Article Highlights
Reflow Perspectives to Flex Circuit Assemblies
07/13/2018 | Stephen Las Marias, I-Connect007
Is There an End in Sight to the Electronic Components Crisis?
07/12/2018 | Neil Sharp, JJS Manufacturing
Conversation with Miraco… Strategies for Successful Flex Circuit Assembly
07/11/2018 | Stephen Las Marias, I-Connect007
Aegis on CFX and Hermes Efforts
07/10/2018 | Barry Matties, I-Connect007
Tackling the Challenges in Flex Assembly
07/06/2018 | Stephen Las Marias, I-Connect007

Latest Articles

US Energy's AEC Enters Manufacturing Agreement with EdgeAccess

The Agreement has resulted in Purchase Orders exceeding $125,000 for 2006 and is expected to reach $3 million for 2007.

KIC Updates Thermal Software

(August 30, 2006) SAN DIEGO, Calif. — KIC has created version 2.3.0.0 for its KIC 24/7 thermal process monitoring system. The updated version includes bug fixes, improved printing capabilities, oven communication with SEHO reflow ovens, and improved alarm functionality.

Francisco Partners Acquires Universal, Hover Davis

(August 30, 2006) BINGHAMTON, N.Y. — Francisco Partners, a technology-focused private equity firm, has signed an agreement with Dover Technologies International to purchase Universal Instruments. The deal also includes the acquisition of Vitronics-Soltec (Stratham, N.H.) and Rochester, N.Y.-based Hover-Davis, Inc., which will be run as separate entities.

VJ's Cabral to Present on Rework

(August 30, 2006) LITTLETON, Mass. — Al Cabral of VJ Electronix will present during the "Lead-free Rework Basics" session of the SMTA International Conference in Rosemont, Ill., on September 27, 2006.

PCB Production Up, Shows METI

(August 29, 2006) TOKYO — The Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry (METI) of Japan released PCB production data for the country's first half of 2006, indicating growth in all areas except flex circuit boards.

BP Microsystems Adds an M

(August 29, 2006) HOUSTON — BP Microsystems, a device programming systems supplier, will change its name to BPM Microsystems. After 21 years, the company has decided to change its name, citing confusion with a Houston-based oil company BP Amoco.

Isola Notes Rise in Laminates

(August 29, 2006) CHANDLER, Ariz. — Isola Group, designer, developer, and manufacturer of base materials, reported notable growth in lead-free-capable laminates.

Electronics Industry Survey Studies OEMs

(August 28, 2006) SAN JOSE, Calif. — Venture Outsource, an electronics outsourcing strategy firm, announced key findings from its online survey, "Eyes on Electronics Outsourcing Industry 2006," noting fast-growing electronics market segments. The survey also found that the majority of OEMs outsource, which helps them reach cycle-time requirements. EMS providers and ODMs find engaging new business areas challenging.

CyberOptics Gathers Products for NEPCON

(August 25, 2006) MINNEAPOLIS — CyberOptics Corp. will highlight several products at NEPCON South China — taking place in Shenzhen, China, from August 29 through September 1, 2006 — including its SE 300 Ultra, EPV 5, and Process Insight.

Pico Demonstrates Rework and Assembly

(August 25, 2006) BERLIN — FINETECH will exhibit the FINEPLACER Pico system at NEPCON South China 2006, from August 29 to September 1, 2006, in Shenzhen, China. The Pico on display will be capable of flip chip bonding, rework, and assembly.


Prototyping Station Debuts at NEPCON

(August 24, 2006) SHENZHEN, China — ESSEMTEC AG will showcase its EXPERT-SAFP universal prototyping station at NEPCON South China, August 29 through September 1, 2006, in Shenzhen, China.

Test System Highlighted at NEPCON

(August 24, 2006) SHENZHEN, China — Seica SpA of Strambino, Italy, will showcase upgrades to its Strategy test system with the Strategy VL at NEPCON South China, August 29 through September 1, 2006, in Shenzhen, China. Seica will promote use of its products for high-reliability industries, particularly automotives.

DEK Expands Online Support

(August 24, 2006) WEYMOUTH, U.K. — DEK machine owners can download 3-D engineering models for all company printer subassemblies over broadband Internet, allowing operators to examine components in detail without taking a machine offline, or verify and order parts or upgrades.

Laminating Resins Withstand Lead-free Temperatures

(August 24, 2006) THE WOODLANDS, Texas — Huntsman Advanced Materials introduced two halogen-free laminating resins to comply with current regulatory requirements for PCB manufacturing. AZYRAL one- and two-component laminating systems produce a low dielectric constant, low dissipation factor, and volume and surface resistivity.

Henkel Malaysia Recognized for Productivity

(August 23, 2006) IPOH, Malaysia — The National Productivity Corporation (NPC) awarded Henkel's Malaysian operations with the country's 2006 Productivity Award.

Adhesives Research Names Market Manager

(August 23, 2006) GLEN ROCK, Pa. — Adhesives Research, Inc., an adhesives developer and manufacturer, hired Kirk Lawrence to manage its ARcare division.

Catalog Offers Unified Products

(August 23, 2006) DANVERS, Mass. — ITW Devcon merged Devcon and Permatex brands in its catalog to form a unified product offering for OEM assembly and plant maintenance/repair.

SMTAI Hosts Industry-focused Job Fair

(August 23, 2006) ROSEMONT, Ill. — The SMTA will host a Job Center at SMTAI — bringing local and national companies' information about electronics manufacturing and supply job openings to conference attendees. The SMTA will provide booth space and job listings at the event. Those interested will receive copies of job descriptions that suit them, as well as company contact information.

SMTAI Papers Cover Diverse Topics

(August 23, 2006) HAVERHILL, Mass. and FREEMONT, Calif. — SMTAI 2006 will features numerous paper presentations covering diverse and innovative topics within the electronics manufacturing market. Two papers, presented by Stuart Erickson and David Bernard, respectively, include information from dispensing control for conformal coating to detecting popcorning in lead-free BGAs.

SMT Panel Highlights Packaging

(August 23, 2006) NASHUA, N.H. — The mantra of faster, smaller, cheaper has never been so relevant as in today's advanced packaging area. University professors, OEMs, and contract assemblers (EMS providers) will discuss methods used for increasing densities (stacking, building more into a chip-scale package, mega-package with many technologies) in a lively and informative panel hosted by SMT Magazine at SMTAI.


Dilbert Creator Keynotes ATExpo

(August 23, 2006) NORWALK, Conn. — The Assembly Technology Expo (ATExpo) will feature a keynote address delivered by syndicated cartoonist Scott Adams, creator of Dilbert. Introduced in 1989, the Dilbert cartoon reaches 65 countries through 2,000 news outlets. Adams will open the event with his address at 9p.m., September 26, 2006, at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont, Ill.

Kimball Electronics China Celebrates Grand Opening; Nanjing Facility Now Operational

"We are excited to move into our new facility and we have already installed a new state-of-the-art surface mount technology printed circuit board assembly line," stated Roger Chang, Vice President, Asian Operations.

RoHS Troubles Affect Taiwan Industry

(August 22, 2006) TAIPEI, Taiwan — Integrated Service Technology (IST), a test and analysis lab in Taiwan, estimates four or five of Taiwan's electronics companies have been disqualified for business within the European Union (EU) for failure to meet RoHS Directive guidelines. The company also stated that the disqualified businesses were fined for failed products. Taiwan's Ministry of Economic Affairs stated that it had received no information regarding RoHS disqualification cases.

IPC Will Move on Battery Standards

(August 22, 2006) BANNOCKBURN, Ill. — The IPC – Association Connecting Electronics Industries announced that the OEM Critical Components Committee will hold a technical summit meeting to develop standards for lithium-ion batteries. The committee was scheduled to meet about power conversion standards prior to batteries, but will give lithium-ion standards top priority in light of Dell's major consumer recall.

Taiwan's Foxconn, Toyota to Team Up, Report Says

Foxconn Electronics (the registered trade name of Hon Hai Precision Industry Co.), the world's largest electronics manufacturer, plans to enter into a partnership with Asia's largest carmaker, Toyota Motor Corp.

PCB Experts to Visit Taiwan

(August 21, 2006) The Netherlands — To promote relations with PCB and packaging fabricators in Taiwan, the European Institute of Printed Circuits (EIPC) will organize a trip to visit Taiwan-based companies in October 2006. The EIPC promotes the Taiwan trip as a method for opening communications with Taiwanese manufactures and for developing business collaborations between Taiwanese and European companies.

Valor Gains U.S. Personnel

(August 21, 2006) RANCHO SANTA MARGARITA, Calif. — Valor Computerized Systems appointed two members to its developing U.S. team. Dan Weitzman became vice president of sales, North America, for the company. Howard Rupprecht was appointed director of marketing.

Foxconn to Cooperate with China Car Industry

Foxconn Electronics and its subsidiary, AnTec Electric System, expressed their interest to establish a company in Beijing, China in cooperation with the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers

ACS Moves to U.S. Manufacturing

(August 18, 2006) FARMINGTON, Ark. — ACS Technologies, a curing systems manufacturer, will use newly-expanded Lantronic, Inc. to produce its TruCure System line of conveyorized infrared PCB curing systems. Farmington, Ark.-based Lantronic will begin manufacturing Q'01 2007. The company purchased a facility neighboring ACS headquarters. ACS will assist in the transition. Moving our equipment manufacturing to the U.S. for this line is exciting, said David Dye, vice president at ACS.

Eltek Signs U.S. Agreements

(August 18, 2006) PETACH TIKVA, Israel — Eltek Ltd., an Iraeli PCB producer, has announced several agreements with high-reliability companies in the U.S. These include a three-year framework agreement with a medical equipment manufacturer, initial orders with a defense company, and positive evaluations by an aerospace manufacturer.


Foxconn Seeking to Become Apple Notebook Manufacturer

Apple Computer is said to be looking for a third contract manufacturer in Taiwan for its MacBooks, with Foxconn Electronics (the registered trade name of Hon Hai Precision Industry) standing a good chance of becoming the new partner

Six RoHS Exemptions Added

(August 17, 2006) BRUSSELS, Belgium — The European Union's Technical Adaption Committee (TAC) voted to approve six new RoHS exemptions. Three main requirements must apply for a banned substance to be exempted in an application. The six exemptions relate to lead and cadmium applications.

Software Suite Tracks RoHS Compliance

(August 17, 2006) SANTA CLARA, Calif. — SigmaQuest, Inc., a product quality management software provider, announced availability of a software suite that aids in conversion, compliance, and due diligence records for OEMs following the European Union's (E.U.'s) RoHS Directive.

PalPilot Opens on East Coast

(August 16, 2006) NASHUA, N.H. — PalPilot, a global PCB solutions provider, appointed Marc "Deac" Descoteaux its director of business development for the company's East Coast office. Deac will bring our West Coast offices' experience into opening this location, said Eddy Niu, president of PalPilot.

Universal Creates Software Product Team

(August 16, 2006) BINGHAMTON, N.Y. — Universal Instruments, as part of a realigned corporate roadmap, formed a product team dedicated to software products. Greg Benoit will assume the responsibilities of product manager for Universal software products. The company states that increased activity in their software products division led to the creation of a product team.

Subminiature SMT Accelerometers Introduced

(August 16, 2006) SAN JUAN CAPISTRANO, Calif. — Endevco Corporation introduced the model 71 series surface mount piezoresistive accelerometer as a subminiature addition to their existing line of high shock sensors for aerospace and test-and-measurement applications. The model 71 was created by the company's transducer engineering and MEMS manufacturing teams.

Flextronics to Challenge Foxconn in Motherboards

Flextronics, which recently acquired the Taiwan-based server motherboard specialist Iwill, will not officially announce the acquisition, remaining reserved about the takeover process, according to sources familiar with the acquisition plan.

SP003-V Stencil Printer Adds Vision

(August 15, 2006) GLASSBORO, NJ — ESSEMTEC AG, an SMT production equipment manufacturer, updated its SP003 semi-automatic stencil printer to the SP003-V with vision. The available vision system supports faster control and alignment correction, according to the company. Print alignment is accomplished by clearance-free, fine-pitch thread screws. Other print parameters are adjustable as well.

Battery Cell Causes Recall

(August 15, 2006) ROUND ROCK, Texas — In cooperation with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, along with other global regulatory agencies, Dell Inc. will voluntarily recall approximately 4.1 million Dell-branded lithium-ion batteries. The lithium-ion cells, manufactured by Sony, can potentially start a fire within the computer's circuitry. Affected batteries were distributed over two years, from April 1, 2004 – July 18, 2006.

Foxconn International Likely to Assemble Motofone Handsets for Motorola

Foxconn International Holdings (FIH) is expected to receive orders from Motorola to manufacture the vendor's ultra low-priced Motofone-series handsets


Shenzhen Office Services Offshore Customers

(August 14, 2006) WESTMORELAND, N.H. — Polyonics Inc, which manufactures harsh-environment labels and industrial product markings, opened an office in Shenzhen, China. The company operates a U.S. facility in New Hampshire, and Asian offices in Shanghai, China; and Singapore.

ZESTRON Expands in Asia/Pacific

(August 14, 2006) ASHBURN, Va. — ZESTRON's Asia/Pacific office, opened in 2004, has relocated to a 3,000 sq. ft. building.

Epoxy Company Expands in China

(August 14, 2006) HONG KONG — Dow Epoxy, a business unit of the Dow Chemical Company, plans to invest more than $200 million in manufacturing and R&D facilities in China over the next five years. Four facilities will be either constructed or expanded in a targeted local market investment. Dow Epoxy currently operates 10 manufacturing facilities, including its Zhangjiagang, Jiangsu Province, China location.

Cookson Electronics' New Technology Group Delivers Advanced Process Engineering Expertise

This effort formally integrates the extensive knowledge base of the company's field engineer network into its vast internal applications structure.

Henkel Expands in India

(August 11, 2006) IRVINE, Calif. — The electronics group of Henkel will broaden its representation in India, increasing sales and technical personnel, as well as manufacturing capabilities. The company appointed Bhavesh Muni global director of business development in the region to manage and direct the expansion.

Cookson Technology Group Solves Assembly Issues

(August 11, 2006) JERSEY CITY, N.J. — Cookson Electronics Assembly Materials announced it has established a global applications technology and engineering group, which joins its global R&D group. This effort formally integrates the company's field engineer network knowledge base into its internal applications structure. The global technology group will help Cookson's customers in solving assembly technology, yield, and reliability problems.

Foxconn Revenues in July Up 51.5% Year-on-Year

Driven mainly by the consumer electronics products, PCs and network equipment, Foxconn's revenues in July reached US$2.12 billion.

DDi Invests in Core PCB Operations

(August 10, 2006) ANAHEIM, CA — DDi Corp. announced two transactions designed to boost its PCB engineering and manufacturing services — sale of their assembly business and acquisition of Sovereign Circuits, Inc., from North Jackson, Ohio. The company has also implemented a series of related changes in 2006 to improve capital structure, divest certain European operations, and refocus management.

iNEMI Considers Medical Electronic Standards

(August 10, 2006) HERNDON, Va. — The International Electronics Manufacturing Initiative (iNEMI) will develop test and usage condition guidelines to assess reliability in medical devices. The Medical Components Reliability Specifications Project, organized by the consortium's Medical Technology Integration Group (TIG), is being presented to the iNEMI technical council today, August 10, 2006.

Companies Create Laser Reflow System

(August 10, 2006) LINCOLN, R.I. — The Solder Paste business group of EFD, Inc., and Leister Technologies, LLC, will cooperatively promote their automated solder paste reflow system, said to cut soldering times by nearly 80% over traditional wire and iron soldering methods.


Heatsinks Cool Freescale Processors

(August 9, 2006) NORWOOD, Mass. — Two heatsink solutions, developed over the course of a year by Advanced Thermal Solutions (ATS), feature aluminum fins that exploit all available air. "Although they were originally developed for Freescale MPC 8641D dual-core processors, both are available to the open market for applications with similar thermal management requirements," said Ray Santos of ATS. The Juneau and Anchorage heatsinks are members of the Alaska line.

Mild Cleaner Extends Contact Times

(August 9, 2006) ASHBURN, Va. — ZESTRON America introduced the VIGON A 200+, an updated VIGON product based on the company's MPC technology. The cleaning agent — specifically developed for low- and medium-pressure spray-in-air processes — allows for long exposure times without detrimental effects on materials or solder joints.

Northstar Electronics Forms Strategic Partnership with Datalis Solutions

This agreement enables both companies to work synergistically to grow the business base of each other by soliciting new business and using each company's core competency to present one complete and attractive package to clients

BGA-to-BGA Adapter Protects Boards

(August 8, 2006) FRENCHTOWN, N.J. — To resolve BGA soldering issues — common when lead-free solder balls reflow on a board with tin/lead BGAs — Aries Electronics produced a BGA-to-BGA adapter. The ARI-A-7277 eliminates incomplete wetting at tin/lead reflow temperatures.

Proxy Appoints Operations Manager

(August 8, 2006) METHEUN, Mass. — Proxy Manufacturing, a contract manufacturer (CM), named Steve Cahalane operations manager. Cahalane's responsibilities will include supervising plant activities and managing company expansion.

Qualitek Chooses Midwest Representative

(August 8, 2006) ADDISON, Ill. — Terry Jeglum and Electronic Technology Corporation (ETC), of St. Charles, Ill., will represent Qualitek in Wisconsin and Illinois.

Conveyor System Cools Post-reflow

(August 8, 2006) SAN DIEGO — Eunil H.A. Americas Inc. introduced the ECV-100 Coolveyor, a cooling conveyor system for post-reflow. A cooling rate of 2°C/sec. is anticipated.

IPC Workshop Examines Lead-free Finishes

(August 8, 2006) BANNOCKBURN, Ill. — The IPC workshop, "Lead-free Surface Finishes and Compatibility to Lead Free Soldering: The Road to RoHS Compliance," will give attendees insights into the effect of lead-free surface finishes on solderability and reliability. Topics will include co-planarity, solder paste spreadability, thru-holes, and more. Higher solder melting points that cause heat stress and aging will also be examined.

EMS Companies Boost DSC Market Competition in Taiwan

Flextronics and Hon Hai are going after the segment's higher profit margins, putting more pressure on Taiwanese DSC contract manufacturers

Solder Alloy Meets Mil/Aero Requirements

(August 7, 2006) EAST SUSSEX, U.K. — SJ7 solder alloy from Almit Technology Ltd. is characterized by mechanical capabilities typical for use in military and aerospace applications. The paste offers improvements in tensile- and creep-strength properties over traditional tin/lead solders at room and elevated temperatures.


Spliceable Feeders Support High-speed Placement

(August 7, 2006) BINGHAMTON, N.Y. — The Gold spliceable tape feeders from Universal Instruments offer continuous splice capability. The feeders support high-speed chip placement machines, line-level reporting, and traceability functions.

Eunil H.A. Adds 3-D Paste Inspection System

(August 4, 2006) SAN DIEGO — The PARMI SPI HS30 3-D inline paste inspection system from Eunil H.A. Americas inspects several types of solder paste defects after screen printing by measuring height, area, and volume. Its 3-D data is said to back-up system performance for reliability and accuracy.

YESTech Promotes Kevin Garcia to Applications Manager

(August 4, 2006) SAN CLEMENTE, Calif. — YESTech has promoted Kevin Garcia to applications manager. In this position, Garcia will be responsible for system installation scheduling for all systems and providing support and troubleshooting backup for the company's onsite application engineers.

SMTC Notes Revenue Growth in Second Quarter

(August 4, 2006) TORONTO — SMTC Corporation released its second-quarter results, with revenue of $61.1 million and net income of $1.3 million reported, for the quarter ending July 2, 2006. This shows a rise from $57 million and a net income of $0.3 million for this quarter last year.

Adaptable Soldering/Desoldering Series Expands

(August 4, 2006) HAMPSHIRE, U.K. — Four soldering/desoldering equipment packages have been added to OK International's MFR Series for rework.

Tyco Sells Printed Circuit Group

(August 3, 2006) PEMBROKE, Bermuda — Tyco International Ltd. has entered into a definitive agreement to sell the Tyco Printed Circuit Group (TPCG) business to Santa Ana, Calif.-based TTM Technologies for $226 million in cash. The transaction was approved by Tyco's Board of Directors, and is slated to close in the fall of 2006.

Sanmina-SCI Granted High-level Military Certification

(August 3, 2006) SAN JOSE, Calif. — The Defense Supply Center, Columbus (DSCC) has granted Sanmina-SCI Corporation's San Jose facility MIL-PRF-31032 certification, enabling the EMS provider to manufacture products in compliance with these strict military requirements.

Endicott Picks Accela for Packaging Advancements

(August 3, 2006) FRANKLIN, Mass. and ENDICOTT, N.Y. — Endicott Interconnect (EI) Technologies has selected Speedline Technologies' MPM Accela printer for its SMT and semiconductor back-end assembly processes.

Winland Electronics Announces Record Second Quarter Revenue for Fiscal 2006

Revenues Up 50% to $10.7 Million vs. Q2 2005 and Up 31% vs. Q1 2006

Flextronics Signs Deal with Kodak

(August 2, 2006) ROCHESTER, N.Y and SINGAPORE — Eastman Kodak Company has entered into an agreement with Flextronics International Ltd., to manufacture and distribute Kodak consumer digital cameras. Flextronics will also manage certain design and development processes. Kodak will retain its intellectual property (IP), and will continue to conduct R&D.


Digi-Key Adds to Portfolio

(August 1, 2006) THIEF RIVER FALLS, Minn. — Digi-Key, electronic component distributor, has signed agreements with Elna America and Conec to distribute products globally in print and online catalogs.

Asymtek Undertakes Company Realignment

(August 1, 2006) CARLSBAD, CA — Asymtek, a Nordson company, announced a series of corporate rearrangements related to Robert Ciardella's leaving the position of company president. Ciardella, who co-founded Asymtek in 1983, will move to an advisory position. A company representative stated that Ciardella will pursue other interests, while remaining an integral part of Asymtek.

Inductor Needs No Internal Soldering

(July 31, 2006) SAN DIEGO — Pulse, a Technitrol company, added the PG0426NL series to its flat-coil power inductor family. Made of rectangular-copper wire wound helically, the inductor is said to provide a larger surface area than those using round wire, with a lower profile volume. These flat-coil inductor windings also create self-terminating leads, circumventing internal solder work. Inductance values in the series range from 1.5 to 0.1 µH.

IPC Certifies Axiom's Assembly Process

(July 28, 2006) BANNOCKBURN, Ill. — IPC — Association Connecting Electronics Industries — awarded Axiom Manufacturing Services Ltd. certification for RoHS Lead-free Electronics Assembly Process Capability Program. Axiom, a Newport, South Wales-based contract electronics manufacturing (CEM) provider, also has obtained a Kitemark, from BSI Product Services, for IPC standard IPC-A-610.

Lead-free to Spur Equipment Industry

(July 28, 2006) SAN ANTONIO — Market research from Frost & Sullivan asserts that the move to lead-free — taking place globally in response to the European Union's (EU's) RoHS Directive — will stimulate the SMT equipment industry. The research firm also found that OEMs and EMS providers will be willing to increase their investments in screen printers and glue dispensers, providing the equipment can reduce cycle times and increase throughput.

NEA Installs 4,500th System

(July 27, 2006) LONDONDERRY, N.H. — NEA, a remanufactured PCB assembly and automated test systems supplier, marked the installation of their 4,500th system.

Helix Units Ship

(July 27, 2006) HOUSTON — BP Microsystems has shipped the first two units of Helix, an automated device programmer.

Universal and Tsinghua University Sign Agreement

(July 27, 2006) BEIJING — Tsinghua University and Universal Instruments have signed a mutual agreement to promote the development of SMT training and education within the country. At the university's Beijing campus, Jia Huibo and Jeroen Schmits agreed to participate in future decisions on subject set-ups, teaching material, and course sponsorship. They plan to cultivate industry experts and broadening the national technical knowledge base.

Material Set Launched for Ultra-thin SMDs

(July 26, 2006) DUSSELDORF, Germany — The electronics group of Henkel launched the Hysol QMI529LS and GR828A, a multi-level material set that includes die attach and mold compounds for thin and ultra-thin surface mount device (SMD) applications.

Modular Fuses

(July 26, 2006) SANTA ROSA, Calif. — The USI chip fuse series from Schurter features a range of universal modular fuses (UMFs) approved by the IEC, cURus, METI, and CCC. The series' 1206 package measures 3.2 × 1.6 × 0.6 mm. The fuses support lead-free reflow soldering or vapor-phase processes. Manufactured on tape with individual markings, the fuses incorporate a thin-film technology to produce predictable and stable yields.


DEK Develops Solution for High Throughput Singulated Substrate Processing

DEK's SinguLign enables the high accuracy mass imaging of multiple materials such as solder paste, solder spheres, flux and adhesive onto singulated substrates or components

U.K. Prepares WEEE Roadmap

(July 25, 2006) LONDON — The U.K.'s Department of Trade and Industry has devised a timetable for implementing the WEEE directive in a consultation document. The government's implementation team aims to enforce regulations that reduce waste from electronics, said Malcolm Wicks, energy minister. He added that electronic equipment contributes the fastest-growing waste category in the U.K and therefore ought to be addressed meaningfully.

Nortech Systems Has Been Chosen for This Week's Knobias "SPOT Feature"

Electronics manufacturing services (EMS) provider Nortech Systems, Inc. has been chosen for this week's "SPOT Feature" in the Knobias Small-Cap ClipReport

Case Study Probes Thermal Issues

(July 24, 2006) SAN DIEGO — Thermal process development company KIC posted a case study on energy consumption to its website, stating that the study revealed significant information about thermal management. The study, "The Effect on Energy Use from an Optimized Reflow Oven Recipe in Lead-free Applications," discusses rises in energy consumption for reflow ovens based on temperature increases needed for lead-free soldering.

Lenses Prohibit TV Distortion

(July 24, 2006) SAN JOSE, Calif. — Moritex added TV macro zoom lenses to its macro zoom lens offering to provide a range of lenses that control TV distortion, or the distortion of the edge of the image to the center margin of said image. The company released the product range for use with 1/2 or 1/3" charge-coupled device (CCD) cameras to surface-inspect PCBs, electronic components production, and alignments.

Engineers Volunteer Cleaning Trials

(July 24, 2006) ASBURN, Va. — ZESTRON America will offer custom cleaning trials for PCBs and SMT stencils at their American, as well as European and Asian, global application technical centers. The company uses 35 different pieces of cleaning process equipment to outline, execute, analyze, and document the trials for individual customers.

EU Certifications Available in U.S.

(July 21, 2006) NEWTOWN, Conn. — TUV Rheinland of North America, a compliance-testing and certification provider, will offer European certifications to North American component manufacturers.

Benchmark Electronics Reports Second Quarter Results; Raises Full Year 2006 Guidance

Benchmark Electronics, Inc., a leading contract manufacturing provider, announced sales of $749 million for the quarter ended June 30, 2006, compared to $561 million for the same quarter last year

Beyond ROHS: The Greening of Global Markets

US and Asian governments are about to impose their own versions of the EU's ROHS directive

Prototyping Goes Non-profit

(July 20, 2006) CANBY, Ore. — To support technology advancements and next-generation prototyping, Screaming Circuits, an online contract manufacturer (CM), will offer a sponsorship program to university groups. The Internet-based company designed a discount program for universities and non-profits that develop sophisticated circuits, PCBs, and microcontrollers.


U.S. Guidelines Tout National E-recycling

(July 20, 2006) WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Commerce, Technology Administration, has released its "Recycling Technology Products: an Overview of E-waste Policy Issues" report outlining the management of electronic waste. Although the European Union's (EU's) RoHS and WEEE regulations affect American manufacturers selling product into the EU, the U.S. does not currently require domestic adherence to the Directives.

Kits Remedy PCB Issues

(July 20, 2006) HAVERHILL, Mass. — CircuitMedic, a grouping of products and materials developed at the Haverhill, Mass.-based Circuit Technology Center, are materials to rectify issues with circuits, surface mount and BGA pads, gold edge contacts, and other board-related problems, grouped into kits.

Coating Facility Opens in Costa Rica

(July 19, 2006) INDIANAPOLIS — Specialty Coating Systems, Inc., opened a Parylene coating facility in Heredia, Costa Rica. The 8,000-square-foot facility, located within the Global Park Free Zone, is their 10th global location.

VJ Electronix Expands

(July 19, 2006) LITTLETON, Mass. — An expanded facility in Littleton, Mass. nearly doubles VJ Electronix's x-ray inspection and rework capacities. The company moved from a Shirley, Mass., location into the 30,000-square-foot facility.

Siemens A&D Gains AOI Systems

(July 19, 2006) ATLANTA, Ga. — Siemens Automation and Drives (A&D) acquired Opto-Control Electronik Prüfsysteme GmbH (Bochum, Germany) — adding automatic optical inspection (AOI) machines to its Siplace surface mount business. This expanded line combines AOI systems from Opto-Control with Siemens' Siplace placement machines. The acquisition was effective on July 5, 2006.

Compliance Library Stores RoHS Data

(July 19, 2006) ROCHESTER, N.Y. — EMA Design Automation developed the RoHS CIS Library to store critical RoHS data from core component vendors — supporting due diligence requirements by listing a part's compliance status.

Plexus Doubles Manufacturing Footprint in China

With a new operating lease, Plexus will be able to double the size of its manufacturing facility in the Xiamen Xiangyu Free Trade Zone in China

Transfer Adhesive Reacts to Heat & Pressure

(July 18, 2006) WINDSOR, Conn. — Thermofilm H194U, a nitrile phenolic thermosetting transfer adhesive from Scapa North America, activates and cures when exposed to heat and pressure — bonding polyimide to copper foil on flexible printed circuits. The material also adheres to polycarbonate and ABS for electronic case and cover assembly applications.

ITW Acquires Kester

(July 18, 2006) GLENVIEW, Ill. — Illinois Tool Works Inc. (ITW) has acquired all shares of solder supplier Kester, Inc. (Des Plaines, Ill.). Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Solectron Names Marty Neese as Executive Vice President of Operations

"Driving customer satisfaction and achieving performance objectives are the foundations of Solectron's operations, and Marty is ideally suited to lead the next phase in our operational evolution."


Semicon West - A Packaging Perspective

Last week in San Francisco, Semicon West showed off its stuff. Packed to the gills, the Moscone Center played host to this global event.

Seica Doubles Production Capacity

(July 17, 2006) STRAMBINO, Italy — Italian electronics test solutions OEM Seica SpA completed construction of additional production buildings — increasing capacity and allowing space for seminars and workshops. The buildings, located at Seica headquarters outside of Turin, Italy, will serve military and aerospace as well as commercial applications.

ZESTRON Adds Rep in the Rockies

(July 14, 2006) ASHBURN, Va. — Automation Supply, Inc. joined ZESTRON America as a sales representative for the Rocky Mountain region — encompassing Colorado, Utah, and southern Idaho.

Board Supplier Purchases Process-planning System

(July 14, 2006) ODENSE, Denmark — PCB supplier Printline purchased Control Center automated manufacturing process-planning software from Direct Logix, Inc. in Las Vegas, for the Mania UCAM engineering group. Commented Leigh Eichel, vice president of marketing, Direct Logix, "Design Release Manager was first to be implemented with interfaces to related software. Next will be Automatic Traveler, Stack-up, and Impedance."

Software and Equipment Duo Intros

(July 14, 2006) COCONUT CREEK, Fla. — A software program and corresponding material-handling equipment from Inovaxe is designed to kit and reload SMT lines. Inovaxe built the interactive set to reduce labor costs and improve inventory accuracy.

Eltek Receives Flex-rigid PCB Order

(July 13, 2006) PETACH TIKVA, Israel — Israeli PCB manufacturer Eltek received an initial order from an undisclosed U.S.-based industrial manufacturer for $320,000 in flex-rigid PCBs.

TI Plans R & D Center in India

(July 13, 2006) NEW DELHI, India — Texas Instruments, Incorporated, and Thiru Dayanidhi Maran, Honorable Minister of Communications & IT for India, jointly announced TI's plans to open a R & D facility in Chennai, India.

3M Broadens Static Control Offerings

(July 13, 2006) ST. PAUL, Minn. — The Electronic Solutions Division of 3M acquired two companies that engineer and manufacture static-control packaging. SCC Products, sister company of Static Control Components, Inc., and JJ Converting LLC will be integrated into 3M, expand its product range for static shielding and moisture barriers.

Benchmark Electronics Expects to Exceed Second Quarter 2006 Guidance

The Company provided second quarter revenue guidance of $630 million to $660 million

Lead-free Solder Tips Aid Heat Transfer

(July 12, 2006) GARDEN GROVE, Calif. — SmartHeat PowerTips for the Metcal MX-500 system are designed specifically for lead-free applications, and will allow an operator to solder difficult joints without heat damage. The tips improve thermal performance, maintaining constant source temperatures during lead-free processes.


Surface Mount Battery Retainer

The 11.6 coin-cell retainer is a top-loaded, low-profile retainer designed for automated SMT placement. Keystone Electronics Corporation states that the lightweight surface mount battery retainer suits high-density PCB packaging.

Core Metallization and Imaging Take Center Stage

By Meredith Courtemanche, assistant editor - - (July 12, 2006) MALBOROUGH, Mass. — A metallization and imaging materials supplier recently divested their heavy copper filler range to redistribute resources into electroless and electrolytic copper, final finishes, and innerlayer bonding products.

Frost & Sullivan Award Stresses AOI Cost of Ownership

(July 11, 2006) MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. — An embedded process verification (EPV) sensor designed for internal SMT assembly-equipment inspection earned the 2006 Emerging Technology of the Year Award in automated optical inspection (AOI).

Retrofit Kits Resist Tin Scavenging

(July 11, 2006) LONDONDERRY, N.H. — With the RoHS Directive in effect, wave solder systems may need to be retrofitted to withstand lead-free operations. Concerns about the corrosive effects of high-tin content in RoHS-mandated lead-free solder provided the impetus for NEA, Inc., to develop solid titanium retrofit kits. Titanium has been shown to demonstrate acceptable resistance to tin scavenging.

Key Tronic Corporation Revenue and Earnings Significantly Stronger Than Expected

The higher than anticipated revenue resulted in exceptionally strong factory utilization and manufacturing efficiencies

Fox Extends Global Stand

(July 10, 2006) FORT MYERS, Fla. — Fox Electronics has expanded its global sales channel, adding several authorized agents in Europe and Asia. Coverage will extend from the U.K. and Ireland to Denmark, and to Hong Kong and Taiwan.

TV on-the-go Attracts U.S.

(July 10, 2006) BASINGSTOKE, England — In a report on market trends in broadcast mobile TV, analyst firm Juniper Research predicts Japan and the U.S. will be industry leaders, stating that Japan will reach $2.9B in revenues — and the U.S. will achieve a comparable $1.8B — in 2011. This success relies mostly on the consumer interest in television within these countries. The 2006 market leader for mobile television is South Korea.

Dage Recognizes Market Demand

(July 7, 2006) FREMONT, Calif. — Dage Precision Industries has completed its U.S. sales and support operations move, to a newly-constructed facility in Fremont, Calif. The location allows for increased product demonstrations and expanded application laboratory capabilities. Dage states that the offices leave room for personnel additions, and "has added significantly to its staff in both sales as well as service and support personnel," according to Bob Klenke, marketing for Dage.

Dispenser Offers Flow Control

(July 7, 2006) FAIR LAWN, N.J. — The VD510 is a diaphragm valve, from I & J Fisnar, designed for flow control of low- to medium- viscosity materials, below 10,000 cps. Operators can use the stroke-adjustment knob to adjust shot sizes down to a material-dependent minimum of 0.001 cc. Designed for stand-alone bench dispensing or machine integration, the valve weighs 2.7 oz. (76 g) and stands 3.1" high.

Solectron's Sherbrooke Facility Receives ISO 13485 Medical Certification

Solectron Corporation, a leading provider of electronics manufacturing and integrated supply chain services, today announced its Sherbrooke plant in Quebec, Canada has received ISO 13485:2003 medical certification


Research and Markets: Analysis Includes Economic Forecasts and the D&B Country Risk Indicator Rating for France

This 60-page report provides critical information and analysis on the trade environment of France.

FlexLink Wins Installation Bid

(July 6, 2006) GÖTEBORG, Sweden — FlexLink reported receiving orders for two assembly lines and one shipping line for finished products from a North American computer manufacturer in North America, following an evaluation by the customer's central and local engineers.

May Book-to-Bill Shows Promise

(July 6, 2006) BANNOCKBURN, Ill. — Association Connecting Electronics Industries (IPC) announced the book-to-bill ratio for May. The combined (rigid and flex) industry book-to-bill ratio in May 2006 was 1.01. The industry began a rebound in May after a characteristically slow April, said Denny McGuirk, IPC president. The North American rigid PCB industry book-to-bill ratio for May 2006 declined slightly, but remained positive at 1.02.

EMS Firms Follow Brands to India

As global brands eye one of the largest markets in the world, electronic manufacturing service (EMS) companies who build mobile devices to digital appliances for these brands are betting big and investing huge sums in locating their units in the country.

How the Small and Mid-size Manufacturers are Gaining a Competitive Advantage with PLM Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) Solutions

The importance of streamlining each phase of a product's lifecycle from product conception and design, to manufacturing and support, while shortening each phase of the product development process.

CMs Fail to Meet Outsourcing Criteria

(July 5, 2006) ALAMEDA, Calif. — Though the option of outsourcing has proven attractive to OEMs, Technology Forecasters Inc. (TFI) reveals a disconnect between what electronics companies want and what they say they are receiving, in its report. Estimating that "nearly 20%, or around $200B, of global electronics manufacturing was outsourced in 2005," the report offers performance ratings of 16 contract manufacturers (CMs) and original design manufacturers (ODMs).

AVT Applies Lead-free Finishes

(July 5, 2006) WEST HAVEN, Conn. — Added Value Technology, LLC (AVT), installed the AlphaSTAR immersion silver and ENTEK PLUS HT CU-106A (X) HT organic solderability preservative (OSP) processes, meeting lead-free requirements of RoHS and WEEE.

CMK Buys Design for Manufacture System

(July 5, 2006) YAVNE, Israel and TOKYO, Japan — CMK Circuit Technology Center Corporation, a member company of CMK Corporation, improved their design for manufacture (DFM) analysis process to achieve a shorter overall delivery time — from design and test to manufacturing. The company purchased the Enterprise 3000 system and ODB++ from Valor Computerized Systems to analyze DFM and unify their data format.

EIPC Announces European Supply Chain Convention 2006

The European Supply Chain Convention 2006 will bring global OEM, ODM, EMS, PCB makers and industry suppliers together in Koelnmesse, Cologne, Germany.

PLASA Warns Of Latest EU Directive's Impact

For many manufacturers worldwide the new measures will entail potentially substantial product redesign and re-engineering


Ning-Cheng Lee Joins CPMT Board of Governors

(June 30, 2006) CLINTON, N.Y. — The IEEE Components, Packaging, and Manufacturing Technology (CPMT) Society appointed Ning-Cheng Lee, Ph.D., vice president of technology at Indium, to their Board of Governors. CPMT members elect 18 at-large Board of Governors, six per year, for three-year terms.

Cleaning Lab Expands

(June 29, 2006) NASHVILLE — Kyzen Corp. expanded its Nashville, Tenn. Applications Laboratory — doubling its space. Process manufacturing engineers will demonstrate cleaning agents in the lab for customers to evaluate a range of potential processes.

Software Eases Selective Soldering

(June 28, 2006) STRATHAM, N.H. — A software tool for selective soldering set-up enables an operator, using the Easyteach software, to use a simple graphic image of the PCB assembly to program the soldering sequence.

iNEMI Pub Offers RoHS Sub-assembly Guidelines

By Meredith Courtemanche, assistant editor - - (June 28, 2006) HERNDON, Va. — The International Electronics Manufacturing Initiative's (iNEMI's) High-reliability RoHS Task Force has published guidelines regarding assembly processes and reliability requirements for RoHS 5 and RoHS 6 sub-assembly modules related to high-reliability electronics.

Residue-free Lead-free Paste Intros

(June 28, 2006) JERSEY CITY, N.J. — A lead-free no-clean solder paste from Cookson Electronics Assembly Materials targets EMS and OEM customers using inline circuit testing. The ALPHA OM-338 PT paste reportedly leaves no residue on pins, improving pintestability by reducing false negatives.

System Programs SPI/I2Cs Directly

(June 27, 2006) CERRITOS, Calif. — Corelis Inc. added direct I2C and serial peripheral interface (SPI) based device programming capabilities to the ScanExpress Boundary-Scan System using Corelis JTAG controllers.

Software Optimizes Placement Platforms

(June 27, 2006) BINGHAMTON, N.Y. — Universal Instruments will install and activate NPI software free on future orders for its Genesis high-speed chip placement platforms. NPI software suits high-mix and specialist manufacturing environments. The company envisions increases in productivity and quality, as well as a reduction in scrap, by adding NPI to Genesis platforms.

LaBarge, Inc. Named One of America's Fastest-Growing Small Companies by Fortune Small Business

"We believe our successful track record validates the excellent long-term growth potential of LaBarge's strategic direction in the contract electronics manufacturing industry."

SMTAI Program Released

(June 26, 2006) MINNEAPOLIS, Minn — SMTA International, in collaboration with the Assembly Tech Expo (ATExpo), will host their annual conference at the Donald Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont, Ill. September 24 — 28, with exhibits running on the last three days. More than 100 technical papers will be presented alongside 26 tutorials and special symposiums.

iNEMI High-Reliability Group Publishes Guidelines for Subassemblies in High-Reliability Applications

Group Addresses Assembly Process and Reliability Requirements for SnPb and Pb-free Modules


Upcoming Reports Highlighted on TFI Conference Call

(June 23, 2006) ALAMEDA, Calif. — Bruce Rayner, director of research and consulting, Technology Forecasters Inc. (TFI), held a conference call June 22nd detailing some key projects in the works at TFI. Members on the call expressed a desire for TFI to deliver the "highest value for time at the forum, in terms of research reports, as well as other opportunities including guest speakers, discussion topics, and networking opportunities."

Sanmina-SCI Delivers 35 Millionth Set-Top Box Unit to EchoStar Communications Corporation

The significant milestone was marked by a ceremony held at Sanmina-SCI's manufacturing operation in Guadalajara, Mexico, earlier today.

SMTA's Pan Pacific Call for Papers

(June 22, 2006) MAUI, Hawaii — SMTA's Pan Pacific Microelectronics Symposium's Technical Committee requests abstracts for the 12th annual pan-pacific event. The 2007 conference will be held in Maui, Hawaii, from January 30-Febuaray 1.

Distribution Partnership Reached

(June 22, 2006) SAN DIEGO — Eunil H.A. Americas Inc. has agreed upon a distribution partnership with Jaesung Precision Co. Ltd., a manufacturer of spare parts for automatic insertion and surface mount device (SMD) systems.

Concoat Limited Becomes HumiSeal

(June 22, 2006) CAMBERLEY, U.K. — Concoat Limited changed its name to HumiSeal Europe Limited, as part of the 2005 acquisition by Chase Corp., HumiSeal's parent company.

Jabil Posts Third Quarter Results; Demand Continues to be "Very Strong'"

Jabil's third quarter of fiscal 2006 core operating income increased 10 percent to $93.4 million or 3.6 percent of net revenue compared to $84.7 million or 4.4 percent of net revenue for the third quarter of fiscal 2005

Adaptsys Represents BP Microsystems

(June 21, 2006) HOUSTON — BP Microsystems has chosen Adaptsys Hungary Kft., a subsidiary of the Adaptsys Group, to represent their equipment throughout Hungary, Romania, and the Czech Republic. These Eastern European companies join three western countries—the U.K., Ireland, and France—where Adaptsys is BP's exclusive distributor.

Electra Polymers Pens Inks Deal

(June 21, 2006) KENT, England — Electra Polymers announced purchase of Rohm and Haas Electronic Materials' inks business. Electra cited the solermask, legend ink, marking ink, and etch-resist lines as reasons for acquisition, saying the business complemented theirs while expanding access to certain sectors.

Enics Switzerland Takes over Activities from ABB Switzerland

Starting September 1st, 2006, Enics Switzerland will provide assembly-, test- and repair - activities of Protection- and Station-Automation products for ABB Switzerland.

Sanmina-SCI, the Largest Exporter in the State of Jalisco, Opens New Enclosures Facility in Guadalajara, Mexico

The President of Mexico, Vicente Fox Quesada, was present today at Sanmina-SCI's inauguration ceremony


Automatic SMD Storage System

(June 20, 2006) AESCH, Switzerland — ESSEMTEC's CSS4050 SMD Tower stores up to 546 reels and trays, protecting them against electrostatic damage, in one-square-meter area. Each component is reportedly moveable, to either place or remove, in less than 10 seconds.

15,000th Assembly Machine Sold

(June 19, 2006) MORRISVILLE, N.C. — A celebration in Japan marks the sale of 15,000 SMT Assembly machines from Juki Automation.

Chicago Students Receive IPC Certification

(June 19, 2006) CHICAGO — Students in the Chicago Public School program Education to Careers (CPS-ETC) received IPC certification after participating in a 30-month education in printed circuits manufacturing.

Blakell Europlacer Expands in U.K.

(June 16, 2006) DORSET, U.K. — Blakell Europlacer Ltd. announced a second addition to its expanding portfolio of distributed products in the U.K. — SAKI vision inspection systems.

Temperature Control Can Extend Tip Life

(June 16, 2006) PLANO, Texas — The Solderite 3500 lead-free soldering station features remote-controlled temperature programming, automatic tip-temperature compensation, stand-by mode, automatic off functions, and a quick calibration mode for testing the tip temperature.

Foxconn Says it Will Maintain Annual Growth of 30% through 2011

Foxconn Electronics (the registered trade name of Hon Hai Precision Industry) is confident that the company will attain annual revenue growth of 30% over the next five years with consolidation and acquisitions serving as the key growth drivers

Board of Directors Instated

(June 15, 2006) SAN DIEGO, Calif. — Advanced Applied Adhesives (AAA) announced the appointment of its Board of Directors, consisting of five executives from the industry: Ron Benham, John Boruch, William Dawson, Frank Husson, and John Thompson.

Letter Re: "Industry Steps Up to Make the World A Bit Cleaner" or "Who's Responsible for the Lead-Free Mess"?

We are quite concerned about long term reliability of the solder connection, and have only considered this move on products that don't have as stringent an environmental requirement

OEM Software Reaches U.S. Availability

(June 14, 2006) OOSTERHOUT, The Netherlands — Adeon Technologies BV appoints Christopher Associates, Calif., as their North American distributor, extending their global coverage, especially with regard to the CXInsight.

Board Designer Suite Updated

(June 14, 2006) SYDNEY, Australia — The Altium Designer 6.3 from Altium Limited includes updates said to ease transitions from board design, or embedded board design, to super system design.


Harsh Environments Workshop Focuses on End-users

(June 14, 2006) INDIANAPOLIS, Ind.— The SMTA and Auburn University present the Harsh Environment Electronics Workshop, July 19-20, at the Crowne Plaza Hotel.

Vapor Phase System Intros in North America

(June 14, 2006) KONIGSBRUNN, Germany — The vapor phase soldering process enables thermal control and low ΔT's across complex circuits. A-tek will distribute the Asscon Vapor Phase Technology, from Asscon System Technik, Königsbrunn, Germany, to the North American market.

EPIC Technologies' Sammut and Lipp Honored

(June 13, 2006) ROCHESTER HILLS, Mich. — John Sammut, president and CEO, and Jochen Lipp, vice president and COO of EPIC Technologies, received the Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year 2006 Award in the Technology category of the Central Great Lakes region.

Fairchild Launches Brazil Design Center

(June 13, 2006) SOUTH PORTLAND, Maine — With the addition of its São Paulo, Brazil facility, Fairchild Semiconductor reaches nine Global Power Resource design centers worldwide. This Brazil facility will service the growing South American high-tech market, which is predicted to experience 14% growth in 2006 and nearly 10% in 2007, according to one report.

OMRON Production Begins in Shanghai

(June 12, 2006) KYOTO, Japan — OMRON Corporation celebrated the completion of OMRON (Shanghai) Co., Ltd. (OMS), a subsidiary in Shanghai, China, with a ceremony on June 6th, 2006. OMS will serve as the global design and production center for their control components and systems equipment from Shanghai to manufacturing sites around the world, while contributing to the development of the manufacturing industry in China.

APEX Call for Participation Deadline Approaches

(June 9, 2006) BANNOCKBURN, Ill. — The July 17th deadline for abstract submissions to the 2007 IPC Printed Circuits Expo, APEX, and Designers Summit is fast approaching.

Taiwan Chip Makers Hit 266.5B in '05

(June 8, 2006) DUBLIN, Ireland — The growing portable consumer electronics and personal computing sectors have been driving chip component production in the Greater China region. Demand for these devices requires manufacturers to ramp-up production. In China alone, component output is forecast to increase 20% by year's end, shows China Sourcing Report.

LED Technology Developer Moves to Lead-free

(June 7, 2006) ORLANDO, Fla. — Lighthouse Technologies Limited upgraded its manufacturing facility to meet the environmental stipulations of the EU RoHS Directive.

Surface Mount Fuse Intros for Telecom

(June 7, 2006) SANTA ROSA, Calif. — The RoHS-compatible TF 600 Series fuses are designed to assist manufacturers of telecommunications equipment in meeting North American power cross and lighting-surge requirements.

Snap-in Panel-mount LEDs Improve Visibility

(June 7, 2006) TORRANCE, Calif. — The construction of the PP156 Series Daylight Visible Dome Lens Lights can improve a user's range of visibility, even when used in direct sunlight, claims manufacturer LEDtronics.


Downloadable RoHS Certificates of Compliance

(June 6, 2006) CHICAGO — Newark InOne announces the availability of RoHS Certificates of Compliance (C of C) on its Website: www.newarkinone.com.

Global Agreement Broadens Connector Distribution

(June 6, 2006) THIEF RIVER FALLS, Minn. and ETTERS, Pa. — Connector and interconnect systems manufacturer FCI and distributor Digi-Key Corporation announced a global distribution agreement.

Laser-cutting System Targets SMT Stencils

(June 6, 2006) GARBSEN, Germany — The MultiCut laser-cutting system from LPKF Laser & Electronics is available for SMT solder paste stencils and other small metal parts.

SMT/HYBRID/PACKAGING a Success

(June 6, 2006) NUREMBURG, Germany — With 579 exhibitors, 76 represented companies, and 502 conference attendees, SMT/HYBRID/PACKAGING 2006, Nuremburg, closed on June 1st as nearly the largest SMT/HYBRID/PACKAGING show, claims conference officials.

Lead-free Solder Is No-Clean and Water Washable

(June 5, 2006) BRANFORD, Conn. — The LF-4300 from AMTECH Inc. is a RoHS-compliant, lead-free solder paste featuring multi-process capabilities for water-washable and no-clean applications.

VCXOs Offer Low Phase Noise

(June 2, 2006) MIAMI — The expanded family of RoHS-compliant, ultra-high- and high-frequency voltage-controlled crystal oscillators (VCXOs) from Raltron Electronics Corp. features low phase noise with pull up to 1,000 ppm available at some frequencies.

Tomography System Uncovers Ancient Secrets

(June 2, 2006) HERTS, U.K. — X-Tek Systems is using its imaging equipment to uncover the use of a mysterious calculation device discovered in a shipwreck in the Greek islands. The company is using the equivalent of its body scanner to determine the secrets behind the Antikythera Mechanism, a 2,000-year-old astronomical calculation device that is possibly more advanced than any other mechanism for at least a thousand years after its manufacture in about 100 B.C.

Programming Software Raises Throughput

(June 2, 2006) HOUSTON — Featuring increased throughput on 7th-generation automated programming systems, BP Win 4.60 software from BP Microsystems can change site-sequence-prioritization routine, reportedly allowing an autohandler to pick-and-place parts economically.

DENSO Moves Electronic Division, Builds Facility

(June 2, 2006) TOKYO — DENSO Corporation will build a facility on its Agui Plant premises (located in Agui-cho, Chita-gun, Aichi prefecture, Japan), relocating its DENSO ELECS Co., Ltd., headquarters and electronics product manufacturing plant from the DENSO Takatana Plant in Anjo Aichi prefecture.

Conveyors Cool PCBs After Wave Soldering

(June 1, 2006) FALL RIVER, Mass. — Featuring a static-dissipative, snap-link belt with full-surface ribs to increase cooling, the Hump-back conveyor system from SmartMove Conveyors handles hot PCBs exiting a wave solder machine.


SMTAI Summit Addresses Emerging Technologies

(June 1, 2006) MINNEAPOLIS — New technologies are continuously being implemented into the electronics industry. To remain at the forefront of emerging trends, the SMTA organized the Emerging Technologies Summit, which will take place at SMTA International and Assembly Tech Expo (ATExpo), September, 24–28, 2006, in the Donald Stephens Convention Center, Rosemont, Ill.

Machine Neutrality Is Benefit of Lead-free Control Solution

(May 31, 2006) YAVNE, Israel — The TraceXpert solution from Valor Computerized Systems delivers a full lead-free environment control platform said to cover all machine makes and models.

IPC Posts April Book-to-Bill Ratio

(May 30, 2006) BANNOCKBURN, Ill. — The North American rigid PCB book-to-bill ratio for April 2006 remained positive at 1.08, while the flexible circuit book-to-bill ratio fell to 0.87. The IPC reports a combined book-to-bill ratio of 1.07 for April.

Micro-air Dispensers Enable Accuracy and Repeatability

(May 30, 2006) GARDEN GROVE, Calif. — The DX-200 digital dispenser/controller from OK International offers an operating pressure of 0–100 psi for general dispensing applications, while the DX-215 operates at 0–15 psi for low-viscosity fluids.

Shelf-stable Adhesive Withstands Severe Conditions

(May 30, 2006) HACKENSACK, N.J. — The Supreme 10HTFL one-component, flexible, epoxy resin-based adhesive/sealant from Master Bond features extended ambient temperature storage capabilities and an extended shelf life without refrigeration prior to use.

Bench-top Reflow Oven Ensures Even Heating

(May 26, 2006) WILSONVILLE, Ore. — With a maximum process temperature of 320°C, the bench-top LPKF ProtoFlow Oven from LPKF Laser & Electronics is suitable for lead-free reflow soldering.

Technical Forum Addresses RoHS Queries

(May 26, 2006) CHELMSFORD, Mass. — Although the July 1, 2006 RoHS deadline is just weeks away, manufacturers still have questions regarding compliance. To answer questions leading up to the deadline, Intelligent Manufacturing Solutions (IMS), in association with Arrow Electronics, present Time's up! What do we do now? A RoHS Compliance Symposium, on June 13, 2006, at the Radisson Hotel, Chelmsford, Mass.

SWEMCO Achieves International RoHS Compliance

(May 25, 2006) MOORESTOWN, N.J. — Contract manufacturer (CM) SWEMCO has earned QC 080000 certification, an international standard for RoHS compliance.

Surface Mount Inductor Meets High-Q Requirements

(May 25, 2006) GOWANDA, N.Y. — The SMT 2920 encapsulated, surface mount toroidal inductor from Gowanda Electronics is molded for durability and shielded for use around magnetic fields. The first in a series of surface mount inductors, the SMT 2920 can tolerate operating temperature changes within the -55°–105°C range, and targets RF applications, specifically those with high-Q requirements.

Siemens Nabs 'Company of the Year' Award

(May 25, 2006) ORLANDO, Fla. —Frost and Sullivan named Siemens its 2006 Company of the Year for its automation solutions for the automotive industry. Presented on April 26, 2006, at Frost & Sullivan's 2006 Excellence in Industrial Technologies Award Banquet in Orlando, Fla., the award recognizes Siemens for providing its automotive customers with value-added solutions specific to customer needs.


Quick-turn PCB Maker Honored for Green Standards

(May 24, 2006) AURORA, Colo. — For the third year in a row, Advanced Circuits was awarded a Gold Award from the Metro Wastewater Restoration District (MWRD) of Colorado, recognizing the company's efforts to minimize pollution and waste by transporting spent materials to off-site locations for recycling.

Patented Electroformed Stencil Takes Lead in Study

(May 24, 2006) COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — Results from a print-process study conducted in February 2006 by Universal SMT Laboratories (Binhamton, N.Y.) show that Photo Stencil's AMTX E-FAB stencil performed best out of 12 stencils tested, provided by five different stencil makers.

ASSET, Firecron Launch JTAG Proof-of-Concept System

(May 23, 2006) RICHARDSON, Texas — ASSET InterTech Inc. and Firecron LTD will demonstrate System-level JTAG (SJTAG) test and programming in a proof-of-concept system at the European Board Test Workshop, May 24–25, 2006, in Chilworth, Southampton, U.K.

SMART Group Recognizes Its Fellows

(May 23, 2006) BIRMINGHAM, U.K. — During NEPCON NEC, Pete Swanson announced the winners of the 2006 SMART Fellow Award, which is bestowed on individuals to thank them for their active participation in advancing the aim of the SMART Group throughout that year.

TFI Names Director of Research and Consulting

(May 23, 2006) ALAMEDA, Calif. — Technology Forecasters Inc. (TFI) appointed Bruce Rayner as head of research and consulting, succeeding Eric Miscoll, who will move to vice president of strategy for TFI client Texas Prototypes (TXP).

Concentration Limits, Marking Standards Set for China RoHS

(May 22, 2006) SHANGHAI, China — Two standards within China's RoHS Directive — a standard on 'Concentration Limits' of hazardous substances; and a 'Marking' standard used to indicate hazardous substance content and the safe-to-use period and packaging material, are ready for approval from the Ministry of Information Industry (MII).

Part List Management Tool Option for CADSTAR Available

(May 22, 2006) MUNICH, Germany, and WESTFORD, Mass. — Zuken and U.K.-based Quadra Solutions have teamed to launch starturn, a part list management option for Zuken's CADSTAR desktop PCB design software.

A Collision of Values

While assuming a chemical to be innocent until proven guilty has a powerful resonance with the US sense of justice in human affairs, it is a poor model to use for toxicity

Benchmark Electronics Names Board Member

(May 18, 2006) ANGLETON, Texas — Benchmark Electronics, Inc. named Douglas G. Duncan to its Board of Directors as an independent director, effective immediately.

Adhesive Film Adheres to Multiple Substrates

(May 17, 2006) BILLERICA, Mass. — The T2781 thermally conductive, electrically insulating, high-strength adhesive film from TechFilm Services, Inc. is said to adhere well to gold, copper, and aluminum. Adhesion to copper and aluminum reportedly exceeds 2500 psi, while gold values exceed 1200 psi.


Automated Device Programmer Reduces Human Errors

(May 16, 2006) REDMOND, Wash. — The FLX500 self-contained, automated device programming system from Data I/O Corp. features a language-independent touch-screen user interface, which can eliminate operator training and errors.

Barcode Traceability Added to Reflow Soldering

(May 16, 2006) FRANKLIN, Mass. — A barcode traceability feature is available on the OmniExcel series reflow soldering systems from Speedline Technologies.

Calls to Throw Out RoHS Unnecessary

The author claims definitive scientific evidence of no harm from the burning of plastics and no leaching of lead from solder. This is completely contrary to my understanding

Using the Area Ratio Calculator for Stencil Design

The issue addressed here is what can be done at the stencil design level to minimize printing defects. All too often, a bad aperture design can cause printing defects resulting in opens, insufficients or shorts

iNEMI Takes Roadmap Workshop to Shanghai

(May 15, 2006) HERNDON, Va. — The International Electronics Manufacturing Initiative (iNEMI) will hold a 2007 Roadmap workshop in Shanghai, China, in tandem with the High-density Microsystem Design and Packaging and Component Failure Analysis in Electronics Manufacturing (HDP) 2006 conference. The half-day workshop will take place June 27, 2006, on the Yan Chang Campus of Shanghai University.

COMET Boosts X-ray Inspection Services Worldwide

(May 15, 2006) GARBSEN, Germany — COMET is enhancing its X-ray inspection service capabilities to include full on-site service for high-volume inspection and real-time web interface from one of COMET's global test and inspection centers, targeting manufacturers and OEM customers.

Solectron Upgrades Facility

(May 12, 2006) WILMINGTON, Mass. — Solectron Corp. upgraded its Wilmington, Mass., manufacturing facility capabilities to focus on new product introduction (NPI) and low-volume, high-mix (LVHM) manufacturing services. Coined FinePitch Technology, the operations, also located in Solectron's Fremont, Calif., facility, provide prototyping and NPI solutions to ease time-to-market and LVHM manufacturing services.

Aluminum Label Stock Suits Thermal Transfer Printing

(May 12, 2006) WESTMORELAND, N.H. — The XF-803 aluminum label material with permanent pressure-sensitive adhesive and high-opacity, white topcoat designed for thermal transfer printing on aluminum labels is now available from Polyonics Inc.

Tyco, Graphic Solutions Roll Out Joint RFID Solution

(May 10, 2006) HARRISBURG, Pa. — A customized assembly system for radio frequency identification (RFID) inlay is in development by Tyco Electronics' Global Application Tooling Division (GATD) and Burr Ridge, Ill.-based Graphic Solutions International, LLC (GSI). The system will assemble semiconductor chips, surface mount devices (SMDs), and printed batteries onto a continuous web of printed antennas, adding RFID capability to tags and labels.

BGA Socket Accommodates 1.00-mm-pitch Devices

(May 10, 2006) WEST WARWICK, R.I. — The Flip-Top ball grid array (BGA) socket series from Advanced Interconnections Corp. develops, tests, and validates 1.00-mm-pitch BGA and land grid array (LGA) devices at speeds up to 2.6 GHz (single-ended). Its compact design requires no soldering of the integrated circuit (IC) and needs no external hold-downs or tooling holes in the PC board.


Seminar Series Clarifies Lead-free

(May 10, 2006) STRATHAM, N.H. — Three lead-free RoHS seminars co-hosted by Stratham, N.H.-based Vitronics Soltec and Des Plaines, Ill.-based Kester will take place in June, and will be held in three different locations across the U.S. Each one-day seminar aims to help the North American electronics manufacturing industry get answers to lead-free assembly questions, as well as ease the transition to lead-free and RoHS.

TV Program Spotlights DDi PCB Technology

(May 9, 2006) ANAHEIM, Calif. — PCB engineering and manufacturing services provider DDi Corp.'s advanced laser technology will be featured on the History Channel's "Modern Marvels: Drilling" program, to air May 10, 2006, at 10:00 p.m. Eastern/Pacific (9:00 p.m. Central/8:00 p.m. Mountain), which enables some semiconductor, networking, telecommunications, and consumer electronics companies worldwide to bring their products to market.

IPC, HKPCA Join Forces in Conference

(May 8, 2006) BANNOCKBURN, Ill. — IPC–Association Connecting Electronics Industries and the Hong Kong Printed Circuit Association (HKPCA) are coming together to produce the first Executive Market and Technology Forum conference, June 13–14, 2006, at the Harbour Plaza Hotel in Hong Kong. Both associations expect more than 100 attendees from the PCB, electronics assembly, and other electronics manufacturing industries.

Stencil and Misprint Cleaner Suits Ultrasonic Cleaning

(May 8, 2006) RANCHO CUCAMONGA, Calif. — Simple Green stencil and misprint cleaner from Aqueous Technologies is designed for use in immersion stencil cleaning systems such as ultrasonic stencil cleaners, and is also available in a trigger spray for manual stencil cleaning applications.

Ultra-small Switches Allow Several Mounting Options

(May 5, 2006) HARRISBURG, Pa. — The SPDT switches, part of the ALCOSWITCH brand ultra-miniature microswitches from Tyco Electronics, offer life-cycle ratings up to 1 million cycles, and are available in two current ratings for power switching up to 3 A.

iNEMI U.S. Roadmap Workshop Nears

(May 5, 2006) HERNDON, Va. — The International Electronics Manufacturing Initiative's (iNEMI's) 2007 Roadmap workshop is scheduled for May 17, 2006, at iNEMI's Herndon, Va., headquarters. Open to members and non-members, the registration deadline is May 12th.

EAS Adds Lead-free Wave Soldering

(May 4, 2006) ELK GROVE VILLAGE, Ill. — Electronic Assembly Services, Inc. (EAS) purchased Technical Devices' NU/ERA 16MP lead-free, computer-controlled, dual-wave soldering system, adding to its lineup of lead-free-capable assembly equipment.

Reciprocating Platform Runs Automatically

(May 3, 2006) ASTON, Pa. — A reciprocating linear motion platform from Amacoil, Inc., uses a rolling ring drive that reciprocates automatically without requiring motor reversal.

Placement Verification Tool Uses Laser-cut Process

(May 3, 2006) COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — The AccuCheck ESD inspection template from Photo Stencil uses a laser-cut process for component verification and pin placement, reportedly providing a cost-effective alternative to automated optical inspection (AOI) equipment.

Hover-Davis Launches Direct Products Division, Co-founder Retires

(May 2, 2006) ROCHESTER, N.Y. — Hover-Davis Inc. established a Direct Products Division, led by Roland Heitmann, to provide feeding products and services to its OEM partners and direct customers.


Henkel Names Product Manager for Die Attach Line

(May 2, 2006) IRVINE, Calif. — The electronics group of Henkel promoted Michael Buckley to Global Product Manager for Die Attach.

Irresistible Force Meets Immovable Object - A Lead Free Essay

The enforcement agencies of the twenty-five EU Member States appear to be on the horns of a dilemma - whatever they do, there will be an indescribable collision

RoHS-compliant Adapter Allows SOIC Upgrade

(May 1, 2006) FRENCHTOWN, N.J. — A RoHS-compliant, small-outline integrated circuit (SOIC) to dual in-line package (DIP) Correct-A-Chip adapter from Aries Electronics is said to ease upgrading from an SOIC without requiring PCB layout adaptations. The top of the adapter accepts SOIC D or L packages, while the bottom is available in 8–24 DIP pin counts.

March Book-to-Bill Remains Steady

(May 1, 2006) BANNOCKBURN, Ill. — IPC–Association Connecting Electronics Industries' March 2006 North American rigid PCB industry book-to-bill ratio continued its positive trend at 1.14, while the flexible circuit book-to-bill ratio declined slightly to 0.94, for a combined industry book-to-bill ratio of 1.13.

IPC Issues Air Moving Device Standard

(April 28, 2006) BANNOCKBURN, Ill. — IPC–Association Connecting Electronics Industries published the first in a series of standards on critical components for the computer and telecom industries.

Flextronics Releases Q4, Year-end Earnings

(April 28, 2006) SINGAPORE — Flextronics released the results of its fourth quarter and fiscal year, ending March 31, 2006, noting focused efforts on potential growth opportunities in its core EMS business.

A-Tek Distributes Controlled Humidity Storage Systems

(April 27, 2006) FORT COLLINS, Colo. — A-Tek added Drytech's (Taipei, Taiwan) range of controlled humidity storage systems for electronics packages and sensitive devices to its portfolio. These electrostatic discharge (ESD) compatible systems, which meet IPC/JEDEC Standard J-STD-033A, range in size from from 100 to over 1700 L.

Measurement Platform Configures for Broad Application Range

(April 26, 2006) BEAVERTON, Ore. — The flexible M150 device measurement platform from Cascade Microtech measures DC to 220 GHz for 150-mm semiconductor wafers, ICs, PCBs, microelectromechanical systems (MEMS), and bioscience devices on one platform.

IPC Issues APEX '07 Call for Participation

(April 26, 2006) BANNOCKBURN, Ill. — IPC–Association Connecting Electronics Industries invites abstract submissions for the 2007 IPC Printed Circuits Expo, APEX, and the Designers Summit, slated for February 20–22, 2007, in Los Angeles.

Cookson Completes Polyclad Sale

(April 25, 2006) LONDON — Cookson Group plc completed its previously announced sale of its materials science business, Polyclad Laminates, Inc., to Isola Group, Sarl, for US$91 million, on April 21, 2006.


Capitol Hill Day Supports Electronics Manufacturing

(April 25, 2006) BANNOCKBURN, Ill. — IPC–Association Connecting Electronics Industries' annual Capitol Hill Day will be held June 14, 2006, in Washington, D.C., allowing attendees to meet with members of Congress to discuss critical industry issues and promote growth and manufacturing.

Solectron Facility Earns QA Certification

(April 24, 2006) MILPITAS, Calif. — Solectron Corp. certified its Bordeaux, France, plant to EN 9100:2003 standards, targeting the aerospace industry, with a specific focus on product safety and reliability. Solectron received the certification, which is equivalent to AS 9100 Revision B standards, for its design, new product introduction (NPI), manufacturing, and test activities.

Method Enables Temperature-sensitive Component Mounting

(April 20, 2006) RISHON LE-ZION, Israel — A proprietary packaging method allows temperature-sensitive components such as memory ICs and relays to be surface mounted using reflow soldering — despite being sensitive to exposure to high temperatures for long periods.

Celmer Named Multisorb CEO

(April 20, 2006) BUFFALO, N.Y. — Multisorb Technologies International appointed Mark E. Celmer to chief executive officer (CEO), a role he assumes in addition to that of president.

Advanced Applied Adhesives Selects COO

(April 20, 2006) SAN DIEGO — Advanced Applied Adhesives (AAA) appointed Stephen W. Munson to chief operating officer (COO).

Workshop Assists with Tin Whisker Prevention

(April 19, 2006) HERNDON, Va., and PISCATAWAY, N.J. — The International Electronics Manufacturing Initiative (iNEMI), together with the IEEE Components, Packaging, and Manufacturing Technology Society (CPMT), will sponsor the 3rd Annual Tin Whisker Workshop and the 56th Electronic Components and Technology Conference (ECTC), May 30, 2006, in San Diego, Calif.

Southwest Electronics Production Expo Debuts

(April 19, 2006) DALLAS — The Southwest Electronics Production Exposition (SWEPEX), which demonstrates electronics production equipment and services, is scheduled for November 14–15, 2006, in Plano, Texas — targeting the southwestern U.S. components and assembly market.

Flextronics to Sell Software Business

(April 18, 2006) SINGAPORE — Flextronics International Ltd. announced the sale of its software development and solutions business to an affiliate of Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. (KKR). The deal, which is worth about $900 million, is also expected to bring Flextronics a gain of more than $600 million in cash consideration upon closing.

RoHS-compliant SMDs Geared to Auto Market

(April 17, 2006) MENLO PARK, Calif. — A series of compact RoHS-compliant PolySwitch surface mount DC-DC converters (SMDCs), surface mount device (SMD) terminals, and polymeric positive temperature coefficient (PPTC) devices from Raychem Circuit Protection, a business unit of Tyco Electronics, provide resettable overcurrent protection in space-critical applications.

Inline Laser Marker Available

(April 14, 2006) OULUNSALO, Finland — The inline J502-22 Laser Marker from Elektrobit Group Plc prints barcodes, 2-D codes, text, and graphics using various materials automatically at 400 characters/second. A 1064-nm, 5-W YAG laser with an 80-µm laser spot size delivers 400 dots per inch (dpi) marking resolution. Pneumatic cylinders and side clamps are said to precisely position PCBs.


RoHS-compliance Workshop Answers Assembly Questions

(April 13, 2006) HANOVER, N.H. — Ron Lasky, Ph.D., PE, senior technologist at Indium Corp., and visiting professor at Dartmouth College, presented a workshop titled, "Rapid Implementation of RoHS Compliant Assembly" for area OEMs, EMS providers, and suppliers.

IR Tool Eases Thermal Profiling

(April 13, 2006) WEST SUSSEX, England — Thermal profiling for rework can often be a time-consuming and risky venture. To help alleviate this, Focused Infrared (Focused IR) technology from PDR, uses infrared light energy to bring a board and components to a temperature that melts the solder, but does not damage parts.

Henkel Asia-Pacific Operations Undergo Personnel Changes

(April 12, 2006) IRVINE, Calif. — Some strategic organizational appointments at the electronics group of Henkel's Asia-Pacific operations aim to propel the company's growth in that region, particularly in delivering advanced technology solutions for high-volume production applications.

Mobile Services Allow Capability Testing On-site

(April 12, 2006) HUDSON, N.H. — Mobile metrology service from CeTaQ Americas brings machine capability analysis (MCA) testing and verification services to the manufacturer's facility, and performs equipment verification services and analysis on-site. This portability is said to bring accuracy and immediate solutions to an out-of-control process or an out-of-calibration production machine.

IPC Prepares Industry for RoHS Compliance

(April 12, 2006) BANNOCKBURN, Ill. — In a dash to comply with the July 1, 2006, RoHS Directives deadline, IPC–Association Connecting Electronics Industries, in conjunction with ERA Technology Ltd. and eco3, offers a few tools to ease the transition, such as a materials declaration management document, RoHS audit forms, and a CD that walks through the RoHS Directives.

Shimadzu Scientific Publishes White Paper Outlining RoHS Compliance Requirements s

The paper offers guidance and tips for the many organizations that have yet to properly comply with the European Union's Restriction of Hazardous Substances (RoHS) regulations

Photo Stencil, Novatec Enter Distribution Partnership

(April 11, 2006) COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — Photo Stencil and Montauban, France-based Novatec, a research laboratory that develops technologies for the electronics assembly industry, have teamed to distribute Novatec's VacuNest underboard support product throughout North America.

AOI System Suits High-volume Production

(April 11, 2006) SAN CLEMENTE, Calif. — The M1 automated optical inspection (AOI) system from YESTech features a small footprint and board handling system that adapts quickly to pre- or post-reflow inspection and various rework and data tracking scenarios.

Pick-and-Place Upgrade Boosts Throughput

(April 10, 2006) EINDHOVEN, The Netherlands — The Speedpack upgrade package from Assembléon reportedly increases output of the company's surface mount device (SMD) pick-and-place machines by up to 15%, and improves line balancing — increasing AX5 system speeds from 94,300 to 110,000 components per hour (cph).

Aegis Wins Company of the Year Award in SMT Software

(April 7, 2006) PALO ALTO, Calif. — Aegis Industrial Software Corporation recently nabbed the Company of the Year Award in SMT software from Frost & Sullivan for its part in aiding clients through the challenges of the lead-free manufacturing transition.


SMTA Workshops Abound in May

(April 7, 2006) MINNEAPOLIS — May is a busy month for the SMTA with two upcoming events: the Medical Electronics Symposium, slated for May 15–17 in Bloomington, Minn., and the "Rapid Implementation of WEEE and RoHS Compliant Assembly Workshop," May 18th, in St. Paul, Minn.

Richard Heimsch Joins Protean Marketing

(April 6, 2006) WEYMOUTH, DORSET, U.K. — Richard Heimsch, DEK International president, and a marketing communications and brand strategy veteran, joins Protean Marketing Communications Ltd. team.

SAW Filters, Resonators Available as SMDs

(April 6, 2006) ISELIN, N.J. — These SAW filters and two-port resonators from EPCOS are now available as SMDs in ceramic packages on quartz substrate with a 3 × 3-mm footprint. Insertion height in both measures 1.0 mm.

Test Solution Handles Multiple Board Designs

(April 6, 2006) STEVENSVILLE, Md. — The JTAG ProVision tool from JTAG Technologies is said to speed and facilitate developing boundary-scan applications based on the IEEE 1149.x standards, enabling engineers to achieve test coverage and in-system programming objectives. JTAG ProVision handles all complexity levels, from single boards with one or more Test Access Ports (TAPs) through complex, multi-board configurations.

IPC Elects Technical Volunteer Chairman

(April 5, 2006) BANNOCKBURN, Ill. — IPC–Association Connecting Electronics Industries elected Don Dupriest to chairman of the IPC Technical Activities Executive Committee (TAEC), a technical body within the organization focused on technical policy and procedure matters. He succeeds Bob Neves of Microtek Laboratories. All TAEC leaders are industry volunteers, and TAEC members vote to select the TAEC chairperson for a two-year term.

Valor Names President of Asia Operations

(April 5, 2006) SHANGHAI, China — Valor Computerized Systems appointed Ong Kay Huat as president of Valor Far East, its Asia subsidiary. In this position, Ong will head Valor's operations in Asia, aiming to drive the company's penetration in the region, develop sales channels, and build professional relationships with customers and partners.

Investing in Engineering Students

(April 4, 2006) AURORA, Colo. — North American university students are using Advanced Circuits' FreeDFM for school projects. Professors at several engineering schools are requiring students to upload Gerber files to the FreeDFM.com service to help with design flaws and to check on manufacturability. FreeDFM checks to make certain that all files and data are in place before building a PCB.

Translators Ease Move to PCB Design Solution

(April 4, 2006) WILSONVILLE, Ore. — A series of translators that facilitate the transition from Protel, P-CAD, and OrCAD designs and libraries to PADS PCB design solutions are available from Mentor Graphics Corp. The translators are said to transfer current libraries, databases, and other existing legacy data over to PADS easily with minimal data and time loss. PADS is a Windows-based standard for PCB design solutions.

China RoHS Compliance Services Available

(April 3, 2006) OTTAWA, Ontario — Ageus Solutions' China RoHS compliance services provide guidance and services to meet the pending material restrictions and declaration requirements for electrical and electronic products being sold into China. A detailed process analyzes the requirements for each company, aiming to provide a detailed, comprehensive path going forward.

DEK to Spotlight Portfolio at SMT/Hybrid/Packaging

(April 3, 2006) FLEMINGTON, N.J. —DEK will showcase its products and processes at the SMT/Hybrid/Packaging exhibition, May 30–June 1, 2006, in Nuremberg, Germany. DEK's booth (7-205) will highlight solutions designed to improve productivity and performance in electronics manufacturing, as well as lead-free solutions to aid the transition to RoHS compliance.


WEEE, RoHS, and a Trail of Breadcrumbs

(April 3, 2006) BOSTON — You can't go very far in the electronics manufacturing industry without hearing discussion about the European Union's (EU) Restrictions of the use of certain Hazardous Substances in Electronic Equipment (RoHS) and the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) regulations.

Electronic Interconnections No. 9 - Wire bonding - Still First Choice for Integrated Circuit Die Interconnection

Wire shorting was once a concern, however, a new company, Microbonds, Inc. has developed a method for bonding insulated wires

SMT/Thru-hole Receptacle Offering is RoHS-compliant

(March 31, 2006) HARRISBURG, Pa. — The RoHS-compliant AMPMODU 0.100-centerline horizontal and vertical receptacles from Tyco Electronics mate with unshrouded and breakaway-style headers. Comprised of single- and double-row configurations, the portfolio meets most mother/daughterboard applications, including board-to-board applications for industrial and commercial electronics, aerospace, computers, communications, and other electronic devices.

iNEMI Hosts May Roadmap Workshop

(March 30, 2006) HERNDON, Va. — The International Electronics Manufacturing Initiative (iNEMI) will hold its full-day, 2007 Roadmap workshop at iNEMI headquarters, May 17, 2006, to give the industry a sneak peak at key findings, as well as presentations from 19 Technology Working Groups (TWGs). The workshop is open to non-members.

Dow Corning Develops Green Materials in China

(March 30, 2006) MIDLAND, Mich. — Dow Corning's ongoing initiative to produce environmentally friendly, silicon-based materials for electronics manufacturers in China has enabled one Chinese company to meet looming environmental laws, such as the EU's RoHS, WEEE, and China's RoHS initiative.

Electroformed Squeegee Blade Exhibits Low Pressure

(March 30, 2006) COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — Photo Stencil's AMTX E-Blade electroformed squeegee blade is said to boost print deposition, quality, uniformity, and consistency. A rigid, low-friction, hard-nickel edge blade reportedly provides clean prints, reduced stencil wear, and less material waste.

Solectron Beta Site Earns IPC Certification

(March 29, 2006) MILPITAS, Calif. — After months as a beta test site for IPC's RoHS Lead-free Electronics Assembly Process Capability program, Charlotte, N.C.-based Solectron Corp. has earned certification, reportedly becoming the first Tier 1 EMS company to receive such certification.

IPC Supply Chain Tracker Available to All

(March 28, 2006) BANNOCKBURN, Ill. — IPC–Association Connecting Electronics Industries' Supply Chain Tracker, a quarterly business report targeting the electronic interconnection industry, is available by subscription.

Nexlogic Expands to Larger Facility

(March 27, 2006) SAN JOSE, Calif. — Nexlogic Technologies has moved PCB design, assembly, fabrication, and procurement operations from a 11,000-square foot building to a 30,000-square-foot facility featuring new equipment and services, noting growth in servicing the medical, military/aerospace, semiconductor, and industrial markets.

Lead Removal System Exhibits Low Toxicity

(March 27, 2006) FRANKLIN, Mass. — A low-toxicity Lead Eliminator from JNJ Industries combines chelating agents and other ingredients to remove traces of lead and other heavy metals from work surfaces. When transitioning to lead-free electronics assembly, these traces of lead and other heavy metals may remain on workbenches and other surfaces after cleaning in and around SMT lines, creating a potential for cross contamination.


In-line Router Enables High-volume Production

(March 24, 2006) OULUNSALO, Finland — The High-Speed Router from Elektrobit Group Plc separates PCB modules from the panel in high-volume production of small PCB panels. The system completes the process in grippers, ensuring short cycle times for high-volume production requirements. The router suits high-mix production due to fast set-up features and new product teaching with product drawings.

ESSEMTEC Hires Technical Manager

(March 23, 2006) GLASSBORO, N.J. — ESSEMTEC USA recently hired Jeffrey J. Stong as its new Technical Manager, who brings more than 22 years of experience in the electronics industry.

Panasonic Factory Solutions Appoints Director of Solutions

(March 23, 2006) BUFFALO GROVE, Ill. — Panasonic Factory Solutions Company of America (PFSA) has named M. Faisal Pandit as Director of Solutions to oversee all software and engineering solutions. Pandit reports directly to PFSA president Tom Gebhardt.

iNEMI Roadmap Workshop: One Week to Register

(March 22, 2006) HERNDON, Va. — Registration for the International Electronics Manufacturing Initiative (iNEMI)'s 2007 Roadmap workshop, to be held together with SEMICON Europa in Munich, Germany, on April 5th, closes on March 28, 2006, barring full capacity prior to the date. The full-day meeting will give attendees a first-look at draft chapters of the 2007 Roadmap, including two key market segments and eight technology and infrastructure areas the Roadmap covers.

Products Aid Lead-free Transition

(March 22, 2006) AMARILLO, Texas — Techspray's LeadCheck (2515-N) swabs test components and solder joints for leaded solder in both existing and incoming inventories. The company's Lead-free/RoHS Guide covers issues related to defluxers, wicks, masks, soldering tips, and solder pots.

NEPCON China Summit Touts Lead-free

(March 21, 2006) SHANGHAI, China — NEPCON/EMT China, to take place April 4–7, 2006, in Shanghai, is an SMT-focused event that offers networking opportunities and the latest information on the newest products. Held annually, this year's show will target the lead-free transition since the looming July 1, 2006 deadline is right around the corner, giving attendees plenty of options in implementing lead-free in time.

March Plasma Launches Shanghai-based Lab

(March 21, 2006) CONCORD, Calif. — March Plasma Systems opened an advanced plasma applications and demonstration laboratory in Shanghai, China, and named Michael Zhang as Applications Field Service Engineer to oversee product training, customer demonstrations, applications development, and lab-related activities.

Automatic In-line Printer Accepts 29" Frames

(March 20, 2006) DORSET, U.K. — Using proprietary camera alignment technology, Speedprint's SPRINTavi automatic in-line printer accepts industry-standard 29" stencil frames, and is said to facilitate paste-on-stencil inspection. The camera alignment system is said to ensure Six Sigma repeatability.

One-part Epoxy Adhesive Available

(March 20, 2006) HACKENSACK, N.J. — The Supreme 3HT-80 one-component, heat-curing epoxy adhesive from Master Bond, Inc., reportedly exhibits high shear and high peel strength; and resists impact, thermal shock, vibration, and stress-fatigue cracking. This no-mix compound cures within 30 minutes at 175°F.

SMTA Workshop to Spotlight 'Due Diligence'

(March 17, 2006) MINNEAPOLIS — The SMTA's upcoming "Building Your Due Diligence Defense" workshop will cover "due diligence," a legal concept concerning lead-free compliance, with up-to-date definitions; case studies of what companies are doing; and recommended steps. A Q&A session will follow.


Indium's Dr. Lasky to Head Lead-free Seminar Series

(March 17, 2006) CLINTON, N.Y. — Indium Corp.'s Dr. Ronald C. Lasky, Ph.D., senior technologist, will lead the upcoming series of SMTA workshops, titled "Rapid Implementation of RoHS Compliant Assembly," to kick off on March 23, 2006, at the Oak Pointe Country Club in Brighton, Mich.

PCB Transport Racks Accomodate Varying Board Sizes

(March 17, 2006) FRAMINGHAM, Mass. — Now available from FKN Systek, Inc., these stackable PCB transport and storage racks are said to safely handle PCBs during assembly. These racks will hold up to 50 PCBs from 2–9.8" wide, and are made of conductive plastic temperature rated to 176°F. Surface resistance is <106.

Benchmark Declares 3-For-2 Stock Split

(March 16, 2006) ANGLETON, Texas — Contract manufacturer (CM) Benchmark Electronics announced a 3-for-2 stock split in the form of a stock dividend, effective at end-of-business day, March 27, 2006. At that time, recorded shareholders will receive one additional share for every two shares owned.

Vision Systems Measure Multiple Surface Levels

(March 16, 2006) AURORA, Ill. — The QUICK IMAGE QI-2017RL and QI-3017RL Series 2-D vision measuring systems from Mitutoyo America Corp. include a bilateral telecentric lens train, which can focus on multiple surface levels simultaneously, enabling error suppression and increased speed for higher measuring throughput.

IPC 175X Enables Uniform RoHS Declarations

1751 gives a good overview of the problem being solved, the supporting standards and the organizing principles applied

Harsh Environment Electronics Abstracts Due March 22nd

(March 15, 2006) EDINA, Minn. — The SMTA and Auburn University have teamed to offer the third-annual Harsh Environment Electronics Workshop, July 19–20, 2006, in Indianapolis, Ind. John Evans, Ph.D., conference chairman; and Ken Gilleo, Ph.D., SMTA vice president for technical programs, invite industry experts to submit abstracts providing information on the latest developments within the harsh environment electronics market.

Agile Revamps RoHS Compliance with IPC-1752 Support

(March 15, 2006) SAN JOSE, Calif. — Agile Software Corp.'s Product Governance and Compliance (PG&C) now supports the IPC-1752 materials declaration management standard, which establishes electronic data formats and supports standardized forms to facilitate the exchange of materials declaration information across manufacturers' extended supply networks. With this support, Agile PG&C will allow customers to streamline their product compliance tracking per RoHS.

New Land-pattern Generator Complies with IPC-7351

(March 15, 2006) MUNICH, Germany, and WESTFORD, Mass. — Zuken, together with PCB Libraries Inc., has launched the CADSTAR-compatible LP Wizard land-pattern generator, which is said to reduce the time it takes to build library parts, and ensure compatibility with the IPC-7351 standard for SMT design.

Stencil Printing Workshops Available

(March 14, 2006) COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — Photo Stencil's upcoming 2006 workshops will provide information on stencil printing performance and how stencil technology and stencil design each impact this performance. Data generated by independent test laboratories during print performance studies, along with Photo Stencil's Dr. Bill Coleman, vice president of technology, and Mike Burgess, stencil product manager, will come together to offer pertinent information.

Dual-head Fluxer Allows Quick Changeover

(March 14, 2006) SPOKANE, Wash. — A.C.E. Production Technologies' new dual-head fluxer option facilitates quick changeover between leaded and no-lead flux types for selective soldering applications. The new feature complements A.C.E.'s KISS 102 programmable selective soldering system.


Device Programming Software Offers NAND Flash Options

(March 14, 2006) HOUSTON — BP Microsystems' latest BPWin software release, version 4.58, features NAND Flash options for customizing multiple partitions using a single algorithm when programming NAND devices. Special Spare Area calculations can be added as needed without having to change the algorithm. Also, partitions with an arbitrary number of required addresses and how they align to the buffer may be specified.

Practical Components Carries AIM Print Test Board and Kit

(March 13, 2006) LOS ALAMITOS, Calif. — Practical Components, an international distributor of mechanical IC samples and components and SMD production tools and equipment, now supplies AIM's print test board and kit that includes many common printing challenges. Both have circular and square pad designs to test paste release, along with BGA and microBGA pads.

Small-footprint System Mixes Bare PCB, Magazine Loading

(March 13, 2006) KENOSHA, Wis. — A new, small-footprint line loading station mixes a bare PCB loader and a magazine line loader into the same work cell, and is now available from PRO-MATION Inc. The combo station may be built to handle the four most common magazine sizes (CAB 601/701, CAB 704, CAB 706, and CAB 707).

Single-Step Swabs Test Electronics for RoHS Compliance

This new product and resource guide help printed circuit board (PCB) manufacturers and assemblers maintain RoHS (Restriction of Hazardous Substances) compliance.

New RoHS Packing Slip Aids Compliant Parts Tracking

(March 10, 2006) CHICAGO — Newark InOne's new packing slip is designed to help customers track and segregate RoHS-compliant parts within their company's inventory systems. The packing slip indicates the RoHS status of each part, as well as the manufacturer part number, manufacturer name, country of origin, and English description.

White Paper Underscores Insert Molding in Component Production

(March 10, 2006) ST. CHARLES, Ill. — A white paper focusing on the insert molding process as a highly efficient and reliable solution for producing electromechanical components and interconnections is now available from Microplastics, Inc. The paper also offers valuable solutions for reducing size, weight, and costs of components such as connectors, electromechanical parts, filters, housings, lighting, sensors, and switches, while increasing quality.

Asymtek Grows China Presence

(March 9, 2006) CARLSBAD, Calif. — Asymtek has launched two new facilities in China — a customer applications lab in Guangzhou and a new office in Beijing, joining the existing facility in Shanghai.

Speedline Updates Screen Printer Software

(March 9, 2006) FRANKLIN, Mass. — Speedline Technologies has upgraded its Benchmark Operating Software to version 1.6 for the MPM Accela printer, providing new options and enhanced functionality.

Custom PCB Rework System Uses Beam Delivery

(March 8, 2006) ROLLING MEADOWS, Ill. — BEST Inc.'s new C02 LASER PCB rework system has capabilities for precision marking, drilling, scoring, and organic material cleaning of PCB materials. It also defines new pads and traces to etch off solder-mask patterns to a few mils, and can cut polyimide into various shapes for customized wave-solder masking applications.

Indium's Lee to Target Lead-free Reliability

(March 8, 2006) CLINTON, N.Y. — At the upcoming Intel Lead-free Symposium, to take place March 15–16, 2006, in Scottsdale, Ariz., Indium Corp. of America's Dr. Ning-Cheng Lee, vice president of technology, will highlight reliability in a presentation there. Dr. Lee's experience spans the development of high-temperature polymers, encapsulates for microelectronics, underfills, and adhesives.


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