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Latest Articles

Henkel Names Technical Manager

(October 16, 2007) IRVINE, Calif. — Henkel Corporation promoted Renzhe Zhao, Ph.D., to technical manager of applications engineering, responsible for defining and supervising product development in stacked-die, underfill, and small molded package applications at the company's Calif. Technical Center. He will also oversee materials development in die-attach liquids, solder spheres, and tacky fluxes.

Dow Debuts Encapsulants for HB-LEDs

(October 16, 2007) MIDLAND, Mich. — Dow Corning Corp. introduced a range of silicone encapsulants for high-brightness LEDs (HB-LEDs), featuring low moisture absorption, improved heat dissipation, and high transparency with a refractive index of 1.53. The three formulas target various hardness and viscosity needs.

VIDEO: Made in America, Sold in Asia

Aqueous Technologies' Mike Konrad talks about how his company will continue manufacturing its products in the U.S. even though Asian sales are fueling its growth.

Enthone Licenses Catalytic Inks

(October 15, 2007) WEST HAVEN, Conn. — Enthone Inc., a business of Cookson Electronics, acquired exclusive global licensing rights to a line of catalytic inks for plating plastics from TECSEN SA (Brussels, Belgium). Enthone will manufacture, market, and sell the inks for use in inductive phone cards, flexible PCBs, RFIDs, and other application sectors, primarily under the EnTRACE brand.

Inovaxe Intros MSD-specific Storage

(October 15, 2007) SARASOTA, Fla. — Inovaxe Corp. debuted the INOCART-MSD handling solution for component traceability and moisture-sensitive device management. The tooling includes a tracking and timing software program that monitors MSDs in the factory and alerts users to components in danger of moisture-related problems.

SCS Curing System Combines Heat Sources

(October 15, 2007) INDIANAPOLIS — Specialty Coating Systems (SCS) introduced the SCS Precision IRT cure system, which uses convection and long-wave infrared (IR) heat sources. The system reportedly cures a variety of coatings and adhesives efficiently, in less time and with lower costs than other models.

Foxconn Revenues Hit New High in September

Foxconn Electronics's September revenues reached NT$115.16 billion (US$3.53 billion), up 14.7% sequentially and up 29.7% on year.

Integrated Test Opens Taiwan Office

(October 12, 2007) DALLAS — PCB and test-interface hardware manufacturer for ATE sectors Integrated Test Corporation expanded its Asia presence with a sales and applications office in Taiwan.

Indium Adds Sales in Eastern N.A.

(October 12, 2007) CLINTON, N.Y. — Indium Corporation named Simcona Electronics Corporation to distribute solder bar, flux-coated wire, and wave solder fluxes on the eastern coast of North America.

Panasonic Batteries Specified RoHS-compliant

(October 12, 2007) ELGIN, Ill. — Panasonic OEM Battery Group (Matsushita Battery Industrial —MBI) reports that it has voluntarily committed to eliminate RoHS-prohibited substances (lead, cadmium, mercury, hexavalent chromium, polybrominated biphenyls, and polybrominated diphenyl ethers) from its OEM batteries.

Cookson Expands India R&D Center

(October 12, 2007) BANGALORE, India — Cookson Electronics added personnel and equipment to its India Research Center, moving to a 32,000-sq.ft. facility in Bangalore this month. The company, which originally opened its India R&D on the Indian Institute of Science (IISc) campus, will continue its strategic partnership with the school.

EMS Provider Delivers True Value-Add to their OEM Customers through a Streamlined Communication and Collaboration Process

"Communication with our OEM customers is vital to our success as an EMS provider."

Cobar Adds R&D Scientist

(October 11, 2007) BREDA, the Netherlands — Cobar Europe BV, a business of Balver Zinn, appointed Di Wu, Ph.D., as R&D scientist. Wu holds degrees in chemistry, chemicals, and materials and interface chemistry.

SCS Acquires Japanese Coatings JV

(October 11, 2007) INDIANAPOLIS — Specialty Coating Systems, Inc. (SCS) acquired full ownership of its joint venture (JV) Parylene Japan K.K. (PJKK), established with Three Bond Co. Ltd. in 1990. The former JV will continue to provide Parylene conformal coating services and technologies in Japan under president Eddie Narita, and will operate as Parylene Japan, Inc.

SMTAI Show Highlights

(October 10, 2007) ORLANDO, Fla — SMTA International, October 7–11 in Orlando, enjoys its first year with an SMTA exhibition, selling out booth space. The show offers new products, the Lead-free Symposium, live chat rooms at the exhibits, and a roster of technical speakers, tutorials, and certification instructors. Following are highlights from the show floor from Indium, Austin American, ACE, Asymtek, Cooper Hand Tools, Henkel, EFD, Kyzen, Seica, PROMATION, and other exhibitors.

OEM Contract Manufacturing to Grow $11 Billion by 2011

The next few years are expected to be lucrative ones for OEMs (Original Equipment Manufacturers) and contract manufacturer companies processing raw materials for medical device companies--especially in niche areas and among OEMs that offer flexibility to move with market changes.

The Gold Record: TPCA Show 2007 Review

I-Connect007 Editor Steve Gold offers his impressions of last week's TPCA Show in Taipei--where substrate manufacture and assembly took center stage.

Victrex Opens Second Polymer Plant

(October 9, 2007) THORNTON CLEVELEYS, U.K. — Victrex plc opened a polymer manufacturing plant, designed to use minimal energy and water, at its main production facility in Lancashire, U.K. The plant increased production capacity for Victrex PEEK polymers by about 50%, and establishes a second, stand-alone source for the products.

Medical Market Lucrative for OEMs, CMs

(October 9, 2007) ROCKVILLE, Md. — The materials processing area of contract manufacturing for device manufacture will grow from $13.9 billion globally to $25.41 billion by 2011, according to "OEM Contract Manufacturing in Medical Devices, Volume I: Materials Processing," released by Kalorama Information, a division of

Printed Electronics Analysts Move to U.S.

(October 9, 2007) BOSTON — IDTechEx relocated its global headquarters to Boston, Mass., from Cambridge, U.K. The analyst firm also appointed Susann Reuter to its board of directors, charged with expanding activities in Europe's printed electronics and RFID industries.

Nam Tai to Restructure

(October 8, 2007) MACAO, China — Nam Tai Electronics, Inc., will seek to reorganize the group structure of its subsidiaries in an effort to realize several benefits similar to Nam Tai's proposed privatization of two subsidiaries in 2005. The proposed reorganization requires a series of transactions, involving capital shares and asset transfers, among Nam Tai, Nam Tai Electronic & Electrical Products Limited (NTEEP), J.I.C. Technology, Zastron Precision Tech, and various subsidiaries.

SMTA Congratulates 2007 Awards Winners

(October 8, 2007) MINNEAPOLIS — The SMTA named recipients of its Founder's Award and other recognitions during its annual meeting at SMTA International (SMTAI), October 7–11 in Orlando, Fla. The awards celebrate service to the SMTA and the industry in technical, corporate, leadership, and other roles.

VJ Electronix Upgrades Asia Base

(October 5, 2007) LITTLETON, Mass. — VJ Electronix, a VJ Technologies company, will enhance its spare parts, refurbishing, and customer demo center in Suzhou, China. Investments include expanded services, additional equipment, and relocating global sales manager Doug Robinson to the facility.

Unitemp Mini Reflow for R&D, NPI

(October 5, 2007) PFAFFENHOFEN, Germany — Unitemp released the RSS series of mini reflow soldering systems, with optional vacuum or gas atmospheres for R&D, prototyping, and small-series production. The machines feature controlled ramp and cool-down rates, and heat up to 450°C.

IPC Credits Members with Awards Series

(October 5, 2007) BANNOCKBURN, Ill. — IPC — Association Connecting Electronics Industries introduced the Founders Awards at its 50-year anniversary and first IPC Midwest Conference and Exhibition. Fifteen companies were recognized for continuous IPC membership for 40 or more years. IPC also announced recipients of the organization's Distinguished Committee Leadership, Special Recognition, and Committee Service awards.

Ironwood Debuts Fine-pitch BGA Socket

(October 5, 2007) BURNSVILLE, Minn. — Ironwood Electronics introduced a high-performance BGA ZIF socket for 0.4-mm-pitch BGAs. It is designed for a Shinko 12-mm form factor, and reportedly requires little board real estate.

Samsung Increases Throughput on Flexible Platform

(October 4, 2007) HORSHAM, Pa. — Dynatech Technology, Samsung's SMT Assembly Solutions distributor, will debut the SM411 and SM421 pick-and-place systems at Mexitrónica, October 23–25, 2007 in Guadalajara, Mexico. The placement systems are based on the company's SM400-series Smart platform.

OptoTherm Choses India Rep

(October 4, 2007) SEWICKLEY, Pa. — OptoTherm named DVS India Pvt. Ltd. as its sales representative for India. DVS India will distribute OptoTherm's EL line of thermal imaging test systems for PCB assembly and its Micro line for semiconductor test analysis.

Five Star Releases Silver-bearing Pastes

(October 4, 2007) CLEVELAND — Five Star Technologies introduced ElectroSperse silver-based conductive pastes for low-firing applications, as low as 380°C. The X-120, X-122, and X-126 are silver based, with uniform dispersion and low- to sub-micron particles.

Aqueous Names Eastern Europe Distributor

(October 4, 2007) RANCHO CUCAMONGA, Calif. — Aqueous Technologies Corporation appointed ETek Europe Ltd. to distribute its cleaning products throughout the Czech Republic, Hungary, Romania, and Bulgaria.

KAL Celebrates 15 Years

(October 4, 2007) SHENZHEN, China — Kasion Automation Limited (KAL), founded in 1992, celebrated its 15-year anniversary in Shenzhen, China, coinciding with week-long "China National Day" festivities. More than 150 industry members were present, including all KAL employees from various offices in Beijing, Tianjin, Shanghai, Nanjing, Shenzhen, Hong Kong headquarters, and subsidiary colleagues.

Advanced Innovations Wins UNICOR Contract

(October 3, 2007) HUNTSVILLE, Ala. and LIMERICK, Ireland — InfoPro Corporation, U.S. subsidiary of Advanced Innovations, won a $5,000,000 contract from UNICOR, Federal Prison Industries' trade group, to supply electronic components to UNICOR's electronics group.

BTU Adds Barcode Traceability

(October 3, 2007) NORTH BILLERICA, Mass. — BTU International Inc. added barcode support to its WinCon Windows-based control system for handheld and fixed scanners as well as automated systems.

TRUMPF Acquires AFM Canada

(October 3, 2007) FARMINGTON, Conn. — TRUMPF Inc. purchased 100% of Advanced Fabricating Machinery (AFM), a Canada-based fabricating and laser technology supplier. AFM was formed in 1997 as an equal joint venture (JV) between TRUMPF and Robert Watson.

Solder Products Roundtable - Adjusting to Life in the North American Market

Key solder suppliers talk about the transitions they've made over the last seven years adjusting to the changes in the North American Market.

Laser Direct Testing of IC Package Substrates

Laser Direct Testing technology (LDT technology) converts UV light into electricity enabling electrons to move in and out of the conductive traces of PCBs without any contact and therefore permitting the non-contact, "bed of nails-free" testing of complex substrates for Opens and Shorts.

Indium Promotes Thermal Manager

(October 2, 2007) CLINTON, N.Y. — Indium Corporation promoted Jordan Ross to market manager for thermal applications, managing global initiatives, new product launches, and regional and applications strategies.

Manncorp Intros Vertical-lift Printers

(October 2, 2007) SAN DIEGO, Calif. and WILLOW GROVE, Pa. — Manncorp released the 5500R and 4500R vertical-lift stencil printers for double-sided, fine-pitch, and high-mix processing. The 5500R offers 20" × 22" print area; the 4500R is 16" × 18".

XJTAG Supplies Test for Railway-control PCBs

(October 2, 2007) CAMBRIDGE, U.K. — Westinghouse Rail Systems (Chippenham, Wiltshire, U.K.) selected XJTAG's suite of boundary scan test and development tools for its prototype automatic train control PCBs. The PCBs are high-value, safety-critical, and populated with BGAs and other complex devices.

RoHS: One year later

The industry perception prior to July 2006 was a virtual overnight switch to lead-free. However, today many OEMs still have a "don't care, wait and see attitude" since they're either RoHS-exempt at this time or don't sell into Europe.

August Book-to-Bill Climbs to 1.06

(October 1, 2007) BANNOCKBURN, Ill. — The combined rigid and flex PCB industry book-to-bill for North America rose to 1.06 in August, according to IPC's North American PCB statistical program. While bookings and shipments are down from August 2006 in both segments by about 10%, production looks to be strong through the next quarter, said Denny McGuirk, IPC president.

Leica Integrates FusionOptics on Stereomicroscope

(October 1, 2007) BANNOCKBURN, Ill. and WETZLAR, Germany — Leica Microsystems introduced the M205 C stereomicroscope line featuring proprietary FusionOptics imaging. It suits microelectronics manufacturing, materials science applications, medical device manufacturing, and related industrial applications.

SMTAI 2008: Call for Abstracts

(October 1, 2007) EDINA, Minn. — The SMTA International (SMTAI) technical committee is accepting abstracts and short-course proposals for SMTAI 2008 through January 7, 2008. Topics solicited fall into emerging technologies, components, assembly, PCB technology, and business. SMTAI 2008 will take place August 17–21 in Orlando, Fla.

Misumi Sponsors Machine-build Seminar

(October 1, 2007) SCHAUMBURG, Ill. — Misumi USA, Inc., will sponsor the Configuration Technical Seminar, October 11 from 11 to 3 in Schaumburg. The seminar covers machine build techniques incorporating configurable components.

2007 International Printed Circuit & Electronics Assembly Fair to Be Held 5-7 December in Shenzhen

The Effective One-stop Platform Geared Up to Unveil Latest Innovations. By date of this release, more than 400 worldwide exhibitors have been confirmed participation to showcase the latest innovations and technologies.

KIC Names Rep in Eastern Europe

(September 28, 2007) SAN DIEGO — KIC appointed NEW COMP POLSKA Sp. z.o. o. as its distributor for thermal profiling systems and manufacturing product groups. The company supplies capital equipment and related products to the electronics industry in Poland; the Ukraine; and Kaliningrad, Russia.

Plexus Approved for Class-III Medical in Asia

(September 28, 2007) NEENAH, Wis. — Plexus Corp. received approval to manufacture class-III finished medical devices at one of its Penang, Malaysia facilities from the federal food and drug administration (FDA). The devices are for a tier-one medical OEM.

Kyzen Database Gathers Test Data

(September 28, 2007) NASHVILLE — The Know the Score! database went live in Kyzen's Applications and R&D Laboratories, collecting data points from Kyzen's cleaning tests globally and providing real-time access for product engineers.

Aegis Moves Euro Headquarters, Adds Director

(September 28, 2007) HIGH WYCOMBE, U.K. — Aegis Software (Europe) Ltd. appointed Daniel Walls as managing director for Europe. The company also moved its European headquarters to a facility near High Wycombe in Buckinghamshire, U.K. The headquarters includes a larger training facility and improved communications equipment.

EI Opens Shenzhen Manufacturing

(September 28, 2007) ENDICOTT, N.Y. and SHENZHEN, China — Endicott Interconnect Technologies (EI) began production of high-volume/lower-cost, fully assembled PCBs at its EI Shenzhen facility. The 40,000-sq.ft. production facility offers SMT assembly technologies, press fit, wave solder, selective pin thru-hole (PTH) solder, and hand assembly and soldering equipment.

TFI Predicts About 11% Moderate Growth for EMS/ODM

(September 28, 2007) ALAMEDA, Calif. — Technology Forecasters Inc. (TFI) projects the EMS market to grow 11.9% CAGR through 2011, and original design manufacturers (ODMs) to see 11.4% CAGR increases. Various strategies are emerging for EMS/ODM companies to capitalize on higher profit margins, though average selling prices (ASPs) in end markets continue to challenge profitability, said Matt Chanoff, economist and senior consultant with the forecasting firm.

Geotest Adds U.K. Distributor

(September 28, 2007) IRVINE, Calif. Geotest - Marvin Test Systems, Inc., named Amplicon Liveline Ltd. as its exclusive distributor in the U.K. Amplicon will represent Geotest's complete line of products, including PXI- and PC-based instrumentation, ATEasy software, and GPIB instruments.

Plexus Receives FDA Approval for Asian Manufacturing Facility

Plexus Corp., today, announced that one of its Penang, Malaysia facilities has received approval from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), through its premarket approval (PMA) supplement evaluation process, to manufacture class III finished devices on behalf of a large tier-one medical OEM.

Changeover Optimization in Electronics Assembly

Electronics assembly today is more and more moving toward high-mix production. This is especially true for NPI lines in the United States and Europe.

Ron Lasky Speaks on Rapid WEEE/RoHS Compliance

(September 26, 2007) CLINTON, N.Y. — Ronald C. Lasky, Ph.D., senior technologist at Indium Corporation, will present "A Procrastinator's Guide to Rapid WEEE and RoHS compliance" at IPC/JEDEC International Lead-free Conference, October 4–5 in Berlin.

Networking Buyers to Suppliers Mexitrónica's Focus

(September 26, 2007) GUADALAJARA, Mexico — Mexitrónica, October 23–25 in Guadalajara, will offer several presentations, special events, and workshops aiming to bring suppliers together with electronics manufacturers. The tradeshow is co-sponsored by the National Chamber for Electronics, Telecommunication, and IT Industries in Mexico (CANIETI) and ROC Exhibitions, Inc. It is part of the International Design and Manufacturing Technology Week.

SMTA International Coming Into Focus

With less than two weeks until SMTA International in Orlando, event organizers focus on what makes this event unique.

Cobar Promotes Raetsen to Sales

(September 25, 2007) BREDA, Holland — Cobar Europe BV, part of the Balver Zinn Group, named Han Raetsen as sales manager, responsible for solder products in Europe, Russia, and Africa. He previously served as customer support manager.

SMTAI Releases Show Agenda

(September 25, 2007) ORLANDO, Fla. — The SMTA will follow a motto of "Focus" for SMTA International 2007 (SMTAI), October 7–11 in Orlando. The organization boasts special sessions on lead-free/RoHS, SMTA certification testing, open networking events on the show floor, and other programs for attendees.

Photo Stencil Expands Pallet Group

(September 25, 2007) COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — Photo Stencil will centralize order processing and manufacturing of its new process-pallet product group, to establish better alignment with its stencil product line and perform design, assembly, and quality assurance (QA) at its Colorado Springs headquarters. The company has added ESD-safe carriers to the pallet line for wave and SMT solder processes.

CBA Chairman Takes Helm at Universal

(September 25, 2007) BINGHAMTON, N.Y. — Jean-Luc Pelissier, chairman of the CBA Group, comprising Universal Instruments Corporation, Vitronics Soltec, Unovis Solutions, and Hover-Davis, will take assume the role of president and CEO at Universal in October. Jeroen Schmits, Universal's current president and CEO, will pursue a career outside of the electronics manufacturing equipment industry.

High-throughput AOI System Debuts

(September 24, 2007) HANOVER, Germany — Viscom Inc. released the next-generation S3088-II high-speed automated optical inspection (AOI) machine, with redesigned operation, 8M sensor technology, and the company's EasyPro3D user interface.

NOTE Adds China-based EMS Facility

(September 24, 2007) STOCKHOLM, Sweden — European EMS provider NOTE will acquire 50% of Ionics EMS' (Philippines) China production facility through a strategic collaboration. The facility will serve existing customers in telecom and industrial end-markets, while attracting additional customers through cost-effective manufacturing, according to Arne Forslund, CEO and president, NOTE.

"Boot Camp" Targets New SMT Personnel

(September 24, 2007) ROLLING MEADOWS, Ill. — BEST, Inc., launched an SMT class, "Boot Camp," explaining theory and practice of SMT assembly to new operators, technicians, engineers, and other beginners in the industry.

Sierra Midwest Acquires PCB Maker

(September 24, 2007) SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — PCB manufacturer Sierra Midwest, a Sierra Circuits company, added Nutronics Manufacturing, Inc. (Springfield), to its business. Sierra stated that Nutronics' customer base is suited to its product offering, driving the purchase.

ATC Approved to Merge into AVX

(September 24, 2007) HUNTINGTON STATION, N.Y. — American Technical Ceramics Corp. (ATC) shareholders approved the company's plan to become a wholly owned subsidiary of AVX Corporation (Myrtle Beach, S.C.). ATC will bring capacitor, thin-film, and other commercial and military components to AVX's components offering.

NOTE Acquires Production Capacity in China

NOTE is starting a strategic collaboration with Ionics EMS of the Philippines. In the first phase, NOTE will acquire 50% of Ionics EMS's facility in China.

Video: Marketing in China

A discussion with Indium's Rick Short of what works--and what doesn't--when marketing in China.

Inovaxe Adds Inside Sales Director

(September 21, 2007) SARASOTA, Fla. — Inovaxe Corp. hired Kim Lewis as director of inside sales. She boasts 12 years experience in sales and marketing positions.

Genesis Adds Medical-electronics Customer

(September 21, 2007) TAMPA, Fla. — Genesis Electronics Manufacturing, Inc. (GEM), won a contract with a medical device manufacturer, adding to its medical business segment. The EMS provider anticipates medical electronics to account for 30% of revenue by the end of 2007.

Lightspeed Expands Mass. Facility

(September 21, 2007) METHUEN, Mass. — Lightspeed Manufacturing enlarged its manufacturing and engineering square-footage by one-third, adding a shipping dock, advanced documentation station, and other work areas. The company cites increased order volume and growth in new orders as impetus for the expansion.

3-W Surface Mount Resistors in 1-W Package

(September 21, 2007) CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — The LRF3W series is a 3-W surface mount chip resister offered in a package traditionally rated at 1 W. TT electronics IRC Advanced Film Division released the component for fuel gauging, AC/DC power supplies, and related applications.

VIDEO: SMTA International Committee Chair Discusses China, Emerging Markets

Dr. Chuck Bauer, president of TechLead Corp., discusses the SMTA International Committee and its work in China. He also speculates on what emerging markets SMTA might move into.

IC Insights Shows Dip in Analog Circuits

(September 20, 2007) SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — The midyear update to The McClean Report, which provides market forecasts on the IC industry, shows that 2007 will see the analog IC market's first decline since 2001. However, this market is expected to grow again in 2008, dropping 2% this year while increasing 15% the next. IC Insights points to inventory corrections in portable electronic units, particularly cellular phones, as reason for the slide. Price erosion is also a factor.

DFM Software for Fast Design Feedback

(September 20, 2007) WEST SUSSEX, U.K. — Through a partnership between Artetch Circuits and Direct Logix, software developers have introduced Control Center automated design for manufacturing (DFM) software to the PCB market. Sources indicate this software provides timely manufacturing design feedback with full-time feedback.

Electronics Output in CEE to Reach US$42B in 2007

After double digit growth in 2005, electronics output in the CEE is set to increase further by 8.1% and 8.5% in 2006 and 2007 respectively. That works out at a projected figure of US$42 billion for 2007.

Silver-filled Epoxy Resin

(September 19, 2007) CRANSTON, R.I. — A two-component epoxy adhesive, 40-3900 from Epoxies, Etc., is an electrically conductive epoxy resin said to offer conductivity with an electrical resistivity value of < 1 X 10-4 Ω cm.

Surface Mount Fuses for Consumer Electronics

(September 19, 2007) SANTA ROSA, Calif. — The USF 0402 surface mount fuse from Schurter Inc., is said to feature a Super Quick Acting (FF) characteristic at rated currents ranging from 0.375 to 4 A at 32 VDC; 5A at 24 VDC.

Selective Soldering with Closed-loop Pre-heat Control

(September 19, 2007) ELK GROVE VILLAGE, Ill. — The Jade selective soldering system with topside board pre-heating from Pillarhouse uses four individually controlled fast-response, medium-wavelength infrared lamps.

Prasad Teaches Design and Manufacturing Course

(September 18, 2007) PORTLAND, Ore. — Ray Prasad will teach a three-day in-depth course on SMT and BGA Design and Manufacturing in Portland, Ore., October 1-3, 2007.

Morey Corporation Unveils Innovation Center

(September 17, 2007) WOODRIDGE, Ill. — The Morey Corporation unveiled the Richard and Gene Morey Innovation Center last week, a 27,500-square-foot advanced engineering development center focused on new product and process development. The facility houses lab and research areas as well as production equipment for electronics assembly.

VIDEO: An Interview with DEK CEO John Hartner

DEK CEO John Hartner visits the Real Time with...Nepcon South China studio. Hartner's straightforward style makes this an atypical CEO interview.

Matric Earns IPC Certification for Lead Free Electronics Assembly Process Capability

The IPC certification program is an audit of an electronics assembly facility -- whether it's an original equipment manufacturing (OEM) or EMS facility -- to determine if the facility is capable of producing product to meet the lead free requirements of the RoHS Directive.

Matric Receives IPC Lead-free Certification

(September 13, 2007) BANNOCKBURN, Ill. — EMS provider Matric (Seneca, Pa.) is the 11th company to be awarded IPC's Certification for RoHS Lead-free Electronics Assembly Process Capability Program.

Symposium Assists with HDI Design Techniques

(September 13, 2007) BANNOCKBURN, Ill. — Three top PCB design gurus will share their expertise on board design trends and technologies at the IPC Designers Learning Symposium, October 10, 2007, in Santa Ana, Calif.

Apple, VW Turn Key on iCar Talks

(September 13, 2007) EL SEGUNDO, Calif. — The rise in in-car electronics offers manufacturers and drivers new opportunities. However, users have become accustomed to the always-on functionality of their consumer electronics devices, which have yet to translate into their cars. But reported talks between Apple Inc. and Volkwagen AG may change this, says research firm iSuppli.

Growing Importance of the EMS Industry in Europe

Thanks to a combination of strong foreign investment and lower operating costs, together with reduced manufacturing in Western Europe, CEE now accounts for more than half of the total EMS output.

Pre-heat Solder Systems Debut

(September 11, 2007) SPOKANE, Wash. — The KISS product line of electronics assembly selective soldering systems will soon feature internal pre-heating modules. These systems reportedly allow for better soldering results in high-mass assemblies, which require continuous pre-heating on both the top and bottom.

Speedline Educates on Upstream Defect Inspection

(September 11, 2007) FRANKLIN, Mass. — On Thursday, October 18, 2007, Speedline will focus their monthly educational webinar on upstream solder joint defect inspection and the transition from quality through inspection to quality through design by looking at the printing process. The one-hour presentation begins at 11:00 EST.

High-frequency Circuit Laminates

(September 10, 2007) ROGERS, Conn. — The RO4500 line of circuit laminates is said to have the controlled dielectric constant, low loss, and passive intermodulation (PIM) response that wireless infrastructure markets require.

SMT Boot Camp Heightens Assembly Knowledge

(September 10, 2007) ROLLING MEADOWS, Ill. — BEST Inc. is offering SMT "Boot Camp," a professional training course for new SMT technicians, operators, and engineers looking to increase their knowledge and understanding of the manufacturing steps for electronic assemblies.

Automated High-density Tooling System

(September 10, 2007) FLEMINGTON, N.J. — Building off strengths of the automated Grid-Lok tooling system, DEK introduced the HD Grid-Lok high-density tooling system to automate PCB assembly and drive-enhanced productivity.

Checksum Hires Broderick to Head Asia Ops

(September 7, 2007) ARLINGTON, Wash. — Steve Broderick was hired to the post of Director of Asia Operations at CheckSum's Shanghai facility.

Nitrogen Generator Intros

(September 7, 2007)— Dominick Hunter introduced the Maxigas nitrogen generator as a method for companies to reduce the cost of nitrogen gas by generating their own supply from compressed air.

Data-collection Tool Aids in Manual Inspection

(September 7, 2007) PETACH TIKVA, Israel — DCollector is a dynamic data-collection tool reportedly gathers defect information accurately. The system, developed by Proventus Technologies Ltd., uses CA data from a PCB to provide layout information to a quality control (QC) inspector.

KIC Shows Thermal Products at International Events

(September 7, 2007) SAN DIEGO, Calif. — Thermal process development and control product manufacturer KIC will highlight its KIC Explorer thermal profiler and KIC Vision automatic profiler at upcoming shows — ELCOMP India exhibition and Forum de l'Electronique 2007 — in its distributors' booths.

Compliant-pin Connectors for Harsh Environments

(September 7, 2007) MILPITAS, Calif. — An enhanced line of smooth sliding, fast-holding press-fit compliant-pin connectors are available from Onanon Inc. The solderless connectors suit harsh-environment electronics.

Elcoteq's Plant in Dongguan, China Expanded

Elcoteq has expanded and made technical upgrades to its manufacturing plant to enhance its capability to serve Communications Technology customers

SMTAI Returns to Orlando, Moves to August in '08

(September 6, 2007) ORLANDO, Fla. — SMTA International (SMTAI) Conference and Show will return to Orlando for its second year, at Disney's Coronado Springs Hotel, August 17-21, 2008.

DEK, BTU Partner on Solar Cell Manufacturing

(September 6, 2007) MILAN, Italy — At the European Photovoltaic Solar Energy Conference in Milan, Sept. 3–7) DEK and BTU International announced an alliance to deliver a complete in-line metallization process solution for solar cell manufacturing.

4th Webinar Tackles Competitive EMS Branding

(September 6, 2007) — Powell-Mucha Consulting, in collaboration with the SMTA, will host the final portion of its EMS Webinar series, "Guide to Building a Competitive EMS Brand: Integrating EMS Marketing, Sales, and Operations in the Account Acquisition Process," on Wed., September 12, from 1-2:30 p.m. EST.

Video: SMTA Launches Chinese-Language Process Engineering Certification Program

I-Connect007 Editor Steve Gold speaks with Jim Hall of ITM Consulting about SMTA's first process engineering course taught in Chinese.

Flexible Selective Soldering System

(September 5, 2007) MORRISVILLE, N.C. — The 350 Selective Soldering System from Juki Corporation is capable of lead-free production. X, Y, Z, and A axes servo-drive system and the functionality to begin production immediately are standard on the soldering system.

EI Manufactures Large, Complex PBCAs

(September 5, 2007) ENDICOTT, N.Y. — Large, complex PCBs for use in compute-intensive applications such as servers and mainframes for the defense, aerospace, and commercial markets are available from Endicott Interconnect (EI) Technologies.

Bench-top Dispensing Robots

(September 5, 2007) FAIR LAWN, N.J. — The I&J 4000-LF is designed to perform a maximum number of bench-top dispensing applications, including form-in-place gaskets, potting, and filling. It is equipped with easy programming utilities.

Editorially Speaking: A Review of Nepcon South China

I-Connect007 Editor Steve Gold and EMSNow Editor Philip Stoten offer their perspective of last week's Nepcon South China exhibition.

Cobar Group Becomes Part of Balver Zinn

(September 4, 2007) BALVE, Germany and BREDA, Holland — The Cobar Group BV became part of Balver Zinn with the final full transfer of ownership, following a signed Letter of Intent to merge in March 2007. Balvar Zinn Group focuses on the metallurgy of solder materials and non-ferrous metals. Cobar will lead the future development of solder paste, flux, and other related materials.

Wire-to-Board IDC Connectors

(September 4, 2007) MYRTLE BEACH, S.C.— The AVX Series 9175 and 9176 single-row surface mount IDC connectors from AVX Corp., let users connect discrete devices to a board using a simple hand tool.

Foxconn EPS Hit Highest Level in 1H07

Foxconn Electronics saw its after-tax profits move up 32% on year, to top NT$31.26 billion (US$944.4 million) in the first half of 2007.

NBS Expands to Materials Procurement Services

(August 31, 2007) SANTA CLARA, Calif. — NBS Design has added a materials procurement service and supply-chain veteran Kirk Knudsen to its suite of PCB layout and NPI-to-pilot production manufacturing services.

IPC Executive Forum Fosters Innovation

(August 31, 2007) BANNOCKBURN, Ill. — IPC — Association Connecting Electronics Industries will highlight success through innovation at its 2007 Executive Market and Technology Forum Conference in Shanghai, China, September 19-20, 2007.

Versatile Flip-chip Underfills

(August 31, 2007) IRVINE, Calif. — The Hysol FP4581 and FP4583 flip-chip underfill materials are said to offer improvements over previous technologies.

Real-Time with Nepcon South China - Interview Paul Benke, Zero Defects

Benke talks about his company's efforts in China, but talks extensively about the recently annouced Occam Process

Real-Time with Nepcon China - Interview Hamed El-Abd, President, WKK Distribution

The president of China's largest overseas equipment distributor offers his insights into current Chinese market conditions and evaluates the Shenzhen International Exhibition Center--especially when compared to the Nepcon China Everbright venue

Customizable PCB Conveyor Lines

(August 30, 2007) PLEASANT PRAIRIE, Wisc. — A series of edge-carry transfer units for PCB conveyance from PROMATION allows for customized product lines.

Equipment Market Benefits from Lead-free Laws

(August 30, 2007) PALO ALTO, Calif. — The EU's RoHS Directive has had a significant effect on the surface mount assembly industry — both positive and negative. But removing lead from electronics products had been a boon for certain SMT equipment providers, specifically screen printers, soldering equipment, cleaning systems, and inspection, claims research firm Frost & Sullivan.

July Book-to-Bill Steadiness Encouraging, notes IPC

(August 30, 2007) BANNOCKBURN, Ill.— The July combined rigid PCB and flex circuit book-to-bill ratio held just above parity at 1.02, shows the monthly North American PCB Statistical Program from IPC — Association Connecting Electronics Industries.

40th iMAPS Packed with Activities

(August 29, 2007) SAN JOSE— The International Microelectronics and Packaging Society (IMAPS) will host the 40th International Symposium on Microelectronics, November 11-14, 2007, at the McEnery Convention Center in San Jose. The event features prominent speakers, a technical program, professional development courses, and more.

It's Official. Zestron Opens Worlwide Cleaning Facility

(August 29, 2007) MANASSAS, Va.— Zestron officially opened its Worldwide Center of Competence and Excellence for Inline Cleaning, housing equipment from various leading companies.

Startronics Merges with Sanmina in Australia

This deal is significant as it will form the largest electronics manufacturing services company in Australia by combining the local market leader with the largest offshore player operating in the region.

Real-Time with Nepcon China - Interview: Dr. Dongkai Shannguan, Vice President, Flextronics

Dr. Shannguan talks extensively about the technologies and capbilities Flextronics is working on to support their global customer base.

Real-Time with Nepcon South China: DEK President and CEO John Hartner

EMS007 goes inside DEK's new Shenzhen factory. View the speech given by DEK's CEO at their Shenzhen factory grand opening on August.

Pan Pac Seeks Presenters

(August 28, 2007)— There are currently six spots available for speakers to present at SMTA's 13th Annual Pan Pacific Symposium, to be held January 22-24, 2008, in Kauai, Hawaii.

Free PCB Layout Software

(August 28, 2007) AURORA, Colo.— A free, user-friendly, intuitive PCB layout software suite — PCB Artist — is available for manufacturers, designs, and engineers.

SenDEC Ranks 23rd Among Private Manufacturers

(August 28, 2007) ROCHESTER, N.Y.— SenDEC Corporation, a contract electronics manufacturer (CEM) and maker of digital hour meters and engine monitoring devices, ranked 940 on Inc. magazine's 5,000 list of the fastest-growing private U.S. companies. The company also was rated 23rd in the nation for the fastest-growing manufacturing companies.

Advanced Image Processing Added to Benchtop AOI

(August 28, 2007) SAN CLEMENTE, Calif.— The next-gen TYV B3 benchtop automated optical inspection (AOI) system is equipped with proprietary Fusion Lightning technology.

SMD Switches Facilitate Flexible Designs

(August 27, 2007) SCHAUMBURG, Ill.— The A6RS series of gull-winged terminal surface mounted (SMD) rotary DIP switches from Omron Electronic Components LLC are available for static function-select settings on control boards.

Prototype House Installs AOT System

(August 27, 2007) SURREY, England — Lloyd Doyle customer Multifor Ltd. (Quebec, Canada) has installed a redline 6000X 10-µm automated optical test (AOT) system to scan its PCB manufacturing materials.

Solder Products Value Council Studies Take Action Limits

(August 27, 2007) BANNOCKBURN, Ill.— The IPC Solder Products Value Council (SPVC) has taken on its next project — Take Action Limits (TAL) — also known as dump-pot specifications. The project goal is to develop well-defined limits to guide manufacturers on efficient solder use for improved yields.

Photovoltaic Conference Highlights Product Intros

(August 24, 2007) MILANO, Italy — The 22nd European Photovoltaic Solar Energy Conference, September 3–7 in Milano, will feature an increased presence of electronics materials companies launching products targeting the photovoltaics market. Following are the introductions Cookson and Indium plan for the show.

Trade Groups Lobby Specialty Metals Rule

(August 24, 2007) ATLANTA — The National Electronic Distributors Association (NEDA) joined the Specialty Metals Availability Reform Team (SMART) coalition in filing a letter of support for proposed DFARS rule, which would make specialty metals acquisition restrictions inapplicable to commercial off the shelf (COTS) components. Military and defense electronics bills of materials (BOMs) often include COTS components and subassemblies.

Endicott Interconnect Lands PCB Contract

(August 24, 2007) ENDICOTT, N.Y. — Raytheon Company's Space and Airborne Systems partnered with Endicott Interconnect Technologies, Inc. (EI), for a multi-year PCB production contract. EI will supply PCBs for the common integrated processor (CIP) unit in F-22 Raptor airplanes. This is EI's first contract with Raytheon.

Thin-film Epoxy Cures Without Heat

(August 23, 2007) HACKENSACK, N.J. — Master Bond Inc. released a low-viscosity transparent epoxy, EP30-4, that cures to components and various substrates without external heat. It forms a 0.025" or thicker film for conformal coating, potting, adhesive, and sealant uses. The two-component product can be spray or flow dispensed.

Enthone Appoints Process Integration Manager

(August 22, 2007) WEST HAVEN, Conn. — Enthone, Inc., a business of Cookson Electronics, named Bioh Kim as process integration manager of electronic materials. Kim has a metallurgical and semiconductor packaging background.

Valor Adds East Europe Rep

(August 22, 2007) YAVNE, Israel and BRUSSELS, Belgium — Valor Computerized Systems, Ltd., will partner with JSD Polska SP (Poland) to extend its representation into Poland; the Ukraine; and Kaliningrad, Russia.

EMS Reverses 2001 Decline

(August 22, 2007) SAN JOSE, Calif. — The global EMS market brought in $223 billion in 2006, climbing 17% from 2005. The EMS sector also recorded substantially better profits than in any previous year, reversing a series of losses that began with the industry's 2001 downturn, reports Electronic Trend Publications (ETP). Trends toward outsourcing, migration to Asia manufacturing, and producing computer and communications equipment all continue into 2007, with adjustments through 2011.

Multi-metal Test Simplifies RoHS Screening

(August 21, 2007) AUSTIN, Texas — Seiko Instruments Inc., subsidiary of SII NanoTechnology Inc., developed a reportedly simple and precise method to analyze 13 different types of metals — including silver and cadmium — in solder with one test, a technique it hopes to put to use in developing new lead-free solders that meet the EU's stringent RoHS directives, reports the Nikkei Business Daily.

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.

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