB magazine incorporates a belt-driven precision spindle system that reportedly allows for quick and easy setup to PCB width as well as parallelism of the side panels. The color-coding and consecutive numbering system on the side panels, along with the width scale, are said to help facilitate width adjustment. A transport safety lock keeps the PCBs from sliding out of the magazine during transport and can be automatically unlocked in a loading station. The magazine reportedly protects components from static discharge and can withstand temperatures up to 120°C. cab Technology Inc., Westford, Mass.

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Illumination ModuleThe UniversaLight illumination module reportedly offers a solution to the problem of imaging ceramic, flex and other substrates. The module includes a polarizing kit that is said to provide high-contrast images of light-colored ceramic substrates. Its wavelength can be selected to provide optimum image contrast on flexible circuits. The module consists of a support structure that holds eight LED petals and an inner LED ring. Each petal is a small PCB containing 10 LEDs of various wavelengths. The petals and inner ring can reportedly be exchanged in a plug-and-play fashion. Universal Instruments Corp., Binghamton, N.Y.

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Solder Paste MeasurementThe LaserVision SP2D solder paste inspection system combines laser measurement with automatic data collection for real-time control of SMT stencil printing. To obtain automated measurements, the operator positions the PCB in the desired measurement location under the system's measurement sensor. The operator then depresses a foot-switch, and the system calculates and displays solder paste height, width and average measurements. Volume can reportedly be automatically calculated and displayed by entering a fixed value for the pad length. ASC International, Minneapolis, Minn.

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Solder TestingThis company offers a free test-evaluation procedure performed on specific soldering applications. The customer supplies actual parts requiring soldering, tests are performed with a soldering robot, and a video cassette is prepared and presented to the customer at no charge. The soldering system used reportedly allows various operations from point-to-point to line soldering. The system memory can store ten different programs and 30 work centers defining various soldering program parameters. A range of soldering iron tips are available for use, as well as an optional fume-extracting system. I&J Fisnar Inc., Fair Lawn, N.J.

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Paperless Stencil CleanerThe Vortex on-board, paperless under-screen cleaner is said to eliminate the need for conventional paper rolls. It allows approximately 200 cleaning cycles to be completed before changeover. The cleaner replaces the paper roll and its mechanical delivery system with a reticulated foam cleaner, a snap-change cassette and a paper/charcoal activated filter that reportedly traps solder paste particles drawn off by vacuum. The foam is divided into three sections that provide all three cleaning functions (wet, vacuum-assisted and dry) in a single pass across the bottom of the stencil. DEK Inc., Flemington, N.J.

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Fine-pitch PlacerA computer-controlled guidance system, Preciplacer, includes a CCD camera vision system that reportedly permits mounting of devices such as 208 QFPs with 0.020" pitch. With optional parallax-free 20X dual-image viewing of two corners of each component, manual assembly of fine-pitch devices down to 0.013" is said to be possible. The system's patented pick-up head and arm automatically lock above each placement site, reportedly preventing placement errors. Manncorp, Huntingdon Valley, Pa.

CLEANING MATERIALS/EQUIPMENT

Hand and Glove WasherThe CleanTech 400 automatic hand and glove washer reportedly offers no-touch faucet options, a wall-mount option and water-resistant design. Made of durable cast polymer and polyethylene construction, it includes stainless-steel plumbing plate and solution tray enclosures. The washer has a patented rotating cylinder technology. Meritech Inc., Englewood, Colo.

VOC Resist StripperADF-35 is a low VOC resist stripper for inner layers that is exempt from SCAQMD regulations. It is reportedly suitable for removing fully aqueous dry films and screen-ink resists in spray applications. The stripper is said to produce large particles for easy filtration and less dissolved resist for a longer bath life. It contains anti-tarnish for an even copper finish. RBP Chemical Corp., Milwaukee, Wis.

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CleanerThe Sno-Gun II is said to remove particles as small as 0.1 μm, fingerprints and light oil from smooth, nonporous surfaces. This CO2 dry-ice-cleaning process reportedly does not scratch delicate surfaces found in semiconductor and optical industries. CO2 is nonconductive, which allows electronic components to be safely cleaned even while energized. The device's design includes a lightweight, balanced and ergonomic body; a trigger mechanism that allows one-hand operation with instant on/off control; a 0.5 μm filter inside the valve to provide point-of-use filtration; and interchangeable linear-flow nozzles, metering tubes and generating tubes. Va-Tran Systems Inc., Chula Vista, Calif.

Non-water-based SolventsThe company's three new non-water-based solvents, OS-10, OS-20 and OS-30, have been granted the Clean Air Solvent (CAS) Certificate after a review by the California South Coast Air Quality Management District. The materials are produced from volatile methylsiloxanes. To qualify for this status, the solvents had to meet the following criteria: 50 g/l or less of VOCs, no toxic constituents, no ozone-depleting compounds, no ingredients that contribute to global warming and low vapor pressure. Dow Corning Corp., Midland, Mich.

CONTRACT SERVICES

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One-stop ShopThis company has introduced a one-stop shop, product development and design services for the high-tech electronics industry. The program reportedly offers customers electronics manufacturing for PCB assembly, mechanical assembly, automated SMT and through-hole assembly, burn-in, box build and system integration, ICT, functional test and system-level test capabilities. The turnkey services are said to complement the company's total solutions model. Customers can receive board layout design engineering, prototype to high volume and DFM/DFT. Express Manufacturing Inc., Santa Ana, Calif.

Trade-in ProgramThis company's Preowned Equipment Group (PEG) is directing a trade-in program for its automated fluid-dispensing systems. This program provides an opportunity for customers to stay competitive by trading in older machines when purchasing the latest equipment. The PEG will work with customers to evaluate current dispensing needs and determine a plan to improve their production processes. A trade-in value will be assigned to existing dispensers, which can be credited toward the purchase of a new machine. Asymtek, Carlsbad, Calif.

HARDWARE/ACCESSORIES

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Bulk-fed Pins and SocketsThe SMarT Feed mounts on SMT placement systems to position bulk-fed interconnect parts. The feeder is designed to separate, feed and present loose, surface mountable parts to the vacuum pickup head of virtually any placement machine. Its vibratory bowl can reportedly be placed anywhere close to the pick-and-place system. Parts are fed through a tube to the feeder head, which can be positioned in a regular slot and quickly changed. Other features are said to include self-sensing feed replacement and automatic rejection of out-of-spec parts. Cambridge Automatic, Natick, Mass.

Pentium II Xeon Heat SinksThese two heat sinks 027846 (Intel enabled) and 028908 are optimized to cool single, dual or quad arrays of Intel's Pentium II Xeon microprocessor. Standard features include phase-change interface material, locating pins, holes for standard hardware and motherboard-attachment support. Thermal performance, based upon typical server airflow, is said to be 0.72°C/W for the 027846 and 0.73°C/W for the 028908. Aavid Thermal Products Inc., Concord, N.H.

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Vapor Spreader Heat SinkIntended for use with microprocessors, RF transmitters and IGBT power semiconductors, the Therma-Base heat sink uses a two-phase heat-transfer process that reportedly alleviates thermal-spreading resistance. The base of the heat sink is a thin vacuum vessel, the inside walls of which are lined with a powder metal wick that is saturated with working fluid. As heat is applied to a portion of the base, the fluid at that location vaporizes, rushing to fill the vacuum. Wherever the vapor comes in contact with a cooler wall surface, it condenses, releasing its latent heat of vaporization. The condensed fluid returns to the heat source via capillary action, ready to vaporize again. The device is said to be smaller, lighter and to require less airflow than traditional heat sinks. Thermacore Inc., Lancaster, Pa.

Semi-automatic Terminal Insertion SystemThe Model 9901 semi-automatic terminal insertion system is said to handle low to medium volumes of the company's selection of PCB terminals and connectors at speeds up to 5,000 pph. Modular tool sets ease changeover from one set to another. In addition, a locator light assists positioning of PCB holes over anvils. During the insertion cycle, all terminals are said to be automatically splayed and locked into place. An obstruction sensor aborts cycling if a foreign object interferes with operation. The system accommodates PCBs from 0.030 to 0.120" thick and up to 30 in2. Zierick Mfg. Corp., Mt. Kisco, N.Y.

ID/LABELING

Label LinesThe line of printers available from this company include: the Panther portable printers, which reportedly are designed for factory floors, warehouses and distribution centers, and include optional short-range RF- or IrDA-compliant wireless communications; the Allegro 2, a 4" printer for labeling piece parts and work-in-process, as well as inventory control and document tracking; and the Titan Series, which is said to offer easy media loading, on-board diagnostics and simple adjustments to accommodate a wide range of label and ribbon materials. Datamax, Orlando, Fla.

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Laser Production CenterThe SL 3020 is a self-contained laser cutting/marking system with a 30 x 20 x 12" work area. The system has the capability to mark and cut a variety of materials, including PCBs, plastics, ceramics and gaskets. The auto-focus feature allows the laser beam to automatically focus to the substrate. The laser beam moves from overhead on an ultra-high-speed 60" per second gantry system, while the product being cut/marked is held stationary. The controls operate in a Windows 98 environment, and a rich list of features is included. Online Inc., McHenry, Ill.

Printer Applicator MachineThe PAM 6000 reportedly has the ability to print and apply two labels of different size and material and maintain a cycle time of 3.5 seconds (within an 18 x 22" work envelope, including scan verification). It features two high-resolution (300 or 400 dots per inch) thermal-transfer printers and patented dispenser mechanisms that are said to allow thin or flexible label materials to be reliably dispensed. Two separate applicator pad and nozzle assemblies, mounted on a rotating head, transfer labels from the dispenser and apply them to a board or component with accuracy of ±0.020" at 3 sigma. Brady Worldwide Inc., Milwaukee, Wis.

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Temperature-resistant LabelsThe HeatShield series of temperature-resistant, printable polyester label materials is designed for high-temperature processing environments, up to 232°C for a duration of 30 minutes. It is suited for manufacturing and tracking applications where standard polyesters fail, such as labeling the topside of a PCB. The labels can be printed with any stand-alone thermal-transfer printer, for hand apply, or used in conjunction with printer applicators to automate the process. Imtec Inc., Bellow Falls, Vt.

INSPECTION EQUIPMENT

Single-board ComputerThe Thin Client, a single-board computer designed to provide intuitive graphical displays in embedded systems, now supports Microwave's OS-9 operating environment, reportedly providing real-time development and run-time capabilities. Additional capabilities if running OS-9 include a browser and the ability to support JAVA. At the core of the board is a 32-bit StrongARM microprocessor, which is said to feature power consumption less than or equal to 500 mW at 190 MHz with 233 MHz available. Applied Data Systems, Columbia, Md.

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All-inclusive InspectionFeaturing an 8 μm microfocus X-ray source and 300X maximum magnification, the NXR-20HR is an all-inclusive unit for verification and inspection of SMT boards using BGAs, flip chips, μBGAs and other high-density packages. It is designed to quickly and repeatedly identify hidden defects such as shorted or open solder joints, component misregistration, and voiding or unacceptable size variations in solder bumps. The X-ray system uses 5-axis sample manipulation (rotate and tilt, and X, Y and Z-axis movement) for image acquisitions. It has a 130 kV X-ray source, a power range from 5 to 30 W and an 8 μm focal spot. Nicolet Imaging Systems/Sierra Research & Technology, San Diego, Calif.

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PC-based Machine Vision SystemVisionscape is said to be a complete machine vision system on a single PCI board for the Pentium/Windows PC. The product features an on-board CPU running a real-time operating system, on-board vision acceleration hardware and built-in multiprotocol network connectivity. In addition to accommodating OCV, bar-code reading and Data Matrix reading, Visionscape is said to support up to four analog cameras, advanced digital cameras, on-board SVGA display, digital and analog I/O, built-in serial communications and network support, and a Windows NT or 95 GUI. The system also provides a machine vision applications-development environment with Visual Basic access to underlying ActiveX controls. Robotic Vision Systems Inc., Acuity CiMatrix Div., Canton, Mass.

PCB InspectionThe Stereo Dynascope VS7 features zoom magnification to 60X. The direct and oblique viewing modes are said to offer the flexibility to thoroughly inspect and rework PCBs. The oblique mirrors are motorized and reportedly have 360° rotating capabilities to look completely around the component or solder joint. The indexing table has a quick-release PCB holder and is available with fume extraction. Vision Engineering, New Milford, Conn.

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3-D X-ray Inspection ToolCombining high-resolution microfocus X-ray technology with computer-aided 3-D reconstruction analysis, the μ-3-D Visualiser is engineered to perform 2-D and 3-D off-line failure analysis of electronic packages, interconnections and multilayer boards. Technologies accommodated include BGA, μBGA, flip chip, J-lead, CSP and MCM. The device uses a tomosynthesis method of PCB analysis that enables nondestructive and fast slicing in the horizontal and vertical planes. In addition, the tool reconstructs all layers from a single image acquisition cycle. Measurement capabilities in the X, Y and Z axes are available. FeinFocus USA Inc., Simi Valley, Calif.

Image ProcessorIntended for use with the company's line of RTX real-time X-ray inspection systems, the RTQ.5 image processor is aimed at BGA assembly, advanced component and multilayer PCB applications. Supporting both push-button-actuated and menu-selectable image processing, the device features advanced electronic zoom and panning capabilities, on-screen text labeling, time and date display, 3-D appearing image enhancement and pseudo-color capabilities. Five distance measurement styles are available, including solder bump pitch spacing and center-to-center spacing. A 32-image memory is also provided. Glenbrook Technologies Inc., Morris Plains, N.J.

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BGA X-ray SystemThe Model LF-85-5XX-OS Series tabletop real-time X-ray inspection system was developed for inspecting BGAs and similar components where penetration of the solder bump is not required. Engineered to identify bridges, solder flow, bump size and bump configuration, the device reportedly operates at 0 to 50 kV, 0.2 mA with a 100 μm focal spot. Its collimated X-ray beam can also detect distances of 3, 6 or 9" fixed opening and a 12" depth. It is available in 25 or 50 mm fields of view. CCD camera/monitor systems are available for remote viewing, and images can be downloaded to or interfaced with a PC for in-line inspection. Lixi Inc., Downers Grove, Ill.

REPAIR/REWORK

Multifunction WorkstationThe Pace Tech Center combines the PRC 1500 rework system, spare parts and accessories, with this company's Workcenter in one package. The PRC 1500 unit incorporates Pace's MBT 250A with its programmable ThermoFlo technology. The center includes a microscope with a swivel joint and rugged boom stand to facilitate positioning, as well as adjustable multi-position halogen lamps. A two-day training course, explaining the basic skills needed to operate the center, is also included. Circuit Technology Center Inc., Haverhill, Mass.

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Rework SystemThe SNIPER is designed to accurately and consistently align and place CSPs, μBGAs, CBGAs and other SMT components in rework, prototype and low-volume build applications. It is said to integrate quick target acquisition; automatic pneumatic component placement; and high-power, low-temperature component removal and replacement in one machine. A split image of the component and PCB component pattern is viewed on a 21" monitor that is supplied with the system, and all axes are adjustable within a vacuum-locked PCB work table. In addition, all necessary temperature profiles are said to be stored within the machine. A.P.E. Inc., Key Largo, Fla.

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PGA Insertion/ExtractionPGA-X insertion/extraction tools are adjustable for 9 x 9 to 26 x 26 pin sizes. The units are said to offer smooth, even lead-screw operation, preventing damage to boards, pins or sockets. Single-hand operation lifts parts evenly without damage to device, socket or board. Adjacent components can be as close as 0.100" without interfering with the operation of the tool. OK Industries, a Div. of OK International, Yonkers, N.Y.

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Digital Desoldering SystemFeatures of the ST 105 self-contained digital desoldering station include a quiet vacuum pump, a backlit illuminated LCD, and a kickstand to ease programming and viewing. Also, the Auto Snap-Vac feature provides a minimum vacuum on-time, which is designed to improve desoldering performance, reduce maintenance and extend tip life. This system comes standard with the SensaTemp SX-70 Sodr-X-Tractor handpiece; it can be converted to a full-range SMT and through-hole system with other optional SensaTemp handpieces. Pace Inc., Laurel, Md.

PICK-AND-PLACE

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Rotary Turret PlacementThe FINESSE reportedly offers a throughput rate of 10,000 cph with a feeder capacity of 198 8 mm tapes. The system can place a wide range of components, from 0402s to 50 mm2 QFPs. The feeder capacity is augmented by an internal waffle tray area, and the system may also be configured with a 30-channel waffle tray sequencer. All feeder locations are said to be intelligent, and programmable with respect to component type, inventory and pick-up correction. The system is also equipped with the company's "smart" nozzle system. Europlacer North America, Newbury Port, Mass.

SOFTWARE

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Reflow Tracking SoftwareThe latest software for the Reflow Tracking System reportedly features one-time process setup, simplifying data input and allowing for instant recall. Oven/product parameters, such as zone set temperatures, line speed and probe location, are only set once. Software icons are available to create the exact location of heating elements, baffles, thermocouples and circulation fans. The integrity of entered data is said to be guaranteed with password-protected access preventing unauthorized use. The software features real-time data analysis through RF or direct download. Datapaq Inc., Wilmington, Mass.

Package Manufacturing SoftwareEPCostModel software is said to be a full-featured cost modeling tool specifically tailored to the electronic packaging industry. The tool is said to take a range of factors into consideration when determining manufacturing cost, including different manufacturing facilities, varying delivery rates, labor inflation, learning curves, rework, equipment and floor space requirements, and facility investments. Operation sequences can be altered and inspection steps added or deleted. The report produced ranks significant cost drivers that may help identify cost savings. Initial templates are provided for PCB, LTCC, MCM-D and thick film substrate technologies as well as a chip and wire-assembly technology. Relative Metrics Inc., Austin, Texas.

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BIST SoftwareIncorporated into the company's logic built-in-self-test (BIST) synthesis product LBIST Architect, this BIST software is engineered to test high-performance, multifrequency electronic systems at their true operating speeds. The product is suited for engineers designing ICs with multiple clocks operating at various frequencies, such as those used in telecommunications, digital entertainment and data processing applications. In addition, the company's MBIST Architect now features memory BIST technology called BIST-In-Place. Intended for system-on-chip designs, this technology is said to automatically add and switch BIST circuitry from embedded memories to chip I/O, and merge BIST initiation patterns with both logic BIST and automatic test pattern generation. Mentor Graphics Corp., Wilsonville, Ore.

Component Placement SoftwareFeaturing visible placement areas and graphical design manager views, InterPlace software is intended to provide interactive component placement during PCB design. Design data, including components, nets, partitions, rooms, net classes and class-to-class information, is provided in hierarchical format. Partitions help to define boundaries for assembling like components, such as analog vs. digital devices. Grouping of components can be accomplished by identifying component traits, such as height, placement side and package size. The software is Windows 95 and NT compatible. ACCEL Technologies Inc., San Diego, Calif.

Circuit Design SoftwareICAP/4Windows v8.x.6 is an enhanced version of the company's analog and mixed signal circuit design tool. Among the new features are simulation templates command scripts that direct the IsSpice4 simulator to perform simulation and data analysis. Scripts currently available perform worst case, RSS, sensitivity and EVA analysis for AC, DC and transient analysis as well as operating point analysis. These templates are said to change parameters one at a time, measure and record the resulting changes in circuit operation, and provide a summarized report with user-defined measurements. Other new features include scripted Monte Carlo, new SPICE models and Design Validator. Intusoft, San Pedro, Calif.

SOLDERING MATERIALS

No-clean Solder PastesThe F369 Series no-clean solder pastes are designed for high-volume, high-speed printing up to 6" per second. The pastes reportedly provide good wetting, particularly on OSP substrates, and good print-to-print consistency, with an eight-hour tack and work life. They are ready-to-use homogenous mixtures consisting of fully alloyed metal powders, binders, solvents and thixotropic agents. The series is available in two different alloys and powder mesh sizes. Heraeus Inc., Cermalloy Div., West Conshohocken, Pa.

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