Article Highlights
Spreading the Word about SMTA—One Local Show at a Time
10/23/2017 | Patty Goldman, I-Connect007
Test Solutions Your EMS Partner Should Offer
10/20/2017 | Neil Sharp, JJS Manufacturing
Joining Forces: SMTA and the SMART Group in Europe
10/19/2017 | Patty Goldman, I-Connect007
Counterfeit: A Quality Conundrum
10/18/2017 | Michael Ford, Aegis Software Corp.
Rework and Reball Challenges for Wafer Level Packages
10/16/2017 | Lauren Cummings and Priyanka Dobriyal, Ph.D., Intel Corp.

Latest Articles

Credence Expands CEO's Role to Include Chairman of the Board

(September 21, 2001) Fremont, Calif. -- Credence Systems Corp.'s chief executive officer, Graham Siddall, Ph.D., has expanded his responsibilities to include chairman of the board of directors.

Enthone to Move to New Head Office, Change Name

(September 21, 2001) Langenfeld, Germany -- Enthone in Germany will move to their new head office in Langenfeld, near Cologne and Dusseldorf, in October 2001. At the same time, the company's name will change to Enthone GmbH.

Owens Design Opens Modular Clean Room

(September 21, 2001) Fremont, Calif. -- Owens Design Inc. has announced that its design and manufacturing facilities now include an industry-standard clean room.

Amkor Signs Strategic Agreement with King Yuan Electronics

(September 21, 2001) West Chester, Pa. -- Amkor Technology Inc. has signed a strategic agreement with Taiwan-based King Yuan Electronics.

SMTA Announces SMTA Dallas Final Program

(September 20, 2001) Minneapolis -- SMTA Dallas, sponsored by the Surface Mount Technology Association (SMTA) and set to take place Nov. 14 through 15, 2001, at the Dallas Convention Center, will feature two cutting-edge events.

Solectron, Sanmina to Repurchase Stock

(September 20, 2001) Milipitas, Calif. and San Jose, Calif. -- Demonstrating faith in their companies and the financial markets, Solectron Corp. and Sanmina Corp. both have announced stock repurchase programs.

Suss Expands Asian Presence

(September 20, 2001) Munich, Germany -- Suss MicroTec AG, holding company of Karl Suss, has opened a new sales and service support center in Hsinchu, Taiwan.

Tecnomatix Appoints Product Marketing Vice President to Subsidiary Team

(September 20, 2001) Portsmouth, N.H. -- Tecnomatix Technologies Ltd. has selected a new vice president of product marketing for the company's Tecnomatix-Unicam Inc. subsidiary.

SEMX Corp. Confirms Retention of Compass Partners

(September 19, 2001) Armonk, N.Y. -- SEMX Corp. has confirmed that Compass Partners International LLC is acting as its exclusive strategic advisor in the sale of its Domestic and European Wafer Reclaim Services operations (ASP).

Applied Wave Research Appoints President and CEO

(September 19, 2001) El Segundo, Calif. -- Applied Wave Research Inc. (AWR) has promoted James Spoto, a company board member since March 2001, to president and chief executive officer. Joseph E. Pekarek, Ph.D., the former AWR president, will assume a new role as the company's chief technology officer.


SMTA Annual Awards Announced

(September 19, 2001) Minneapolis -- The Surface Mount Technology Association (SMTA) will honor seven members at its annual meeting on Oct. 2 during SMTA International in Chicago.

Teradyne Extends Cost-Cutting Programs

(September 19, 2001) Boston -- Teradyne is extending its previously announced cost reduction programs in response to the continuing worldwide economic downturn.

Agilent Technologies Aids AMD in Reducing Cost of Test

(September 18, 2001) Palo Alto, Calif. -- Agilent Technologies Inc. has announced that Sunnyvale, Calif.-based microprocessor company Advanced Micro Devices Inc. (AMD) has purchased the Agilent 93000 SOC C400e model system to test existing and next-generation AMD AthlonTM processors, AMD's microprocessor product.

DEK Contributes to Fine-Pitch Stencil Technology Development

(September 18, 2001) Flemington, N.J. -- DEK is participating in an industry initiative to develop parameters for fine pitch printing by contributing both process expertise and a Horizon screen printer.

Ismeca Reorganizes Production Facilities

(September 18, 2001) La Chaux-du-Fonds, Switzerland and Vista, Calif. -- Ismeca, a leading producer of tape & reel machines, will concentrate production in two main locations: its Switzerland headquarters and its Melaka, Malaysia facilities.

NPL Announces Release of Solderability Measurements Report

(September 18, 2001) Middlesex, UK -- The National Physical Laboratory (NPL) announces the release of their report, Solderability Measurements of PCB Pad Finishes and Geometries, by Deborah Lea, Fredirikus Jonck and Chris Hunt, all working at The Materials Centre at NPL.

Zuken Upgrades CADSTAR to Deliver Improvements

(September 17, 2001) Westford, Mass. -- Zuken USA has upgraded its Windows-based desktop printed circuit board (PCB) design software, featuring 44 improvements to increase user productivity and cut time-to-market for new designs and design variants.

Mentor Graphics, Sigrity Partner to Develop Interface for High-Speed Design Solutions

(September 17, 2001) Worcester, Mass. -- Mentor Graphics Corp. has partnered with San Jose, Calif.-based Sigrity Inc. to deliver advanced power plane analysis capabilities for high-speed design solutions.

Speedline Technologies Expands Equipment and Consultancy Services for Asian Manufacturers

(September 17, 2001) Singapore -- Cookson Performance Solutions (CPS), previously part of Cookson Electronics, Speedline Technologies' parent company, has been renamed Speedline Global Services. The integration of Cookson Performance Solutions into Speedline Technologies reportedly provides Asian customers with a complete array of service offerings, from traditional warranty service to process knowledge consulting.

Valor Parts Library Reaches 20 Million Components

(September 17, 2001) Yavne, Israel -- Valor Computerized Systems' Valor Parts Library (VPL), its online library delivering physical models of components, has grown to more than 20 million parts, as compared to the 4 million level reported a year ago.


Adept Technology Previews Photonics Assembly Solutions at Fiber Optic Industry Conference

(September 14, 2001) San Jose, Calif. -- Adept Technology Inc. has announced the preview of two automated photonic component assembly systems at the Adept Fiber Optic Assembly Conference in Livermore, Calif.

QualMark Corp., Weiss Technik Form Exclusive Strategic Partnership

(September 14, 2001) Denver -- QualMark Corp. and Reiskirchen-Lindenstruth, Germany-based Weiss Umwelttechnik GmbH (Weiss Technik) have formed an exclusive strategic partnership.

Stratos Lightwave Announces New Tech Center for R&D of Advanced Fiber Optic Systems, Technologies

(September 14, 2001) Chicago -- Stratos Lightwave Inc. is opening its new Northwest Technology Center, which has as its mission the exploration and development of advanced technologies, subsystems and products for high-end fiber-optic communications.

Andrew Razeghi Advises Attendees at IPC's TMRC Conference

(September 14, 2001) Northbrook, Ill. -- IPC-Association Connecting Electronics Industries has announced that Andrew Razeghi, principal with Strategos, will speak at IPC's Technology Market Research Council (TMRC) conference during IPC's Annual Meeting, taking place in Orlando, Fla. on Oct. 8 through 13, 2001.

New Courses Offer Attendees Variety at APEX 2002

(September 13, 2001) Northbrook, Ill. -- IPC-Association Connecting Electronics Industries has announced the professional development courses scheduled for IPC SMEMA Council's APEX, to be held at the San Diego Convention Center, Jan. 19-24, 2002.

MDSI Wins 2002 Technology and Business Vision Award

(September 13, 2001) Chicago -- For the second time in three years, Manufacturing Data Systems Inc. (MDSI) has won the Start Magazine Technology and Business Award for Vision in the category of small business.

MRV Communications CFO Killed in Trade Center Crash

(September 13, 2001) Chatsworth, Calif. -- The horrific crash of two planes into the World Trade Center on Tuesday took the life of Edmund Glazer, CFO and vice president of finance and administration for MRV Communications Inc.

Everett Charles Technologies to Open Manufacturing Facility in Hungary

(September 12, 2001) Pomona, Calif. -- Everett Charles Technologies plans to open a 6,500-square foot test fixture production facility in Hungary in September 2001.

Speedline Technologies Expands European Distributor Network

(September 12, 2001) Frankfurt, Germany -- Speedline Technologies Inc. has announced that it will expand its European distributor network to localize delivery of its technical and support services to European customers.

August Technology Lowers Third Quarter Revenue Expectations

(September 12, 2001) Minneapolis -- August Technology Corp. has announced that third quarter revenue is expected to be significantly below the current year's second quarter as a result of the continuing downturn in the microelectronics industries.


EFOS Inc. Becomes EXFO Photonic Solutions Inc.

(September 12, 2001) Quebec City, Canada -- EXFO Electro-Optical Engineering Inc. has changed the name of Toronto-based EFOS Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary, to EXFO Photonic Solutions Inc. effective Sept. 5.

Clare and Linear Dimensions Team Up to Drive Optical Switching Equipment

(September 11, 2001) Beverly, Mass. - Clare Inc. has entered into a product licensing and services agreement with Chicago-based Linear Dimensions Inc. to design, develop and market high-voltage linear amplifier products.

Credence's KalosXW Wins IDEA Product Design of the Year Award

(September 11, 2001) Fremont, Calif. - Credence Systems Corp. and its partner frog design have received top honors for the design of its KalosXW test system from the Industrial Designers Society of America and Business Week magazine.

ON Semiconductor Gets $100 Million Investment

(September 11, 2001) Phoenix -- ON Semiconductor Corp. has announced the closing of a $100 million investment in the company by Texas Pacific Group (TPG), a leading private equity investment firm and the company's majority stockholder.

Worldwide Chip Market Will Grow 23 Percent in 2002, Semico Predicts

(September 11, 2001) Phoenix -- Semico Research Corp. has predicted the worldwide semiconductor market will reach $200 billion in 2002, a growth rate of 23 percent from 2001.

IPC Annual Meeting Encompasses More Events

(September 10, 2001) Northbrook, Ill. -- The IPC Annual Meeting and Technical Conference, set to take place Oct. 9 through 13, 2001 at the Rosen Centre Hotel in Orlando, Fla., is a product of the merger between the IPCWorks technical conference and standards development meetings and the Fall TMRC and Management Council Meetings.

QC Optics to Be Acquired by KLA-Tencor

(September 10, 2001) Wilmington, Mass. -- QC Optics Inc. has entered into a definitive merger agreement to be acquired by San Jose, Calif.-based KLA-Tencor Corp.

XeTel and VI Technology Announce Strategic Partnership

(September 10, 2001) Austin, Texas -- XeTel Corp. and VI Technology have formed a partnership to develop automated test systems for XeTel's manufacturing customers.

AIM Appoints Regional Sales Manager

(September 10, 2001) Montreal, Canada -- AIM has appointed Mike Lopez as regional sales manager-Mexico, where he will manage the sales and support efforts for the AIM full line of electronic solders and chemicals with the exception of the Baja territory.

IPC Annual Meeting: Conference At a Glance

(September 10, 2001) Northbrook, Ill. -- The IPC Annual Meeting and Technical Conference, which will take place October 9 through 13, 2001, at the Rosen Centre Hotel in Orlando, Fla., combines the IPCWorks technical conference and standards development meetings with the Fall TMRC and Management council meetings for the first time.


Conexant Signs Five-year Foundry Agreement with UMC

(September 7, 2001) Newport Beach, Calif. - Conexant Systems Inc. has signed a five-year supply agreement with Hsinchu, Taiwan-based United Microelectronics Corp. (UMC) where UMC will serve as Conexant's principal advanced CMOS semiconductor wafer supplier for its personal networking business through 2006.

Hi-Tech UK Collaborates with County Council on Comprehensive School Survey

(September 7, 2001) Rotherham, UK - Hi-Tech UK, specialists in fume extraction and manufacturers of Purex extraction and purification equipment, collaborated with the Caerphilly County Borough Council on a survey of its comprehensive schools regarding the hazards found within.

MSL Appoints O'Flanagan to Board of Directors

(September 7, 2001) Concord, Mass. - Manufacturers' Services Ltd. (MSL) has elected Dermott O'Flanagan to the company's board of directors, expanding the board to nine members.

Sanmina Updates Fourth Quarter Fiscal Year Outlook

(September 7, 2001) San Jose, Calif. - Electronics contract manufacturer Sanmina Corp. has announced that its 2001 fourth quarter revenues are being impacted by the continued slowdown in its end-markets.

IPC Printed Circuits Expo Sends Out Call for Papers for Technical Conference

(September 6, 2001) Northbrook, Ill. - The IPC Printed Circuits Expo, taking place March 26 through 28, 2002 at the Long Beach Convention Center in Long Beach, Calif., is accepting abstracts for its technical conference.

Oki to Cut 10 Percent of Workforce

(September 6, 2001) Tokyo - Oki Electric Industry Co. Ltd., a Japanese electronics maker, will cut its domestic workforce by 2,200 employees, or 10 percent, to March 2003.

Solectron Announces New Vice President

(September 6, 2001) Milipitas, Calif. - Kiran Patel has joined Solectron Corp., a provider of electronics manufacturing and supply-chain management services, as a senior vice president and officer.

BTC Appoints Product Manager

(September 6, 2001) Raleigh, N.C. - BTC Electronic Components has appointed Julia Wiggs as product manager.

Advanced Interconnections Launches Online Stock Check

(September 5, 2001) West Warwick, R.I. - Advanced Interconnections Corp., an ISO 9001-certified developer and manufacturer of interconnect solutions, has added an online distributor inventory stock check feature to its Web site.

Hewlett-Packard, Compaq Agree to $87 Billion Merger

(September 5, 2001) Palo Alto, Calif. and Houston, Texas - Hewlett-Packard Co. and Compaq Computer Corp. have entered into a definite merger agreement that will create an $87 billion company


ITRI Board Votes to Close Institute

(September 5, 2001) Austin, Texas - The Interconnection Technology Research Institute (ITRI) Board of Directors voted unanimously to dissolve the institute effective Aug. 31, 2001 due to a worsening financial climate for electronics and lack of industry commitment and resources.

X-Rite, Karl Suss America Improve Optical Testing of VCSEL Components at the Wafer Level

(September 5, 2001) Grand Rapids, Mich. - X-Rite Inc.'s electro-optics subsidiary, Labsphere, and Waterbury Center, Vt.-based Karl Suss America Inc. have come together to introduce a turnkey vertical-cavity surface-emitting lasers (VCSEL) Wafer Prober System.

President Elected to Park Electrochemical's Neltec Inc. Business Unit

(September 4, 2001) Lake Success, N.Y. - Jay B. Grover has been elected as the president of Neltec, Inc., Park Electrochemical Corp.'s high-technology circuitry material business unit located in Tempe, Ariz.

Sheldahl Appoints President and Chief Executive Officer

(September 4, 2001) Northfield, Minn. -- Sheldahl Inc.'s Board of Directors has appointed Benoit Pouliquen as the company's president and chief executive officer beginning today. Pouliquen replaces Donald Friedman, who will become executive vice chairman of the company.

Conexant Signs Multi-Year Supply Agreement and Strategic Technology Alliance with Photronics

(September 4, 2001) Newport Beach, Calif. and Jupiter, Fla. - Conexant Systems Inc. and Photronics Inc. have formed a strategic technology alliance and multi-year supply agreement.

NEMA Offers Industrial Control and Automation Standards on the Internet

(September 4, 2001) Rosslyn, Va. - The National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA), responding to user requests for ready access to the most recent versions of industry standards, is continuing its program of providing free access to industry standards.

Hi-Tech UK Launches Purex Web Site

(August 31, 2001) Rotherham, UK - Hi-Tech UK, manufacturers of Purex fume extraction and purification systems, has launched a new Web site that contains information on which processes can produce hazardous material, and highlights a range of Purex systems designed as a solution.

IPC Releases Book-to-Bill Ratios for July 2001

(August 31, 2001) Northbrook, Ill. -- IPC-Association Connecting Electronics Industries announces that the U.S. Printed Wiring Board Industry Book-to-Bill Ratio for July 2001 was 0.90.

Universal Display Completes Private Placement

(August 31, 2001) Ewing, N.J. - Universal Display Corp., a developer of flat-panel display technology, has completed a $25 million private placement with institutional investors.

Valor Appoints Product Marketing Specialist

(August 31, 2001) Yavne, Israel -- Valor Computerized Systems announces the appointment of Dale Lee as product marketing manager for its component data service, the Valor Parts Library (VPL); and for Trilogy 5000, Valor's CAM software for virtual prototyping and assembly and test.


AIM Receives Silver Supplier Award

(August 30, 2001) Montreal, Canada -- AIM has been awarded the Silver Supplier Award from Des Plaines, Ill.-based Littelfuse Inc. for the second consecutive year.

IPC Selects Custer for Hall of Fame

(August 30, 2001) Northbrook, Ill. - IPC-Association Connecting Electronics Industries has selected Walt Custer, president of Custer Consulting Group, as the 2001 recipient of the Raymond E. Pritchard Hall of Fame Award.

NEPCON West Moves to Silicon Valley in December 2002

(August 30, 2001) Norwalk, Conn. - NEPCON West, the nation's longest running electronics manufacturing tradeshow and conference, will be co-locating with FIBEROPTIC Automation Expo and Assembly West, Dec. 4 through 6, 2002, at the San Jose McEnery Convention Center.

ViTechnology Names Technical Sales Manager

(August 30, 2001) Haverhill, Mass. - ViTechnology, LLC has appointed Jean Marc Peallat as vision product manager for the Americas for the company's complete line of automated optical inspection (AOI) systems.

Credence Announces New Executive Appointments

(August 29, 2001) Fremont, Calif. - Credence Systems Corp., a manufacturer of automatic test equipment (ATE) for the worldwide semiconductor industry, has appointed Barry Baril to chief technical officer (CTO) and Bart Freedman to senior vice president of field operations.

Group Technologies Wins GSA Contract

(August 29, 2001) Tampa, Fla. - Group Technologies Corp., an EMS provider, has been awarded a five-year, $20 million contract with the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) to provide engineering services to several federal agencies.

Swart Interconnect Announces Proprietary Manufacturing Services in Their Clean Room

(August 29, 2001) San Francisco - Swart Interconnect has made available proprietary high-speed pin into plastics assembly services in its Class 10,000 clean room.

Flextronics to Acquire Telecom Global Solutions

(August 29, 2001) Singapore -- Flextronics International Ltd. will acquire Irving, Texas-based Telecom Global Solutions Inc. Telecom provides network planning, design and optimization services, as well as wireless network and RF consulting services, to the world's leading telecommunications OEMs.

Micro Dynamics to Open New Facility

(August 28, 2001) Eden Prairie, Minn. -- Micro Dynamics, an EMS provider that provides manufacturing, test development, material procurement, design and prototypes to its customers, announces the grand opening of its new manufacturing facility, which will also serve as its headquarters.

Aries Expands Web Site to Include Check Stock Availability Feature

(August 28, 2001) Frenchtown, N.J. - Aries Electronics Inc., a leader in standard and custom interconnection and packaging technology, has expanded its Web site to include an automated inventory availability feature that enables customers to check the availability of stock at all participating Aries distributors, as well as the company's own factory.


Park Electrochemical Announces Promotion

(August 28, 2001) Lake Success, N.Y. - Park Electrochemical Corp. has promoted David Iguchi to product director, PCB materials processing.

Atlantic Technology Gains QS 9000 Certification

(August 28, 2001) Crumlin South Wales, U.K. - Atlantic Technology, Europe's largest IC probe, assembly and RF test services subcontractor, has been QS 9000 Third Edition-certified by Lloyds Register Quality Assurance.

Italian Tektronix Division Chooses Dot Hill SAN Storage System

(August 28, 2001) Carlsbad, Calif. -- Dot Hill Systems Corp., a provider of carrier-class information storage and storage area network (SAN) solutions, announces that Tektronix Padova S.p.A., the Italian division of Beaverton, Ore.-based Tektronix Inc., has chosen the SANnet 3210 as the storage standard for its Telco management system.

CirTran Receives Multiple Purchase Orders, Letter of Intent from Tempo Communications

(August 27, 2001) Salt Lake City - CirTran Corp. has entered into an agreement with Rockford, Ill.-based Tempo Communications Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Textron Inc., that includes purchase orders issued for three current products and a letter of intent on multiple additional projects.

SMTA Board of Directors Election Results Announced

(August 27, 2001) Minneapolis - The Surface Mount Technology Association (SMTA) has announced its election results for the Board of Directors for the term that begins at SMTA International, held from Sept. 30 to Oct. 4, 2001.

Solectron to Buy Iphotonics

(August 27, 2001) Milipitas, Calif. - Solectron Corp., a provider of electronics manufacturing and supply-chain management services, has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Glen Burnie, Md.-based Iphotonics Inc., a provider of core optical manufacturing services.

Speedline MPM Stencil Printing Systems Achieve Clean Room Certification

(August 27, 2001) Franklin, Mass. - Speedline Technologies' MPM brand of stencil printers for circuit board assembly and semiconductor packaging applications are certified clean room compliant.

SMTA Dallas Conference on OE and Telecom: Paper Abstracts

(August 27, 2001) Edina, Minn. -- The Surface Mount Technology Association's (SMTA) upcoming conference on OE and telecom, SMTA Dallas, co-located with Nepcon Texas, will take place on November 14 and 15, 2001 at the Dallas Convention Center in Dallas. This event's paper sessions will be a prime opportunity to learn about opto devices and components and assembly.

AIM Opens Office in China

(August 24, 2001) Montreal, Canada - AIM announces the opening of a technical support and sales office in China to support the company's rapidly expanding customer base in the Asia Pacific region.

Cypress to Acquire In-System Design

(August 24, 2001) San Jose, Calif. - Cypress Semiconductor Corp. has signed a definitive agreement to acquire In-System Design Inc. of Boise, Idaho, a privately held system-on-chip design company specializing in personal communication application.


MRSI Group President and CEO Named Entrepreneur of the Year Finalist

(August 24, 2001) North Billerica, Mass. - Neil Srivastava, Micro Robotics Systems Inc. (MRSI) group president and CEO, has been named a finalist in the 15th annual Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year program in San Diego, Calif.

Tessera Appoints New Senior Vice President of Operations

(August 24, 2001) San Jose, Calif. - Tessera Inc. has appointed Nicholas Colella, Ph.D., to the position of senior vice president of operations. In his new role, Colella will be responsible for Tessera's services and R&D functions.

Agilent's R&D Manager Appointed to President of IVI Foundation

(August 23, 2001) Palo Alto, Calif. - Agilent Technologies has announced that Joe Mueller, R&D section manager within Agilent's Technology Center, has been elected president of the Interchangeable Virtual Instruments (IVI) Foundation.

Credence Combines Its Fluence and IMS Units

(August 23, 2001) Fremont, Calif. - Credence Systems Corp. has merged its wholly owned DFT subsidiary, Fluence Technology, with its newly acquired Integrated Measurement Systems Inc. (IMS).

KVH Industries Hires New Chief Operating Officer

(August 23, 2001) Middletown, R.I. - KVH Industries has hired S. Joseph Bookataub as the company's chief operating officer.

Tecnomatix Appoints New Head of Asian Operations

(August 23, 2001) Nashua, N.H. - Tecnomatix Technologies Ltd., a provider of manufacturing process management software, has appointed George Guo to Vice President and General Manager of Tecnomatix-Unicam's Asia operations.

Analog Devices Reports 20 Percent Decline in Revenues

(August 22, 2001) Norwood, Mass. - Analog Devices Inc. has announced revenues of $480 million for the third quarter of fiscal 2001, which ended August 4.

Fujitsu to Cut 16,400 Jobs

(August 22, 2001) Tokyo - Japanese manufacturer Fujitsu will slash 16,400 jobs from its work force of 180,000, representing 9 percent of its global work force.

Printed Circuit Alliance to Join Forces with IPC CCA

(August 22, 2001) San Francisco - IPC, Connecting Electronics Industries, announced that the Printed Circuit Alliance (PCA) of San Francisco has joined forces with the IPC California Circuit Association (CCA) under the IPC CCA's Environmental Health and Safety Legislative division.

Tower Semiconductor Will Make Logic ICs for ON Semiconductor

(August 22, 2001) Migdal Haemek, Israel - Tower Semiconductor Ltd. has signed a five-year wafer supply agreement to manufacture CMOS logic ICs for ON Semiconductor of Phoenix.


BTexact Technologies Launches Network Testing Facility

(August 21, 2001) Martlesham, UK - BTexact Technologies, BT's research and technology business, has opened an independent commercial carrier-grade testing and evaluation facility for next-generation network equipment.

GenRad Selected for Functional Test for Broadband Manufacturing

(August 21, 2001) Paris - GenRad Inc., an electronics testing and manufacturing solutions leader, has announced that its GENEVA GR4000 Functional Test Solution has been selected as an approved test platform for a new range of Ericsson broadband access products.

NEMA Releases Conduit Standard

(August 21, 2001) Rosslyn, Va. - The National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) has released conduit standard FB 1-2001, Fittings, Cast Metal Boxes and Conduit Bodies for Conduit, Electrical Metallic Tubing and Cable.

Xilinx Licenses Communications Chip Design

(August 21, 2001) Concord, Mass. - API NetWorks, a company that sells chip designs enabling use of the high-speed HyperTransport connection technology developed by AMD, has licensed its design to San Jose, Calif.-based chipmaker Xilinx.

The 2001 Symposium on Lead-Free Soldering Technology: Abstracts and Sessions

(August 21, 2001) -- As part of SMTA International, which will be co-located with Assembly Tech Expo from September 30 to October 4 at the Donald Stephens Convention Center in Chicago, the 2001 Symposium on Lead-Free Soldering Technology is free with VIP, Leading Edge or Technical Conference Registration.

Vectron's AOI Inspection Services an Alternative to Capital Investment

(August 21, 2001) San Diego - Vectron Inc., a supplier of vision inspection systems for populated printed circuit boards, has taken advantage of the industry's need for AOI systems, even against the backdrop of a temporary freeze in capital equipment buys, by offering on-demand AOI inspection services.

Cognex Adds EtherNet/IP to In-Sight Sensors

(August 20, 2001) Natick, Mass. - Cognex Corp., a leading supplier of machine vision systems, has added the Ethernet Industrial Protocol (EtherNet/IP) to its In-Sight family of networkable vision sensors.

Polese Co. Awarded ISO 9002 Certification

(August 20, 2001) Armonk, N.Y. - The San Diego, Calif. manufacturing facilities of Polese Co., a subsidiary of SEMX Corp., have been awarded ISO 9002 certification.

SpeedFam-IPEC to Cut Workforce by 18%

(August 20, 2001) Chandler, Ariz. - SpeedFam-IPEC Inc., a supplier of high-throughput chemical mechanical planarization systems for semiconductor manufacturing, will cut its worldwide headcount by 18%, or approximately 160 employees.

West Bay Semiconductor Names New CFO

(August 20, 2001) Vancouver, British Columbia -- West Bay Semiconductor Inc. has appointed Victor Giacomin as chief financial officer.


Polyclad Laminates and Rexam Sign Agreement

(August 20, 2001) Londonderry, N.H. and Matthews, N.C. - Polyclad Laminates Inc., Rexam Image Products Inc. and Rexam CFP Ltd. have signed a global agreement to supply the electronics market with resin-coated copper foil for use in the manufacture of printed wiring boards (PWBs).

Varian Semiconductor Ships Single Wafer Platform Systems to Samsung

(August 17, 2001) Gloucester, Mass. -- Varian Semiconductor Equipment Associates Inc., a supplier of ion implementation systems used in semiconductor manufacture, has shipped multiple 300 mm high- and medium-current implanters to Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd., the world's largest memory chipmaker.

IBM and Peregrine Systems Form Infrastructure Alliance

(August 17, 2001) San Diego and Armonk, N.Y. - Peregine Systems Inc. and IBM have formed a strategic alliance in which the two companies will help customers accelerate the transformation of their enterprise workplace assets into scalable, flexible business environments.

Omron, Stanley Electric to Cooperate in High Luminance LEDs

(August 17, 2001) Kyoto, Japan - Omron Corp. of Kyoto, Japan, and Stanley Electric Co. Ltd. of Tokyo will cooperate in the field of high luminance LEDs. Through this tie-up, the two companies will develop and produce a high luminance LED based on Omron's DR (double reflection)-LED technology.

Karl Suss and DELTA Form New Collaboration

(August 17, 2001) Munich, Germany - Karl Suss and DELTA Danish Electronics, Light & Acoustics will work together to develop new methods and equipment for testing micro electromechanical systems (MEMS) at wafer level with non-electrical stimuli and detection.

Vishay to Acquire General Semiconductor

(August 17, 2001) Malvern, Pa. - Vishay Intertechnology, Inc., the largest U.S. and European manufacturer of passive electronic components, will acquire General Semiconductor Inc. of Melville, N.Y., a manufacturer of power management devices.

Excelerate Technologies Delivers SECS/GEM Automation Solution to Inspex

(August 17, 2001) Wellesley Hills, Mass. - Excelerate Technologies, a provider of automation solutions for equipment manufacturers for the advanced 200 mm and 300 mm semiconductor market, will provide GEMCom and GEMCom 300 products to Billerica, Mass.-based Inspex Inc., a leader in semiconductor IC yield management.

Cognex Corp. In-Sight Vision Sensors Now 21 CFR Part 11-Compliant

(August 16, 2001) Natick, Mass. - Cognex Corp.'s In-Sight family of networkable vision sensors is compliant with the U.S. FDA's 21 CFR Part 11 regulations. As part of its compliance initiative, the company has authored and published detailed Application Guidelines that provide recommendations for developing 21 CFR Part 11-compliant automation projects which incorporate machine vision technology.

PennWell Acquires New International Title

(August 16, 2001) Tulsa, Okla. - PennWell, a diversified global media company, has acquired SMT Germany from EMP Mediamarketing based in Boblingen, Germany. SMT Germany is a German-language publication and an excellent complement to PennWell's existing SMT Magazine.

SMTA Awards Charles Hutchins Grant

(August 16, 2001) Minneapolis - The Surface Mount Technology Association (SMTA) has awarded the 2001 Charles Hutchins Educational Grant to Renzhe Zhao from Auburn University in Auburn, Ala.


EKRA, Aegis Tie up

(August 16, 2001) Marlboro, Mass. - EKRA America Inc., a worldwide supplier of surface mount stencil printing systems and Aegis Industrial Software Corp. of Philadelphia, developer of CircuitCAM FUSION TransCollaborative Manufacturing (TCM) software, have formed an OEM agreement.

Aegis Forms Technology Agreement with Siemens

(August 16, 2001) Philadelphia - Aegis Industrial Software Corp., developer of the CircuitCAM FUSION CIM software system, has entered into a technology integration agreement with Siemens Dematic Electronic Assembly Systems, Inc.

Agilent Technologies' Automated Test Receives Multiple Awards

(August 16, 2001) Palo Alto, Calif. - Agilent Technologies has received multiple awards for electronics manufacturing test of printed circuit board assemblies and semiconductors.

Coghlin Cos. Inc. acquires DCI

(August 15, 2001) Worcester, Mass. - Coghlin Cos. Inc. of Worcester, Mass., has acquired Franklin, Mass.-based Design Components Inc. (DCI). DCI will now be known as DCI Automation Inc.

Jennie S. Hwang, Ph.D. Meets with President Bush

(August 15, 2001) Washington, D.C.-- SMT Editorial Advisory Board member Jennie S. Hwang, Ph.D., recently met with President Bush along with 30 businesswomen from all over the United States on the subject of trade promotion.

Focus of NEMI Optoelectronics Initiatives: Implementation and Cost

(August 15, 2001) Herndon, Va. - The National Electronics Manufacturing Initiative (NEMI) is introducing several new initiatives to focus industry efforts on issues that must be resolved for optoelectronic components to be implemented in electronic assemblies - most notably, those relating to cost.

August Technology Sells NSX Inspection Series to VCSEL Manufacturer

(August 15, 2001) Bloomington, Minn. - August Technology Corp., a supplier of automated visual defect inspection equipment, has sold its NSX Series two-dimensional wafer inspection systems to manufacturers of vertical cavity surface-emitting lasers (VCSELs).

Alcatel Selects GenRad as DSL Test Partner

(August 15, 2001) Munich, Germany - GenRad, a developer of advanced test solutions for electronics manufacturers, has been selected by Alcatel as a global test solutions partner for xDSL products.

***TODAY'S NEW PRODUCTS ONLINE***

August 14, 2001 - Featuring Test/Inspection

SMTA's 2002 Pan Pacific Microelectronics Exhibit Presents Opportunities

(August 14, 2001) Minneapolis - The SMTA's Pan Pacific Microelectronics Symposium will be held February 5 through 7, 2002, at the Westin Maui Hotel in Maui, Hawaii. Participating in the exhibition presents an opportunity to network and showcase products and services to international microelectronics industry executives and senior technical professionals in an environment tailored to developing close working relationships.


SAP and Tecnomatix Sign Global Strategic Agreement

(August 14, 2001) Waldorf, Germany and Nashua, N.H. - SAP AG of Germany and Tecnomatix Technologies Ltd. of Nashua, N.H., have entered into a global strategic development and marketing agreement to integrate Tecnomatix eMPower Manufacturing Process Management solutions with mySAP Product Lifecycle Management (mySAP PLM).

GenRad to divest Diagnostics Unit

August 14, 2001 -- Westford, Mass.-based GenRad Inc. announced in early August 2001 that it will divest its Diagnostic Solutions business unit, and is entertaining an offer from a British investment consortium.

GenRad to Divest Diagnostics Unit

(August 14, 2001) -- Westford, Mass.-based GenRad Inc. announced in early August 2001 that it will divest its Diagnostic Solutions business unit, and is entertaining an offer from a British investment consortium.

APEX 2002 Technical Conference Tackles the Electronic Assembly Industry's Hottest Topics

August 13, 2001 - Technical conference focuses on electronics assembly processes and equipment that employ emerging and expanding technologies such as area array and optoelectronics manufacturing.

HANA Microelectronics and IKE Micro Align

August 10, 2001 - Strategic alliance to provide electronics manufacturing services domestically and overseas to the microelectronics assembly, semiconductor and RF industries.

Managing the Future Theme of PWB Presidents Management Meeting

August 10, 2001 - IPC's Printed Wiring Board Presidents Management Meeting in October to provide input from top experts on important management issues.

IPC Announces Staff Changes

August 9, 2001 - IPC names Michelle Jorgensen as its new marketing communications manager and promotes John Hassman to market research manager.

DEK Joins Industry Consortium Developing Parameters for Fine-Pitch Printing

August 8, 2001 - Consortium will conduct the most comprehensive experiment on stencil evaluation to date, with the goal of helping the industry arrive at optimal print process parameters for fine-pitch assemblies.

SEMI Reports 2Q Silicon Wafer Shipments Down 21 Percent

August 7, 2001 - SEMI's quarterly analysis shows second quarter 2001 silicon wafer area shipments down 21 percent from the first quarter of 2001 and down 28 percent compared to the second quarter of 2000.

NASA's Donna Shirley to Keynote APEX 2002

August 3, 2001 - Former manager of NASA's Mars Exploration Program will speak on managing teams and how to balance autonomy and authority to overcome obstacles and achieve what may seem like the impossible dream.


Smart Sonic Introduces StencilScan Inspection System

August 2, 2001 - StencilScan claimed to be the first stencil and screen inspection system designed for SMT assembly.

Agilent Online Seminars Focus on Strategies for Test in an Outsourcing World

August 2, 2001 - Agilent Technologies is offering free hour-long web seminars focusing on the strategies, issues and logistics facing OEMs, Electronic Manufacturing Service (EMS) providers and Contract Manufacturers.

SAP and Tecnomatix Sign Global Strategic Agreement

August 3, 2001 - Tecnomatix's eMPower Manufacturing Process Management Solutions to Integrate With SAP's mySAP Product Lifecycle Management.

Electronics Organizations Join Forces to Coordinate Worldwide Implementation of Lead-Free Solder

August 1, 2001 - High Density Packaging User Group forms Global Environmental Coordination Initiative to channel the worldwide resources of electronics organizations and the companies they represent with the common goal of easing the electronics industry's transition to lead-free manufacturing.

DEK Details Exhibit Plans for Mexitronica

August 1, 2001 - DEK to showcase all elements of its screen printer process solutions including hardware, software, consumables and alternative manufacturing applications.

ACT Manufacturing Completes Acquisition of Fisher Rosemount Systems' Leicester Manufacturing Facility

July 31, 2001 - As part of the transaction, ACT to provide Fisher-Rosemount Systems a global, straight-through manufacturing process, from circuit board manufacturing through final assembly.

Innoveda Design Conference to Highlight Superior PCB Work

July 30, 2001 - Worldwide users to participate in Innoveda's annual International Users Conference to share knowledge, needs and design techniques.

IPC Releases June Book-to-Bill Ratio

July 27, 2001 - Sales billed (shipments) in June 2001 decreased 31.9 percent over June 2000 and orders booked decreased 38.5 percent over June 2000.

IPC Names New VP of Professional Development

July 26, 2001 - Robert Vitas named vp of professional development; responsible for IPC's education and video/computer training departments.

Standex Electronics Introduces Ultra Low Profile SMT Toroidal Inductor

July 26, 2001 - Small size, low DC resistance and high efficiency makes the ST series appropriate for DC-DC converter applications in portable electronics.


AIM Opens UK Office

July 27, 2001 - New UK office will market and provide technical support for the complete AIM line of electronic solders and chemicals throughout Europe.

Aegis Announces Technology Agreement With Siemens Dematic

July 26, 2001 - Aegis CAD data importers will now be embedded within Siemens' SIPLACE Pro machine management and programming software.

AEI Introduces Micro-Eyes for Cross Section Measurements

July 24, 2001 - Precision measurement product is a complete turnkey system designed to make measurements of cross-section coupons quick and easy.

SMT EDITORIAL CONTRIBUTOR'S GUIDE

Guidelines for contributing to SMT Magazine

Speedline Global Services Announces Seminars for Electronics Executives

July 18, 2001 - Electronics Executive Seminars designed to help busy electronics executives understand the basic technical challenges faced in surface mount manufacturing.

SEMI Forecasts 35 Percent Drop in Sales

July 17, 2001 - Industry may not top record sales of 2000 until 2004; revenues expected to remain strong.

Electroglas, WWK to Develop Real-time System

July 16, 2001 - Plans call for the integration of WWK's TWO COOL product with Electroglas' SORTnet products and Statware Web-based tool.

IPC Board Member Peter Sarmanian Loses Battle With Cancer

July 13, 2001 - Founder and chairman of Printed Circuit Corp., passed away July 11, 2001, after a long battle with cancer.

NEMI Adds Seven Organizations to Roster

July 13, 2001 - New National Electronics Manufacturing Initiative members are all leaders within their respective areas of the electronics industry.

Burrus to Keynote IPC Annual Meeting

July 12, 2001 - Technology futurist Daniel Burrus will address how to go beyond the competition by identifying the future impact of new technologies.


DDi Corp. Buys Canada's Olympic Circuits

July 12, 2001 - Acquisition of privately held quick-turn prototype PCB manufacturer provides DDi with its first Canadian facility.

ASAT Develops MSL-1 Capability On All Leaded Products; Baking Step Eliminated

July 11, 2001 - Products qualified at Moisture Sensitive Level One immediately usable off-the-shelf.

Neopost Picks Tecnomatix Software to Optimize PCB Production

July 11, 2001 - European mailing equipment provider Neopost selects Tecnomatix' eMPower software to automate PCB assembly and testing.

SMTA Seeking Pan Pacific Participation

July 10, 2001 - SMTA seeks participants to present recent research results at the 2002 Pan Pacific Microelectronics Symposium.

IDC

APEX 2002 Offers Space for More Exhibitors

July 10, 2001 - The San Diego Convention Center's newly constructed addition provides APEX 2002 with additional 51,000 sq. ft. of exhibit space.

FCI Electronics Announces Commitment to RosettaNet Milestone

July 9, 2001 - FCI fully committed to implementing Ship from Stock PIPs with multiple partners by Q4 2001.

Dense-Pac Consolidates and Streamlines

July 6, 2001 - Move to Garden Grove, Calif., headquarters facility consolidates manufacturing group.

DEK Partner in Annual Technology Consortium

July 3, 2001 - Consortium focuses on developing fully documented processes that can be implemented in live production facilities to produce high-quality product at high yields.

CR Technology Introduces Lease Program

July 6, 2001 - Program allows EMS providers and OEMs to access inspection technology benefits at introductory price.


VCE Includes All Franchised Distributors

July 5, 2001 - Virtual Chip Exchange (VCE) now allows all franchised distributors full membership privileges on the VCE Trading Floor.

WAND Singulation Releases Smart-Router

July 3, 2001 - Smart-Router stand-alone routing machine designed to singulate a wide variety of PCB layouts.

Tessera, Intel to Develop Stacked CSPs

July 5, 2001 - Tessera working with Intel to develop advanced semiconductor packaging solutions for next-generation wireless and portable electronics products

U.S. Bankruptcy Court Approves Quad - Mirae Settlement Agreement

June 29, 2001 - Mirae free to resume SMT sales and marketing activities in the Americas and Europe.

SMTA International Info Now Online

June 29, 2001 - Online brochure provides full details on SMTAI courses, tech sessions, symposiums, and special events.

Aegis Opens New Headquarters

June 28, 2001 - Aegis moves into custom-configured 20,000 sq. ft. headquarters facility in Philadelphia.

SMT EDITORIAL ADVISORY BOARD

We're proud to count these industry experts as members of our Editorial Advisory Board.

SMT Milestone Machine Delivered

June 25, 2001 - Siemens reaches a milestone with the delivery of its 10,000th Siplace machine.

Unitive Opens New Facility and Joint Venture in Taiwan

June 22, 2001 - New wafer-level packaging and solder bumping facility in Hsin Chu Industrial Park has an ultimate capacity of 720,000 wafers annually.

World Production of PWBs and Flex Circuits Reaches Record Levels in 2000

June 26, 2001 - IPC Technology Market Research Council's World Market Report puts production at $42.7 billion.


SMTA Knowledge Base Features Online Resource

June 21, 2001 - SMTA makes accessible all articles from its most recent educational programs via SMTA web site.

Speedline Names de Villemejane President; Integrates Cookson Performance Solutions

June 19, 2001 - Appointment and integration of CPS part of Speedline's strategy to meet current market challenges and position itself for long-term growth.

COMING NEXT IN SMT MAGAZINE . . .

Micro Dispensing, New AOI Technology and Underfill Processing are all featured in the July 2001 issue.

Relyent Offers Quick-turn Prototyping

June 13, 2001 - Custom assembly services provider offers rapid development of low-volume PCB assemblies and prototypes.

Speedline Asia Offers Eight-Zone Reflow Oven

June 15, 2001 - Bravo 8105 reflow/cure forced convection oven designed for applications such as SMT and ball attach reflow, adhesive curing, BGAs and flip chips.

Indium Raises Solder Paste Prices

June 13, 2001 - Pricing plan calls for an increase of 12-15% across all paste product lines.

Dover Promotes Gerhard Meese to ESA Executive VP

June 12, 2001 - Universal Instruments' president named executive vice president of Dover's Electronics & Semiconductor Assembly related companies.

e/manufacturing Expo Becomes Supply Chain Solutions

June 11, 2001 - EtroniX event undergoes a name change.

SPE Changes Name to Global Stencil

June 11, 2001 - Name change and development of new B2B web site reflect company's worldwide marketing effort.

Siemens Electronics Assembly Division Changes Name to Siemens Dematic

June 8, 2001 - Change results from merger of Siemens Production and Logistics AG with Mannesmann Dematic AG.


Global Semiconductor Market Forecasted to Rebound in 2002

June 7, 2001 - SIA midyear forecast projects industry-wide recovery in second half that will spur growth of 20.5 percent in 2002.

SMTA Announces Pan Pacific Symposium; Seeks Participants

June 7, 2001 - Symposium will focus on the critical business markets and technologies of microelectronics packaging, interconnection and assembly.

Electronics and Economics in Eastern Europe

June 6, 2001 - Market research reports highlight electronics business opportunities in Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic, the Slovak Republic and Romania.

* * * SMT MAGAZINE'S RESOURCE CENTER * * *

• COMPLETE SMT STEP-BY-STEP SERIES - • SMT MAGAZINE'S ASSOCIATION LINKS - • GLOSSARY OF SMT INDUSTRY TERMS - • SMT PERSPECTIVES - COMPLETE SERIES - • SMT VISION AWARDS HALL OF FAME - • SMT EDITORIAL ADVISORY BOARD - • SMT EDITORIAL CONTRIBUTOR'S GUIDE

Northrop Grumman Acquires Kester Solder

June 1, 2001 - Sale of Litton Industries, parent company of Kester Solder, is completed.

IPC Releases 2000/2001 Technology Roadmap

May 31, 2001 - Roadmap provides vision and direction for product development, process development and services.

SMT VISION AWARDS HALL OF FAME

Since 1992 the SMT Vision Awards have recognized the people and products within the surface mount industry that serve as benchmarks of excellence. Browse the winners, year by year . . .

1999 SMT VISION AWARDS WINNERS

ADHESIVES, COATINGS AND ENCAPSULANTS - 3567 Reworkable Underfill - The first commercially available reworkable underfill, Loctite 3567 provides the reliability and ease of processing of conventional thermoset underfills. It allows flip-chips to be replaced on any device after testing determines that a chip is defective, minimizing board disposal and improving the cost-effectiveness of the manufacturing process. The underfill improves the relia

Peregrine Systems' Power.Enterprise! Debuts

May 25, 2001 - Real-time e-business enablement and integration tool works with RosettaNet.

Michael Marks (Flextronics) : "Relocation of assembly in America and Europe is a long-term trend"

Michael MarksChairman of Flextronics International


US Electronics Industry is in Real Trouble

A major crisis faces the electronics industry as companies struggle to meet European requirements for lead-free electronic products in 2006. An extensive report Lead-Free Electronic Solder,Why?, attacks the political motives behind this effort and makes a strong environmental case against lead-free; the key driver behind this effort.

Safeguard Your Business against Counterfeit Parts

Counterfeit parts have become highly prevalent in the electronic component industry within the last five years. According to National Electronic Distributors Association (NEDA), counterfeit parts now comprise between 5% and 25% of all available parts and cost the industry as much as $100 billion per year. Kenneth Bradley, Allied Electronics, discusses why devices are counterfeited and what distributors can do to shut them out.

How Do You Clean PCB Assemblies?

As part of this issue's cover story, p.6, we queried readers about your PCB cleaning habits.

IPC-A-610E Broadens Scope

Streamlined IPC-A-610E is supplemented with flex circuits, board in board and package on package (PoP).

18th Annual SMT VISION Awards Winners

These winning products and services demonstrate user friendliness, innovation, cost effective operation and maintenance, and an improvement to SMT manufacturing processes.

Designing In Thermal Management

In the case of mixed-signal, analog, and mostly analog boards, special attention must go to careful thermal analysis.

What's Hot in Electronics for 2010?

Consumer electronics are undergoing changes spurred by consumer behavior.

Anti-Counterfeiting Protective Measures

This article provides information on the various types of counterfeit semiconductors on the market, and methods to prevent counterfeits from ending up on finished assemblies.

Making PCB Cleaning More Energy Efficient

New innovations in batch and in-line systems, combined with more effective chemistries, have made cleaning printed circuit boards (PCBs), stencils, and bare boards more cost-effective, environmentally friendly, and energy efficient.

Cleaning Equipment at the Aqueous Booth

In this video, Mike Konrad, Aqueous Tech, takes us through the defluxing and cleanliness test system, Trident, and discusses the difference between batch and conveyor cleaning equipment at IPC APEX EXPO 2010.


Book to Bill: Rigid PCBs Step Up; Flex Hovers in April 2010

IPC announced the April findings from its North American PCB Statistical Program. The book-to-bill ratio keeps climbing -- now above parity for a full 12 months, indicating a recovery that is gaining momentum. The growth so far has been in rigid PCB sales.

An Image Library of SMT Defects Section 1: BGA PCB Defects, Plating

Images in this section include damaged PCBs, double plating, mouse bites, missing pads, domes, and other defects.

The Far-reaching Capabilities of Boundary Scan Testing

What do you need to know about boundary scan PCB testing? Though not quite mainstream, boundary scan is increasingly an option for PCB assembly houses that need increased test coverage with fewer test access points, and for companies with assembly in multiple locations. It also can be used to streamline design, production test, and in-field failure analysis. Greg Leblonc, Acculogic, describes the modern capabilities of boundary scan technology, and why it belongs in the testing arsenal.

With Flying Probe, Electrical Test Depends on Mechanical Precision

Flying probe testers use motorized test probes to roam around the surface of an assembled PCB, poking test access points (TAP) to complete circuits. This form of electrical test is more flexible than the typical bed of nails method, which has prompted many low-volume/high-mix (LVHM) assemblers to consider a flying probe machine investment. Electrical test experts can hit roadblocks when comparing mechanical specs on flying probers, says Greg Leblonc, P.Eng., product manager at Accculogic. He described the impact of motor mechanisms, probe layout, and probe angle on test accuracy and repeatability at a recent Acculogic seminar.

Eliminate Trial and Error When Cleaning Advanced Packages on PCBs

With modern environmental restrictions, the electronics industry has moved away from broadly applicable solvents to a host of chemistries than accomplish cleaning within certain parameters. Cleaning materials developers must study the soils found on common PCB assemblies and produce cleaners that will attack residues effectively without damaging component bodies, PCBs, labels, or solder joints. In his recent Boston presentation, Mike Bixenman, D.B.A.., CTO, Kyzen, discussed the new reasons and new ways to clean PCBs.

Limitations of Hansen-Hildebrand with Aqueous Cleaning

While Harald Wack, Ph.D., ZESTRON, is encouraged by the numerous pathways of innovation that have developed to meet new cleaning challenges, he is discouraged by one in particular. Recently, Wack witnessed the promotion of Hansen solubility parameters as a means to determine the performance of cleaning agents and processes.

PCB Designers Notebook
Planning for Very-fine-pitch and High IO Flip Chip: Part III of III

Vern Solberg discusses methodologies for flip chip mounting, including solders, gold and adhesives or GGI, and the impact of residues and underfill. In regard to assembly processing, positional accuracy, repeatability, and placement speed are critical factors when matching the system to the specific application.

Completely Automated PCB Test

Changes in manufacturing processes and economics within companies, along with the short ramp times from design to end-product manufacturing, increasingly justify the use of automation to achieve higher levels of efficiency and productivity. Since testing is part of the manufacturing process, PCB test solutions equally must provide test coverage and diagnostics, as well as real-time feedback to manufacturing and/or design, in an automated way. Walter Gueli, Seica, examines the possibilities to fully extend the automated production choice to the world of PCB test.

Detection of Counterfeit Semiconductors: Nondestructive and Destructive Examples

We need to go beyond visual inspection to track down counterfeit components. Hemant C. Warad, Sakda Sangthamma, Anusorn Sawetwong, and Martin Huehne, Celestica, describe two examples of counterfeit ICs received from a broker. The counterfeits were intercepted by a counterfeit detection procedure routinely applied to every purchase of electronic parts from a broker. The successful detection of the counterfeiting was based on optical inspection of the package, X-ray imaging, C-SAM, and optical inspection of the die after decapsulation.

Stencil Aperture Creation

There are several accepted methods for stencil manufacture, such as etch, laser-cut, and electroform.


The Solder Paste Print Step

Solder paste, which serves primarily as the attachment medium between the device interconnection features and the PCB itself, is deposited (usually by printing) on the attachment sites (pads) of the PCB. Solder paste deposition is one of the most critical steps of SMT assembly. It’s normally accepted in the industry to consider that 60% of process defects can originate in the solder paste printing step.

Laser-cut Electropolish and Laser-cut Nanocoat Stencils: A Comparison of Finish Performance for Complex Designs

Miguel A. Lara, Celestica, examines solder paste deposition for designs with miniature/fine-pitch and large components. This paper presents the results of solder paste deposition with an alternate post-process operation to SMT stencils that is claimed to improve paste release and consistency. There are two analyzed outputs: solder paste brick height and volume. Variation, normality, and process capability analysis is measured for electroformed and nanocoated laser-cut stencils in identical operations.

Selective Soldering with Dispensable Solder Paste

Paste print and mass reflow are the standard processes for soldering PCBs. The exceptional wetting characteristics of solder paste, along with the precise temperature control of reflow ovens, combine to produce billions of circuit boards each year. Sometimes, however, printing is neither possible nor practical. In these situations, states John Vivari, Nordson EFD, dispensable solder paste can be a reliable, cost-effective, and easily implemented solution for rework, prototyping, high-volume repair, and other selective soldering applications.

The Small Component Printing Challenge

Small components, current and future form factors, present challenges to the solder paste printing and SMT assembly process. These challenges exist for tools including stencils, squeegee blades, and under board support. They also pose troubles for materials including solder paste and the PCB; and equipment including stencil printing equipment and pick-and-place equipment. William Coleman, Ph.D., Photo Stencil, considers the challenges in two categories: positional accuracy and the solder paste printing process.

Matrix Maintenance in PXI with Relay Self-Test

Matrix switches connect test equipment to the UUT in many different ways, enabling access to different parts of the UUT during the test process. The switching system is one of the most likely parts of the system to fail, not because the switching system is unreliable, but because it is in such a vulnerable position. The matrix can be subjected to abuse or accidents during development and in use due to programming errors in development, wiring errors, or unexpected UUT faults. David Owen and Bob Stasonis, Pickering Interfaces, explore the reasons for concern and a way that one test system manufacturer has found to diagnose these problems.

The EMS Quality Imperative: Surviving a Challenging Market and Emerging Stronger

The great recession has hit U.S.-based manufacturing companies hard. To stay in the game, EMS providers have cut costs and balanced production with customer demand. Even with all of these changes, quality assemblies must continue to come off the SMT line. Chris Murphy, The Morey Corporation, shares strategies for quality-centric assembly in new and long-term client relationships.

Future Challenges of Lead-Free Rework: The Main Culprits Are High Thermal Mass and Product Miniaturization

Reworking components in a lead-free environment has posed challenges, mainly caused by the increased reflow temperatures demanded by lead-free solders. While processes have been optimized for low-/medium-complexity assemblies, Craig Hamilton, Celestica explains how the industry must now overcome the challenges of reworking high-thermal-mass PCBs with complex designs.

Flying Probe Testers Lower PCBA Costs

With traditional bed of nails testers (ICT and MDA), loss of nodal access and high fixturing costs can be prohibitive. AOI and AXI cannot verify component values or operation.

Cleaning No-clean Solder and Flux

Are no-clean soldering processes really more cost-effective or reliable enough for a given application?

What Can Good Thermal Management Achieve?

Heat must be removed from electronic devices quickly and efficiently to ensure optimal performance, and to prevent premature component failure.


Control the Print Process; Safeguard Productivity

To achieve suitable throughputs and yields, solder paste printing must be tightly controlled, from the machine and materials to process parameters.

Very-fine-pitch and High I/O Flip Chip: Part II of III

In Part I, in the Design center on smtonline.com, Solberg covers how flip chips are created and how to work with these devices, small and large.

Part 12: Lead-free Reliability - Enticing and Intriguing Status

It is correct that there is not an element on earth that can single-handedly replace lead.

APEX 2010: What Does Post-Recession Look Like?

Registration for IPC APEX EXPO 2010, the flagship tradeshow of IPC ? Association Connecting Electronics Industries in North America, is reaching pre-recession levels, with about 1000 companies pre-registering by mid-February for the show April 6?9 in Las Vegas.

Reflow Soldering Under Vacuum: A New Method

With PCBs becoming increasingly complex, unexpected assembly issues are inhibiting quality. Adding vacuum and nitrogen to reflow — whether in a new reflow oven or integrated onto an existing SMT line — offers benefits like higher quality with an economical cost and continuous operation. Raimund Faber, GM, sales & marketing, SMT Maschinen- und Vertriebs GmbH discusses the causes of voids and how these defects affect quality, and one method to eliminate them during reflow without sacrificing oven flexibility or throughput.

Design for Manufacturing Requires Strong Collaboration

Matt Wuensch, Mentor Graphics, promotes collaboration across PCB design, prototype development, and electronics assembly. The more this collaboration transpires between teams, the more potential for cost savings and less potential for problems in new product introduction (NPI).

PCB Designer's Notebook
Planning for Very-fine-pitch and High IO Flip Chip: Part I of III

In this three-part series, Vern Solberg will review flip chip packaging, the increased applications for flip chip in product design, and substrate and PCB design challenges for fine-pitch array-configured flip-chip applications. Part I explains how flip chips are created and how to work with these devices, small and large.

DB Control Joins HEICO Electronic Technologies Group

DB Control, a high-power microwave amplifier, radar transmitter and power supply manufacturer, has joined the Electronic Technologies Group of HEICO Corporation (NYSE: HEI and HEI.A). Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.

Dual Preheater Rework Prevents Damage to Dense Lead-free Assemblies

Advances in PCB and component technology have created higher demands on the equipment used to repair and rework array components. It is no longer possible for the operator to simply increase the reflow temperature and expect safe and controlled component removal. These uncontrolled operators can damage the latest lead-free assemblies by utilizing older and less-capable rework systems. Ed Zamborsky and Paul Wood, OK International, explain the new machine technologies for safe BGA rework.

ESD in 201x: What Will the Decade Bring?

Jeremy Smallwood, Ph.D., Electrostatic Solutions Ltd.; Charvaka Duvvury, Ph.D., Texas Instruments; and Harald Gossner, Ph.D., Infineon, discuss electrostatic discharge (ESD) control and packaging changes in the next decade. As we enter 2010, ESD control in electronics manufacture may seem like a mature and little-changing area. However, driven by advances in technology and process needs, ESD control practice and standardization will continue evolving throughout the coming decade.


Survey: Soldering Equipment and Materials Updates, Part II

Gail Flower, editor-at-large, SMT, surveyed soldering equipment manufacturers and solder material suppliers to learn more about the latest practices and requirements. In Part II, equipment suppliers explain what customers ask for on new machines and solder suppliers talk about environmental legislation and its effect on solder alloys.

Cleaning for High-reliability Applications

Military and other high-reliability PCBs are cleaned after reflow because of the crucial nature of electronics performance in the field. Why then, with reliability an expected trait of most electronics devices in consumer and commercial applications, does clean not automatically correlate to reliable outside of the military sector? The bigger question, according to Michael Konrad, Aqueous Technologies, is what happens if your product fails. Residues — flux, oils, trapped moisture —are more harmful than ever.

Growing Tin and Other Dangerous Whiskers

Tin (Sn) whiskers are extremely thin metal filaments, 1 to 3 µm in diameter, that grow from tin metal surfaces as straight, kinked, or even spiral single crystals of Sn. Field failures due to tin whisker growth have occurred in the highest reliability applications, as well as high-volume consumer ones. Lead-free solder and finer pitches are increasing the risk of failures caused by tin whiskers. Laura Turbini, Ph.D., provides updates on the latest whiskers studies.

Sustaining a Robust Fine-feature Print Process

The introduction of 01005 chip components and 0.3-mm-pitch CSP devices is pushing surface mount technology (SMT) to its process limits. Miniaturization is driving the smallest and tightest-pitch components, but how far can this go before solder paste is no longer viable? How small a feature can be printed with solder paste, and can this be implemented into a production environment? George Babka, Assembléon America; David Sbiroli and Chris Anglin, Indium Corporation; and Richard Brooks, Kyzen define an experiment and guidelines.

Part 11: Lead-free System Reliability - Power of Metallurgy Continued

The performance of lead-free solders strictly follows solder metallurgy. Here, we look at the core values at play for two common lead-free solder alloys: tin/silver/copper (Sn/Ag/Cu – SAC) and tin/copper (Sn/Cu).

Further Testing of Hi-rel/Hi-temp Lead-Free Alloy Supports Wide Implementation

A year has passed since Hector Steen, Ph.D., Henkel Corporation and a colleague reported on the development of a novel, patented lead-free solder alloy to meet the high-temperature, high-reliability requirements of automotive applications. Since then, additional testing results for the alloy (SnAg3.8Cu0.7 [SAC387] with Bi, Sb, and Ni additions) have confirmed its robust performance and reliability for high-operating-temperature applications. Steen reports the latest information from additional testing.

Practical Guidelines for Handling Moisture Sensitive Devices and PWBs

Mumtaz Y. Bora, Peregrine Semiconductor, defines MSDs, relevant standards, and where the industry is headed in the handling of moisture sensitive components and circuit boards. The IPC D-35 committee is working to release a standard for moisture sensitivity control guidelines for PWBs.

Mentor Graphics CFD Software Enhances Product Design

With the 2010 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) fresh in our minds, product design is the focus of today’s SMT interview with Erich Buergel, GM, Mechanical Analysis Division, and John Isaacs, director of market development, Mentor Graphics. Once in SMT production, each PCB is something of a standalone product — printed, populated with components, reflowed, etc., with the goal of most closely matching set circuit board assembly specifications. However, in the design field, a PCB is one of many interacting elements in a complex environment, such as a high-power gaming system, a ruggedized cell phone, a server farm, a slim flatscreen TV, etc. Designing each PCB without reference to outside elements (enclosure, movement, operating environment) would fail endless prototypes and waste design time. By integrating package/PCB/system/building design, Mentor is hoping to encourage further inter-disciplinary collaboration and more product simulation pre-prototype. When Mentor Graphics acquired Flomerics late in 2008, they entered the thermal analysis market decisively. A little over a year into the acquisition, Mentor’s Mechanical Analysis Division offers FloTHERM for PCB design, FloVENT for buildings, and FloEFD — thermal analysis embedded into mechanical design. Each of these lines is based on computational fluid dynamics (CFD) analysis and each works together in a comprehensive design flow, preventing costly errors caused by over-the-wall electro/mechanical/thermal design.

3D Solder Paste Inspection Using Pad Reference with Multi Angle Sensor Technology

Solder paste inspection (SPI) traditionally uses resist height or a pseudo-pad height to calculate solder volume on a pad. However, as features are increasingly miniaturized and compressed on the PCB, resist thickness differences are making SPI measurements inaccurate. Toshiyuki Matsuoka, Anritsu Precision Co. Ltd. and Tim Cappoen, Seika Machinery Inc., discuss a new sensor technology that combines two optical systems to measure solder paste deposits from the true pad.

SME: Can 2010 Be a Prosperous New Year without Manufacturing?

Mark C. Tomlinson, executive director and GM of the Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME), looks at what resolutions will get the economy into recovery — starting with manufacturing goods in America.


BGA Mezzanine Connectors Boost Yields

A high-speed BGA mezzanine connector was developed to improve process-friendliness, replacing a thermally massive, bulky design with a three-piece, SMT-assembly-friendly design that is easier to solder and rework.

Survey: Soldering Equipment and Materials Updates

SMT surveyed soldering equipment manufacturers and solder suppliers to learn more about the latest practices and requirements.

Spend Less Time at First Board Inspection

EMS providers can save money and time at the FAI process step. FAI is a critical step in the assembly process, yet it is prone to errors, little documentation, and time wastes.

Creep Corrosion on Lead-free PCBs

Lead-free PWB final finishes are used to provide a solderable and coplanar surface for component attachment.

High-mix EMS in the Current Economy

This article examines how pick-and-place equipment will impact the CM business in a high-mix manufacturing environment and will point out what is necessary to be successful in a tough economy.

Go Greener in Your Cleaner

pH-neutral cleaning can help protect sensitive components while removing aggressive alloy residues. Over the past 20 years, the common notion in this field has been that alkalinity is a must to remove flux residues. pH-neutral defluxing agents are designed to do a superior cleaning job, but still protect extremely sensitive materials and meet stricter rinse water disposal regulations. Cost savings are also possible. Dr. Harald Wack, ZESTRON, explains.

What to Expect from Printed Electronics in 2010

IDTechEx summarizes some of the main global trends in 2009 and gives some predictions and areas of opportunity in printed electronics for the new year. These include metal oxide transistors for OLED displays, memristors, embedded electrochriomic, electroluminescent, and other techs for displays on consumer electronics and for photovoltaics.

Customer Input Drives Selective Soldering Process Efficiency Improvements

Selective soldering equipment was originally developed to do what neither hand nor wave soldering could do — automate the soldering process for individual through hole (T/H) components or groups of components without disturbing nearby SMT components or groups of components. Thus, selective soldering emerged to fill this need, and the technology continues to develop with the advice and valuable input from users engaged in day-to-day production soldering operations. Alan Cable, ACE Production Technologies Inc., shares some of these technician's tips, and how they improved selective soldering.

New Soldering Equipment, Software, and Services

These soldering systems include selective, wave, and reflow ovens and accessories such as nitrogen generators and solder pot service carts. Additional products include reflow profilers and calibration services, as well as a solder paste analyzer and analysis services.

When EMS Companies Put Customers in the Driver's Seat, Get Out of the Way

Pamela Wiseman, sr. operations/supply chain consultant, Technology Forecasters Inc. (TFI), says that it’s typical during challenging economic times for corporate executives to focus internally — especially on costs and cash. She argues that the best survival strategy is to put the customer at the forefront instead, with increased attention on retaining and catering to customers.


New Surface Mount Assembly Materials

These new products include thermal interface materials (TIM), potting compounds, epoxy adhesives, and other materials. They can be applied to assemblies using manual or automated placement and dispensing methods.

New Paste Printing Equipment and Tools

Assembleon introduced the MCP screen printer platform with on-board inspection; DEK's new printer-tool modules include a line-speed SPI system and new substrate clamping technology for higher print quality.

Our Relationship with the Environment

SMT Editorial Advisory Board member Laura J. Turbini, Ph.D., Research in Motion, explores the path of human impact on the environment, and the environmental legislation issues it has created for the electronics production industry.

Present at a Major 2010 Electronics Tradeshow Conference

IPC APEX EXPO (April 6–9 in Las Vegas) and SMTA International (October 24–28 in Orlando, FL) are accepting abstracts for the technical conference programs.

EMS Industry Update: NBS, Sunburst, TT, and Jabil

NBS secured an $8.2 million credit facility from Silicon-Valley-based Bridge Bank, National Association; a subsidiary of Bridge Capital Holdings (NASDAQ: BBNK). TT electronics integrated manufacturing services (IMS) will begin providing electronics manufacturing services to the global rail industry. Sunburst EMS, a high mix, low- to medium-volume electronics manufacturing services provider, installed a Hawkeye print verification system on its DEK Horizon 03i automated printer. Jabil received the 2009 Market Leadership of the Year Award in the global medical electronics manufacturing services (EMS) industry by Frost & Sullivan.

Solder Preform Basics

Paul A. Socha, Indium Corporation, reviews the types of solder preforms and their uses. He offers 10 basic steps to determining if an assembly needs preforms. Solder preforms can be used on a mixed SMT and through-hole PCB or to fortify solder paste on a difficult joint. Most solder preforms can be flux coated. When incorporating preforms, be sure to consider possible effects on reflow, cleaning, and RoHS compliance.

EMS Outsourcing Strategy 2010: U.S. or China?

The electronics contract manufacturing business has grown tremendously in the past 10 years. Many U.S.-based companies have outsourced to EMS providers in China to reduce production costs. Some, on the other hand, have moved their production back to the U.S. Others are still pondering the best outsourcing strategy. John Koon, Express Manufacturing Inc., asks, are you looking into outsourcing? What criteria are used to develop a sound outsourcing strategy? and Does outsourcing to China guarantee lower production cost than building in the U.S.? He also shares useful criteria for creating a successful outsourcing strategy.

Optimizing a Standard Print Process Eases Mixed Technology Assembly

Consumers continue to expect increased functionality in ever smaller electronic products. However, this demand stretches the rules of design-for-manufacture (DfM) and leaves circuit assemblers to wrestle with the combination of decreasing feature sizes coexisting with larger components. Clive Ashmore, DEK, explains how print process control can increase productivity when large and small components coexist on a PCB.

New Cleaning Products and Services

Cleaning is an added step to the electronics assembly process, meaning that the reliability and yield benefits of cleaning must outweigh the additional cost, energy use, and time involved in operating cleaning equipment. These products tangibly reduce costs, increase flexibility for customers, and can have added environmental benefits like lowering VOC emissions.

The Coming Manufacturing Renaissance

Jennifer Read, Charlie Barnhart Associates (CBA), examines potential sustainable economic growth for electronics companies and manufacturing in general, with a trend in the new generation of students toward making real things.


Applied Nanotech Selected to Develop Tin Whiskers Remediation Techniques

Applied Nanotech Holdings Inc. (OTC BB: APNT) was selected by the U.S. Missile Defense Agency (MDA) to receive an award of approximately $500,000 for the development of non-contact methods for mitigation of tin whiskers from electronic devices. ANI will partner with the University of Maryland’s Center for Advanced Life Cycle Engineering (CALCE) on this project.

One Year On: An Interview with Assembleon CEO André Papoular

André Papoular started with Assembleon about one year ago, though he’s been with parent company Philips for about 29 years, in business management for components, systems and finished products. He’s joined the electronics assembly equipment market at a tough economic time, but Papoular sees this as an opportunity to focus the industry on the way forward, identifying signals of opportunity. The company introduced a printing system at productronica 2009, and also announced a collaboration with Valor to integrate their equipment into a complete suite of software and tools for electronic equipment assembly. These will automate machine-, line- and factory-level workflows and business processes. SMT sat down with the Assembléon team during productronica 2009 in Munich to assess where the company is and where they see placement technology headed.

Tracking, Traceability, and Process Control Products

Managing electronics manufacturing jobs requires adding traceability from the component level to the line, multiple lines, or even multiple factories. Traceability starts at inventory. These new products include component counters, work order tracking software, barcode readers, and laser markers for in-house labeling in the highest security applications.

New Test and Inspection Products

JTAG Technologies released JTAG Live; Surface Mount Technology Corp debuted the SMART platform; Pickering Interfaces introduced RF Matrix LXI switches; Vi TECHNOLOGY upgraded its inspection offerings; Marantz entered solder paste inspection (SPI); and ASSET debuted IC test.

Efficiency Benefits of Manufacturing Operations Software (MOS)

Jason Spera, Aegis Software Corp., explains how MOS systems can improve customer relations and increase manufacturing volume and accuracies. In the pursuit of greater efficiency and customer satisfaction, electronics manufacturing factories must have useful access to manufacturing information, eliminate processing bottlenecks, get new products to the floor more quickly, and respond to engineering changes rapidly. Increasingly, the manner in which a company handles its information sets one assembler apart from its competition.

Is the Migration of Electronics Manufacturing to Asia Slowing?

Eric Miscoll, Charlie Barnhart Associates (CBA), looks at the 3 issues seen to be slowing the migration of electronics manufacturing to Asia: rising labor costs in China, greater consideration of proper total cost of ownership analysis in outsourcing decisions, and the new trend of insourcing by certain OEMs.

SMT from the Showfloor at productronica

Read the Tweets from productronica 2009 including new product announcements and major acquisitions. productronica 2009 takes place this week, November 10-13 in Munich, Germany.

SMDs in Medical Electronics: Just What the Doctor Ordered

Craig Hunter, Vishay Intertechnology, discusses the medical electronics sector. Recently, component manufacturers have stepped up interest in medical applications. The reasons aren’t difficult to discern. As reported recently by Databeans, there is no shortage of demand for better and more innovative medical equipment, and thus medical electronics has come to represent the fastest growing segment of the industrial market for semiconductors. Secondly, this growth has been quite robust with respect to the worldwide economic downturn. If that phenomenon seems counterintuitive, then consider that one of the key trends in reducing healthcare costs has been to shift the focus of care from hospitals and doctors’ offices to patients’ homes. This could only happen with advances in medical technology, mainly enabled by advances in the performance and reliability of electronic components.

New Products for Component Placement: Chipshooters, Kitting, Pick-and-place and More

APS Novastar introduces off-line placement programming; Toshiba Teli America debuts a high-speed/high-precision machine vision system for pick and place; Universal Instruments intros a line management software package for new and existing component placement machines; Production Solutions offers a center board support; and Manncorp debuts a lower-cost pick-and-place option for prototyping or incorporation on high-volume lines.

New Design Products

Following are design software packages and upgrades that simplify, automate, and otherwise improve PCB design, design for excellence (DfX), and other aspects of new product introduction.


Test Program Set (TPS) Migration: ROI for Functional Test Upgrade

Test program set (TPS) migration solutions address the problem of legacy automated test equipment (ATE) systems that support validation of military/aerospace systems experiencing end of life (EOL) issues. Robert Peet, SEICA, will review a cross section of ATE systems from both a hardware and software perspective, with specific emphasis on the challenges and solutions for test program sets using LASAR™ simulation. Migrating existing TPS from legacy systems* to current technology can be done at considerably reduced time and cost with modern TPS software migration tools. These allow for easy conversion and migration of functional test (FT) programs, with minimal debug. By retaining features such as guided probe, fault dictionary, and many others, test programs developed as far back as the 1970s are easily ported to state-of-the-art testers without losing functionality. Legacy programs can also be enhanced (post-migration) with new software tools. Modern migration tools, combined with hardware advances, can improve test coverage and diagnostic capabilities.

Cleaning for Reliability Post QFN Rework

Mike Bixenman, Kyzen Corporation and Michael Konrad, Aqueous Technologies Corporation make an argument for removing flux residue under the quad flat pack no lead (QFN) post-rework, and present cleaning process options for meeting this cleaning challenge. The need for cleanliness under individual components increases as the spacing between connector leads decreases and power increases. The low stand-off height of QFNs traps flux between the ground pad and component leads. Flux trapped under the QFN is a reliability concern. The purpose of this research is to develop process knowledge for cleaning all flux residues from under the QFN device. The authors, representing cleaning material and equipment organizations, investigated process variables such as solder paste, cleaning agents, cleaning equipment, and wash process factors.

Test and Inspection Round Up: The Equipment Users' Needs

In Part I of this article, we asked test and inspection equipment providers for their perspectives on equipment evolution and contemporary challenges. In Part II, we ask what test and inspection customers want from their equipment, and look at examples of difficult test/inspection problems and how to solve them.

Industry Forecast 2010: Climbing Back Up

Forecasting the electronics industry's direction is never an easy task, but this year, with global economies in volatile flux and no sector left unscathed, it is even more difficult.

Supply Management: The ROI in ERP

One PCB manufacturer invested in its ERP system, improving reporting, resource management, time-to-market, and other aspects of operation. What makes ERP worthwhile?

productronica 2009: Product Showcase

An end to end software suite, DynamiX is designed to integrate solutions that will assist manufacturers in design, planning, monitoring, control, scheduling, box build, traceability, test, and rework processes.

Emerging Materials for EMS: Modifiable Silicone Foams Reduce Contamination

Silicone foams are highly adaptable products for potting, gasketing, and encapsulation. Michelle Velderrain, NuSil Technology, explains the benefits of silicone foams, and how their materials properties can be tailored for processability, chemical resistance, temperature cycling, vibration dampening, and other functions.

Interoperability: The Next Big Thing in QMS/MES

When quality management systems (QMS) or manufacturing execution systems (MES) in electronics manufacturing are discussed today, a new buzz word keeps flying around: interoperability. There is good reason for the excitement in cost and quality ROI. Bruce Isbell and Jay Gorajia, Valor Computerized Systems Ltd., provide real-world examples.

Can AXI Meet Zero Defect Quality Standards?

STEP 9 Test and Inspection: Maximizing Production Efficiency through Automated Inspection

Lean manufacturers are relying on automated inspection equipment (SPI/AOI/AXI) to streamline the manufacturing process and provide real-time root cause analysis of manufacturing defects. The objective is to increase profitability through improved production yields and reduced costly rework. Brian D’Amico, MIRTEC Corp., reviews the types of SPI and AOI technology, and how to choose and implement inspection machines.


A Shift in the Perception of Reflow Profiling

Paul Austen, ECD, explains why information gathering and reflow profile characterization can be wasted practices without the verification step to maintain proper oven operation. Reflow oven profiles can be out of spec due to flux residue build up, belt speed changes, and other small changes that deliver significant alterations to the assembly being processed.

New Manufacturing Relationships to Form as Economy Rebounds

As the economy rebounds and electronic-product companies' (OEMs') requests for manufacturing-outsourcing proposals increase once again, some supplier-customer matches will be made haphazardly. This is a concern of executives at small and large contract-manufacturing companies, as well as at the OEM customers. Pamela Gordon, president, Technology Forecasters Inc., discusses the actions of small and large EMS providers, as well as OEMs, as the economy rebounds, in her TFI blog.

Choosing Carrier and Cover Tape for Tape-and-Reel

SMTAI Booth Preview

SMTA International (SMTAI) will take place next week, October 4–8 in San Diego, CA. This exhibitor preview includes products from Austin American Technology, Juki, ACE Production Technologies, Production Solutions Inc., Mirtec, Smart Sonic Corporation, RMD Instruments, Nihon Superior, and Aqueous Technologies Corp.

How Testable Are Your Circuit Board Designs?

In today's electronic design and manufacturing climate, there is increasing emphasis on improved product yield through better quality and streamlined manufacturing processes. The ability to systematically verify that board designs have been developed with adequate design for test (DfT) helps determine a product's overall testability and define the optimum test strategy for maximum fault coverage. DfT also means that design and test people can work more efficiently, as all designs are analyzed in the same manner, using industry-standard and company-specific DfT guidelines. Peter Collins, Aster Technologies, explains.

New Dispensing Equipment

These needles, valves, tips, and related dispensing equipments are available for specialty needs, such as UV block and highly adhesive materials, and for other requirements such as high speed or high precision. Products come from Tridak, MIXPAC, I&J Fisnar, and Techcon.

Have We Learned from the Economic Meltdown?

Recent economic events impact every aspect of the business world, and the outsourced electronics manufacturing industry is no exception. Some have claimed that what the world economy has experienced will change the game completely; things can never go back to the way they were, because the implications of what has occurred are so profound. If the meltdown was a game-changer, what is the new game, and who will play it most skillfully? Eric Miscoll, principal, Charlie Barnhart & Associates LLC, examines the industry.

Consumer Confidence in Technology Rises in September, According to CEA-CNET Index

Consumer confidence in technology and consumer electronics jumped, while confidence in the overall economy fell slightly in September, according to the latest figures from the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) and CNET.

Laminates: New Products and Technologies

Rogers Corp. introduced a new laminate technology for high-frequency amplifier designs; the Wolfson School of Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering, Loughborough University, presented “Glass as a Substrate for High Density Interconnects,” asserting a new packaging substrate opinion; and IPC — Association Connecting Electronics Industries released revision C of IPC-4101, “Specification for Base Materials for Rigid and Multilayer Printed Boards.”

SMTAI Exhibitor Preview II

SMTA International will take place October 4–8 in San Diego, with the exhibit hall open October 6 and 7. Many companies are exhibiting new products introduced in 2009, as well as flagship products and those specific to the SMT market.


Products for SMT Assembly Traceability

Traceability in the electronics manufacturing facility generally requires extensive labeling and the associated readers to track components, PCBs, subassemblies, and other parts as they move from inventory to the factory floor and into other processes like final assembly and inspection. These new products from Microscan, Adhesive Applications, Keyence, Taiyo America, and Trumpf increase visibility and tracking at the manufacturer.

Duplicate Exact from the Stencil Perspective

Duplicate exact can help address issues encountered when transferring an assembly from prototype to high-volume manufacturing or from one manufacturing facility to another. Duplicate exact can apply to equipment, materials, tools, and processes in SMT assembly. William E. Coleman, Ph.D, Photo Stencil, examines the stencil tool, though it is easy to see how the concept also transfers throughout the manufacturing operation.

New Products: PCBs, Connectors, and Components

These connectors, ESD protection components, new pulse resistor technologies, capacitors, and other bill of materials (BOM) elements are new from Tyco, Cornell Dubilier, Molex, Hirose, Spectrum Control, Electronic Interconnect, Murata, Phoenix Contact, Printed Circuits Inc., and The Würth Elektronik Group.

IPC Midwest: Exhibits Preview II

IPC Midwest begins next week in Schaumburg, IL, with the exhibit hall open September 23 and 24. Following are many new and highlighted products from a sampling of this year’s exhibitors, including ICT systems from Agilent and Digitaltest; cleaning products from Ascentech, Aqueous, Kyzen, and Zeston, pick-and-place machines from Essemtech, Europlacer, and Juki; and other products like XRF inspection tools and 0% halogen solder pastes.

Applied Research within Universities for SMT Industry Competitiveness

S. Manian Ramkumar, Ph.D., Center for Electronics Manufacturing and Assembly, Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT), discusses recent industry-university collaborative research on PoP, QFN, and mixed lead-free alloy SMT processing.

TFI Calls Manufacturing Downturn Catalyst to Manufacturing Strategy

Pamela Wiseman, TFI senior operations and supply-chain consultant, writes about the manufacturing out- and in-sourcing strategies that are controversial and lively topics these days. Whirlpool will move a portion of its manufacturing from Indiana to Mexico, and that Nokia , NCR, and LeCroy have all decided to reverse their outsourcing trends to bring some manufacturing back in house. The economic downturn has been a catalyst for change and adaptation, prompting executives to reassess and reposition manufacturing strategies.

The Future of Cleaning OA Fluxes

Many companies are shifting away from cleaning with pure de-ionized (DI) water to chemistry-assisted processes. Numerous reasons can be cited supporting the recent trend toward cleaning with chemistry. Results from this experiment, presented by Harald Wack, Ph.D., Zestron, support the hypothesis that cleaning temperature and cleaning chemistry concentration can be manipulated to meet cost and cleanliness requirements for the majority of solder pastes.

Parallel Processes: Simultaneous Lead and Lead-free Soldering with a Single Reflow System

With many electronics manufacturers still running leaded and lead-free assembly jobs, reflow ovens are tasked to run both solder-type profiles. Hans Bell, Ph.D., of Rehm Thermal Systems, shows how implementing both processes simultaneously with a single reflow soldering system can be approached with leaded and lead-free reflow profiles set up next to each other within a thermal system with two conveyor lanes.

NBS Adds SMT Assembly Line

September 4, 2009) SANTA CLARA, CA — EMS provider NBS installed an additional SMT line at its headquarters facility in Santa Clara, bringing in its fourth fully automated line there.

SMTAI Products Preview I

The SMTA will celebrate its 25th anniversary at SMTA International (SMTAI) this year, October 4–8 in San Diego. The exhibition will include more than 80 companies. This product preview includes X-ray inspection from Dage; rework from Finetech; reflow inspection from KIC; cleaning from Kyzen; automation tools from PROMATION; and pick-and-place from Manncorp and Juki. SMT will cover SMTAI news and products throughout September and October.


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