Article Highlights
IoT: Driving Change in Manufacturing
10/15/2018 | Stephen Las Marias, I-Connect007
How CIM and IoT Can Make Your Factory Smart
10/12/2018 | Zac Elliott, Mentor, A Siemens Business
Tips to Improve Soldering Tip Life and Reduce Cost
10/10/2018 | Thermaltronics
The Smart Robot Revolution is Here
10/10/2018 | Pratik Kirve, Allied Analytics
Indium on Voiding and Auto Electronics Test Standard
10/09/2018 | Stephen Las Marias, I-Connect007

Latest Articles

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


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


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


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.

Large Format Digital Color AOI
A Technical Overview

The advances inherent in these automated optical inspection (AOI) systems include environmental and imaging advantages together with the development of collection and processing strategies.

Ionization Technology and the PCB Assembly Environment

Printed circuit board (PCB) assembly processes involve semi- and non- conductive materials and electrically isolated conductors, which can generate and retain large electrostatic potential.

Advanced Issues in Assembly: Part 1 Lead Contamination in Lead-free Assembly

Lead-free alloys can lose reliability when combined with lead-coated components or boards. To avoid the problem, reduce the lead-free transition time.

The Case for Multiple AOI Systems

(September 28, 2001) It is evident not only that higher penetration rates of automated optical inspection (AOI) systems into assembly lines are inevitable, but that an argument for several systems in a single line also appears to be justified.

Increasing Reflow Process Productivity, Efficiency with Automated Reflow Setup Software

(September 27, 2001) Colorado Springs, Colo. -- The Colorado Springs Technology Center, a facility of Agilent Technologies Inc., provides services to internal customers including building prototype equipment, developing new manufacturing processes, and the assembly of high-value custom electronic assemblies. To assemble these sophisticated products, the Colorado Springs Technology Center uses assembly, inspection and test equipment.

Ask and Answer - September 26, 2001

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

Effective Test Strategies for Modern Printed Circuit Assemblies - Part Three

(September 26, 2001) Test strategies can be leveraged to provide organizations with strategic advantage by improving the efficiency and delivered quality of business processes. Test can be used to gain advantage in a competitive environment by driving cost reductions and improved performance through the entire product lifecycle from design, through new product introduction (NPI), manufacturing and warranty.

Effective Test Strategies for Modern Printed Circuit Assemblies - Part Two

(September 25, 2001) The software must use analog, digital and boundary scan model libraries for accurate analysis of ICT, MDA and FPT test coverage. All component models should be stored in an open architecture, non-vendor specific library format. This neutral format should be automatically generated using translation tools provided with software that will translate vendor-specific model libraries into the neutral format.

Effective Test Strategies for Modern Printed Circuit Assemblies - Part One

(September 24, 2001) In today's world of electronics manufacturing, there is ever-increasing pressure to reduce cost, increase quality and shorten time-to-market. Test strategies can be leveraged to provide organizations with strategic advantages by improving the efficiency and delivered quality of business processes.

APEX Professional Development Courses Focus on Hot Industry Topics

(September 21, 2001) Northbrook, Ill. - Optoelectronics, optimization of assembly processes, and integration of new materials and technologies are some of the topics the APEX professional development courses, held from Saturday, Jan. 19 through Monday, Jan. 21, 2002, will cover.

APEX Professional Development Courses - Sunday

(September 24, 2001) Northbrook, Ill. -- Optoelectronics, optimization of assembly processes, and integration of new materials and technologies are some of the topics the APEX professional development courses, held from Saturday, Jan. 19 through Monday, Jan. 21, will cover. Attendees can choose from more than 60 full- and half-day programs taught by leaders and highly recognizable names in the industry.

APEX Professional Development Courses - Monday

(September 25, 2001) Northbrook, Ill. -- Optoelectronics, optimization of assembly processes, and integration of new materials and technologies are some of the topics the APEX professional development courses, held from Saturday, Jan. 19 through Monday, Jan. 21, will cover. Attendees can choose from more than 60 full- and half-day programs taught by leaders and highly recognizable names in the industry.

One Approach to Simplify/Speed Assembly

(September 21, 2001) To reduce set-up/changeover time (and solder paste loss), a company introduces a fully programmable, high-speed stencil printer, resulting also in other processing benefits.

APEX Standards Development Meetings Review Standards

(September 20, 2001) Northbrook, Ill -- The IPC standards development meetings, held from Saturday, Jan. 19 through Thursday, Jan. 24, 2002, include information on IPC, JEDEC and NEMI standards. These meetings are free for all attendees, and the committee awards luncheon will take place Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday (registration required).

APEX Free Forums Offer Candid Insights, Wealth of Information

(September 19, 2001) Northbrook, Ill. -- Held from Tuesday, Jan. 22 through Thursday, Jan. 24, 2002, the APEX FREE forums offer inside info on the hot topics of today. From new business issues to the latest on new markets, forum panelists are prepared to discuss the latest developments. Since there are no written proceedings, attendees will be privy to exclusive insights offered with candor.

Ask and Answer - September 19, 2001

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

APEX Gala Reception Features Pink Flamingos, a Chance to Network

(September 18, 2001) Northbrook, Ill. -- For those looking for a little fun and a chance to network during APEX 2002, set to take place Jan. 22 through 24, 2002, at the San Diego Conference Center, look no further than the Gala Reception on Wednesday, Jan. 23, from 6 to 9 p.m.

APEX Keynote Speakers Announced

(September 17, 2001) Northbrook, Ill. -- IPC-Association Connecting Electronics Industries has announced the keynote sessions for APEX 2002, set to take place Jan. 22 through 24, 2002 at the San Diego Convention Center.

Cadence Launches Online Community for High-Speed PCB Engineers

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

Ask and Answer -- September 12, 2001

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

RVSI Receives Follow-on Order for Wafer Inspection System

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

Nu Visions Manufacturing Acquired by Management

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

Samsung Techwin Co., Ltd Launches New SMT Equipment

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

First IPC Designers Council Designers Learning Symposium a Success with Attendees

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

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

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


September 4, 2001 - Featuring Assembly Tools & Equipment

Selector Roundup Soldering Equipment

Soldering is a critical step in the SMT process.

Publisher's Executive Council Interview

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

SMTA International 2001 Show Guide — Show Preview

Get Connected at SMTA International, the industry's best technical conference on electronics assembly and advanced packaging.

SMTA International 2001 — Products

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

EMS News

Chase EMS Group Announces New Test/Inspection Services - WEST BRIDGEWATER, Mass. — Chase EMS Group is offering a complete and comprehensive range of inspection and test services for electronics assemblies, including automated optical inspection (AOI); X-ray; GenRad in-circuit test (ICT); and functional testing capabilities.

Stencil Printer Manufacturers Eye a New Round of Growth

In addition to manufacturers, vendors offering complete SMT lines are jockeying to increase their market shares.

New Products

In-line PCB Support System - The In-line Red-E-Set substrate support system is for use in screen printers, dispensing systems and automated assembly machines. Unlike other optional in-line board support systems, it reportedly uses a patented spring-loaded pin support system to reduce setup time, eliminate board flex, reduce defects and increase throughput. The system is said to reduce setup times by as much as 84 percent. The system is compatible with all automatic screen printers disp

Getting Started in 2001 Rework

As space on circuit boards continues shrinking, 0201 component use is becoming standard.

A "Closer" Look at Area-array Components

Combining endoscopic technology and X-ray imaging adds greater dimension to BGA, flip chip and CSP inspection.

High-temperature Environments Create New SMT Challenges

Through-hole components are becoming more obsolete as the demand for surface mount grows.


The advance of lead-free solder paste has stepped up its pace recently.

Effective Creation of Test Programs - Decisive Cost Factor for the Use of AOI Systems

(August 31, 2001) Jena, Germany -- Today, electronic production is unthinkable without optical inspection systems. In addition to the increased efficiency, the extraordinary enhanced cost effectiveness is a reason for its indispensability.

Aegis Industrial Software, MIMOT Form OEM Agreement

(August 31, 2001) Horsham, Pa. - Aegis Industrial Software, developer of FUSION TransCollaborative Manufacturing (TCM) software, has formed an OEM agreement with German-based MIMOT, an international manufacturer of intelligent and flexible automatic SMD placement systems.


August 31-September 3, 2001 - Featuring Test Equipment

Uniroyal Technology Partners with Educational Institutions on Ultraviolet LEDs

(August 30, 2001) Sarasota, Fla. -- Uniroyal Optoelectronics is working with three of Florida's leading research universities - the University of Florida, the University of South Florida and the University of Central Florida - on UV Florida, a project that will help advance the company's development of ultraviolet light-emitting diodes, or UV LEDs.

Anvik LPI System Installed at Rockwell Collins

(August 29, 2001) Hawthorne, N.Y. - Anvik Corp., with the financial support of the Army, DARPA and the PWB Manufacturing Technology Center (PMTEC), has installed its HexScan 2100 SPE laser projection imaging (LPI) system at Rockwell Collins in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

Newly Revised Standard for Electronic Solder

(August 29, 2001) Northbrook, Ill. - IPC-Association Connecting Electronics Industries, in conjunction with the Electronic Industries Alliance (EIA), has revised a standard outlining requirements for electronic-grade solder alloys.

Agilent 93000 SOC Platform Selected by VIA

(August 27, 2001) Palo Alto, Calif. -Agilent Technologies' 93000 SOC Series has been chosen by Taipei, Taiwan-based VIA Technologies, a fabless supplier of PC core logic chipsets, to test its current and next-generation chipset and MPU product line.

Download the 2001 VISION Award Entry Form

The SMT VISION Awards recognize the people and products within the surface mount industry that serve as benchmarks of excellence. The awards will be presented at the APEX Electronics Assembly Process Exhibition and Conference, Jan. 22 through 24, 2002. Download the 2001 VISION Award Entry Form here to get your company entered. The deadline for submission is Nov. 30, 2001.

GOEPEL Doubles Speed of AOI System

(August 24, 2001) Jena, Germany - GOEPEL electronic, a supplier of intelligent optical inspection systems, has doubled the speed of its OptiCon SpeedLine AOI system through integration of a new camera module.

Keithley Instruments Software Upgrade More Automated, Interactive

(August 23, 2001) Cleveland - Keithley Instruments Inc., a provider of electrical measurement products to the telecommunications, semiconductor, optoelectronics and other related parts of the electronics industry, has upgraded its Model 4200-SCS Semiconductor Characterization System to include features requested by engineers, including more interaction and automation.

ERI Courses to Focus on EMC, Climatic Testing

(August 22, 2001) Santa Barbara, Calif. - The Equipment Reliability Institute (ERI) will offer two new courses in the coming months on climatic testing and EMC, respectively.

Snapshot of the Chipset Testing Market

(August 20, 2001) -- In today's PC market, speed is the ultimate competitive edge and communication bandwidth within PC subsystems is a major bottleneck. This drives technology changes: e.g. in accelerating memory access.

Kycom Announces New Distributor in the Southeast

(August 15, 2001) Orlando, Fla. - Manufacturer of interconnect solutions Kycon Inc. has appointed Hammond Electronics as distributor for its full line of connectors. Headquartered in Orlando, Fla., Hammond Electronics has sales offices in Alabama, Florida, North Carolina, Georgia and Texas, and will cover the southeast and south central markets. Hammond has been a leading distributor of interconnect products for more than 50 years.

VJ Electronix Expands New York Facility

(August 14, 2001) Bohemia, N.Y. -- VJ Electronix, manufacturer of automated x-ray inspection (AXI) systems, has expanded their Bohemia, N.Y., facility by 6,000 square feet. The facility will house a new customer training center for conducting sessions on X-ray analysis, and an expanded advanced technology research and support division.

Teradyne, GenRad to Come Together

(August 14, 2001) Boston and Westford, Mass. -- Teradyne Inc., which bills itself as the world's largest supplier of automatic test equipment, has signed a definitive agreement to purchase GenRad Inc., a manufacturer of electronic automatic test equipment and related software.


August 16, 2001 - Featuring SMT Materials

Conformal Coating Optimization

An overview is provided of the protective process' most effective options providing "smooth" integration into existing production lines.

Emerging Flip Chip and WL-CSP Technologies

Flip chip and wafer-level chip scale packaging (WL-CSP) are defined clearly for the benefit of both customers and manufacturers.

Step 7 — Soldering

As the efficiency and automation of production have improved, major savings now are found in equipment costs and associated overhead.


Components, Stencil Printing and Flip Chip Strategies are all featured in the September 2001 issue.

SGS Sets Dates for SMT Process Engineer Certification Program

July 20, 2001 - Speedline Global Services' four-part training program provides SMT process engineers with in-depth training and hands-on learning for the entire electronics manufacturing process.

AIM Announces Lead-Free Consultation Services

July 2, 2001 - AIM demonstrates true ramifications and requirements of implementing a lead-free process and makes recommendations.

The Dawn of Micro Dispensing

State-of-the-art micro dispensing addresses the daunting task of depositing solder paste accurately on densely packed PCBs.

Toward the Zero-defect Production Line

Automated optical inspection (AOI) has long been a key part of PCB production. New trends, however, are changing AOI and the role it plays in processing.

CSPs:Paving the Way to Electronic Hardware Miniaturization

>What's new with chip scale packages (CSP)? Quite a bit actually, if you follow reports and technical papers from the Surface MountCouncil (SMC), the National Electronics Manufacturing Initiative (NEMI) and APEX 2001.

A Breakthrough in 0201 Component Inspection

A new high-resolution digital color system provides solid automated optical inspection (AOI) as well as a stable solution to the populated printed circuit board (PCB) inspection challenge.

Snapshot of the SMT Inspection Equipment Market

The inspection equipment market is just beginning to take off, as can be seen by the increasing number of vendors. In 2000, world revenues for the SMT inspection equipment market reached $343.8 million.

Test Contactor; Frame Grabber etc

Test Contactor - New is the MicroTouch high-performance test contactor for BGA and CSP devices. This new product family is said to use proprietary technologies in a structure that features compliant contacts and elastomer materials for a reliable test interconnect. The short contact length of 1.1 mm reportedly preserves signal integrity and reveals the performance of IC area-array devices. Electrical characterization results at 1.27 mm pitch indicate self-i

Feature Products

Large-board Handling Capacity - The high-capacity Intelliplacer 5 and 8 pick-and-place systems can accommodate large PCBs up to 42.5 x 26", as well as backplanes, backpanels, panelized boards, telecom PCBs and more. Reportedly, the systems also feature easy reconfigurability for high-mix applications; a high-speed, high-precision linear motor drive system; auto-aligning intelligent feeders; inventory control; low component warning signals; and automatic feeder pick-up correction. MultiTr

ViTechnology Opens West Coast Facility

June 28, 2001 - New facility serves as company's West Coast sales, service, training and demonstration center.

IPC Book-to-Bill Sees Slight Increase

June 27, 2001 - Book-to-bill ratio increases 5 percent from April to May.

GenRad Launches TestStation TSM

June 18, 2001 - TSM platform includes all the features of GR TestStation, but in a reduced footprint and with a reduced pin count designed to test smaller printed circuit assemblies.

Qualitek Lowers Solder Paste & Liquid Flux Prices

June 14, 2001 - Qualitek announces it will reduce solder paste and liquid flux prices 20 percent for potential customers that switch to the Qualitek brand.

EKRA Expands Headquarters

June 12, 2001 - Project increases facility's floor space, enabling company to handle expanding business.

EKRA Forms Strategic Partnership with Manufacturing Solutions Group

June 12, 2001 - Manufacturing Solutions Group will provide EKRA customers training facilities and classes.

VIA Unveils 0.13 Micron Processor

June 6, 2001 - New VIA C3 introduced at Computex Taipei 2001 claims to be first 0.13 µm processor to go into volume production.

An Industry First

June 5, 2001 - Visteon, in partnership with Alpha Metals, is the first automotive manufacturer to use a lead-free solder alloy in their manufacturing process.

ESD Association Awards Research Grants

June 4, 2001 - Grants to fund research in ESD on the subjects of bipolar device behavior and transmission line pulse testing.

Emerging Technologies Summit

June 1, 2001 - SMTA International sessions to address MEMS/MOEMS, photonics, system on a package and Bluetooth.

Cleaning Guidelines for Fine-pitch Stencil Applications

Recent advances in fine-pitch technology have presented many new printing-related challenges.

Polymer Stencils for Wafer Bumping

UV lasers have proven to be useful tools In numerous processing areas. Now, state-of-the-art polymer stencils for fine-pitch applications offer a new field for the use of UV lasers.

Step 6 — Component Placement

The concept of pick-and-place itself is very simple — it is the process of taking the components used to build a product from the reel, stick or tray and placing them in the correct place on the board in the correct direction.

Printing Equipment & Stencils

In SMT assembly, the screen/stencil printing step is critical.

Relyent Offers Quick-turn Prototyping; Legacy Electronics Adds SMT Equipment, Production Line, Personnel; Dage Adds X-ray Inspection

Relyent Offers Quick-turn Prototyping - HILLSBORO, Ore. — Relyent Inc., a new custom assembly services provider, is offering a unique service: quick-turn prototyping and low-volume PCB assembly and modification.

Real-time SPC with AOI

While automated optical inspection (AOI) has been integrated successfully into many production lines, much additional useful data for the inspection process remains to be used. How? Enter statistical process control (SPC) . . . and a "catalyst."

Publisher's Executive Council Interview

SMT Magazine's Publisher's Executive Council consists of 38 electronics industry executives hand-picked by publisher Jim Collins.

New Products

Aqueous Circuit Board Cleaner; Turret-based Chip Shooters; Solder Machines

Practical ideas on Large-board Printing

Tips for production printing of the latest large-panel PCBs are provided, including handling, tooling, processing, vision and understencil alignment, and accessib

Achieving Long-term Stability in the SMD Placement Process

This article provides a short description of the MCT process, together with the essential fundamentals of placement accuracy. It then introduces a special calibration method which allows for placement accuracy testing to help meet today's pressing market demands.

TheSupply and Create E-Marketplace

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

EMI/RFI Industry Leaders Merge

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


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

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

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

Park Announces Major Expansion of its Nelco Singapore Facility

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

Online Assessment Tool Locates Electronics Employees

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


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

WebQuote and Valor Partner in Online PCB eCommerce

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


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

GE Electromaterials Launches Online PCB Design Site

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

Cookson Introduces e-Leaning System for PCB Manufacturers

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

Tektronix and GenRad Partner

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

ATExpo Re-engineers Technical Conference

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


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


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


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


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

Dow Corning and Krayden Form Strategic Supply Alliance

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


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

Smart Sonic Introduces Industry's First Independent Stencil Dryer

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


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

Intrinsix and Sanmina Align; Sanmina Launches Circuit Performance Tool

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

Departments, Factories and Customers as One

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

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

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

Integration of X-ray Inspection and Rework improves SMT yields

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

Stencil Cleaning

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

NEPCON East and Electro Preview

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

New Products

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

SMT 101: Adhesives, Epoxies and Dispensing

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


Links to industry association web sites important to SMT Magazine readers.

Get Beamed@Pall Microelectronics at SEMICON Europa

April 18, 2001 - Pall announces the first downloadable pocket show guide for SEMICON Europa.


TCM Manufacturing Software, 2-D Inspection Systems and Placement are all featured in the May 2001 issue.

Step 10: Rework & Repair

The rework and repair of printed circuit boards (PCB) has never been more critical to the success of contract electronics manufacturers (CEMs) and OEMs than it is now. As repair and rework have grown in importance, the tools and procedures necessary to properly perform the work have become increasingly sophisticated – from solder/desolder machines, soldering irons and tips to hand tools, solder paste application equipment, cleaning chemistries and more.

Defining Surface Mount Equipment Performance

The IPC 5-41 subcommittee, comprised of both SMT equipment users and suppliers, is developing the IPC-9850 standard, which simplifies the evaluation process by standardizing the performance parameters that describe placement machine capabilities.

SMT PERSPECTIVES - Complete Series

SMT Perspectives, the forum where SMT industry leaders express their opinions on the latest and hottest topics!


Now in one place is SMT's entire 2000 Step-by-Step Series that maps out the complete SMT process in 10 steps. Even for industry veterans, this series can serve as a resource that explains in detail the different aspects of SMT.


April 12, 2001 - Featuring Assembly Tools & Equipment

Speedline Announces Organizational Changes

April 11, 2001 - Franklin, MA - Speedline Technologies centralizes the management of its research and development, product development, manufacturing, procurement, and marketing functions.

SCI Systems and e4eNet enter eCollaboration partnership

QUINCY, MA - e4eNet enters into a joint development partnership for engineering collaboration services with SCI Systems.

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.

Publisher's Executive Council Interview

SMT Magazine's Publisher's Executive Council consists of 38 electronics industry executives hand-picked by publisher Jim Collins. They share their expertise and insights with our editorial staff and act as a sounding board for new editorial concepts and projects.

Step 4 — Printing

In the reflow soldering of surface mount assemblies, solder paste connects the leads or terminations of surface mount components to the lands. There are many variables in this process — paste, screen printer, paste application method and printing process.

Metal Stencil Overview

A definite learning curve exists when ordering the stencil for a printing process. When familiarization with its technologies helps produce desired results, the stencil becomes a constant in an otherwise variable assembly operation.

Is Outsourcing for Everyone?

Over the past few years, contract manufacturing (CM) activities have exploded. Before eagerly embracing this alternative, however, these elements should be evaluated: What factors are encouraging the trend? What criteria determine the decision to outsource? Should everything be outsourced? And, how is control maintained when products are made by others?

Micro Dispensing Comes of Age

With semiconductor components and packages continuing to shrink in size, dot diameters of 0.01" and under mandate an "integrated engineering" approach to the design of dispensing equipment.

Design for Assembly: High-density Circuits for Hand-held and Portable Products

Chip scale ball grid array (BGA) packaging is seen by many as a viable answer to the space restrictions necessitated by new generations of hand-held and portable electronics products, as well as to the demand for their higher functionality and performance.

New Products

Automated Robotic Soldering from Automation Unlimited Inc., a Division of MRSI Group Co., Woburn, Mass; Product-controlled Manufacturing from Siemens AG, Nuremberg, Germany; Microfocus X-ray from phoenix|x-ray Systems + Services, Camarillo, Calif....

Will Slowdown In Computer Industry Hamper EMS Growth?

The electronics manufacturing services (EMS) industry provides service at minimal cost. To remain strong in the low-profit margin computer market, however, large EMS providers should pursue scale economies, while smaller providers must closely define their niche.

Accepting the PCB Test and Inspection Challenge

The past couple years have witnessed a surge of interest in infrared (IR) technology as a mechanism for testing printed circuit boards (PCB) and assemblies. OEM and contract manufacturers (CM) are experimenting with innovative IR tests at various phases of the PCB production process.

CM News

Solectron Acquires Facility, Adds Management; MSL Adds Facility, Names Marketing VP; Visteon Develops Electronic Module...

OEM Print Engines

New is the Zebra PAX3 family of OEM print engines.

Handling Moisture-sensitive Devices

Moisture/reflow sensitivity of plastic encapsulated components is a critical manufacturing issue that cannot be dismissed with "easy-to-follow" assembly procedures.

Test Boards Simplify Flip Chip Underfill Processing

Used with nondestructive micro-imaging, test boards can cut costs and complexity by rendering results acoustically visible.

Step 3 — Solder Materials

This overview of both leaded and lead-free solder materials focuses on the properties and characteristics important to applications in electronics packaging and assembly.

New Products

Machine Vision Board; PC-based Field Solver; Wavelength Sensor and Circuit; Dam-and-fill Products ...

APEX 2001 Review

More than 6,900 attendees gathered at the second Electronics Assembly Process Exhibition and Conference (APEX), which was held from January 14 to 18, 2001 at the San Diego Convention Center in San Diego, Calif.

The 2000 VISION Awards

Innovation took center stage at SMT's 2000 VISION Awards ceremony, held in conjunction with the IPC/SMEMA Assembly Process Exhibition and Conference (APEX) in San Diego on January 16, 2001.

Survival in the SMT Soldering Equipment Market

Survival in the SMT Soldering Equipment Market Trends and strategies to help SMT soldering equipment manufacturers stay successful in the constantly changing market are detailed.

Trends in Miniaturization

Product designers increasingly specify smaller components to achieve more board density and provide more product functionality. The upswing of 0201 component use offers a dramatic impact on PCB real estate and allows new investment opportunities for manufacturers previously unable to capitalize on miniaturization trends.

EtroniX 2001: Six Shows in One

ANAHEIM, CA - EtroniX covers entire electronics supply chain -- from design, advanced packaging and components, to supply chain management, test, and production.

NEPCON Production & Support Exhibition and Conference and EtroniX Show Guide

This year, NEPCON Production & Support Exhibition and Conference (formerly NEPCON West) will be joined by five key industry events to form EtroniX. A new six-shows-under-one-roof event, EtroniX will provide solutions for the entire electronics supply chain — from design, advanced packaging and components, to supply chain management, test and production.

From Roadblock to Routine Placement Assembly

While often thought of as a fairly recent development, the printed circuit board (PCB) assembly process known as SMT has been available since the early 1950s. Since then, the need for increasingly smaller, lighter and faster electronics has been driving component, PCB and assembly equipment technologies in the direction of SMT.

Next-generation Reflow Technology

Worldwide lead-free solder paste implementation figures to quicken as components become more diverse, ranging from large ball grid arrays (BGA) to ever finer-pitched parts, and requiring the new reflow ovens to provide more precisely controlled thermal transfer.

Basic Metallurgy and Wavesoldering Trends

For wave soldering to be fully accepted in the electronics industry, metallurgists, industry and governing agencies must work together and extensive research must be conducted.

Automating the Dispensing Process

Manual, time/pressure and automated dispensing systems all have their appropriate places within the manufacturing support spectrum; the evolution of one system to the other follows a logical progression.

Step 2 — Process Control

The path to defect prevention starts with a good process quality plan. Process quality determines product quality, whose main goal is to limit and reduce variations toward creation of a healthy process. This plan should outline the methods used to monitor products and processes.

IPC Sets Dates for APEX 2002

NORTHBROOK, IL - IPC SMEMA Council's APEX 2002 will take place January 20-24, 2002 in San Diego.

SMT Announces VISION Award Winners

SAN DIEGO, CA - SMT Magazine recognizes outstanding innovations in new products and services for the electronics manufacturing industry at VISION Awards ceremony.

440-R SMT Detergent Nominated for EPA Award

440-R SMT Detergent used in the Smart Sonic Stencil Cleaning Process nominated to receive EPA's Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge Award.

3-D Solder Paste Inspection

As the geometry of surface mountable advanced packages decreases while product packaging density increases, solder paste-related problems continue to top many manufacturers' lists as the leading source of defects and is compounded by the fact that the new devices are more difficult and expensive to rework.

SMA Dispensing Trends

Each leading technique for SMA dispensing is outlined and explored as relating to modern SMT production environments, including a review of the fundamental tradeoffs between different SMA dispensing methods to achieve optimal SMT production results.

Automation Addresses Odd-form Assembly

It is no longer a question of whether capable handling equipment is available. Rather, are the technology and equipment properly matched to the task?

New Advances in AOI Technologies

A useful supplement to in-circuit test (ICT), automated optical inspection (AOI) accurately identifies and recognizes component variability on printed circuit boards (PCB), thereby improving overall system performance.

Contract Manufacturer in Motion

SAN JOSE, Calif. — Sanmina reportedly has become North America's largest high-end printed circuit board (PCB) fabrication service provider.

The Paperless Factory Comes of Age

An evolution in CIM software fulfills its promise: An advance well beyond simple document viewing that combines the benefits of effective data preparation, electronic revision control and automatic engineering change dissemination.

APEX 2001 pre-show coverage

If you're in electronics manufacturing, you gotta see this show!" is the mantra heard worldwide regarding January's APEX tradeshow.

SMT Adhesive Deposition: The Line to Success

Miniaturization is driving the design of new devices that use SMT components on both the bottom- and top-sides of printed circuit boards (PCB). Additionally, industry requirements for increased board reliability and faster throughput are stimulating demand for more robust board assembly processes, resulting in new manufacturing line configurations.

Publisher's Executive Council Interview

SMT Magazine's Publisher's Executive Council consists of 38 electronics industry executives hand-picked by publisher Jim Collins. They share their expertise and insights with our editorial staff and act as a sounding board for new editorial concepts and projects.

Machine Vision Placement Considerations

Machine vision's critical role in surface mount device (SMD) placement begins by locating printed circuit board (PCB) fiducial marks, assuring device alignment, and performing tolerance checking or inspection.

Lead-free Processing: Thermal Effect on Components

A major concern in the switch to lead-free solders is the impact higher reflow temperatures will have on surface mount components. Although numerous lead-free alloys have been proposed as replacements for conventional Sn/Pb, the feasible replacements mostly are Sn/Ag/Cu alloys.

Rethinking the Use of Commercial Components

By their sheer volume, the commercial industries have influenced the buying power of the military. Regardless of how critical a project, the parts needed to complete a design may not be an option. The same vendor who fulfilled critical specifications years ago is no longer interested in low-volume, poor yield, labor-intensive design-to-specification.

Publisher's Executive Council Interview

SMT Magazine's Publisher's Executive Council consists of 38 electronics industry executives hand-picked by publisher Jim Collins.

2000 Vision Awards

Vision Award 2000 - It takes vision to anticipate how technology will change and how products and services must evolve to stay current. Today's best companies seek these future challenges and respond with creativity and innovation. Each year, SMT Magazine recognizes outstanding companies whose products or services in surface mount technology serve as the benchmarks of excellence ...

Analyzing Lead-free Wavesoldering Defects

A European consortium and others have concluded that Pb-free soldering is technologically possible, but implementation issues first must be addressed, including the VOC-free flux technology and whether the process must be modified to accommodate required higher soldering temperatures.

How Clean Is Clean Enough?

A common question that rings through our technical support line is, "What is IPC's standard on cleanliness?" This is a simple, straightforward question often asked by industry novices, so a simple, straightforward answer usually is what they want. However, in most cases, this is not specific enough for their individual needs.

Roadmap to BGA Standards

At a 1994 meeting of the Surface Mount Council (SMC), the subject of SMT standards was at the top of the agenda. Emerging technologies forced a discussion as to what was becoming standard protocol. The meeting revealed there was no definitive standard for the new technologies.

Deep Recess Penetration

Conformal coatings are commonly used for mechanical and electrical isolation of electronic circuit assemblies, sensors and transducers, automotive components, medical devices, and various other industrial products.

Publisher's Executive Council Interview

Magazine's Publisher's Executive Council consists of 38 electronics industry executives hand-picked by publisher Jim Collins. They share their expertise and insights with our editorial staff and act as a sounding board for new editorial concepts and projects ...

New Products

Circuit Assembly Materials from Thermoset, Lord Chemical Products, Indianapolis, Ind.; Film Adhesives from APS TechFilm, Peabody, Mass.; X-ray Inspection from Glenbrook Technologies Inc., Randolph, N.J.; Tray Handling from Pro Automation Inc., Garden Grove, CA. ...

Component Specifier

High-voltage MOSFET from Fairchild Semiconductor, Acton, Mass.; Temperature Sensing from International Rectifier, El Segundo, Calif.; Power Supply from BIAS Power Technology, Roanoke, Va.; Dual Transformers from Bel Fuse Inc., Jersey City, N.J. ...

CM News

IBM VP Moves to Solectron; New President & CEO for GroupTech; Irish Manufacturing Commences; Organizational Overhaul ...

PCBs Challenge Test & Inspection

Printed circuit board (PCB) manufacturers continually are faced with test and inspection challenges. Increased board density is challenging traditional bed-of-nails in-circuit test (ICT) as well as visual inspection by human operators.

EMS Market for the North American Communications Industry

Telecommunication (telecom) and datacommunication (datacom) OEMs accept outsourcing as a viable business model because electronics manufacturing services (EMS) organizations are furthering their service expertise swiftly.

New Products

Depaneling Systems from MJ automec USA Inc., Grand Prairie, Texas; Stencil Printer from Automated Production Systems Inc., Huntingdon Valley, Pa; Profiling Equipment from Saunders Technology Inc., Hollis, N.H.; Four-head Placement from Manncorp, Huntingdon Valley, Pa ...

Soldering Equipment & Materials

Soldering is a critical step in the SMT process. Because high reliability and throughput rates rely on defect-free soldering, it is important that soldering equipment and materials meet the needs of the assembler.

Technology Drives Process Solutions

Ultra-small footprint passives, such as 0201 components, are a hot topic in the electronics industry. Existing as a compliment to high input/output (I/O) devices, such as chip scale packages (CSP) and flip chip technologies1, these components are needed for electronic package miniaturization.

Modern PCB Test Strategies

Design for test (DFT) is not the job of an individual, but a group with representatives from design engineering, test engineering, manufacturing and purchasing. Design engineering must specify the functional product and tolerance requirement.

Reworking Area-array Packages

Over the last several years, standard area-array devices [ball grid arrays (BGA), chip scale packages (CSP), flip chip, etc.] have become preferred packages in design and manufacturing. Reasons for moving away from traditional leaded packages include increased input/output (I/O) per unit of printed circuit board (PCB) area ...

Streamlining Production and Device Programming Processes

Increasing time-to-market pressure continually presents high-volume electronics manufacturers with the challenge to streamline production. Recent advances in manufacturing equipment and processes means that many traditional production constraints no longer exist.

Effects of Bi Contamination on Sn/Pb Eutectic Solder

Aternary phase diagram of Sn/Pb/Bi1 indicates the presence of a ternary eutectic composition of 16Sn/32Pb/52Bi with a melting temperature of 96°C. Additionally, two low-temperature binary eutectic reactions — 43Sn/57Bi at 139°C and 43.5Pb/56.5Bi at 125°C — extend into the ternary domains.

Mass Reflow Assembly 0201 of Components

The need to reduce the size and weight of electronic products continues as SMT advances. Size reductions of passive components, coupled with improved printed circuit board (PCB) technology, produces smaller, lighter and higher performing end products.

Step-by-Step: Cleaning

Lead-free alloys will change soldering technology as well as the entire manufacturing process, including assembly materials and components. Additionally, this change highlight questions relating to awareness and dissemination of existing information, materials availability, soldering technology, and implementation requirements.

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.

EMS News

Communications Drives Southeast Asia; Solectron and Nortel Continue to Deal; MSL Expands in U.S. and Overseas ...

Implementing AOI in a CM Environment

The SMT contract manufacturing (CM) world is undergoing dramatic changes. Many companies are growing more than 40 percent per year, as OEM companies in the telecommunication, computer and other industries divest themselves of assembly operations.

Board-support Analysis During Component Placement

Various board-support tooling systems are available for processing, including manually placed pins, automatic programmable arrays and custom-machined plates.

Industry Calendar

A listing of industry events.

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 ...

New Products

Chip Placement Machine from Juki Automation Systems, Morrisville, N.C.; Resettable Fuses from Raychem Circuit Protection, Div. of Tyco Electronics, Menlo Park, Calif.; Batch Cleaner from Speedline Technologies Asia, Division of Cookson Electronics, Singapore; Next-generation Vision System from Cognex Corp., Natick, Mass. ...

SMTA International 2000 Preview

SMTA International (SMTAI) will be held September 24 to 28, 2000, at the Donald Stephens Convention Center (formerly Rosemont Convention Center) in Rosemont (Chicago), Ill. Dedicated solely to surface mount, advanced packaging and related technologies, SMTAI is an event featuring a comprehensive technical conference and special symposiums.

SMTA International 2000 Products

BGA Inspection from O.C. White Co., Three Rivers, Mass.; Mobile Training Center from BEST Inc., Rolling Meadows, Ill.; Thermal Shock Resistant Epoxy from Loctite Corp., Rocky Hill, Conn.; SMT Pins, Headers from Zierick Manufacturing Corp., Mt. Kisco, N.Y. ...

In-process Quality Control: The Route to Zero-defect Manufacture

The end goal of implementing AOI will determine where it should be placed in the line and what process control information will be generated.

Alternative processing for forming solder joints with lead-free solder alloys

This article describes the results of recently completed research that indicates liquid-phase enhanced sintering of solder paste may be an alternative processing technique for developing lead-free solder joints.

The Relationship Between Throughput and the Number of Placement Heads

More heads for a pick-and-place machine do not always add up to greater throughput.

DPMO: A Tool for Achieving World-class Process Quality

When used properly, DPMO is a more effective quality measurement tool than first-pass yield.

Underfill Design and Process Considerations

As circuit densities have increased and product form factors have diminished, the electronics industry has spawned a variety of new methods for integrating chip-level designs more tightly with board-level assemblies. To a great degree, the emergence of technologies such as flip chip and chip scale packaging (CSP) have effectively blurred the traditional lines of demarcation between semiconductor die, chip packaging methods and printed circuit board (PCB) assembly-level processes.


Reflow soldering surface mount components is now two decades old. While the fundamentals have not changed, there have been advances in component packaging and materials, plus a new generation of "convection-dominant" reflow ovens that promise vastly improved heat-transfer efficiency.

CM News

Large CMs Continue Impressive Growth; MCMS and Avail Partner; SMTC to Acquire Pensar; International Expansion Continues; EMI Expands Headquarters ...

PCB Fabrication: Achieving solderable finishes

Today's ultra-fine-pitch components create a challenge for manufacturers not only to meet board surface planarity requirements using conventional processes, but also to deliver more reliable products faster and cheaper.

EOL Automation: Pushing Profitability Forward

The advantages of EOL combine to generate an ROI that is more favorable than current automation processes.

Rework Process for MicroBGA and CSP

As electronic assemblies become smaller, fine-pitch micro ball grid arrays (microBGA) and chip scale packages (CSP) meet the requirements for smaller, faster and higher performance electronic products. These low-cost packages can be found in many products such as laptop computers, cell phones and other portable devices.

BGA Solder Joint Vibration Fatigue

When soldered to a substrate or PCB, BGAs can reduce substrate interconnection area, complexity and cost, as well as facilitate assembly automation. However, because of a general lack of compliance in BGA solder joints, their failure in a military vibration environment becomes a serious design concern.

Continuous Improvement Approaches for Wave Soldering

If an effective process control system can be implemented with the appropriate preparation and support, most of the problems that arise in the wavesoldering process can be eliminated or at least minimized to an acceptable level.


SEMICON West 2000, San Jose, Calif., SEMI, (650) 964-5111; Fax: (650) 967-5375; E-mail:; Web site: ...

New Products

Optical Inspection from Teradyne Inc.; Code Reader from Microscan Systems Inc.; Inspection Camera from Viscom USA; Solder Paste Inspection from CyberOptics Corp; Thermally Conductive Epoxy from Loctite Corp....

EMS News

Chinese Facility to be Developed; 'Mini-warehouse' Added to Service Offerings; Viasystems Completes Acquisition, Chooses Software; East Coast EMS Provider Expands; Qualcon Wins Award ...

Bridge OEM/CM Barriers with the Internet

Contract manufacturers (CM) can use the Internet to communicate through the entire business cycle, from order entry to post-fulfillment service. Quality, work in process (WIP) and other production-related information also can be shared. This level of communication brings the CM and its customers into a closer relationship, even if separated by oceans and continents.

Stencil Design for Mixed-technology Placement & Reflow

Reviewing stencil design requirements for mixed-technology boards is essential because full implementation allows through-hole components and surface mount devices (SMD) placement and the subsequent reflow of both simultaneously. This eliminates the need to wave or hand solder through-hole components. Material type, pin type, lead l

Nitrogen and Soldering: Reviewing the Issue of Inerting

While accepted in the wavesoldering process, nitrogen use in reflow ovens is frequently questioned despite a wealth of research.

Are You Ready for Lead-free Assembly?

The lead-free challenge lies in using technology that allows electronics assemblers to maintain optimal thermal processes in the reduced lead-free process window.

Drying Three Times Faster: Jet Manifolds vs. Air Knives

The physical removal of water on PCBs requires far less energy than evaporative removal. But unless air strikes with sufficient velocity to overcome the surface tension, physical removal does not occur.

Web-based Production Monitoring: A Window to the Future

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

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

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

Getting More Electronics Assembly Productivity

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

Statistical Tools Promote Bottom-line Improvements

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

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

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


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

SMT 101 Step 6 - Component Placement

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

Height-adjustable Workstations

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

Material-handling Systems

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

PCB-cleaning Film

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


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

Robotic-liquid Dispensing

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

Fume-extraction System

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


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

Shielding Gasket

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

Grip Tweezer

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

EMI Shielding Gasket

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

Laser Engraving System

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

Bar-code Label Printers

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

Solder Paste Inspection

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

Assembly Cells

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

SMD Rework Station

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


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

Implementing CSP Technology: A Controlled Approach to NPI

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

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