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Latest Articles

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.

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.

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.

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.

Philips & TRC Team Up

BOCA RATON, Fla. - Technical Resources Corp. Inc. (TRC) announced its appointment as Philips Electronics Manufacturing Technology (EMT) Americas` exclusive representative for Florida and Puerto Rico. TRC has three offices in Boca Raton, Orlando and San Juan, Fla., and also represents Vitronics Soltec, GenRad, Christopher Associates, Celtronix, S.P. Precision International, KIC Thermal and AIM.

VLSI Forecast for Semiconductor Equipment

Semiconductor equipment manufacturers posted a book-to-bill ratio of 1.01 in June, according to VLSI Research. It was the first increase above parity since July 2008. Although bookings and billings remain well below normal levels, business activity is beginning to improve. Back-end suppliers are seeing a considerable pick up in business activity amid soaring utilization rates at the subcontractors.

Cleanliness Testing on the Shop Floor

Previously found only in the lab, cleanliness testers are migrating to the production line as manufacturers realize their potential as a process control tool for lead-free assembly.

If You Build It, They Will Come

By Michelle M. Boisvert, managing editor - - While China maintains its hold as a key low-cost outsourcing region for electronics manufacturing (hardware), India often comes to mind for its expertise in software development, with the markings for major growth in all electronics manufacturing sectors. Will it become a competitive low-cost region to China? This article looks at various aspects that India must overcome to reach its full electronics manufacturing capabilities.

Speaking of this Week — November 21, 2003

There's lots to give thanks for this week. Progress continues to reign supreme, and good financial news comes to the fore as well. Companies continue to come together, present at tradeshows, and hire new personnel. There's also some insight into the volatile optoelectronics market.

Ask and Answer - April 24, 2002

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


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

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.

Singapore CM Wins Two Awards

SINGAPORE - Azuno Manufacturing Pte. Ltd., the CM business unit of Aztech Systems Ltd., won two Quality Awards from Allied Telesyn International (ATI) and P.T. Thomson Television Indonesia. ATI assessed its suppliers on a quarterly basis with a performance rating scheme before awarding Azuno with the Quality Award, which was presented during ATI`s annual Quality Conference in October 1999. P.T. Thomson contracted Azuno to perform SMT placement for their tuners, and the company exceeded the accep

New Facility Improvement Products: Carts, Conveyors, Gas Control, and More

These new products from Bliss Industries, Matheson Tri-Gas, Terra Universal, Seika, Virtual Industries, and other companies provide component and PCB storage and transportation around the electronics manufacturing facility. Products include chassis carts, MSD storage, barcode labels and readers, stencil frames, and more.

Green Giant — Green China

By Craig Hunter, AVX Corp. - - China has gone green. The giant has seen massive industrial growth and has polluted their air, water, and soil while consuming vast natural resources. In response, they are implementing environmental legislation in an attempt to reduce the effects of pollution caused by rapid industrial development. A 1998 WHO report on air quality concluded that seven of the world's 10 most polluted cities were in China. Enter China's RoHS environmental initiative.

Speaking of this Week -- January 24, 2003

As cold as it is outside, I'm warmed by all the progress and personnel news I see as of late. Companies also continue to come together, and there's some financial news. Finally, some news on the educational front, and predictions.

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.

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

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 ...

PCB & CM Markets will Continue to Grow

OYSTER BAY, N.Y. - Shipments of printed circuit boards (PCB) will rise throughout the world during the next five years, and contract manufacturers (CM) will continue to see demand for their services climb, according to a new study from Allied Business Intelligence (ABI). Also, CMs are increasingly entering the PCB marketplace to close the gap between manufacturing and design.


Inside EFD's Solder and Dispense Equipment Manufacturing Operations

EFD hosted an open house at its new, larger East Providence, R.I., facility. SMT toured the solder paste development, manufacturing, and testing areas; dispenser manufacturing; shipping; and other operations at the facility.

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.

2001 Product Review

Equipment

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.

Letter to the Editor: An Expert Weighs in on Dross

Speaking of this Week — July 2, 2004

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

Speaking of this Week — September 5, 2003

This short week was sluggish on the news front, but there was some progress, partnership/alliance and financial news, as well as bits of personnel and tradeshow news. Still, enough to keep us on our toes.

CALENDAR

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

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.

Board-level Thermal Management: 3D Heat Removal

By Paul A. Magill, Ph.D., Nextreme Thermal Solutions - The paradigm driving PCB-level design has always been cost. However, IC-generated heat on these boards has increased in modern designs. Frequently, the heat generated by these die leads to hot spot formation on the circuit boards. As board designs progress, a combination of active and passive and bottom, top, and lateral thermal management is needed.


Speaking of this Week — September 5, 2003

This short week was sluggish on the news front, but there was some progress, partnership/alliance and financial news, as well as bits of personnel and tradeshow news. Still, enough to keep us on our toes.

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.

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

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.

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.

Stereo Microscope

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

Selective Soldering Fills a Gap in Design for Manufacturing

By Todd King, E.I. Microcircuits - Design for manufacturability (DfM) is extremely important to today's electronics production. DfM can help EMS providers deliver the best product possible at the lowest production cost. One way to avoid costly hand soldering on intricate mixed-assembly boards is selective soldering.

Dross: Waste, Revenue Source, or Just Another Process to Optimize?

Dross is often thought of as waste, a residue that forms on the surface of a metal from oxidation that looks bubbly, filled with metal impurities. This mass of solid impurities floating on molten metal in wave solder machines can be removed from the process, and recycled by shipping to the recycling site of an outsourced processor or in-house using specialized equipment. With lead-free alloys, recycling now has a monetary consideration. There are a lot of companies that provide help with dross.

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.

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.


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.

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.

Low-noise CCD Camera

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

Safeguard Your Business against Counterfeit Parts

Counterfeit parts have become highly prevalent in the electronic component industry within the last five years. According to National Electronic Distributors Association (NEDA), counterfeit parts now comprise between 5% and 25% of all available parts and cost the industry as much as $100 billion per year. Kenneth Bradley, Allied Electronics, discusses why devices are counterfeited and what distributors can do to shut them out.

3D Solder Paste Inspection Using Pad Reference with Multi Angle Sensor Technology

Solder paste inspection (SPI) traditionally uses resist height or a pseudo-pad height to calculate solder volume on a pad. However, as features are increasingly miniaturized and compressed on the PCB, resist thickness differences are making SPI measurements inaccurate. Toshiyuki Matsuoka, Anritsu Precision Co. Ltd. and Tim Cappoen, Seika Machinery Inc., discuss a new sensor technology that combines two optical systems to measure solder paste deposits from the true pad.

Getting a Handle on Global Sourcing

By Jorina Fontelera, ThomasNet Industrial Market Trends - Theoretically, sourcing globally for inexpensive materials may seem easy. In practice, though, the process and execution is much more complicated. Companies report that sourcing is now driven by product quality as well as cost, and that Asia is not the main source of materials for U.S. manufacturers.

New Product Focus: Components

FDK introduced high-performance DC/DC Senpai converters; Murata Electronics North America released its MPD6S022S DC/DC converter; Cynergy3 Components will globally distribute its high-voltage and RF reed relays and level/flow sensors through Digi-Key; IRC released a family of power resistors in standard TO packages; and BI Technologies developed a tight DCR surface mount power inductor.

Speaking of this Week — April 23, 2004

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

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.

Color CCD Camera

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


Successful Electronics Outsourcing: An Old Concept with a New Twist

By Joe Zaccari, Stilwell Baker - In a contracting environment, many OEMs are experiencing significant challenges in outsourcing product manufacturing. Inability to outsource manufacturing efficiently without outsourcing some of the engineering tasks associated with a design has become prevalent. How can an electronics OEM transition designs to volume manufacturing with the least amount of risk?

Regarding RoHS: Two Years In

The two-year anniversary of the EU's RoHS legislation is right around the corner, July 1, and much still is left to debate. No surprise then that RoHS, in its regional and global implications, remains a hotly contested, oft-discussed topic in the industry. With exemptions running out and new materials facing the ax, RoHS is just as much "beginning" today as it was in July 2006.

Greener Production: An Interview with Tim Walker, Victrex

When designing and constructing a second polymer manufacturing plant in Lancashire, U.K., Victrex plc made layout, equipment, and structural choices to minimize energy and water consumption, while producing PEEK and PEEK-based polymers cost effectively. SMT spoke with Victrex about its green roadmap. The facility will ramp to eventually boost Victrex's PEEK output by about 50%, and also will benefit Victrex's bottom line through the hallmark reduce/reuse/recycle concept.

Speaking of this Week — September 17, 2004

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

EMS News

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

Precision-soldering System

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

Testing the Reliability of BGAs

By Ching-Mai Ko, Ming-Kun Chen, Yu-Jung Huang, and Shen-Li Fu, I-Shou University - In BGA socket test, avoiding damage to the solder balls while maintaining a high compression force and a stable contact resistance is key. Contact resistance distribution plays a vital role in device reliability. Socket contact degradation can degrade first test yield and increase retest time. Contact degradation can be used as a contact clean guideline.

June Featured Products

Following are new components, thermal interface materials, connectors, test systems, software products, and other launches from Agilent, Mill-Max, PROMATION, Aegis, HumiSeal, HALT&HASS Systems, and more.

Speaking of this Week — September 17, 2004

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

Speaking of this Week — July 2, 2004

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


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.

Hot-bar Bonder

The Model 4000 is a computer-controlled bonding system for ACF, heat-seal and reflow-solder applications. It now includes Windows NT-based software capabilities

Thermal Management: The New Generation of CFD

By Meredith Courtemanche, managing editor - Major design companies have released new thermal management solutions recently, prompting a look at the various technologies that can keep complex electronics functioning properly, regardless of their workload. Computational fluid dynamics (CFD) simulations are getting faster and more accurate.

Non-contact Surface Profiling Improves Board Quality

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

Samsung Forges into U.S., SMD Placer Market

(April 22, 2002) Horsham, Pa. -- After breaking into the U.S. market two years ago, Samsung Techwin is now eyeing a spot in the top five major players in the global SMD placer market, including upper middle/medium high volume.

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.

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.

Convection Reflow Ovens

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

Preventing Board-level Defects with Moisture Control

By Russell McCarten, XDRY Corporation - At test and inspection, defects mean lost revenue through scrap or rework. Defects can occur due the board, component, materials, or other factors. One controllable defect-causing aspect of assembly is moisture.

New Products in December

Following are the new soldering systems, cleaning materials, training resources, software programs, testers, and other electronics manufacturing products introduced by Zestron, STI Electronics, Lumex, AVX, Corelis, and other companies in the electronics manufacturing supply chain.


Product Review: ATExpo

Following is a highlight of products to be featured at the 2006 Assembly Technology Expo, co-located with SMTA International in Rosemont, Ill., September 26 – 28. Check out SMT's September issue for more products, and look for more previews on our Website, leading up to the show.

Speaking of this Week — April 23, 2004

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

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.

Desoldering Tips

Endura Desoldering Tips reportedly feature an anti-clogging riser tube to ensure that solder is delivered to the collection chamber in a molten state. This is said to help prevent clogging and allow continuous work flow.

Revised RoHS Directive, and an Erroneous Name in RoHS 2

By Lev Shapiro, Component Master - The European Commission (EC) proposes several changes to its RoHS Directive. Medical devices and other exempted end products will be affected, product labeling will change, and the character of the RoHS legislation will be reinvented. However, calling this revision "RoHS2" is a misstep, based on the informal but generally accepted RoHS5/6 terminology.

Speaking of this Week -- April 4, 2003

As we "progress" towards spring (while it snows here in New England), progress news takes up a lot of the radar screen. There's also tradeshow news, agreements and partnerships, personnel news, and a bit of financial news.

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.

ViTechnology Opens West Coast Facility

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

Automated Soldering Technology

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

SME: Can 2010 Be a Prosperous New Year without Manufacturing?

Mark C. Tomlinson, executive director and GM of the Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME), looks at what resolutions will get the economy into recovery — starting with manufacturing goods in America.


New Products in Component Placement: Pick-and-Place Systems, Heads, and Tooling

Following is a product preview for the new MultiStar pick-and-place head, as well as new placement system SIPLACE SX and software, from SIPLACE Electronics Assembly Systems (SEAS). Also highlighted is the feeder and inspection conveyor package for Manncorp's MC-391 in-line dual-head pick-and-place system.

The Inside Line

Jay Regan Named Publisher of SMT, AP and CS Magazines

Show Information

APEX, IPC Printed Circuits Expo and the IPC Designers Summit will come together for the first time at the Anaheim Convention Center in Anaheim, Calif. to offer the "Perfect Blend" for the electronics industry.

Spot UV Light Source

The Model PK101 spot UV curing system features a high-intensity light source with a flexible light guide that is said to transmit energy and give users control for precision UV-curing (even in hard-to-reach areas). The unit`s internal shutter, which controls the curing exposure time, can be controlled by a manual foot pedal or a push button timer located on the face of the unit. The control of curing time and distance from the light guide to the work piece allows for rapid cures of UV materials

Turn Environmental Awareness into Gain

By Simon G. Norman, EVS International - The impact mankind has on our planet makes for uncomfortable reading. Changes put in place now will undoubtedly pay our children back tenfold, but what if being environmentally responsible could pay you back in a year, rather than decades? We follow one electronics company's commitment to the environment through the installation of two solder dross recovery systems.

Product preview

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

Speaking of this Week - April 19, 2002

We've had record heat in this part of the country this week. This fire has spread to the electronics assembly industry, which exploded with news of companies coming together in the many ways they do, ever-more progress, and some financial news. In addition, more news is coming in relation to the busy tradeshow season looming dead ahead.

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.

Reflow Solder/Curing Furnace

The Falcon 8000 Series reflow solder/curing furnaces reportedly feature the company`s Conduction + Convection heating and cooling technology, use of power and gas, throughput, small equipment footprint and repeatable profiles enabling high-volume production. Parts are transported through the furnace by sweeperbars that can operate continuously or in a timed-delay mode that is designed to produce temperature uniformity in the reflow/curing profile. The Series includes 8100 (10 heat zones) and the

Electrically Conductive Adhesive

The 118-15A/B is a two-part, silver-filled heat-cure adhesive. It suits electrical and mechanical bonds for attaching surface mount devices (SMD) to rigid PCBs, as well as thick-film circuitry, and flip-chip applications. Pre-measured bi-packs eliminate human error in mixing for dispense.


Intelligent Fastening for Automotive Electronics

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

Equipment Sets vs. Operational Strategies

Form follows function in the world of lean PCB assembly. Manufacturers typically purchase SMT placement equipment for one of three reasons.

SMTA International 2003 Show Preview

SMTA International will be held September 21 through 25, 2003, at the Donald Stephens Conventional Center in Rosemont, Ill., in conjunction with Assembly Technology Expo (ATExpo).

EMS News

Sanmina-SCI Achieves Certification Milestones

Contract X-ray Inspection Services - Insights Without Buying a Machine

(April 19, 2002) Those involved in today's electronics industry know it is an incredibly shrinking world. Components and circuit boards grow smaller and denser every year, while the number of products using them expands, making possible faster computing, communications and entertainment goods. Pin counts are increasing, and when the escalating use of flip chips, BGAs and microBGAs is added, the importance of efficient, effective inspection methods grows.

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.

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.

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.

IPC Book-to-Bill Sees Slight Increase

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

Industry Calendar

A listing of industry events.


Reflow Ovens

The first in a series of high-performance reflow ovens designed for the semiconductor market is the Bravo, which is said to feature several new design innovations that provide the performance required for high-production manufacturing environments. The system reportedly provides operators with full control over the reflow system through a user-friendly operator interface. A new convection heating technology preheats air at the intake of the blower reportedly to provide stable thermal energy for

BGA Reballing

When working with ball grid arrays (BGA), two of the most commonly asked questions are, "Can I reuse components?" and "How do I reball the components?" While these are obviously relevant concerns, there are very few companies that are currently reballing. The following areas should be considered before starting.

How Do You Clean PCB Assemblies?

As part of this issue's cover story, p.6, we queried readers about your PCB cleaning habits.

Hot Topics: Solving an Industry Dilemma with Emerging Technologies

"There are practical limits to both tin/lead and lead-free solder," says Joe Fjelstad, Verdant Electronics, in his argument for solderless assembly, "Dealing with the Lead-free Challenge." Arthur Chait, EoPlex Technologies, says "today's devices demand increasingly complex components, smaller," in his exploration of emerging deposition technologies, "Keeping Pace with Miniaturization."

From the Editor:
What Is It Worth?

Allow me to start our conversation today with some random, seemingly incongruous facts. The U.S. Amish population is an early adopter of solar power as industrial and consumer products. The average American owes about $31,000 per car, in accumulated debt. Union membership in the U.S. is on the rise, even outside of the service and hospitality industry, a trend that hasn't been seen in about 25 years. What, you may ask, do all these things have to do with each other? And why do they matter?

Auger Valve System

The Auger Valve system uses air pressure and timing and dispense controls to release reportedly accurate and repeatable deposits of particle-filled fluids, such as solder pastes, silver epoxies, and thermal greases. It includes a fixed head for lines and stripes or a sliding head and footed-tip assembly for irregular surfaces and micro-deposits.

More ATExpo Product Highlights

Following is a highlight of products to be featured at the 2006 Assembly Technology Expo, co-located with SMTA International in Rosemont, Ill., September 26 – 28. Check out SMT's September issue for more products, and look for more previews on our Website, leading up to the show.

Streamlining SMT Production Through an Open Interface

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

Slump and Tackiness Testing Using Rheometry

Increased use of solder paste calls for serious consideration of its importance within the context of quality management systems such as TQM, ISO 9001 and QS 9001.

SMTA International 2003 Products

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


Speaking of this Week — June 20, 2003

Progress news continues to dominate this week — maybe it means we are progressing toward a recovery. I think all signs point to yes. We've also got companies continuing to come together, news on tradeshows taking place as early as this month and as late as November, a bit of personnel news, and some financial news.

New-generation Equipment to Restore Growth?

An unprecedented drop in demand in 2001 led to widespread restructuring, including major company shutdowns, as well as continued consolidation of both equipment producers and suppliers.

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.

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.

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 ...

Floodlight Curing System

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

NCMS Lead-free Solder Project

This article summarizes the results, conclusions and recommendations of a four-year-long study of alternative solder materials.

IPC-A-610E Broadens Scope

Streamlined IPC-A-610E is supplemented with flex circuits, board in board and package on package (PoP).

X-ray Inspection of Lead-free Solder Joints

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

Selective Soldering — Options and Opportunities

Due to increasing pressure to improve product quality and shorten cycle times in many electronics manufacturing processes, it is becoming more advantageous to integrate selective soldering techniques such as miniwave, laser or hot gas systems.


Automated AMI Analysis of Components Prior to Board Assembly

Anomalies related to chip design, lithography or materials often are revealed by various types of electrical testing before assembly. Packaging-related failures, however, may be caused by a packaging anomaly that remains undetected until it leads to an electrical failure.

The New Era of Wave Soldering

While the scientific need for lead-free soldering is debatable, consumer and legislative demand for its products is not.

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. ...

Reflow Process Control

Profile Wizard is designed to simplify process control by recording optimized thermal processing profiles, then comparing them minutes, hours or days later to oven performance. Its array of three dual sensors is adjustable from 3 to 26" to match the board width. The product rides on a belt or edge/rail conveyor to profile the edges and center of the oven, providing a complete thermal picture. Features include repeatable, reliable temperature sensors that reportedly will not degrade with time or

How to Profile a PCB

An optimal reflow profile is one of the most critical factors in achieving quality solder joints on a printed circuit board (PCB) assembly with surface mount components. A profile is a function of temperatures applied to the assembly over time. When graphed on a Cartesian plane, a curve is formed that represents the temperature at a specific point on the PCB, at any given time, throughout the reflow process.

18th Annual SMT VISION Awards Winners

These winning products and services demonstrate user friendliness, innovation, cost effective operation and maintenance, and an improvement to SMT manufacturing processes.

BGA Mezzanine Connectors Boost Yields

A high-speed BGA mezzanine connector was developed to improve process-friendliness, replacing a thermally massive, bulky design with a three-piece, SMT-assembly-friendly design that is easier to solder and rework.

Identify Lifted Objects using Z-axis Measurement and 3D AOI

One AOI solution constitutes a radical departure from existing vision technology in that it senses and measures the Z-axis height of features, in addition to the X/Y 2D image plane, and combines them.

Don't Leave Succession Planning to Luck

By Gary A. Tanel, Associate Equity - When an entrepreneur starts an EMS company, the last thing on their mind might be how they plan to exit the business. Successful businessmen and investors know, however, that you never get into a business without knowing how to exit. All private business ownership is transitioned one way or the other.

Nepcon China Product Preview

Nepcon China, April 8–11 in Shanghai, will feature about 650 exhibiting companies from global regions. This year, Nepcon China organizers expect about 30% of attendees to be the decision makers from electronics assembly and test companies, along with OEMs, designers, and other buyers from related fields. Exhibitors run the gamut from ESD control to thermal profiling, solder materials, PCB fabricators, and more. Following are product previews from a selection of exhibitors.


Reworking Silicone Conformal Coatings

By Barry Ritchie and Marjorie Dwane, Dow Corning Electronics and Advanced Technologies, Dow Corning Corporation - - Conformal coatings continue to see increased usage and popularity. Silicone coatings are soft, flexible materials that provide moisture resistance, stress relief, and low durometer. Component complexity will determine the most appropriate method for removal. Knowing your removal and repair options upfront and how to choose can save time, money, and frustration.

SMTA ToolBox
Lead-free Is Here. Where Are You?

By Peter Biocca - - The European Union's (EU's) RoHS Directive is here, and the Chinese version is coming soon — bringing with it another deadline, more confusion, and additional changes. RoHS has been the main topic at conferences in the last four years. Where do we stand today?

Inspex, Inc. Offers X-ray Inspection Services

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

Process Benefits of Underfill Encapsulants for CSPs and BGAs

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

Environmental Impact of Pb-free Manufacturing

There has been no definitive experiment indicating that lead in electronics creates a measurable threat to the environment or people after electronic products are disposed of, and lead in electronics contributes less than 1 percent of the total lead introduced into the environment.

Reflow Profile Optimization

In surface mount assembly, a key step in producing finished assemblies is reflowing deposited solder paste. Solder paste commonly is reflowed in a convection IR oven, which heats the circuit board in stages. The time and temperature graph while the board is in the oven is referred to as the reflow profile.

Volume Assembly Qualification for 0201 Packages

By means of a number of experiments on pad-design identification, pick-and-place machine evaluation and assembly process investigation, understandings for 0201 assembly can be summarized as follows.1,2

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.

Spot Lamp

The LUXOR visible light, fiber-optic spot lamp is said to cure adhesives through substrates that absorb UV light and allow for greater depth of cure compared with UV-light curing. This high-intensity light source (greater than 100 mW/cm2) can be used with advanced, single-pack, UV- and visible-light-cure adhesives in optoelectronics, fiber optics, lens bonding and other microassembly applications. It cures adhesives with a 460 nm visible blue light that reportedly is a safe alternative to UV lig

SMT Material Handling Support Systems

Modular storage and transport equipment can maximize production line efficiency and provide flexibility to support future work-flow changes.


Designing In Thermal Management

In the case of mixed-signal, analog, and mostly analog boards, special attention must go to careful thermal analysis.

Survey: Soldering Equipment and Materials Updates

SMT surveyed soldering equipment manufacturers and solder suppliers to learn more about the latest practices and requirements.

CFD Thermal Analysis for Improved Reflow

There is an urgent need for PCB design solutions that merge operator expertise on oven behavior with deep knowledge of the PCB’s layout, particularly the copper content and component placement, and their effect on thermal properties.

Register Now for the Lead-free Success Stories Webcast

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

IMS Names Rep in Canada

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

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

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

Step 2: Process Control

Software always has been instrumental in the implementation of process control methods in manufacturing.

New Geometries Drive Search for Flexible Manufacturing

Feature sizes in electronics assembly and packaging continue to decrease. Traces, spacings, bond pads and other geometries are a tenth the size they were a decade ago. Additionally, increasing production volumes must accommodate more frequent change orders, shorter marketing windows and materials flexibility.

Financial Analysis Reveals Lost Production Time

Solder paste volume consistency is widely accepted as crucial to high post-reflow yields.

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. ...


MicroBGA Rework

This micro-stencil and nozzle are designed specifically for the rework of Tessera`s microBGA component. The stencil reportedly fits the pattern and is the same size as the part. Because the stencil is viewed with a camera by a prism that views both the stencil and PCB pad pattern simultaneously, the operator is said to be able to align the stencil perfectly to the PCB. The stencil is trapezoidal etched, and can be lowered multiple times if solder paste is not 100 percent deposited in all holes.

Optimizing Performance in Reflow Soldering

A new method of managing process gases in reflow ovens offers precise control over the thermal process, effective removal of flux and good solder joint quality.

What's Hot in Electronics for 2010?

Consumer electronics are undergoing changes spurred by consumer behavior.

Spend Less Time at First Board Inspection

EMS providers can save money and time at the FAI process step. FAI is a critical step in the assembly process, yet it is prone to errors, little documentation, and time wastes.

Testing the Reliability of BGAs

Experimental analysis of failure site conditions for the final testing of BGA packages, focusing on touchdown-times-related worn-out changes in BGA sockets, is presented.

Reducing and Preventing Tin Corrosion Whiskers

By Olaf Kurtz, Ph.D.; Peter Kühlkamp; Jürgen Barthelmes; and Robert Rüther, Atotech Deutschland GmbH - For the connector and IC/leadframe industries, corrosion can occur on metalized components and products, resulting in malfunctions. This article presents the work done on an effective anti-corrosion treatment* that can mitigate corrosion whisker formation effectively. Process benefits to tin solderability are highlighted.

SMT Salutes the Visionaries

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

Growth Potential in the SMT Screen Printer Market

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

Fighting Back: U.S. EMS Providers Are Winning Against China

The transfer of North American electronics manufacturing to Asia presents a challenge to domestic electronics manufacturing services (EMS) providers.

Sanctions Against Sn/Pb Solder Paste

Solder paste using tin/lead, popularly known as Sn/Pb has been the most important element of solder paste until global agencies threatened its popularity in favor of lead-free solder paste and other environmentally friendly alternatives.


Step 4: Printing

The printer sets the pulse rate of the SMT line. Often considered the bottleneck due to ever-increasing placement rates, the printer has evolved through experience and development to match or exceed requirements of high-throughput manufacturing.

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.

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.

Rework Stations

The Summit 2100 Series is designed to increase the speed and accuracy of rework, and handles BGAs, µBGAs and flip chips on boards up to 18 x 22" with 2" vertical clearance. Featuring Auto Profile Software, the series is said to automatically set and maintain proper reflow temperature for any board/component combination. A user-friendly, menu-driven interface allows the user to program the complete rework sequence. The series automates the entire rework process, including component removal,

Preventive Maintenance for ATE Fixtures

This article describes one company`s technique performed as preventive probe maintenance (e.g., replacement of degraded probes) of HP3070 automated test equipment (ATE) fixtures. The general concept can be applied to other ATE systems/fixtures, as well.

Anti-Counterfeiting Protective Measures

This article provides information on the various types of counterfeit semiconductors on the market, and methods to prevent counterfeits from ending up on finished assemblies.

The Basics of Soldering

In this article, I will present a basic overview of soldering for those who are new to the world of soldering and for those who could use a refresher.

Embedded Packaging Comes of Age

By Risto Tuominen, Imbera Electronics - The demand for improved functionality within smaller spaces in the electronics arena is straining existing semiconductor and SiP packaging technologies. Several novel technology approaches are being developed to increase product miniaturization and performance. During recent years, component embedding inside PCB motherboards and substrates has generated a lot of attention and is seen as one of the most promising technology solutions for future.

Part 1: PCB Designer's Notebook:
Fine-pitch and Die-size Array Packages Design and Assembly

By Vern Solberg - - Chipscale packaging (CSP) is by now generic terminology used to reference an array packaged IC that is the same size or nearly the same size as the die element. The industry has divided CSP into two distinct variations. The fine-pitch array package (FBGA) is a package outline with specifically defined dimensions, while the dimensions of the die-size array package (DSBGA) body conforms to the actual outline of the die element.

From the Editor
Birds of a Feather

Its autumn in New England, and geese that spent the summer commingling with local waterfowl and nesting in small groups now congregate en masse to migrate south. The principle is simple — align to reach a shared objective. Nam Tai Electronics decided this week to reorganize its businesses, grouping PCBA, flex, and display manufacturing together under its EMS branch, and shifting a software group into a separate sphere of operation.


Dispensing Adhesives and Epoxies: Trends and Developments

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

2004 SMT Vision Products

ADHESIVES/COATINGS/ENCAPSULANTSConductive Film Adhesive

The Inside Line

Indium President Reflects on 23 Years in Solder

The Inside Line

FocalSpot Opens New Headquarters

Step 8: Cleaning

Forces driving SMT cleaning are centered around cleaning product performance for the specific soil; air, water and solid waste environmental concerns; health and safety; residue left from low-residue soldering elevating end user reliability concerns; cost of ownership; and the conversion to lead-free alloys.

The Inside Line

Cookson's China Strategy

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.

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.

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.

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.


Desoldering Station

The DS101-V Desoldering Station reportedly provides minimal dwell time, fast reflow and immediate extraction of molten solder. Its vacuum/temperature base unit features an aluminum and brass venturi vacuum generator and spike-free, low-voltage DC switching. The DS101-P integrates a diaphragm pump, making it a stand-alone and portable desoldering system.

Making PCB Cleaning More Energy Efficient

New innovations in batch and in-line systems, combined with more effective chemistries, have made cleaning printed circuit boards (PCBs), stencils, and bare boards more cost-effective, environmentally friendly, and energy efficient.

Designing in Underfill for PoPs

Package-on-package (PoP) is a recognized technology that is becoming more commonplace in mobile electronics with the increased demand for features like cameras, Bluetooth, FM radio, WLAN and mobile TVs.

Live from Orlando: Freescale's Technology Forum

On Monday, I arrived in Orlando to attend the Freescale Technology Forum Americas, where the JW Marriott and Ritz Carlton Conference Center had been transformed into a Freescale Semiconductor facility for the next four days.

AOI and AXI: One Powerful Combination

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

On-site Capability Measurement

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

Speaking of this Week — September 10, 2004

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

News

Asia Key to Assembléon Business Strategy

Speaking of this Week — November 14, 2003

This week was dominated by progress news, such as moves to new facilities, new business, awards and certifications. Some important companies continue to come together, and high-level appointments and hires also were made. Finally, looking toward 2004, there's some tradeshow news.

The Inside Line

Siemens Dematic Covers Breadth of Automation Systems


News

U.K. Survey Determines Lead-free Readiness

Component Removal System

The Freedom HGR 2000 is a rework system for component placement, soldering and removal. It is suitable for BGA, µBGA, flip chip, and fine-pitch process development and prototype production. The system features Windows-based control software with one-touch cycle initiation. The topside heating system is said to apply precise quantities of forced convective heat directly to the component and has adjustable gas temperature, gas flow and nozzle height. A forced convective bottomside process hea

2000 Industry Vision Forecast

As we prepare to head into 2000, the surface mount process has, in many ways, come full circle.

Industry View: Green Has to Mean Better

It is easy to point a finger at certain substances and say they are bad and should be eliminated.

Matching Cleaning Process to Solder Paste

Cleaned electronic circuits represent only a small part of the electronic assembly market, as most companies use a no-clean process. In several sectors – aeronautics, medical, automotive – cleanliness and reliability are crucial.

Pick-and-Place: Users & Vendors Speak Out

SMT surveyed EMS providers to learn about their placement needs. Following are their responses.

Sockets Meet Future Challenges

By Gail Flower, editor-in-chief - - Though the basic requirements of sockets remain unchanged — make a stable electrical contact between test socket and device or from IC to PCB — the future holds more demands on this important electrical mechanical device. At present, sockets are used for burn-in, functional test, and device programming. As with any tool, socket design and eventual selection should be based on the right socket for a specific application.

Aqueous Cleaning Today and Tomorrow

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

Flip Chip Assembly on PCB

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

Speaking of this Week — September 10, 2004

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


New Products

Reworkable Underfill Encapsulant

Speaking of this Week — November 14, 2003

This week was dominated by progress news, such as moves to new facilities, new business, awards and certifications. Some important companies continue to come together, and high-level appointments and hires also were made. Finally, looking toward 2004, there's some tradeshow news.

News

Compiled by SMT Staff

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.

Recreate Original Assembly Conditions

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

A Basic Guide to Solder Paste Handling

Solder paste is a combination of pre-alloyed spherical metal powder and flux medium.

Cleaning Equipment at the Aqueous Booth

In this video, Mike Konrad, Aqueous Tech, takes us through the defluxing and cleanliness test system, Trident, and discusses the difference between batch and conveyor cleaning equipment at IPC APEX EXPO 2010.

Creep Corrosion on Lead-free PCBs

Lead-free PWB final finishes are used to provide a solderable and coplanar surface for component attachment.

So, You Need to Clean? A Defluxing Process Roadmap

Our roadmap consists of several key factors: type of flux, type of assembly, product flow, volume, staff competency, facility restrictions, environmental restrictions, and budget.

Via Optimization for Speed

As more PCB designs move toward high-speed serial links with pico-second edge rates, any impedance discontinuity in the channel can affect signal quality adversely


Process Development of the Stencil Printing Process

The need for more reliable, lighter, and smaller products has increased the use of flip chips (FCs), chip-scale packages (CSPs), microBGAs, and 0201s in applications where reliability is a main concern.

Joe Fjelstad Releases Flexible Circuit Technology, 3rd Edition

The third edition of Flexible Circuit Technology features new technologies and applications that have developed over the eight years since the second edition was published. This updated version on interconnection technology will be available from BR Publishing of Seaside, Ore., as a full-color PDF e-book, or in a traditional printed format.

Beyond AOI - SMT Quality Control

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

Lead-free: Soldering at the End of the Line

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

Point/Counterpoint

Depaneling Analysis

SMT Announces Winners of the 2002 VISION Awards

Anaheim, Calif. -- At a ceremony during IPC SMEMA Council's APEX on Monday, March 31, SMT Magazine announced the winners of the 2002 VISION Awards.

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.

Rework System

The RW116 Rework System reportedly can rework PCBs with connector sizes up to 20 x 2" (on 24 x 24" boards) and uses forced-heated convection to preheat the PCB to effect faster processing, shorter rework cycles and less possibility

Market Opportunities: Specialization vs.Globalization

As consolidation thrusts change upon the CM industry, mid-sized CMs are becoming almost nonexistent, resulting in an industry filled with large global players and small specialty shops

High-mix EMS in the Current Economy

This article examines how pick-and-place equipment will impact the CM business in a high-mix manufacturing environment and will point out what is necessary to be successful in a tough economy.


2009 Industry Forecast

This article represents a collection of viewpoints from industry leaders, answering both “How can PCB assemblers control costs in these economic times?” and “What will be the most impactful technological advances in 2009?” Lean manufacturing, creativity in business operation and technological development, and the promise of new energy sources are shared goals.

Exhibits Spotlight: NEW

National Electronics Week (NEW) takes place in London this week, with exhibitors from global locales bringing new equipment and processes to the U.K. market. Following are the new cleaning systems, reflow ovens, print platforms, solder materials, and other elements on display at the show.

IPC-7351 Revs Forward

PC-7351 represented a major shift in how land patterns were defined and created, and provided the industry with multiple geometries for a given part, enabling designers to select a land pattern that best matched the printed board component density configuration.

Outsourcing Practices and Ethics Scrutinized

By Meredith Courtemanche, assistant editor - - Outsourcing is commonly perceived as a de-facto practice among consumer electronics manufacturers. Despite this, there is actually no de-facto standard across the various electronics manufacturing markets. In "Apples to Pomegranates, Outsourcing Across the Mobile Phone and PC Industries," Jeffrey Wu found that the two sectors do not behave similarly in the outsourcing realm.

STEP 8 : Cleaning

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

STEP 5: Adhesives/Epoxies and Dispensing

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

Speaking of this Week -- January 17, 2003

With the holidays shrinking in the rear view mirror and everyone's mind back at work, progress moves to the forefront, followed by some huge personnel news. There are some interesting and informative events coming up within the industry, and companies continue to team up as their financial news improves. Finally, some predictions.

Improving Yields Through Software

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

Reballing Kit

The Weller BGA Reballing Kit replaces solder balls on BGAs and reportedly enables users to reball the BGAs to the original condition. Included in the kit are six templates (with pitches from 1.00 to 1.50 mm, both full and staggered matrices), a vial of 10,000 eutectic solder balls, a clamping fixture, and straight and angled probes and tweezers. Also included are a screwdriver, spatula, squeegee, flux pen, Kapton tape, a dummy BGA (for practice) and an instruction manual.

Various artilces

Analysts to Discuss the CM Industry - NORTHBROOK, Ill. — The IPC — Association Connecting Electronics Industries announced that three analysts will provide a financial overview of the domestic and global contract manufacturing service industry in the keynote session Wall Street Speaks on the EMS Industry at the IPC SMEMA Council Electronics Assembly Process Exhibition and Conference (APEX). The session will take place March 15, 2000, f


Book to Bill: Rigid PCBs Step Up; Flex Hovers in April 2010

IPC announced the April findings from its North American PCB Statistical Program. The book-to-bill ratio keeps climbing -- now above parity for a full 12 months, indicating a recovery that is gaining momentum. The growth so far has been in rigid PCB sales.

Go Greener in Your Cleaner

pH-neutral cleaning can help protect sensitive components while removing aggressive alloy residues. Over the past 20 years, the common notion in this field has been that alkalinity is a must to remove flux residues. pH-neutral defluxing agents are designed to do a superior cleaning job, but still protect extremely sensitive materials and meet stricter rinse water disposal regulations. Cost savings are also possible. Dr. Harald Wack, ZESTRON, explains.

New Components: Military Through Mobile Phones

AVX expanded its AntennaGuard series; Murata introduced an 0302 capacitor array for dense and miniaturized assemblies; Gowanda Electronics released a military-approved QPL inductor range.

Reducing Design Cycle Times

Traditionally, designers are pulled in from other projects to assist with meeting deadlines, usually by adopting shift-work routines or physically splitting the design into multiple pieces.

Lead-free PCBs

By Robert Rowland - - The conversion to lead-free soldering has created significant material challenges for PCBs with materials that must be compatible with higher soldering temperatures and longer dwell times. Lead-free soldering temperatures are approximately 25°C higher for reflow, 10°C for wave soldering; dwell times 30–60 seconds longer for reflow soldering, 2–3 seconds longer for wave soldering. These requirements put emphasis on PCB material performance.

Lean Manufacturing - A Case Study

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

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.

Juki Automation Announces New President

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

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.

SMT Rework

The 710 SolderLight incorporates IR technology into a hand-held soldering/desoldering tool for use on BGAs, QFPs, PLCCs, SOICs, SMDs, SMT sockets and connectors. Double- and single-sided PCBs are said to be easily soldered or desoldered. The company`s patented IR method reportedly eliminates hot-air/gas adjacent component movement and damage resulting from conventional contact rework methods.


Product Review

Mobile Storage System - The UltraClean PureFlow mobile storage system features a self-recharging power cell and Class 10 compatibility that is said to guarantee fail-safe particle control during the transport of microelectronic components and other sensitive materials through a manufacturing facility. All systems are self-contained and incorporate a motorized impeller blower and filter that direct a continuous wash of filtered air downward throughout the stor

New Components, Connectors, and Subassemblies

Following are the new surface mount and insertion components, as well as off-the-shelf subassemblies, and various connectors available from companies such as Laird, AVX, Amphenol, FDK, and others. The products suit harsh environments, consumer applications, and other target markets.

ANSI/ESD S20.20 Revisions

The ESDA created the original document in 1999 at the request of the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) to have an industry standard for developing an ESD control program, and has since become a globally recognized standard for the industry.

News from BiTS

As the 8th annual Burn-in Test and Socket Workshop (BiTS) — March 11–14 in Mesa, AZ — draws to a close, SMT collected news, events, and products around the industry focused on test, sockets, and the event. Following is news from Antares, Advanced Interconnect, Aries, FormFactor, and more.

ATExpo Product Highlight

Following are a few of the products to be featured at the 2006 Assembly Technology Expo, co-located with SMTA International in Rosemont, Ill., September 26 – 28. Check out the September issue of SMT for more ATExpo products.

Post-print Verification Technology

HawkEye post-print verification technology isolates errors through a good/bad verification set against user-defined, pre-set thresholds. Streamed images are analyzed and any defective boards are identified and removed in real time. Throughput and end-of-line yield reportedly increase with 100% post-print verification at the line beat rate.

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.

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.

Publishers 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. These individuals also contribute much to the industry in general, working as leaders within their companies. This month`s Publisher`s Executive Council Interview features one of the industry`s leading innovators: DEK USA president Rich

Automotive EMS in Singapore

Singapore’s EMS and precision-engineering supply base has seen growth in the automotive sector, in terms of both annual volume and product range.


Digital X-ray Inspection

The XD7500 digital X-ray inspection system features a manipulator design that provides oblique angle views up to 70° for any position 360° around any point of the 18 × 16" inspection area, allowing inspection of all interconnections on PCBs containing ball-grid arrays (BGAs) and chip scale packages (CSPs).

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.

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.

EKRA Expands Headquarters

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

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.

Spot Lamp

The LUXOR visible light, fiber-optic spot lamp is said to cure adhesives through substrates that absorb UV light and allow for greater depth of cure compared with UV-light curing, according to the press release. This high-intensity light source (greater than 100 mW/cm2) can be used with advanced, single-pack, UV- and visible-light-cure adhesives in optoelectronics, fiber optics, lens bonding and other microassembly applications. It cures adhesives with a 460 nm visible blue light that reportedly

New Products of SMT Assembly

Following are the new equipment, solder and materials, and software products released for high-changeover, high-reliability, high-mix, and other challenging SMT assembly environments.

From the Editor:
Heraeus Celebrates Success with Open House

Recently, Heraeus Incorporated, CMD, of Conshohocken, Pa., conducted an open house to celebrate the million-dollar renovation and reorganization of their facility. They celebrated 40 years of manufacturing in North America; the most profitable year; expansion globally; ISO 2001:2000 certification; Sony Green Partner certification; a quality control plan; diversification of customer base; a research- and applications-oriented workforce; and an effective production environment.

Flux Residue & Selective Soldering

During wave soldering, much of the flux is washed off the PCB during; this is not the case in selective soldering.

Defluxing System

The SMT1000-LD defluxing system targets SMT and thru-hole defluxing applications, including lead-free flux removal. It provides impact pressure of 15.4 oz. per in.2, enhanced statistical process control (SPC) data recording, programmable maintenance-reminding software, and an automatic chemical management system.


Speaking of this Week — April 16, 2004

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

Speaking of this Week -- March 28, 2003

What a week! IPC's book-to-bill ratio is through the roof, APEX is next week (despite the war), there's tons of progress news, and financial, personnel and alliance news poked its head up this week. We've also got a prediction.

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.

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.

EKRA Forms Strategic Partnership with Manufacturing Solutions Group

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

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.

Rework System

The RW116 Rework System reportedly can rework PCBs with connector sizes up to 20 x 2" (on 24 x 24" boards) and uses forced-heated convection to preheat the PCB to effect faster processing, shorter rework cycles and less possibility of thermal stress to the PCB. This system, along with the company`s Series RW105 and RW110 systems, is said to use PLC-controlled individual solder fountains operating with fluid dynamics to generate stable waves and reduce turbulence. Nozzles are interchangeable to s

Supplier Quality Doesn't Just Happen

By Robert Rowland, RadiSys - Supplier quality management is a critical success factor, especially when commodities are procured globally and manufacturing is outsourced. Selection, qualification and approval, and monitoring require well-defined processes to ensure quality expectations are achieved consistently. Focus on preventive actions rather than waiting for problems to occur.

Conformal Coating for Microelectronics: A Primer

By Hector A. Pulido and Gareth De Sanctis, Asymtek - - Conformal coating of an electronic assembly was not always considered at the beginning of a project. Many OEMs and EMS companies will adopt automated and precision conformal coating processes to improve consistency and quality of their products.

New Products

Prototyping Line


APEX Preview

Following are some of the products to be presented at IPC Printed Circuits Expo/APEX/Designers Summit, February 18 – 22, 2007, in Los Angeles. Look for more product information in our APEX Product section in the February issue, and online leading up to the show.

Selective Soldering

The KISS 101 and 102 selective soldering systems feature lead-free-compatible solder pots for assembly, prototyping, rework, post-reflow offline assembly, and other selective soldering applications such as odd-form devices. Both systems are bench-top models with optional carriages for standalone use.

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.

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.

DPMO: A Tool for Achieving World-class Process Quality

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

Desoldering Station

The DS101-V Desoldering Station reportedly provides minimal dwell time, fast reflow and immediate extraction of molten solder. Its vacuum/temperature base unit features an aluminum and brass venturi vacuum generator and spike-free, low-voltage DC switching. The DS101-P integrates a diaphragm pump, making it a stand-alone and portable desoldering system.

Keys to Quality Iimprovement

A company must have a strong internal organization to ensure performance excellence for customers who expect world-class service.

IPC Plans APEX Events

In planning your agenda for IPC Printed Circuits Expo/APEX/Designers Summit, February 18 – 22 in Los Angeles, consider attending some of these highlighted programs. Look for more APEX news online leading up to the conference.

X-ray Inspection

The X1550 enables X-ray inspection for boards up to 18 × 24" with automated motion control, measurement, and analysis, as well as advanced solid-state detector-based inspection for lead-free assembly. The system offers a choice of Image Intensifier and complementary metal-oxide semiconductor (CMOS)-based high-resolution detectors, and a 130-kV X-ray source with a continuously variable field of view (FOV) up to 1.8" with zoom.

News

SMTA International 2005 Packed with Opportunities


2003 Industry Vision Forcast

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

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.

Reballing Kit

The Weller BGA Reballing Kit replaces solder balls on BGAs and reportedly enables users to reball the BGAs to the original condition. Included in the kit are six templates (with pitches from 1.00 to 1.50 mm, both full and staggered matrices), a vial of 10,000 eutectic solder balls, a clamping fixture, and straight and angled probes and tweezers. Also included are a screwdriver, spatula, squeegee, flux pen, Kapton tape, a dummy BGA (for practice) and an instruction manual.

APEX 2000

The IPC SMEMA Council`s Electronics Assembly Process Exhibition and Conference (APEX), taking place March 12 to 16, 2000, in Long Beach, Calif., was organized in response to an industry need for a trade show that is cost-effective and fair for exhibitors, and highly focused on the products and technology of the electronics assembly industry. APEX will feature all segments of the industry, from bare boards to tested assemblies, and is said to be the only show in North America that will showcase m

CM News

CMs Establish Operations in Mexico ... - NAMPA, Idaho — MCMS Inc. announced its intent to establish a 112,000 sq. ft. operation in Monterrey, Mexico. The facility will initially focus on printed circuit board (PCB) assembly and test, and will expand to include system assembly as well as a full range of order fulfillment services. The project was scheduled to commence at the beginning of October, with volume production by the first quarter of 200

What to Expect from Printed Electronics in 2010

IDTechEx summarizes some of the main global trends in 2009 and gives some predictions and areas of opportunity in printed electronics for the new year. These include metal oxide transistors for OLED displays, memristors, embedded electrochriomic, electroluminescent, and other techs for displays on consumer electronics and for photovoltaics.

Thermal Management Issues Resolved by Optimizing Airflow in Chassis

By Chris Heard, Amphenol - This case study examines a leading-edge chassis design from the thermal management perspective. Through increasingly detailed simulation environments, the system designer was able to optimize airflow, verify the design's feasibility, and circumvent possible thermal problems as the design progressed.

The Restructuring Supply Chain

The reorganization effort is underway across the supply chain lately, as the home loan collapse snowballed into the credit crunch, then into the global financial crisis. Respondents to our 2009 forecast question, "How can PCB assemblers cut costs in 2009?" pointed to smart management and lean manufacturing. Companies from Camtek to Rockwell Collins announced cost-cutting plans of late.

ERP and PLM: Addressing Differing Manufacturing Needs

By Chuck Cimalore, Omnify Software - - There is some confusion in the industry as to what role ERP and PLM systems play in a company's business process. Clarification of the key features of ERP and PLM, where they fit in the product development and manufacturing process, and how integrating these environments can deliver positive results is important for manufacturers to understand why each is critical to success and gain the most from their investment.

Rework System

The Fineplacer CRS 10 compact rework system suits fixed configuration needs, small- to medium-scale series assembly, or highly precise rework of soldered components on medium- to large-size surface mount device (SMD) boards. A plug-and-work design eliminates the need for time-consuming cabling.


SMT China International Call for Papers

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

Speaking of this Week — January 30, 2004

We've got a snapshot of the whole of 2003 with the release of the December book-to-bill ratio by IPC, and it's generally positive. Progress news continues to abound, and companies and associations are looking ahead to trade shows in 2004. Finally, there's personnel, alliance and financial news this week.

Placement Machine and Process Control Optimization

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

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.

Soldering

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.

SMT Rework

The 710 SolderLight incorporates IR technology into a hand-held soldering/desoldering tool for use on BGAs, QFPs, PLCCs, SOICs, SMDs, SMT sockets and connectors. Double- and single-sided PCBs are said to be easily soldered or desoldered. The company`s patented IR method reportedly eliminates hot-air/gas adjacent component movement and damage resulting from conventional contact rework methods.

Contest Winners

The IPC recently announced the first six winners of its APEX Trivia Challenge, a contest run through the APEX Web site, www.apex2000.org. The winners were the first to correctly answer three questions pertaining to IPC and the electronics manufacturing services industry. Each received a Palm V Connected Organizer.

New Products

Bar-code/Matrix Reader - The HawkEye Model 15HD bar/matrix code reader is a compact, fixed-position scanner/verifier. Using QuicSet, an integrated positioning feature that combines visual laser targeting and audio feedback, the reader can reportedly be aligned on a bar or matrix code symbol quickly without external equipment. It offers on-line verification for immediate and definitive in-line symbol quality control. The reader is 2.4 x 2.5", and features an integrated lighting system tha

Troubleshooting Solder Bridging: Causes and Recommendations

Compiled by Cookson Electronics - Bridges, defects where excess or misprinted solder creates an undesired connection, can be caused by problems at various points in the assembly process. This article examines root causes and solutions at stencil manufacture, screen print, component placement, reflow, PCB manufacture, and solder paste.

SMT/HYBRID/PACKAGING Exhibitor Spotlight

Bigger and more international than ever, SMT/HYBRID/PACKAGING in Nuremberg, Germany, focused on the theme of automotive electronics. Vendors also used the venue for the European launch of products previously introduced to the market at North American and Asian events held earlier in the year.


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