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

Latest Articles

Ask and Answer - April 17, 2002

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

March Board Games - The Answers

Stumped on a crossword answer? Want to make sure you're right? Here are the answers to March SMT Board Games.

Lead-free Workshop Reveals Progress

(April 12, 2002) North Andover, Mass. -- At a meeting hosted by Schneider Electric here the other day, both the Massachusetts Toxics Use Reduction Institute (TURI) and the National Electronics Manufacturing Initiative (NEMI) revealed their progress toward investigating lead-free solder paste in U.S. electronics manufacturing.

Speaking of this Week - April 12, 2002

Spring is in the air, and while men's fancy turns to thoughts of romance, companies are thinking about partnerships of a different form. The news I received this week overwhelmingly has to do with alliances, naming of sales agents, and specifying of products. It's still a tough world out there, and there's safety in numbers. Meanwhile, the progress train keeps chugging along, and companies seem to be hiring to a limited extent.

Ask and Answer - April 10, 2002

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

Seho Shows Off Selective Soldering at Boston SMTA Meeting

(April 10, 2002) Boxborough, Mass. -- At the SMTA Boston Chapter meeting here the other night, Germany-based Seho GmbH displayed its knowledge of selective soldering -- and its machine that performs the activity.

Mentor Graphics Completes Bid for IKOS Systems

(April 8, 2002) Wilsonville, Ore. -- Mentor Graphics Corp. has grabbed control of San Jose, Calif.-based IKOS Systems Inc. over Mountain View, Calif.-based Synopsys Inc., who bid for the company in July 2001, with an unsolicited offer.

Stencil Printers for Small and Mid-size Production Batches

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

Speaking of this Week - April 5, 2002

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

Maximizing Uptime Efficiency

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


Ask and Answer - April 3, 2002

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

New Products

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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…

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.

The Benefits of a Supply Chain Manager in the Outsourced Manufacturing Model

(March 28, 2002) Outsourcing in the electronics manufacturing industry arose out of a financial model that pleased Wall Street. As manufacturing became more capital-intensive with the advent of SMT, OEMs shed their high-cost, low-volume manufacturing facilities to EMS industry providers that could aggregate customers and leverage economies of scale and specialization.


Ask and Answer - March 27, 2002

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

Strategies In Optical Manufacturing Provides Insight on Optoelectronics, Photonics

(March 26, 2002) Held April 23 through 24, 2002, at the Doubletree Hotel in San Jose, Calif., Strategies in Optical Manufacturing is the first event anywhere in the world to focus specifically on the strategic manufacturing issues facing commercial producers of optoelectronic and photonic components and systems.

Soldering BGAs: Assuring the No-defect Joint

(March 25, 2002) This project examined how soldering results with ball grid array (BGA) packages are influenced by solder paste volume, placement errors and other variables; optimal manufacturing procedures are suggested.

Speaking of this Week - March 22, 2002

Lots of companies seem to be shaking off the difficult year that was 2001 and forging ahead with new developments, whether they be expansion into new areas or development of new programs. Meanwhile, the passage of the long-promised Job Creation and Worker Assistance Act has trade associations IPC and AeA cheering about the accelerated depreciation benefit, which will directly benefit the electronics assembly industry. Finally, some personnel announcements and good news.

Different Dispensers for Different Materials: DCA, Flip Chip Underfill and SMA

(March 21, 2002) Underfill dispensing is becoming a standard operation and, though not yet well understood, can be integrated easily into the process if the right tools are used.

Ask and Answer - March 20, 2002

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

SMTA Boston Chapter Meeting Showcases Orbotech

(March 8, 2002) Billerica, Mass -- At the SMTA Boston chapter meeting here the other night, Yavne, Israel-based Orbotech Inc. opened the doors of its North American headquarters wide to SMTA members.

Speaking of this Week - March 15, 2002

Speaking of this Week reflects on events in the electronics assembly industry every Friday. Financial news has tapered off this week, replaced by that of alliances and from trade associations, as well as the soap opera of Mentor Graphics-IKOS-Synopsys seemingly coming to an end with the termination of the Synopsys-IKOS merger agreement and the signing of a Mentor-IKOS one. There's only a few bits of personnel news this week, but even more good news.

A Coating that Conforms

(March 18, 2002) Despite cost concerns, tighter spacing and smaller components in electronics products make it worthwhile to consider conformal coating from the beginning of the PCA design process.

Ask and Answer - March 13, 2002

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


Fiber Optics Dispensing Sees the Future Through Automation

(March 12, 2002) There are many dispensing applications involved in fiber optics component manufacturing that greatly benefit from automation. The benefits realized include reduced labor, lower adhesive usage, less scrap and rework, and increased production efficiency.

Moore's Law: Will It Still Be the Law for the 21st Century?

(March 13, 2002) Are we still going to be able to maintain Moore's Law in the face of the technical limitations that the microchip fab industry is starting to reach? If the technology becomes available to keep Moore's Law in effect, will it be used? If one limits Moore's Law to the equivalent of transistors that one can put on a chip, the answer is "no." However, we may be able to keep Moore's Law in effect if we make one small change: make it three-dimensional.

Machine Capability Measurement on SMT Equipment

(March 11, 2002) The increasing need for control of every process during SMT manufacturing can be attributed to the miniaturization of components such as 0201, CSP, FC and the stride toward increasing capacity and throughput. With the emergence of the automotive industry standard (QS9000/TS16949) in electronics manufacturing, the need for a common language for machine characterization (IPC-9850) and verification of machine compliance with manufacturers' specifications is apparent.

Speaking of this Week - March 8, 2002

Speaking of this Week reflects on events in the electronics assembly industry every Friday. When it rains, it pours: News is coming down in droves, and more and more of it is good. Alliances and personnel news seem to dominate what I'm hearing lately, indicating companies may be hiring again but still banding together cautiously for strength.

Web-based Coordinated Execution Is Key in Today's Economy

(March 7, 2002) Coordinated execution can provide electronics manufacturers with a crucial cutting edge in today's lean manufacturing market.

Ask and Answer - March 6, 2002

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

IPC Book-to-Bill Rises, But Growth Projected to be Flat in 2002

(March 4, 2002) Northbrook, Ill. -- IPC-Association Connecting Electronics Industries(r) has released the Book-to-Bill ratio for January 2002, showing the ratio rising over 1 at 1.01 for the first time since August 2000.

Nu Visions to Expand, Launch New Web Site

(March 1, 2002) Springfield, Mass. -- Nu Visions Manufacturing, LLC has seen tremendous sales growth over the past few years, and now it is time for the company to grow internally.

Speaking of this Week - March 1, 2002

Speaking of this Week reflects on events in the electronics assembly industry every Friday. As February fades into March, the week brought encouraging news from IPC regarding the bellwether Book-to-Bill Ratio for January. And the hiring floodgates seem to be opening, as a stream of personnel releases came in this week. One company is noticeably absent this week: Mentor Graphics, and the proposed acquisition of Synopsys.

Preventing Contamination-caused Assembly Failure

Suitable cleaning methods with effective monitoring of all processes can stem the tide of residue-induced board malfunctions.


Fiber Optics Dispensing Sees the Future through Automation

Many dispensing applications involved in fiber optics component manufacturing benefit from automation. Benefits include reduced labor, lower adhesive usage, less scrap and rework, and increased production efficiency.

Step 3: Soldering Materials

By Jennie S. Hwang, Ph.D.

APEX Review: The 2001 VISION Awards

New Products

Combining AOI and AXI: The Best of Both Worlds

AOI and AXI in a combined test platform ultimately will offer a faster return on investment (ROI) and improved yields.

Ask and Answer - February 27, 2002

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

January Board Games - The Answers

Stumped on a crossword answer? Want to make sure you're right? Here are the answers to January SMT Board Games.

Speaking of this Week - February 22, 2002

Speaking of this Week reflects on events in the electronics assembly industry every Friday. This short week brought a continuation of last week's trends -- lots o' trade shows in the works from trade organizations that have news of their own, and financial news that continues to cautiously point in a positive direction. In the meantime, the triangle of Mentor's bid to buy IKOS in cash over Synopsys' offer continues.

Lead-free Issues Differ in Scope, Time Frame Around the World

(February 21, 2002) The response to the topical and controversial subject of lead-free solder in electronics assembly differs around the world.

Ask and Answer - February 20, 2002

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


Agilent, Cadence Form Alliance With Potential Implications for Electronics Assemblers

(February 19, 2002) San Jose and Palo Alto, Calif. -- Cadence Design Systems Inc. and Agilent Technologies Inc. have formed a multi-year technology alliance that may have future implications for electronic assembly companies.

Speaking of this Week - February 15, 2002

Speaking of this Week reflects on events in the electronics assembly industry every Friday. The month may be half over, but the year seems to be getting into full swing. Companies are releasing a slew of financial results, and preparations for the tradeshow season are in high gear. There also seems to be a trend of expansion into Asia, particularly China, made possible by the country's recent entry into the WTO. Finally, two major mergers are hitting snags along the way.

NVIDIA Selects Agilent 93000 SOC Series Test System

(February 13, 2002) Santa Clara and Palo Alto, Calif. -- Continuing a relationship that has existed for several years, NVIDIA Corp. has selected Agilent Technologies Inc.'s 93000 SOC Series test system to test processors and chipsets used in graphics and communications.

Ask and Answer - February 13, 2002

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

APEX 2002 in Review

(February 11, 2002) This year's APEX, held January 22-24 in San Diego, Calif., attracted more than 5,200 attendees. Even though this was a recessionary period with lower numbers in attendance than last year's record, the excitement of new product introductions, alliances and conference offerings held the attention of all.

Speaking of this Week - February 8, 2002

Speaking of this Week reflects on events in the electronics assembly industry every Friday. It may not feel like spring in the air now, but many a trade organization is gearing up for that busy trade show season. I got a slew of calls for papers, as well as wrap-ups of trade shows that have already taken place -- namely APEX. And earnings releases continue to pour in, illustrating steady improvement in the industry. At the same time, companies continue to band together to weather the storm.

Ask and Answer - February 6, 2002

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

Nihon Superior Develops Lead-free Alloy

(February 5, 2002) San Diego -- While controversial discussion of options for lead-free soldering heats up, Nihon Superior has quietly gotten on with the job of developing a patented SN100C stabilized tin-copper eutectic alloy for commercial applications.

The Alliance Chooses Aegis Software

(February 4, 2002) Philadelphia -- The Alliance, a long-term sales, marketing and service partnership formed recently by Speedline Technologies and Assembleon, announced at APEX that it has named Aegis Industrial Software Corp. as a preferred provider to the strategic partnership.

Speaking of this Week - February 1, 2002

Speaking of this Week reflects on events in the electronics assembly industry every Friday. The trickle of earnings releases and other financial news that started last week became a flood this week. But as always, there's also news of alliances, certifications and the requisite bad news. And IPC released its Book-to-Bill ratio for December, providing insight to the year at a glance.


The High-speed High-mix Production Environment Emerges

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

Advances in AOI and AXI Result in Increased Quality and Speed

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

X-ray Evolution From Microfocus to Nanofocus

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

Automating the Optoelectronic Assembly Process

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

Step 2: Process Control

By Phil Zarrow and W. James Hall

Assembly Conversion Cost Revisited

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

Inspection Equipment

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

New Products

Ask and Answer - January 30, 2002

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

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.


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.

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.

A Conversation with Chris Israel

(January 23, 2002) This is the fourth in a series of articles about APEX, held January 22-24 in San Diego. Chris Israel is the APEX keynote speaker for the second day of the show.

A Conversation with NASA Mars Team Leader Donna Shirley

(January 22, 2002) This is the second in a series of articles about APEX, held January 22-24 in San Diego. Donna Shirley is the APEX keynote speaker for the first day of the show.

IPC--Conquering Chaos with Standards

(January 21, 2002) This is the first in a series of articles about APEX, held January 22-24 in San Diego. IPC Standards Development Meetings are being held January 19 through 24th.

Speaking of this Week - January 18, 2002

Speaking of this Week reflects on events in the electronics assembly industry every Friday. Along with the flurries of snow some of us are getting come a flurry of news releases about quarterly earnings. Some are dark and gritty, like slush, while others shows the lightness of the newly fallen snow. There's more hope, mostly in the way of new hires, upcoming trade shows (such as APEX next week), and certifications, as well as predictions.

FeinFocus USA, Siemens Dematic Announce Technology Alliance Related to Advanced SMT Process Development and Control

(January 17, 2002) Stamford, Conn. and Norcross, Ga. -- FeinFocus USA and Siemens Dematic have formed a joint technology alliance working to develop and control advanced SMT manufacturing processes using off-line Microfocus X-ray technology.

BAE Systems Full of Energy in Time of Slowdown

(January 16, 2002) Nashua, N.H. -- The economy is in slowdown mode and companies are still reeling from a difficult 2001. But you wouldn't know it to walk through BAE Systems North America's facility here.

Ask and Answer - January 16, 2002

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

LTVPTM -- A New Way to Dry Components and Materials

(January 14, 2002) As products and components shrink in size and grow in complexity, damage from excess moisture has become a critical concern. The defects caused by excess moisture range from component fractures to delamination, "measles," "blisters" and more.


Speaking of this Week - January 11, 2002

Speaking of this Week reflects on events in the electronics assembly industry every Friday. As the first full week of the new year unfolded, companies emerged from their holiday season slumber slightly, making announcements about mergers, acquisitions and alliances, as well as new personnel. There's some new year's belt tightening going on as well.

Ask and Answer - January 9, 2002

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

Speaking of this Week - January 4, 2002

Speaking of this Week reflects on events in the electronics assembly industry every Friday. Happy new year! After these words are spoken, the ball drops and the champagne is all gone comes a general slowdown in industry. Many companies go on shutdown as festive December turns into lifeless January. But this week, I've seen a flurry of earnings releases, as well as news of mergers, acquisitions and alliances.

Ask and Answer - January 2, 2002

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

Thermal Imaging Looks at Laser Rework and Repair

Thermal imaging can be combined with laser rework to enable precise, noncontact solder joint heating and to develop and test process specifications for rework.

A Selective Wavesoldering Alternative

This new technology provides an alternative to the current, limited options in the area of selective wave soldering.

Optoelectronic Interconnect Trending to Surface Mount

Miniaturization and speed, two major considerations in today's fiber component design, are being met by surface mount, which reduces board space and assembly cost.

Step 1: Design for Manufacture

Manufacturability is not just about printed circuit board (PCB) fabrication and assembly, but also cost-effective board testing and assembly, and fundamentally this comes down to the quality, performance and capabilities of the design tool.

APEX 2002 Products

Chip ShooterAchieving 20,000 cph, Topaz X/Xi-II is a chip shooter said to have the ability of placing components from a range of 0201s to 0.015" QFPs. Because the shooter reportedly features a combination of high-speed and a large component range, the option of using the machine as a standalone or as an effective line balancer is available. Assembléon, Alpharetta, Ga.

New Priorities in Purchasing Automated Assembly Equipment

By Gary Burroughs


Implementing Total In-line Solder Paste Inspection

One EMS company found converting from sampled solder paste inspection to high-resolution, 100 percent inspection helped meet the challenge of high-density fiber optic panel assembly.

New Products

Low-defect Printing for Large PCBs

New process methods that can provide high yields on today's largest ever PCBs are discussed.

Ask and Answer -- December 31, 2002

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

Speaking of this Year -- 2002

At the beginning of 2002, the monthly press release I receive from Northbrook, Ill.-based IPC -- Association Connecting Electronics Industries chronicling the gyrations of the book-to-bill ratio (and newly launched for 2002 PCB Business Report) stated that the book-to-bill stood at 1.01, besting all of 2001. Hope!

SMT Magazine Reacts to Rapid Growth in China's Electronic Assembly Market

Nashua, N.H. -- PennWell Corp. has launched SMT China. The magazine will be published bi-monthly by PennWell in partnership with China Electronic Appliance Corp. (CEAC), located in Beijing.

Speaking of this Week -- December 20, 2002

There's plenty going on at this time of year to make you feel all warm and fuzzy, and the news this week in the electronics assembly industry is no exception. We've got a sleighfull of progress news, as well as lots of engineers getting new positions for Christmas. More acquisition and collaboration news can be found, too. Finally, there's some standards and regulatory news thrown in as well.

Ask and Answer -- December 18, 2002

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

Speaking of this Week -- December 13, 2002

Usually, news dries up this time of year as people look ahead to stockings hung by the chimney with care and companies prepare to go on shutdown for the holidays. But we've had a deluge this year, especially those all-important joint ventures, agreements, acquisitions, alliances and general companies coming together. We've also got progress and personnel news, especially in high places. There's some tradeshow news thrown in, as well as a prediction for an important piece of the market.

Ask and Answer -- December 11, 2002

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


Speaking of this Week -- December 6, 2002

The news is as scattered this first week of December as the snowflakes many of us are starting to see outside our windows. We've got everything from progress news to tradeshow developments, ranging to alliances and partnerships, personnel news, finance, legislative, and some out-and-out bad news. We also have the requisite studies and forecasts.

Ask and Answer -- December 4, 2002

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

Improving Yields Through Software

Photon Dynamics has gradually expanded its products to improve yields in the board inspection area.

Juki Automation Announces New President

Nomoto comes to Juki after 23 years with Juki Corp. in Tokyo, Japan.

2003 Industry Vision Forcast

As 2003 quickly approaches, the surface mount process has, in many ways, come full circle.

Placement Machine and Process Control Optimization

Process control is playing a central role in quality-improvement efforts.

Product Review

EQUIPMENT

Calendar

NEPCON West (co-located with Assembly West & FIBEROPTIC Automation Expo)

Ask and Answer -- November 27, 2002

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

Ask and Answer -- November 20, 2002

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


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.

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.

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.

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.

GSPK Circuits Ltd. Promotes Lean Manufacturing with Profitable Results

(November 6, 2002) Knaresborough, North Yorkshire, England -- A full-service EMS provider incorporates lean manufacturing across all departments for increased effectiveness and efficiency.

Electronica 2002 Show Guide

Munich, Germany -- Electronica 2002 bills itself as the largest international trade show for electronics, and with good reason. Held from November 12 through 15 here at the New Munich Trade Fair Centre, more than 3,000 exhibitors will be on hand, and more than 85,000 international visitors from 80 countries are expected to attend.

Advances in Lead-free Soldering and Automatic Inspection

A color-highlight technology offers new solutions for inspecting lead-free solder joints using existing automatic equipment.

Part II: Series in Optoelectronics, Optical Assembly Manufacturing Evolution

Will Adding automation to the fusion splicing process contribute to lower costs and increased quality levels.

Step 10: Rework/Repair

BGAs and CSPs require particular care and attention if post-assembly rework is required, namely alternate handling and process control because of small size and high density, while their hiddenjoints demand a different approachto profiling and inspection.

New Products

COMPONENTS


Calendar

EMS Training IINovember 8-9New Orleans, La.Susan Eurich, (847) 790-5384; E-mail: SusanEurich@ipc.org, Web site: www.ipc.org.

Bumpy but Recovering

NEW ORLEANS — The Technology Market Research Council (TMRC), the marketing side of IPC — Association Connecting Electronics Industries, held their fall meeting November 5 through 6 in New Orleans during IPC's Annual Meeting.

Industry Experts voice differing opinions on Golden board vs. Parametric

The AOI Revolution:Where does it Really Matter?

Speaking of this Week -- November 1, 2002

The IPC Book-to-Bill hit the street this week, showing general flatness but a bit of a dip downward from the beginning of the year. Financial news moved in the spotlight, with less creepy feelings and more sunshine than in previous months. We've also got tradeshow, personnel, regulatory and progress news, with acquisition news moving to the back burner.

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

October 30, 2002 -- Featuring Assembly Tools & Equipment

Speaking of this Week -- October 25, 2002

Progress news leads the pack again this week, followed by companies coming together in the many ways they do. This week, however, announcements that two high-profile alliances had fallen apart made as much news as companies joining up. We've also got financial and personnel happenings, as well as the requisite trade show announcements and release of studies examining the industry.

Ask and Answer -- October 23, 2002

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

Speaking of this Week -- October 18, 2002

Progress, progress, progress! It's so good to see. Financial results hit the street this week, showing a mixed picture of the industry's health, as always. In the meantime, there's only one alliance announcement, while a huge personnel announcement was made. Finally, there's the requisite trade show news, and the industry continues to contemplate its place in the world.

Ask and Answer -- October 16, 2002

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

Speaking of this Week -- October 11, 2002

Alliances, and especially mergers, move back to the forefront this week. Meanwhile, companies are expanding their presence into new areas, and are promoting and hiring a bit more than in recent weeks. Tradeshow news moves to the back burner, but financial news has raised its head again. Finally, as many of us do in our personal lives, the industry is examining itself as things continue to be down overall.


Ask and Answer -- October 9, 2002

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

Industry Insights at Mexitronica

(October 7, 2002) Mexitronica will take place October 8 through 10 in Guadalajara, Mexico, serving as a window onto the promising electronics assembly market of Mexico. SMT wanted to know what the pulse and feel of the electronics assembly industry is right now, so we went right to the source -- you in the industry.

Speaking of this Week -- October 4, 2002

It's hard to get excited about reporting the IPC-Book-to-Bill when it remains fairly flat -- but, of course, that means it didn't fall. Trade show news continues to dominate this week (we are in heavy tradeshow season, after all), followed by the three Ps of progress, partnership and personnel. There's a bit of bad financial news, but some interesting surveys appeared this week about the industry.

Ask and Answer -- October 2, 2002

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

Contract Manufacturing

The ongoing worldwide economic slowdown, combined with shifting global dynamics, has created an unprecedented level of uncertainty for manufacturers.

Step 9: Cleaning By Steve Stach

Defining and implementing a successful cleaning process involves a five-step process, regardless of the product. The technology can range from simple to sophisticated; however, the step-by-step procedure remains the same. Additionally, volume does not affect the steps — one item or a thousand, each must follow the same process.

New Products

Optical Micrometer

Advances in AOI Camera Technology

Much can be gained from the use of digital imaging technology as applied to automated optical inspection (AOI) of circuit boards, e.g., more powerful sensors that will improve processing speeds.

Part I: Optical Assembly Manufacturing Evolution

With superior capacity, smaller size and immunity to external interference, optoelectronics technology provides enormous advantages over the copper alternative.

CALENDAR

MexitrónicaOctober 8-10Guadalajara, MexicoROC Exhibitions Inc., (630) 271-8210; Fax: (630) 271-8234; E-mail: roc_exhibitions@ameritech.net.


Hybrid Integration with MOEMS

Xerox scientists are conducting advanced research to fabricate small optoelectromechanical devices that will offer a low-cost, accurate image registration. The technological advances are expected also to have

AOI Equipment Selector roundup

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

Speaking of this Week -- September 27, 2002

I spent this week at the Assembly Technology Expo tradeshow in Chicago, soaking up new ideas and innovations. The electronics assembly industry, similarly, is looking for new ideas and inspiration from a bevy of tradeshows right around the corner. We've got important alliance news this week as well, with progress, personnel and financial news thrown in for good measure.

Simmetrix Inc. Awarded $1.9 Million from NIST ATP to Develop the Next Generation Simulation Modeling Environment

(September 25, 2002) Clifton Park, N.Y. -- Simmetrix Inc. has been awarded $1.9 million from the Advanced Technology Program (ATP) of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) to develop the next generation in tools and techniques for simulation-based design.

Ronald C. Lasky, Ph.D., P.E., Joins SMT Magazine's Advisory Board

(September 20, 2002) Nashua, N.H. -- Ronald C. Lasky has been appointed as the newest Advisory Board Member of SMT.

Teradyne Establishes Peter Hashem Memorial Scholarship

(September 18, 2002) Boston -- Teradyne Inc. has established the Peter Hashem Memorial Scholarship, named in honor of Peter Hashem, a Teradyne employee who was a victim of the terrorist attacks last September.

SOLDERTEC to Present at 3rd International Conference on Connectors in France

(September 19, 2002) UK -- The 3rd International Conference on Connectors will be held at the Centre Athena in La Ferte-Bernard, near Le Mans in France on September 25 and 26, 2002. Leading experts from academia, manufacturers and users involved in connector technologies will share their expertise on products, processes, reliability and durability of connectors.

Sabin Establishes Overseas Regional Offices, Wins IPMI Award

(September 16, 2002) East Hampton, N.Y. -- Sabin Metal Corp. has established two new foreign regional offices in Shanghai, China and Sao Paulo, Brazil, as part of the company's global expansion program.

Leo J. Smith Joins Tessera Technologies

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

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

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


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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

SMTA INternational Preview Products

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

Next-generation Optoelectronics Manufacturing

Reducing manufacturing costs for optical components is driving a trend towards adapting existing SMT and packaging design and manufacturing methodologies.


Today's SMT Placement Equipment Market

Several successful strategies for surviving and thriving in the current global market are presented.

Step 8: Test/Inspection

Many types of defects can be found on today's modern printed circuit boards (PCB).

IMAPS Announces Thermal Management for High-Performance Computing and Wireless Applications Workshop

(September 3, 2002) Washington, D.C. -- The International Microelectronics And Packaging Society (IMAPS) announces an Advanced Technology Workshop (ATW) on Thermal Management for High-Performance Computing and Wireless Applications, which will be held October 24 through 26, 2002, at the Sheraton Palo Alto Hotel in Palo Alto, Calif.

Zygo Receives Multi-Million Dollar Contract Award from Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory for Optomechanical Assemblies

(August 30, 2002) Middlefield, Conn. -- Zygo Corp. has received a contract award for 192 vacuum relay telescopes from the University of California-managed Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL).

A Five-Step Approach to A Successful Cleaning Process

(August 28, 2002) Austin, Texas -- Defining and implementing a successful cleaning process, no matter what the product -- circuit assemblies, components, stencils or others -- involves a five-step process. The technology can range from a simple hand-cleaning system to a sophisticated high-ticket inline cleaning machine with multiple solvent systems, but the step-by-step procedure is the same for all. These steps are also applicable regardless of volume -- one item or a thousand.

Powell Joins Applied Engineering Products Distributor Network

(August 27, 2002) Philadelphia -- Powell Electronics Inc. has become an authorized distributor of Applied Engineering Products (AEP).

Vitronics Soltec Appoints Ursula Marquez to Engineering, Research Group

(August 26, 2002) Stratham, N.H. -- Vitronics Soltec has appointed Ursula Marquez to the position of process and research engineer.

Elcoteq to Sell Its Polish Plant

(August 22, 2002) Helsinki, Finland -- Elcoteq Network Corp. has entered into a preliminary agreement with a privately owned French company to sell its industrial site located in Wroclaw, Poland, to the French company's Polish subsidiary.

V.J. Electronix Names Paul Lukaniec as Sales Manager

(August 21, 2002) Bohemia, N.Y. -- V.J. Electronix, a division of V.J. Technologies Inc., has appointed Paul Lukaniec as manager of North American sales for their complete line of digital X-ray inspection systems.

Electronica 2002 Expands Focus on Embedded Systems

(August 21, 2002) Chicago -- electronica 2002, the world's largest electronics trade show, is expanding its focus on the growing embedded systems industry which is playing a big role in post-September 11 security devices in the U.S.


SEMICON Southwest Returns to Austin in October

(August 16, 2002) Austin, Texas -- SEMICON Southwest, the region's largest exposition dedicated to the technologies of semiconductor manufacturing, returns to the Austin Convention Center, October 15 through 16, 2002.

SME Awards John H. Lau the 2002 Total Excellence in Electronics Manufacturing Award

(August 15, 2002) Dearborn, Mich. -- The Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME) and its Association for Electronics Manufacturing (EM/SME) present the Total Excellence in Electronics Manufacturing (TEEM) Award annually to an individual in recognition of extraordinary dedication and innovation in setting new or higher levels of achievement in electronics manufacturing.

SunSil Names to Represent Shibuya Kogyo

(August 8, 2002) Kanazawa City, Japan and Alamo, Calif. -- Shibuya Kogyo Co. Ltd. has appointed SunSil Inc. to represent its line of solder ball mounting systems in North America.

Qualcon Awarded ANSI/ESD S20.20 Certification

(August 7, 2002) Flowery Branch, Ga. -- Qualcon has earned certification to the ANSI/ESD S20.20 standard.

IPC Annual Meeting Introduces First-Ever Meeting for PCB Suppliers

(August 2, 2002) Northbrook, Ill. -- IPC -- Association Connecting Electronics Industries(r) has created a leadership meeting targeted exclusively toward suppliers of the printed circuit board (PCB) industry.

Infrared (IR) verification can find PCB defects other detection methods often miss.

Screening printed circuit board (PCB) defects quickly and effectively on the production line is essential to minimizing manufacturing costs.

Solder Selection for Photonic Packaging

As the electronics and photonics worlds continue merging, contract electronics manufacturers (CEM) involved in traditional SMT assembly will be called upon to integrate optoelectronic component assembly into their operations.

Step 7: Soldering

Developing and monitoring the solder paste manufacture's profile requirements is essential to ensuring that proper wetting occurs.

The Key to Process Control

In the mid-1990s, the 6-sigma quality and defect-free initiative was in full force among the major high-tech manufacturers.

A European Perspective of the Electronics Market

According to his presentation, micro technology market growth is guaranteed for some time.


GECI's Roadmap Transitions to Lead-free Electronics

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. - The Global Environmental Coordination Institute (GECI) formed a six-step roadmap to act as a timeline for the electronics industry to develop lead-free PCB technology, eventually leading to product introductions using lead-free solders.

New Products

AOI System - Vi-5000 AOI system reportedly offers 100 percent inspection of boards up to 457× 508 mm at speeds up to 250,000 cph.

Ask and Answer -- July 31, 2002

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

Mexico's Largest Electronics Manufacturing Representative Signs Reseller Contract with Tecnomatix

(July 31, 2002) Nashua, N.H. -- Tecnomatix Technologies Ltd. announces that InterLatin has been named exclusive electronics representative for Tecnomatix Unicam in the Mexican and Costa Rican region.

MicroTel Subsidiary XET Secures Third Contract for Custom Avionics Communications Subassemblies

(July 29, 2002) Rancho Cucamonga, Calif. -- MicroTel International Inc.'s XET Corp. subsidiary has secured a third contract this year from a major U.S. military prime contractor for custom avionics communications subassemblies.

Indium Corp. Introduces 'Solder Online' E-Commerce Site

(July 26, 2002) Utica, N.Y. -- Solder fluxes, pastes, wire, spheres, performs and more from The Indium Corp. of America (ICA) are now no more than a mouse-click away with ICA's "Solder Online" e-commerce service.

Teradyne, Molex Launch Joint Web Site for VHDM-HSD Connectors

(July 24, 2002) Nashua, N.H. and Lisle, Ill. -- Teradyne Inc. Connection Systems Division (TCS) and Molex Inc. have launched a Web site they co-developed to give customers access to in-depth information about the VHDM-HSD family of connectors.

Renault to Standardize All Automobile Assembly Worldwide on eMPower Solutions From Tecnomatix

(July 19, 2002) Nashua, N.H. -- Leading French automotive manufacturer Renault has decided to fully standardize all of its assembly processes worldwide on Tecnomatix Technologies Ltd. eMPower solutions.

SMTA Announces the 2002 Hutchins Grant Award Recipient

(July 17, 2002) Minneapolis -- The Surface Mount Technology Association (SMTA) announces the recipient of the 2002 Charles Hutchins Educational Grant.

Reliability Analysis Laboratory Expands Component Analysis Service

(July 12, 2002) Lexington, Mass. -- Raytheon's Reliability Analysis Laboratory ( www.ReliabilityAnalysisLab.com) has expanded its electronic component analysis services to include more detailed investigations in the areas of materials characterization, non-destructive evaluation and test (NDE/NDT), and surface analysis of microprocessors, discrete components, and printed circuit boards and assemblies.


Process Sciences Launches New Web Site

Vitronics Soltec Appoints InterLatin Inc. Sales, Service Rep for Mexico

(July 10, 2002) Stratham, N.H. -- Vitronics Soltec has appointed InterLatin Inc. its sales representative for Mexico, excluding Sonora and the Baja California areas.

Ask and Answer - July 3, 2002

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

Loctite Renamed Henkel Loctite

(July 3, 2002) Rocky Hill, Conn. -- The Loctite Corp. in the United States has officially changed its legal name to Henkel Loctite Corp., and in the near future, Loctite companies around the world will follow suit.

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

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

New Age Computing

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

Nu Visions Looks Ahead

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

Speeding Equipment Changeovers and Setups

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

Closing the Large Format Digital Color AOI Loop

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

Pathways to Low-cost Optoelectronics

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


EDS 2002 Lights up Vegas Again

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

New Products

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)

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.

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.

V.J. Electronix Forms Alliance With DG Marketing

(June 21, 2002) Bohemia, N.Y. and Moody, Texas -- V.J. Electronix has formed an alliance with DG Marketing for sales representation in Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas, Oklahoma and Mexico.

VPI Expands Regional Sales Force

(June 19, 2002) Sheboygan, Wis. -- Deborah L. Drinan has joined VPI Floor Products Division as a regional sales manager.

Ask and Answer - June 19, 2002

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

NEMI Launches New Optoelectronics Projects

(June 17, 2002) Herndon, Va. -- The National Electronics Manufacturing Initiative (NEMI) has launched three new optoelectronics projects and a special optoelectronics study group.

American Physical Society Presents Joseph F. Keithley Award for Advances in Measurement Sciences

(June 12, 2002) Cleveland -- The American Physical Society (APS) named Robert J. Soulen Jr. of the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory as the 2002 winner of the Joseph F. Keithley Award.


ElectroniCast Announces Fourth Annual OADM & Advance Photonic Communication Networks Conference

(June 13, 2002) San Mateo, Calif. -- ElectroniCast will be hosting the The Fourth Annual OADM & Advance Photonic Communication Networks Conference on November 12 and 13, 2002, at the Villa Hotel in San Mateo, Calif.

Duraswitch Announces Patent for Simple Alternative for Large Pushbuttons

(June 14, 2002) Phoenix -- Duraswitch has received U.S. Patent No. 6,392,515, covering a magnetically coupled pushbutton switch for large and wide key applications.

SMTA Announces Pan Pacific Symposium Call for Participation

(June 14, 2002) Minneapolis -- The Eighth Annual Pan Pacific Microelectronics Symposium, taking place February 18 through 20, 2003, Orchid Hotel, Kohala Coast, Island of Hawaii, promotes international technical interchange and provides a networking forum among microelectronics professionals and business leaders throughout the Pacific Basin.

Ask and Answer - June 5, 2002

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

Step 6: Component Placement

Board assemblies are changing the face of placement technology. Extremely small passive components, CSPs, QFPs and microBGAs with tight pitches often are packaged with large odd-form components.

Will Cleaning Remain an Important Process?

No-clean solder paste is projected to limit the use of cleaning equipment in the SMT industry. However, increased demand for the advanced packages necessary in high-reliability applications is expected to sustain its presence in the electronics industry.

Lean Manufacturing Comes to the Flash Memory Supply Chain

Using lean manufacturing principles in flash memory device production can provide a crucial advantage in today's time and cost-sensitive market.

New Products

Charting a DFT Course for Limited-access Boards

For many boards, losing access to critical nodes via an inadequate design for testability (DFT) can destroy fault coverage altogether.

Special Processing Needs for Thermally-sensitive Designs

Insulated metal substrate is one answer to shrinking form-factor products that clash with increasing power requirements. Effective heat management then emerges as a make-or-break issue.


Part I: manufacturing with Increasingly Smaller Components

Despite the benefits inherent in 0201 components, their use can complicate the assembly process. Understanding smaller component spacing requirements can create flexible, cost-effective products.

Assembling Optoelectronic PWBs with a Standard SMT Assembly Line

In spite of recent setbacks in the optical communications industry, there remains considerable interest in this long-distance, high data rate technology, allowing optoelectronic PWB assembly with current SMT lines.

Speaking of this Year - December 28, 2001

Speaking of this Week reflects on events in the electronics assembly industry every Friday. It appears in a special edition this week to reflect on the events of 2001 as a whole.

Ask and Answer - December 26, 2001

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

Speaking of this Week - December 21, 2001

Speaking of this Week reflects on events in the electronics assembly industry every Friday. The holiday spirit is in the air. Can you feel it? Not just from the holiday songs playing ad nauseum at the mall or the parties at work; companies are releasing a slew of good cheer in the form of announcements.

Ask and Answer - December 19, 2001

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

ECI Expands Facility in Response to Rapid Growth

(December 18, 2001) East Rutherford, N.J. -- In response to explosive growth in chemical monitoring systems for use in the copper electrodeposition process, ECI Technology has expanded its facilities approximately 40 percent. The expanded facility officially opened in November 2001.

EXFO, ATS Form Alliance to Bring Together Strengths

(December 14, 2001) Cambridge and Quebec City, Canada -- ATS Automation Tooling Systems Inc. and EXFO Electro-Optical Engineering Inc. have formed a strategic agreement to bring together their respective positions in the industry.

Speaking of this Week - December 14, 2001

Speaking of this Week reflects on events in the electronics assembly industry every Friday. With the year coming to an end and companies -- and their employees -- getting into the holidays, the flow of information is starting to do its annual dwindle until the new year. Still, there was lots of association news, with more good news and much less bad news all around.

NEMI to Drum Up Support for Initiatives at APEX 2002 Free Forums

(December 13, 2001) Herndon, Va. -- The National Electronics Manufacturing Initiative (NEMI) will bring several of its initiatives to light at APEX 2002's Free Forums to build industry support for them.


Ask and Answer - December 12, 2001

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

Speaking of this Week - December 7, 2001

Speaking of this Week reflects on events in the electronics assembly industry every Friday. Glimmers of hope. They shine through the releases I'm getting, the conversations I'm having and the overall feel of the electronics assembly industry. While the economy at large has officially entered a recession, a light at the end of the tunnel seems to be in sight.

Virtual Chip Exchange Hits 5,000 Member Milestone

(December 6, 2001) Hauppauge, N.Y. -- Virtual Chip Exchange's B2B electronic components exchange has signed up 5,000 member companies in time for its fourth anniversary -- against a landscape of dot-bombs.

Ask and Answer - December 5, 2001

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

IMAPS/SMTA Holiday Meeting Honors IMAPS Members

(December 5, 2001) Boxboro, Mass. -- Among the good cheer, good food and lively music of the IMAPS New England and SMTA Boston Chapter holiday meeting/party and annual awards dinner held here on Tuesday, IMAPS took the time to honor two of its members.

Quality Contract Manufacturing Selects Applied Systems' eValue Software

(December 3, 2001) Atlanta and Roswell, Ga. -- Quality Contract Manufacturing, LLC has become Applied Systems Intelligence Inc.'s eValue(r) supply chain management software's first customer.

News

Compiled By SMT Staff

Book-to-Bill Drops Slightly

NORTHBROOK, Ill. The IPC PCB book-to-bill ratio for September was 0.89, meaning $89 worth of orders for new boards were received for every $100 billed (shipped). The ratio decreased from the August level of 0.94. Sales billed (shipments) in September 2001 decreased 41.6 percent over September 2000, and orders booked decreased 56.1 percent over September 2000. Compared to 2000, PCB bookings are down 49.2 percent YTD, while PCB shipments are down 25.5 percent YTD.

Association News

IPC Works on OE StandardizationNORTHBROOK, Ill. IPC Association Connecting Electronics Industries announced that the Optoelectronics (OE) Standards Committee met at the IPC Annual Meeting, which took place October 9 through 13, 2001, in Orlando, Fla.

Briefs

MVP Moves into New HeadquartersMachine Vision Products (MVP) Inc., leader in automated optical inspection (AOI) and process control solutions, opened a new 60,000 sq. ft. facility. The expanded corporate headquarters will remain in Carlsbad, Calif. and will be three times the size of the previous location.


2001 Product Review

Equipment

Speaking of this Week - November 30, 2001

Speaking of this Week reflects on events in the electronics assembly industry every Friday. This week started out slow, with companies, still digesting their turkey, not prone to making announcements. But the action picked up toward the end, with a virtual cornucopia of events this week.

Fuba Printed Circuits Inks Deal with PAL at Productronica for Two New Machines

(November 29, 2001) Tunisia and Hong Kong -- Fuba Printed Circuits Tunisia signed a deal with Process Automation International (PAL) Ltd. at Productronica earlier this month that will bring two new PAL machines into Fuba's factory outside Tunis in March 2002.

Ask and Answer - November 28, 2001

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

SIR and Cleanliness

(November 26, 2001) Surface insulation resistance (SIR) testing, a powerful tool for qualification of materials and processes, typically is not used as a cleanliness monitoring procedure. However, it plays an important role in cleanliness evaluation.

Ask and Answer - November 21, 2001

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

Speaking of this Week - November 21, 2001

Speaking of this Week reflects on events in the electronics assembly industry every Friday. It appears in a special edition today due to the Thanksgiving holiday.

Productronica: Bustles with Activity During Economic Slowdown

(November 20, 2001) Munich, Germany -- Most attendees and exhibitors at Productronica this November agreed that European electronics assembly has slowed down by at least 25 percent. But in the midst of economic challenges, creativity abounded.

Outlook for APEX Sunny, IPC Says

(November 19, 2001) Northbrook, Ill. -- With APEX, which will be held January 22-24, 2002 in San Diego, almost two months away, IPC-Association Connecting Electronics Industries(r) is confident the show will be the biggest one yet.

Speaking of this Week - November 16, 2001

Speaking of this Week reflects on the week's events in the electronics assembly industry every Friday. The good news continued to outnumber the bad this week.


SMTA Speaker Emphasizes Role of Materials, Joint Design in Fiber Optic Packaging, Assembly

(November 15, 2001) Woburn, Mass. -- The roles of materials, as well as the joint in design, are critical to fiber optic packaging and assembly, according to a speaker at the IMAPS New England and Boston SMTA Joint Technical Meeting here Tuesday night.

Ask and Answer - November 14, 2001

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

EFTC Inc. Opens New Facility

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

Speaking of this Week - November 9, 2001

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

SCI Expands eM-Verifeed to Latin American Operations

(November 1, 2001) Nashua, N.H. -- SCI Systems -Latin America has selected Tecnomatix Technologies Ltd.'s eM-Verifeed software for its real-time part and feeder control systems.


Advanced Issues in Assembly: Part 2 Causes and Cures in Solder Beading

Solder beading, a defect that can result in short circuits, may be reduced substantially by decreasing the solder paste volume deposited on a printed circuit board (PCB).

A Rough Guide to Tiny Dots

Despite the numerous technologies available to dispense dots, all is moot if these continuously shrinking dots cannot be placed accurately.

Step 10 — Rework and Repair

Manufacturing defects on assembly lines can creep into products at any point in the production process, necessitating expensive repair and rework, and giving rise to the dreaded "hidden factory."

Component Specifier

As SMT matures and its end products continue to shrink in size but grow in capability, manufacturers are constantly in need of components that satisfy demanding footprint, reliability and placement requirements. 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 product section designed to spotlight state-of-the-art active…

EMS News

Sparton Adds to Board of DirectorsJACKSON, Mich. Sparton Corp., an electronics design and manufacturing services provider, elected James D. Fast to the Board of Directors.

Component Reconditioning Adds to Bottom Line

This value-added service turns "scrap" into healthy parts ready for assembly.

New Products

Advancements in Water-soluble Solder Pastes

The more successful formulations have provided several benefits over traditional products, including robustness, environmental variation resistance, compatibility with modern printing technology and void reductions under ball grid arrays (BGA).

Ask and Answer - October 31, 2001

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

Productronica 2001: A Quick, Clip and Save Guide

(October 29, 2001) Munich, Germany -- Productronica 2001, the 14th International Trade Fair for Electronics Production, will take place for the first time in two years next week. The fair bills itself as the only event of its kind in the world to depict the entire range of electronics manufacturing solutions.


Speaking of this Week - October 26, 2001

(October 26, 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.

AeA Classic Financial Conference to Draw High-Tech Companies of All Stripes

(October 25, 2001) San Diego -- The AeA Classic, a financial conference for technology companies to meet up with investors, is entering its 31st year -- and expecting high attendance despite the economic downturn and recent world events.

Ask and Answer - October 24, 2001

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

The Status and Future for Electronic Manufacturing Service Providers

(August 22, 2001) The electronics industry is alive with rhetoric about new materials, new components, new high-density interconnecting structures, new assembly techniques, and new performance requirements for complex electronic modules and assemblies.

New Book Discusses Lead-Free Issues

(October 23, 2001) Cleveland -- Lead-free electronics assembly is a hot topic at the moment, but SMT Editorial Advisory Board member Jennie Hwang, Ph.D., has been researching it for 11 years for her new book, Environment-Friendly Electronics: Lead-Free Technology.

SMT Plus' Web-based Training Offers New Way to Learn

(October 22, 2001) Scotts Valley, Calif. -- Learning in a class means sitting in a classroom and paying attention to a lecturer, right? Not at SMT Plus Inc.

Web-based Management of Product Changes Vital to Supply Chain Efficiency

(October 19, 2001) Sunnyvale, Calif. -- To succeed in the Internet-driven global economy, electronics manufacturers and assemblers have to efficiently roll out first-to-market products one after the other to gain market share and drive revenues.

Mexitronica Sparks Up Electronics Tradeshows

(October 18, 2001) Guadalajara, Mexico -- After the tragedy of September 11, many of the ensuing electronics tradeshows in the United States seemed slow and without many new product introductions and press conferences. However, Mexitronica, the conference and exposition for electronics in Mexico held October 10 to 12, fairly sizzled with activity.

Ask and Answer - October 17, 2001

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

IPC Concludes Needs Assessment Survey

(October 16, 2001) Northbrook, Ill. -- IPC-Association Connecting Electronics Industries recently concluded a needs assessment and satisfaction survey.


MEMS Gaining Momentum in Optical Networking, Study Says

(October 12, 2001) Scottsdale, Ariz. -- Micro-electrical-mechanical systems (MEMS) continue to show growth, even against the backdrop of an economic slowdown, according to a recent Cahners In-Stat Group report.

Quay Chooses GenRad X-ray System as Complement to Set of Testing Tools

(October 11, 2001) Westford, Mass. -- Eatontown, N.J.-based Quay Corp. has purchased multiple GR XStation 3DTM X-ray systems from GenRad Inc. to round out their set of test tools.

Ask and Answer - October 10, 2001

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

Agilent Technologies Markets Three New Products for PCB Test and Repair

(October 8, 2001) Palo Alto, Calif. -- Agilent Technologies' latest in-circuit test system enables electronics manufactures to cut time-to-market and reduce test costs. The 3070 Outsource Series bundles and tunes feature sets of targeted test for the production environment.

Impressions of Assembly Tech Expo

(October 5, 2001) Chicago -- If three words could sum up the mood at this year's Assembly Technology Expo and Surface Mount Technology Association International (SMTAI) shows, co-located in the Rosemont Convention Center here, red, white and blue would be it.

FIBEROPTIC Automation Expo Keynote Touches on Fiber Optic Trends, Forecast

(October 4, 2001) Chicago -- The life cycle for fiber-optic components is still in its early stages, and will continue its strong, steady growth for the next 25 years, according to FIBEROPTIC Automation Expo keynote speaker Jeff D. Montgomery, who spoke here yesterday.

SMTAI Session Illustrates Different Methods for Soldering Mixed Boards

(October 4, 2001) Chicago -- At Alternative Mixed Technology Soldering Solutions, a Surface Mount Technology Association International (SMTAI) session held yesterday, speakers illustrated three different ways to solder mixed boards.

Ask and Answer - October 3, 2001

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

Solectron's Nishimura Keynotes SMTA Annual Meeting

(October 3, 2001) Chicago -- The changes in the economy, the state of the supply chain and how his company will prepare for the upturn were topics Solectron Corp. president, CEO and chairman of the board Koichi Nishimura, Ph.D., touched on during his keynote speech at the Surface Mount Technology Association (SMTA) Annual Meeting/Awards Luncheon.

Test and Inspection

For the engineer or manager who must examine test and inspection for the first time, figuring out how and when to use the different methodologies may seem daunting at first.


Component Specifier

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

CM News

Jabil Expands Services - ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Jabil Circuit Inc. further expanded Jabil Technology Services by establishing three new design centers, located in Bergamo, Italy; Penang, Malaysia; and Raleigh, N.C.

Mistake-proof Manufacturing =Quality Manufacturing

An alternative to the "training and punishment" approach to error avoidance, mistake proofing devices provide prevention vs. costly "after the fact" detection.

Beta Test: Can Software Create a Self-profiling Reflow Oven?

If effective, results from this test could reduce production setup time, increase overall process accuracy and eliminate the need for daily product-profiling delays.

New Products

Stencil Inspection System - StencilScan is a stencil and screen inspection system designed for SMT assembly. It reportedly is a fully integrated, off-line inspection workstation using a PC Windows-based software package integrated with a high-resolution, calibrated, A3 flatbed scanner. This combination allows inspection of both stencils and screens for accuracy and blockage after cleaning or after fabrication, and the ability to inspect 100 percent for absence/presence and correct size

News

Teradyne Acquires GenRad - WESTFORD, Mass. — Teradyne Inc.'s acquisition of GenRad, a manufacturer of electronics automatic test equipment and related software, is expected to expand Teradyne's presence in the circuit board test and inspection market significantly. The proposed acquisition that is expected to close in this quarter, stipulates that each outstanding share of GenRad common stock be converted into 0.1733 shares of Teradyne com

Newsmakers

David H. Ormerod was appointed director of technical service, Enthone PWB Chemistry for Polycad Technologies, a Cookson Electrönics Co., Londonderry, N.H. Ormerod will be responsible for directing and leading the U.S. technical service organization.

Association News

Burrus to Keynote IPC Annual Meeting - NORTHBROOK, Ill. — Daniel Burrus, founder and CEO of Burrus Research Associates Inc., will deliver the keynote presentation at the IPC Annual Meeting held October 8 to 13, 2001, at the Rosen Centre Hotel in Orlando, Fla. The keynote presentation, which will focus on how the electronics industry can use technology to go beyond the competition by identifying the future impact of new technologies, is free to a

Briefs

AIM Opens New Office - AIM Inc. opened a sales and support office in the United Kingdom. AIM's European Business Manager, Andrew Clarke, who brings more than 21 years of experience in the electronics assembly industry, will manage the U.K. office. The office will market and provide technical support for the complete AIM line of electronic solders and chemicals throughout Europe and also will work in conjunction with AIM's European production facilities and distributors.

Navigating the Perfect Storm

By now, I'm sure everyone is familiar with the movie "The Perfect Storm," in which three forces of nature combine to create a weather event far greater and more powerful than any in recorded history.


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