Article Highlights
Combating ESD: The Silent Assassin in Electronics Manufacturing
09/20/2019 | Neil Sharp, JJS Manufacturing
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

The Need for a Stencil Cleaning Handbook

By Bill Schreiber, Smart Sonic Corporation - - During the infancy of SMT, cleaning 50-mil-pitch brass stencils and emulsion wire screens was a straightforward task for the maintenance crew using a CFC solvent vapor degreaser. In 30 years, product changes have been driven by environmental regulations and the "faster, smaller, cheaper" technology syndrome. The only thing for certain is change. The IPC is providing help with Stencil and Misprinted Board Cleaning Handbook, IPC-7526.

Universal Instruments

SMT Magazine heads to Binghamton, N.Y.


Compiled By SMT Staff

Industry Experts voice differing opinions on Lead vs. Lead-free Electronics


New Products

Tektronix and GenRad Partner

May 21, 2001 - Tektronix's optical test equipment incorporated into GenRad's functional test systems to create a fully integrated optical test solution.

Robotic-liquid Dispensing

This combination of robotic equipment, metering valves and automatic-liquid dispensers is designed to provide consistent, precise applications of glues, silicones, epoxies, solder pastes and lubricants. The unit`s fully automatic mutiaxes configuration is said to enable full control of dispensing to be achieved over 3-D objects. The Z-axis control reportedly enables dispensing at various heights. Point or continuous dispensing are possible during the same-time operations as well as dispensing at

Floodlight Curing System

The ELC-4001 is a high-energy, solid-state advanced floodlight curing system that reportedly delivers greater than 100 mW/cm2 of UV energy at a peak wavelength of 365 nm. The visible-light version is peaked at 450 nm and generates greater than 500 mW/cm2 of output. A 400 W lamp, available in either the standard 365 nm or 298 nm wavelength for applications requiring shortwave UV, is available.

Linear Motors

The range of ThrustTube tubular linear motors includes modular X-Y solutions, single-rail linear motor modules, shielded modules and ironless motors. Ironless motors eliminate force fluctuations to deliver smooth motion. Shielded modules reportedly have high-performance integral bellows and are available for linear motor applications up to 4 m per second velocity and 4 G acceleration. Single-rail modules feature cross sections similar to conventional ballscrews.

The Role of X-ray Inspection in DFM

The supporting role that X-ray inspection plays for DFM is critical to the SMT process.


SMT/HYBRID/PACKAGING will take place June 3 through 5 in Nuremburg, Germany, highlighting new products and processes on the European electronics assembly stage. This year's show features cleaning processes, pick-and-place systems, reflow ovens and profilers, solder, automated tooling, device programming systems, dummy components, inspection systems, and more.

AOI for Process Improvement

Expanding the role of AOI from defect detection to line-quality improvement tool, the ADVISOR process control software and AOI system solution provides an easily accessed data bank for all relevant SMT quality data, such as AOI resource information, process machine parameters, and set-up data. It automatically links post-reflow inspection data with paste inspection data and paste-inspection results with printer system events.

New Products

New Products


Nu Visions Manufacturing Acquired by Management

(September 10, 2001) Springfield, Mass. -- Nu Visions Manufacturing LLC has announced that it has completed a management-led acquisition of the company, in partnership with Golden Gate Capital, a San Francisco-based private equity firm.

ATExpo Re-engineers Technical Conference

May 21, 2001 - Assembly Technology Expo features over 40 sessions developed by engineering experts with assembly experience.

Fume-extraction System

Lab-Evac 150 fume-extraction system features a self-contained work center to remove harmful fumes created from benchtop activities. It features three-stage filtration, including a pre-filter, a HEPA filter and a gas-phase filter. Advanced microprocessor technology reportedly provides continuous filter-condition monitoring, and visual and audible alarms alert the operator when a filter changeout is required. The system has a high-speed fan with variable airflow adjustments.

Flip Chip Underfill Encapsulants

The ME-525 series of capillary-flow underfill encapsulants for flip chip devices protect the chip/joint interface by redistributing thermal stresses stemming from CTE mismatches between the board and the die. The thermoset materials isolate the solder bumps from forces that might fracture the interconnects, adding to performance and reliability. The series is said to be a high-Tg, low-CTE liquid epoxy formulated for high flow speed under the chip. The rheology reportedly permits such flows to pe

In-line Inspection

The XRV system is an automated in-line PCB inspection unit that combines visual and X-ray inspection. The system uses CCD cameras to check for missing or wrong components, misplacement, polarity and other visually evident defects. The integrated X-ray capability checks for BGA, microBGA, flip chip, J-leads and other hidden solder connections that cannot be seen visually.


In the era of "no-clean" solder pastes, precision cleaning of assemblies has assumed a new dimension.

Intrusive Reflow Challenges Wave Soldering

A process referred to as "Intrusive Reflow" for lead-free solder paste reportedly will increase efficiency by eliminating the wave soldering process. Bill Coleman, Ph.D., authored a technical paper detailing the process, which outlines proper pin-to-hole ratios and screen printer settings for successful lead-free thru-hole solder joints.

Selecting a Rework System

When selecting a rework system, no issue is as important as thermal management; without it, components other than those that are the focus of the rework process can be adversely affected. This article gives guidelines on evaluating and choosing a rework system.

Recollection: Thoughts on the EMS Industry

This recollection by Brian Throneberry is excerpted from the upcoming book, "From Vacuum Tubes to Nanotubes: An Amazing Half Century — The Emergence of Electronic Circuit Technology 1957-2007," published by IPC and released in conjunction with the IPC's 50th Anniversary, which will be celebrated at APEX 2007 February 18 – 22 in Los Angeles.

The Inside LIne

SMT Nabs Best Cover Award for Second Year; SAC 305 Alloy of Choice in IPC Study

New Products

AeA Classic Reveals Interest in New Fields; Quieter, More Businesslike Mood

(November 8, 2001) San Diego -- While the events of September 11 did not grossly affect attendance at the AeA Classic, a financial conference that allowed technology companies to meet up with investors, it certainly affected the companies that caught the ear of investors.


ADHESIVES, COATINGS AND ENCAPSULANTS - Encapsulants - The "9000" series encapsulants made of a urethane resin cures with UV light in 15 to 90 sec. The encapsulants come in a full range of thixotropic viscosities, and because the encapsulants are aerobic and solvent-free they require no refrigeration during storage. Under these conditions, the shelf life is one year. The encapsulants may be used for chip-on-board, MCMs and smart cards. The enca


The newly formulated Safe-Set activators are for use with cyanoacrylate Frame Fast and Sefar Mesh adhesives. These new activators are formulated to have minimal odor, be acetone-free, nonflammable and contain no ozone-depleting chemicals. They are available in aerosol (309) or nonaerosol (308). Both products reportedly yield fast-bonding cycle times and cure adhesives within seconds.

Assembly Service

A PCB assembly and modification service, this company also specializes in cables and harnesses. Its assembly line includes a vision-system-assisted stencil printer, a surface mount placement unit handling 4,000 cph (including testing of passive and discrete devices), IC insertion including DIPs (including lead trimming), and semiaqueous/closed-loop cleaning. Other features of the assembly line include: wave soldering performed under MIL-STD-2000, high-temperature standards; in-circuit tests usin


Tacky Mats remove contamination from shoe heels and soles, and from mobile cart wheels. The mats come in packages of 30 sheets. Cleaning and washing of mats is said to be eliminated. Corner tabs are numbered to identify remaining sheets. Four sizes are available: 18 x 36", 18 x 45", 26 x 45" and 36 x 45".

Soldering Equipment and Materials

Soldering is a critical step in the SMT process.

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.

Flex Circuit Update

By Thomas H. Stearns, Brander International Consultants - In the March 2008 SMT, an article on flex circuits highlighted liquid crystal polymer (LCP) films and the applications where they are preferred. This column offers comments on materials choice and market effects in flexible printed circuitry (FPC) in response to the March report, along with fundamental information about the FPC process.

Lead-free High-tack Flux

TSF-6592LV lead-free no-clean tacky soldering flux is a high-tack paste flux that minimizes skewing with BGAs, CSPs, flip chips, or other surface-mount devices. It suits flip chip attach, rework and repair, sphere and ball attach, and lead-free reflow.

New Products


Fabrinet Named 2004’s Best Manufacturer

Process Parameters for No-flow Underfills in Flip Chip Construction

Conventional flip chip assembly involves either dispensing a liquid flux on the substrate or dipping the bumps into a thin film of a paste flux before chip placement. The assembly then is reflowed and the die underfilled with an appropriate encapsulant.

Speaking of this Week -- November 15, 2002

The industry is engaging in a lot of self-congratulation, what with the slew of awards this week. Companies continue to come together, and there's tradeshow, personnel and financial news as well. Finally, a prediction about the MEMS market, which is positioned to grow in the next few years.


ADHESIVES, COATINGS AND ENCAPSULANTS - Environmentally-Benign Solder Replacement - "Poly-Solder" conductive adhesive provides highly stable electrical junctions with performance akin to solder joints. A patented contracting polymer binder system, filled with special penetrating conductive particles, is the key to stable electrical connections that endure temperature and humidity as well as thermal cycling. Engineered polymer compression during

Shielding Gasket

The new low-profile beryllium/copper gasket is said to have a shielding effectiveness up to 100 dB attenuation levels. The finger-stock gasket reportedly measures 0.08 x 0.21" and closes gaps down to 0.025". Stick-on mounting provides pressure-sensitive adhesive for installation and may be used at ambient temperatures from -67° to 300°F. This gasket is said to be suitable for bidirectional applications found on electronic enclosures, is smooth to the touch and requires a low closing fo

Sn/Ag/Cu Solders

This range of lead-free solders provides environmental benefits in meeting the WEEE Directive for 2004. Although the alloy (Sn/Ag/Cu) has a higher melting point than conventional tin/lead eutectics, it reportedly has a high resistance to thermal fatigue together with improved joint strength. Available as RMA and RA solder pastes and as RMA cored solder wire, the paste features the company`s Type 3 powder, which has an 11 percent flux content, 0.06 percent halogen and a typical viscosity of 180 P

No-clean Solder Paste

Delta 691 no-clean solder paste is reportedly formulated to provide excellent tack force, a tack time greater than 48 hours, 24-hour stencil life, 72-hour open time and prints up to 8" per second. Post-soldering residues are clear and pin testable. It has a nine-month refrigerated shelf life and can be used in an air or nitrogen reflow environment.

Publisher's Executive Council Survey

Q: How did you develop the rotary turret design for today's chipshooters?

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.

New Product Roundup: Test and Inspection

New Products

Photo-sensitive Epoxy Material

Part 1: The French Rework Connection

Two companies join hands across the ocean to develop a universal method of verifying all types of rework equipment.


ADHESIVES, COATINGS AND ENCAPSULANTS - Ormet - Ormet inks are a revolutionary conductive ink technology that can replace plated and etched copper traces on printed circuit boards. The inks are based on recent discoveries in powder metallurgy and polymers that allow the creation of silver-free thick film inks that fire at low temperatures yet achieve stable high electrical conductivity. The inks meet or exceed IPC, Mil Std, and Bellcore specifi

Grip Tweezer

Lightweight and ergonomically designed to reduce fatigue, the SofTweezer line of soft-cushion grip tweezers is said to be both ESD and cleanroom safe. Eight different styles reportedly provide a range of grasping, holding and cutting capabilities that are suitable for restricted spaces and repetitive cycles. These products are made in Switzerland from antimagnetic, acid-resistant stainless steel.

Large-board Pick-and-Place

The 4796L high-speed placement machine is reportedly able to handle board sizes up to 18 x 20" (457 x 508 mm). It is said to achieve 0.1 second tact time for components ranging from 0201 up to SOP16s. The machine uses direct-drive technology, reportedly allowing theta corrections to occur on the fly for large part placement.

In-line Bonders

Automated in-line systems include the Model 3500-II die bonder, CBT 6000 high-speed ball bonder, 2470-V wedge bonder and 2460-V ball bonder. These machines` capabilities reportedly include high-precision die placement, relative-to referencing, and precision wedge and ball bonding with constant wire length capability.

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 require-ments. Modern manufacturing techniques are useless if a board's components are out of date, perform poorly or fail to satisfy end-user requirements. To assist manufacturers in this search, SMT Magazine presents Component Specifier, a new product section designed to spotlight state-of-the-a

New Products: Board and Component Handling

Requirements for Implementation of Lead-free Soldering

Implementing a lead-free process for electronic assembly will only be successful when certain challenges are addressed and overcome.

Speaking of this Week -- March 14, 2003

We're making progress towards spring, slowly but surely, and the electronics assembly industry is making great strides as well. There's tons of news this week in a myriad of categories: alliances, personnel news, new certifications, tradeshow news, a financial announcement and a prediction.


Large-panel Board Printing, Stencil Cleaning Guidelines, Dynamic Process Control and Component Placement are all featured in the June 2001 issue

EMI Shielding Gasket

Gore-Shield SMT gaskets are said to be high-performance EMI shielding gaskets that can be installed with standard pick-and-place equipment. The gaskets reportedly decrease the total cost of EMI shielding in cell phones and other wireless infrastructure. They employ a form factor and the company`s GS5200 material, a nickel filled expanded polytetrafluoroethylene that is said to be suitable for wireless applications. Rather than a continuous bead, these gaskets are a series of small pads that have

Semiautomatic Benchtop Stencil Printers

The Speedprint SP200 features programmable pressure, speed and stroke print parameters; variable board/stencil separation; flexible system tooling; and a mylar alignment system. It is available with or without vision. The SP100 is a front-loading, semiautomatic benchtop stencil printer that features vertical board/stencil separation, flexible system tooling, and adjustable pressure, speed and stroke print parameters.

Tilt Adjustment

The Task Control backrest tilt mechanism provides seated ergonomic tilt adjustment for a chair backrest with the touch of a paddle. This feature will be standard for chairs in the 1P, 1Q, 4L, 4M, 4P, 4V, 4X, 4Y, ERA, EOC, MOC, TOC, CHC Series and eight chairs in the Drafting Series. Each chair will be equipped with two seat control paddles that will allow chair and backrest adjustment from a seated position. The front paddle will adjust seat height and the back paddle will adjust backrest tilt.

Cleaning Up The Process

Two companies worked together to develop a process to control flux flow, eliminating buildup and reducing maintenance.

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.

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.

Manufacturing and Reliability Challenges With QFNs: Part II

By Craig Hillman and Cheryl Tulkoff, DfR Solutions - One of the fastest growing package types in the electronics industry today is the QFN, also known as a bottom-termination SMT component. While the advantages of QFNs are well documented, concerns arise with manufacturability, compatibility with other OEM processes, and reliability. In Part I, we covered DfM and introducing QFNs. In this section, we'll cover reliability of QFN components.

ESD and Testing Automated Equipment

By Donn Bellmore, Universal Instruments Corporation - Equipment manufacturers constantly are asked what electrostatic voltage levels are present in their equipment during operation. Recently, I have received acceptance criteria and specifications for equipment referencing ANSI/ESD SP10.1-2007, which does not provide a range of acceptability and should not be used for this purpose.

QFN Layout Guidelines

By Duane Benson, Screaming Circuits - - While QFN and DFN parts are becoming more common, they aren't getting easier to use. Their form-factor advantages are clear — they allow smaller geometries, better grounding, and improved thermal properties over other types of surface mount packages. Most QFNs have a center metal pad on the underside of the part, typically for grounding or heat conduction. It's this center metal pad that makes this form factor so difficult to use.

Software Control Extends Beyond the Line

This article focuses on the use of software to achieve factory wide automation. with new regulatory requirements and increasing cost and quality demands, manufacturers will benefit from a complete automation model, such as those used in semiconductor processing.

Step 4: Printing

Automatic stencil printers once enjoyed an advantage in speed over component placement systems in the typical SMT production line. Constant improvement in performance of chipshooters has all but erased that advantage in the past few years. As a result, end users have become more aware of throughput capability when considering the use of a new stencil printer. Stencil printer manufacturers recently have recognized this trend, and have begun to take serious interest in improving their cycle times.

2003 SMT VISION Awards

SMT Magazine invites you to enter your products and/or services into the 12th annual SMT VISION Awards. We are seeking the finest examples of creative advancement in technology in 15 critical areas. Click here for rules and an official entry form. Don't wait...the deadline has been extended to November 7!

Ask and Answer - November 7, 2001

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

Dow Corning and Krayden Form Strategic Supply Alliance

May 10, 2001 - Dedicated team to service the Rocky Mountain Region, Texas, Oklahoma and Mexico.

Laser Engraving System

Designed for ultra-high-speed marking on virtually any material, including metals, the Laser Mate II Nd:YAG laser engraving systems are self-contained with laser, base, PC, enclosure, and optional step-and-repeat table for high-volume production on trays or pallets. The graphical open architecture software features date coding, serializing, bar coding, etc. All text can be manipulated in several modes on the front screen, and the software operates in both vector and raster modes. No programming

Automated Placement/Rework Station

The Pinnacle 500R rework system is an entry-level unit able to handle boards up to 14 x 20" and 2" high components. It is said to be specifically designed to rework µBGAs, BGAs and QFPs. The system aligns, places and reflows surface mount components. It includes an independent heating nozzle and vacuum pickup tube, thermal cycle libraries, and look up/down split-image component placement. Its Windows-based software program allows the user to create a rework profile and store it in memory. A


The NT-216 tape-and-reel system handles all discrete components up to the D-Pak size and all small passives with throughput up to 30,000 parts per hour. It accepts input from vibratory bowl feeders, lead frames and tube feeders, and outputs to tube or to tape widths from 8 to 16 mm. The system features a 16-position rotary turret that is synchronized with a rotary table used for laser marking and inspection. This vision system inspects for mark presence and lead integrity. It is able to perform

Managing Productivity and Relationships with OEMs

The heart of all OEM/CM relationships is trust derived from the knowledge of their capabilities and demands of the market.

New Reports: Connector Tech; Mass-market, Auto, and I&I Sectors; EMS Shares Publications, Henderson Ventures, and Reportlinker share up-to-date analysis and data on various electronics assembly products and end-use sectors, as well as a vendor market-share report on EMS providers. Reports include: Evolving High-speed Mezzanine Connectors, World Electronic Industry Mass-market and Automotive Products, I&I Production to Fall 10%, and Worldwide Electronics Manufacturing Services Vendor Shares.

From the Editor: Technology is in the Eye of the Beholder

What is the difference between low-tech and high-tech? Most often, the difference exists in the user, not in the technology. In this way, knowledge marks the line between high- and low-tech. Speakers from the rework and X-ray groups at VJ Electronix took on the role of educators during the company's recent open house.

From the Editor
Greening Up

This year will be one worth watching. Looking at RoHS, in 2006 the EU's directive restricting hazardous substances took effect. In 2007, China came in with its version. Korea follows suit this year. "Are we still on this battlefield?" many ask.

CEO Perspectives: Manncorp's Henry Mann

Manncorp distributes and supports a range of SMT equipment, tooling, and consumables. With a main customer base in North America, Manncorp uses Web-based business techniques to remain cost-sensitive and to provide instantaneous data that suits the North American consumer's mindset. SMT spoke with CEO and founder Henry Mann about the American market, the power of internet salesmanship, and integrating personal and electronic support to maintain a customer's equipment.

Passive Component Rework - Giving Small New Meaning

The prevalence of small passive components in electronic products creates a challenge when adapting rework systems for selective removal and replacement.

Web Exclusive: Part II: The French Rework Connection

The continuation of the story of two companies that developed a universal method of verifying all types of rework equipment.

Samsung Techwin Co., Ltd Launches New SMT Equipment

(September 6, 2001) Changwon City, South Korea--This summer, Samsung added new SMT pick-and place equipment to their product lineup. With a formal ceremony, the company introduced the new multi-functional component pick-and-place equipment, the CP-50 II.


ADHESIVES, COATINGS AND ENCAPSULANTS - Liquid Photoimageable Soldermask - Aquamask H20/501 is waterborne, water-thinnable and said to reduce environmental hazards for operators. It is not air-polluting, and has IPC SM840B Class III approval and UL 94 V-0 rating. Improves resolution, flexibility and flex circuit performance. - Advanced Systems Inc.

Bar-code Label Printers

The XiIII industrial label printers feature a 12-gauge steel frame and all-metal casing to provide durability in punishing operating environments. The printers reportedly are designed to perform in any mission-critical application, including 24-hour duty cycles. These systems are said to enable system administrators to leverage wireless messaging and the Internet to stay in constant contact with their printers. They also initiate communication with other devices to provide network administrators

BGA-to-PGA Adapter

The AB356G-1 BGA-to-PGA adapter reportedly converts a 356-lead BGA with 1.27 mm ball pitch to a standard 20 x 20 footprint. The adapter is routed with a one-to-one interconnect and can be used for prototyping as well as production requirements where a reliable socket solution is required. It is available in single pieces or in pallet form for high-volume applications. The company also offers assembly services.

Dispensing Pump

The DV-7000 Heli-Flow pump provides consistent performance through its rotary positive-displacement auger design, and is capable of producing dots smaller than 0.38 mm with dispensable-grade solder pastes. The pump provides dispensing of medium- to high-viscosity fluids and pastes for applications including small-dot dispensing of solder paste, surface mount adhesives and silver epoxy. The pump`s closed-loop motor control with encoder feedback can be reversed to create a clean fluid cutoff.

TFI Blog: Overreacting to Economic Downturn?

By Kathleen Geraghty, TFI Quarterly Forum - Here is a priority topic for almost everyone (even optimists). Following TFI's recent webinar, "Managing through the Downturn," we had an exchange with participants about signs indicating that a company is overreacting in a downturn-economic environment. We also talked about best practices that can be leveraged to overcome these adverse overreactions.

Analysts on Flexible, Organic, and Printable Electronics

NanoMarkets and IDTechEx both released reports on flexible, printed, and organic electronics (FPOE), including data on dielectric materials for next-generation thin-film, organic, and printable electronics assemblies; applications for these technologies; end products in the market now; and an upcoming printed electronics show.

Selecting a Rework System

When selecting a rework system, no issue is as important as thermal management; without it, components other than those that are the focus of the rework process can be adversely affected. This article gives guidelines on evaluating and choosing a rework system.

Cooling Rates in Lead-free and Tin/lead Reflow

The impact of a fully controlled and robust reflow process on solder-joint quality has been the topic of many studies, and is well understood for processes using eutectic tin/lead as the interconnect alloy.

Managing the Engineering Process for Increased Profitability

Implementing a manufacturing process preparation system (MPPS) should result in improved process efficiency, lower overhead, reduced costs, increased quality and customer satisfaction, and increased profitability. Choosing the right MPPS therefore is crucial to business success and long-term growth.

Arima Group Joins as First ODM Corporate Sponsor of Quarterly Forum

(September 6, 2002) Alameda, Calif. -- Arima Group has become a corporate sponsor of Technology Forecasters Inc.'s (TFI) Quarterly Forum for Electronics Manufacturing Outsourcing and Supply Chain program.

Smart Sonic Introduces Industry's First Independent Stencil Dryer

May 7, 2001 - Elimination of the drying cycle allows the stencil cleaner to continue cleaning while drying is accomplished independently.

Solder Paste Inspection

SE 300 high-speed, high-resolution, 3-D solder paste inspection system reportedly is capable of performing 100 percent inspection at production line speeds. The system automatically measures height, volume, area and bridging, and notifies the operator of any parameters trending outside user-specified limits. There is a choice of two operating modes: high-speed mode, designed for fine-pitch QFPs and other traditional components, that reportedly inspects 4 sq. in per second; and high-resolution mo

Photoetched Shielding Components

The company uses photoetching for cost savings to manufacture board-level shielding components, such as custom fences with removable covers. This process is said to improve design flexibility, shorten lead times and eliminate hard tooling costs. Photoetching also reportedly allows the fabrication of board-level shielding components with close tolerances that cannot be duplicated by other methods. Fences, covers, through-holes, slots and mounting pins can be designed in any configuration.

Micro-abrasive Blasting

Using a variety of blasting media and small nozzles in the 0.018 to 0.080" range, this pencil-blast process offers solutions to a variety of production problems. Applications include cleaning contaminants and oxides from ceramic insulators and components, removing paper diffusion mask residue from silicon substrates, cutting slots and shapes in fragile materials such as silicon wafers and crystalline substrates, material removal of fine microburrs from waveguide packages, and surface preparation

The Double Edged Sword for Green Initiatives

By Chris Rehl, CIMTEK - The green movement sweeping across companies worldwide may be politically and environmentally correct, but it also is creating some concerns among electronic manufacturers who are at the front line of these initiatives. Product lifecycle and quality control testing can provide the data and the direction to make green initiatives successful.

Obtaining Fully Automated, High-volume Optoelectronics Assembly

Successfully automating the microelectronics assembly process reduced costs and optimized for high-volume manufacturing.

Speaking of this Week — August 27, 2004

As summer prepares to join with fall, it's the week of alliances. Trade show news follows close behind, and there are also personnel and progress news, financial announcements, and a look at a consumer electronics end market growing in importance.

Speaking of this Week - September 6, 2002

Although it was a short week for many of us, there's a lot going on as summer begins its turn into fall. The heavy tradeshow season is right around the corner, and trade organizations are gearing up with their offerings. Personnel news was plentiful this week, while news of alliances and mergers, as well as that of progress, moved to the back burner. Finally, an important industry statistic was released this week.

Celestica Recognizes Siemens Dematic With Second-Year Global Supplier Award

(June 28, 2002) Toronto, Ontario, Canada and Nuremberg, Germany -- Celestica Inc. has awarded a second-year Partners in Performance award to Siemens Dematic Electronics Assembly Systems Inc. (EAS)


Important, often used surface mount technology terms and acronyms compiled by the editors of SMT Magazine.

Assembly Cells

The company`s HiSAC range of automated odd-form assembly cells reportedly incorporates a LeadScan Sensing System designed to provide on-the-fly inspection of odd-form, through-hole components. This sensing system is said to improve odd-form placement accuracy by detecting bent and missing leads before component insertion, and regardless of the number of leads or the lead shape or profile. The system uses a scanning technique to inspect each component as it is moved to the placement location.

LGA Socket

The cLGA socket system reportedly enables solderless chip-to-board and board-to-board interconnection. This solderless system is said to allow the user to avoid the termination and reliability problems caused by thermal expansion in high-pin-count devices. The socket uses a conventional BeCu contact with 30 µin Au over Ni plating. This low-profile connector design yields a 0.94 nH inductance. When fully mated, it has a total deflection of 0.012" with an average of 50 g normal force per cont

Salt Lake City Gains Design Center

American Microsystems Inc. (AMI) opened a new design center in Salt Lake City to increase its mixed-signal and analog design talent. The center will also contribute to the ongoing development of precision analog functions supporting the company`s ASIC systems solutions. The center will be run by Donald Comers, Ph.D., who brings more than 20 years of experience in academics and industry. As director of the design center, Dr. Comers will report to the vice president of AMI`s Home, Office and Indus

Printing Resolves Solar Cell Manufacturing Challenges

Solar cell makers must improve cell efficiency for more power/sq.m. of surface area and increase productivity without correspondingly higher investment.

New Electronics Assembly Products

New products coming into the supply chain range from flexible test platforms to surface mount connectors, selective soldering systems, conductive epoxies, pick-and-place vision systems, and strain gauge simulation. Suppliers include CheckSum, Bliss Industries, CeTaQ, Zierick, Conductive Compounds, RPS Automation, Pickering Interfaces, Epson Toyocom, and APS Novastar.

The SMT Assembly Process

The Electronic Assembly Suppliers’ Initiative (EASi) Line, featured at ATExpo, in conjunction with the SMTAI, September 26-29, 2005, at the Donald Stevens Convention Center in Rosemont, Ill., and coordinated by Electronics Manufacturing Solutions, Inc., demonstrates a fully functional manufacturing line from start to finish.

Understencil Wiping: An SMT Blind Spot

The complex stencil-printing process is at the heart of SMT production. With more than 39 variables to optimize in the printing process, it’s no surprise that 50-90% of all defects originate on the stencil printer.

Speaking of this Week — August 27, 2004

As summer prepares to join with fall, it's the week of alliances. Trade show news follows close behind, and there are also personnel and progress news, financial announcements, and a look at a consumer electronics end market growing in importance.

SMD Rework Station

The ESD-safe Model 852 SMD rework station is said to feature a built-in vacuum pickup with a range of 7 to 20 liters per minute and analog display of airflow control. A lamp alerts the operator when vacuum pickup is in use. Stainless steel nozzles (not included with this model) direct heated air onto component leads while reportedly preventing unwanted heat from affecting neighboring components. Two modes of operation are available: manual (for simple operation) or auto (for programmable process

Surface Mount Adapters

The company now offers several new sizes of the PolyPod surface mount adapters for QFP packages. The QFP surface mount base can be soldered to a PCB and connected to emulators or logic analyzers, and can be used as a socket. The surface mount base reportedly has options for receptacles that can be used to interconnect to any test system, or the receptacles can be used to add height to extend the test equipment off the board. A socket cover is available.

New Brunswick Industries, El Cajon, Calif., announced that continuing growth is forcing the company out of its present 6,500 sq. ft. facility.

New Brunswick Industries, El Cajon, Calif., announced that continuing growth is forcing the company out of its present 6,500 sq. ft. facility. Construction of a new 20,000 sq. ft. facility has already begun.

Sensitive Component Degradation

Read the full technical article online! Visit and search by the article title or author name to finish reading this feature.

Enhancing the Imaging Chain in X-ray Inspection

To meet the challenge of inspecting smaller components, tougher-to-view interconnects and geometries measured in microns and sub-microns, X-ray image quality is becoming paramount in PCB assembly.

Lead-free: Using Vapor Phase Reflow in Lead-free Processing

During lead-free processing, vapor phase reflow offers the option to eliminate the variable of higher temperature processing.

Speaking of this Week — May 30, 2003

It's been a short week for many of us due to the Memorial Day holiday, but there's no shortage of news topics, including progress, partnerships and mergers between companies, financial and personnel news, tradeshow announcements, and information about the industry present and future.

SMT Magazine Presents the 2001 VISION Awards

(January 28, 2002) On Tuesday, January 22 at 6:30 p.m. at the Hyatt Regency San Diego during APEX, held January 22 through 24, the culmination of a process to find the finest examples of creative advancement in technology was realized. SMT Magazine recognized the innovations of supplier companies and their people for the introduction of new products and services for the electronics manufacturing industry at the 2001 VISION Awards program.

Ask and Answer -- November 13, 2002

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

Intrinsix and Sanmina Align; Sanmina Launches Circuit Performance Tool

WESTBORO, Mass.; SAN JOSE, Calif. — Intrinsix Corp., an independent ASIC and System design company, teamed with Sanmina Corp. to provide complete electronics design and manufacturing solutions.


NZ Nozzles for the company`s QX-2 convection rework tool are engineered to use a "focused-convection" design. These nozzles reportedly ensure that thermal energy is directed only to the target component, which is said to maximize efficiency and minimize board and adjacent component damage. An aperture in the nozzle allows the QX-2`s vacuum pickup to lift the component at the end of the reflow cycle. This ensures that the component is lifted off only after all solder connections have reflowed, w


The company`s improved standard gooseneck design reportedly does not sag or sway for environments requiring a vibration-free light source. The gooseneck is covered by PVC sleeving that is said to resist damage and wear. This new design is said to free operators from the strain and stress of having to physically adjust to their equipment. The lamps are ergonomically designed for ease-of-use and engineered for heavy production schedules.

Lead-free Solders and Their Properties

Along with thermal, mechanical, creep and fatigue, melting point is one of the most important solder properties. Table 1 provides a list of lead-free solders that have been available for some time.1

Competing with Tier I EMS: Software for Lean

Many EMS providers are implementing lean manufacturing to help achieve performance goals and also improve competitive advantages, customer responsiveness, and quality.

Changing Times: Where to Find Cleaning Today

By Tom Forsythe - Beginning in the 1990s, soldering technology advances, ever-shortening product lifecycles, the global ban on CFC-113, and other technology advances together brought on the era of no-clean soldering. While cleaning never truly disappeared, significant segments of the industry moved away from cleaning, far away. At the time, they did not need a cleaning process. But those times are changing.

Vias in SMT Mounting Pads

By Terry Kern, Axiom Electronics - The filling of plated through vias is not an entirely new process, and has been a necessary step to partially filled vias in circuit boards. However, these vias were located outside of SMT pads used for mounting components. Recently, as component density increased and lead pitches became smaller, it became difficult or impossible for designers to find circuit board real estate for connecting SMT mounting pads to discrete conventional vias.

Environmentally Conscious Technologies: Does Green Equal Competitive Advantage?

Every electronics manufacturing company will be affected by the rise of green activities.

The Paperless Supply Chain

SMT Magazine interviewed David Wolff, president and founder of P.D. Circuits in Hampstead, N.H., to learn about his company's "from the ground up" approach to managing supply chain data. As a distributor of bare boards, P.D. Circuits interacts with customers as well as suppliers, and manages domestic and offshore operations. It operates almost entirely without paper records, due to a proprietary software system, PDC2006.

Placement Accuracy Management: Key to Better Profits

The importance of quality control in PCB assembly operations has never been greater than it is now due to shrinking component and assembly sizes.

Step 4: Printing

The solder paste printing process is simple - place the correct amount of solder paste in the correct location at an acceptable rate.

The next generation of "smart heads"

Most machine designers now are counting on distributed motion control (DMC) architectures for assembly of new products for persuasive reasons: increased reliability, lower cost and reduced time to repair.

IPC Signs CRADA with NSWC Crane

(November 6, 2001) Northbrook, Ill. -- IPC-Association Connecting Electronics Industries(r) has signed a three-year Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) with the Naval Surface Warfare Center (NSWC) in Crane, Ind.

Departments, Factories and Customers as One

To compete in today's fast-changing, competitive electronics industry, manufacturing enterprises must operate at a scale that is compatible with customer demands. But as they grow, they also must improve the flow and usefulness of manufacturing information.

Pressure-formed Housing

These pressure-formed housings, which are designed to protect PCBs, reportedly are manufactured from a pliable, heavy-gauge plastic called 0.060" Kydex. Each housing is pressure-formed from roll stock, hole punched and routed for air ventilation

Surface Mount Audio Transformer

The SEF Series of audio transformers offers a basic footprint that reportedly occupies less than 34 sq. cm (21.5 x 15.4 mm) and has a profile height of 7.8 mm. Frequency response is rated at 0.25 dB in the range from 200 to 4,000 Hz. Longitudinal balance is 60 dB over the same range. The transformer operates between -45 and 7 dB and is designed in its default configuration to meet FCC specifications under Regulation 15 for atmospheric noise. Primary impedances are all 600 W at 1 kHz. Secondary i

Cleaning Equipment and Materials Trends

SMT talked to suppliers and users about problems, trends, regulations, training, cost control and ongoing research regarding cleaning materials and equipment.

East Meets West at NEPCON/EMT South China 2007

By Simon Lian, Editor-in-Chief, SMT China - Held August 28–31, 2007, in Shenzhen Convention and Exhibition Center, the largest and most comprehensive international SMT and electronics manufacturing show in China saw more than 19,776 high-quality professional visitors. The show served as an arena for local industry players to learn more about the latest products and technologies on the electronics manufacturing market.

Reflow Methods Using Integrated Preforms

Solder fabrications, or preforms, can be made to fit many unique applications. Preforms are designed to have a particular shape and deliver a specified volume of solder to the joint.

Minimizing Tin Whiskers

The iNEMI Tin Whisker User Group was formed to minimize the risk of failures from tin whiskers.

De-fluxing Eases ‘Sticky Situations’

Using a contract assembler offers several benefits. However, when outsourcing a no-clean process, the challenge for contract assemblers lies with the multiple applications, processes, materials and expatiations that customers set.

Fiber Optic Interconnect Overview

Optical fibers guide most Internet and long distance communication. The fibers link optoelectronic modules comprising light sources, detectors, optical components, integrated circuits, SMT passives, substrates, alignment aids, housings, adhesives, solders and thermal management elements.

3-D or 2-D - Choosing with Today's Technology

Recently, this question arose during a presentation: "Competitors are pushing three-dimensional (3-D) X-ray inspection as the best way to inspect ball grid arrays (BGA) and chip scale packages (CSP). Do I need to spend the extra money to ensure my production quality?" My answer, as usual, was yes — and no.

Implementing CSP Technology: A Controlled Approach to NPI

The contract manufacturer is now viewed more favorably by the OEM for its ability to respond quickly to packaging challenges and especially when the implementation of new assembly technologies, such as those with CSPs, are involved.

Exatron Labels

This company offers a complete line of labels and ribbons for direct purchase for use on Exatron labeling equipment. Both stock and build-to-order labels are manufactured in white polyester, tan and white Kapton. They are reportedly engineered to high performance standards and survive all electronic processes. Providing one ribbon for all materials is said to ensure less changeover and label waste, improving product efficiency levels.

DC/DC Converters

The MT Series of high-density DC/DC converters can accommodate 12 V inputs for use in the battery power systems architecture becoming popular in portable equipment. The devices are available in metal-cased, full-brick, 150, 100 and 50 W versions. The converters are designed to achieve operating efficiencies as high as 90 percent with total isolation of input, output and baseplate. The series can be obtained with output voltages of 3.3, 5, 12, 15, 24 and 28 VDC.

A Guide to Infrared (IR) Rework on BGAs

Read the full technical article online! Visit now and search “A Guide to Infrared (IR) Rework on BGAs” to finish reading this feature.

DEK Opens Manufacturing Facility in Shenzhen

By Simon Lian, Editor-in-Chief, SMT China - DEK is reinforcing its commitment to the Asian electronics market by opening a new state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in Shenzhen, China. Covering an area of 2,600 square meters and featuring production, office, training, and exhibition facilities, the manufacturing center will initially focus on the production of entry-level and medium-range printer platforms.

Electroformed vs. Laser-cut: A Stencil Performance Study

There have been claims in the industry that laser-cut electroformed nickel foil blanks provide stencil print performance comparable to electroformed stencils.

BGA Socket Considerations: Prototype to Reality

BGA socketing systems are essential during the design, testing and production phases of products containing high-performance ICs.

IPC Revises IPC-A-610D and J-STD-001D Standards

Updating industry assembly standards often is a long process.


China Sets Prices, Manufacturing Trends

Speaking of this Week — June 11, 2004

The tradeshow season is in full swing, and there's plenty of news about it this week. There's also lots of heartening progress news, as well as that of personnel and partnerships, a bit of financial news, and a look at the components portion of the industry.

Step 4: Printing

A variety of designs are available for printed circuit board (PCB) applications requiring step stencils, polymer-application stencils and mixed-component technology stencils — surface mount, through-hole and flip chip.

Protean Marketing Goes Worldwide with Universal

(June 27, 2002) Austin, Texas -- Protean Marketing has been named agency of record for Universal Instruments' worldwide marketing activities.

Integration of X-ray Inspection and Rework improves SMT yields

Limiting a manufacturer's vulnerability to loss of yield and profitability requires a well thought out proactive strategy. As the market pushes for smaller component designs, connections occur in significantly less space.

Explore Specific Niche Outsource Options

As outsourcing partners gain expertise and experience in certain manufacturing processes, companies are turning to contract manufacturers of all sizes to meet their specific manufacturing needs.

2-D Code Reader

Quadrus 2.0 is an upgraded, fully integrated 2-D code reader that is said to make it easier and more affordable for electronics manufacturers to use Data Matrix in their lot-tracking systems. It reportedly combines the CCD technology of a vision system with the ease of use and functionality of a bar-code scanner. By using a single setting, the product reportedly is capable of reading high-contrast printed black-on-white labels as well as low-contrast, laser-etched labels. The 2.0 version reporte

SOT-323 Package

The Super323 Series bipolar transistors are designed to provide low-loss, high-power performance in miniature SOT-323 surface mount packaging. The devices handle collector currents between 1 and 1.5 A and can dissipate power up to 500 mW. Developed using an enhanced matrix geometry, Superb emitter process and a specially designed lead frame, the transistors feature NPN and PNP complementary types that exhibit a voltage as low as 0.2 V for a collector current of 1 A. These devices reportedly offe

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.

Building a Robust High-mix Manufacturing Process

EMS providers have many preferred business models. High mix, variable demand production has become increasingly popular.

From the Editor: EMS Trends

Cosponsoring the A-Line at IPC Midwest gave me a unique insight into the amount of work that goes into every PCB assembly manufactured. To dig deeper, I chaired a panel of EMS providers on keeping lines running efficiently and keeping OEM customers on track and happy, for product development, NPI, manufacturing, and program management. Concise, efficient, and resourceful. What else would you expect from this industry?

Strategies to Minimize Rework Challenges

OEMs generally do not include a rework strategy as part of their product development plans.


Celestica Helps Ease Strain of RoHS Compliance

The Inside Line

PB-free: How Close Are You?

Speaking of this Week — June 11, 2004

The tradeshow season is in full swing, and there's plenty of news about it this week. There's also lots of heartening progress news, as well as that of personnel and partnerships, a bit of financial news, and a look at the components portion of the industry.

Publisher's Executive Council Interview

This month's Publisher's Executive Council Interview features one of the industry's leading innovators: Joe Vilella from Vectron Inc.

Speaking of this Week - January 25, 2002

Speaking of this Week reflects on events in the electronics assembly industry every Friday. The shadow of APEX, held January 22 through 24 in San Diego, hung over this week, occupying companies' minds and stanching the flow of other news. But amid the quiet came a huge announcement from a major conglomerate, as well as (of course) news from APEX exhibitors.

Stencil Cleaning

In recent years, stencil and misprinted printed circuit board (PCB) cleaning has become a significant issue for an increasing number of SMT manufacturers. In a typical PCB assembly line, solder paste is printed through screens or stencils.

Flextronics Expands Across the Globe

SAN JOSE, Calif. and RALEIGH, N.C. - Flextronics International Ltd. entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Palo Alto Products International Pte. Ltd., a full-service product development company that provides industrial design, mechanical engineering and manufacturing services for the high-tech and consumer markets.

Automatic Label Placer

The DataPlace Model 100LP automatic label placer features placement rates of 3,600 pph, a dual-nozzle head, up to three 600 dpi printers and integration into existing manufacturing processes, reportedly without compromising standards for process integration and throughput. Its machine design is said to capitalize on the company`s experience with pick-and-place machines and vision systems.

Integrated Switcher

The TNY256 is designed to provide a cost-effective, energy-efficient solution for a wide range of applications. It delivers up to 11 W from a universal input and up to 19 W from a 230 VAC input. Auto-restart is said to lower secondary component cost by reducing short-circuit current. Line under-voltage sense is said to prevent voltage glitches during power up or power down. Frequency jitter is said to lower EMI.

Real-time Cost Estimates Measure

Real-time cost estimating is a useful tool when comparing capital equipment expenditures.

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.

17th Annual SMT VISION Awards

SMT VISION Awards recognize products that display innovation, solve an industry challenge, save money, promote environmental friendliness, and otherwise enhance electronics manufacturing.

Events around the Industry

Newark will host an online networking and educational event on energy-efficient electronics; SMTA released the final program for Pan Pac 2009; and IPC announced an all-academic poster competition to take place at IPC APEX EXPO.

STEP 6: Component Placement

Component placement needs have undergone significant changes in the past few years.

STEP 7: Soldering

There are several important decisions to make when converting to lead-free wave soldering.

New Products


The Evolving EMS Industry

The landscape of the EMS industry is both competitive and changing. The challenge is to develop products beyond the traditional business model.

When Will the SMT Equipment Market Rebound?

While 2002 is not expected to be the rebound year, it is a good time to target markets that will experience growth in 2003 through 2005.

First IPC Designers Council Designers Learning Symposium a Success with Attendees

(September 5, 2001) Northbrook, Ill. - The feedback is in on the first IPC Designers Council Designers Learning Symposium, which took place from July 16 through 21, 2001 - and it's overwhelmingly positive.

NEPCON East and Electro Preview

NEPCON East is an opportunity to get "hands on" experience with innovative design, packaging, fabrication, assembly and test solutions. The conference offers many opportunities for attendees to gain new skills and update technical knowledge, such as product demonstrations, specifications available for review, workshops and more.

New Northeast Design Center Opened

CONCORD, Mass. - Manufacturers` Services Ltd. (MSL) opened a new Northeast Engineering and Design Center, expanding the company`s critical customer support during the early stages of product development and NPI. The center is located in one of the nation`s fastest growing regions for voice and data communications innovations, and is said to establish the largest center for PCB design in the Northeast with more than 30 design specialists.

Label Placer

The Model 8330 Label Placer is a high-speed, flexible label placement system that is said to be capable of applying a range of labels on PCBs at speeds up to 900 labels per hour. It can be used as part of an off-line or in-line process and is available in single- or dual-lane configurations for maximum throughput. As each PCB is fed into the system, adjustable tooling pins orient each board for label placement. An overhead gantry-style X-Y positioning system moves a placement head to the feeders

15 and 25 W Converters

Now available with UL 1950 recognition to operational level, the NPH25 25 W and NPH15 15 W DC/DC converters are said to be ideal for the telecommunications and industrial distributed power systems where approved levels of isolation are demanded. The converters reportedly are compact, integrated wide-input devices featuring efficiency levels of up to 90 percent and power densities as high as 1.42 W per cm (23.4 W per inch). Devices in the 25 W series have footprints of 50 x 35 mm, while the 15 W

Quality Ensured with In-process Inspection

Integrating AOI systems at key locations in the assembly line has proven to be a cost-effective solution for improving yields.

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.

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.

Fixed SMT Stencils: Sewing Technology for Stencil Mounting

By T. Sasson, Suron A.C.A Ltd. - Many SMT assemblers use both fixed-frame and universal SMT stencils in the paste printing process. Conventional methods for adhering stencil to frame can introduce hazardous materials, offset errors, time waste, and other negative impacts to flexibility and line productivity. One process borrows technology from sewing to attach stencils onto frames without adhesives.

Submit for 3D/SiP Advanced Packaging Symposium

The SMTA is extending the deadline for abstract submissions for the 3D/SiP Advanced Packaging Symposium through January 24, 2008. Interested applicants should send a 200–300-word abstract to the conference coordinator, Melissa Serres.

WEEE Comes Full Circle

Environmental legislation, such as the EU’s WEEE Directive, places responsibilities on producers of electronics products - through the product’s entire useful life and beyond.

APEX Product Guide

Following is a conglomeration of products exhibited at the IPC Printed Circuits Expo/APEX/Designers Summit, February 20–22, 2007, in Los Angeles.

Understanding EMS Pricing Strategies

While pricing pressures continue to strain developers and manufacturers, the business model is in need of repair.

Speaking of this Week — October 24, 2003

Alliances and mergers steal the spotlight this week, and are followed by progress news. There's also an abundance of tradeshow news, as well as personnel announcements and a quarterly financial release.

CM News

Flextronics Awards Supplier Commitment SINGAPORE Flextronics Corp. awarded Morrisville, N.C.-based Juki Automation Systems a Supplier Commitment Award for its commitment to customer service. The award recognizes Juki's fulfillment of a pledge to serve Flextronics while its operations were transferred from Austin, Texas to its Richardson, Texas location. Juki supplied complete surface mount assembly (SMA) lines including feeders, programs, feeder carts, capacity analysis, spare parts and manpower…

Corrigent Systems Selects Sanmina-SCI for Contract Manufacturing

(September 4, 2002) San Jose, Calif. -- Corrigent Systems and Sanmina-SCI have aligned to support the commercial delivery of Corrigent's CM-100 metro transport product line.

Phoenix|x-ray Systems Unveils Two New X-ray Products

(November 5, 2001) Camarillo, Calif. -- Phoenix|x-ray Systems + Services Inc. unveiled its two biggest products of the year within a day of each other -- the xs|series nanofocus X-ray tube and the pcba|sentry X-ray system.

VJ Electronix Installs VJ 2000 DIG X-ray Inspection System at Indium's Utica, N.Y. Facility

(September 4, 2001) Bohemia, N.Y. -- V.J. Technologies Inc. division VJ Electronix, a manufacturer of automated X-ray inspection (AXI) systems, has installed their VJ 2000 DIG AXI system at Indium Corp. of America's facility in Utica, N.Y.

New Products

Combined AOI/AXI Inspection System; Hand-held Dispensing System; Cleaning/Rinsing/Drying System; Vectoral Imaging...

Capital Acquired to Increase Capability

LaGRANGE, Ohio - In an effort to aggressively maintain and pursue market share in the Midwest, as well as to create increased capacity for continued customer needs, Inservco Inc., a CM serving the low- to medium-volume marketplace, established a strategic affiliation with MCM Capital Partners L.P., Cleveland. Inservco reportedly is ranked as one of the top 100 CMs in the United States, and this venture is designed to give the company opportunity for continued innovations in the industry.


The NEPCON West conference offerings are separated into several types of classes: Tutorials, Professional Advancement Courses, Workshops and Technical Sessions.

RF Shielding

This line of photo-chemically etched RF shielding cans has a patented removable cover designed to allow users to replace or repair internal components without damaging the surrounding shield. An etched line on the surface is broken to minimize RF leakage. The tab connecting the lid to the RF shield can be snipped and resoldered to minimize downtime. The RF shields are available in brass and 10-10 steel with solder plating, and can be custom designed to meet customer requirements. The RF shields

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.


The SMT/Hybrid/Packaging tradeshow and conference takes place May 5 through 7 in Nuremburg, Germany. The show encompasses back-end semiconductor packaging and test, PCB assembly, and various end-market sectors. In addition to the exhibits, 14 tutorials, and full-day technical conference, an EMS comparison service, job fair, and vendor forum are resources for attendees. Following are some of the highlights to take place on the show floor at SMT/HYBRID/PACKAGING.

Association News

IPC released power conversion standard IPC-9592; the ESD Association (ESDA) elected board members and officers for 2009; and SMTA is looking for papers for its 6th annual Medical Electronics Symposium.

Industry Academia Partnerships: Sustaining Growth and Competitiveness

By S. Manian Ramkumar, Ph.D., RIT - A well-established and innovatively nurtured industry-academia partnership can be a win/win proposition in many dimensions and help both parties retain their leadership positions. The importance of such partnerships has become apparent in the U.S. in recent years.

January Featured Products

Following are the new products released to start 2008 in materials, cleaning, rework, sockets, plating technology, selective soldering, dispensing, component feeders, and more. Highlighted are introductions from Henkel, Teknek, PDR, Ironwood, Technic, ACE, I&J Fisnar, IPTE, IMS, and American Hakko Products.

SMT Heads for the Mountains

SMT Magazine visits Photo Stencil, a stencil manufacturer in Colorado Springs, Colo.

SMTA Toolbox: No Free Lunch, But Everyone Wins

It?s a dream come true. You no longer have an unreasonable boss to harass you every day.

SMT 101: Adhesives, Epoxies and Dispensing

SMAs were developed in the 1980s specifically for bonding non-through-hole devices to printed circuit boards (PCB). Accordingly, SMAs were designed to provide qualities specific to SMT processing.

Delta Changes Name & Acquires CM

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - Delta Group Inc., a CM offering turnkey CM solutions and technical services for the aerospace/defense industries and commercial product suppliers, announced the changing of its corporate name to Delta Group Electronics Inc. This is designed to better reflect the scope of the company`s electronics manufacturing and technical services offerings.

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.

Ultra-miniature SMD Crystal

The FX532A SMD ceramic crystal measures 5.0 x 3.2 mm with a 1.0 mm profile. It has a frequency range of 14 to 40 MHz, and a frequency tolerance of ±100 ppm. The JITO-2 oscillators with reduced phase jitter reportedly offer a 67 percent reduction in phase jitter over competitively programmed oscillators and, in some frequency ranges, compare favorably with fixed-frequency oscillators. They are said to make microprocessor-based systems less prone to bit errors and to increase the reliability

CM News

Software Order Placed - HERZLIYA, Israel — SCI Systems Inc. placed a $3.8 million order for combined Tecnomatix Technologies Ltd. and Fuji Machine Manufacturing Co. Ltd. software and services. Tecnomatix will receive $2.1 million, with $1.7 to go to Fuji. The order is comprised of Tecnomatix UNICAM software for assembly planning, production monitoring, documentation and for interfacing with non-Fuji PCB assembly equipment, and a jointly developed

Part 3: PCB Designer's Notebook: IC Component Package Evolution and the Impact of Lead-free Soldering

By Vern Solberg - Although the majority of ICs in use today are SO and fine-pitch leaded devices, many new product offerings are furnished without leads. Another shift is the move to lead-free board assembly. Will part numbers of components that are in compliance with RoHS change?

From the Editor: Making Plans

In the early weeks of January, most of us dedicate a lot of time to "digging out" — both literally, as New England continues to welcome snow storms, and figuratively, as we shake off the holidays and forge ahead with the new year. Some people begin to follow New Year's resolutions earnestly, for others it's about getting on task with work, and still others tuck into a fresh semester. For me, getting on track after the holidays meant finding a new home with more room, closer to the office.

New Products


Improving Solder-Paste Processes Through Experimentation

Proper application of solder paste onto a PCb is essential in surface mount assemblies.

Speaking of this Week — January 9, 2004

As much as I enjoy the holidays, isn't it nice to get back to normal? News is picking up again, as it always does after the year-end holidays, with progress and financial news taking the lead. We've also got personnel, merger and acquisition, and tradeshow news, as well as a look at the future from the consumer electronics standpoint.

Speaking of this Week — October 24, 2003

Alliances and mergers steal the spotlight this week, and are followed by progress news. There's also an abundance of tradeshow news, as well as personnel announcements and a quarterly financial release.

PEMSTAR, Fluke Extend Partnership for Award-Winning Products

(May 31, 2002) Amelo, The Netherlands -- PEMSTAR BV, a wholly owned subsidiary of Rochester, Minn.-based PEMSTAR Inc., and Fluke Nederland BV, a wholly owned subsidiary of Everett, Wash.-based Fluke Corp., have extended their engineering and manufacturing agreement for an additional three years.

Fujitsu and Toshiba to Explore Comprehensive Collaboration in System-on-Chip Business

(June 26, 2002) Tokyo -- Fujitsu Ltd. and Toshiba Corp. have agreed to explore a comprehensive collaboration focusing on system-on-chip (SoC) solutions.

Wanted: New Manufacturing Facilities

SAN DIEGO - Qtron Inc., a privately held CM, announced plans to move to a new site in San Diego. Increased levels of PCB assembly sales, coupled with customer pressure to provide system integration solutions, are the reasons sited for the move to larger and more efficient quarters.

Contract Manufacturing Symposium

Presented by Sharon Mecum and Dr. Charles Mullen of Technology Forecasters Inc., "The Contract Manufacturing Game: Skills, Tools, and Insights for OEMs and Contract Electronics Manufacturers," will be held Tuesday, February 29, from 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.


Phase noise in this new line of CZM and CSM SMT VCOs has been improved to -130 dBc/Hz at 100 kHz, down from -120 dBc/Hz. They are designed to deliver -15 dBc (typical) harmonic suppression and a linear wideband tuning range. The series is available on tape-and-reel packaging in frequencies ranging from 45 MHz to 3.0 GHz. They are compatible with applications where high frequency and linear modulation are required, including cellular, PCS, WLAN/WWAN and wireless modems.

New Products

1210 Fuses - The PolySwitch microSMD product family includes six resettable fuses ranging from 0.05 A at 30 V to 1 A at 6 V. It is said to be designed for overcurrent protection in computer, consumer electronics and industrial process control applications. The products in the group are the microSMD005, microSMD010, microSMD035, microSMD050, microSMD075 and microSMD100 devices. The devices were designed to the industry-standard 1210 (3.2 x 2.5 mm) footprint. Raychem Corp., Menlo Park, C

Latest Reports: Mobile Handsets, European Electronics, and Tech Financials Publications released the European Electronic Market Forecast; iSuppli examines the outsourcing trend in mobile handsets, while ABI Research tracks 2009 cell phone shipments from major OEMs; and Reuters reports on Apple, Google, IBM, Intel, and Microsoft beating expectations in the financial markets.

2004 Product Review


Speaking of this Week — January 9, 2004

As much as I enjoy the holidays, isn't it nice to get back to normal? News is picking up again, as it always does after the year-end holidays, with progress and financial news taking the lead. We've also got personnel, merger and acquisition, and tradeshow news, as well as a look at the future from the consumer electronics standpoint.

Newport Expands Asia Presence, Appoints Nonoy Sornillo Sales Manager for Philippines

(September 4, 2002) Irvine, Calif. -- Newport Corp. has appointed Nonoy Sornillo to the position of sales manager for Newport's MRSI Advanced Packaging products in the Philippines.


September 4, 2001 - Featuring Assembly Tools & Equipment

CM Deals Completed, Extended

TORONTO; HAUPPAUGE, N.Y.; SAN JOSE, Calif.; and LOUISVILLE, Ky. -Several announcements previously reported in the SMT CM News have continued progressing. The following is an update on four such events:

Advanced Packaging Symposium

Held on Monday, February 28, from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. and chaired by John Lau, Express Packaging Systems, the symposium will address wafer-level packaging and interconnection.

Filter Modules

The B6001, B6003 and B6005 filter modules are specifically designed to meet the requirements of the HomePNA 1M8 PHY specification for the 1 Mbps technology. All three products have been UL 1950 certified for supplementary insulation requirements. The B6001 is a 14-pin though-hole part that incorporates 10Base-T filtering and isolation. The B6003 and B6005 are both 16-pin surface mount parts. The latter also has 10Base-T filtering. The bandpass filter portion is designed to ensure the 6 to 9 MHz


The discovery in the pyramids of metals joined by soldering proved that this technique is not modern.

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.

Lead-free Solder Update

By Mitch Holtzer, Cookson Electronics - SAC alloys became the industry-standard lead-free solders after RoHS went into effect. Technical and economic factors are reducing the silver content in SAC compositions, with disadvantages like slower wetting speeds, and advantages like minimized BGA voids. Solder choices are influenced by the desired results, cost, BOM, and other factors.

Flux Chemistry for Lead-free SMT

By Edward Briggs and Ronald Lasky, Ph.D., Indium Corporation - SAC alloys have a higher melting point and exhibit poor wettability compared to tin/lead eutectic alloys. Flux chemistries are ever evolving to meet this changing environment. The purpose of this paper is to discuss the function of flux chemistry, acknowledging the general ingredients that make up most no-clean materials.

Undulating Coils Humanize PCBAs

Collaborative development work between Belgium's University of Ghent and IMEC produced a molded interconnect device (MID) that can stretch up to 100%, while still conducting signals between surface mount devices (SMDs) and other components. SMT spoke with Jan Vanfleteren, researcher, University of Ghent, about the consumer and medical end-products enabled by stretchy PCB assemblies (PCBAs), the assembly process, and the design and materials engineering that led to this.

QFN Layout Guidelines

By Duane Benson, Screaming Circuits - - While QFN and DFN parts are becoming more common, they aren't getting easier to use. Their form-factor advantages are clear — they allow smaller geometries, better grounding, and improved thermal properties over other types of surface mount packages. Most QFNs have a center metal pad on the underside of the part, typically for grounding or heat conduction. It's this center metal pad that makes this form factor so difficult to use.

Speaking of this Week -- November 8, 2002

Some major alliances and acquisitions came to be this week, which should mean some developments in the electronics assembly industry down the road. Progress keeps happening as well, with several big awards handed out this week. We've also got financial, trade show and personnel news.

DEK, K&S Team at SEMICON West

At SEMICON West, Flemington, N.J.-based DEK and Willow Grove, Pa.-based Kulicke & Soffa (K&S) came together, blending technologies to make the most of each other's strengths.

Safety First at IEC

NEWARK, N.Y. - IEC Electronics Corp. announced that its manufacturing facilities in Newark, N.Y., and Edinburg, Texas, have both gone more than 500,000 hours without a lost-time accident. The Texas facility, which has approximately 570 employees, has reportedly been totaling up safety hours since January 4, 1999, and now has more than 975,000 hours logged without a lost-time accident. In Newark, about 930 employees have worked since November 1999 without a lost-time accident, passing 500,000 hou

Contract Manufacturing Senior Executive Forum

Presented by Technology Forecasters Inc. on Monday, February 28, from 7:30 a.m. to 7:00 p.m., this forum will be chaired by Pamela Gordon, certified management consultant and president of Technology Forecasters Inc.

Interactive Odd-form Component Catalog Debuts

The Interactive Odd-form Component Catalog, developed by Universal Instrument Corp.`s Odd Form/Final Assembly (OFA) Div., enables users to determine odd-form application feeder and placement head tooling by searching component category, part number or photo.

Publisher's Executive Council Survey

First of all, how did your appointment to the IPC Board of Directors come about?

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.

Tech Still Down: Inventory, Consumer Spending to Blame

By Jim McGregor, In-Stat - After a disastrous Q'04 to end 2008, it would seem that the high-tech industry had nowhere to go but up. However, the release of Q'01 results from several market leaders has revealed that up wasn't a direction we were headed. An inventory surplus affects semiconductor through PC companies, and consumer spending is still the critical driver for electronics demand.

It's What's Inside That Counts: Embedded Components

Recently, PCB fabricator Ibiden Co. Ltd., with more than 12,000 employees and about $4 billion in consolidated annual sales, announced that they would be licensing Finland-based Imbera's embedded packaging technology. We knew that this had to be a solid way to embed components into the PCB. When you think about creating a functionally dense system, the directions seem to be building up — a stacked package — or down — into the board material in an embedded active or passive device.

Don't Miss SMT's RoHS Lead-free Manufacturing Webinar

As more electronics manufacturing firms move into lead-free assembly, practical issues play an ever-growing role in determining how well RoHS compliance can become second nature to those in control. To help manufacturers hone their skills in meeting RoHS regulations, while still maintaining a productive, profitable transition, SMT will host its "RoHS Lead-free Electronics Manufacturing" Webinar on Wednesday, October 3, 2007 at 1:00 p.m. EST.

EKRA Notes Revenue Highs, 500th Shipment

EKRA America posted its largest six-month and rolling 12-month revenues with the close of the first half of 2006. The company also announced the shipment of its 500th machine to the American market in June.

News Briefs

Omron Corp. is expanding its business in China by upgrading its regional holding company Omron China Group Co. Ltd. in Hong Kong to the status of China Head Office.

Speaking of this Week - November 2, 2001

(November 2, 2001) Welcome to a new column that will appear every Friday. Speaking of this Week will reflect on the week's events in the electronics assembly industry.

Adjustable Workbench

The Height-Right adjustable workbench is said to be ideal for testing, repairing and assembling electronic equipment. The workbench provides 15" of movement from the bottom to the top. It has 1,200 lb static capacity and a 600 lb dynamic capacity.

Packaging Session

The packaging session, Component Packaging for the 21st Century, will be held Tuesday, February 29, from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m. Packaging experts address the issues PCB assemblers need to understand to build the next generation of electronics products, including the impact of area-array packaging on the assembly floor, thermal management concerns, the effects of lead-free solder on component packages, and more.

Low Drop-out Voltage Regulators

The GMT-72XX line of micro-power low drop-out voltage regulators is designed to provide reliable and efficient solutions for mobile phones, palm computers, pagers, global positioning equipment and other portable applications. Compared to conventional LDO ICs, the new regulators are said to perform at low quiescent operating current, with significantly lower drop-out voltages. The voltage regulator family was specifically designed to operate in noise-prone, switch-mode environments. It reportedly

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 require-ments. Modern manufacturing techniques are useless if a board's components are out of date, perform poorly or fail to satisfy end-user requirements. To assist manufacturers in this search, SMT Magazine presents Component Specifier, a new product section designed to spotlight state-of-the-

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.

Zero Mistakes: Inspecting Complex Automotive Electronics

By Gene Fujita, Omron Electronics - Auto manufacturers demand that the incoming electronics boards have zero defects. Many Tier 1 suppliers inspect boards for defects in printing, placement, and reflow, but cannot easily inspect odd forms. The most reliable AOI used directed light to simulate 3D views, and new algorithms are increasing automation for odd forms.

Three Musketeers of SMT Assembly

A series of three pick-and-place systems — dubbed "The Three Musketeers of SMT Assembly" — is said to cover all applications in mid-range surface mount assembly area.

Standardizing Material Declarations Globally

The RoHS regulations deadline is no longer simply inching up on the electronics assembly industry.

Speaking of this Week — August 8, 2003

This week, the progress news just kept coming, and it's good to see. With the tradeshow season right around the corner, news of upcoming shows abounded as well. We've also got financial news, partnerships and a personnel announcement.

Cookson Electronics Showcases Multiple Products at SEMICON West

At SEMICON West in July, the newly formed Cookson Electronics - Semiconductor Products business unit introduced several new products that address several manufacturing challenges faced by semiconductor package manufacturers and assemblers.

In-line Programming System

BP-6500 is an in-line programming system that combines pick-and-place and programming functions in one machine. The system can program eight parts concurrently. It places TSOP, µBGA, SOIC, PLCC and QFP after programming.

Keynote Addresses

Tuesday, February 29, at 8:00 a.m., John Madden, sportscaster/analyst, author and football coach, will kickoff NEPCON West 2000 with a keynote speech.

Assessing CM Quotes

OEMs must not only evaluate price when considering outsourcing, but the comprehension, accuracy and trust of the potential partner, as well.

Avoiding Mistakes in SMT Manufacturing Via MOS

Jason Spera, Aegis Software - Quality management in electronics assembly often means data collection, repair and test management, and mining the results of these activities. To improve quality, avoid mistakes that result in nonconformances, maximizing yield and minimizing waste. A total quality system should provide controls to eliminate as many mistakes as possible, as well as capture and analyze those nonconformances that do arise. Control and visibility are required.

From the Editor: Emerging Markets Are a State of Mind

I'm often aghast at seeing children with cell phones. What is the point of paying an extra phone bill for your toddler? The point for the industry is the genius of diversifying one of the most saturated cellular markets on the globe, by convincing your customer base to get a specialized cell phone for the kids, and another for the grandparents.


Compiled by SMT Staff

SMTA International Preview

SMTA International will be held September 22 through 26, 2002, at the Donald Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont, Ill., in conjunction with Assembly Technology Expo (ATExpo), held September 24 through 26.

Automated Programmer

The PP 100 automated programming, handling and marking system programs fine-pitch ICs. The system has universal programming sites that work with a variety of fine-pitch devices quickly and with minimal cost. The system can have up to 12 programming sites, each with up to 84 pin drivers. The system reportedly has a throughput of up to 850 devices per hour. The pick-and-place handler is said to place devices in programming sockets to within 0.005". A laser for marking or labeling parts is optional

Pick-and-place Evaluation Center

The Pick-and-place Evaluation Center, located in Hall B, provides a strategic approach to evaluating assembly pick-and-place equipment. Four high-speed placement machines are on display, set up side-by-side, with third-party technical experts providing in-use feedback and interpretation of manufacturers` published machine specifications.


The NEPCON West conference offerings are separated into several types of classes: Tutorials, Professional Advancement Courses, Workshops and Technical Sessions.

CM News

Flextronics Acquires Finnish CM - SAN JOSE, Calif. — Flextronics International Ltd. entered into an agreement to acquire Kyrel EMS Oyj, a Finnish contract manufacturer. Kyrel has offered services since 1983, and has long-established relationships with customers in the telecom industry, including Nokia and Alcatel. The company has two operations in Finland and one in Luneville, France.

New Products in Dispensing, Printing, and Dispensable Materials

Following are the new solder-dispensing print heads, jet dispensers, dispense valves, curing technologies, materials mixers, and various materials such as conductive inks and epoxy adhesive/sealants.


Bob Solomon joined StratEdge (San Diego) as senior account manager. Solomon brings with him engineering, design and development, and sales knowledge in the semiconductor, telecom, medical, aerospace, and defense industries. He will be in charge of the company’s DC to 50+ GHz packages and assembly and test services.

2006 Industry Vision Forecast

Overall, 2005 has been a profitable year for surface mount technology. Judging by the experts quoted in this forecast, continued and more robust growth is predicted for companies in 2006.

Ask and Answer -- November 6, 2002

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

SMTA INternational Preview Products

Following is a variety of products offered from just a few of the exhibiting companies slated to attend SMTA International.

Selector Roundup Soldering Equipment

Soldering is a critical step in the SMT process.

Pre-reflow AOI

The KS 100 in-line, pre-reflow inspection system features the proprietary Statistical Appearance Modeling technology. This technology reportedly learns inspection parameters and creates a mathematical model of a good PCB by seeing a few examples of good boards. The system is accurate to 10 µm and repeatable to 3 µm. The system inspects components, connectors, labels, logos and polarity marks.

Contract Manufacturing Demonstration Line

Located in the Contract Manufacturing Demonstration Area in Hall C, the Contract Manufacturing Demonstration Line is a complete SMT line that produces live products for one of the participating contract manufacturer`s customers.

Y2K Assembly Line

The Y2K assembly line is designed to allow attendees to witness a component attachment process at very low temperatures using a solder alternative. The line features bottomside in-line placement of bar-code labels, as well as the deposition of a solder alternative for the mechanical attachment of quad flat packs (QFP), BGAs, a flip chip and standard surface mount devices (SMD). The devices are cemented in place with a low-temperature heating process, and the flip chip device is underfilled with

Selecting the Right ERP and MES Software System

To avoid choosing the wrong software system for your company, a careful evaluation of your company's needs and the supplier's offerings is a must.

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.

Measuring the Cost per Cleaned Part

By Harald Wack, Ph.D., ZESTRON - Cleaning processes in the electronics manufacturing industry are driven by two factors: achieving cleanliness requirements and optimizing economic efficiency. The only true method of analyzing a cleaning process is to use a systematic approach that analyzes the process with regard to four criteria: substrate being cleaned, contamination being removed, cleaning agent, and cleaning equipment.

Shea Keynote Looks Ahead

NASHUA, N.H. — Attentive to the electronics industry's burgeoning environmental responsibility, and the challenges associated with multiple, global legislative initiatives, Dan Shea, chief technology officer (CTO), Celestica, will offer knowledge and insight in his keynote address "Cradle to Rebirth — The Electronics Industry Goes Green," on October 17, 2006, at Implementing Lead-free: A Hands-on Workshop.

New Products

Shape Memory Tooling

PCBs Constrained? Try Flexing Your Circuits

Consumers demand smaller and faster products that deliver more bang for the buck while still expecting reliability and long battery life.

Speaking of this Week -- March 7, 2003

They say March comes in like a lion, and we've got the news to prove it this week. The bellwether IPC book-to-bill ratio hit the streets, showing strong (but mixed) signs of life, and progress news abounded. We've also got personnel announcements, news of alliances, tradeshow news and a prediction.

Speaking of this Week - March 29, 2002

In the words of an old song, you've got to keep on pushin', and that's what companies in the electronics assembly industry are doing, with plenty of news of new developments, certifications and initiatives hitting the wires. Meanwhile, the IPC Book-to-Bill for February appeared this week, backing up IPC's prediction -- and that of others -- of flat growth for 2002.

Ask and Answer - January 23, 2002

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

Publisher's Executive Council Interview

This month's Publisher's Executive Council Interview features one of the industry's leading innovators: TT electronics' Steve Wade.

Placement/reflow/rework System

The Cyclone 2000 placement/reflow/ rework system is said to be designed for precision placement and reflow soldering of CSPs, microBGAs and various other newly developed SMDs. It also performs as a component removal/PCB rework station. The combination of non-tactile laser height measurement, programmable AC servo-driven Z-axis with Z-force control, split vision with motorized zoom lenses, real-time temperature feedback, and advanced software and touch screen control reportedly ensure repeatabili

Low-volume Batch Assembly Line

The low-volume batch line demonstrates the processing of flip chips, CSPs and PBGAs in a low-volume production line using low-volume production and prototyping equipment.

Lead-free HDI Assembly Line

The evaluation and use of lead-free process materials has gained a lot of interest throughout the industry because of legislation that would ban lead use in the electronics industry. The lead-free HDI assembly line demonstrates the attachment of SMDs, BGAs, QFPs, and CSPs using a lead-free solder, lead-free component metallizations and a lead-free PCB pad finish for the top- and bottomside attachment processes.

High Expectations Force Action

In this issue, our roundtable participants grapple with issues pertaining to the growing needs of their OEM customers.

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.

Solder Charge — An Alternative to BGA

By Herbert Endres, Molex - Traditional techniques of applying solder have become impractical for today's high-density mezzanine connector market. To stay relevant, connector manufacturers have designed new methods for attaching surface mounted connectors. A new solder charge method has proven to provide good fatigue strength and lower applied costs compared to traditional SMT mounting methods.

Conductive Inks Rework the Board

By Meredith Courtemanche, assistant editor - - Electrically-conductive inks challenge traditional etched or plated copper traces in circuit boards. Fast-drying and highly stable at room temperature, inks enable high-speed assembly with reduced product waste. Additional concerns, such as hazardous waste management and restrictions, as well as thermal management and cure time, determine the viability of conductive inks vs. copper traces on boards.

Lead-free Solder and the Rework Process

In three months, the electronics industry will shift from a proven, highly reliable, lead-containing solder alloy to a variety of lead-free alloys - creating extra work and raising concerns regarding long-term reliability.

Copyright © 2019 I-Connect007. All rights reserved.