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Cogiscan Demos Smart Feeder Cart System

The RFID Smart Feeder Cart expands the concept of intelligent feeders from SMT placement machines and feeder banks to storage carts.

Benchtop AOI Offers Low-cost Solution

The B2 Benchtop automated inspection system (AOI) for post-reflow PCBs from YESTech offers faster throughput and improved board handling. While visiting the company's San Clemente, Calif., facility, Don Miller, YESTech president, explained how the company's adaptive and flexible approach to inspection has disrupted the North American market.

IPC Roadmap Notes Changes, Challenges

The industry is changing, and the IPC’s 2004-2005 International Technology Roadmap for Electronic Connections also has changed.

News

Compiled by SMT Staff

Speed Enhancements for Screen Printing

Upgrading capital equipment to accelerate assembly processes is a cost-down technique, particularly in the EMS sector.

Pastes, Stencils, and Process Control

Concern for process defects is one reason for the growth in SMT. Paste and the printing process account for most process defects.

Managing Engineering Information: The PLM Landscape

Product lifecycle management is a broad concept that encompasses the management of product-related information from inception through end-of-life.

Tin/lead vs. Lead-free: A Question of Print Accuracy

The entire supply industry is feeling the impact of WEEE and RoHS regulations. While much progress has been made in preparation for this transition, one question lingers: Does the lead-free solder paste printing process need to be more accurate than the tin/lead process? This article aims to answer that question.

Lead-free Rework: Are You Ready?

Adoption of lead-free will have a major effect on rework and repair. Operators will encounter new component and board finishes with soldering characteristics unlike those of typical tin/lead finishes.

Lead-free: VOC-free Flux Deposition Reduces Defects

As the global push toward lead-free manufacturing gains momentum, much attention has been focused on its effect on assembly processes.


EMS Providers: The Design Partners

A trend among OEM providers is the desire for more help in the design area; and they’re looking for this on a number of different fronts.

APEX Product Showcase

Following are just some of the many innovative products to be showcased this month at IPC Printed Circuits Expo, APEX, and the Designers Summit in Anaheim, Calif.

STEP 2: Process Control

Cost and quality optimization in surface mount device (SMD) production requires a holistic manufacturing approach.

Non-contact Surface Profiling Improves Board Quality

Confocal 3-D profiling systems can be used at any step in the fabrication or assembly process to inspect and analyze visible features on outer layers of PCBs. Unlike inline machines dedicated to post-solder and post-component placement inspection, these systems feature versatile 3-D measurement, visualization, and analysis tools used for off-line quality control and defect diagnosis. - By Ciaran Murphy, Taylor Hobson Ltd.

Register Now for the Lead-free Success Stories Webcast

NASHUA, N.H. — SMT, in collaboration with Advanced Packaging and Connector Specifier Magazines, will host a "Lead-free Success Stories" Webcast on February 15, 2006, at 1:00 p.m. EST.

News

Compiled by SMT Staff

CEMA Offers Industry Trainings, Lead-free Resources

The Center for Electronics Manufacturing and Assembly (CEMA) at the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) is an academic research lab offering the Electronics Packaging industry research services, failure analysis, process training and development, consulting, and laboratory rental.

Expanding Role of Machine Capability Analysis

When considering the purchase of an expensive piece of manufacturing equipment, it is important to know that the equipment will perform to spec.

Flip-chip Assembly Using Ultra-fine-pitch Solder Pastes

In electronics manufacturing, keeping pace with technology is not enough to ensure long-term viability.

View of Chip Placement Head Technologies

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


To Void or Not to Void?

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

Lead-free: AOI in High-volume Production Assemblies

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

STEP 1: Board Design

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

APEX Product Preview

ASSEMBLY TOOLS & EQUIPMENTProcess Control Tool

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.

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.

Integrating New Business with an EMS Provider

Starting a new customer with an EMS provider has always been challenging for both parties.

Lead-free: Screen Printing - Where to from Here?

The deadline for lead-free electronic assembly is less than 12 months away. Time is running out to get “production-wise.

2005 Product Review

ASSEMBLY TOOLS & EQUIPMENTProcess Development Tool

Siemens Establishes Singapore Hub for Asia Manufacturing

In September 2005, I had a chance to observe Siemens Electronics Assembly Systems’ first high-speed Siplace placement machine, which was produced at the company’s SMT manufacturing plant in Singapore.


News

Compiled by SMT Staff

Newsmakers

Gary Shi was promoted to technical manager of research and development of Liquid Epoxy products at the electronics group of Henkel, reporting directly to Henkel’s global director of research, Development and Engineering for Semiconductor Materials, Larry Crane.

New Products

Thermal Profiler

Trends in the Stencil Printing Process

What trends will drive solder paste printing process technology over the next several years? This article examines two major trends to influence and drive the stencil printing process - lead-free and component miniaturization.

Thermal Materials Improve Automotive Laminate Reliability

You only have to look as far as the local dealership showroom to know that sleek, small and fast are the trends in the automotive industry.

Lead-free Stencil and Misprint Cleaning

The emergence of lead-free products in the North American market and more innovative cleaning technologies have contributed to the growing attention toward stencil and misprinted circuit board cleaning.

Process Control Methods for Conformal Coating

Conformal coating applications present a range of challenges to contract manufacturers and OEMs.

Attaining Lead-free Solder Joint Reliability

With the lead-free deadline approaching, EMS providers must offer OEMs transitional know-how to resolve several impending lead-free concerns, such as lead-free solder joint reliability.

Lead-free: PCB Test and Inspection

Much has been written regarding the Effects of lead-free solder on the assembly process.

STEP 10: Rework and Repair

The higher temperatures required for lead-free manufacturing pose challenges for electronic assemblies.


Conferences Abound — But One Stands Out

By Gene Weiner - Fall and spring used to be known as the meeting and show seasons. Now with the addition of many new shows around the globe, Webinars and the "flattened world," we have an overload of oft-repeated data and technology. Much is old news, yet there are a few gems still out there.

End-of-Life Leaching of Lead and Other Elements

There is much concern about what will happen when consumer electronics being stored in basements, garages, and attics reach municipal landfills.

STEP 9: Test and Inspection

Shipping high-quality products that are free of defects is a challenge that will not disappear.

Pb-free Design and Process Optimization for PIH

This article examines results of the board design and process optimization for paste-in-hole (PIH) using lead-free solder.

Predicting Brittle Fracture Failures

With expanded use of printed circuit board assemblies (PCBAs) containing lead-free BGA components, the challenge remains: how to predict and detect brittle fracture failures.

WEEE Registration Logistics

WEEE should have been adopted in the EU by August 2005; however, the UK, France, Italy, Poland, Estonia, Finland, Greece, and Malta have yet to enforce the legislation.

TechTips Toolbox

When we consider the transition to lead-free soldering, with all of its metallurgical complexities, it’s easy to understand how people might forget the basics.

News

Compiled by SMT Staff

iNEMI Heads Hi-Rel RoHS Task Force

The International Electronics Manufacturing Initiative (iNEMI) created the High-Reliability (Hi-Rel) RoHS Task Force and announced publication of recommendations to protect the dependability of high-reliability products as the supply chain moves to lead-free components.

Productronica Products

The following is a variety of products offered from just a few of the exhibiting companies slated to be at Productronica 2005, November 15-18, in Munich, Germany.


Solutions for Advanced Rework Challenges

The electronic world is getting smaller, more crowded and vertically integrated.

Protecting Board Integrity in Harsh Environments

Conducting failure test analysis and quality control evaluations of circuits that have been protected with conformal coatings can be difficult.

RoHS: Y2K for OEMs?

Determining RoHS-compliance preparedness and redesigning products to satisfy the Directive is the main discussion topic between EMS providers and OEMs.

Lead-free: Making the Adjustments

The EU’s RoHS Directive, as well as similar global legislation, is fostering change in the fabrication and assembly of PCBs.

Speaking of Contract Manufacturing: Virtual Resources Play a Role in EMS

Internal EMS resources have been stretched in the U.S. domestic market. Competitive pricing pressures and low profit margins in our industry have placed a strain on people by reducing the depth of in-house resources EMS companies can afford to retain on a permanent basis. We are finding ways to leverage the capabilities of related companies in this industry as we offer the customer a single point of contact in providing manufacturing services.

Inspex, Inc. Offers X-ray Inspection Services

(September 6, 2005) ORANGE, Calif. — Inspex, Inc. introduced quick-turn X-ray inspection services for PCB and semiconductor electronics packaging and assembly, including BGA, QFP and PLCC components on all types of assemblies, semiconductor components, active and passive devices, multiplayer PCBs, PCB fabrication and molded and encapsulated components.

IMS Names Rep in Canada

(September 2, 2005) PORTSMOUTH, R.I. — International Manufacturing Services (IMS) appointed Zully Alidina and Markham, Ontario-based RF Spectrum as its representative in Canada. RF Spectrum is an established representative in the Canadian wireless market.

Dispensing Adhesives and Epoxies: Trends and Developments

Surface mount adhesives (SMAs) have been around long enough that they are expected to perform consistently and reliably as part of the background process of electronics assembly.

AOI and AXI: One Powerful Combination

In the past, AOI has been pitted against AXI when a company implements automated inspection throughout its SMT line.

Aqueous Cleaning Today and Tomorrow

Much like the electronics industry as a whole, the PCB cleaning market continues to change.


Beyond AOI - SMT Quality Control

The automatic inspection machine in SMT came about in the early 1990s. Now there is a range of processes that AOI can accomplish in this field.

STEP 8 : Cleaning

What does low cost of ownership mean? Too many define it as outsourcing production to China.

News

SMTA International 2005 Packed with Opportunities

SMT China International Call for Papers

PennWell and China Electronics Appliance Corporation (CEAC) will sponsor the 2005 SMT China International Conference on “Emerging Technologies and Lead-free Challenges,” November 21-22, 2005.

2005 SMTA International Products

Following is a variety of products offered from just a few of the exhibiting companies slated to be at SMTA International/ATExpo.

Lead-free Wave Solder Alloy Selection: Reliability Is Key

The Eu’s RoHS Directive is driving major changes in the manufacture of electrical and electronics equipment.

SMT, SMT China Announce Call for Papers for Upcoming Conference

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

The Inside LIne

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

News

Fabrinet Named 2004’s Best Manufacturer

New Products

Photo-sensitive Epoxy Material


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.

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.

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.

Minimizing Tin Whiskers

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

BGA Socket Considerations: Prototype to Reality

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

STEP 7: Soldering

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

Understanding EMS Pricing Strategies

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

Productronica '05 Granted Trade Fair Certification

(July 6, 2005) CHICAGO — The U.S. Department of Commerce has granted Productronica 2005 Trade Fair Certification. The show is slated to take place November 15-18, 2005, in Munich, Germany.

16-bit Imaging Chain Captures Hi-res Images

(July 6, 2005) GARBSEN, Germany — The HDX-ray 16-bit Imaging Chain from FEINFOCUS is said to capture high-resolution images with qualities similar to film, in real time. HDX-ray provides digital images for inspecting applications requiring high magnifications, such as MEMS/MOEMS, semiconductor packages, high-density interconnects, hybrids and encapsulants.

Process Considerations for Optimizing a Reflow Profile

Implementing a lead-free reflow process with alloys that have higher melting points is challenging.


Strain Gage Testing: Standardization

As the electronics industry shifts toward finer-pitch BGA components, thinner PCBs and lead-free interconnects, the robustness of second-level interconnects (SLIs) may be affected adversely.

Parallel Processing: Build It Right the First Time

As the electronics industry moves to smaller and more complex components, and the transition to lead-free materials is evident, the requirement to build it right the first time will be even more crucial to help achieve company financial goals.

The Fundamental Reality of an AOI Seal

The trend toward smaller components in consumer and medical devices is creating a concern for accuracy and reliability.

Lead-free: Controlling Tombstoning Behavior

Tombstoning has plagued the surface mount assembly industry for decades. While the problem seemed under control, it has begun creeping in again due to the miniaturization of discretes such as 0402s and 0201s.

Industry Ethics - Live by Example

Imagine that you are walking down a sidewalk and see a quarter on the ground. Do you pick it up and keep it?

News

Compiled by SMT Staff

New Products

COMPONENTSRF Connectors

Lean Manufacturing with Six Sigma Implementation

To remain competitive in the electronics manufacturing arena, it is essential to implement a lean manufacturing mindset - reacting and conducting business from the top down.

PRODUCT SPOTLIGHT: Automated High-volume Rework

The Fineplacer Micro HVR system is designed to address the high-volume rework market, where hundreds of boards must be repaired due to high value, component scarcity or in situations where manual rework is illogical. This tool allows hands-free, automated sequencing of repair steps: component de-solder and discard, residual solder removal and component re-solder.

Eliminate Lead-free Wave Soldering

The advent of lead-free soldering presents many manufacturers with the need to wave solder using lead-free alloys.


AlSiC Microprocessor Lids Handle the Heat

Microprocessor clock speeds operate at 2 GHz with power levels up to 130 W. This calls for materials, heatsinks and lids that can dissipate heat and reduce thermally induced stresses.

IP Addressable Device Programming

Recent changes in computing technology have provided much-needed capability for multi-site/multi-national companies to pursue the strategies of developing a global presence.

Lead-Free Cleaning: Moving from Eutectic to Lead-free

As of July 1, 2006, the WEEE Directive will eliminate the use of lead in solder paste.

STEP 6: Component Placement

Leaders in the design and manufacture of metal-dome switch contacts and complementary equipment for membrane switches and related mechanical-switch industries are seeing higher demand.

The Move to Lean: Inventory Management at the Foundation

Managing and maintaining accurate inventory levels is one of the most challenging, yet critical, aspects of an EMS/OEM relationship.

The Inside Line

SMTA 2006 Pan Pacific Call for Papers

News

Compiled by the SMT Staff

New Products

ASSEMBLY TOOLS & EQUIPMENTVertical Lift Module

The Inside Line

Jay Regan Named Publisher of SMT, AP and CS Magazines

SMT Salutes the Visionaries

During APEX on February 22, 2005, in the Pulse Room of the Anaheim, Hilton, SMT magazine announced the winners of the 2004 VISION Awards.


2004 SMT Vision Products

ADHESIVES/COATINGS/ENCAPSULANTSConductive Film Adhesive

On-site Capability Measurement

The use of fine-pitch components, accompanied by the transition to lead-free, will force PCB manufacturers to learn more about their pick-and-place machines’ capabilities.

Flip Chip Assembly on PCB

This article focuses on using different assembly options such as dip fluxing, flux jetting and reflow encapsulate for 200- to 250-µm pitch lead-free (SnAgCu) flip chips on FR-4 substrates.

Lead-free: Soldering at the End of the Line

The end of the line is where rework and repair technicians ply their trade. To prevent this hallowed area from becoming the “bitter end” during the lead-free transition, we should consider proactive tactics to prepare technicians to phase into the lead-free zone.

STEP 5: Adhesives/Epoxies and Dispensing

In recent years, three disciplines of fluid formulation: manual, semi-automatic and automatic benchtop dispensing systems, can be found in a range of applications that have converged in the electronics manufacturing industry.

Lean Manufacturing - A Case Study

Since its inception, Celestica has been building a commitment for lean manufacturing operations by raising the level of awareness surrounding its benefits.

IPC Capitol Hill Day - May 18

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.

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.

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.


Obtaining Fully Automated, High-volume Optoelectronics Assembly

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

Updating industry assembly standards often is a long process.

News

Celestica Helps Ease Strain of RoHS Compliance

New Products

ASSEMBLY TOOLS & EQUIPMENTMachine Mounts

News

Executive Briefings Focus on Interconnects

New Products

Two-pair Connector


Mass Imaging Advances for Next-generation Assemblies

High-accuracy mass imaging of electronics materials continues to advance in response to manufacturing challenges brought about by advanced packaging, next-generation SMT assembly and approaching lead-free deadlines.

Material Control for Lead-free Manufacturing

Managing the transition to lead-free electronics assembly requires a significant effort in many areas.

Boundary Scan Benefits Lead-free Assembly

OEMs and EMS providers are realizing the benefits of using boundary scan in the face of initiatives such as the move toward lead-free board assembly.

Lead-free: Component Compatibility Takes Center Stage

The role of a solder joint in the quality and reliability of electronics circuits has evolved.

Managing the Environmental Life Cycle of Electronics

Two years ago, I organized a panel discussion at APEX on “Electronics Recycling and End-of-Life Management.”

STEP 3: Solder Materials

While many solder material topics could be addressed, an overview of no-clean pastes deserves attention.

Contract Manufacturing: Efficient Line Changeover

Optimizing line-changeover efficiency is a necessity to implement lean manufacturing in high-mix, low-volume (HMLV) electronics assembly environments.

Dartmouth and SMT Unite for Six Sigma Program

When Sylvanus Thayer, often called “The Father of Technology in the U.S.” founded and endowed the Thayer School of Engineering at Dartmouth College in 1871, I doubt he imagined it would be held in such high esteem more than a century later.

SMT Congratulates Recipients of This Year's VISION Awards

NASHUA, N.H. — On the evening of February 22, 2005, SMT Magazine presented its 2004 VISION Awards at the Hilton Anaheim's Pulse Room. Held annually in conjunction with the APEX/IPC Printed Circuits Expo/Designers Summit show, in Anaheim, Calif., the awards were presented in 15 categories.

Dartmouth and SMT Unite in Six Sigma Effort

(February 8, 2005) NASHUA, N.H. — The Thayer School of Engineering was the first professional engineering institution in the U.S., when it opened its doors in 1871. Something new is afoot there in Hanover, N.H., that is another milestone in technical education. The Thayer School's Cook Engineering Design Center, working with SMT, has established what we believe is industry's most rigorous Six Sigma program. The Workshops are scheduled to start in June 2005.


Thermal Management for Hot Products

(February 8, 2005) Everyone wants to know what will be the next "hot" semiconductor product. On February 16, 2005, MEPTEC, the Microelectronics Packaging and Test Engineering Council, will hold The Heat Is On: Thermal Management Issues in Semiconductor Packaging, in San Jose, Calif., to discuss how to manage the heat generated by high-watt devices.

APEX Product Preview

The following are some of the many innovative new products that can be seen this month at the combined APEX/IPC Printed Circuits Expo conference and show in Anaheim, Calif.

Automating Odd-form Component Assembly

With continued use of thru-hole components in mixed-technology assemblies, the challenge remains how to automate the assembly of odd-form components effectively.

AXI Conquers Hidden Joint Defects

Lamniographic automated X-ray inspection (AXI) allows for solder-joint inspection, including those hidden under area array packages.

Reliability Effects of Unfilled Underfill Encapsulants

This article explores the effect of an underfill encapsulant that contains no filler on board-level reliability of area array packages.

Detachable Tape-and-Reel

Low-volume/high-mix manufacturers face an increase in tape-and-reel splitting. In LVHM, it is estimated that 20 to 30% of these reels need to be split into two or more reels.

How Surface Finish and Solder Paste Affect Lead-free Conversions

The Massachusetts Lead-free Consortium wanted to create a database of lead-free conversion knowledge through separate and limited scope projects.

Evolving Profile Requirements

Reflow soldering process developments for lead-free assembly will be more challenging and more time consuming than that for tin/lead.

Optimizing Lead-free Reflow Processes

Lead-free SMT assembly can be achieved reliably, however, several variables should be taken into consideration.

STEP 2: Process Control

This article discusses how lead-free material characteristics affect the process engineers responsible for implementing and optimizing the lead-free assembly process.


The Power of Partnership

How One CEM Met the Multi-vendor Challenge Head-on

The Inside Line

European SMT Conference Answers Tough Questions

Point/Counterpoint

Industry experts voice differing opinions on wave soldering vs. laser diode soldering

News

Grants Fund Chip Manufacturing Campus

Lead-Free WEEE and RoHS Issues to Consider

There are many unresolved issues associated with the WEEE and RoHs Directives. Companies throughout the EEE supply chain must understand their obligations under these Directives and develop a strategic action plan for compliance to ensure long-term market competitiveness and business success in the EU and the global economy.

Halide- and VOC-free Wave Solder Flux Introduced

(December 29, 2004) CLINTON, N.Y. — 1072 wave solder flux from Indium Corporation of America is a rosin flux that contains a unique formulation, making it both halide- and VOC-free. This new advancement in chemistry combines the benefits of rosin with the environmental friendliness of a water-based product.

Power-shielded Inductors Offer Small Footprint Package

(December 29, 2004) SAN DIEGO, Calif. — Pulse has introduced a series of power-shielded surface-mount inductors with a small, 6.2 x 6.2 x 2-mm maximum footprint package for DC/DC applications in consumer electronics products such as MP3 players, digital cameras, gaming consoles and in local, low-power DC/DC conversion applications. All parts are RoHS-compliant.

Speedline to Present Papers, Programs and Seminars at APEX 2005

(December 29, 2004) FRANKLIN, Mass. — Speedline Technologies will present several important technical papers and training programs, as well as host a series of informative seminars at APEX 2005, to be held February 22-24, 2005, in Anaheim, Calif.

DEK 2004 Stencil Shipments Approach 75,000

(December 29, 2004) FLEMINGTON, N.J. — DEK has reached a record number of stencil shipments for 2004, supplying nearly 75,000 stencil products to customers around the world with manufacturing sites throughout Europe, North America and Asia.

NPL Seeks Lead-free Reliability Project Partners

(December 28, 2004) MIDDLESEX, U.K.— The National Physical Laboratory (NPL) will begin a project to investigate the reliability of existing substrates manufactured using a lead-free process.


Caster and Leveler Combo Available

(December 26, 2004) NATICK, Mass. — An all-in-one leveler and caster solution from Sunnex, Inc. offers the flexibility of a caster and the leveling capability of a mount.

Right-angle Miniature Pushbutton

(December 22, 2004) HARWOOD HEIGHTS, Ill.— A low-cost right-angle miniature pushbutton switch for PCB mount is available from ITW Switches.

Image Sensor Sockets Protect in Board Assembly

(December 22, 2004) WEST WARWICK, R.I. — A line of image sensor sockets designed to cut costs by protecting against damage during board assembly and processing is available from Advanced Interconnections.

Deal Delivers Manufacturing Execution and Management Solutions

(December 22, 2004) CHELMSFORD, Mass.— Brooks Software and AssurX announced a joint development agreement to deliver an integrated manufacturing execution and quality management solution targeting discrete manufacturers.

Aerosol Maintenance Cleaners Available

(December 20, 2004) NASHVILLE, Tenn. — A low VOC water-based aerosol maintenance cleaner that removes dirt, oil, grease, wax, flux, paste and other particles from copper, aluminum, iron, brass stainless, ceramic, cement, glass, plastic, rubber and cloth surfaces is available from Kyzen.

Inspection Companies Form Alliance

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

MPM Stencil Printer Verified

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

News

China Sets Prices, Manufacturing Trends

The Inside Line

PB-free: How Close Are You?

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.


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.

Improving Solder-Paste Processes Through Experimentation

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

2004 Product Review

ASSEMBLY TOOLS/EQUIPMENT

Making the Move to Lead-free Requires Teamwork

(November 23, 2004) The reality of the reduction of hazardous substances (RoHS) regulations has many manufacturers in the United States seeking alternative materials for their products. Manufacturers who compete in the global marketplace must be prepared to with the regulations. Regardless of the debates over the science justifying the regulations, manufacturers need to explore alternative products and processes to enable compliance. by Brian Bauer

The Inside Line

Source Electronics Standardizes Global Facilities

News

Compiled By SMT Staff

New Products

Hand Cleaning System

Mass Imaging Performance with Lead-free Solder

Manufacturers face the rapid approach of the European Waste in Electrical Equipment (WEEE) Directive.

Solid Shape Modeling — Working Toward 3-D AOI

With ever-increasing complexity and component density on circuit boards, automated inspection of printed circuit boards (PCB) during manufacturing becomes a critical step necessary for high quality and yield.

Trends in the SMT Software Market

Increasing customers' preference toward integrating SMT software with the manufacturing execution systems (MES), enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems and other factory automation systems is likely to be observed in the forecast period.


The Invisible Enemy

Fumes and vapors released during hand soldering with lead-free solder may pose a greater risk to employees than ever before. Installing an effective fume filtration system is the way to lessen the risks.

Step 10: Rework and Repair

Given the higher temperature requirements for lead-free soldering and the more delicate nature of array package components, rework stations must now feature excellent profiling and tolerance, as well as offer easy calibration if optimum results are to be achieved and thermal damage avoided.

Contract Managing: Helping EMS Providers Stay Competitive

For EMS providers, global diversity of the end consumer drives the need for flexibility, speed, agility, visibility and regulatory compliance.

Round Up: Test and Inspection

This article is based on responses received to a questionnaire sent to test and inspection equipment suppliers.

The Relationship between Reflow Soldering Processes and Power Consumption

Differences in the melting point of lead-free alloys compared to that of eutectic tin-lead typically result in soldering processes characterized by changes in the operating temperature of the forced convection oven's heating zones.

IPC PDX Standards, RosettaNet PIPs Support Flexible Supply Chain Relationships

In today's distributed manufacturing environment, efficient exchange of product data — from design through manufacturing, and even end of life disposition — is increasingly important to a cost-effective supply chain.

Improving Quality and Productivity: Insights Into Two Companies

Exact traceability is emerging as a mainstream demand for quality in volume manufacturing, and is expected to be a key element in manufacturing execution systems (MES) investment in the future. With increasing pressure from electronics companies further up in the supply chain, manufacturers will risk losing business if they do not comply.

Lead-free and Lead Contamination

Concerns exist about lead contamination in lead-free soldering. Although more components are available in a lead-free finish, some are not yet available or not easily obtained.

Step 9: Test & Inspection

As BGA usage increases on printed circuit board (PCB) assemblies, more contract manufacturers are implementing X-ray inspection into their test methodology. This inspection method can non-destructively check not only the quality of the optically hidden BGA solder joints, but also can be used to confirm overall production process quality, such as the level of voiding within solder joints.

Mexico vs. China: What Does the Future Hold?

This article will analyze electronics manufacturing trends in China and Mexico for North American-based electronics companies.


The Inside Line

December SMT Cover Wins Award

News

Frost & Sullivan Report Evaluates Prospects of Lead-free Electronics Assemblies

Newsmakers

Companies

New Products

ASSEMBLY TOOLS & EQUIPMENT

ATS Receives $11.4 Million in Repeat Automation Systems Orders

(September 28, 2004) Cambridge, Ontario — ATS Automation Tooling Systems Inc. announced it has received an additional follow-on automation systems order valued at US $11.4 million (CDN $14.8 million) from a leading manufacturer of self-use medical diagnostic products.

Speaking of this Week — September 24, 2004

News this week is split pretty evenly between progress and personnel news. There are also announcements regarding upcoming shows and financial news.

Speaking of this Week — September 24, 2004

News this week is split pretty evenly between progress and personnel news. There are also announcements regarding upcoming shows and financial news.

Speaking of this Week — September 17, 2004

Progress dominates the news this week, with news of upcoming trade shows (including more about SMTA International/ATE) following close behind. There's also more teamwork, a bit of financial news and a personnel announcement.

Speaking of this Week — September 17, 2004

Progress dominates the news this week, with news of upcoming trade shows (including more about SMTA International/ATE) following close behind. There's also more teamwork, a bit of financial news and a personnel announcement.

Speaking of this Week — September 10, 2004

In this short week, the amount of news exploded. With Assembly Technology Expo (ATE) coming up at the end of the month in Rosemont, Ill., it seemed everyone wanted to tell us that they'd be there and what they would be exhibiting. There's also news of other trade shows, progress, alliances, personnel and financial news, and some good overall news for August.


Speaking of this Week — September 10, 2004

In this short week, the amount of news exploded. With Assembly Technology Expo (ATE) coming up at the end of the month in Rosemont, Ill., it seemed everyone wanted to tell us that they'd be there and what they would be exhibiting. There's also news of other trade shows, progress, alliances, personnel and financial news, and some good overall news for August.

Speaking of this Week — September 3, 2004

There's a lot going on this week before Labor Day. IPC released its new book-to-bill ratio, and there's tons of positive progress news. Trade show news past and present, as well as personnel and financial news, was on the radar as well. Finally, there's a look at the oft-neglected ESD market.

Speaking of this Week — September 3, 2004

There's a lot going on this week before Labor Day. IPC released its new book-to-bill ratio, and there's tons of positive progress news. Trade show news past and present, as well as personnel and financial news, was on the radar as well. Finally, there's a look at the oft-neglected ESD market.

SMTA International 2004 Show Preview

Co-located with Assembly Technology Expo (ATExpo), SMTA International is organized by the Surface Mount Technology Association (SMTA), and features more than 120 technical papers, 32 tutorials and workshops, an Emerging Technologies Summit, and special symposiums on contract manufacturing and lead-free soldering technology.

SMTA International 2004 Products

Following is a variety of products offered from just a few of the exhibiting companies slated to be at SMTA International/ATExpo. Be sure to visit each exhibiting company for more complete product offerings.

Auto Teaching for Component Programming

As component technology and surface mount equipment have advanced, the challenge remains: how to handle the latest and most complex components quickly and effectively

Minimizing Effects of Lead-free SMT Assembly on Connector Housing Resins

Many connector suppliers are eliminating, or have already eliminated, lead from their contact plating process. The next phase will be lead-free solder compliance for board assembly.

RMS Enable Modular Manufacture

Reconfigurable manufacturing solutions (RMS) are more than a concept or collection of modules and machines; however, because the reconfigurable manufacturing solution for any assembly or manufacturing challenge will be unique, the concept can be difficult to convey and understand.

Diode Laser Soldering Technology: The Next Generation in Non-Contact Soldering

With development of newer reduced cost, high-power diode lasers, selective soldering with laser now is gaining wider acceptance for production of miniaturized interconnects.

Lead-Free Reflow Process Control

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


Step 8: Cleaning

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

Impact of Lead-free on the SMT Soldering Equipment Market

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

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 — 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 — August 20, 2004

With the fall trade show season drawing closer, it's no surprise that news of upcoming shows and events (many of them having to do with lead-free) dominated the news this week. There's also some progress news, alliances and sales, personnel and financial news, and some looks at the future of two different segments of the industry.

Speaking of this Week — August 20, 2004

With the fall trade show season drawing closer, it's no surprise that news of upcoming shows and events (many of them having to do with lead-free) dominated the news this week. There's also some progress news, alliances and sales, personnel and financial news, and some looks at the future of two different segments of the industry.

Speaking of this Week — August 13, 2004

Progress news, especially having to do with the industry hot topic right now, lead-free, was in wide abundance this week. We've also got news on trade shows to come as we look toward the busy fall show season. And just for good measure, quarterly financial news, partnerships, legislative news and a look at the components market are thrown in as well.

Speaking of this Week — August 13, 2004

Progress news, especially having to do with the industry hot topic right now, lead-free, was in wide abundance this week. We've also got news on trade shows to come as we look toward the busy fall show season. And just for good measure, quarterly financial news, partnerships, legislative news and a look at the components market are thrown in as well.

Download your 2004 SMT VISION Awards Call for Entry Form Today!

The 2004 SMT VISION Awards recognize the people and products within the surface mount industry that serve as benchmarks of excellence. Download your official Call for Entry Form here. The deadline is November 3, 2004. The awards, presented in 15 critical areas, will be awarded at the co-located IPC Printed Circuits Expo/APEX show in Anaheim, Calif., February 22, 2005.

Speaking of this Week — August 6, 2004

Partnership, merger and acquisition news came to the forefront again this week. Lots of progress news in a variety of categories, financial news of all stripes, as well as trade show and personnel news appeared as well.


Speaking of this Week — August 6, 2004

Partnership, merger and acquisition news came to the forefront again this week. Lots of progress news in a variety of categories, financial news of all stripes, as well as trade show and personnel news appeared as well.

The Inside Line

Tyco and Remploy Provide Jobs for the Disabled

News

Compiled By SMT Staff

New Products

ASSEMBLY TOOLS & EQUIPMENT

Through-hole Assembly Options for Mixed-Technology Boards

This article describes three methods currently used for through-hole connector attachment on double-sided SMT PCBs: selective wave solder, pin-in-paste (PIP) reflow and solder preforms. A case study illustrates how the last method is an alternative when PIP provides insufficient solder

Aspects of Microdispensing

Microdispensing has become the primary focus of liquid dispensing research and development (R&D) over the last few years, with the prime motivator the pursuit of small deposits.

Video Microscopes Meet Inspection Requirements

Acquiring information from video images is a common phenomenon. It is a natural progression to extend video imaging to magnification of small objects, such as electronic components on a printed circuit board (PCB) with video microscopes that display images on monitors or flat panel displays.

What Can Go Wrong with Lead-free Soldering

With worldwide lead-free legislation such as the Restriction of Certain Hazardous Substances (RoHS) Directive on the horizon, much research has been conducted to identify the best alternative to tin-lead (SnPb) solder.

Step 7: Soldering

With lead-free compliance becoming a reality in the electronics manufacturing industry, lead-free solder processing has been a major topic of discussion, and is the cause of some apprehension in the industry.

Electronic Component Market Trends

Growth in the world electronic components and packaging market depends on the growth of end-user industries, such as computers, telecommunications, consumer electronics and automotive markets.


Speaking of this Week — July 30, 2004

What a week! IPC released its new book-to-bill format for June's numbers, which splits rigid and flexible PCBs into two segments. High-profile progress news came to light, as did personnel news, financial results, partnerships and acquisitions, a trade show tidbit, and a look at the worldwide handheld device market.

Speaking of this Week — July 30, 2004

What a week! IPC released its new book-to-bill format for June's numbers, which splits rigid and flexible PCBs into two segments. High-profile progress news came to light, as did personnel news, financial results, partnerships and acquisitions, a trade show tidbit, and a look at the worldwide handheld device market.

Speaking of this Week — July 23, 2004

This week, progress news, especially that of awards given and received, dominates the news. There's also lots of (good) financial news, huge personnel announcements, important agreements and partnerships between companies, tradeshow news, and looks at the industry.

Speaking of this Week — July 23, 2004

This week, progress news, especially that of awards given and received, dominates the news. There's also lots of (good) financial news, huge personnel announcements, important agreements and partnerships between companies, tradeshow news, and looks at the industry.

Speaking of this Week — July 16, 2004

This week was a bit slow, with everyone off at the two halves of SEMICON West in California. But there's still plenty of progress and personnel news, as well as financial results and expectations, partnerships, and trade show news.

Speaking of this Week — July 16, 2004

This week was a bit slow, with everyone off at the two halves of SEMICON West in California. But there's still plenty of progress and personnel news, as well as financial results and expectations, partnerships, and trade show news.

Speaking of this Week — July 9, 2004

In this short week, the news is all over the place. Progress dominates, with awards being handed out willy-nilly and orders on the rise. Coming industry events stretch into the fall, while personnel and partnership news is on the radar screen as well. Finally, one tooling system company reported markedly improved results for the second quarter.

Speaking of this Week — July 9, 2004

In this short week, the news is all over the place. Progress dominates, with awards being handed out willy-nilly and orders on the rise. Coming industry events stretch into the fall, while personnel and partnership news is on the radar screen as well. Finally, one tooling system company reported markedly improved results for the second quarter.

Speaking of this Week — July 2, 2004

Even though this was a relatively quiet week, what with everyone's mind on the red, white and blue, some pretty big news came our way. IPC announced its book-to-bill ratio for May, showing a leveling off in growth. There's also lots of big-name progress news, alliances and acquisitions, personnel moving and shaking, and financial announcements. The MEMS marketplace also got a good, hard look.

Speaking of this Week — July 2, 2004

Even though this was a relatively quiet week, what with everyone's mind on the red, white and blue, some pretty big news came our way. IPC announced its book-to-bill ratio for May, showing a leveling off in growth. There's also lots of big-name progress news, alliances and acquisitions, personnel moving and shaking, and financial announcements. The MEMS marketplace also got a good, hard look.


Intelligent Fastening for Automotive Electronics

Automotive OEMs and suppliers share a drive to enhance assembly efficiency and productivity, reduce time-to-market, produce higher-quality products at competitive prices, and meet regulatory standards for mileage, safety and the environment.

Streamlining SMT Production Through an Open Interface

To streamline production, modern manufacturing must move toward total integration of every key process in the enterprise.

X-ray Inspection of Lead-free Solder Joints

As lead-free solder increasingly becomes a reality, inspecting lead-free solder joints must be investigated.

Process Benefits of Underfill Encapsulants for CSPs and BGAs

Underfill encapsulants were originally developed to encapsulate flip chip ICs. A silicon flip chip has a much lower coefficient of thermal expansion (CTE) than the substrate it is assembled on.

Lead-Free Series: Considerations for Printing Lead-free Solder Pastes

SMT printing will require reexamination and process adjustment when lead-free soldering is implemented. If a high quality solder paste is used and standard rules for SMT printing are followed, consistent stencil life, aperture release, print definition, high-speed print capabilities and print repeatability may be expected.

Growth Potential in the SMT Screen Printer Market

During fourth quarter 2003, SMT equipment vendors began to see positive signs of growth after a few tough years in the market. The question still remains: What type of growth is expected to take place over the next five years in the SMT industry? This article takes a snapshot of the screen printer market.

The Inside Line

Indium President Reflects on 23 Years in Solder

News

Asia Key to Assembléon Business Strategy

New Products

Reworkable Underfill Encapsulant

Speaking of this Week — June 25, 2004

More big trade show news this week — this time focusing largely on Assembly Technology Expo and SMTA International in the fall. Progress news of various kinds came to the surface this week as well, as did personnel announcements and partnerships. Finally, an EMS giant released encouraging financial news.


Speaking of this Week — June 25, 2004

More big trade show news this week — this time focusing largely on Assembly Technology Expo and SMTA International in the fall. Progress news of various kinds came to the surface this week as well, as did personnel announcements and partnerships. Finally, an EMS giant released encouraging financial news.

Speaking of this Week — June 18, 2004

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

Speaking of this Week — June 18, 2004

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

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.

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.

Speaking of this Week — June 4, 2004

In this short week, there's plenty of news, and it's overwhelmingly positive. The Book-to-Bill Ratio for April stayed over 1.00, there's plenty of partnership news, progress keeps on a-comin', and the industry continues to look ahead to some blockbuster trade events. There's even news of some promotions and hires.

Speaking of this Week — June 4, 2004

In this short week, there's plenty of news, and it's overwhelmingly positive. The Book-to-Bill Ratio for April stayed over 1.00, there's plenty of partnership news, progress keeps on a-comin', and the industry continues to look ahead to some blockbuster trade events. There's even news of some promotions and hires.

The Inside Line

Intel Inside Out

News

NEMI, IEEE CPMT Society Form Strategic Partnership

Newsmakers

People


New Products

Traceability Software Module

Comparing Digital and Analog X-ray Inspection for Component Analysis

Increasing use of BGAs and chip scale packages (CSP) within products, which provide increased functionality at the same or smaller size, has reinvigorated the need for X-ray inspection.

Strain Gage Testing: Predicting and Preventing Brittle Fracture of BGAs

Brittle fracture of components on printed circuit boards (PCB) during assembly, test or shipping operations has been a problem in the industry for some time.

Protection of Intellectual Property in China

This first article in the SMTa Toolbox series discusses legal issues surrounding doing business in China.

Lead Free Series: Changing the Factory to Lead-free

With all preparation work accomplished, it becomes time to implement lead-free in the factory. This article is intended to point out the most important practices and issues critical to the success of lead-free implementation.

Step 6: Component Placement

Cost savings is the primary reason for the growing interest in through-hole reflow (THR) technology.

Collaboration with Offshore Companies

To cope with an economic downturn, small printed circuit board (PCB) suppliers and contract manufacturers should analyze what is happening in the marketplace, giving OEMs what they require.

Speaking of this Week — May 28, 2004

With the long holiday weekend (and the beginning of summer!) staring us in the face, progress dominates this week's electronics assembly news. There's also high-profile people news, as well as partnerships and acquisitions; trade show, financial and legislative news; and a look at the metals industry.

Speaking of this Week — May 28, 2004

With the long holiday weekend (and the beginning of summer!) staring us in the face, progress dominates this week's electronics assembly news. There's also high-profile people news, as well as partnerships and acquisitions; trade show, financial and legislative news; and a look at the metals industry. Let's get going:

Speaking of this Week — May 21, 2004

Trade show news continues to dominate this week, what with so many exciting shows coming up — and good news about past shows rolling in. We've also got the three Ps of progress, partnerships and personnel, plus a financial announcement and look at the components side of the industry as well.


Speaking of this Week — May 21, 2004

Trade show news continues to dominate this week, what with so many exciting shows coming up — and good news about past shows rolling in. We've also got the three Ps of progress, partnerships and personnel, plus a financial announcement and look at the components side of the industry as well.

Speaking of this Week — May 14, 2004

More progress news this week, as well as an increase in personnel news, lots of news on upcoming events ('tis the season), partnerships and financial news.

Speaking of this Week — May 14, 2004

More progress news this week, as well as an increase in personnel news, lots of news on upcoming events ('tis the season), partnerships and financial news.

Speaking of this Week — May 7, 2004

Sometimes, things are not as they seem, as evidenced by the March IPC Book-to-Bill Ratio. We've also got more personnel news than average, as well as progress, partnership and event news, some financial results, and some looks at various aspects of the industry.

Speaking of this Week — May 7, 2004

Sometimes, things are not as they seem, as evidenced by the March IPC Book-to-Bill Ratio. We've also got more personnel news than average, as well as progress, partnership and event news, some financial results, and some looks at various aspects of the industry.

The Best and Brightest

Each year, we at SMT recognize the best and brightest the industry has to offer with the VISION Awards.

2003 SMT VISION Award Winners

Adhesives/Coatings/ Encapsulants

VISION Products

ADHESIVES/COATINGS/ENCAPSULANTS

Yield Enhancement Solutions with AOI

With the move toward finer pitches and smaller component sizes, reliable visual inspection for correct assembly has become increasingly difficult. As a result, implementation of automated optical inspection (AOI) has become widely accepted as a key process.

Transport Developments Support Fast Changeovers in High-Volume SMT Production

For a decade, parallel placement has been the foremost technology for placing chips in the ultra-high-volume SMT manufacturing environment.


Lead-free Conversion Issues in Component and PWB Surface Finishes

The Massachusetts Lead-free Electronics Consortium, sponsored by the Toxics Use Reduction Institute (TURI) and the University of Massachusetts Lowell, has been working for the last four years to quantify the conversion process to lead-free.

Step 5: Adhesives/Epoxies & Dispensing

Dispensing often is one of the least thought out areas to define process parameters; however, the combination of fluid selection, dispensing, curing and motion can impact the quality and yield of the end product. This step highlights various material, dispensing and automation considerations before choosing the best solution for the application.

5S Provides Competitive Lean Foundation

Product margins are continually shrinking, which ultimately drives the need for reduction in product manufacturing cost.

the Inside line

NWA Works to Connect the Dots of Information

News

Kester Sold to American Capital

Speaking of this Week — April 30, 2004

The news, like the weather, keeps getting better. Upcoming trade show news continues to flourish, while several important companies announced partnerships and merger news. Some progress, personnel and financial news, as well as looks at the industry, are in the mix as well.

Speaking of this Week — April 30, 2004

The news, like the weather, keeps getting better. Upcoming trade show news continues to flourish, while several important companies announced partnerships and merger news. Some progress, personnel and financial news, as well as looks at the industry, are in the mix as well.

Speaking of this Week — April 23, 2004

Like the daffodils springing to life in my yard, an air of change, possibility and hope is afoot. Nowhere is this more evident than in the crop of news this week, which reflects progress; agreements and acquisitions; and trade show, legislative, personnel and financial news.

Speaking of this Week — April 23, 2004

Like the daffodils springing to life in my yard, an air of change, possibility and hope is afoot. Nowhere is this more evident than in the crop of news this week, which reflects progress; agreements and acquisitions; and trade show, legislative, personnel and financial news.

Speaking of this Week — April 16, 2004

Like the seasons changing, progress keeps happening in the electronics assembly industry. We've also got companies coming together, personnel and trade show news, a financial announcement, and some really interesting predictions and looks at the industry.


Speaking of this Week — April 16, 2004

Like the seasons changing, progress keeps happening in the electronics assembly industry. We've also got companies coming together, personnel and trade show news, a financial announcement, and some really interesting predictions and looks at the industry.

Speaking of this Week — April 9, 2004

Ciao! I'm back from a week's vacation in Italy, refreshed and ready to tackle the electronics assembly topics of the week. First up is the IPC Book-to-Bill Ratio, which remained above water for February. We've also got an encouraging amount of progress news, partnerships and trade show news, as well as financial results and a prediction.

Speaking of this Week — April 9, 2004

Ciao! I'm back from a week's vacation in Italy, refreshed and ready to tackle the electronics assembly topics of the week. First up is the IPC Book-to-Bill Ratio, which remained above water for February. We've also got an encouraging amount of progress news, partnerships and trade show news, as well as financial results and a prediction.

Working Inside China

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

News

SMTA Co-organizes NEPCON Shanghai Conference

New Products

Conformal Coating Applicator

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.

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.

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.

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.


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.

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.

Speaking of this Week — March 12, 2003

What many of us suspected was true: Attendance WAS up at the recent APEX/IPC Printed Circuits Expo show, as confirmed this week by IPC. We've got lots of other progress news, trade show happenings past and present, companies coming together, financial results, a bit of personnel news, and a look at the state of the industry.

Speaking of this Week — March 12, 2003

What many of us suspected was true: Attendance WAS up at the recent APEX/IPC Printed Circuits Expo show, as confirmed this week by IPC. We've got lots of other progress news, trade show happenings past and present, companies coming together, financial results, a bit of personnel news, and a look at the state of the industry.

New Products

BGA Rework Station

The State of Stencil Technology

In surface mount assembly, the stencil is the gateway to accurate, repeatable solder paste deposition.

Soldermask Registration Considerations for Fine-Pitch Area Array Package Assembly

Assemblies with fine-pitch ball grid array (BGA) or chip scale package (CSP) components can develop perplexing, undetectable shorts. Research indicates that adding relatively simple designs and procedures in the early stages of printed circuit board (PCB) design and fabrication can be a solution.

Extending New Efficiencies to the EMS Environment

The introduction of efficiencies in electronics manufacturing services (EMS) has significant cost-saving implications. Faster, coordinated line operations; rapid logistical response from suppliers and distributors; and more accurate data are just a few examples of the ways electronic manufacturers have improved operations.

New Materials and Processes Enable Lead-free Solder

Joining components to circuit boards or microelectronic packages using lead-based solders is common practice in today's industry, but lead has obvious health and environmental drawbacks.

Stencils as Problem Solvers

Times have changed since Mike Ray began working at his father's firm, Lorry Photography, in the '60s.


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