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Encapsulant Prevents Mechanical, Chemical Stresses

(August 21, 2007) WILTON, Conn. — Momentive Performance Materials launched a two-part fluorosilicone encapsulant, FRV138, to protect components from chemicals, temperature, and mechanical stresses in harsh operating environments. End-use sectors include automotive, aerospace, and chemical.

Test-and-Inspection Collaboration Enhances Portability

(August 21, 2007) RICHARDSON, Texas and SANTA CLARA, Calif. — ASSET InterTech Inc. and Agilent Technologies Inc. extended a long-term sales, marketing, and licensing agreement, installing ASSET's ScanWorks JTAG systems into Agilent's 3070, Medalist i5000, and i3070 in-circuit test (ICT) equipment. This pact will reportedly reduce test costs and allow increased test migration at electronic equipment manufacturers and contract manufacturers (CMs).

DoD Adds to MCM Contract with EI

(August 21, 2007) ENDICOTT, N.Y. — The U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) awarded Endicott Interconnect Technologies, Inc. (EI), a $19 million contract modification to existing work, requiring additional multi-chip module (MCM) assemblies and equipment. EI provides fully assembled MCMs for a high-reliability, high-performance DoD computing application.

IPC Studies Global Development, Microelectronics

(August 21, 2007) BANNOCKBURN, Ill. — IPC — Association Connecting Electronics Industries commissioned in-depth market studies on strategies for global expansion and microelectronics trends and technologies. BPA Consulting (Dorking, Surrey, U.K.) and Prismark Partners (Cold Spring Harbor, N.Y.) will conduct the research. IPC's Executive Market Forum oversees the project, and will publish the final reports.

Solectron Wins Multi-Year Manufacturing Services Contract With LSI for Storage Systems

Solectron will provide manufacturing services for the LSI Engenio(TM) storage systems.

DEK Puts Local Imprint on Website

(August 20, 2007) FLEMINGTON, N.J. — DEK introduced a regional-content feature to its website, enabling visitors to view product, process, and company information in local languages and tailored to the production parameters of a region. Users select Asia, Europe, or U.S. content when entering the site.

Manncorp Releases XBox Rework Solution

(August 20, 2007) SAN DIEGO, Calif. and WILLOW GROVE, Pa. — Manncorp and Bernhard Martin released a study on Microsoft XBox failures, along with a rework proposal for repairs on the gaming console's motherboards. Manncorp determined that insufficient reflow led to cold solder joints on CSPs and BGAs in the CPU and GPU. It proposes reflowing these components in place in a 200-sec. procedure on its Manncorp Expert 04.6× gaming console repair station.

Photo Stencil Names Favre CEO

(August 20, 2007) COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — Photo Stencil named Keith Favre president and CEO, effective later this month. Favre will resign the post of vice president, marketing and business development, Speedline Technologies (Franklin, Mass.), immediately.

EMS Webinar Covers Account Acquisitions

(August 17, 2007) EL PASO, Texas — The third of a four-part Webinar series, "Guide to Building a Competitive EMS Brand," will focus on acquiring OEM accounts. Presenter Susan Mucha, Powell-Mucha Consulting, Inc., will review lead qualification, sales call efficiency, and marketing effectiveness. "EMS Account Acquisition Strategy," August 22 from 1–2:30 EST, is co-sponsored by the SMTA.

Melt-processable Molding for High Temps

(August 17, 2007) WEST CONSHOHOCKEN, Pa. — Victrex launched its T-series TF-60C compound, a proprietary blend of PEEK polymer, Celazole polybenzimidazole (PBI), and carbon-fiber reinforcement. The material can replace polyimides and metals in semiconductor and electronics assembly.

Apple Guides Chip Design, iSuppli Reports

(August 16, 2007) EL SEGUNDO, Calif. — Apple Inc.'s iPhone release bumped up the company's influence on semiconductor design in the first half of 2007, analyst firm iSuppli Corp. reports. Its regional design influence tool (RDIT) shows Apple's design activity has a significant effect on the global electronics supply chain.

Digi-Key Distributes Johanson Capacitors

(August 16, 2007) THIEF RIVER FALLS, Minn. and SYLMAR, Calif. — Digi-Key Corporation will globally distribute ceramic chip capacitors from Johanson Dielectrics, Inc., under an agreement signed by both companies. Johanson offers standard and high-voltage SMT capacitors, X2Y decoupling and filtering capacitors, and various standard and custom related products.

CM Qualifies Cleaner for High Mix

(August 16, 2007) MANASSAS, Va. — ZESTRON qualified its VIGON SC 202 cleaning chemistry for a global high-mix/low-volume contract manufacturer (CM), under tests for leaded and lead-free solder removal, and other parameters. The manufacturer, in the top 10 EMS providers, according to Zestron, produces assemblies in a broad range of end markets.

Robinson Oversees Tyco Operations

(August 15, 2007) BERWYN, Pa. — Tyco Electronics Ltd. named Michael Robinson senior vice president of operations to lead its strategic purchasing, manufacturing, logistics, and quality assurance (QA) functions.

Teknek Focuses on U.S.

(August 15, 2007) INCHINNAN, Scotland, U.K. — Teknek named Callum Campbell as U.S. regional sales manager to increase U.S. activity, launch contact cleaning technologies, and develop new markets.

Votron Reps IMS in Canada

(August 15, 2007) PORTSMOUTH, R.I. — International Manufacturing Services, Inc. (IMS), named Votron Electronics as its Canada representative.

Arrow Offers China Supply Chain Advice

(August 15, 2007) MELVILLE, N.Y. — William E. Mitchell, chairman, president, and CEO, Arrow Electronics, Inc., released the company's internal quality control (QC) guidance for electronics manufacturers looking to lessen risk in China. Arrow operates more than 20 sites in China.

Rounded Test Pins Facilitate Assembly

(August 15, 2007) WEST WARWICK, R.I. — Advanced Interconnections Corp. established a line of standard and custom Test Point Pins, designed with rounded terminal heads to protect assemblers during production and post-assembly board handling. The pins are screw-machined for increased durability.

FCXO Line Expanded for Complex Timing

(August 15, 2007) HUDSON, N.H. — Vectron International broadened its frequency translator frequency controlled crystal oscillator (FCXO) family with the C3430, suited to wireline and wireless infrastructure, test-and-measurement, and military applications. The components convert one input frequency to up to four independent output frequencies.

FINETECH Names Sales Director

(August 14, 2007) TEMPE, Ariz. — Neil O'Brien will take the position of director of sales at FINETECH. With the company since 2001, O'Brien previously served as eastern region sales manager.

Valor Adds Executives to Board

(August 14, 2007) YAVNE, Israel — Valor Computerized Systems appointed Kobi Rozengarten chairman of its board, and named Raviv Zoller the board's director.

Crane Acquires Rugged Electronics Unit

(August 14, 2007) STAMFORD, Conn. — Crane Co. acquired the mobile rugged business (MRB) unit from Kontron America, Inc. MRB produces computers, electronics, and flat panel displays (FPDs) for harsh-environment applications. It totaled $25 million in 2006 sales, and was acquired for $26.6 million, cash.

Manufacturing Monitor Streamlines Operations

(August 14, 2007) EINDHOVEN, the Netherlands — Assembléon released the 2.0 version of its A-Series Assembléon Manufacturing Suite (AMS), with an open architecture for connecting to factory-automation software and enterprise-wide systems. The company introduced the module to support SMT manufacturing processes from data preparation through parts warehousing.

Verdant Names Advisory Board

(August 13, 2007) SUNNYVALE, CA — Verdant Electronics named more than 15 members from packaging, interconnect, PCB, and related industries to its board of advisors, including Happy Holden, Werner Engelmaier, and others. These contributors helped frame the Occam package-first assembly method that Verdant recently introduced, and will bring the process from concept to development, said Joe Fjelstad, president, Verdant.

NBS Expands PCB Layout Business

(August 13, 2007) SANTA CLARA, Calif. — NBS Design expanded its PCB layout business operations to two satellite locations, increasing the EMS provider's presence in the value-add service area. NBS began production in a Dallas, Texas, facility in July 2007, and plans to open its Nashua, N.H., location this August.

PCB Maker Enters Solar Cell Production

(August 13, 2007) TAIPEI, Taiwan — Unitech Printed Circuit Board Corp. (UPCB) began construction of its first solar cell factory. The facility occupies 576,000 sq.ft. of land in Yilan, Taiwan, and is expected to ramp to pilot production in May 2008. Solar cell manufacturing shares many common processes with PCB production, reports CENS, and UPCB hopes to bolster revenues by about $3 billion (Taiwan — $90 million U.S.) yearly with the first production line in its solar cell unit.

High-tensile Thermal Interface Material

(August 10, 2007) MAHWAH, N.J. — Targeting long-term use and reworkable assemblies, MH&W International launched the Keratherm 86/82 high-tensile-strength thermal interface material (TIM). It is thermally conductive and electrically isolating, comprising silicone film with a fiberglass layer.

Exopack Acquires Electronics Films Division

(August 10, 2007) SOUTH HADLEY, Mass. and SPARTANBURG, S.C. — InteliCoat Technologies sold its electronic and engineered films (EEF) business unit to Exopack Holding, Inc., for an undisclosed amount. The division gives Exopack a European facility and new markets.

Military Components Updated

(August 10, 2007) RENO, Nev. — EM Research, Inc., updated its available frequency-synthesizer components for military and harsh-environment applications. These include miniature, multi-purpose, and Ku-band varieties, in tin/lead or lead-free options.

Speedline Appoints Head Executive

(August 9, 2007) FRANKLIN, Mass. — Speedline Technologies named Scott Koizumi its vice president and general manager, succeeding Pierre de Villemejane. Koizumi has served at the executive level with Illinois Tool Works (ITW), Speedline's parent company, for almost 10 years.

Qualmark Ships HALT/HASS to Japan

(August 9, 2007) DENVER — Qualmark Corporation sold a Typhoon Chamber HALT/HASS system to a major consumer-electronics manufacturer in Japan. The country provides advanced electronic components and products, said Charles Johnston, president and CEO, Qualmark, adding that this niche suits use of accelerated test systems to help bring products to market.

OMRON Opens India Auto Subsidiary

(August 9, 2007) TOKYO — OMRON Corporation established an automotive electronics sales and production subsidiary, Omron Automotive Components India PVT Ltd. (OAI), in Haryana, India, citing capital investments by major auto makers in the country. As Omron's first India investment, the division will operate as a direct subsidiary of its automotive electronics components business (AEC).

Making Solderless Supply Chains Work

(August 8, 2007) SANTA CLARA, Calif. — Verdant Electronics introduced Occam, a solderless method of package-to-PCB interconnection, with predictions that eliminating solder and plating packages directly to circuit traces would streamline the electronics assembly supply chain, in addition to circumventing reliability issues with various solder metallurgies.

Call for Speakers on Reliability

(August 8, 2007) AUSTIN, Texas — IPC and JEDEC are soliciting speakers for the Global Conference on Lead-free Reliability and Reliability Testing for RoHS Lead-free Electronics, December 3–5 in Austin. Non-commercial papers, tutorials, and workshops will cover design through test-and-inspection, as well as solder alloys, component moisture levels, and modeling.

Green Materials for Flex Circuits

(August 7, 2007) ROGERS, Conn. — The advanced circuits division of Rogers Corporation (ACMD) released a halogen-free, RoHS-compliant transparent epoxy polyimide laminate product line, R/flex JADE A, which targets flexible circuit needs in portable electronics, computing, packaging, and other applications.

LGI Adds Japan RoHS Labeling

(August 7, 2007) PORTLAND, Ore. — LGInternational (LGI) launched a Japan RoHS label line, including standard and custom compliant and content labels. The labels suit marking of electrical and electronic equipment in accordance with the Japanese Industrial Standard JIS C 0959:2005 (Japan RoHS or J-MOSS).

SEMs Examine Wide Substrate Range

(August 6, 2007) HILLSBORO, Ore. — FEI released its Nova NanoSEM 30 series of field-emission scanning-electron microscopes (SEMs), designed to analyze and characterize a range of materials, perform lithography and deposition prototyping, and host in-situ experimentation and testing.

Raytheon Honors Military EMS Provider

(August 6, 2007) CRANSTON, R.I. — Raytheon Integrated Defense Systems (IDS — Tewksbury, Mass.) awarded Federal Electronics its "3 Star" supplier excellence award.

Jabil Splits Consumer, EMS Operations

(August 6, 2007) ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Jabil Circuit Inc.'s Board of Directors approved the company's plan to establish consumer electronics and EMS divisions, focused on design, time-to-market, and other concerns of each sector. The divisions will begin separate operations September 1, 2007.

Taiyo Launches Interactive Website

(August 3, 2007) Carson City, Nev. — Solder mask manufacturer Taiyo America introduced a redesigned website, with a video tour, photos, and certification and compliance documents.

Novel Apps Reshape Mobile Electronics

(August 3, 2007) SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — The global handset market will experience design, component, and assembly changes by 2012, caused by Apple's iPhone offerings, alternative networks, mobile video and TV, and corporate-liable subscriptions, according to In-Stat's report, "Big Trends Influencing the Global Handset Market."

Prototyper Sponsors Networking Research

(August 3, 2007) CANBY, Ore. — Screaming Circuits added University of Texas at Dallas (UTD) researchers to its sponsorship program, creating prototype wired and wireless networking assemblies for students in the Open Networking Advancing Researching (OpNeAR) laboratory.

Henkel Adds North American Distributor

(August 3, 2007) IRVINE, Calif. — Henkel Corporation partnered with Production Automation Corporation (PAC), extending its distribution network in the U.S. and Mexico. PAC will market and support Henkel's Hysol, Loctite, and Multicore electronics assembly and semiconductor packaging materials.

DEK Plans Ceremonious Shenzhen Opening

(August 2, 2007) WEYMOUTH, U.K. — DEK will host SMTA members, customers, suppliers, and local government representatives at a grand opening for its Shenzhen, China, manufacturing facility on August 27, 2007. The facility will expand the company's production capacity for entry-level and medium-range printer platforms, and support for Asia-Pacific customers.

U.S. Launches Largest Counterfeit Components Raid

(August 2, 2007) WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents, assisted by electronics industry representatives, executed a large-scale raid on businesses and residences suspected of imports, sales and distribution, and installation of illegal modification chips (mods) and other IP violations. The investigation, comprising 32 federal search warrants in 16 states, and 22 ICE offices, targeted illegal chip and software manufacture for gaming consoles.

PROMATION Debuts Low-cost Options

(August 1, 2007) PLEASANT PRAIRIE, Wis. — PROMATION released next-generation versions of its PCB transfer conveyors and in-line PCB work stations, featuring tiered pricing measures. The company also released an E-Series line of handling solutions for cost-sensitive markets.

Final Finishes Producer Expands Headquarters

(August 1, 2007) ONTARIO, Calif. — Uyemura International Corporation (UIC) moved its North America headquarters to an expanded facility in Ontario.

Solderless PCBAs Use Reverse-order Interconnection

(August 1, 2007) SANTA CLARA, Calif. — Verdant Electronics will develop a PCB and PCB assembly (PCBA) technique, Occam, that eliminates soldering in favor of an encapsulation and plating process. The reverse-order interconnection process directly connects component terminations with circuit traces, and may eliminate issues with lead-free assembly.

Enthone Constructs Plating Lab

(July 31, 2007) WEST HAVEN, Conn. — Enthone Inc., a business of Cookson Electronics, began construction on its advanced plating applications laboratory in West Haven. The facility will host multiple dedicated plating lines for printed wiring board (PWB) final finishes, connector platings, and other surface finishing techniques.

June Book-to-Bill Hovers Above Parity

(July 30, 2007) BANNOCKBURN, Ill. — The combined June Book-to-Bill ratio for rigid and flex circuits remains just at parity, reports IPC — Association Connecting Electronics Industries from its monthly North American PCB Statistical Program.

Henkel Commemorates Yantai Solder Sphere Facility Opening

(July 30, 2007) YANTAI, China — The electronics group of Henkel marked the grand opening of its Yantai, China, solder sphere production facility, welcoming more than 300 guests and employees to the ceremony. This event follows the 2006 acquisition of Accurus Scientific Company Limited, a Taiwan-based solder sphere manufacturer.

CMC Names Principal Laboratory Analyst

(July 27, 2007) TEMPE, Ariz. — CMC Interconnect Technologies promoted Erich Rubel to principal analyst. Rubel is experienced in failure analysis (FA), focused on advanced materials and electronic interconnect technologies across device, package, and board levels.

Stencil Cleaning Roll for Lead-free

(July 27, 2007) EAST WINDSOR, Conn. — High-Tech Conversions, Inc., released the GREEN MONSTER, an ESD stencil-wiping roll that is lead-free compatible. The roll uses coarse fibers and a porous weave to remove solder paste from SMT stencils.

P.D. Circuits Continues China Development

(July 27, 2007) HAMPSTEAD, N.H. — P.D. Circuits, Inc., completed the first phase of its China printed wiring board (PWB) supply-chain management group development. It will begin "Phase 2" with recruitment and training.

Printer Integrates Inspection, Alignment

(July 26, 2007) FRANKLIN, Mass. — Speedline Technologies introduced its next-generation MPM printer to the North American market with enhanced signal communication and minimized cabling and wires. The Momentum is a general-purpose printer targeting reliability, flexibility, and simplified operation, according to the company.

Shuttle System Increases Print Flexibility

(July 26, 2007) AESCH, Switzerland — The SP600 batch printer from ESSEMTEC optimizes automation with a proprietary shuttle system that targets simplified substrate loading/unloading, and fully programmable print processes. The system targets medium-volume production or stand-alone use for special jobs and over-capacity runs.

Taiwan PCB Maker Orders Camtek AOI

(July 25, 2007) MIGDAL HAEMEK, Israel — Camtek will install 44 next-generation automated optical inspection (AOI) systems, and upgrade existing systems to meet more advanced requirements, for a PCB manufacturer based in Taiwan. The multi-million-dollar order will be implemented over Q'03 and '04 2007.

Hot-air Station Stabilizes Rework Temps

(July 25, 2007) APEX, N.C. — The Weller WHA900 hot-air station from Cooper Hand Tools uses closed-loop feedback control to maintain a set temperature at the nozzle, regardless of airflow rate. A sensor in the nozzle adjusts heat output to stabilize at a pre-selected applied temperature, enabling lead-free and precise rework of SMD components.

Flexible Lead-free Flux System

(July 25, 2007) LONDONDERRY, N.H. — Cobar Solder Products released a flux system in paste or liquid media to complement the SN100C lead-free solder alloy. SN100C is a non-SAC alloy that reportedly provides long-term reliability and reduced copper erosion. The flux system is appropriate to wave, reflow, selective, and hand soldering.

CMK Expands Thailand Facility

(July 24, 2007) BANGKOK, Thailand — CMK Corporation, a Japan-based PCB manufacturer, will invest 4 billion baht (12 billion yen — $99 million) to raise its production capacity in the region. By March 2008, CMK plans to output 100,000 sq.m./month of PCBs, nearly doubling its capacity.

SMTA, Canon Reunite for Electronics West

(July 24, 2007) MINNEAPOLIS — The SMTA entered a cooperation agreement with Canon Communications LLC to support select, inter-related shows, including Canon's Electronics West and SMTA's Medical Electronics Conference in 2008. The agreement covers endorsement, attendee promotions, and conference development.

Miyachi Unitek Creates Spanish Website

(July 23, 2007) MONROVIA, Calif. — To serve customers in Spanish-speaking regions, Miyachi Unitek launched a Spanish-language website for its reflow soldering power supplies and related products.

Unovis Names Automation Partner

(July 23, 2007) BINGHAMTON, N.Y. — Unovis Solutions signed a strategic partnership with baumann Automation (Amberg, Germany) to expand its assembly solutions and global support to semiconductor, automotive, and telecommunications assembly customers.

ACI Adds Two-day Turn for Counterfeit Prevention

(July 20, 2007) PHILADELPHIA — As part of its efforts to eliminate counterfeit components, the American Competitiveness Institute (ACI) developed a component-verification program for independent and franchised distributors, contract manufacturers (CMs) and EMS providers, and OEMs. Components are tested to the IDEA-STD-1010-A standard within a two-day turn time.

Abstracts Due for Pan Pac

(July 20, 2007) KAUAI, Hawaii — Paper abstract submissions for the SMTA's Pan Pacific Microelectronics Symposium (Pan Pac), January 22–24, 2008, in Kauai, are due July 20, 2007, with title and author contact information attached. The full presentations, if selected, will be due on November 9.

Flip Chip Kicks off Seminar Series

(July 20, 2007) SHANGHAI, China — Universal Instruments will hold a free seminar on August 10, 2007, at its Advanced Process Laboratory in Shanghai, focusing on flip-chip assembly processes, materials, and requirements. The seminar is open to customers and all interested parties.

Prototron Names Sales Teams

(July 19, 2007) REDMOND, Wash. — Dave Ryder, president and owner of Prototron Circuits, named East and West Coast sales managers, Tom Carney and Russ Adams, respectively. Carney and Adams will divide the U.S. territory.

EMS Hub at Productronica

(July 19, 2007) MUNICH, Germany — Productronica 2007, November 13–16, will recognize the growing EMS industry with "EMS Village," a focused product exhibit area, networking platform, and EMS gathering spot. The number of exhibitors in the EMS area will be 25% higher than in 2005, with Sanmina-SCI, VOGT, and Schlafhorst among those featured at the Village. At Productronica Forum, research and industry specialists will discuss EMS economic and technological trends.

Private Equity Acquires Selective Soldering Company

(July 19, 2007) SPOKANE, Wash. — GaitherCapital acquired Robotic Process Systems, Inc. (RPS), which will become RPS Automation LLC under the new investor. GaitherCapital is a private equity firm based in the San Francisco Bay Area. Jess Baker, an RPS founder, will become president of the selective soldering company, with expanded management including GaitherCapital members.

Chip Shipments to Asia Vary by Region

(July 18, 2007) EL SEGUNDO, Calif. — Total semiconductor shipments in greater China — encompassing mainland, Hong Kong, and Taiwan — showed steady growth in 2006, up 11.8%. Semiconductor shipments to mainland China and Hong Kong grew about 15.8%, but shipments to Taiwan were relatively flat, according to iSuppli. Japan has developed into a key consumer of MEMS components.

ZESTRON Studies Cleaning Costs

(July 18, 2007) MANASSAS, Va. — ZESTRON compiled data from medium- to high-throughput in-line cleaning processes to determine "true" costs of assembly cleaning with commonly used cleaning agents. The resulting study can be used to optimize an assembler's processes, reducing costs and improving final products, according to the company.

Digi-Key Distributes ATS Heatsinks

(July 17, 2007) NORWOOD, Mass. and THIEF RIVER FALLS, Minn. — Advanced Thermal Solutions Inc. (ATS) partnered with Digi-Key, who will offer more than 380 heatsinks for BGA and other high-power device cooling through its print and online catalogs. Design engineers can procure individual ATS heatsinks for prototyping and testing, or larger production volumes.

Traceability Kit Partnership

(July 17, 2007) PHILADELPHIA — Aegis Industrial Software Corporation and Practical Components Inc. partnered to release the Aegis Traceability and Control Validation Kit, which will be distributed through Practical's 2007 catalog. The kit is based on Aegis methods for rating traceability, and targets manufacturers proving, communicating, or updating capabilities.

Updated Report: TFI Finds EMS Returned to Profitability

(July 17, 2007) ALAMEDA, Calif. — Technology Forecasters, Inc. (TFI), released three "Quarterly Forum" reports, surveying the EMS/original design manufacturer (ODM) business sector, opportunities in packing and transportation logistics for integrated EMS/ODM companies, and the strategic points for medical electronics assembly. TFI found that the EMS industry returned to profitability in 2006, yet ODMs still outpaced EMS.

IPC Pilots International Relations Division

(July 16, 2007) BANNOCKBURN, Ill. — IPC — Association Connecting Electronics Industries created an international relations (IR) division, in response to its board's interest in long-term global influence and establishing local programs and services for international members.

Intel Joins OLPC Board

(July 16, 2007) CAMBRIDGE, Mass. and SANTA CLARA, Calif. — Under a collaboration agreement, Intel Corporation will join the board of One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) and will work with the non-profit group to bring technologies and education to children in developing nations. Intel and OLPC will explore synergies in technologies, educational content, and other programs.

Valor, Freedom CAD Extend Partnership

(July 13, 2007) YAVNE, Israel — Valor Computerized Systems Ltd. will implement additional Enterprise 3000 design for manufacturability (DfM) verification software into certified design partner Freedom CAD's high-end PCB service bureau. Under the marketing and technology agreement, Freedom CAD targets faster time-to-market and reduced end-customer costs for PCB design verification through Valor's systems.

Software Automates Symbol Generation in PCB Design

(July 13, 2007) ROCHESTER, N.Y. — Further automating the design process, specifically symbol creation, EMA Design Automation will offer Perception Software's SymXpert to customers.

EI Qualifies China Site

(July 12, 2007) ENDICOTT, NY — Endicott Interconnect Technologies, Inc. (EI), has conditionally qualified its Shenzhen, China, assembly operation dedicated to high-volume commercial applications. The facility, 40,000-sq.ft. production space leased from Lorom Industrial Co. (Taipei, Taiwan), is ramping for full production.

DEK Names Business Manager

(July 12, 2007) SAN JOSE, Calif. — DEK appointed Aram Kardjian as western regional business manger, promoting developing applications such as materials deposition in semiconductor packaging, medical electronics, fuel cells, and other markets. He will also be responsible for customer support, and implementing and supporting growth targets and corporate development in the western U.S.

Carrier Technology Ups Throughput

(July 12, 2007) SAN JOSE, Calif. — DEK introduced Virtual Panel Carrier (VPC) substrate centering and carrier technology, based on its virtual panel tooling (VPT) high-throughput substrate-imaging system. VPC enables multiple component support and alignment during screen printing and subsequent assembly processes.

SMART Reaches South Africa

(July 12, 2007) HIGH WYCOMBE, U.K. — SMART Group will form SMART Group SA, dedicated to promoting South African electronics assembly with SMT and related technologies. It aims to develop an interactive EMS community through seminars, conferences, and technical papers. S.A. boasts the necessary infrastructure, low-labor-cost workforce, and enthusiasm to develop into an EMS destination, said Keith Bryant, who added that interest in technical knowledge from S.A. manufacturers is high.

PROMATION Names Southern Sales Manager

(July 11, 2007) PLEASANT PRAIRE, Wis. — PROMATION Inc. promoted Steve Dunnavant to southern regional sales manager, based in central Tennessee. Dunnavant has more than 20 years experience in electronics manufacturing.

Vitronics Soltec Relocates Manufacturing

(July 11, 2007) STRATHAM, N.H. — Vitronics Soltec will expand R&D and new product development at its Netherlands facility, and shift manufacturing to U.S. and China locations over the next six to nine months. The U.S. and China manufacturing sites are each established with qualified suppliers and hundreds of installed systems, according to the company.

Analyzer Measures up to 25 Elements per Sample

(July 11, 2007) BILLERICA, Mass. — Thermo Fisher Scientific, Inc., released its third-generation NITON handheld X-ray fluorescence (XRF) analyzer, the XL3. The device features a 2.5× screening-speed improvement over previous generations, and identifies solder alloy grades, plastic and polymer compositions, and concentration of up to 25 elements in components, PCB assemblies (PCBAs), and finished goods. It provides RoHS, China RoHS, WEEE, and other compliance documentation.

BenQ Sells off Taipei Buildings

(July 11, 2007) TAIPEI, Taiwan — BenQ Corporation entered into an agreement to sell two office buildings to Taiwan-based Shin Kong Life Insurance Co., Ltd. (SKL). BenQ will lease back the larger building, which is its Taiwan headquarters. The transaction is valued at $5.037 billion (NTD), about $153.5 million U.S.

Speedline Updates Operating Software

(July 11, 2007) FRANKLIN, MASS — Speedline Technologies launched Benchmark 2.0, the next generation of its proprietary machine operating software, which debuts on the MPM Accela printer. The company promotes this software release as offering post-print inspection enhancements, barcode scanning for product traceability and process verification, singulated processing of indexed Auer boat substrates, and support for CAMX machine data streaming (per IPC-2541 specification).

SMTAI Highlights New Technologies, Programs

(July 11, 2007) ORLANDO, Fla. — The SMTA plans to debut several programs — from tutorials to an exhibition — at SMTA International (SMTAI) in Orlando, October 7–11, 2007. The program includes a keynote from Andrew Alduino, panel discussions, an informal "chat" program on the show floor, and other events designed to help attendees gather and share information, and network with constructive industry partners.

Cold Bump Pull Enters 2nd Generation

(July 10, 2007) FREMONT, Calif. — Dage Precision Industries released the 2nd generation of its enhanced cold bump pull (CBP) capability on the 4000HS high-speed bondtester. An improvement over shear testing, the test load is symmetrical and almost pure tensile, reducing deformation and applying load over the entire bond interface, according to the company.

Villemejane Retires from Speedline

(July 9, 2007) FRANKLIN, Mass. — Pierre de Villemejane, president and CEO, will retire from Speedline Technologies for personal reasons. Joe Hahn, group vice president, electronics group, for parent company Illinois Tool Works Inc. (ITW), will fulfill Villemejane's duties in interim.

Military Electronics Program Extends Contract

(July 9, 2007) PARSIPPANY, N.J. — DRS Technologies, Inc., received a $7 million one-year contract from the U.S. Air Force (USAF), to extend manufacturing of hardware components for the joint USAF and U.S. Army deployable power generation and distribution system (DPGDS) program. The 688th Armament Systems Squadron (Eglin Air Force Base, Fla.) contracted DRS, which will manufacture the assemblies at its technical services business unit in Alexandria, Va.

Free Paste Samples Promote Solder Market Debut

(July 9, 2007) SAN DIEGO, Calif. and WILLOW GROVE, Pa. — Manncorp will send a 250-g sample jar of any of its solder paste to promote the capital equipment company's debut in the solder paste market. Qualified visitors to the company's Website receive sample no-clean or water-soluble lead-free, or no-clean or water-soluble tin/lead paste.

iPhone Revitalizes Integration

(July 6, 2007) CUPERTINO, Calif. — Acting as a consumer electronics mascot for silicon-, package-, and system-level integration, Apple's iPhone, released late in June, also integrates more functions than most current-generation consumer devices. The portable-media player and cell phone also enables web access, e-mail, GPS navigation, and a host of other functions that consumers are beginning to expect from cellular devices.

Enhanced AOI for SPI

(July 6, 2007) YAVNE, Israel — Orbotech Ltd. introduced the Symbion P36 Plus automated optical inspection (AOI) system for solder paste volume inspection, based on its Symbion P36 model. The enhanced version includes a streamlined architecture and improved processing capabilities.

Low-Temp Potting Compound

(July 6, 2007) CRANSTON, R.I. — Epoxies, Etc... introduced the 20-2300 series of urethane potting compounds, targeting electronic assemblies exposed to extremely low temperatures or wet environments. It maintains flexibility and softness at -40°C and above.

Electronics Epoxy Withstands 205–235°C

(July 5, 2007) HACKENSACK, N.J. — Master Bond Inc.'s EP33 room-temperature-cure epoxy adhesive suits high-temperature bonding applications between similar and dissimilar surfaces. The epoxy is said to offer good physical and dielectric properties for strong bonds and resists thermal cycling, chemical deterioration, and concentrated radiation.

Flex Up, Rigid PCBs Flat in May

(July 5, 2007) BANNOCKBURN, Ill. — Flex circuits recorded a May book-to-bill of 1.32, while rigid PCBs hit 0.98. The total PCB industry hovered at 1.01, according to IPC — Association Connecting Electronics Industries' monthly North American PCB statistical program. Overall PCB sales in 2007 are averaging about 10% below 2006 sales thus far, noted Denny McGuirk, IPC president.

Murata Acquires Components Business

(July 3, 2007) KYOTO, Japan — Murata Manufacturing Co. Ltd. will acquire the power electronics division (PED — Mansfield, Mass.) of C&D Technologies, Inc. (Blue Bell, Pa.), for about $85 million, funded by the company's cash reserves. PED brings additional standard power supply components to Murata's portfolio, and proffers an overseas market base.

Sunburst Adds Rework Capacity

(July 3, 2007) WEST BRIDGEWATER, Mass. — Sunburst EMS purchased an Intruder hot-gas-based rework system from Automated Production Equipment (APE — Key Largo, Fla.) to enhance its SMT and BGA rework and service capabilities.

Backpanel AOI System

(July 3, 2007) EINDHOVEN, the Netherlands — The M22XDL-650 benchtop AOI system from Marantz Business Electronics handles PCBS up to 650 × 550 mm with comprehensive SMT component, board, paste, and wave and reflow solder joint inspection.

CMs Investigate Southeast Asia

(July 2, 2007) EL SEGUNDO, Calif. — Contract manufacturing may be on the rise in southeastern Asia, including Vietnam, Malaysia, Singapore, and Thailand, according to an iSuppli report. Relaxed regulations on U.S. business under the U.S.-Korea Free Trade Agreement, over-saturation or complications in China, product/complexity variety across Southeast Asian states, and other factors are leading this region to earn EMS and original design manufacturing (ODM) business.

Kester Names Global Product Manager

(July 2, 2007) ITASCA, Ill. — Kester promoted Kurt Rajewski to global product manager, overseeing product line management, in particular the company's metals and preforms lines, and collaboration with international sales to augment target customer relationships.

WEEE Official in EU

(July 2, 2007) BRUSSELS, Belgium — Implementation of the European Union's (EU's) Waste Electrical and Electronic (WEEE) legislation began July 1, more than a year past the original date this recycling bill was expected to go into effect.

Qualitek Distributes Alpha-Lo Products

(July 2, 2007) ADDISON, Ill. — Pure Technologies LLC appointed Qualitek Group to distribute its Alpha-Lo products across Asia, the U.S., and Europe. Ingots, anodes, slugs, pellets, foils, and other mediums will be distributed. Qualitek also manufactures solder pastes, BGA spheres, and other low-alpha-particle solder products using the Alpha-Lo line.

Double-row SMT Strip Socket

(June 29, 2007) OYSTER BAY, N.Y. — Mill-Max released a double-row SMT strip socket connector that accepts 0.025" to 0.037" diameter and 0.025" square pins. It's produced with 4 (2 × 2) to 100 (2 × 50) position configurations on 0.100" spacing standard.

QFN Socket

(June 29, 2007) BURNSVILLE, Minn. — Designed to last 100,000 insertions, the DG-QFN40C-01 socket for 0.4-mm-pitch QFN 40-pin ICs from Ironwood Electronics suits a 5- × 5-mm package and operates at up to 40 GHz with <1 dB insertion loss. The socket is constructed with high-performance, low-inductance diamond particle interconnect contactor.

Elcoteq Names CFO

(June 28, 2007) HELSINKI, Finland — Mikko Puolakka will assume the chief financial officer (CFO) post at Elcoteq SE in August, according to AFX News reports. Current CFO Teo Ottola will leave the company to pursue a similar role at Konecranes, a crane and lift services business based in Hyvinkää, Finland.

X-ray Imaging for Drilling, Tooling Inspection

(June 28, 2007) FARMINGDALE, N.Y. — Multiline Technology introduced XRT System 7000, designed to help reduce registration budgets during PCB manufacture.

Adhesive for Flip Chip BGAs

(June 28, 2007) MIDLAND, Mich. — The DA-6534 one-part, high-performance thermal adhesive from Dow Corning Corporation uses silver filler with a silicone-based chemistry to offer flexibility, reliability, and thermal conductivity.

Kachi Partners Acquires Photo Stencil

(June 27, 2007) COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — Private equity firm Kachi Partners (Boulder, Colo.) acquired Photo Stencil in a leveraged buy-out transaction. Kachi referred to Photo Stencil as "well managed" with a scalable business model. Photo Stencil stated that the acquisition will help it ramp new products faster and expand globally.

Solder Suppliers Ally for Lead-free Product

(June 27, 2007) CLINTON, N.Y. and TWINSBURG, Ohio — Indium Corporation partnered with Metallic Resources, Inc., to market, develop, and manufacture a line of lead-free solder with cobalt additives. Metallic Resources' proprietary tin/copper/cobalt alloy, Cobalt995, will expand into compatible and complementary cored wire and solder paste products through Indium's partnership.

Design Kits Ease Time-to-Market Strain

(June 27, 2007) ROCHESTER, N.Y. — TimingDesigner 9.0, offered by EMA Design Automation, features design kits with assembled diagrams and libraries for commonly used parts and interface protocol standards, as well as program changes to suit new operating systems.

Squeegee Enhancement for Fine-sphere Solders

(June 27, 2007) NORTH BILLERICA, Mass. — Transition Automation, Inc., debuted a product enhancement designed to improve SMT printing with fine-sphere solder pastes. The "Sharp Edge" squeegee offers a smaller tip radius than traditional Permalex Edge metal squeegees, preventing fine paste from escaping under the blade during a wipe.

Interposer Lowers Reflow Temps of Pb-free BGAs

(June 27, 2007) WEST WARWICK, R.I. — Advanced Interconnections offers a lead-free BGA device-attach service and interposer that converts lead-free BGAs to reflow with tin/lead assemblies cost effectively. The service comprises attachment of the lead-free BGA to an interposer adapter board, tin/lead solder ball mounting, and device-specific footprints to integrate onto a typical PCB.

Report Assesses Passives Demand

(June 26, 2007) DUBLIN, Ireland — Research and Markets released its database of component demand and correlation to electronics production, including "Europe: Passive Interconnection Component Markets Database," for 2005–2011.

SMTA Chooses Best Paper: Strain-induced Failures

(June 26, 2007) TORONTO — The SMTA named the "Best of Conference Presentation" from its International Conference on Soldering and Reliability, held this April in Toronto. Jason Bragg of Celestica, Inc., received the honor for his presentation on strain-induced assembly and test failures.

Comtech Upgrades AOI with F1 Series

(June 25, 2007) SAN CLEMENTE, Calif. — YESTech, Inc., reported a multiple-system shipment of F1 series AOI machines to Comtech EF Data (Tempe, Ariz.). The manufacturer, which markets satellite communications products for commercial and government applications, upgraded its AOI to ensure better quality and more comprehensive inspection, as well as yield improvement.

DEK Adds Asia Product Support

(June 25, 2007) WEYMOUTH, U.K. — DEK promoted David Hayes and Leon Lee to product support positions in Asia, aiding in R&D, region-specific product development, and opening a service control center in Shenzhen, China. Hayes was named product support manager; Lee will become Asia product manager.

ACI Installs Dage X-ray System

(June 22, 2007) FREMONT, Calif. — Dage Precision Industries partnered with the American Competitiveness Institute (ACI) to provide large, high-resolution X-ray images for failure analysis and optical inspection with a XD7600 X-ray inspection system. The unit was installed at ACI's Philadelphia-based demonstration factory, which is supported by equipment manufacturers and material suppliers.

P.D. Circuits Names Canada Rep

(June 21, 2007) HAMPSTEAD, N.H. — P.D. Circuits, Inc., appointed Helen Morris as its Eastern Canada representative, based in Pierrefonds, Quebec. Morris is an SMTA member and has worked about 15 years in the PCB and component industry.

KIC Names N.A. Sales Manager

(June 21, 2007) SAN DIEGO — Brian O'Leary joined KIC as North American Sales Manager, based at its San Diego headquarters. O'Leary will oversee KIC sales representatives and North America-based partners; he will take responsibility for the thermal management and process control sectors of electronics-assembly and packaging-processes products.

PCB Fabricator Sierra Proto Acquires Teknicircuits

(June 21, 2007) SUNNYVALE, Calif. — Sierra Proto Express acquired the assets and book-of-business of Teknicircuits (Danbury, Conn.), and will handle PCB fabrication for Teknicircuits' customers through its U.S. businesses and offshore alliances.

PCBs with Embedded 1-seg Chips Ramp

(June 20, 2007) TOKYO — Toppan NEC Circuit Solutions, Inc., a joint venture of NEC Corp. and Toppan Printing Co., will ramp to mass production in-house with PCBs incorporating embedded 1-seg semiconductors, the Nikkei Business Daily reports. Manufacturing will be transferred from outsourcing partner Casio Micronics to Toppan NEC's Toyama, Japan, facility.

Cookson Launches Flux Selector Service

(June 20, 2007) JERSEY CITY, N.J. — To help assemblers identify the appropriate flux for use in a given application, Cookson Electronics Assembly Materials (CEAM) launched an online, interactive service, ALPHA wave solder flux selector tool. The selector offers a systematic approach to choosing fluxes based on user-defined parameters.

Exhibitor Preview: SMTA Boston

(June 19, 2007) BOSTON — In conjunction with the SMTA's "Successful Lead-free/RoHS Strategies" conference, June 20–21 in Boxborough, Mass., the SMTA Tabletop Vendor Show, June 20, highlights products from around the SMT industry with regional sales and support.

Celestica Confirms CFO

(June 19, 2007) TORONTO — Celestica, Inc., officially appointed Paul Nicoletti its executive vice president and chief financial officer (CFO). Nicoletti has been acting CFO since March, and has been with the company since its inception. He is qualified to help turn the EMS provider around, said Craig Muhlhauser, CEO.

Component Suppliers to Merge

(June 18, 2007) MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. and HUNTINGTON STATION, N.Y. — AVX Corporation, under a definitive merger agreement, will acquire all outstanding equity interests of component manufacturer American Technical Ceramics Corp. (ATC). The stock-based transaction will equal approximately $231 million. ATC supplies capacitors, thin-film circuits, and other high-performance components to commercial and military markets primarily.

Sunburst Adds Selective Soldering Capacity

(June 18, 2007) WEST BRIDGEWATER, Mass. — Sunburst EMS acquired an automated selective soldering system to augment its PCB assembly and processing capabilities. The EMS provider added a KISS 102 system from ACE Production Technologies (Spokane Valley, Wash.) to improve solder joint consistency on thru-hole, odd-form, connector, and related devices.

Distron Corp. Selects NPI Software

(June 15, 2007) ATTLEBORO FALLS, Mass., and PHILADELPHIA — Distron Corp., as part of a capital expansion to boost productivity and customer communications, has selected Aegis Industrial Software's CircuitCAM for Workgroups software.

Zestron Names West Coast Rep

(June 15, 2007) MANASSAS, Va. — Zestron America has named DiversiTech as its sales representative for Southern Calif., and Nevada.

Automation Provider Acquires Elektrobit Unit

(June 13, 2007) OULUNSALO, Finland — The Rohwedder Group acquired Elektrobit Corporation's (EB's) Production Solutions business unit, adding the JOT Automation brand of assembly, materials processing and handling, and manufacturing test equipment to all of its Electronic Production Solutions unit's product lines. Rohwedder will locate headquarters in Oulunsalo, Finland, in the interest of incorporating the EB division's staff and technology efficiently.

Next-generation AXI Raises Throughput

(June 13, 2007) SANTA CLARA, Calif. — The ×6000 automated X-ray (AXI) inspection system from Agilent Technologies builds on the increased throughput and automation features of the its 5DX, with additional speed, simplified interfaces, and streamlined image capture. While the ×6000 and 5DX share an X-ray tube, the latest-generation ×6000 eliminates Z motors to improve throughput up to 3×. A digital imaging chain and autofocus technology perform the image capture.

Design Competition Rewards Electronics and Environment

(June 12, 2007) CHICAGO — Premier Farnell launched an international design competition to showcase creativity and innovation in electronics design. "Live Edge" invites students, academics, and electrical engineers to submit designs incorporating electronic components and resulting in a positive environmental impact, such as carbon emissions reduction. The global competition will be conducted primarily via the internet, with live conferencing and broadcasts and electronic submissions.

AOI Camera Offers Smear-free Imaging

(June 12, 2007) WATERLOO, ON — The Falcon 4M60 area-scan camera includes updated features for the semiconductor and electronics inspection markets. With 4-megapixel resolution at 60 frames per second (fps), the camera captures images of fine-featured, fast-moving product without distortion.

OMRON Builds China R&D

(June 11, 2007) SHANGHAI, China and TOKYO — OMRON Corporation opened the OMRON R&D Collaborative Innovation Center, a $9.7 million facility in Shanghai. This is the Tokyo-based company's first major R&D building outside of Japan. It will develop new applications for the company's core competencies in sensing and control technology. The facility is the capstone of a major investment project in China, said Hisao Sakuta, president and CEO.

Dynatech Brings Samsung Printer to N. America

(June 11, 2007) HORSHAM, Pa. — Dynatech Technology added the Samsung SMP300 screen printing system to its SM series distribution in North America. The system — part of Dynatech's turnkey manufacturing line from Samsung, including the SM series, CP component-placement system, RF30 reflow soldering systems, and board-handling systems — provides automatic printing with proprietary handling technology and 2D post-print inspection.

FlexLink Opens Local Support Facilities

(June 8, 2007) ALLENTOWN, Pa. — FlexLink Systems opened two new sales and applications offices and expanded a third to increase local support for materials- and information-management applications and project engineering. Greenville, S.C., and Phoenix, Ariz., host the new facilities, while its Dallas, Texas, facility was enlarged.

Research Promotes DfM Software

(June 8, 2007) YAVNE, Israel — An independent research report, "Printed Circuit Board Design Integrity," from Aberdeen, a Harte-Hanks Company, finds that companies implementing design-for-manufacturability (DfM) strategies reduce re-spins and make deadlines compared to PCB designers that do not. The report, authored by Ric Stanley, suggests that rules-based DfM software from Valor reduces re-spins to an average of one, and could speed design cycle times and reduce costs.

Amkor Exec Keynotes IWLPC

(June 8, 2007) SAN JOSE, Calif. and CHANDLER, Ariz. — Oleg Khaykin, chief operation officer (COO) and executive vice president of Amkor Technology, Inc., will keynote the International Wafer-level Packaging Conference (IWLPC), September 17–19 in San Jose. The event, co-sponsored by the SMTA, also hosts workshops, panels, and technical presentations.

U.K. FAW Chooses Horizon Printer

(June 8, 2007) SAN JOSE, Calif. — DEK sold a Horizon 03i screen printing system to Chesterfield, U.K.-based electronics-control designer and manufacturer FAW Electronics at Nepcon NEC in Birmingham, U.K., this May. Alan Wilkinson, FAW managing director, evaluated the system at the exhibit, where FAW was comparing systems from various manufacturers.

Inspection System Debuts via Satellite

(June 7, 2007) ANDOVER, Mass. — To debut the ×6000 automated X-ray inspection (AXI) system to the Americas market, Agilent Technologies used a live "satellite-feed presentation" to address audiences gathered in Andover, Mass.; Santa Clara, Clara.; and online. Presenters Stig Oresjo and Kathy Adelson, with host Stacy Johnson, discussed effective strategies for test-and-inspection, board complexity, and features of the Medalist ×6000.

Brushless Motors Improve Fume Extraction

(June 7, 2007) GARDEN GROVE, Calif. — OK International converted its BVX-200 fume extraction systems to brushless motor operation, and will offer an in-field upgrade to units in service to replace standard brushed motors. The upgrade is said to eliminate wear-related parts failure in the motor and increase system lifetime under normal operating conditions.

Webinar Spotlights Printing, Flip Chip Bumps

(June 6, 2007) FRANKLIN, Mass. — Speedline Technologies will host a webinar July 19, 2007, at 11am EST, focused on the parameters and challenges of stencil printing solder paste to form bumps in flip-chip applications. The Webinar will provide process optimization advice and defect examples.

Sunburst Receives ISO 13485 Certification

(June 5, 2007) WEST BRIDGEWATER, Mass. — Sunburst EMS has been certified to ISO 13485 standard for medical electronic device manufacturing . The full-service EMS provider performs design and prototyping, assembly, supply-chain management, and other value-add services, and considers the ISO certification a requisite for pursuing medical-device OEM business.

ACE Acquires Fluxing Products

(June 4, 2007) SPOKANE VALLEY, Wash. and SHEBOYGAN, Wis. — ACE Production Technologies acquired Drop-Jet spray head technology and related products from Castle Controls & Automation, LLC. John Radtke, president, Castle Controls, will join ACE's engineering team. ACE will offer the flux heads on all its selective soldering products. Future stand-alone and in-line fluxing products from the Drop-Jet line will be developed to complement soldering lines.

Flextronics to Acquire Solectron

(June 4, 2007) SINGAPORE and MILPITAS, Calif. — Flextronics International Ltd. (Singapore) agreed to acquire Solectron (Milpitas), combining two of the top three global EMS providers at a $3.6 billion purchase value. When customary closing conditions are met, expected by the end of 2007, Solectron will become a wholly owned subsidiary of Flextronics. Some other EMS providers might follow this consolidation trend, John Tuck of the Manufacturing Market Insider reports.

Powell-Mucha Hosts EMS Marketing Webinar

(June 1, 2007) EL PASO, Texas — Powell-Mucha Consulting, Inc., and the SMTA will present the second in a series of four webinars June 6, 2007, from 1:00 to 2:30 EST, for EMS providers interested in differentiating services, marketing internal competencies, and competing in the close EMS market. The webinar, "Guide to Building a Competitive EMS Brand: EMS Marketing Basics," features a marketing toolbox, logistics planning, and other considerations.

Siemens Appoints VP, Electronics Assembly Systems

(May 31, 2007) ATLANTA — Siemens Energy & Automation, Inc., named Jeff Timms as vice president, electronics assembly systems division (EA), effective immediately. Timms has been serving as acting vice president, after Güenter Lauber joined Siemens' A&D global electronics assembly systems division in Munich, Germany, earlier this year.

Henkel, Blue Thunder Partner

(May 31, 2007) EAST WINDSOR, Conn. — Blue Thunder Technologies, Inc., will carry Loctite's Multicore and Hysol products as part of a distribution agreement. Loctite is a Henkel Electronics Group brand.

Nominate IPC Volunteers for Industry Honors

(May 31, 2007) BANNOCKBURN, Ill. — IPC — Association Connecting Electronics Industries is calling for nominations of industry volunteers that contribute time and talent to IPC standards development and other activities. Nominations for President, Committee Leadership, Distinguished Committee Service, and Special Recognition awards will be accepted through August 1, 2007. IPC will honor winners at the Midwest Conference & Exhibition, September 22–28 in Schaumburg, Ill.

Partnership Integrates PCB Design & Simulation

(May 31, 2007) MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif; WESTFORD, Mass.; MUNICH, Germany — Synopsys and Zuken formed a partnership to integrate complementary design, verification, and simulation software suites for analog and mixed-signal board-level PCB development. The companies established an In-Sync agreement for mutual promotion and development.

Stick Magazine Eliminates Manual Feeds

(May 30, 2007) STOCKHOLM, Sweden — MYDATA adapted its Agilis design for a next-generation stick magazine targeting high-mix, high-accuracy production. The Agilis stick magazine (ASM) uses a linear drive and servo-controlled horizontal movement to stick-feed components into placement systems. It eliminates manual feed settings.

EI Enters Long-term DoD Contract

(May 30, 2007) ENDICOTT, N.Y. — Endicott Interconnect Technologies, Inc. (EI), received a $49 million follow-on production contract from the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) for a new generation of packaging, PCB, and substrate technologies. The R&D will focus on high-productivity computing, and is part of a five-year agreement.

Lead-free Paste Meets High-rel Needs

(May 29, 2007) JERSEY CITY, N.J. — Cookson Electronics Assembly Materials (CEAM) introduced ALPHA WS-819 water-soluble lead-free solder paste for PCB assembly of high-reliability end products. The paste targets cleanability, voiding resistance, and printing compatibility.

AI Names Bisco Distributor of the Year

(May 25, 2007) WEST WARWICK, R.I. — Advanced Interconnections Corp. (AI) named Bisco Industries (Anaheim, Calif.) its 2006 North American distributor of the year at a ceremony during the EDS tradeshow in Las Vegas, Nev. Ron Bond, sales manager for North America at AI, presented to award to Robert Rist, northern region sales manager at Bisco.

Northrop Grumman Extends Manufacturing Contract

(May 25, 2007) ST. LOUIS — EMS provider LaBarge, Inc., received $2 million in contracts from Northrop Grumman Corp. to continue producing electronic equipment for the AN/AAQ-24(V) NEMESIS directional infrared (IR) countermeasure (DIRCM) system, which is designed to protect military aircraft from IR-guided missiles.

Rogers Highlights High-frequency at IMS

(May 25, 2007) ROGERS, Conn. — Rogers Corporation will exhibit specialty materials for the high-frequency market at IEEE MTT-S International Microwave Symposium (IMS), June 5–7 in Honolulu, Hawaii, at Booth 843. Offerings include advanced packaging materials, copper bond technology, and antenna-grade materials.

EI Adds Orbotech Inspection Systems

(May 24, 2007) BILLERICA, Mass. — Orbotech, Inc., North American subsidiary of Orbotech Ltd., received a multi-million-dollar order from Endicott Interconnect Technologies, Inc. (EI), for its laser direct imaging (LDI) and automated optical inspection (AOI) equipment. EI will incorporate the machines in its production facility in Endicott, N.Y., making it Orbotech's largest client in the Americas.

Upcoming Boston Lead-free Conference

(May 24, 2007) BOSTON, Mass. — Examining RoHS, lead-free reliability, tin whiskers, lead-free assembly, and related topics, the SMTA's "Successful Lead-free/RoHS Strategies" conference, June 20–21 in Boxborough, Mass., includes lead-free courses; presentations from OEMs, equipment suppliers, and EMS providers; and a keynote by Gregory Morose (TURI). The conference is held in conjunction with SMTA certification programs, Boston Academy program, and a tabletop exhibition.

DEK, Tecan Add to VectorGuard Line

(May 23, 2007) FLEMINGTON, N.J. — Through a joint development, DEK and Tecan launched OptiGuard, a proprietary addition to the VectorGuard frameless stencil range. OptiGuard facilitates production with stepped and multi-level stencils.

Step Leasing Introduced for Pick-and-Place Platform

(May 22, 2007) BINGHAMTON, N.Y. — Universal Instruments introduced a step leasing program, allowing customers to build an AdVantis system and pay for the capital investment over time.

Avago Cuts Manufacturing in Strategic Shift

(May 21, 2007) SAN JOSE, Calif. — Avago Technologies expanded its manufacturing outsourcing program as part of a business model shift announced in January 2007. The component supplier will reduce its Singapore manufacturing staff by about 230 people to allot resources to higher value-added activities.

OHT Distributes Cluso in Asia

(May 21, 2007) SYDNEY, Australia — Cluso Vision Systems Pty Ltd. (Sydney) signed a distribution and technical cooperation agreement with OHT Inc. (Fukuyama, Japan), in which OHT becomes Cluso's exclusive distributor throughout Japan, China, Thailand, Taiwan, and Korea.

Inovaxe Appoints EU Manufacturing Rep

(May 18, 2007) SARASOTA, Fla. — Inovaxe Corp. named Fix Trade BV (Amerongen, the Netherlands) its manufacturing representative for the EU. Founded in 1999, Fix Trade distributes professional production equipment and materials for the electronics industry, and will showcase an Inovaxe INOCART material-handling system at Electronics Automation 2007.

VCA Will Enforce WEEE in U.K.

(May 18, 2007) LONDON — The U.K. Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) appointed the Vehicle certification Agency (VCA) to oversee Waste Electrical and Electronic (WEEE) enforcement with regards to distributor obligations. The WEEE directive places most responsibility for end-of-life electronics recycling on distributors of end products.

Kester Names Intel Business Unit Manager

(May 18, 2007) ITASCA, Ill. — Kester promoted Maureen Brown to Intel business unit manager, reporting to Roger Savage, president and CEO, ITW Kester.

Qualmark Brings HALT/HASS to India

(May 18, 2007) DENVER — Qualmark Corporation will deliver a Typhoon Chamber to an independent R&D service provider in Bangalore, India, for testing computer-related components. The HALT/HASS system will also be displayed at the company's open R&D test lab to showcase Qualmark equipment in India.

Dage Recognizes Ascentek

(May 17, 2007) AYLESBURY, U.K. — Dage Precision Industries, a subsidiary of Dage Holdings (Aylesbury), presented Ascentek International Company Ltd. with its Presidents Award, recognizing contribution to Dage X-ray systems sales from 2001 to 2006. Jeff Chang, president, Ascentek, accepted the award from Geraint Rees, president and CEO of Dage Holdings, at a Shanghai ceremony.

Photo Stencil Nabs Lab Award

(May 17, 2007) COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. and BINGHAMTON, N.Y. — The Universal SMT lab, now the Advanced Process Laboratory of Unovis Solutions, awarded Photo Stencil with "Best Printing Stencil 2006" after a study conducted in the lab comparing printing processes — lead-free and tin/lead — performed by a total of 12 stencils from four manufacturers.

Asia Maintains Attraction for EMS

(May 17, 2007) SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — Asia, in particular China, will continue to dominate the EMS and ODM markets over the next several years, according to research firm In-Stat. China's low labor costs and climbing domestic demand for electronic products will give the region about 76% of Asia's EMS/ODM market by 2011.

Smart Phones to Drive Mobile Chips Market

(May 17, 2007) BEIJING — The Semiconductor Industry Research Center of CCID Consulting reports that mobile phone production in China experienced typically slow growth in Q'01 2007 from Q'04 2006, but overall grew 45.7% in 2006. The mobile phone chip market did not slow as much as mobile phone production, due in part to the increasing prevalence of smart phones.

DEK Stencil Enters Canada

(May 16, 2007) FLEMINGTON, N.J. and OTTAWA — DEK announced that it will distribute its frameless stencil system VectorGuard technology through Canada with a license agreement to PELA Technologies, Inc. PELA will provide product and customer support and stencil delivery from its headquarters in Ottawa, ON.

Microsoft to Open Zune Manufacturing Facility

(May 16, 2007) SAN FRANCISCO — Microsoft Corp. will open a facility in Doumen, China, to manufacture its Zune personal media player. The company cited cost efficiencies, flexibility, and process control as reasons for investing in a proprietary facility. The company initially manufactured Zune products through a partnership with Toshiba Corp.

Siemens Names EA President

(May 16, 2007) MUNCHEN, Germany — Günter Lauber will succeed Tilo Brandis as the president of electronics assembly systems (EA) at Siemens A&D. Brandis will relocate to the U.S. to become president of recently acquired UGS, which provides product life-cycle management software and services.

May Tin Whiskers Workshop at ECTC

(May 16, 2007) HERNDON, Va. and RENO, Nev. — iNEMI will hold its tin whisker workshop to review tin plating, tin whiskers, and reliability concerns May 29, 2007, at the Electronic Components and Technology Conference (ECTC) in Reno, Nev. The all-day workshop is co-sponsored by iNEMI, CPMT, and ECTC, and is open only to ECTC attendees.

Placement Automation Benefits PCB Designers

(May 16, 2007) ROCHESTER, N.Y. and PITTSBURG — EMA Design Automation added DesignAdvance's CircuitSpace technology to is PCB design flow solution; EMA claims the software improves communications between hardware engineers and layout designers by automating component placement in the design.

Cadence Improves Co-design Platform

(May 15, 2007) SAN JOSE, Calif. — Cadence Design Systems, Inc., released product and technology enhancements within its Allegro system interconnect design platform for PCB design, including constraint-driven flow and global routing.

Smart Modular Installs Koh Young Paste Inspection System

(May 15, 2007) SANTA ANA, Calif. — Christopher Associates, Inc., delivered the eighth Koh Young solder paste inspection system to Smart Modular Technologies' (Fremont, Calif.) manufacturing plant in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. Smart Modular manufactures memory modules and initially deployed the Koh Young systems in its U.S. and Puerto Rican plants for fabricating high-density, fine-pitch assemblies.

Indium Appoints Technical Manager

(May 14, 2007) CLINTON, N.Y. — Indium Corporation promoted Richard Brooks to manager of technical services for the Asia-Pacific region, responsible for training and managing technical support engineers in China and throughout the Asia-Pacific.

ZESTRON Opens Manassas Facility

(May 14, 2007) MANASSAS, Va. — ZESTRON America opened its Manassas applications facility with founder Oskar K. Wack, Ph.D., president and founder; and Harald Wack, Ph.D., executive vice president and CEO and SMT advisory board member, May 11th during a ribbon-cutting ceremony.

Taiwan EMS Strong in Q'02

(May 14, 2007) TAIPEI, Taiwan — Taiwan's major electronics firms saw strong April sales, up year-over-year though down slightly from the previous month. Consumer trends significantly impacted electronics production, reports China Economic News Service (CENS).

ZESTRON Hires Applications Engineer

(May 11, 2007) MANASSAS, Va. — ZESTRON America added Naveen Ravindran to its application technology team, responsible for tailored technical solutions to cleaning challenges.

Experimental Satellite Integrates SIX SIGMA CGA

(May 11, 2007) MILPITAS, Calif. — SIX SIGMA, a division of Winslow Automation, Inc., integrated its SolderQuik reinforced column grid array technology onto six FPGAs on the Los Alamos National Laboratory Cibola Flight Experiment Satellite (CFEsat). SIX SIGMA reconfigured the FPGAs for Los Alamos to allow these components to withstand extreme thermal cycling while the satellite monitors weather patterns.

Report: EMS Meets Challenges and Growth in 2007

(May 11, 2007) STAMFORD, Conn. — EMS providers posted steady gains in Q'01 2007 year-over-year, but must overcome challenges in restructuring, geographic shifts, and diversification to continue growth, says analyst firm Gartner, Inc. Nine indicator EMS providers posted a combined revenue gain of 16% over Q'01 2006, and several saw more than 10% growth. Joan Brown and Alfonso Velosa of Gartner compiled the EMS report.

Laird Expands Distribution with Sager

(May 10, 2007) ST. LOUIS, Mo. — Laird Technologies expanded its distribution partnership with Sager Electronics (Middleboro, Mass.) to include thermal management products. Sager was Laird's first North American distributor for electromagnetic interference (EMI) shielding products in 2005.

Electronics and Aerospace Divisions Merge

(May 10, 2007) DORSET, U.K. — Meggitt PLC, of Endevco Corporation, merged its electronics and aerospace groups to form a sensing systems division that combines similar products, services, and applications. The sensing group will have access to centers of excellence in France, Switzerland, Spain, the U.K., and the U.S.

ACE Appoints Euro Reps

(May 10, 2007) SPOKANE VALLEY, Wash. — ACE Production Technologies, Inc., named C.H. Erbsloh product representative to Poland; Interflux Skandinavia A.B. will support ACE in Norway, Finland, and Denmark. The agreements include sales, service, installation, and ongoing support of selective soldering systems.

Indium Names Business Directors

(May 9, 2007) CLINTON, N.Y. — Indium Corporation named Terry Guckes as business development director for metals and chemicals, and Bill Brunstedt as associate director of Asia-Pacific sales and marketing. Both will be responsible for developing business relationships.

Nordson Adds Inspection, Dispensing Businesses

(May 9, 2007) WESTLAKE, OH — Nordson Corporation acquired YESTech, Inc., adding the AOI and X-ray supplier to its Dage Holdings company; and PICO Dosiertechnik (PICODOSTEC), a piezoelectric dispensing system company that will join Nordson's Asymtek subsidiary, in two separate purchases. The total acquisition cost about $53 million. Nordson expects to leverage the business' core technologies across its advanced technology segment for packaging and electronics assembly products.

Siplace Tools Expand SMT Line

(May 9, 2007) MUNICH, Germany — Siemens Automation and Drives (A&G) added the Siplace OS inline inspection system and Siplace Maintenance Manager software to its suite of SMT products for enhanced inspection and machine optimization without interrupting manufacturing flow. The products target full documentation and quality assurance in manufacturing environments, reducing defects in final assemblies.

Elastomer Solution Enables Harsh-environment Protection

(May 8, 2007) CARY, N.C. and CYPRESS, Texas — LORD (Cary) has developed a silicone elastomer potting solution for Ultimate Solutions (Cypress) to protect assemblies from heat, shock, and vibration in harsh environments. The potting compound, LORD SC-320, targets down-hole drilling PCB assemblies (PCBAs).

Associations Call for Better Part Numbering

(May 7, 2007) HERNDON, Va. and BANNOCKBURN, Ill. — iNEMI and IPC — Association Connecting Electronic Industries, are both calling for more precise part numbering, especially with BGAs, as some component manufacturers are varying lead-free alloy compositions. Reducing silver, adding metallic dopants, and other adjustments affect final products, prompting EMS providers and OEMs to adjust manufacturing processes.

Compact Dispense System for Diverse Apps

(May 7, 2007) GARDEN GROVE, Calif. — The DX-250 series of digital dispensers and controllers from OK International are micro-air systems for diverse SMT and semiconductor assembly applications.

Mentor Graphics Appoints CFO

(May 4, 2007) WILSONVILLE, Ore. — Mentor Graphics Corporation named Maria M. Pope vice president and chief financial officer (CFO), responsible for treasury, tax, accounting, internal audit, corporate development, and investor relationships. She also will manage facilities and purchasing.

Compact Pick-and-Place for High Mix

(May 3, 2007) MUNICH, Germany — Siemens A&G released two compact D-Series pick-and-place machines: the D1 single-gantry and D2 dual-gantry. The systems feature updated placement heads and compatibility with other D-Series machines. They target medium-volume, high-quality, high-mix manufacturing.

March Book-to-Bill Climbs to 1.00

(May 2, 2007) BANNOCKBURN, Ill. — The rigid PCB book-to-bill increased to 0.99, and the flex circuit ratio reached positive figures at 1.18 in March 2007, according to the IPC — Association Connecting Electronic Industries IMS/PCB monthly business report. The combined industry book-to-bill reached parity at 1.00.

PCB Verification Software Improved

(May 2, 2007) MARLBOROUGH, Mass. — DownStream Technologies, LLC, released version 9.5 of its CAM350 software for verifying and optimizing PCBs. Added features and software corrections were requested by the customer base through DownStream's User Advisory Board. Updates reportedly improve intuitive interfacing, design parameters, and licensing.

PROMATION Names Southwest Rep

(May 1, 2007) KENOSHA, Wash. — PROMATION, Inc., appointed SERTEK Sales as authorized sales representative in Arizona and Sonora, Mexico.

CCL Facility to Serve North American Market

(May 1, 2007) SUZHOU, China and AMESBURY, Mass. — Ventec Electronics (Suzhou) and Global Laminates (Amesbury) will open a copper-clad laminate (CCL) press operation in southern California to offer quick-turn production of the entire Ventec product line. These include dicy-cured, phenolic-cured, polyimide, and halogen-free laminates and prepregs.

EU Requests Input on RoHS, WEEE

(May 1, 2007) BANNOCKBURN, Ill., and BRUSSELS, Belgium — The EU, through research teams from Environment Consultancy and Assistance (ECOLAS) and Risk & Policy Analysts (RPA), will conduct studies on its RoHS and WEEE Directives, reports IPC — Association Connecting Electronics Industries. ECOLAS and RPA will deploy two questionnaires to address RoHS and WEEE issues impacting the electronics industry. Responses can be confidential or public.

Elcoteq Calls for DfM

(May 1, 2007) IRVING, Texas — Arno Kolk, Elcoteq's senior manager business development, presented, "Design for Manufacture — A Key Factor in Cost Reduction for Wireless Infrastructure," at the 5th International Basestation Conference in Bath, U.K. Axis Network Technology also presented a digital radio platform, as Elcoteq supported Axis since the early design phase with design for manufacturing (DfM) services on the product.

Bill Coleman, Ph.D. Joins SMT Advisory Board

(April 30, 2007) NASHUA, N.H.: SMT Magazine welcomes William E. Coleman, Ph.D., of Photo Stencil (Colorado Springs, Colo.) to its Editorial Advisory Board, joining 12 other industry experts. Coleman will write on the topic of Printing for the surface mount assembly industry.

SMT China Presents VISION Awards

(April 27, 2007) SHANGHAI, China — SMT China presented its inaugural VISION awards to recipients at Nepcon Shanghai, with winners in 22 categories representing innovation and significant improvements to the SMT process.

SMTA Boston Hosts ICT Discussion

(April 26, 2007) BOSTON — The SMTA Boston chapter will host a presentation on in-circuit testing (ICT) by John Bonsante, Everett Charles Technologies, on Tuesday, May 8, in Boxborough, Mass. Bonsante will discuss trends; strain gauge analysis; and next-generation spring probe technology, including beta test results.

SMT/Hybrid/Packaging Highlights

(April 26, 2007) NUREMBERG, Germany — SMT/Hybrid/Packaging, April 24–26 in Nuremberg, hosts technical sessions, tutorials, exhibitions, live assembly lines, and other events geared toward advanced applications in packaging and electronics assembly. Following are some highlights from the show.

Siemens AG CEO to Leave Post

(April 25, 2007) MUNICH, Germany — Klaus Kleinfeld, Ph.D., president and CEO of Siemens AG, will not renew his contract in October 2007, and did not indicate future plans with the company.

Rigid-flex Order Tops $770,000

(April 25, 2007) PETACH-TIKVA, Israel — A U.S. industrial manufacturer placed a follow-on order, valued at $770,000, for Eltek Ltd. rigid-flex PCBs. The rigid-flex boards will be used to produce advanced industrial equipment.

Indium Names Sales and Service Leaders

(April 25, 2007) CLINTON, N.Y. — Indium Corporation appointed Jim Slattery to vice president of technical service for its metals and chemical business unit; Scott Pringle has joined as sales director for global accounts. Pringle was previously a consultant with the company.

APEX Tries Luck in Vegas

(April 24, 2007) BANNOCKBURN, Ill. — IPC — Association Connecting Electronics Industries will move its international tradeshows IPC Printed Circuits Expo/APEX/Designers Summit to the Mandalay Bay Resort and Convention Center, in Las Vegas, Nev., for the 2008 conference and exhibition. The show will also move to April 1–3, leaving its February timeslot, with some programs beginning March 29, 2008.

Low-loss, High-rel Board Materials

(April 23, 2007) PETERSBURGH, N.Y. — Taconic's advanced dielectric division features several low-loss, high-reliability products for conventional and multilayer radio-frequency (RF) and high-speed digital board fabrication.

No-clean Flux Raises Reliability of Complex Assemblies

(April 23, 2007) JERSEY CITY, N.J. — The ALPHA EF-2210 wave solder flux from Cookson Electronic Assembly Materials (CEAM) suits lead-free and tin/lead wave soldering processes using a no-clean, water-based formula. The activator system is said to improve hole fill, minimize micro-solder balls, and reduce bridging and icicles.

EMS Provider Completes NASA Build

(April 20, 2007) IRVINE, Calif. — Irvine Electronics, Inc., an EMS provider specializing in turnkey PCB assembly (PCBA) and box build, completed and shipped the final power transfer unit (PTU) for the space shuttle Endeavor. Irvine received the multi-year contract through Pratt & Whitney/Rocketdyne in 2004, and attained AS9100 certification for aerospace specs in December 2006.

Online CAD Specs Improve Design Cycles

(April 20, 2007) MOUNT KISCO, N.Y. — Zierick Manufacturing Corporation added online access to its computer-aided design (CAD) drawings library on Hundreds of CAD models are available for surface mount and thru-hole components.

Acquisition Bolsters MSD Packaging

(April 20, 2007) BUFFALO, N.Y. — Multisorb Technologies International acquired Silgel Packaging Ltd. (Telford, U.K.), a subsidiary of AMCOL Minerals Europe Ltd. and AMCOL International (Arlington Heights, Ill.). Multisorb will use Silgel's active packaging capabilities and technical staff to develop new moisture management solutions and provide customer support, said Mark Celmer, president and CEO, Multisorb.

EIPC Focuses on Tech/Biz Strategies

(April 19, 2007) MAASTRICHT, the Netherlands — The European Institute of Printed Circuits (EIPC) summer conference, June 14–15 in Edinburgh, U.K., will feature sessions on materials and technology, as well as business-oriented programs for companies interested in the EU's 7th Framework Program (FP7) and supply-chain issues.

Kyzen Launches Web Learning Center

(April 18, 2007) NASHVILLE — Kyzen Corporation introduced the Kyzen E-Learning Center, an online technical resource covering cleaning technologies and processes.

Dage Expands in Brazil

(April 18, 2007) FREMONT, Calif. — Dage Precision Industries appointed Hitech Eletronica Industrial e Comercial Ltda. as its representative throughout Brazil. Hitech will distribute and support the complete line of Dage digital X-ray inspection systems and bond tester equipment.

Brush-and-Valve Dispensing System Reduces Setup

(April 18, 2007) FAIR LAWN, N.J. — I&J Fisnar demonstrated reduced set-up time for conformal coating applications with the I&J7400C Cartesian dispensing robot, comprising a robot-controlled brush and proprietary valve. The brush-and-valve system targets applications sensitive to spray contamination, such as conformal coating on PCB areas surrounding contacts.

Webinar Advises EMS Providers on Competitiveness

(April 18, 2007) EL PASO, Texas — Powell-Mucha Consulting, Inc., and SMTA will host a series of online presentations to educate EMS providers on an effective and productive marketing strategy for value-add services and internal competencies, such as lean manufacturing and post-manufacturing support. The series' first webinar is scheduled for April 25, 2007.

"Green" Bioplastic Offers Thermal Management

(April 18, 2007) TOKYO — NEC Corporation developed a bioplastic from plant-based material and carbon fiber that demonstrates higher heat-conductivity than stainless steel. The bioplastic meets strength and moldability requirements for use in electronic products, according to NEC, and was developed at the company's fundamental and environmental research laboratories.

Power IC Manufacturer Extends Distribution Globally

(April 18, 2007) THIEF RIVER FALLS, Minn.; and MILPITAS, Calif. — Digi-Key Corporation expanded its distribution partnership with IC manufacturer Linear Technology, from North American sales to a global contract. This coincides with Digi-Key's overseas business expansion, said Mark Larson, Digi-Key president.

Assembléon Partners in Denmark

(April 17, 2007) EINDHOVEN, the Netherlands — Assembléon appointed Danish distributor HIN to support the company's pick-and-place product portfolio in Denmark. HIN will supplement Assembléon's sales and service to the region, while Assembléon will provide technical, applications, sales, and service support.

Top 50 EMS Providers Enjoyed Above Average Growth in 2006

Manufacturing Market Insider has released its annual MMI Top 50(TM) list of the world's largest EMS providers. For the third year in a row, Top 50 growth exceeded 15% with a 2006 increase of 18.4%.

IPC Conference Raises New Lead-free Reliability Concerns

By Meredith Courtemanche, assistant editor - (April 13, 2007) BOSTON — The IPC/JEDEC "Global Conference on Lead-free Reliability and Reliability Testing for RoHS Lead-free Electronics," April 10–11 in Boston, demonstrated that, with more in-depth and long-term testing, the industry still does not agree on some fundamental questions about lead-free.

Taiwan's Foxconn Hunkers Down in Vietnam

Foxconn, which manufactures Nokia cell phones, iPod music players, PlayStation 2 game consoles, and Sony laptops, will invest US$5 billion in Bac Ninh and Bac Giang provinces, including some $1 billion this year alone.

Sierra Proto Acquires Mid-volume Assembler

(April 12, 2007) SUNNYVALE, Calif. — Sierra Proto Express acquired PC Boards, Inc. (Chanute, Kan.), and plans to grow the facility with further acquisitions and roll-ups. PC Boards is a complementary assembly house to Sierra Proto, said Ken Bahl, president of Sierra Proto.

SMTA Technical Program in Shanghai

(April 12, 2007) SHANGHAI, China — SMTA China will co-sponsor "China State Education Project for High-demand IT Talent — SMT Technical Training Program," April 24–25, co-located with Nepcon Shanghai. China's Ministry of Information Industry (MII) is also sponsoring the training course and an exam for SMT operators.

EMSF Monitors Low-silver BGAs

(April 11, 2007) SAN JOSE, Calif. — The EMS Forum released "Guidelines for Suppliers Transitioning to RoHS-compliant BGA Packages with Low-silver SAC Alloys," with notes on necessary reflow profile adjustments and proper notification of low Ag content. According to the EMSF, some component suppliers are providing BGAs with SAC solder balls containing lower Ag content that SAC 305/405. This change affects assembly and reliability, but may improve mechanical shock resistance.

Digital Valve Dispenses 1-mm Dots

(April 11, 2007) HAVERHILL, Mass. — Ultrasonic Systems' micro-line digital dispensing valve, which was developed for the Prism coating system, comprises a high-speed liquid-metering valve and a precision nozzle.

Can a Small Business Succeed in China? (Part 2)

The second part of our series that explores what smaller businesses must do to make money in China.

IEC Electronics Announces $8.5 Million in New Contract Awards

IEC Electronics Corp. reports that it has received two orders from one of its Military and Defense customers having a combined value of more than $8.5 million dollars.

EMS Provider Opens Design Center

(April 10, 2007) SANTA BARBARA, Calif. — Design Solutions, Inc. (DSI), opened Design Solutions GmbH, a design center in Munich, Germany. The center will host engineering, design, simulation, and prototype-manufacturing, and will include a high-level FPGA and ASIC development group.

Webinar Addresses Wave Solder Science

(April 10, 2007) FRANKLIN, Mass. — Speedline Technologies will host a webinar on optimizing the wave-solder process Thursday, May 17, at 11 am EST. The session will cover tools, techniques, and wave soldering mechanics, to provide a scientific approach to developing reflow profiles.

Valor Names Weitzman President

(April 10, 2007) RANCHO SANTA MARGARITA, Calif. — Valor Computerized Systems, Ltd., named Dan Weitzman president of Valor, Inc., operations, overseeing all aspects of software solutions and businesses. Weitzman has been responsible for American operations at the company for the past six months.

Sanmina-SCI Updates Second Quarter Revenue Guidance

"The second quarter has historically been a seasonally weak quarter for us, but we experienced even greater weakness in demand over the last two to three weeks."

KIC Adds Field Engineer

(April 9, 2007) SAN DIEGO — Vitor Barros joined KIC as a field service engineer to Europe, the Middle East, India, Africa, and Russia. Barros will provide technical service, support, and installations of thermal process products.

Cogiscan Hires in Japan

(April 9, 2007) BROMONT, Canada — Cogiscan hired Satoshi Inoue, as Japan sales engineer, to support regional customers and drive growth. Inoue's background is in PCB assembly (PCBA) sectors, and he served more than 10 years with an SMT equipment provider in quality assurance, customer support, and software solutions.

Materials Upgrade for Test Sockets

(April 9, 2007) CHANDLER, Ariz. and LIBERTYVILLE, Ill. — Piper Plastics, Inc., a plastics-parts machining company, is producing test socket components from EPM-2204U-W: a proprietary grade, based on VICTREX PEEK polymer, that resists moisture absorption and suits fine-pitch and fine-diameter holes. The plastic components offer advantages over ceramics and other polymers, according to Dave Wilkinson, materials engineering manager.

Advice on Outsourcing Military Assemblies

(April 9, 2007) CRANSTON, R.I. — Defense contractors that partner with EMS providers to outsource military and government assemblies can reduce costs and lead time, but face risks beyond typical outsourcing concerns. "Selecting an EMS Partner for Military/Government Applications: Seven Things You Must Know," a white paper released by EMS provider Federal Electronics, advises contractors on the appropriate outsourcing strategy, and the pros and cons of sourcing assembly.

Probe Posts Record Revenues and Profits for the Fiscal Year 2006

Company reported $9,310,464 in revenue for the fiscal year 2006, a 46% and 50% increase from fiscal year 2005 and 2004 respectively.

Can a Small Business Succeed in China?

A two-part series of interviews discussing how small businesses can generate profits in China. Cerambus founder John Nash and Microtek Laboratories CTO Bob Neves offer their lessons learned.

Printed Electronics Facility to Open

(April 6, 2007) MINNEAPOLIS — Soligie expects to open a 18,000 sq.ft. printed electronics manufacturing facility in Savage, Minn., by the end of April. The facility will host dedicated multifunctional manufacturing lines for printed electronics product development and ramp-up.

Assembléon Expands in Russia

(April 6, 2007) EINDHOVEN, the Netherlands — Assem Rus, representative office for Assembléon in the Russian Federation and Belarus, will offer the company's entire portfolio of products and services beginning this month. Steady growth in medium- and high-volume electronics production in the region drove the need for a full-service distributor based in Russia, cited Assembléon.

Flexible Wave System Suits Lead-free and Tin/lead

(April 5, 2007) STRATHAM, N.H. — The Delta flexible wave soldering systems 5 and 7 from Vitronics Soltec combine tighter process controls and an optimized operator interface for lead-free and tin/lead manufacturing.

Raw Materials Pressure Solder Surcharges

(April 5, 2007) JERSEY CITY, N.J.; CLINTON, N.Y.; ITASCA, Ill. — Major solder companies are adjusting prices on tin-bearing solders, following reports that 2007 tin consumption would greatly outrun available raw tin supply. Mining and production shortfalls in Bolivia and Indonesia drove the market shift, and solder companies will roll out price adjustments as temporary or tiered increases. The surcharges are expected to last for the majority of 2007.

Elcoteq Lohja Plant to Close in August

The objective of these measures is to improve the Group's long-term profitability and competitiveness. The personnel negotiations in Finland are part of an action plan that applies to the entire Group under which operations will be streamlined especially in Europe and the Americas.

Mobile Market Outpacing PCs

(April 4, 2007) LOS ALTOS, Calif. — The Henderson Forecast Summary predicts slow growth in the global PC market, due in part to unimpressive improvements from one generation of hardware/software to the next. World shipments will grow 7.1% this year, and 10.2% in 2008, according to the report.

Equipment Supplier Opens China Base

(April 4, 2007) CLEVELAND, Ohio — Technical Machine Products (TMP) established a China operation to assemble, test, and service its hydraulic presses and laminator product lines for PCB production industries. The company will continue to produce custom-built machines at its Cleveland factory.

Excess Chip Inventories Wane

(April 4, 2007) EL SEGUNDO, Calif. — A larger drop in surplus component inventories occured in Q'04 2006, and the trend continued into Q'01 2007, reports iSuppli. Two factors contribute to this decline in surplus inventories: previous production cuts by chip manufacturers and a modest increase in orders, from February onward, for components. Strong end-market demand and NPIs in the second half of 2007 will prevent a repeat of the stock build-up in the supply chain.

Celestica Changes Continue

(April 4, 2007) TORONTO, ON — Celestica, Inc., named Tony Rakoczy vice president of global commodity management, effective immediately. Based in Hong Kong, Rakoczy will manage a global commodity structure to offer customers competitive materials pricing, terms, and lead times for lowest total cost-of-ownership.

PCB Design and Inspection Microscope

(April 4, 2007) WIRTZ, Va. — The Omano 2300/V6 stereo, zoom, boom microscope from The Microscope Store LLC features upgrades from the previous JW11 generation, with a solid metal base and counter-weighted dual arms. For PCB design and inspection, the microscope offers 7–45× stereo magnification.

Prototyper Attains ISO 9001:2000

(April 3, 2007) CANBY, Ore. — Screaming Circuits received ISO 9001:2000 certification for its quick-turn prototype-assembly operations. This action is part of a corporate plan to improve service levels and the prototyping process.

Celestica Appoints Vice President, Global Commodity Management

"I'm confident that Tony's expertise will drive agile and flexible supply chain solutions for our customers and will help us to achieve operational excellence through flawless supplier execution."

0805 Attenuator Suits RF/Microwave

(April 2, 2007) PORTSMOUTH, R.I. — The IMA2404 thick-film, surface mount attenuator from International Manufacturing Services, Inc. (IMS), is designed for communications-oriented circuitry. The component offers attenuation up to 70 dB with ±0.2-dB stability.

February Book-to-Bill Ticks Upward

(April 2, 2007) BANNOCKBURN, Ill. — The North American PCB industry posted a book-to-bill of 0.96, with rigid PCBs climbing to 0.96 and flex circuits increasing to 0.97, according to the IPC's PCB book-to-bill business report. Though the numbers still remain below parity, the book-to-bill has tracked a positive month for the first time since dropping below 1.00 in October 2006.

Nortec Appoints North America Reps

(March 30, 2007) LE ROY, N.Y. — Nortec, Inc., named IPS Group and MarTec, Inc., manufacturing representatives for its harsh-environment identification components. Both companies will provide technical support and sales.

Indium Expands N.E. Representation

(March 30, 2007) CLINTON, N.Y. — Indium Corporation appointed LFG Micro as its sales and service representative for the Northeast, encompassing New Jersy, eastern Pennsylvania, and southeastern New York.

PCB Design, Fab, and Assembly Alliance Forms

(March 30, 2007) SUNNYVALE, Calif. — Sierra Proto Express and CadParts & Consulting will partner to offer a PCB design, fabrication, and assembly solution. A design service bureau will open by mid-April, according to the companies.

RVSI Expands in Singapore

(March 30, 2007) HAUPPAUGE, N.Y. — RVSI Inspection LLC is relocating and expanding its Singapore offices for package and wafer inspection. The site will include a demonstration, applications, and training facility.

Solectron Announces Second Quarter Financial Results

Restructuring will reduce the workforce by approximately 1,300 to 1,500 employees and will close or consolidate approximately 400,000 square feet of facilities, primarily in North America, as well as Western Europe.

Intel Awards Suppliers

(March 29, 2007) SANTA CLARA, Calif. — Intel Corporation recognized 44 companies with its preferred quality supplier (PQS) award, acknowledging quality and performance in 2006. Winners celebrated at a ceremony in Burlingame, Calif., this week. The awards are part of Intel's supplier continuous quality improvement (SCQI) process.

Funding Supports Surface Mount Photonics

(March 29, 2007) MONROVIA, Calif. — Xponent Photonics secured $23 million in series C funding and added Barbara Grant, Ph.D., to its board of directors. The manufacturer supplies optical components based on its surface mount photonics platform technology.

Celestica Names Interim CFO

(March 29, 2007) TORONTO, ON — Paul Nicoletti, senior vice president of finance at Celestica, Inc., will serve as the company's interim chief financial officer, while Celestica interviews for a permanent replacement. Anthony Puppi, executive vice president and CFO, will retire on April 1, 2007, as announced in January.

Rework System Fits Oversized Boards

(March 28, 2007) SEYMOUR, Conn. — The ONYX25XLT system from Air-Vac suits rework and hand assembly of extra-large boards, such as backplanes and mainframe computers. It features an oversized bottom heater; moving solder head; and automation, cleaning, and vision systems.

Sub-micron Digital X-ray Inspection

(March 28, 2007) FREMONT, Calif. — The XiDAT XD7500VR digital X-ray inspection system, from Dage Precision Industries, combines sub-micron inspection capability with digital image-acquisition technology.

Report: Bare Boards in the U.S.

(March 28, 2007) DUBLIN, Ireland — Research and Markets released an industry report on the bare rigid- and flex-PCB manufacturing sectors in the U.S., and in foreign trade. The report highlights statistical data compiled from facilities that produce bare boards, and perform printing, plating, etching, lamination, and other processes to build the boards.

Cicor Technologies Expands its New Microelectronics Division

RHe offers the full range of substrate manufacturing (thick-layer, thin-layer, polymertechnology) including assembly of all components, packaging, screening and tests.

Routing Environment Automates PCB Design

(March 27, 2007) SAN JOSE, Calif. — Global Route Environment technology from Cadence Design Systems, Inc., combines a graphical interconnect flow-planning architecture and a hierarchy-aware global routing engine within the Allegro PCB design system, to provide PCB designers with automated intelligent planning and routing.

Acquisition Expands EMS Capacity in Florida

(March 26, 2007) ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Delta Group Electronics, Inc., purchased the assets of EMS provider Singletec, Inc., in Sanford, Fla. The operations will be integrated with Delta Group's Rockledge, Fla., facilities.

IBM Develops Optical PCB and Module

(March 26, 2007) ANAHEIM, Calif. and YORKTOWN HEIGHTS, N.Y. — IBM researchers will introduce an optical chipset prototype for supercomputing applications that incorporates optical and CMOS components in one system-in-package (SiP), or optical module, at the 2007 Optical Fiber Conference, March 25–29 in Anaheim. The optical SiP can be incorporated with an optical PCB, or traditional electrical PCB, to enhance data transfer in supercomputers.

Jabil Reports Second Quarter Fiscal Year 2007 Revenues

Jabil Circuit, Inc., reported unaudited net revenue for the second quarter of fiscal 2007, ended February 28, 2007, increased 27 percent to $2.9 billion compared to $2.3 billion for the same period of fiscal 2006.

Report: Chinese Technology Standards

(March 23, 2007) EL SEGUNDO, Calif. — China's government is making progress in standards development for high-tech products, though the domestic market is not participating enough in the standards-development process, according to a report released by iSuppli Corporation.

EMG President Resigns

(March 23, 2007) SANTA CLARA, Calif. — Agilent Technologies, Inc., announced that Patrick M. Byrne has resigned as senior vice president and president of the company's electronic measurements group (EMG), effective immediately. The group will report directly to Bill Sullivan, Agilent president and CEO, as the EMG president position will be discontinued.

EI Receives Military Contract

(March 23, 2007) ENDICOTT, N.Y. — The U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) awarded $164 million in contracts for engineering, verification, and production to Endicott Interconnect Technologies, Inc. (EI). The project includes organic packaging; module assembly; PCB design and fabrication; board assembly; verification and test of these systems; and support for logistics, shipping, and storage. The end product is a high-reliability, high-performance computing application.

Indium Expands in Southwest

(March 23, 2007) CLINTON, N.Y. — Indium Corporation added KTEC Equipment and Supplies as its distributor for Arizona. KTEC, established in 1985, boasts a new facility and 15,000 sq.ft. warehouse capacity.

Verigy and Flextronics Celebrate a Major Manufacturing Transition Milestone

100th Verigy V5000 Memory Test System Shipped from Flextronics China

Lead-free Solder Maintains Consistent Properties

(March 22, 2007) IRVINE, Calif. — Designed for manufacturability and flexibility in various regional climatic conditions, the Multicore LF600 lead-free solder paste from the electronics group of Henkel provides humidity resistance, 24-hour open times, and low voiding.

Preheat Tool Reduces Warpage Risk

(March 22, 2007) GARDEN GROVE, Calif. — The focus preheater PCT-100 convection tool from OK International ramps to a desired preheat temperature and provide stability during hand assembly or rework operations on surface mount components. The system can also be used with thru-hole devices. Stable preheat temperatures can reduce the risk of board and component warpage due to thermal stresses.

CM Opens Rework-and-Repair Lab

(March 21, 2007) NORFOLK, England — Contract manufacturer (CM) Barric has established a dedicated rework-and-repair lab for the test, inspection, and repair of electronics products for manufacturers throughout Europe.

Uncovering the Potential: EMS Opportunities Within the Aerospace & Defense Industry

The Electronics and Sensors Group at Frost & Sullivan is pleased to announce its 2007 Quarterly Analyst Briefing Presentation on the aerospace and defense (A&D) EMS providers market to be held on Tuesday, March 27, 2007 at 12:00 p.m. CDT / 1:00 p.m. EDT.

Online Support Offers Real-time Answers

(March 20, 2007) NASHVILLE — A suite of online service support options from Kyzen Corporation gives users access to live support, which connects them instantly to a service advisor.

Solectron Expands Relationship with Kronos to Manage Global Workforce

The use of Kronos will allow Solectron to centralize and standardize its time and labor processes, improve labor analysis and reporting, and empower the organization to most effectively manage compliance with labor laws.

Inspection Guide Illustrates Defects

(March 19, 2007) FREMONT, Calif. — David Bernard, Ph.D., Dage, introduced A Practical Guide to X-ray Inspection Criteria and Common Defect Analysis as a teaching aid and reference guide. Information in the book covers an introduction to X-ray equipment, including several definitions; theories for effective use of AXI; and methods for detecting faults in PCBAs. Appendices give readers a guide to purchasing X-ray equipment, FAQs, and several references for further study.

SMTA Hosts Texas Shows

(March 19, 2007) DALLAS and HOUSTON, Texas — The SMTA Dallas and Houston chapters will host vendor days this week, along with technical programs, on March 21 and 23, respectively. Technical presentations are open to attendees, and will include a study from Umut Tosun, M.S.Ch.E., Zestron America, on the risks and implications of eutectic and lead-free cleaning in one process. The exhibitions will offer cleaning, thermal, radiation, and other products from the industry.

Doing Business in China; A Supplier Shares His Experiences

David Stone of Cerambus has been doing business in China for over four years and shares some of his experiences breaking into this exciting PCB market.

Glass to Lead RoHS/WEEE Division

(March 16, 2007) WATERTOWN, Mass. — RMD Instruments LLC appointed Steve Glass to business development manager for the RoHS/WEEE division. Glass will oversee markets globally for the company's LeadTracer line of RoHS-compliance-verification instruments.


On the show floor at IPC Printed Circuits Expo/APEX/Designers Summit, the more than 400 exhibitors provided product information, process knowledge, and interactive tools to a constant flow of attendees.

The India Printed Circuit Association Transforms Itself; Announces Alliance with IPC

Once strictly a PCB industry association, the IPCA is broadening its support to include PCB assemblies and semiconductors.

Pre-Reflow AOI Offers Real-time Accuracy

(March 15, 2007) Santa Clara, Calif. — Landrex Technologies, Inc., introduced a pre-reflow automated optical inspection (AOI) system, the Optima 7250 Caliper, which features advanced, high-precision measurement technology. It is said to provide accurate real-time feedback of component-placement errors.

IMS Appoints Sales Manager

(March 15, 2007) Portsmouth, R.I. — Barry Black has rejoined International Manufacturing Services, Inc. (IMS), after a two-year absence. Black will oversee sales in region two, including northern California, Colorado, Utah, Illinois, and parts of Wisconsin, New Jersey, Long Island, and the Dixie states. He also takes responsibility for sales in the U.K. and Ireland.

Teknek Begins Expansion Plans

(March 14, 2007) INCHINNAN, Glasgow, U.K. — Teknek will further develop its Inchinnan headquarters, add a campus facility, develop new market sectors, and begin licensing its technology in the next phase of its growth plan, said Jonathan Kennett, chairman and founder.

Next-gen Tools Improve Wave Soldering

(March 14, 2007) FRANKLIN, Mass. — The Electrovert VectraES wave solder system from Speedline Technologies provides flexibility with next-generation fluxer, preheat, and solder-module options and controls. The system enables both lead-free and tin/lead soldering.

ELFNET Launches European Roadmap

(March 14, 2007) HERTFORDSHIRE, U.K. — The European lead-free soldering network (ELFNET) released "The Future of European Electronics Interconnection," a roadmap based on member contributions and data from existing industry roadmaps. It describes the effect that lead-free soldering, sustainability, and miniaturization have on the interconnection supply chain, materials, and processes.

EU RoHS Compliant Does Not Mean "China RoHS" Compliant

China RoHS differs from EU RoHS by allowing any component that is <4mm3 to be treated as a homogeneous material. This covers most SMT passive components, allowing the limit of 1000ppm to be applied at component level, not homogeneous level.

AOI Applications Center Opens

(March 13, 2007) SAN JOSE, Calif. — Viscom AG opened a 7,250-sq.ft. applications center for automated optical inspection (AOI) and automated X-ray inspection (AXI) in Silicon Valley, part of a program to strengthen global application support. The inspection company will serve the western U.S. and Mexico from the San Jose center, with a particular focus on larger contract manufacturers (CMs).

EI Names Rajinder Rai VP of R&D

(March 13, 2007) ENDICOTT, N.Y. — Endicott Interconnect Technologies, Inc. (EI), appointed Rajinder Rai as vice president of R&D. Rai will assume immediate responsibility for a development team implementing advanced processes and manufacturing, and will manage resources and support functions for the company's R&D projects. Rai also will monitor and respond to state and federal program agencies for R&D opportunities.

Europlacer Receives North American Order

(March 12, 2007) APEX, N.C. — Europlacer North America, a division of Blakell Europlacer Limited (Poole, Dorset, U.K.), received an order from VadaTech Inc. (Henderson, Nev.) for the Vitesse2 SMT flexible assembly system.

EMS Acquisition Merges Design and Manufacturing

(March 12, 2007) SANTA BARBARA, Calif. — Design Solutions Inc. (DSI) acquired Paradigm Manufacturing Partners (PMP), an EMS and contract manufacturing (CM) provider based in Garden Grove, Calif. Adding PMP to the DSI company brings design and manufacturing under one step in the supply chain, said Sean O'Neil, president and CEO of DSI.

Nortec Appoints Domestic Reps

(March 12, 2007) LE ROY, N.Y. — Nortec Inc. appointed three manufacturing representatives for its harsh-environment identification products, and introduced a label targeting automated assembly environments.

Contract Awarded for Board-level Test

(March 12, 2007) STRAMBINO, Italy and PARIS — Seica, with EADS TEST & SERVICES, received a contract to provide test systems for production testing of Rafale fighters' onboard electronics, produced by Dassault Aviation. Dassault cited Seica's capacity to migrate tools from obsolete automated test equipment (ATE), real-time testing, and long-term support as impetus for the contract.

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