Article Highlights
Combating ESD: The Silent Assassin in Electronics Manufacturing
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Meet Chris Ellis, SMT007 Columnist
09/18/2019 | I-Connect007
The Long Road to a New Standard
09/17/2019 | Barry Matties, I-Connect007
The Convergence: IPC Merging CFX With IPC-2581
09/16/2019 | Andy Shaughnessy, I-Connect007
SigmaTron Reports Q1 Financial Results for Fiscal 2020
09/12/2019 | Globe Newswire

Latest Articles

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.


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.


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.


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 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.


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.

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.


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 . . .


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

Process Control for Solder Paste Deposition

The authors review solder paste inspection, the sensor technologies used to acquire 2-D/3-D inspection and measurement data, methods of using measurement data to identify problems and solutions, and guidance on developing an AOI strategy.

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.

View of Chip Placement Head Technologies

Modern manufacturers, regardless of location or business model, have always valued the ability to reconfigure platform-type machines quickly during changeovers - optimizing placement capabilities for the incoming product.

IPC Capitol Hill Day - May 18

Inspection Companies Form Alliance

(December 20, 2004) STAMFORD, Conn. — An alliance was established between FEINFOCUS and Tokyo, Japan-based Unicraft Co.

Lead-Free Reflow Process Control

The changeover to lead-free solders due to environmental concerns and legislation presents new challenges for the solder reflow process.

NEMI Recommends Standard Test Methods to Assess Propensity for Tin Whisker Growth

While Sn-based finishes provide good corrosion protection and a solderable surface, they also have the potential for whisker growth. Now that Sn and its alloys with low content of the alloying element are being considered to replace SnPb, standard test methods will help the industry move more quickly in evaluation and development of Sn-based Pb-free finishes.

Speaking of this Week — August 22, 2003

Most encouraging is that progress news continues to dominate what comes over the transom, followed by improving financial news, some personnel announcements and promotions, and looks at the future. From this vantage point, I think we're in for a good rise in the fall.

Stencil Printers for Small and Mid-size Production Batches

(April 5, 2002) Technical and economical decision factors are important for a planned investment in a screen/stencil printer for small or mid-size batches. For the technical evaluation, the product specifications can be compared easily; however, for making the economical decision, well-proven estimations of the expected costs are necessary.

Web-based Production Monitoring: A Window to the Future

Web-tracking and monitoring tools deliver the information access and control necessary to integrate vendors and customers into the supply chain. By Bryan Philips

Test-interface Unit

This test-interface unit features a socket with a removable clamshell lid for testing 600 pin BGA IC designs. The socket is mounted on an HP 83000 interface board with an aluminum frame for mechanical connection to the tester, and the assembled unit is reportedly tested to verify impedance and continuity of the test-interface unit. The company claims to be the only one that designs and produces each of the key components (the test socket or contactor, interface board, and frame/fixture), then as

Micro Fume Extractor

The Micro Arm Kit removes fumes from small solder pots and soldering under vision systems. The jointed arm can be twisted, turned and repositioned. Its 2" diameter capture area can be used for tip extraction, and the arm is made of high-temperature, ESD-safe plastic.

To Void or Not to Void?

During its three-year, multi-million-dollar reliability study on lead-free solder, the IPC Solder Products Value Council (SPVC) found that solder voiding has no impact on solder joint reliability.

MPM Stencil Printer Verified

(December 20, 2004) FRANKLIN, Mass. — Speedline Technologies announced that CeTaQ Americas has verified the alignment and print performance specifications for the next-generation MPM Accela stencil printer.

Step 8: Cleaning

Printed circuit board (PCB) cleaning ? the value-added process of removing surface contaminants that have accumulated during various manufacturing processes and handling ? is critical on several fronts.

Controlling MSD for Double-sided Reflow Applications

Moisture-sensitive components begin absorbing moisture immediately when their protective moisture barrier bag is opened; the moisture accumulates at the critical interfaces between the die, lead frame and molding compound.

Speaking of this Week - April 5, 2002

Being proactive equals progress, and the trend continues this week, with plenty of encouraging news coming from companies in the electronics assembly industry. The biggest coup of the week was Mentor Graphics (finally) completing its tender offer for IKOS Systems. (Keep your eyes peeled for in-depth coverage of the deal on SMT Online soon.) In the meantime, alliances continue, with financial news on the back burner for now.

Ask and Answer - November 14, 2001

Ask and Answer is a forum where SMT professionals with questions can meet up with those with the answers.

Cadence Launches Online Community for High-Speed PCB Engineers

(September 13, 2001) San Jose, Calif. -- Cadence Design Systems Inc. has launched, an online community featuring both static and dynamic content that complements the two online community initiatives Cadence launched in March 2000, and

Recreate Original Assembly Conditions

The M-9006V is said to recreate the conditions of original assembly during the rework process. This user-friendly system can remove components, clean pads, dispense paste or adhesive, and remount components. It reportedly incorporates a fast-on/fast-off board-size under-heater that uses IR heat to prevent board warp. During removal and remounting of components, adjacent components are said to be safe from heat damage because of ultra-thin, hot-air shower nozzles. An AutoLift positioning arm prev

Epoxy Adhesive

Metregrip 355 is said to be a high-strength, low-viscosity, two-component adhesive system with a long working life. It was developed for bonding phenolic parts to steel or aluminum housings in the space shuttle. Reportedly easy to use in most structural-adhesive applications, it can be cured with both heat and room temperature. The adhesive reportedly has high tensile lap-shear values of more than 2,500 psi on aluminum, shows adhesive properties to a variety of substrates (e.g., brass, steel, co

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.

BPA Releases Semiconductor and PCB Industry Forecasts

The analyst firm finds that minor improvements in demand were seen by semiconductor manufacturers; output by many Asian and European PCB fabricators declined by more than 40% in the first quarter. North America is in a slower decline. BPA predicts a U-shaped downturn.

Protection for Complicated SMD Assemblies

Most common conformal coatings actually can hurt, not protect, delicate and dense PCB assemblies.

Surface Mount on Flex Circuitry

For decades, most components populated on flexible circuitry have been thru-hole-mounted. Recently, however, there has been a shift toward surface mount components on rigid and flexible PCBs.

Cost of Ownership Considerations

As the SMT industry matures, containing several well-established vendors, it becomes increasingly difficult to differentiate offerings.

Lead-free: AOI in High-volume Production Assemblies

In accordance with the EU Guideline 2002/95/EG, PCB assemblies must comply with a lead-free process beginning July 1, 2006.

Impact of Lead-free on the SMT Soldering Equipment Market

This article will evaluate trends in the SMT soldering equipment market, as well as the impact of lead-free.

Electronics Recycling and EOL Management

The EU Restriction of the Use of Certain Hazardous Substances in Electrical and Electronic Equipment (RoHS) legislation deals with hazardous substances such as lead, mercury, cadmium, hexavalent chromium, PBB and PBDE.

Speaking of this Week -- March 21, 2003

Progress moves to the forefront this week, and word of partnerships and acquisitions is not far behind. We've also got tradeshow and personnel news, as well as industry analysis and even some legislative progress.

Maximizing Uptime Efficiency

(April 4, 2002) Research shows that uptime efficiency of placement machines ranks higher than outright speed on the wants list of electronics manufacturers looking to gain the competitive advantage from lowest cost per placement.

EFTC Inc. Opens New Facility

(November 13, 2001) Lawrence, Mass. -- EFTC Inc. has opened a new 75,000 sq. foot facility here.


The R-140 radio-frequency identification (RFID) printer/encoder is said to be capable of printing and encoding "smart labels," which are printable labels embedded with 13.56 MHz RFID transponders in a single pass. The printer is said to be able to perform in a variety of mission-critical applications, including those with 24-hour duty cycles.

Conductive Adhesive

The 118-09 is a two-component, solvent-resistant, electrically conductive ink, coating and adhesive that is said to be suitable for screen printing printed circuit lines. In addition to being solvent-resistant, the product also is flexible and capable of being cured at low temperatures. It reportedly features adhesion and low ohmic contact to indium/tin-oxide-sputtered glass and polyester. The adhesive provides adhesion to Kapton, Mylar, polycarbonate and other substrates.

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.

Photovoltaic Module Assembly Using SMT Materials and Processes

By Karl Pfluke, Indium - EMS providers specializing in SMT are seeking to diversify and fill capacity. Photovoltaic module assembly is a popular choice. PV cell stringing in solar module assembly is achieved using many common SMT materials and processes. Solders, fluxes, and reflow technologies produce electrical interconnects in a-Si and c-Si photovoltaic assembly technology.

U.S. Assemblers Growing Businesses

ENDICOTT, N.Y. and WOODRIDGE, Ill. – Endicott Interconnect Technologies Inc. (EI – is looking to add more than 150 professional and full-time manufacturing employees during Q’04 2008.

Process Optimization: More Profitable than Outsourcing

Outsourcing electronics manufacturing to the Far East continues unabated. Large, high-volume electronics manufacturers, particularly of popular consumer products, will continue to seek low-labor-cost avenues to realize the highest possible margins.

Speaking of this Week — June 18, 2004

There's so much going on this week that I can barely keep up with it all. Progress news came fast and furious, and with some important industry events right around the corner, the organizations sponsoring them want everyone to know more about them. Companies and associations continue to cross geographical lines and come together, and there's personnel and financial news, too.

Step 10: Rework & Repair

In the quest for size reduction, smaller components will become more widespread. With each generation of smaller, more powerful products, new challenges arise when reworking or repairing assemblies.

Lee Ganey Joins SunSil Inc. as Sales Associate in New Office

(July 2, 2002) Alamo, Calif. -- Lee B. Ganey has joined SunSil Inc. as a sales associate.

Static-dissipative Labels

Static charge is generated by bar-code labels during their use, up to 10,000 V. Static charge generated with Tribogard static-dissipative labels can barely be measured and reportedly is less than 25 V, using ASTM and EOS/ESD Association standards and methods. The labels are said to offer high-temperature resistance, clean protection, environmental independence, performance and thermal-transfer printability.

Hand Tools/Assembly Fixtures

The MK Series pneumatic hand tools cover a number of options: cut and layover, cut and swage, or cut only. They are designed for post-component assembly prior to soldering. They are lightweight and offer ergonomic design to prevent operator fatigue. Unlike side cutters, the off-cuts from these tools drop to the PCB, eliminating flying lead waste. MK-3 tools feature trigger-activated, scissor-type blades. The MK-6 tools feature trigger-activated, V-type blades. Also available are the 360/380 "fli

Product Labeling vs. ESD

One of the many potential sources for electrostatic discharge are standard PCB and component bar-code labels that utilize insulative materials able to generate up to 1,000 V or more when removed from the release liner.

SMTA Toolbox
Avoiding Counterfeit Electronics: The Role of Component Manufacturers, OEMs, and CEMs

By Lev Shapiro, Component Master Counterfeit electronics have rapidly become a serious issue for electronics manufacturers. Supply chain management is crucial to counterfeit prevention. Collaboration with parts makers can help identify counterfeits. End-of-life electronics disposal also can prevent reuse. This article covers the statistics on counterfeits, detection and prevention, and the global supply market.

SIM Card Connectors

The expanded 9162 family of SIM card connectors includes three versions designed to reduce space and provide extra security.

Conduction vs. Convection in Rework Operations

Value is added to a surface mount assembly at every stage of the production line - from paste printing through final assembly.

STEP 1: Board Design

Programmable device manufacturers often tout the ability to program a device after it has been mounted onto the board.

The Inside Line

Cookson Explains Price Hikes

The High-speed High-mix Production Environment Emerges

Whereas high-volume, low-mix assembly once was the primary activity, it increasingly is relegated to prototype development and high-mix, low-volume products.

Leo J. Smith Joins Tessera Technologies

(September 13, 2002) San Jose, Calif. -- Lee Smith has joined Tessera Technologies as director of business development.

Label Dispenser

The LabelKwik Jr. label dispenser is suitable for electronics, automotive and related industries where small-label applications are standard. Designed with operator efficiency in mind, the tabletop dispenser is available for environments that demand a stainless-steel finish. Label sizes can run as small as 0.25 x 0.25", which is said to eliminate waste and operator fumbling to remove labels from backing material. Features reportedly include changeover of label rolls, clear label stock quality, c

Slides and Stages

The AccuSlide Model 2HB is a low-profile, pre-engineered, pre-assembled, ready-to-install linear-motion stage with pre-aligned AccuGlide linear guides and an integral pre-loaded ball-screw assembly. Available with a variety of ball-screw diameter and lead combinations, it can integrate with the company`s AXI-PAK motion control packages for a complete turnkey motion control solution. It is suitable for precise assembly, test and automation applications where rigidity and accuracy are required. Th

Minimize ESD-induced Failures

Commitment at all levels of production is required to gain control of ESD.

The Silver Debate: Sn/Cu-based Solder Explained

Lead-free solder alloys with micro-additions like nickel and germanium are finding increased acceptance globally, entering the mainstream for high-reliability PCBAs.

Inovar Expands Business Through Customer Partnerships

Inovar Inc., an inthinc company and mid-volume contract electronics assembly provider located in North Logan, Utah, held an open house to announce its expansion to 65,000 sq.


LAS VEGAS - IPC Printed Circuits Expo/APEX/Designers Summit will open to an April Fool’s Day keynote titled “Having Fun and Changing the World,” presented by Rodney Brooks, Ph.

Process Optimization: More Profitable than Outsourcing

Outsourcing electronics manufacturing to the Far East continues unabated. Large, high-volume electronics manufacturers, particularly of popular consumer products, will continue to seek low-labor-cost avenues to realize the highest possible margins.

APEX Product Preview



Compiled By SMT Staff

Advances in AOI and AXI Result in Increased Quality and Speed

Vast improvements in both automated optical (AOI) and X-ray inspection (AXI) result in simultaneous speed and depth of inspection, and a combined system can improve yields and lower defects.

New Age Computing

Far from hype, self-managed — or autonomic — computing is attracting serious attention.

TheSupply and Create E-Marketplace

May 30, 2001 - Co-branded exchange launched to re-market and sell high value, surplus semiconductor equipment.

Label Applicator

The LA3100 is a label applicator that is said to be suitable for the application of small labels to relatively flat surfaces. This heavy-duty yet compact unit is designed to apply labels without operator intervention, according to the press release. It uses components that are universally available and can operate as a stand-alone unit or be integrated into a conveyor system. Because supplies are loaded from the side, it reportedly takes less than 60 seconds to replenish the label stock/ribbon.


The TechBench with Sub Monitor Alcove is an ergonomically designed product that holds monitors in a recessed fashion within the bench work surface. This workstation is said to provide ergonomic storage of tools and equipment and contains an integrated cable management system. The alcove positions the rear of the monitor down-

Advances in Automated Selective Conformal Coating

Tri-mode applicator technology offers manufacturers both flexibility and dependability.

PCB Designer's Notebook: Overcoming Imaging Challenges for High-density Circuits

By Vern Solberg Designers often face increasing product functionality without the luxury of increasing board size. One option is implementation of a higher-density circuit interconnect solution. Laser direct imaging (LDI) efficiently transfers the circuit pattern directly onto a photoresist-coated panel, eliminating traditional photo tools. Benefits include time and costs savings, quality, and better registration than traditional contact printing fabrication methods.

Placement Quality Affects Costs

Each of the main SMT assembly processes has quality criteria that help determine the total process DPMO, which determines FPY.

Text to Task: Changing the Human/machine Interface

Pictures are more communicative than words. Examining how this is incorporated in emerging assembly equipment software illustrates how task-based design will enable manufacturing businesses to achieve productivity and ROI improvements.

Cleaning under Low-standoff Components

The presence of miniaturized chips, combined with other geometric obstacles, has affected cleaning.

Conduction vs. Convection in Rework Operations

Value is added to a surface mount assembly at every stage of the production line - from paste printing through final assembly.

Speaking of this Week — June 18, 2004

There's so much going on this week that I can barely keep up with it all. Progress news came fast and furious, and with some important industry events right around the corner, the organizations sponsoring them want everyone to know more about them. Companies and associations continue to cross geographical lines and come together, and there's personnel and financial news, too.

New Products

ESD-safe Turntables

Speaking of this Week -- January 3, 2003

This week was cut in half by New Year's Day, and in typical holiday style, has been somewhat short on news. At the same time, what's there covers a range of subjects, from companies coming together to progress to tradeshow and personnel news to financial news. There's a piece of bad news thrown in as well.

X-ray Evolution From Microfocus to Nanofocus

X-ray technology continues to evolve because sharper images can better determine the core causes of product failure.

Nu Visions Looks Ahead

Contract manufacturers (CM) generally reflect the OEM businesses they serve. Do most then expect that same slackened growth? Just the opposite occurs at Nu Visions, a company marking a 30 percent increase in business this year.

X-ray Inspection

The FXS-160.30 family of microfocus X-ray inspection systems are designed for large-area inspection tasks, such as PCB inspection. Modular setup and a variety of options, such as in-line capability, are available. Depending on the tube types, acceleration voltages up to 225 kV and geometrical magnifications up to 1,300 fold are reportedly available. Test samples are placed onto a table manipulator (3 axes) or are fixtured in an additional rotation and tilt unit.

Solder-tip Cleaner

The Model ST1 is a battery-operated solder-tip cleaner. Two rotating "fybRglass" wheels clean oxidation and hardened flux residue from solder tips. Many tip configurations, including chisel, cone, spade and bevel, may be cleaned. The wheels are fully adjustable to accom-

CIM-compatible Handling Equipment

The key to PCB-assembly optimization, programmable conveyor systems can link computer-integrated manufacturing equipment for maximum yields.

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.

Keeping Your Cool with Thermal Analysis

Thermal issues increase due to the competing requirements of higher complexity, lower cost, and faster time to market.

Laser Soldering: A Turning Point

Selective soldering is seeing a rise in popularity coinciding with an uptick in mixed surface mount and thru-hole assemblies.

Production Mix for Today’s Product Mix

Mixed assembly has a number of meanings depending on where you sit. Some manufacturing engineers view it as the version of mixed technology that has been around for over 40 years - mass-produced G10 boards containing printed resistors mixed with standard plated thru-hole (PTH) components.

Associations in the SMT Industry

There are several associations within SMT meant to offer companies a source of information on industry developments; and to give individuals a networking platform and opportunities to further their education or knowledge in the surface mount manufacturing and assembly market. Below are some industry associations, what they do, and how to contact them. Beyond the basics there are working groups, standards committees, and other organizations within the association.

Detect Defects with SPI & AXI

As PCB assemblies become more complex, SPI and automated X-ray inspection (AXI) systems are widely used. The use of SPI to inspect/measure solder paste height, area, and volume has been considered to reduce reliance on AXI due to beat-rate concerns.

Automating the Optoelectronic Assembly Process

Automating optoelectronics component manufacturing can lead to enormous cost savings due to increased yield and decreases in labor, materials and operation complexity.

Ask and Answer -- September 12, 2001

Ask and Answer is a forum where SMT professionals with questions can meet up with those with the answers. If you know the answers to any of the questions below, or have questions of your own, please e-mail them to, referencing the specific question, and we will publish them in a future column. Look for Ask and Answer every Wednesday.

EMI/RFI Industry Leaders Merge

May 29, 2001 - Instrument Specialties Co. and APM combined to create Laird Technologies.

Component Specifier

As SMT matures and its end products continue to shrink in size but grow in capability, manufacturers are constantly in need of components that satisfy demanding footprint, reliability and placement requirements

Modular AOI System

The VPS 6053 is a modular, fully automated PCB inspection system that reportedly delivers high-speed AOI with full-depth, high-resolution inspection. A variety of camera types can be used to boost throughput. It incorporates an overhead gantry drive system with synchronous linear motors, and offers dual-vision/X-ray technologies. Windows NT drives the positioning system, which can be integrated with a computer network or LAN.

Hand-/Glove-washing System

The CleanTech 400 automatic hand and glove washer includes the following features: no-touch-faucet options, a wall-mount option for space-saving benefits and a water-resistant design for safe, wet environment installation. Made of cast polymer and polyethylene construction, the system includes a stainless-steel plumbing plate and solution-tray enclosures.

FCIP Delivers Flip Chip Benefits Without DCA Complications

Emerging technologies support adoption of FCIP solutions to meet performance requirements.

BOM Products: Components, Circuits, and Associated Services

Following are the bill of materials (BOM) products recently released by component manufacturers, PCB suppliers, connector companies, and other industry suppliers, including Wall Industries, Vishay, Hirose, Premo, Aimtec, and Screaming Circuits.

Making the Switch from Board Fabricator to EMS Provider

Decimated by post-9/11 cutbacks, offshore fabricators, and environmental legislation, one U.S.-based bare-board company decided to transition to a contract PCB assembler.

Lightning Strikes: ESD and Stencil Wiping

Conventional stencil wiping rolls contain a high percentage of polyester, leaving PCBs exposed to ESD damage.

Extending Contactor Lifespans

A semiconductor manufacturer needed a contactor to test a high-performance, high-pin-count CPU chip housed in a ceramic LGA package with gold-plated pads.

Maintaining Quality through IPC Training & Certification

By Michael Martel - - The impact of IPC "Training and Certification Programs" on the electronics manufacturing industry cannot be overestimated. Hundreds of thousands of people involved in the production of circuit boards and assemblies have benefited from these programs. Major OEMs and EMS companies have become leaders in the program, with impressive results.

Detect Defects with SPI & AXI

As PCB assemblies become more complex, SPI and automated X-ray inspection (AXI) systems are widely used. The use of SPI to inspect/measure solder paste height, area, and volume has been considered to reduce reliance on AXI due to beat-rate concerns.

Step 2: Process Control

By Phil Zarrow and W. James Hall

CM News

Key Tronic Corp. signed a three-year agreement to manufacture microcircuit material for Cygnus Inc.'s GlucoWatch biographer, a frequent, automatic and noninvasive wrist-worn device for monitoring glucose levels in people with diabetes

Self-contained Sensors

The 11 models in the AR600 series of line-scan camera laser displacement sensors reportedly have full-scale measurement spans from 0.125" with an accuracy of 0.00015" (4 µ), up to a full-scale span of 50" with accuracy of 0.05". The devices are said to be suitable for use in measurement systems and applications from 0.5 to 80" distance and operate at up to 1,250 samples per second. The sensors are self-contained and NEMA-4/IP-67 sealed for wet and dry environments.

Filtration System

The Ulti-Kleen filter is designed for the critical filtration in the IC-manufacturing process. This all-fluoropolymer filter is said to be the first and only of its kind to offer "guaranteed extractable levels." It is specifically targeted for use in ultra-high-purity chemicals of semiconductor devices with line widths of 0.25 µm and below. The filter is said to be the most advanced all-PTFE/PFA filter cartridge available to the semiconductor industry providing low-extractable levels guaran

The 'Necessaries' of Machine Vision

While RS170 or charge-coupled/infrared (CCIR) cameras are common, the need for more detail and faster acquisition rates is rapidly driving frame grabbers in the direction of higher resolution, progressive-scan cameras.

STEP 10: Rework Silicone Conformal Coatings

Conformal coatings – generally one of the last production processes performed on a PCB – continue to see increased usage and popularity.


Loctite 3508 is a one-component epoxy pre-applied to the PCB at the CSP pad corners using a standard dispensing system.

Why Focus Matters

The communications technology industry and the use of communications devices, like mobile phones, have changed the world in the last decade.

STEP 3: Solder Materials By Peter Biocca, Kester

The fundamental rule of soldering is unchanged - create a bond using flux to remove oxides and prepare surfaces to be joined with a low-melting alloy.

Assembly Conversion Cost Revisited

While the average cost per lead has decreased by roughly 10 percent since the mid-1990s, there are challenges associated with the declining prices.


ADHESIVES, COATINGS AND ENCAPSULANTS - Microcure 5100 - The Lambda Technologies MicroCure 5100 curing system features patented Variable Frequency Microwave (VFM) technology. This eliminates the hot spots and arcing associated with conventional microwave technology, allowing significantly faster curing of standard, qualified encapsulants and adhesives. By reducing cure times to five minutes or less, VFM meets the critical industry challenge of

Getting More Electronics Assembly Productivity

If mass customization problems can be overcome, it is possible to create an agile manufacturing facility that can handle complex customer demands.

Stereo Microscope

The LYNX stereo-zoom microscope is said to produce high-resolution images up to 120X on a large viewing area. Its patented Dynascope technology reportedly promotes operator comfort and eliminates eye, neck and back strain commonly associated with eyepiece technologies. Fatigue-free images are said to appear on a large viewing area that gives the operator freedom of head and body position. The pupil expansion also makes it routine for operators to wear glasses during use. It features a standard m

Spray Nozzles

The company added hollow-cone-spray tips and a mini version to its line of ProMax Quick- Jet nozzles. The Quick WhirlJet hollow-cone-spray tips are available in standard and wide angles. The Mini ProMax Quick VeeJet spray nozzles measure just under 1" (2.54

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.

SMT VISION Awards Show Packs the Room

On April 2, 2008, during the APEX conference and exhibition in Las Vegas, the annual SMT VISION Awards ceremony packed the room until attendees overflowed into the hallway.

Step 2: Optimized Assembly by Virtual Control

A key element in a total MES solution for the electronics manufacturing industry is complete process engineering control.

Printing Process Replaces Emulsion Screens

A method for component and ink printing industries, including multilayer chip capacitor (MLCC) or low-temperature co-fired ceramic (LTCC) manufacturers, was developed by Stork Veco, a Netherlands-based electroforming and photoetching company.

NEMI Report: A Single Lead-free Alloy Is Recommended

There has been substantial discussion worldwide in the electronics assembly industry on the "ideal" composition for the primary lead-free solder alloy as a replacement for eutectic tin/lead (Sn/Pb):

Inspection Equipment

With the miniaturization of components, advances in assembly technology and the increase in board throughput, visual examination of printed circuit boards (PCB) is a critical and necessary step in ensuring quality. Inspection equipment includes tools for manual inspection, automated optical inspection (AOI), X-ray and more. SMT presents the following Inspection Equipment Selector Roundup, spotlighting an assortment of available products.

Bombardier and Rockwell Collins Agree to Develop Cabin Electronics Solution for Global 5000

(September 11, 2002) Orlando, Fla. -- Bombardier Aerospace and Rockwell Collins have agreed to develop the integrated cabin electronics solution for the Global 5000 intercontinental business jet.

Assembléon Mexicana S.A. de C.V. Celebrates Grand Opening in Guadalajara

May 24, 2001 - New company offers training, customer service engineering and application engineering.

Statistical Tools Promote Bottom-line Improvements

By reducing process variation, SPC helps maximize yields, minimize rework, increase profits, satisfy customers and meet vendor-certification standards

Low-noise CCD Camera

The Orbis XE CCD camera is for applications requiring low noise and high frame rates. This modular unit can incorporate a variety of sensors (including Kodak, Thomson, Site, Texas Instruments and others) to reportedly produce very low dark current, high quantum efficiency and enhanced near-UV response for greater signal-to-noise performance. The CCD sensors range from 600 x 500 to 4 x 4 K pixels, with noise floors as low as 5 e-. The camera is suitable for biomedical and scientific applications

Shot Meter

The Model 8300 Shot Meter uses controlled pressures of 0 to 30 psi and handles a variety of fluids ranging from watery adhesives to solder paste. A vacuum pull-back feature is said to eliminate messy and potentially harmful stringing. It oper-

Manufacturing Representatives & EMS: Keys to a Solid Partnership

Ask a manufacturer's rep or an EMS sales manager about successful EMS-rep sales relationships and you'll most likely get a negative response. The EMS industry is littered with bad breakups. Usually, the root cause is the fact that neither party fully understood what they were getting into. What drives a good relationship?

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.

Large-area Flexible Electronics Promise High-Volume, Low-Cost Production

By Daniel Gamota, iNEMI - The term large-area flexible electronics encompasses a wide array of devices and applications manufactured on flexible substrates. These products can be fabricated using a full range of materials and processes. One of the most compelling aspects of large-area flexible electronics is that they can be produced using high-volume, low-cost, and R2R processes. This article touches on functional inks, processing platforms, and in-line characterization tools.

Implementing Integrated Development Manufacturing

Advancing technologies are compressing design cycles and driving manufacturers to an “integrated development manufacturing” methodology.

STEP 3: Solder Materials By Peter Biocca, Kester

The fundamental rule of soldering is unchanged - create a bond using flux to remove oxides and prepare surfaces to be joined with a low-melting alloy.

NEPCON Shanghai Sees High Attendance

Held April 4–7, 2006, in Shanghai's Everbright Exhibition and Convention Center, and jointly organized by Reed Exhibitions and the CCPIT — Electronics Sub-Council, NEPCON/EMT China 2006 saw 16,363 attendees convened to network and discover the latest technologies from 650 industry players spanning 22 countries.

Increasing Competitiveness with Inline Programming

Common wisdom holds that American-based factories have trouble competing with offshore factories where operational costs are much lower — unless they outsource key parts of manufacturing to an EMS provider.

In-field Assembly Failures — Expensive and Avoidable?

More and more assemblies are being subjected to climatic stresses of increasing severity.

New Products

Park Announces Major Expansion of its Nelco Singapore Facility

May 24, 2001 - Expansion program to increase facility's annual manufacturing capacity from $120M to $200M.

How Strategic OEM/CM Partnerships Can Win the Race-to-market

Products that come to market on budget but six months late will earn 33 percent less profit over five years. In contrast, coming out on time and 50 percent over budget cuts profits by only four percent

Color CCD Camera

The TMC-7DSP 0.5" color CCD camera is said to provide color fidelity and full broad-band response in a high-resolution 0.5" CCD format. It outputs VBS (NTSC or PAL), Y/C or S-Video RGB and operates with a high-speed variable shutter (1/60 to 1/10,000 seconds) with through-the-lens auto/manual white balance, AGC on/off switch, and manual gain and hue controls. The DSP circuitry reportedly delivers a stable performance over a variety of conditions. The low-light sensitivity is 2 lux at F 1.4.

Flip Chip Service

This manufacturer of advanced electronics products added the capability to handle flip chip parts. The modular placer has the ability to pick, vision inspect, and place flip chips and other bump-interconnection devices such as BGAs. The placer also applies flux during the process.

Step 5: Adhesives/Epoxies & Dispensing

Derrick Moyer, Steve Ratner, John McMaster, , Martin Lopez, and Frank Murch, Heraeus Materials Technology LLC. In modern electronics assembly, wave soldering continues to prosper, and innovations in adhesives and dispensers continue to advance the state of SMT. Adhesives manufacturing, packaging, and dispensing methods each affect the quality and effectiveness of this step.

Reballing Rework: The Bright New Future

By Kris Roberson, MIT, BEST Inc. - Components are always evolving, which brought us the BGA. Add in RoHS and WEEE, and BGA rework becomes an exciting topic. To rework or install a BGA on a lead-free assembly, reballing is necessary. Here, we look at the history and the why and how of reballing, examining a reballing technique that could increase operator ease and assembly reliability.

Table 1. Flex Circuit Update

"Polyimide" is a generic chemical descriptor that applies to thermoplastic films as well as thermosetting resins. Polyimide films are marketed for FPC use by several manufacturers, including duPont, Kaneka, Ube Chemical. Properties can vary significantly between manufacturers and film types. Table 1. sets forth properties of two polyimide films and Type 1 (higher temperature) LCP.

Profiling High-reliability Assembly

Key features of an automated-reflow management system are product traceability and process documentation. The means: continuous and automatic thermal process monitoring.

Technology Convergence: Changing the Assembly Scene

Assembly technology no longer can be classified neatly as component, board and final assembly.

Online Assessment Tool Locates Electronics Employees

May 23, 2001 - Fitability for Employers offers powerful "job matching" and selection tools.


Tra-Duct 2958 is a two-part epoxy adhesive formulated for electronic bonding and sealing applications. It reportedly has a long pot life and short cure schedule

Convection Reflow Ovens

The QRS Plus Series of convection reflow ovens reportedly features a new conveyor system designed for reliable operation and low maintenance. The conveyor uses a chain-transfer system with ball bearings in all shafts and drives. An automatic independent pin-chain tensioning system is said to ensure correct tension as the chains expand and contract with changing oven temperatures. Extended rails reportedly allow for easier conveyor interface and ensure alignment between the oven and any SMEMA-com

Interconnection Seminar

Held Wednesday, March 1, 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., this seminar, sponsored by the International Institute of Connector and Interconnection Technology, focuses on the basic connector areas needed for the everyday challenges of interconnection design, selection, evaluation and procurement. Taught by industry-recognized experts, it presents practical knowledge that will cover material selection through functionality, testing and performance criteria.

New Products in Soldering

These are the new solder ovens, reflow profilers, hand rework tools, dross management chemistries, solder alloys, and other products, including a white paper with solder paste deposition information, developed to improve the soldering process in electronics manufacturing.

Willingness to Take on Big Challenges: REACH and SIN

The EU's REACH requires companies producing in or exporting to the EU to register chemicals they place in the EU market in amounts above one metric ton. EU officials will evaluate whether companies registering these chemicals have demonstrated safe production and use of them. But how will REACH impact U.S. companies?

From the Editor

I made the mistake of going to the local mall this past Saturday. Traffic was horrible, and parking wasn't easy. I had to take the "stalker" approach — follow a man or woman with bags in hand to his or her car; wait until they pull out, then pull my car into that spot before anyone else. We've all been there. Once I got into the mall, it didn't seem too bad. This made me wonder about consumer spending this season, and whether or not it would be a "record year."

SMTAI — Investing in Training

By David Raby - - As a valued industry colleague, you will be interested in the details of our 2006 SMTA International conference program. Your colleagues on the SMTAI Technical Committee have built on this success as they developed the comprehensive program of tutorials, paper sessions, and symposiums being offered this fall.

SMT, SMT China Announce Call for Papers for Upcoming Conference

SHANGHAI — SMT, SMT China and China Electronics Appliance Corporation (CEAC) announce the Call for Papers for the 2005 SMT China International Conference on Emerging Technologies & Lead-free Challenges. Held annually, SMT and SMT China Magazines will focus on SMT, emerging technologies and hot topics for modern assembly methods.

Reworking Lead-free Solder in PCB Assembly

While lead-free solder rework is more difficult because of the lack of wetting and wickability, successful rework and assembly methods have been developed with lead-free solders for all types of components.

Part I:Photonics Assembly in an EMS Environment

The Internet has become a key means of doing business in both our professional and personal lives.

Speeding Equipment Changeovers and Setups

New component-feeder design and intelligence functions can save time and eliminate errors in the loading and unloading process.


ADHESIVES, COATINGS AND ENCAPSULANTS - Reflow Encapsulant - The key characteristic of the SE-CURE 9101 reflow encapsulant is its dual functionality, it behaves like a flip chip flux and underfill encapsulant in a single component. The reflow encapsulant is an epoxy-based material which can be applied by dispensing and has excellent tack strength to hold components in place during processing. After components are reflowed, a secondary cure oper

SMT 101 Step 6 - Component Placement

This step outlines several key issues necessary for understanding component placement using automated assembly equipment, including positioning, imaging, feeding and flexibility. It can serve as a primer or quick reference for anyone faced with specific component or application challenges, identifying the pros and cons of alternative approaches embodied in the types of equipment selected as part of an overall solution

Hot-bar Bonder

The Model 4000 is a computer-controlled bonding system for ACF, heat-seal and reflow-solder applications. It now includes Windows NT-based software capabilities for set up, user operation and process control across a variety of hot-bar applications. Said to be a configurable system, this model reportedly can drive up to four independent, precision hot-bar temperature controllers and can be configured with a variety of X-Y and/or rotary-motion systems. It is suitable for low- to medium-volume sol

Thermal Labeling System

The TLS2200 thermal labeling system has been upgraded. This portable printer`s upgrade includes continuous label printing and PC compatibility. Free upgrades are available to existing customers and future upgrades will be Web-accessible. Continuous labeling features fixed length and banner printing options. The system can print up to 50 characters using the largest font size on continuous labels up to 4 ft long. The fixed length labeling option allows customization of the length of the label des

From the Editor
Mobile Electronics on Wheels

No product so deftly blends consumer and harsh-environment electronics segments like cars. If you're looking for the major trends in PCB assembly technology, you'll find them in the automotive segment. The tough thing, for designers and assemblers in this market, is that even delicate assemblies need to withstand subzero temperatures, and rapid ramps to cozy warmth when the engine is going. So, if the automotive segment comprises a microcosm of electronics today, how is it doing?

J-STD-609 Standard:
Labeling and Marking for Harmony in a Lead-free and Tin/Lead World

By Lee Wilmot, TTM Technologies; Jasbir Bath, Solectron Corporation; and Jack McCullen, Intel - - After JEDEC and IPC published separate standards for labeling lead-free components and assemblies in 2004 and 2005, the J-STD-609 committee was created to work on a joint standard, "Marking and Labeling of Components, PCBs, and PCBAs to Identify Lead, Lead-free, and Other Attributes" joint standard. The demand for a harmonized standard is high.

Universal Instruments

SMT Magazine heads to Binghamton, N.Y.

Working Inside China

Kulicke & Soffa, a leading wire bonding equipment supplier, recently established a manufacturing facility in Suzhou, China. Oded Lendner, vice president of K&S operations worldwide, shared his views on this new move in a recent conversation with SMT editors.

Speaking of this Week — August 15, 2003

The focus this week is on people, with personnel news, including some from within SMT, from a multitude of companies. Also appearing this week is companies coming together, tradeshow news, progress and an industry metric.

Optical Manufacturing Services

In today's changing marketplace, decreasing time-to-production and market are critical for OEMs to stay competitive — and outsourcing remains a valuable tool for navigating through hiccups in the supply chain.

Step 1: Design for Manufacture

The DFM document is the heart of another concept called Design for Excellence (DFX), which encompasses all processes from product inception through production release.

Closing the Large Format Digital Color AOI Loop

Introducing large format digital color into automated optical inspection (AOI) can provide the key to increased first pass yields and reduced costs.

RVSI Receives Follow-on Order for Wafer Inspection System

(September 11, 2001) Canton, Mass. -- After introducing the WS-2500 wafer inspection system at Semicon West in July 2001, Robotic Vision Systems Inc. (RVSI) has seen a burst in demand for the system, illustrated by a recent follow-on order from one of the world's largest manufacturers of semiconductors for a second system.

WebQuote and Valor Partner in Online PCB eCommerce

May 22, 2001 - Partnership develops an integrated, Web-enabled PCB procurement solution driven directly from the design engineer's desktop.

Height-adjustable Workstations

To meet the needs of multiple operator shifts, the company has released a line of electric height-adjustable memory stations. Featuring a height range of 20", these units can be adjusted to meet sitting and standing applications, reportedly ensuring operator efficiency by allowing adjustment of the surface height from 30 to 50". Available in either 60 or 72" widths, these units are rated to 500 lb of static load, and feature the ability to preset operator height settings for different applicatio

Precision-soldering System

The Pana Point Plus (SB) Precision-soldering system is available in medium and extra-large sizes. This robotic platform reportedly provides automation of manual operations with minimal capital investment. The platform is said to offer conveyor handling and optional in/out dual shuttle for both linear and point-to-point soldering. This platform can be upgraded to the company`s Soft Beam, noncontact light-beam-soldering system.

Flip Chip Underfill

Loctite 3567 is an epoxy-based liquid underfill reportedly compatible with polyimid-passivated flip chip, CSP and BGA assemblies. The adhesive cures in 5 to 15 minutes when exposed to temperatures of 150° to 165°C and penetrates gaps as small as 0.001". The underfill can be removed by heating for one minute at standard rework temperatures of 210° to 220°C where the epoxy will begin to partially decompose. The component can be removed when torque is applied.

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.

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.

Choosing the Most Appropriate AOI System:
Clarifying Common Misconceptions

By James Gibson, Landrex Technologies Inc. and Pamela Lipson, Ph.D., Imagen Incorporated - All AOI systems have features and characteristics in common; it's what they don't have in common that can make the difference between choosing the correct one for current and anticipated applications, and making an expensive error. Misconceptions about AOI systems can be costly in many ways. This article examines and debunks some common myths.

Taiwan Maneuvers in the Outsourcing Game

By Meredith Courtemanche, assistant editor - - "Outsourcing" has become a term intrinsically linked with China, but with several expansions, collaborations, and acquisitions, Taiwan is emerging as a diverse, lucrative region for contract manufacturing. What are Taiwanese companies doing? Outsourcing to China, of course.


SMTA Co-organizes NEPCON Shanghai Conference

Speaking of this Week — October 31, 2003

Nothing scary here: The September Book-to-Bill from IPC was revealed this week, showing continuing growth and recovery. Meanwhile, with 2004 closer than ever, the industry is looking toward tradeshows and events for next year, as well as wrapping up those taking place in 2003. There's also progress, partnership and financial news, as always, and some legislative news thrown in for good measure.

Speaking of this Week — August 15, 2003

The focus this week is on people, with personnel news, including some from within SMT, from a multitude of companies. Also appearing this week is companies coming together, tradeshow news, progress and an industry metric.

Optoelectronic Components: A Brighter Glow

While the electronics and semiconductor industries remain weighed down by global recession, the optoelectronic component market is showing growth. The optoelectronics industry is involved in developing components and technologies for data transfer using ultra-fast optical fiber systems.

PCB Market Trends

The North American printed circuit board (PCB) market is a diverse market.

Ask and Answer - April 3, 2002

Ask and Answer is a forum where SMT professionals with questions can meet up with those with the answers.

Pathways to Low-cost Optoelectronics

In 2002, NEMI and IPC will revise the optoelectronics sections of their roadmaps to include technology options that may lead to low-cost optoelectronic assemblies.

Speaking of this Week - November 9, 2001

Speaking of this Week reflects on the week's events in the electronics assembly industry every Friday.More good news this week, less bad.


ADHESIVES, COATINGS AND ENCAPSULANTS - Continuous Cure Oven - The 788 in-line, continuous cure oven incorporates a vertical transport mechanism to provide curing times of up to four hours within as little as 6' of factory floor space. A single 788 can reportedly replace up to three batch ovens, saving floor space allocation costs and eliminating the need for manual loading and unloading of batch ovens. Automated curing improves process consist

Material-handling Systems

The First In, First Out (FIFO) Buffer is part of the company`s line of redesigned material handling systems. Model 8080 reportedly has been re-engineered and has a stronger drive-and-lift system as well as contemporary extruded metal supports and skins. It is now available in both single- and dual-lane configurations. Also new is the development of individually driven takeup sections for the conveyor belts, which is said to be an important part of dual-lane operation.

Desoldering Tips

Endura Desoldering Tips reportedly feature an anti-clogging riser tube to ensure that solder is delivered to the collection chamber in a molten state. This is said to help prevent clogging and allow continuous work flow. The tips come in three configurations: Thermo Drive Tips, which deliver more heat and last longer; Precision Tips, for desoldering fine through-hole leads or leads in tight areas; and Precision Flo-Desoldering Tips, to remove solder from small pads and vias.

AOI System

The AIMS AOI systems have been revamped. The G5 received a new board-handling system that can handle very thin boards and employs full-rail board holding. The system employs a custom engineered telecentric optic that allows inspection of 0201s and 0.012" pitch components. The G4 was redesigned to improve ergonomics, sustainability and repeatability. Both systems have new illumination systems.

Guidelines for Lead-free Processing

With legislative directives banning lead in electronics processes afloat in Japan and Europe, it is important to understand how converting to lead-free solders will affect the SMT process as a whole.

New Distribution Agreements for Equipment, Materials, and More

Suppliers are adding distributors from New England to Shenzhen. Check out this list of new and expanded distributor agreements for the most up-to-date supply chain information from Data I/O, A.C.E., Balver Zinn, Nextreme, IMS, Essemtec, Koh Young, and more.

Developing ATExpo's EASi Line

Around January each year, Rick James of Electronics Manufacturing Solutions, Inc. starts to think about the assembly line. But he's not thinking of ways to make the line at his Mooresville, Ind.-based contract manufacturing facility leaner, faster, or more productive. He's thinking simple and inexpensive — and to September. James coordinates the Electronics Assembly Line (EASi Line), located in the Electronics Assembly Pavilion of the ATExpo, September 26-28, 2006, in Rosemont, Ill.

New Products

Conformal Coating Applicator

Speaking of this Week — January 16, 2004

Here in New England, it hasn't been this cold in 100 years. How cold is it? Rumor has it that the beer at last week's Patriots game froze in its mug, and there's word that the commuter boats in Boston Harbor can't pass because of severe icing. But there's plenty to stay warm and fuzzy about this week in the news, what with all the progress, partnerships, personnel, trade show financial happenings, as well as an industry benchmark that spells positive things for 2004.

Speaking of this Week — October 31, 2003

Nothing scary here: The September Book-to-Bill from IPC was revealed this week, showing continuing growth and recovery. Meanwhile, with 2004 closer than ever, the industry is looking toward tradeshows and events for next year, as well as wrapping up those taking place in 2003. There's also progress, partnership and financial news, as always, and some legislative news thrown in for good measure.

Step 6: Component Placement

Challenges surrounding component placement include asset utilization, production yield, changeover times, floor space constraints, total cost of operation, and new and emerging technologies. This article explores some of the characteristics of various equipment sets that affect component placement.


EMS Leadership Training

Ask and Answer -- November 20, 2002

Ask and Answer is a forum where SMT professionals with questions can meet up with those with the answers.

GE Electromaterials Launches Online PCB Design Site

May 21, 2001 - Online printed circuit board design center integrates the life-cycle design process and a platform for supply-line management.

PCB-cleaning Film

Unlike conventional paper backing used on other cleaning tapes, Scapa 534 is designed with a polyester film backing that reportedly eliminates the common problem of dust and loose fibers contaminating the PCB. The film backing has a silicone-release coating that is said to make it easy to unwind when dispensing from the roll and a rubber-based adhesive that lifts contaminants from the board.

CSP and µBGA Test Applications

The 0.010" diameter Fuzz Button for test sockets is said to enable the company`s high-performance test sockets to employ 0.5 mm pitch. These small, cylindrically shaped electrical contacts with a low inductance and 0.100 k actuation performance are suitable for µBGA and CSP applications. Their composition is gold-plated beryllium-copper, molybdenum, tungsten and nickel-chromium. Suitable for electrical conduction for DC-to-microwave frequencies, they come in sizes from 0.010 to 0.50".

Socket Adapter

The 321 and 370 pin adapters convert BGAs and other small fine-pitch processors to a Socket 7-compatible PGA footprint. Their design allows for component placement on the bottom side of the interposer directly underneath the processor.

How to Choose SMT DC-DC Converters

Until recently, most DC-DC converters were only available as through-hole devices. As more become available as surface mount devices, users need to know how to choose the most appropriate one.

Quality Assurance: Planning is Valuable

By Zulki Khan, NexLogic Technologies Inc. - There are two ways to perform quality assurance (QA). One is to move a PCB through design, fabrication, and assembly focusing on expediting the project, but leaving QA at the end of the process. Time is definitely saved by placing QA as an afterthought, but too much of the process is left questionable.

Speaking of this Week — January 16, 2004

Here in New England, it hasn't been this cold in 100 years. How cold is it? Rumor has it that the beer at last week's Patriots game froze in its mug, and there's word that the commuter boats in Boston Harbor can't pass because of severe icing. But there's plenty to stay warm and fuzzy about this week in the news, what with all the progress, partnerships, personnel, trade show financial happenings, as well as an industry benchmark that spells positive things for 2004.

The Inside Line

Movement Toward Lead-free

Pillared Approach to Lead-free Wafer Bumping

The APS approach uses a rigid, non-reflowable bump to support the reflowable lead-free solder wetting tip.

Ask and Answer - January 30, 2002

Ask and Answer is a forum where SMT professionals with questions can meet up with those with the answers.

EDS 2002 Lights up Vegas Again

This year's EDS, the event for manufacturers and distributors of components, instruments and production products, as well as the representatives who create the interface between the two, provided an entertaining place to do some serious business.

Cookson Introduces e-Leaning System for PCB Manufacturers

May 21, 2001 - Cookson Performance Solutions introduces a comprehensive curriculum of 29 new online courses designed to train operators involved in PCB assembly.


Dynasolve d-Flux is designed for use in cleaning and degreasing PCBs and equipment used in PCB manufacturing. It is said to quickly dissolve flux, resins, rosins, oils and adhesives from PCBs, testing equipment, and processing equipment. This nonchlorinated, nonflammable (per DOT), noncarcinogenic, nonozone-depleting solvent was designed to replace solvents such as methylene chloride, acetone, MEK, mineral spirits, kerosene and 1,1,1-trichloroethane.

The company has combined two essential elements of the automated soldering process-board-touch sensing and the soldering iron-into one, making the soldering iron tip the actual board-touch sensor

The company has combined two essential elements of the automated soldering process-board-touch sensing and the soldering iron-into one, making the soldering iron tip the actual board-touch sensor. This "Sure-touch" technology is designed to simplify the soldering process and reportedly guarantees contact between the soldering iron and the solder joint itself for greater consistency and fewer defects. There is said to be no need for special programming to accommodate variations in height of indiv

Filter Units

Filter units extract and purify fumes from hand soldering, wave soldering, reflow/ curing, soft beam soldering and laser applications. All units feature low noise level, filter monitors and various filter options. Other products include exhaust hoods and downdraft tables for the removal of dross dust during wavesolder maintenance.

Improved Fault Coverage for Limited Access

Smaller components and boards have forced the creation of new test techniques.

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.

Determining and Influencing Your Marketing Status

By Ted T Turner, CoGen Marketing Inc. - Marketing creates preference and awareness for your company and products. These generate leads. Marketing has four key responsibilities: generate products and services, generate demand for these products and services, generate orders, and generate loyalty. Evaluating the status of each of these four responsibilities as a dashboard can direct your marketing resources.

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