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A Revision of IPC-4202 Gives Updated Guidance in Flexible Base Dielectric Materials

IPC-4202A, “Flexible Base Dielectrics for Use in Flexible Printed Circuitry,” provides comprehensive data to help users more easily determine the capability and compatibility of flexible base dielectric materials in manufacturing flexible printed circuitry and flexible flat cables.

Winners of 4th SMT China Vision Awards

The SMT China VISION Awards included 15 product awards, as well as recognition for China-based companies, innovation, and versatility. Here are the winners.

Trends in Selective Soldering

In this report, Research and Markets evaluates the key technology and market trends, pricing trends, and industry adoption factors for selective soldering. Some of the major market participants and their core competencies are also discussed.

Best Posters from IPC APEX 2010

Posters showing research on solder joint reliability, nanocrystalline copper deposition in PWB fab, tin whiskers, and PCB laminate properties research took the top prizes from IPC APEX Expo 2010, celebrating research in the SMT industry.

Survey Reveals Caution in Tech Supply Chain released findings from a survey of 586 electronics supply chain decision makers across North America, Europe, and Asia on the current business environment; volumes and expectations, and pricing trends. The survey was sponsored by electronics components distributing company Digi-Key.

New PCB Fabrication Materials

These new materials include eco-friendly FR polymers, ultra-fine PCB substrate yarns, thermally enhanced substrates, halogen-free LCPs, as well as flex circuit materials.

DEK Demos New Technologies, Capabilities at APEX

DEK highlighted its Horizon print platform at IPC APEX Expo in April 2010. The company also showcased on-board printing process controls and features, such as a secure remote support system and line-speed solder paste inspection. Watch all three videos here.

Electronics Manufacturing Companies on the 2010 Fortune 500 List

OEMs, military contractors, chip makers, and contract electronics manufacturers are among the companies in Fortune Magazine's Fortune 500 listing for 2010, as well as parent companies for solder makers, printer companies, testers, etc.

Victron Expands to Mexico EMS Facility

CA-based EMS provider Victron Inc. expanded into a new manufacturing facility in Rosarito, Mexico. The company also plans to open facilities in China and the U.S.

Updates to IPC-6012 and IPC-A-600 Include Spec Changes for New Board Technologies and Processes

The new H revision of IPC-A-600, “Acceptability of Printed Boards,” serves fabricators and assemblers, particularly inspectors and product developers. IPC also released its companion document, the C revision of IPC-6012, “Qualification and Performance Specification for Rigid Printed Boards.”

IPC J-STD-001E Industry Requirements for Soldered Electrical and Electronic Assemblies Updated

IPC J-STD-001E encompasses advanced technologies and provides new and updated criteria for all three classes of construction as well as expanded support for lead-free manufacturing.

What to Expect at NEPCON China 2010

From a celebration of 25 years of SMT in China, to new products in hot sectors, to conference papers, this guide is a starting point for any Nepcon China attendee. Nepcon China takes place April 20-22 in Shanghai.

Top 10 Cell Phone Manufacturers Face Challenging 2010

The Top 10 contract manufacturers of cell phones will experience a difficult 2010 following a year that upended their longstanding business models and dealt them unprecedented losses, according to iSuppli Corp.

IPC Elects New Officers/Members to Board of Directors

Three candidates were elected as board officers and will serve two-year terms covering April 2010 through March 2012. Three other candidates were elected as board directors and will serve four-year terms, covering April 2010 through March 2014.

Federal Electronics To Supply Assemblies For Trident Submarine Nuclear Missile Guidance System

EMS provider Federal Electronics Inc. was selected by Charles Stark Draper Laboratories (CSDL) to build interconnect assemblies for the Trident II (D5) MK6 Life Extension Guidance System (Mk6LE).

New Adhesives, Encapsulants, and Other Non-solder Assembly Materials

ECM introduced rubber-like adhesives; Henkel re-engineered Macromelt encapsulant for medical and auto uses; Creative Materials has silver-filled epoxy adhesives; Fujipoly debuted Sarcon TIMs; Zymet offers reworkable underfill; Dymax put out a new adhesives guide; Cotronics makes a high-purity adhesive to resist high temperatures; and Permabond introduced an instant-attach adhesive.

Best Papers from IPC APEX EXPO 2010

IPC announced the winners of the 2010 Best U.S. and International Papers at IPC APEX EXPO, held last week in Las Vegas. Papers covered challenging rework, drop test on lead-free PCBs, embedded components, and head-in-pillow defects.

WPG/Yosun Merger May Challenge Avnet for World Leading Distributor

The merger of WPG Holdings Limited and Yosun Industrial Corp., both based in Taiwan, could create the world’s largest electronics distributor, according to iSuppli Corp., challenging Avnet and Arrow for the top electronics component distributor spot.

Jack Bramel Receives IPC Raymond E. Pritchard Hall of Fame Award

In recognition of extraordinary contributions to IPC and the electronic interconnect industry, countless hours of volunteer service on IPC standards development committees and exceptional lifetime achievement, Jack Bramel of Jack Bramel & Associates was awarded the 2009 IPC Raymond E. Pritchard Hall of Fame Award.

U.S. Manufacturing Technology Consumption Up 22%

February U.S. manufacturing technology consumption totaled $163.96 million, according to AMT and AMTDA. With a year-to-date total of $291.27 million, 2010 is up 22.3% compared with 2009. Analysis of manu-facturing technology consumption provides a reliable leading economic indicator as manufacturing industries invest in capital metal-working equipment to increase capacity and improve productivity.

WAGO Brings Connector Technologies on North American Tour

WAGO Corporation’s Innovation in Automation Tour (IIAT) 2010 has twin vehicles currently crossing the U.S. and Canada, bringing WAGO’s automation, interconnect, and electronic products for interactive visits and demonstrations. WAGO provides spring pressure connection technology.

Bob Black of Juki Honored with IPC President Award

Juki Corporation’s Bob Black, president and CEO, was awarded the IPC President’s Award during the IPC APEX Expo this week in Las Vegas. The prestigious award is presented to IPC members who have exhibited ongoing leadership in IPC and have made significant contributions of time and talent to the association and the electronics interconnect industry.

iSuppli iPad Teardown Reveals Interface-focused Electronics Design

With more than 40% of its bill of materials (BOM) dedicated to the display, touchscreen and other user interface components, Apple Inc.’s iPad represents a radical departure in electronic design compared to conventional products, according to a teardown conducted by iSuppli Corp. Battery cost and other features are dissected.

DuPont and Raytheon Honored with 2010 IPC Corporate Recognition Awards at IPC APEX EXPO

During the IPC Annual Meeting Luncheon held in conjunction with IPC APEX EXPO, IPC presented the Stan Plzak Corporate Recognition Award to Raytheon Company and the Peter Sarmanian Corporate Recognition Award to DuPont.

ZESTRON America Adds Ion Chromatography Cleanliness Test to VA Technical Center

ZESTRON Corporation installed ion chromatography (IC) at its Technical Center in VA, as part of the cleaning supplier’s “Global Link” Initiative to enhance its Technical Centers, located in the U.S., Malaysia, and in other global locations.

IPC-A-610E Released: Industry Requirements for Acceptability of Electronic Assemblies Updated

IPC released the E revision of IPC-A-610, "Acceptability of Electronic Assemblies." IPC’s most widely-used standard, which provides visual acceptance criteria for post assembly mechanical and soldering assembly requirements, now addresses additional technologies, including flexible circuits, board in board, package on package, depanelization and additional SMT terminations.

Updated Materials Declaration Standard IPC-1752A Addresses Revolving Door of Environmental Regulation Changes

Helping electronics manufacturing companies better manage the growing documentation required to ensure products comply with evolving environmental regulations, IPC — Association Connecting Electronics Industries has released IPC-1752A, "Materials Declaration Management." The A revision of the standard provides an updated and expanded industry-wide reporting format for material declaration data exchange between companies in the electronic interconnect supply chain.

Fuji America to Include Aegis Software with FUJI Flexa

Aegis Software announced an OEM bundling agreement with Fuji America Corporation, supplier of high-quality automated assembly equipment for surface mount applications. Under this agreement, announced at IPC APEX EXPO 2010, Fuji America will include Aegis NPI software for BOM, CAD, Gerber, and scanned board data conversion with each license of Fuji's line-level management and optimization software Fuji Flexa.

SMT Names Morey Corp. VP 1st SMT VISIONARY Winner

SMT, the source of engineering solutions for PCB manufacturing, awarded its 1st Annual SMT VISIONARY Award to Taymur Ahmad, VP of operations of The Morey Corporation, for his work bringing lean manufacturing strategy and growth to the EMS provider. The SMT VISIONARY Award recognizes leadership during the recession at an OEM, ODM, or EMS provider. SMT launched the VISIONARY reader award as part of PennWell Corporation’s 100th anniversary to celebrate the drive and initiative of SMT’s reader community.

SMT Celebrates 18th Annual SMT VISION Awards with Top Industry Products

SMT announced the winners of its 18th Annual SMT VISION Awards on Monday, April 5, 2010 during the 2010 IPC APEX EXPO at the Mandalay Bay Resort & Convention Center, Las Vegas. SMT recognized winning products and services in 18 categories, showcasing top-notch technology, efficiency, environmental benefits, and quality from the electronics assembly industry’s suppliers. SMT VISION Award winning products represent true value for the surface mount electronics assembly sector, as judged by a panel of industry experts and as assessed by the customers actually using these products.

Chipworks Teardown of the iPad: Few Changes in State-of-the-art Semiconductor Technologies

Reverse engineering and patent infringement analysis provider Chipworks found that Apple has followed the same approach with iPad that it perfected with its iPod and iPhone development by using conservative, lower-cost technology, and focusing its efforts on design and usability. Essentially, the iPad’s very small circuit board makes it a large iPod rather than a small personal computer (PC).

IPC APEX EXPO 2010: Exhibits Preview VII

IPC APEX EXPO is coming up April 6-9 at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas. This preview includes PCB materials from Rogers, TRI’s test solutions, IPS’s PCB production systems, carts from Bliss Industries, a rework system from Finetech, dross recovery with FCT Recovery, kitting carts from Inovaxe, ZESTRON’s environmentally neutral cleaning products, defect detection from Vi TECHNOLOGY, pick-and-place machines from Europlacer, ASYS process machines and EKRA screen printers, and Aster’s test products.

IPC APEX EXPO 2010: Exhibits Preview VI

IPC APEX EXPO is coming up April 6-9 at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas. This preview includes jet printing from MYDATA, 3M electronics products, Protron’s PCB fab and NBS’s EMS offerings, stencils and services from Fine Line Stencil, nitrogen generation from On Site Gas, rework products from Martin and OK International, a diverse offering from Christopher Associates, AOI and SPI from CyberOptics, selective soldering from APS Novastar, and dross processing systems from EVS International.

Presentations of Note at IPC APEX EXPO

Scan through some of the upcoming paper presentations and courses coming up next week, April 6-9 at IPC APEX EXPO in Las Vegas. Presenters come from Indium Corporation, Photo Stencil, UL, and more.

Photo Stencil Expands Malaysian Ops with Laser Cutting Systems

SMT Stencil and tooling maker Photo Stencil expanded capacity and capability at their Malaysian manufacturing facility.

Nikon Forms Nikon Metrology with Metris Assets

Nikon created Nikon Metrology, Inc., a new company that combines Nikon Instruments Inc.’s industrial instruments business with the former Metris business, acquired by Nikon Corp. in 2009. Nikon Metrology, Inc., headquartered in Brighton, will focus on the industrial and manufacturing business markets for precision measuring and industrial microscopy.

Worldwide Electronics Manufacturing Services Vendor Shares

The Worldwide Quarterly Electronics Manufacturing Services report, released by Publications, covers quarterly revenue by region and product segment for all electronic manufacturing services (EMS) and original design manufacturing (ODM) companies in the EMS database, from Q’01 2004 through Q’04 2009.

Elcoteq's Sales Down 56% for 2009

Net sales declined in both Consumer Electronics and System Solutions compared to the previous year. The decline in net sales was due to the combined effect of the overall decline in electronics equipment demand and the company's weak balance sheet.

Update of IPC J-STD-609 Provides Greater Delineation of Lead-free Solders for Marking and Labeling

IPC released the A revision of IPC J-STD-609, "Marking and Labeling of Components, PCBs and PCBAs to Identify Lead (Pb), Lead-Free (Pb-Free) and Other Attributes." This standard presents a marking and labeling system that aids in electronics assembly, rework, repair, and recycling, and now provides additional codes for more precise specification of certain lead-free solders.

SMT Equipment Investments Increase in 2010

This month, Siemens Electronics Assembly GmbH (SEAS) released its research on order bookings for October 2009 through February 2010, showing more than 3× growth over the same period 1 year ago; Universal Instruments Corp. installed an additional line at an existing customer site, which is increasing capacity. BPM Microsystems also announced a major sale to a programming center in the U.K.

Presentations to Attend at IPC APEX EXPO

This is a sampling of the many technical papers and posters that will be presented during the conference at IPC APEX Expo, April 6 through 9 in Las Vegas. These include cleaning topics, soldermask application, test and inspection, solders, new package types and assembly, and more.

IDTechEx Releases Report on Printed, Organic, and Flexible Electronics

"Printed, Organic & Flexible Electronics Forecasts, Players and Opportunities 2010-2020" provides detailed ten year forecasts by device type. The market is analyzed by territory, printed versus non-printed, rigid versus flexible, inorganic versus organic, cost of materials versus process cost, etc. It has more than 200 tables and figures. Activities of over 1000 leading companies are given.

Raising the Standards in Las Vegas

IPC Vice President of Standards and Technology, Dave Torp, sits down with Editor Steve Gold to update engineers on the latest standards development initiatives, including what standards will be released at this year's IPC APEX Expo. Torp also reviews how standards are developed and who can get involved.

New Products for Electronics Test and Inspection

In these new test and inspection releases, Johnstech debuted a configurable test contactor; Glenbrook combined optical and X-ray inspection; Seica added thermal scan to its flying probers; ASSET increased its Intel test coverage; Corelis updated its boundary scan toolset; Sonoscan offers inspection for high-reliability and anti-counterfeiting tasks; and Nordson YESTECH adapted the X1 for batch X-ray inspection.

Analysis: Electronics Industry in the Recession

Henderson Ventures published its Forecast Summary, covering the movement of electronics inventory and end markets during the recession. It also focuses on automotive electronics and electronic equipment. Publications released a yearbook research product on the world electronics industry, with volume one focused on Western Europe.

ASQ Joins Lean and Quality Groups in Lean Certification Program

In a move that aligns manufacturing professionals toward a single standard for Lean Certification and workforce development, American Society for Quality (ASQ) is joining with the organizations currently responsible for the Lean Certification program: the Society of Manufacturing Engineers, the Association for Manufacturing Excellence and The Shingo Prize for Operational Excellence.

Environmental Management Systems: Why ISO 14001 Now?

Technology Forecasters Inc.’s Pamela Gordon finds many North American companies certifying to ISO 14001, the international standard for environmental management systems. While ISO 14001 is not new, until recently, most technology companies that do not manufacture hardware opted out of the ISO 14001 track, stating that their manufacturing outsource partners were certified. Why now are many non-manufacturing electronics companies and software firms opting in to creating an environmental management system and certifying to ISO 14001?

February PCB Industry Results Show Consistent Growth

IPC — Association Connecting Electronics Industries released the February findings from its monthly North American Printed Circuit Board (PCB) Statistical Program, showing that the combined rigid and flex circuit book-to-bill ratio grew, heavily influenced by the rigid circuit board segment.

Preview the Innovative Technology Center at IPC APEX EXPO

IPC announced the products that will be featured in the Innovative Technology Center (ITC) at IPC APEX EXPO, April 6–8, 2010 in Las Vegas. Assessed by an IPC Review Board of industry experts, the products were selected based on their representation of a new or emerging technology of significant value and relevance to the electronics manufacturing industry. This year’s winners demonstrated innovation in materials, test and assembly technology.

Jabil "Gaining Confidence": Reports Positive Earnings

"Results for the quarter indicate significant year-over-year margin expansion on modest revenue growth. We are gaining confidence that these positive trends may be sustained for the balance of the year," said Timothy L. Main, President and CEO.

Small and Midsized Industrial Manufacturing CFOs Reveal Their Top Concerns of 2010

Prime Advantage released its Group CFO Survey, revealing the top financial concerns of its member companies’ CFOs in 2010. 

Highlights: IPC APEX Expo Presentations

This is a sampling of the many technical papers and posters that will be presented during the conference at IPC APEX Expo, April 6 through 9 in Las Vegas. These include PCB design tutorials, tin whisker growth studies, solar panel discussions, and more.

IPC APEX EXPO 2010: Exhibits Preview V

IPC APEX is coming up April 6-9 at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas. This preview includes various materials from Taiyo America; inspection technology from CyberOptics; flex cutting services from A-Laser; soldering advances from Vitronics Soltec; DEK's printing technologies; assembly materials from Henkel; Electrolube cleaning products; supply chain solutions from Calumet; fixturing from ECT; Milara's print systems; PCB supports from Production Solutions; XRF from RMD Instruments; and a new cleaning formulation from Kyzen.

Ticona Vectra LCP Adds Dimensional Stability to Housing in Samtec BullsEye System

Samtec Inc., a worldwide manufacturer of a broad line of electronic interconnects, has specified a glass-fiber reinforced Vectra liquid crystal polymer (LCP) from Ticona Engineering Polymers for an injection molded housing used in its BullsEye test point system.

IPC PCB Executive Agent Task Force Sees Two Government Reports Recognize Vital Role of U.S. PCB Industry

Following a year of active engagement with Congress and Department of Defense (DoD) policy makers, IPC and the IPC PCB Executive Agent Task Force members are recognizing two recently released reports from the DoD and the U.S. Commerce Department emphasize the government’s growing awareness of the importance of the U.S. circuit board industry in protecting national security.

New Specialized Soldering Equipment for Selective, Reflow, Rework, and Wave Systems

Seho introduced a process gas cleaning system, Rehm debuted a new cooling zone design, Christopher Associates added a fluxless soldering robot, Seika released a nano rework station as well as a solder paste recycling unit, ACE added a spot preheat with nitrogen, and Miyachi Unitek introduced a weld monitoring system.

Supply of Commodity Parts Remains Tight, Capacity Management Conservative

While the end of 2009 brought improved availability for many commodity electronic components, supply for most parts remains tight, according to iSuppli Corp. Only EMS providers have shown an increase in inventory.

New Solder Pastes Bring Testability, Jettability, and Compliance

FCT Assembly introduced a pin-probable solder paste for easy testing; MYDATA certified a leaded solder paste from AIM for jet dispensing; and Henkel debuted a halogen- and lead-free solder paste.

IPC Urges EU to Incorporate Science in RoHS Recast

IPC – Association Connecting Electronics Industries released a white paper, Recasting the RoHS Directive: An Opportunity to Solidify its Scientific Basis in Support of Comprehensive Environmental Regulation, urging members of the European Union (EU) Council and Parliament to ensure that the revised RoHS Directive be scientifically based and fully aligned with the Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH) Regulation. Copies of the white paper will be sent to members of the EU Council and members of the EU Parliament’s Environment Committee.

Geotest and Pickering Form Strategic Alliance in PXI Test

Geotest - Marvin Test Systems, PXI and PC-based test equipment provider, created a Strategic Alliance program with Pickering Interfaces, a test supplier for signal switching and conditioning. The Alliance combines Geotest's expertise in digital test, system integration, and automated test equipment (ATE) software with Pickering's catalog of PXI switching and signal conditioning products.

IPC Seeks Input on Best Industry Practices for Intellectual Property Protection

The IPC Intellectual Property Committee will release its first draft of a standard for the protection of intellectual property (IP) designed into printed circuit boards (PCBs) at an open meeting, Tuesday, April 6, 2010, at IPC APEX EXPO in Las Vegas. The draft, “Best Industry Practices for Intellectual Property Protection,” is intended to assist printed board manufacturers in the protection of IP for their customers in commercial, industrial and military/high-reliability markets. Industry members from all segments of electronics manufacturing are invited to attend the meeting to review the draft standard and provide input.

IPC APEX EXPO 2010: Exhibits Preview IV

IPC APEX is coming up April 6–9 at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas. This preview includes electrical test products from ECT, inspection systems from ORPRO and VJ Technologies, solder paste inspection on-printer from Milara and CyberOptics, Seho’s soldering equipment and FCT’s solder pastes, consumables and nozzles from Count On Tools, rework from VJ Technologies, and process control software from Valor, as well as various PCB assembly machinery from Seika.

New PCBs and Components

These new products include cable/harness assembly support, new components, new PCB materials, oddforms like EMI shields and heatsinks, and pin connectors.

Brady Polyimide Labels Tested to Withstand Precision Cleaning Chemicals for Electronics

Brady Worldwide Inc. and ZESTRON partnered to conduct extensive chemical compatibility testing on Brady’s line of polyimide labels, which are commonly used as printed circuit board (PCB) identification labels. According to the test results, Brady polyimide labels can withstand ZESTRON’s latest cleaning chemicals, enabling electronics customers to apply Brady polyimide labels pre-process during the manufacturing of circuit boards.

New Supply Chain Management Products

These online and software products are designed to enable faster prototype builds, add security to the bill of materials (BOM) for a job, and make locating components easier for SMT assemblers. They simplify requests for quotes (RFQ) and enable reverse engineering of obsolete parts despite missing data.

Global Strategic Business Report on PCBs

Research and Markets released “A Global Strategic Business Report: PCBs,” analyzing the global market for printed circuit boards (PCBs) in US$ million. The major markets analyzed include the US, Canada, Japan, Europe, Asia-Pacific, and rest of world (ROW), with forecasts through 2015. It identifies major geographical and technological changes coming for the PCB fab industry.

EMI Builds Products to Promote Health with Medical Certification

Express Manufacturing, Inc. (EMI), an electronics manufacturing services (EMS) provider, is building a line of products for OEMs to promote health. The company recently obtained ISO 13485 certification for medical device manufacturing and invested in Fuji XPF chip shooters for medical electronics production.

SMTC Reports 16% Revenue Increase in 4Q

Despite a challenging economic environment, in which SMTC's revenue declined from $206.9 million to $179.5 million, the company produced net earnings from continuing operations for the full 2009 year of $2.4 million, increasing $0.8 million or 46% over 2008 results.

Banner Year for HB-LED; OLEDs and LEDs Also Fare Well

EPIC, the European Photonics Industry Consortium, released “LEDs: The 2009 Market Review.” The report, which is distributed exclusively to EPIC members, tracks the response of the lighting and display industries to one of the most difficult economic crises in recent years. HB-LED and OLED unit production figures as well as revenues have been summarized for major players around the world for the two-year period of 2008 and 2009.

Bob Willis Intros Online Training Service for SMT Production Teams

Bob Willis, a consultant who has been providing electronics assembly training over 20 years, will launch a new Website-based training service.

EMS Provider Lightspeed Expands to New Manufacturing Facility

Lightspeed Manufacturing has moved from its old factory in Methuen, Mass. to a new 60,000-sq-ft modern manufacturing facility at 135 Ward Hill Avenue in Haverhill, MA. Lightspeed is a contract manufacturer of printed circuit electronics assemblies that has experienced continued growth.

IPC APEX EXPO 2010: Exhibits Preview III

IPC APEX is coming up April 6–9 at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas. This preview includes cleaner chemistry from Kyzen; test systems from Digitaltest, atg, and Seica; selective soldering systems from Juki and Seica; cleanliness test systems from Gen3 and Ascentech as well as Austin American Technology; process control from ProWorks and Microscan; reflow profiling from KIC; halogen-free solder from Indium; assembly systems from Siemens and Juki; and spray fluxing from Sonotek.

New Cleaning Products Are More Compatible, Cleanliness Tests More Accurate

Zestron and Heraeus optimized cleaning processes for new lead-free and leaded solder pastes; Seika introduced a printer wiper roll cleaner that eliminates waste; Zestron added 5-liter refills for its Bath Analyzer; GEN3 Systems and Ascentech debut a line of cleanliness testers; and Kyzen developed a pH-neutral aqueous cleaning product.

New Edition of IPC Market Data Update Shows Continuing Recovery in Electronics Supply Chain, Production

IPC released the winter 2010 edition of Electronics Industries Market Data Update, which offers proof of a continuing economic recovery. The IPC Index of North American Electronics Industry Performance rose dramatically from -18.3 in the third quarter of 2009 to -5.5 in the fourth quarter. The Index is a new business indicator that reflects trends in sales performance from all key segments of the electronics interconnect supply chain.

Yale Scientists Develop Magnetic Lead-free Solder

Yale University scientists have developed a magnetic solder that can be manipulated in three dimensions and selectively heated. The alloy is tin/silver with iron additives that allow magnetic manipulation for selective heating, reflow location, and added strength.

SMTA Announces Best of Conference Papers

"Emerging Competitors in Emerging Markets: What Patent Applications Reveal" and "New Packaging and Interconnect Technologies for Ultra Thin Chips" take top honors at SMTA's annual Pan Pacific Microelectronics Symposium.

MOREY Provides Telematics Hardware Design for Automotive X PRIZE Competition

The X PRIZE Foundation will partner with IL-based EMS provider MOREY Corporation to benefit the Progressive Insurance Automotive X PRIZE, a $10 million competition designed to inspire a new generation of viable, safe, and fuel-efficient vehicles.

NBS Deploys RFID Intelligent Feeders System

EMS provider NBS installed and deployed a radio frequency identification (RFID) driven intelligent feeder and materials management system throughout the company’s Santa Clara manufacturing facility. This sophisticated traceability technology will enable NBS to electronically track, monitor, match and record components to printed circuit board assemblies (PCBA) while in process, eliminating limited manual logging practices.

Reflow Profiling: KIC's Brian O'Leary Shows New Methods, New Understanding

Reflow profiling has gained importance as SMT assemblers struggle to meet the lower-temperature reflow needs of components, and the higher-temperature needs of lead-free solder alloys. Profiling can involve a lot of guess work, wasted boards, and lost time. KIC, along with the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT), studied the most accurate way to profile a BGA, and achieved nonlinear results. The methodology and design of experiment described here, from Brian O’Leary’s presentation to the SMTA Boston Chapter, can be applied to other profiling situations.

IPC APEX EXPO 2010: Exhibits Preview II

IPC APEX is coming up April 6–9 at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas. This preview includes test systems from Acculogic, the Sentinel print inspection module from DEK, box build and stencil fab services from ITT, cleaning systems from Aqueous, a range of SMT equipment from Essemtec, halogen-free solder paste from Henkel, convection reflow from BTU, new soldering equipment modules from Pillarhouse, Assembléon’s new assembly line equipment, solder materials from Cobar, and closed-loop stencil cleaners from Smart Sonic. Over the next several weeks, SMT will bring you new product previews and highlights of the exhibit floor.

New Members of IPC Government Relations Steering Committee

IPC’s Government Relations (GR) Steering Committee added two members with the recent election of Mark Osborn, president, Colonial Circuits Inc.; and Irene Sterian, manager of advanced process development, Celestica. With upcoming GR committee meetings at IPC APEX EXPO in April and IPC Capitol Hill Day in June, the new members will help address the critical issues currently under consideration by the group.

STI Electronics Will Update IPC-A- 610 and J-STD-001 Training and Certification Program to E Revision

STI Electronics Inc., an organization providing training, electronic and industrial distribution, consulting, laboratory analysis, prototyping, and small- to medium-volume PCB assembly, won a contract with IPC to update the existing IPC-A-610 and J-STD-001 training and certification programs from the D to the soon-to-be-released E revision of the standards. 

IPC January PCB Book-to-Bill Shows Growth

IPC released the January findings from its monthly North American Printed Circuit Board (PCB) Statistical Program, showing both rigid and flex PCBs in positive territory, with a combined book-to-bill ratio of 1.05. “The best news from our January PCB surveys is the huge growth in orders compared to January of last year,” said IPC president Denny McGuirk.

New Products for PCB Assembly Test

These new test products include functional test with temperature calibration and a new test handler from Multitest, LXI test matrices from Pickering Interfaces, ESD testers from Transforming Technologies, a test system manager from QualiSystems, new boundary scan applications from JTAG Technologies, a test socket from Aries and test socket spacer cutting from A-Laser, Agilent characterization systems, and cleanliness test upgrades from Specialty Coating Systems.

SMTA Accepting Applications for Board of Directors

The Surface Mount Technology Association (SMTA) is currently seeking committed individuals for its Board of Directors.  Candidates should have valuable skills and ideas to continue our mission of helping members succeed in electronics assembly and related business operations.

Endicott Interconnect's Case Study: Medical Application

Endicott Interconnect developed a solution for the catheter that includes producing the flexible substrates, as well as providing the flip chip assembly on the flexible substrate.

RadiSys, IFTEST to Provide Customized COM Express Carrier Boards for Medical and Industrial Applications

RadiSys Corporation (NASDAQ:RSYS), global provider of application-ready software and hardware platforms, will partner with IFTEST, which joined the RadiSys Alliance Partner Program (RAPP) as a Gold member, to deliver customized COM Express carrier boards for the medical and industrial markets. RadiSys’ COM Express processor modules enable breakthrough processing performance, while IFTEST provides custom carrier design services, including production, verification, and testing.

IPC Research Reports Indicate One-third of North American EMS Companies Likely to Expand Capacity in 2010

IPC — Association Connecting Electronics Industries released new findings on North American EMS industry plans for capacity expansion and new equipment purchase in 2010. A clear positive shift can be seen in the North American EMS industry’s intentions for capacity expansion and new equipment purchase compared to one year ago.

Viasystems' PCB Segment Reports 18% Increase in Net Sales

Net sales in the PCB segment for the fourth quarter were $100.6 million, an 18% increase over the third quarter of 2009. The increase was driven primarily by strengthening demand in the automotive and industrial and instrumentation markets, in which PCB segment sales increased 12% and 31%, respectively.

NBS Adds 3D Solder Paste Inspection (SPI) from VI Technology

EMS provider NBS acquired four VI Technology post-print automatic solder paste inspection (SPI) systems for its advanced manufacturing facility in Santa Clara. Its deployment and use of structural test verification technology identified the value of adding the new equipment.

Germany-based Auto Electronics Maker Preh Invests in SIPLACE SX

The globally operating Preh GmbH, headquartered in Bad Neustadt a.d. Saale, develops and manufactures complex driver control and vehicle sensor systems as well as controllers and assembly systems for the automobile industry. The manufacturer has expertise in software, electronics, plastics, and surface technologies. The company decided to invest in SIPLACE SX placement machines for Bad Neustadt after it recently purchased SIPLACE machines for the Preh factory in Trofa, Portugal.

Global Market for Ultracapacitors Will Grow 20% Through 2014

iRAP Inc. released report ET-111 “ULTRACAPACITORS FOR STATIONARY, INDUSTRIAL, CONSUMER AND TRANSPORT ENERGY STORAGE – AN INDUSTRY, TECHNOLOGY AND MARKET ANALYSIS.” iRAP states that the global market for ultracapacitors will grow from an estimated $275 million in 2009 to $725 million in 2014, at an average annual growth rate (AAGR) of over 20% through the forecast period. The report defines ultracapacitors, the major markets that need ultracapacitors, and provides market predictions.

Aqueous, Technical Resources Corp., Kyzen to Co-host Free Cleaning Seminar

Aqueous Technologies Corporation, provider of batch defluxing systems, and Technical Resources Corporation announce that they will host a one-day free seminar on the subject of cleaning/defluxing. The seminar, “Conductive Crystals, White Residues and Decreased Reliability: The Rush to Clean No-Clean” will take place Tuesday, March 16, 2010 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. in Palm Beach, FL.

Honeywell Increases Price for Nylon 6 Resins

Honeywell (NYSE: HON) Resins and Chemicals announced a price increase of 6 cents per pound over the current price of nylon 6 resins, effective with shipments March 1, 2010, or as contracts allow. This increase covers all fiber-grade and neat nylon polymer for spinning and compounding applications.

Reports on China's Component Making Industries released several reports on the chip industry in China. These include analysis with market drivers, key enterprises and their strategies, as well as technologies and investment status, risks and trends. The reports cover electronic components, optoelectronic devices, semiconductor discretes, and other electronic devices.

IPC APEX EXPO 2010: Exhibits Preview I

IPC APEX is coming up April 6–9 at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas. Over the next several weeks, SMT will bring you new product previews and highlights of the exhibit floor. This preview includes a new boundary scan program, loaded selective soldering system, tilt/rotate capability to improve conformal coating, halogen-free solders that meet high reliability and performance targets, updated vapor-phase rework, a new vision system for inspection, and advanced pick-and-place technologies.

New Conformal Coatings, Encapsulants, Adhesives, and Other Assembly Materials

Master Bond debuted a clear conformal coating, a structural adhesive, and a temporary bond adhesive; Rudolph Bros introduced a easy-to-use conformal coating; Fujipoly has new thermal interface gel sheets; Christopher Associates now carries a potting compound for solar junction boxes; and DYMAX offers a spot-curing system and compatible adhesives.

iPhone and Competitive Products to Spur NAND Flash Undersupply in 2010

Rehm Thermal Systems Opens Reflow Applications Center in GA

Rehm Thermal Systems moved into a new Applications Center to serve their North America marketplace. Located in the Atlanta suburb of Roswell, the new facility is designed to provide the means to characterize users’ convection and condensation reflow processes.

Celestica Closes MN Facility, Liquidates Equipment Via X-Line

X-line Asset Management, disposition and auction services provider to the global marketplace, will be conducting a global webcast and online auction for the Celestica Arden Hills, MN EMS facility, which has halted production. All remaining assets from the facility located at 4300 Round Lake Road West will be sold via auction starting March 4th. This facility focused on high mix, medium- to low-volume, high-complexity electronics manufacturing and served customers in aerospace, defense, industrial, medical and telecommunications markets.

LPKF Expands Production Capacities for Laser Systems

LPKF Laser & Electronics AG will double the production capacities for cutting and structuring lasers in Garbsen by the end of the first quarter, and boost capacities further in the second quarter.The company is expanding its laser production to satisfy the continuous demand for laser systems used for electronics production in Asia.

Philips Purchases Additional IPTE Test Equipment for LCD

For the fourth year in a row, Philips in-vested in IPTE N.V. test equipment for its LCD TV production facilities world-wide. Moreover, by bundling all Philips’ needs, Philips General Purchasing (PGP) has helped Philips maintain top product quality and productivity, while benefitting from major volume and standardization cost reductions.

GIA: Global PCB Market to Reach $76.2B by 2015

GIA released a comprehensive global report on the printed circuit board (PCB) market. The world market for PCBs is projected to register about $76.2 billion by the year 2015. Though tempered by the economic recession in the last two years, the market is expected to register a substantial increase in its revenue post recession, supported by growing demand in automotive electronics and the rapidly growing Asian market.

New High-performance Printers, Stencils and Stencil Care, and Dispensing Products

These new products include printer upgrades and options from DEK and Sony; a high-precision valve for dispensing from Tridak, a double-layer stencil from DEK; and a stencil cleaning and care kit from Ascentech.

IPC Standard Helps Define How Clean Is Clean

How clean is clean when it comes to printed circuit boards and assemblies? While John Perry, IPC technical project manager, can enumerate a litany of complex variables that come into play with an answer to that question, a new cleaning standard, IPC-5704, Cleanliness Requirements for Unpopulated Printed Boards, defines the recommended requirements for the cleanliness of unpopulated single, double-sided and multilayer PCBs.

South Africa Electronics Show: NEW SA Launches in March

South Africa will host an electronics exhibition promising to focus the attention of the global electronics industry on all things South African. Having long required an event to support its innovative electronics industry, March 9–10 will see electronics professionals from around the world assemble at Johannesburg’s Sandton Convention Centre in South Africa for the inaugural NEW SA exhibition. The tradeshow will feature exhibitors, trade associations, technical seminar programs, and more.

Sparton Achieves Profitability for Second Consecutive Quarter

The company reported second quarter operating income of $1.3 million and net income of $3.2 million, or $0.33 per share, versus an operating loss of $1.2 million and a net loss of $2.8 million, or $0.28 loss per share, for the second quarter of fiscal 2009.

Mid-Range iPad to Generate Maximum Profits for Apple, iSuppli Estimates with Virtual Teardown

The mid-range, 3G-wireless version of Apple Inc.’s upcoming iPad is expected to carry a combined bill of materials (BOM) and manufacturing cost of $287.15, making it the most profitable member of the iPad product line on a percentage basis, according to a virtual teardown generated in part by leveraging iSuppli Corp.’s Mobile Handset Cost Model tool.

EMS Firms Challenge PV Solar Module Manufacturing Value Chain

Alfonso Velosa, Gartner analyst, considers the major advantages EMS providers bring to solar module manufacturers, such as multi-faceted scalability and familiarity with low-margin operation.

LXI Consortium Elects Board and Officers for FY2010

The LXI Consortium recently held its annual elections for the Board of Directors, officers and committee chairs.

The 2011 iNEMI Roadmap Needs Industry Input

Work on the International Electronics Manufacturing Initiative’s (iNEMI’s) 2011 Roadmap begins this month with the North American kick-off of the roadmap’s Technology Working Groups (TWGs).  The meeting, hosted by iNEMI member Agilent Technologies, is scheduled for February 23-24 in Santa Clara, Calif. iNEMI is also scheduling a webinar on March 19 to review information from European medical and automotive markets.

Datest Receives ITAR Registration

Datest Corp., in-circuit testing (ICT) solutions provider, received the official International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) registration from the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Political-Military Affairs. This registration documents Datest Corp.’s dedication to adhering to the regulations that control the export and import of defense-related articles and services on the United States Munitions List.

APEX Events: 2010 IPC Designers Day

AIMS Harsh Environments Symposium Call for Abstracts

The SMTA and Auburn University (Auburn, AL) will jointly host the AIMS (Automotive, Industrial, Military and Space) Harsh Environment Electronics Symposium October 25-26, 2010. Dr. John Evans, Conference Chairman and the program technical committee invites industry and academia to submit an abstract to participate in the program. The symposium will focus on harsh environments with an emphasis on military and space.

New PCB Design Products

These new products include circuit design software, free evaluation kits, better user functionalities, and a Website that connects designers and suppliers.

Koh Young Expands in Seoul

Koh Young Technologies Inc., solder paste inspection (SPI) and automated optical inspection (AOI) systems provider, is relocating and expanding its Seoul headquarters to a new, larger building in February.

Global Business Outlook Keynote at IPC APEX Preps Industry for Recovery

Complacency with having survived the trials of 2009 is a naïve posture that, in 2010, will lead to continued struggles, warns Walt Custer. The noted industry analyst and president of Custer Consulting Group will join IPC director of market research Sharon Starr for the Global Business Outlook: Where Do We Go Next? keynote session at IPC APEX EXPO on Wednesday, April 7 in Las Vegas.

Siemens Electronics Assembly Systems Concludes SIPLACE SX Road Show

Siemens Electronics Assembly Systems (SEAS) completed its five-stage SIPLACE SX Road Show of North America in January of 2010. More than 200 visitors from 60 different companies attended the show. The SIPLACE Team performed more than 100 live placement system gantry upgrade demonstrations during the four-month tour.

Electronic Contract Manufacturing Returns to Growth, but Uncertainties Remain

Although the global electronics contract manufacturing industry is set to return to growth in 2010 after a painful 2009, the market still faces major uncertainties this year, according to iSuppli Corp.

AdoptSMT Opens New UK Office With More Services

AdoptSMT, European vendor of pre-owned electronic assembly equipment and consulting specialist for the SMT production line, opened a new U.K. facility near Gatwick airport and the M23/25. The location will provide a range of AdoptSMT’s services and products, including operations and support and other technical services to the U.K. market.

North Shore Components Expands Counterfeit Avoidance Programs

North Shore Components, a broad line distributor of electronic and electromechanical components, expanded its counterfeit detection services with the addition of the Insight 200 motorized 3-axis scanning acoustic microscope inspection system and theLTS-200 robotic lead tinning system (ACE Production Technologies).

High-tech Consortium Will Develop Sustainable Pick-and-place Technologies

Royal Philips Electronics subsidiary Assembléon has started a research project to develop a new generation of sustainable pick-and-place solutions for the electronics assembly industry. The goals are to pick & place components sustainably and minimize the environmental impact of the machine in its design phase. The Dutch government has provided a substantial financial subsidy to the project.

Pick-and-Place Products for High-mix Environments

Siemens announced the SIPLACE SiCluster Professional software to optimize placement machine set up; Manncorp introduced 7700-FV prototyping/low-volume pick-and-place system for OEMs; and Assembléon debuted the YS24 high-mix, dual-sided pick-and-place machine from Yamaha.

Altech UEC Chooses Universal Genesis Pick-and-Place

IPC Releases December Book to Bill

 IPC — Association Connecting Electronics Industries announced the December findings from its monthly North American Printed Circuit Board (PCB) Statistical Program, showing strong booking increases from December 2008 for rigid PCBs. Flex circuits did not fare as well, as the flexible PCB book-to-bill ratio dropped below parity.

UK EMS Provider ACW Opening US Manufacturing

ACW Technology Ltd., an independent U.K.-based provider of electronics manufacturing services (EMS), is setting up its first manufacturing facility in the United States. ACW Technology Inc will operate from a 30,000 sq. ft. facility in Durham, NC, opening in Q'02 2010. Jeffrey Benes will join ACW as VP and GM to head up the new operation.

Agilent, DeMille Research Inc. to Offer CAD Translation, Test Development Tools for Agilent Medalist In-circuit Testers

Agilent Technologies Inc. (NYSE: A) and DeMille Research Inc (DRI)., which provides software solutions for in-circuit test (ICT), signed a value-added reseller (VAR) agreement that allows Agilent to offer DRI's TestSight Developer software to its Medalist i3070 and Medalist i1000 ICT customers.

New Adversaries, New Challenges Changing the Focus of the U.S. Department of Defense: IPC APEX EXPO Keynote Highlights Role of the Electronics Industry

The changing global security landscape calls for the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) and its suppliers to respond in innovative ways to successfully carry out challenging mission responsibilities.  What does this mean for the global electronics base?  Jeff Wilcox, VP for engineering, Lockheed Martin, will provide insight for IPC APEX EXPO attendees in his keynote address, “Achieving Strategic Balance: Integrating Global Security Solutions in the New Operational Landscape,” Tuesday, April 6, 2010, in Las Vegas.

IPC Publishes EMS Industry Wage/Salary Study

IPC — Association Connecting Electronics Industries published IPC Wage & Salary Report for the North American EMS Industry 2008-2009. The 60-page report aggregates the results from 129 U.S. and Canadian EMS facilities that participated in the Association’s biennial wage and salary survey in the final months of 2009. Mean and median wages, salaries, bonuses, and commissions are reported for 31 specific positions, including technical, administrative, management and sales positions.

KIC, Rochester Institute of Technology Study to be Presented for SMTA Boston

KIC and Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) recently completed a study dealing with reliable non-destructive methods for profiling BGAs. Brian O'Leary, national sales manager for KIC Thermal Profiling, will present their findings to an SMTA Boston meeting February 9, 2010 in Boxborough, MA.

IMTS Partners with SME for 2010 Emerging Technology Center

Showcasing innovative technological developments for the manufacturing industry, IMTS – The International Manufacturing Technology Show 2010, September 13-18 in Chicago, will present the Emerging Technology Center (ETC) in partnership with the Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME). The theme for the 2010 ETC is "Knowledge-Based:" applying knowledge-based management across the full spectrum including technology, manufacturing, people, and business.

Syrma Technology Joins Wireless Industry Consortium DASH7

Syrma Technology, an EMS partner and specialist in design and manufacturing of custom RFID tag solutions, joined the DASH7 Alliance. The DASH7 Alliance is a newly formed wireless industry consortium with the shared goals of making wireless devices based on the ISO 18000-7 (DASH7) standard more accessible to greater numbers of people and organizations, emphasizing DASH7’s low-power and scalability, and cultivating a global network of DASH7 ecosystem partners.

Present at SMTA International 2010

The SMTA International Technical Committee invites participants to submit an abstract for the 2010 SMTA International (SMTAI) conference, taking place October 24 to 28 in Orlando. Short course descriptions are also being solicited.

Reuters: Foxconn Shares See Biggest Fall in Over 9 Months

Reuters reports that shares of cellphone maker Foxconn International Holdings Limited (2038.HK) recorded their biggest percentage fall in over 9 months after a profit warning, but many analysts remained upbeat about the firm's prospects.

New Cabinets, Automation Tools, Depaneling Products and Other Services for Assembly

These products for odd-form and final assembly, as well as in-line automation, include lead clippers and component handlers, storage cabinets that meet MSD and ESD standards, singulation systems to depanelize PCBs, laser cutting services for thin metal parts, and more.

Milara, Mirae Partner to Manufacture Combined Printer and Pick-and-Place System

Milara Inc., a vendor of fully and semiautomatic stencil printers for SMT and wafer applications, partnered with Mirae Corporation of Korea, combining technologies to produce a fast printer and pick-and-place system. The solder paste printing and component placement system, called the P3, will be launched at IPC APEX 2010 in Las Vegas.

SMTA Announces Webinars and Webtorials for February 2010

In response to industry-wide budget cuts and travel restrictions, SMTA has committed to increasing its online programming to better accommodate member needs for technical exchange.

Listen to IPC Executive Summit Highlights: Market Opportunities and Management Issues

Live recordings of selected presentations from IPC’s October 2009 Executive Summit are now available as synchronous audio with presentation slides. Delivered by some of the industry’s most renowned subject-matter experts, the 30- to 60-minute presentations provide updates on major market opportunities as well as key management issues.

Lazer-Tech, Bare Board Group form Alliance for Offshore PCB Option

Lazer-Tech Ltd formed a strategic alliance with Bare Board Group of Largo, FL, to provide their customers with a viable offshore solution for higher-volume PCB orders.

Acculogic Manufacturing Test Systems Division Opens CA Office

Acculogic’s Manufacturing Test Systems Division, a global leader in electronic test and production solutions, recently opened a new testing services and support satellite office in Laguna Hills. The office will provide technical support, training, and contract services for Acculogic’s installed base of flying probe and boundary scan systems on the West Coast.

New Inspection Products

These new products include vision sensors and systems, improved AOI machines, measurement and surface analysis products, programming environments, and other inspection tools.

AT&S and Solland Solar Build Prototype Line for Back-contacted Photovoltaic Modules

As part of an ongoing technology partnership, AT&S and Solland Solar will build a prototype line for photovoltaic modules with Sunweb back-contacted solar cells. The technology uses processes and materials that are standard in the printed circuit board (PCB) industry but are not yet applied in photovoltaics. Construction of the prototype line marks a milestone toward commercial availability later in 2010.

Global Surface Mount Technology Placement Equipment Markets

Research and Markets released its latest Global Surface Mount Technology Placement Equipment Markets report. Surface mount technology (SMT) placement equipment forms an integral part of an SMT assembly line, which traditionally consists of several individual process machines. An SMT assembly line brings together several types of equipment such as placement equipment, inspection equipment, test equipment, screen printers, solder and adhesive dispensers, reflow ovens, rework and backload units, cleaners and conveyors. The global SMT placement equipment market includes approximately 40 companies that offer a variety of purchase options to the two main end users of the equipment: original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and contract electronics manufacturers (CEMs).

Workshops on Lean, Best Practices from Lean Enterprise Institute

A comprehensive lineup of workshops from the Lean Enterprise Institute (LEI) will show executives and managers how to apply lean business concepts to improve supply chain, logistics, service and administrative processes, as well as practice the new lean leadership behaviors  needed to sustain the improvements. In addition, the workshop "Leading the High Velocity Organization" by Steven Spear, a senior lecturer at MIT and author of Chasing the Rabbit, will help executives and managers adopt the best practices of today’s most competitive companies.

The Gold Record: CES 2010 From a Manufacturing Perspective

In this video edition, I-Connect007 OEM Editor Dan Feinberg discusses his Consumer Electronics Show highlights: Faster processors, 3-D home entertainment, tablet mania, battery life and more.

NBS Adds 5th SMT Line

EMS provider NBS acquired and installed an additional SMT line at its headquarters facility in Santa Clara. This is the company’s fifth fully automated line.

Call for Papers: International Conference on Soldering and Reliability

The SMTA Technical Committee invites industry professionals to submit abstracts for the 2010 International Conference on Soldering and Reliability, being held this May in Toronto, ON, Canada. Abstracts are due by January 29, 2010. Following on the very successful 2005 and 2006 International Conferences on Lead-free Soldering, and the SMTA International Conference on Soldering and Reliability held in Toronto since 2007, this conference will bring together the community of soldering and reliability experts. 

Fein-Lines: CES 2010 Wrap-Up

Dan Feinberg offers a wrap-up of CES and gives his opinion on show improvements, as well as a few things that still need some work. He focuses on the "geekier" and exciting new offerings at the show this year, including 3-D and tablet PCs.

Adept Wins $3.2M Order for Intelligent Robotics from Test Automation Equipment OEM

Adept Technology Inc. (Nasdaq:ADEP), a provider of intelligent vision-guided robotics and global robotics services, received a $3.2 million order for high-precision robots from a major international manufacturer of test automation equipment. The order is expected to be fulfilled and recognized as revenue in Q’03 FY 2010. The company selected Adept as its automation partner to provide high-speed robot systems for complex, precision handling operations.

IMEC Joins Green Touch Consortium to Reduce Energy Consumption of Communication Networks

Research consortium imec will take part in the Green Touch Initiative, a new consortium initiated by Bell Labs, the research arm of Alcatel-Lucent. The Green Touch Initiative is committed to inventing the technologies that will be at the heart of the next generation of sustainable networks. The consortium has set itself the goal of creating technologies necessary to achieve a 1000-fold improvement in the future power consumption of the Internet and other communication networks (e.g. corporate networks) by 2015.

Odd-form Components and Equipment for Electronics Assemblies

These new products include cables, connectors, a through-hole insertion system, device cooling hardware, and a report on the odd-form/connector industry, as well as a component order calculator, and more.

Google Nexus One Carries $174.15 Materials Cost, iSuppli Teardown Reveals

With its new Nexus One, Google Inc. has taken many of the latest smart-phone innovations and combined them in a single product that manages to be both cutting edge and cost competitive, according to a teardown conducted by iSuppli Corp.

The Best (and Worst) of CES, Part II

A Consumer Electronics Show exhibition update. Is the future 3-D? Or are tablet PCs the next big electronics thing?

Manncorp Debuts Turnkey SMT Assembly Lines for OEMs

 Manncorp introduced seven new electronic assembly turnkey lines with throughput rates ranging from prototyping to 10,500 CPH. The lines are described at and target OEMs and others who are considering turning away from outsourcing by bringing PCB assembly in-house for the first time. The systems also suit existing assemblers who wish to upgrade to latest-generation equipment.

Celestica Acquires Invec Solutions to Bolster After-market Services

Celestica Inc. (NYSE, TSX: CLS) has acquired Invec Solutions, provider of warranty management, repair, and parts management services to companies in the information technology (IT) and consumer electronics markets.

IPC Issues Call for Nominations for Corporate and Individual Awards

IPC — Association Connecting Electronics Industries will recognize volunteers who contribute their time and expertise to IPC standards development and other vital IPC activities, based on industry nominations. Industry members are encouraged to highlight the special achievements of their companies and their colleagues by nominating them for one or more awards. Awards will be presented at IPC APEX EXPO the week of April 5, 2010, at the Mandalay Bay Resort & Convention Center, Las Vegas.

Gene Weiner Appointed to University Advisory Council

Gene Weiner of Weiner International Associates was appointed to the Advisory Council of Post University’s MBA program. 

Nordson Acquires German Distributor GLT mbH

Nordson Corporation has acquired German distributor GLT mbH based in Pforzheim, Germany. GLT has been a distributor of the company's Nordson EFD brand dispensing systems and related products in Germany since 1977.

Integrated Ideas & Technologies Expands for Laser-cut Stencils

Integrated Ideas & Technologies Inc. will expand into a second facility. The new 8,000 sq.ft. facility will be used mostly for JIT (Just in Time) inventory for clients of the Metal Fabrication division.

ZESTRON Promotes Greener Cleaning Chemistries and Technologies

To conduct business in an environmentally and socially responsible manner, ZESTRON America, a provider of high-precision cleaning products and services, is expanding its focus on greener cleaning chemistries and technologies in 2010.

IPC Solder Products Value Council Issues Report on Take Action Limits for SAC Lead-free Solder Processes

Following a two-year study on the effect of impurity limits on the performance of lead-free solder, the IPC Solder Products Value Council (SPVC) has announced the publication of a white paper, “Take Action Limits (TAL) for SAC305 Lead-Free Soldering Processes Utilizing Solder Baths/Pots.” The paper provides electronics manufacturers with better-defined limits to guide them on a more efficient use of solder, aiming to improve yields.

IMEC Looks to 2010 with Optimism

Luc Van den hove, CEO of IMEC, shares the research organizations ideas for 2010 from semiconductors and R&D perspective. Though he says the economic downturn did not significantly delay the semiconductor roadmap, lessons from previous recessions should be applied in ways that fit today's environment.

In-Stat: Google Nexus One Among the Biggest Mobile Announcements of 2010

Google is expected to announce today the most anticipated phone since the advent of the iPhone. The announcement would be timed to preempt many of the significant announcements planned for this week’s annual Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas. In-Stat market researchers examine the launch and its impact on the cellular handset manufacturing industry.

New Rework and Repair Products

The rework and repair process requires a specialized set of tools, from hand soldering equipment to board heaters, coating removal systems, handling tools, and other equipment. These new products prevent damage during rework, enable rework of encapsulated components, provide training on solder tip maintenance, and otherwise improve the rework and repair process.

EMS News: NOTE Divests Skelleftea Ops to Optronic

As part of the previously announced structural measures in NOTE’s Telecom customer segment, it has reached an agreement regarding the sale of the operations of NOTE Skellefteå. The acquirer is Optronic, a Swedish optoelectronics services provider that focuses on integrated production and development.

Underfill's Effect on Lead-Free Area Array Devices

Find out how underfill systems can enhance the reliability of lead-free area array devices in this interview with Brian Toleno, Henkel's Director of Technical Services.

Microvia Reliability Failure Modes

With the move to HDI, more and more microvia failures are rearing their ugly heads. Paul Reid, Program Coordinator with PWB Interconnect Solutions, Inc., discusses the root causes for these failures and solutions with Editor Ray Rasmussen.

Holiday Demand Tapers, November PCB Book-to-Bill Dips

IPC — Association Connecting Electronics Industries saw a slight industry decline in the November findings from its monthly North American Printed Circuit Board (PCB) Statistical Program. The combined (rigid and flex) industry book-to-bill ratio in November 2009 slipped slightly to 1.07, but remains strongly positive.

Focusing on Fine Pitch Stencil Printing

Indium Technical Support Engineer Chris Anglin discusses a first-time focus on blade angle for better control of the print process and looks at how to get the entire print process under control.

Confusion Over Lenovo's Rumored R&D Center in Taiwan

(December 28, 2009) TAIPEI, Taiwan — Steve Chuang, China Economic News Service (CENS), among other Asia-based news services, have reported that China-based notebook PCs maker Lenovo will set up an R&D center in Taiwan and increase its procurements from Taiwanese suppliers in the future, citing Ma Jianrong, the brand's director of government affairs division. However, these stories are refuted by other news agencies, such as Bloomberg.

Crane Acquiring RF Component Maker Merrimac Industries

Crane Co. (NYSE: CR), a diversified manufacturer of highly engineered industrial products, and Merrimac Industries Inc. (AMEX: MRM), designer and manufacturer of RF microwave components, assemblies and micro-multifunction modules (MMFM), signed a definitive agreement for Crane to acquire Merrimac in Q’01 2010 for an estimated $52 million. Crane will pay $16.00 cash per share of common stock of Merrimac and associated common stock purchase rights.

IPTE Divests Automation; Restructures Contract Assembly

IPTE NV (Euronext Brussels: IPTE) sold its automation division to Huub Baren and Vladimir Dobosch. The contract manufacturing division will operate under the name Connect Group. It will be managed by CEO Luc Switten and independent director Erik Dejonghe, who has been chairman of the board since June 2009. Only Connect Group, a market leader in its sector in the Benelux, will remain listed on Euronext Brussels.

SMTA's Silver Anniversary Highlights

Why is the SMTA important? TechLead Corporation's Dr. Charles Bauer has helped the association evolve over the last quarter of a century. He discusses the organizations milestones and why the SMTA is so special to its members.

ASYS and EKRA Americas to Merge

(December 22, 2009) ATLANTA — ASYS Inc. and EKRA Americas Inc. will merge under the name of ASYS Group Americas Inc. as of January 1, 2010. The regional headquartes for the Americas will be in Suwanee, GA. Personnel and offices will remain in Marlborough, MA; Hillsboro, OR; San Jose, CA; Mexico; and Brazil. The combined company will continue to sell automation products for the SMT, hybrid, semiconductor packaging, and solar markets.

Blackfox and Datest Corp. Form Strategic Alliance for Test Training

Blackfox Training Institute and Datest Corporation formed a business partnership aimed at providing EMS customers with improved access to Blackfox training services.

Elecsys Posts 44% On-Year Sales Drop in Fiscal 2Q09

The decreases were primarily caused by reduced bookings from existing customers and delays in new customer bookings during the preceding quarters in late fiscal 2009 and early in fiscal 2010.

Blakell Europlacer Adds New Products to Its UK Distribution Product Portfolio

Blakell Europlacer Ltd., a designer and manufacturer of comprehensive SMT placement systems for the global electronics industry, added a range of new products to complement its existing product lines, distributed exclusively within the U.K.

Lead-free System Reliability - Principle and Practice Webinar with Dr. Jennie Hwang

On the tenth anniversary of lead-free implementation in the electronics industry, this webinar series from Blackfox provides holistic coverage of lead-free reliability by presenting historical product performance, as well as forward-looking assessments in future performance requirements.

SMTAI 2009 Best Papers

The SMTA announced the Best Papers awarded from SMTA International (SMTAI) 2009. The winner from SMTA International 2009 for Best of Conference is Paul Vianco, Ph.D., Sandia National Laboratories for his Opening Session presentation entitled "Pb-Free Solder and Beyond — Trends and Challenges 'A View from the Bottom'."

Corelis Expands to Europe

Boundary-scan test and measurement tools supplier Corelis Inc. appointed a new business unit under the name Corelis Europe to directly handle all business operations in the European market. Corelis Europe is based in Germany and is led by Andreas Bayer. Bayer has led A.R. Bayer DSP Systeme GmbH for the past 15 years, concentrating on custom DSP and FPGA design services for the telecom, industrial, and medical industries.

Solders, Metallizations, and Conductive Inks

These new solders, metallization formulas, and other conductive materials meet current SMT industry needs for finer-pitch paste print, and lead- and halogen-free PCB assembly.

Asustek Reduces Pegatron Holding to 25%, Values EMS Provider at $2.9B

Reuters reports that the netbook PC maker Asustek (2357.TW) will reduce its holding in Pegatron, its fully owned contract electronics manufacturing (CEM) subsidiary, to 25%, in a move to reduce any conflict of interest between the two sides. Asustek will reduce number of shares issued by 85%, with each Pegatron share valued at about T$40.60. Pegatron has had trouble competing with other EMS providers due to its attachment to OEM Asustek, Reuters suggests.

ITM Publishes Automated Optical Inspection (AOI) Report

ITM Marketing released a report providing a comprehensive analysis of the automated optical inspection (AOI) system offerings for the electronics assembly industry.

FINE LINE STENCIL to Install LPKF ScanCheck System in San Jose Facility

Stencil product manufacturer FINE LINE STENCIL, a division of FCT Assembly, will install an LPKF ScanCheck system in its San Jose, CA stencil facility. The LPKF ScanCheck system can be used to examine stencils and masks made with any technology including laser cut, chemical etch, or electro-forming. The system checks for three parameters and detects apertures that are missing, placed incorrectly, or are the incorrect size, based on the Gerber artwork files. Accurate stencil apertures can prevent printing defects in SMT assembly.

ESI Embraces Embedded Trace Technology

As semiconductor and HDI technology converge, ESI is pushing into a new embedded trace technology that could prove to be a key enabler in the not-too-distant future. Find out more about this initiative from General Manager, Jeff Albelo.

Qualcomm's Viterbi Receives IEEE Medal of Honor

Global technical professional association IEEE announced that IEEE Life Fellow Andrew J. Viterbi, co-founder of Qualcomm Incorporated and developer of wireless technologies that became the international standard for third-generation cellular phones, has been named the 2010 IEEE Medal of Honor recipient. The Medal of Honor, IEEE’s highest award, will be presented June 26, 2010, in Montreal, Quebec, Canada as part of IEEE’s annual Honors Ceremony.

"Mr. Reliability" On SAC and SnAg Lead-Free Solder Joint Reliability

Werner Engelmaier, "Mr. Reliability," discusses his recent paper, "Solder Creep-Fatigue Model Parameters for SAC and SnAg Lead-Free Solder Joint Reliability Estimation," in detail with EMS007 Editor Steve Gold.

Juki's Japan Headquarters Move to Tama City

Juki Corporation completed construction of its new headquarters and R&D facilities in Tama-shi, Tokyo. The expanded facilities combine the company’s headquarters and R&D functions to speed process development and enhance operational efficiency.

International Environmental Standards for the Industry

Walter Jager, Director of Engineering at Intertek, discusses the ECD standard (IEC 62430) which specifies requirements and procedures to integrate environmental aspects into design and development processes.

Dispensing Systems and Associated Materials Cure, Storage Products

These new products enable higher accuracy and better process control when dispensing underfills, adhesives, encapsulants, and other surface mount materials. They include dispensing systems, jetting systems, valves, component mixers, a materials curing system, and other products.

Smartphone Shipments to Reach 235M Units Next Year

Global shipments of cellphones (excluding white-brand models) are forecasted to grow 12% to 1.33 billion units in 2010, including 235 million smartphones, after holding steady in 2009, reports Quincy Liang of China Economic News Service (CENS). The prediction was made by the Topology Research Institute (TRi), a private market-research firm in Taiwan.

Advisory Board Update: Dr. Jennie S. Hwang Presents for National Science Council of Taiwan

Jennie S. Hwang, Ph.D., SMT Editorial Advisory Board member and the first Asian-American woman elected to the U.S. National Academy of Engineering (1998), was invited to visit Taiwan by the National Science Council of Taiwan. During her 10-day visit this November, Dr. Hwang delivered keynote speeches at Hsinchu Industrial Technology Research Institute, National Taiwan University, and National Central University. She spoke on renewable energy and global competitiveness.

Marketing on a Worldwide Scale

Roberta Foster-Smith, Nordson Asymtek's Manager of Global Marketing Communications, reveals how differentiating the marketing approach is key and why what might work well in one region of the world might not make sense in another.

DEK and Stencil Franchisee AGI Demonstrate Advanced Printing Technology

 Showcasing the latest expansion of its global stencil network, DEK and new franchisee AGI Corporation opened the doors of their manufacturing operation to local customers in the Americas. Attended by both leading EMS and OEM electronics firms and Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle, the DEK-AGI Open House was designed to highlight the company’s stencil production expertise. 

Lenovo Reaquiring Mobile Phone Unit

Personal computer maker Lenovo Group said Friday it is joining the race to develop products that link phones and PCs by buying back a mobile phone business that it sold last year, reports the Associated Press (AP).

IDC Releases EMS Industry Forecast 2009-2013

Michael J. Palma, senior research analyst in the semiconductors team at IDC, published the “EMS Industry Forecast 2009–2013: Hints of Recovery” report. This IDC update provides IDC's electronic manufacturing services (EMS) industry forecast from 2008 through 2013. It includes forecasts for the EMS and original design manufacturing (ODM) sectors, product segments, and regions. This update also reviews the state of the industry and core forecast scenario and assumptions.

Henderson Forecast: Computer Equipment

Though the recession has virtually decimated the computer industry, Henderson Ventures analysts predict double-digit computer industry gains by 2011. This year, the traditional Q’04 holiday bump in sales is expected to reappear, after being waylaid last year by the onset of the financial crisis.

PCB Fab Partnership: Electronic Interconnect Collaborates with Flex Interconnect Technologies

PCB design, engineering, and manufacturing provider Electronic Interconnect (EI) will engage in a cooperative agreement with Flex Interconnect Technologies (FIT — Milpitas, CA) to jointly provide a wider range of PCB products. EI specializes primarily in rigid PCB types, while FIT provides design and manufacturing to final assembly of flexible circuits, rigid-flex, and HDI flex.

PCB Fab Merger: DDi Corp. Agrees to Acquire Coretec Inc.

DDi Corp. (NASDAQ: DDIC) and Coretec Inc. (TSX: CYY), providers of technologically advanced printed circuit board (PCB) engineering and manufacturing services, entered into a definitive agreement, pursuant to which DDi will acquire Coretec for approximately CDN $25.2 million (U.S. $23.5 million). DDi sees Coretec’s military/aerospace electronics presence in the U.S. as lucrative for the combined North American companies.

Aqueous Technologies Secures Four Machine Orders from productronica

Cleaning equipment provider Aqueous Technologies Corp. received orders for four defluxing and cleanliness test machines as a result of attending productronica 2009 in Munich this November.

Diversifying Markets Help Rehm Push Forward

Many EMS suppliers are trying to diversify their product portfolio. Solar is a sector that has really drawn a great deal of interest. Rehm CCO Marc Dalderup details his company's 2009 activities, including a push into solar and a commitment to EMS reflow oven technology.

October 2009 PCB Orders, Shipments Still Indicating Growth

IPC — Association Connecting Electronics Industries announced the October findings from its monthly North American Printed Circuit Board (PCB) Statistical Program, with flex and rigid PCBs both showing positive book-to-bill ratios despite lower volumes.

Products for PCB and Package Fabrication

These products and services include micromachining, via drilling, imaging, PCB singulation, and parts sourcing, all for the fabrication of advanced PCBs, substrates, and other structures. Laser platforms, microwashers, laser-free systems, routers, and other approaches are featured. A parts sourcing service brings together bare PCB tooling and fabrication from international partners.

Webinar Available on REACH

PTC and Tech-Clarity presented a webcast, "Prepare Your Products - and Your Business - for REACH," which reviews recent developments with the REACH regulation, how products and businesses will be impacted, and how leading companies are responding to the REACH challenge despite limited time and resources. Speakers are Jim Brown, president, Tech-Clarity and John Fox, director, product and market strategy, PTC.

AOI and SPI: Can Inspection Equipment Makers Successfully Do Both?

Several inspection companies debuted new models at productronica 2009 in Munich, Germany, with traditionally solder paste inspection (SPI) companies entering the automated optical inspection (AOI) market, and vice versa. While inspection companies have steadily pushed for optical inspection earlier in the SMT assembly line (pre-reflow), this move was markedly widespread, with Koh Young, Mirtec, Marantz, Viscom, and others looking to capture market share outside of their core inspection sector.

Pushing the PCBA Inspection Envelope

Having released a new machine earlier this year at NEPCON China, VI Technology did not rest on its laurels. Chief Commercial Officer, Jean-Yves Gomez, elaborates on his company's newest equipment release. He also offers his perspective of how the EMS sector is doing.

Manufacturing Environment, Automation, and Final Assembly Products

The following products help manufacturers assemble quality products at high yields, preventing contamination, ESD shock, defects caused by vibration, and other problems. Robotic tooling for increased automation in assembly are also included.

Conformal Coating Webinar Available for Download

DYMAX Corporation recently hosted a webinar, “Conformal Coating at the Speed of Light: UV Conformal Coating from Start to Finish.” The webinar focuses on cost savings of UV and how to qualify and maintain an effective UV conformal coating process.

November EMS Indicators Report Released

Charlie Barnhart & Associates LLC released its Leading Indicators report for November 2009. The report includes latency factors, such as global cost of labor, corporate costs by EMS type, and mark-up percent by volume/sector. Hysteretic factors include geographic pacing, sector pacing, capacity utilization by geography, and solution cycle by EMS type. Finally, probability factors covered include risk constants by geography.

TT Electronics Targets Medical Equipment Manufacturers

TT electronics’ component divisions — AB Mikroelektronik, BI Technologies, IRC, OPTEK Technology, Semelab, TT ims and Welwyn — are highlighting a range of products and services for the medical market. From passive components to optoelectronics and semiconductors, TT electronics’ products are being specified for a number of applications in medical equipment. In addition to components, TT electronics also provides complete solutions through advanced manufacturing services for medical systems, including design support, application engineering assistance, and advanced testing for medical electronics.

Stories From The Trenches: How a Circuit Board Guy Entered the Solar Cell Industry

In a Joint Chapter Technical Meeting, iMAPS New England, with ACerS NE and SMTA Boston, will host Don Cullen, managing director of photovoltaics at MacDermid. Cullen will give the talk on his move to the photovoltaics industry, and the industry's future as part of the electronics sector, January 19, 2010, at Courtyard Marriott Marlborough, MA.

IPC Study on the EMS Industry Forecasts Growth Through 2013

Despite economic setbacks in 2008 and 2009, the world market for electronics manufacturing services (EMS) will continue to grow, according to a report released by IPC — Association Connecting Electronics Industries. The comprehensive EMS study, 2008-2009 Analysis and Forecast for the EMS Industry, presents data and analysis on the EMS industry examining critical trends and providing forecasts, including the potential for market expansion.

The Demographics of productronica 2009

productronica 2009, November 10–13 in Munich, attracted 1,150 exhibitors and 28,000 visitors. 39% of exhibitors came from outside of Germany, while 42% of attendees were internationally based. Of all productronica attendees, 91% were decision makers, up from 88% in 2007.

More productronica Exhibits

productronica 2009 will take place November 10–13 in Munich, Germany. Following are more new and flagship products to see at the electronics manufacturing tradeshow, not featured in our Productronica Show Preview: Materials. Productronica Show Preview: Equipment productronica 2009: Product Showcase.

Component Demand Recovery Strains Supply Chain

World Solder Paste, Solder Preform and Surface Mount Adhesives Market

Research and Markets Ltd. released its latest research on the world surface mount technology (SMT) solder paste, solder preform, and surface mount adhesives markets. “World Solder Paste, Solder Preform and Surface Mount Adhesives Market” provides an overview of these markets along with analysis of key drivers, restraints, and challenges. Revenue forecasts by geographic region, pricing, and distribution trends are examined. This research also covers the competitive framework and market share analysis of the industry participants.

Rework Companies Merge: FINETECH GmbH Acquires Martin GmbH

FINETECH GmbH aquired Martin GmbH, a manufacturer of rework and dispensing equipment located in Wesseling, Germany. The transaction was announced during productronica 2009, where both companies exhibited. Chris Underhill, Finetech, noted the complementary systems that Martin will bring to the Finetech rework and repair lines, as well as the cultural similarities for the two companies.

Kyzen Sdn. Bhd. Inaugurates New Facility in Penang

Kyzen opened its cleaning products facility in Malaysia, announced in the October 2009 news, Kyzen Equips Application Laboratory in Penang, Malaysia.  Dato’ Lee Kah Choon, Chairman of the Executive Committee of the Board of Invest Penang, honored Kyzen and its Malaysian subsidiary Kyzen Sdn. Bhd. by inaugurating the Penang, Malaysia, facility.

EMI and Beyonics to Partner for High-volume EMS

Express Manufacturing Inc. (EMI), a private U.S.-based electronics manufacturing services (EMS) provider is working with Beyonics Technology Limited (Beyonics), which is listed on the Singapore Exchange as a major Asia-based electronics manufacturer, to develop business platforms to address high-volume production in Asia with new product introduction (NPI) and product development in the U.S.

InForum's Electronics Forecast Projects 5% Industry Recovery Rate

InForum’s annual Five Year Forecast for the Electronics Manufacturing Industry was released at the Silicon Valley Q4 Forum. Matt Chanoff, chief economist, described both TAM and electronics outsourcing to return to annualized growth of 5% in the next 12 to 24 months following an estimated 9% contraction for 2009.

YESTech Relocates; Launches Products

In an effort to better blend electronics assembly industry subsidiaries, YESTech has now moved into the Nordson Maastricht service and demonstration center. Find out what this means for YESTech and what products the company launched at productronica.

Worldwide Electronics Manufacturing Services Vendor Shares and Market Update Publications released a report on the EMS industry vendor shares throughout Q’02 2009 for EMS and ODM sectors.

Relieving Soldering Pain Points

OK International Vice President, Tom Seratti, explains how his company has moved from simply identifying customer pain points to actually relieving the pain. He discusses the company's sales reorganization in Europe, and the centralization of back-end functions with parent company, Dover.

iNEMI Roadmap Highlights Environmental Challenges

iNEMI has launched several proactive projects to address environmental issues: the Eco-Impact Evaluator for ICT Equipment Project, the PVC Alternatives Project and the halogen-free effort.

IPC Printed Board Defense Roadmap to Be Released at IPC Technology Interchange

With input from top military OEMs and after months of research, the IPC Printed Circuit Board (PCB) Executive Agent Task Force has created a roadmap to assist the newly appointed Department of Defense (DoD) PCB Executive Agent. IPC Printed Board Defense Roadmap will be released at IPC’s upcoming Technology Interchange, The North American PCB Industry: It Can and Will Support the Military Market, December 9–10, 2009, in Washington, D.C.

Digi-Key Corporation Re-Launches Toolbar

Electronic components distributor Digi-Key Corporation redesigned its toolbar for additional customization, language preferences, country-specific search, a resources menu for training and other needs, and new search capabilities.

Valor Integrates KIC Reflow Process Data into DynamiX MES

productronica 2009 Online Columns and Webcasts

productronica 2009 will take place November 10–13 in Munich. The productronica 2009 Website now offers articles, webcasts, and podcasts with commentary and helpful opinions from world experts in a number of disciplines.

September Book-to-Bill Above Parity: 1.08

IPC announced the September findings from its monthly North American PCB Statistical Program. “We’re finally starting to see the turnaround in the September numbers for the North American PCB industry,” said IPC president Denny McGuirk. “Both rigid PCB and flexible circuit sales and orders are up by double digits compared to August. Rigid PCB sales and orders are still below September of last year, but the rate of decline is shrinking. Flexible circuit business is ahead of September last year. The most promising indicator is the book-to-bill ratio at 1.08,” he added. “It has been above parity for five consecutive months.”

Henderson Forecast: 2009 Was Perfect Storm for Communications Equipment

Slumping mobile phone sales, excess network capacity and the protracted death of traditional telecom technology have greatly undercut the demand for communication equipment this year, according to the Henderson Ventures Forecast Summary. Heated price competition in both the handset and network equipment sectors has amplified the downturn. Much of the price pressure has come from two upstart Chinese equipment manufacturers: Huawei and ZTE, which collected substantial market share during the last few years.

Zurvahn, Celestica Form Strategic Alliance

Zurvahn is affiliated with Celestica and has formed a strategic alliance that allows Celestica to use Zurvahn’s Business Centers.

Interplex, UMG Technologies Collaborate

Interplex Industries Inc. is collaborating with UMG Technologies to offer a comprehensive terminal design and automated assembly solution for unique terminal applications. Interplex and UMG have extensive experience working together and already have numerous installations of UMG assembly equipment inserting Interplex-designed terminals in the field. 

New Test and Inspection Products

These are the new advances in flying probes, in-circuit test (ICT), AOI, test contactors and probes, boundary scan, and more test and inspection systems.

Productronica Show Preview: Materials

The Munich Electronics Summit and productronica will take place November 10–13 in Munich. Following are consummables for component attach, cleaning, and more, including laminates, solders, adhesives, dispensing cartridges, cleaning formulae, etc., that will be featured at the show.

Productronica Show Preview: Equipment

The Munich Electronics Summit and productronica will take place November 10–13 in Munich. Following are exhibitor previews for the equipment at the show, including inspection systems, programmers, screen printers and tooling, pick-and-place systems, and more.

SME Releases the Kaizen Event Fieldbook

Endicott Interconnect Fabricates Set-up PCB for Space Application

Endicott Interconnect Technologies Inc. (EI) delivered a complex, ruggedized printed circuit board (PCB) to STI Electronics Inc. (STI), designed to meet the unique temperature, reliability, performance, vibration, and G-force requirements for a space application. EI, with support from STI, developed a unique method of fabricating a double-sided PCB with a single-tier cavity on a 50-mil copper core.

Celestica Posts 23% On-Year Revenue Drop in 3Q09

Revenue for the quarter was $1,556 million, compared to $2,031 million in the third quarter of 2008. The year-over-year change reflects the impact of weaker end-market demand, as well as higher restructuring costs in 2009 associated with the company's previously announced restructuring program.

ZVEI Launches PCB and Electronic Systems Association

ZVEI PCB and Electronic Systems founded by the current members of the Association of PCB Industry (VdL) and members of the PCB, integrated circuit (IC), and component industry in the ZVEI Association for Electronic Components and Systems. Wolfgang Bochtler (Freudenberg Mektec Europe GmbH) will officially begin the association’s work as its elected chairman.

China's Newly Announced RoHS-type Regulations to be Discussed at IPC It's Not Easy Being Green Conference

IPC’s “It’s Not Easy Being Green: Complying with Global Environmental Regulation,” November 10, 2009 in Irvine, CA, will host a detailed discussion of China’s MIIT’s initial list, or Catalogue, of products subject to Pb, Cd, Cr(VI), Hg, PBBs and PBDE restrictions. The new restrictions released on October 9, 2009, will be discussed along with the criteria for future products to be added to the catalogue.

Solder Attach Method Challenges Traditional BGA Paradigm

First-time paper presenter Adam Stanczak, Global Product Manager for Molex, explains how a new solder attach method can help designers move away from traditional BGAs. His paper, aimed largely at PCB designers, explains design hardships and technology verifications for PCB assemblies.

Terepac, IMEC Partner for Low-cost Flexible Electronics

Terepac Corporation and research center IMEC will collaborate on novel packaging technologies for flexible electronics. The initial driver for this shared research is a next-generation wireless ECG system, developed in the Human++ Program at Holst Centre, Eindhoven.

New Solders and Soldering Products

Following are the new solders, fluxes, reflow ovens and profilers, wave soldering systems, conveyors, rework tools, and more for reliable, repeatable soldering by hand, selective soldering system, wave, or reflow oven.

PartnerTech Reports Poor Results on Weak Economy

The economic downturn accounts for most of the company's decline. Because of the slow economy, orders of PartnerTech's customers are placed on shorter and shorter notice. That means greater volatility, thereby creating even more daunting challenges for operations to meet.

Conformal Coating New Products

New products for electronics coating and encapsulation include halogen-free coatings and adhesives from DYMAX; an IR epoxy cure system from IRphotonics; a tack-free, low-hardness conformal coating from Master Bond; acrylic- and epoxy-based systems from Rudolph Bros.; and a UV/visible-light-curable silicone potting and sealing material from DYMAX.

To Reduce E-Waste, Slow the Pace of Electronics Launches

Americans buy new cell phones every 18 months; Europeans buy them every 15 months; and the Japanese every 9 months. Global replacement rates for digital cameras range between two and three years. And U.S. businesses replace their PCs every four years. Where do most of these used products go? Directly into the trash. Indeed, in the United States alone, consumers throw away 400 million electronic products each year, according to a report by the Stanford Graduate School of Business.

Flextronics to Build Suzhou, China Facility to Support Computing Manufacturing, R&D

In a signing ceremony held today with Suzhou Wuzhong Economic Development Zone and Jiangsu Wuzhong Export Processing Zone, electronics manufacturing services (EMS) provider Flextronics (Nasdaq: FLEX) announced it will expand its presence in China through the development of a new facility in Wuzhong. The facility will support the growing demand for computing products in China and will include a design center and extended manufacturing capabilities in the Wuzhong Export Processing Zone (WEPZ). The design center will be completed by the end of 2009 and the manufacturing facility is expected to be completed by the end of 2010.

SMTA Technical Program Strongest Ever?

Plexus Global Technology Manager Bill Barthel also serves as the SMTA Vice President of Technical Programs. He discusses the broad scope of this year's SMTAI Technical Conference and also reveals why he believes SMTA is an important and relevant industry association.

Kyzen Equips Application Laboratory in Penang, Malaysia

Cleaning products provider Kyzen plans to add an applications laboratory in its new Penang, Malaysia sales and support office.

ECT, ScanCAD Partner on Process Management Work Instruction Software

Everett Charles Technologies (ECT), a Dover Company, finalized a strategic partnership with ScanCAD International, a global supplier of process management tools. This partnership provides for ScanCAD International to exclusively distribute and support the ProWorks process management work instruction software family of products globally within the electronics industry.

New Thermal Management Products

Whether metal preforms, two-part epoxies, gap filler pads, films, or other materials, these products are designed to dissipate heat away from thermally sensitive or high-heat components to heatsinks, copper planes, the air, or other thermal interface materials (TIMs).

New Standard: IPC-2152 "Standard for Determining Current-carrying Capacity in Printed Board Design"

IPC — Association Connecting Electronics Industries released IPC-2152, "Standard for Determining Current-Carrying Capacity in Printed Board Design." The 97-page document sets a standard for determining the appropriate sizes of internal and external conductors as a function of the current-carrying capacity required and the acceptable conductor temperature rise.

Mentor Graphics, Valor Agree to Merge

Mentor Graphics Corporation (NASDAQ: MENT) and Valor Computerized Systems Ltd. (Prime Standard: VCR) have signed a definitive merger agreement for Mentor Graphics to acquire Valor.

Participate at APEX 2010

IPC is currently accepting abstracts from students, researchers, industry experts, and engineers in all areas of electronics and solar cell assembly for the 2010 IPC APEX Expo, April 6–8, 2010, at the Mandalay Bay Resort & Convention Center, Las Vegas. Abstracts are due in January 2010.

IPC World PCB Production Report: Flat in 2008, Decline in 2009

Worldwide production of printed circuit boards (PCBs) was flat in 2008, climbing a negligible 1% over 2007 to $50.8 billion, according to IPC's World PCB Production & Laminate Market Report for the Year 2008. Published annually, the report includes estimates of PCB production value and laminate market by product type and by country to help identify and quantify global PCB material and process equipment opportunities and constraints. The value of PCB production in 2009 is expected to end in a double-digit decline from 2008.

Viasystems and Merix Agree to Merge

Viasystems Group Inc. and Merix Corporation (NASDAQ: MERX - News) entered into a definitive agreement to merge their businesses. When completed, the merger will result in the largest publicly traded printed circuit board (PCB) manufacturer by revenue in the United States. Viasystems and Merix have complementary core competencies that will provide a complete spectrum of services and technology for quick-turn prototyping and high-volume PCB manufacturing in Asia and North America.

New Stencil Products

New stencil products for solder paste printing are designed for cleaner paste release, tighter aperture control, and other user benefits. Stencils, paste print monitors, and process control software debut from DEK, Transition Automation, Photo Stencil, Ascentech, Thin Metal Parts, and Cookson Electronics Engineered Products.

Essemtec to Use Production Solutions RED-E-SET Products

Production Solutions Inc., an engineering, design and manufacturing company, entered into an agreement with SMT production equipment maker Essemtec, in which Essemtec will use RED-E-SET products and technologies on its screen printers.

Elcoteq Signs Letter of Intent with Videocon

In a stock exchange release, Elcoteq SE noted that it has signed a non-binding Letter of Intent with Videocon Industries Limited (Videocon), granting the authority to negotiate and finalize a potential Definitive Transaction Agreement (Agreement). Elcoteq's Board of Directors has given authorization to proceed with the due diligence and contract negotiations with Videocon.

Official Twitter Hashtag Announced for SMTA International

The Surface Mount Technology Association (SMTA) released the official Twitter hashtag #smtai09, which will be used during the 2009 SMTA International (SMTAI) Conference and Exhibition, October 4-8 in San Diego. The use of tools like is one step towards the SMTA's larger commitment to employ social media throughout SMTA activities to better serve its members, reports the association. 

Role of the Interfacial Intermetallic in Lead-Free Solders

Keith Howell, Technical Director with Nihon Superior USA, sits down with Editor Ray Rasmussen on the show floor at IPC Midwest 2009 to discuss the role that interfacial intermetallic plays with various solder alloys. Howell delivered a paper on the topic during the show.

More SMTAI Conference Highlights

Presentations on solder paste, reflow profiling, package-on-package (PoP) assembly, and other topics will be given by Indium Corporation authors and co-authors at SMTA International (SMTAI), October 4–8 in San Diego, CA.

Top EMS/ODM Vendors Gain Stability: iSuppli

Following alarming revenue plunges in late 2008 and early 2009, the global electronics contract manufacturing business showed signs of stabilization in the second quarter, with the top players experiencing a collective return to growth, according to iSuppli Corp. ODMs outperformed EMS providers in the second quarter of 2009.

Flat Wrap Technology Maturing

DDi Corporation introduced Flat Wrap Technology two years ago to address important via plating concerns on the PCB surface. Vice President and CTO Raj Kumar discusses the progress his company has made with this technology aimed at helping PCB designers eliminate surface plating issues.

EMS Provider JJS Invests in Logistics, Staff, Equipment

With electronics outsourcing increasingly being identified as a way to for OEMs to reduce risk and fix cost, recent growth at JJS Electronics Ltd. reinforces the optimism surrounding this industry. Now part of the Paragon Electronics Group, the EMS specialist has recently completed the first major phase of a seven-figure investment programme that has seen the arrival of a new logistics area, new people and new equipment shared between its facilities in Lutterworth, U.K. and Chomutov, Czech Republic.

IPC Quarterly Report: Early Signs of Recovery

IPC — Association Connecting Electronics Industries released the summer 2009 edition of its quarterly business report, Supply Chain Tracker, showing signs of recovery in most sectors of the electronics industry. IPC statistics for several key industry segments in the second quarter reflected a slowing decline.

IPC August PCB Book-to-Bill Ratios Steady at Parity

IPC announced the August findings from its monthly North American Printed Circuit Board (PCB) Statistical Program. Rigid PCBs remained above parity at 1.09, holding the combined rigid and flex PCB status at 1.07. “It’s slow going, but we’re seeing more signs of recovery in the North American PCB industry,” said IPC president Denny McGuirk. “Rigid PCB bookings are strengthening and that is keeping the book-to-bill ratio well above parity.  It has been positive now for four consecutive months, which suggests that we should start to see the impact in sales growth this fall.”

Indian Surface Mount Technology Market Report

Frost & Sullivan’s research service, “Indian Surface Mount Technologies Market,” provides market dynamics and size with forecasts, trends, and competitive analysis. In this research, Frost & Sullivan's analysts examine placement equipment, inspection equipment, soldering equipment, screen printers, glue dispensers, cleaning equipment, and SMT software for various end-use verticals.  

From the Show: Milad Takes Presidents Award at IPC Midwest

IPC honored George Milad of Uyemura International Corp. with the IPC Presidents Award at the IPC Midwest Conference & Exhibition yesterday. This prestigious award is presented to IPC members who have exhibited ongoing leadership in IPC and have made significant contributions of their time and talent to the association and the electronic interconnect industry.

From the Show: Volunteers Honored at IPC Midwest

IPC presented Special Recognition, Distinguished Committee Leadership, and Distinguished Committee Service awards at IPC Midwest Conference & Exhibition 2009. The awards were presented to individuals who have made significant contributions to IPC and the electronics industry by lending their time and expertise to committees and standards and program development.

Koczera Consulting for Automated X-ray Inspection Services Opens

Koczera Consulting LLC formed to help printed circuit assembly companies succeed with their automated X-ray inspection (AXI) implementations.

SMTAI Conference Preview: Paper Abstracts and Times

SMTA International (SMTAI) will hold its conference October 4 through 8 in San Diego, and the SMTAI Technical Committee reviewed more abstracts than any time in the past 5 years. The final selection consists of 120 papers with 18 short courses, as well as AIMS co-location, Emerging Technologies, the Lead-Free Symposium, the Contract Manufacturing Symposium, and a special keynote speaker from Jet Propulsion Labs. Following are some paper presentation highlights.

Simone Bagel-Trah New Chair of Henkel Shareholders' Committee

The Shareholders’ Committee of Henkel AG & Co. KGaA elected Simone Bagel-Trah as its new chairwoman. Bagel-Trah takes over this office from Albrecht Woeste, who has been a member of the committee since 1976 and became its chairman in 1990. Bagel-Trah is also due to be elected chair of Henkel’s Supervisory Board. This completes the transition from the fourth generation of the Henkel family to the fifth. The change at the top of these two supervisory bodies was announced at the Henkel Annual General Meeting of Spring 2008.

MYDATA Qualifies Alpha, AIM Solder Pastes for Jet Printing

MYDATA announces that two solder paste partners, Alpha and AIM, released solder pastes designed and qualified for the MYDATA MY500 Jet Printer. The new pastes will debut at the Elkom exhibition in Finland, September 23-25.

Cencorp Focuses on R&D for Depaneling, Other Automation Solutions

Following Cencorp’s acquisition of Savcor Alfa Oy in 2009 and the addition of their laser technology to Cencorp’s existing range of automated production solutions, Cencorp have finalised a new business strategy. The priority will be to provide a more comprehensive range of fully automated manufacturing solutions to replace the standard machine operator at market competitive rates. Cencorp also plans to grow by acquisition.

Nihon Superior SN100C University Research Recognized

Nihon Superior Co. Ltd., a supplier of advanced soldering and brazing materials to the global market, announces that research it sponsored was recognized by the University of Queensland as one of the best examples of a successful cooperation between the university and the industry.

iNEMI Publishes Research Priorities

The International Electronics Manufacturing Initiative (iNEMI), an industry-led consortium focused on identifying and closing technology gaps, published its 2009 Research Priorities. This document identifies the most critical areas on which the electronics industry should focus R&D over the next 10 years.

A Study on Copper Dissolution in Liquid Lead-Free Solders Under Static and Dynamic Conditions

In this study, copper dissolution was evaluated with four lead-free alloys (SAC305, K100LD, SC995e, SN100C) at temperatures 245, 260, 280 and 300°C with time duration of 20, 60, 300 and 600 seconds. Results show that K100LD and SN100C have the lowest rate of copper dissolution.

Leading Indicator Report for OEMs and EMS Providers

Charlie Barnhart & Associates LLC released the Leading Indicators Q4CY2009 report, tracking latency factors like global cost of labor, corporate EMS costs, and margins; hysteretic factors like geographic and sector pacing, as well as capacity utilization by geography; and probability factors such as risk constants by geography.

SMT Inspection Products

Electronics assemblers need to inspect assemblies for everything from polarity errors to component counterfeiting and beyond. The vision systems, digital microscopes, test services, automatic optical inspection (AOI) offerings, and other inspection products featured here were recently released by Soldertec Global, Marantz Business Electronics and Nutek, Keyence, GOEPEL electronics, Sonoscan’s SonoLab, Seika, Microscan, the SharpVue division of Aven, and Extech Instruments.

Research and Markets Releases Bare PCB Manufacturing Report

Research and Markets' "Bare Printed Circuit Board Manufacturing Industry" report for Q'02 2009 is a comprehensive market research guide on the industry. It provides the latest information on the industry's key financial data, competitive landscape, cost and pricing, and trends during the current economic recession.

IBM Awards Endicott Interconnect Supercomputing Contract

Endicott Interconnect Technologies Inc. (EI) was sole sourced on IBM’s next-generation supercomputing program, providing PCBs, board-level assemblies, and testing.

Charlie Barnhart: Recognizing Signs of a Recovery

Here's the real news: The recovery is happening RIGHT NOW and if you're not participating in it you're missing the boat!

European EMS Industry to Drop 13% in 2009

With revenues forecast to decline by over 13% in 2009, the European EMS industry is facing a period of uncertainty and rapid change. Increased competition will lead to consolidation as companies are acquired or close due to ever increasing financial pressures.

Electronics Supply Chain: Slightly More Optimistic, Still in Recession

(September 8, 2009) SAN JOSE, CA — published findings from its survey of nearly 300 electronics supply chain decision makers on the current business environment, volumes and expectations, and pricing trends. The results show a meaningful increase in optimism about the future, yet still no sign of irrational exuberance, or even a serious recovery before the end of 2009. The current market situation is not greatly changed since April 2009.

Almost 40% of Manufacturers Predict Revenue Increase in H'02 2009

(September 8, 2009) CHICAGO — Prime Advantage, a buying consortium for mid-sized industrial manufacturers, announced the findings of its fourth Prime Advantage Group Outlook (GO) Survey, revealing the top economic concerns of mid-sized industrial manufacturers for the remainder of 2009. The study results reflect a growing sense of optimism returning to the manufacturing sector, in terms of improved revenues, customer demand, and hiring expectations.

PCB Production Reports: IPC Market Research

(September 8, 2009) BANNOCKBURN, Ill. — The forecast for North American PCB production is down for 2009, but shows growth resuming in 2010. North American PCB manufacturers managed to push sales growth in 2008 slightly above 2007 levels, despite declines in the market for PCBs and PCB production in North America. Rigid PCB and flexible circuit producers have very different expectations for sales growth in 2009. These analyses come from four annual studies from IPC Market Research.

Juki Opens Western U.S. Headquarters

(September 8, 2009) MORRISVILLE, NC — Juki Automation Systems (JAS) opened its new western U.S. headquarters in Fremont, CA, gaining more space for customer training, demos of selective soldering and component placement offerings, warehousing and shipping, and other operations.

Bliss Opens Lean Manufacturing Solutions Center

(September 4, 2009) MILPITAS, CA — Bliss Industries Inc., provider of material handling carts and racks for PCB assembly, opened its Lean Manufacturing Solutions Center at its headquarters in Milpitas.

Valor Premiers Customer Support Portal

(September 4, 2009) RANCHO SANTA MARGARITA, CA — Valor Computerized Systems Inc. launched a dedicated "Customer Support Portal," designed to provide customers with an advanced level of assistance, allowing them to log new support cases, and check and updated existing support cases. The portal is also designed to let customers search the Valor knowledge base for solutions and communicate via forums.

IPC Midwest: Free Forums, Standards Development, and Other Conference Highlights

(September 3, 2009) SCHAUMBURG, IL — IPC Midwest's Conference Program and Standards Development Meetings, September 20–24, will cover reliability and failure analysis, cleaning and alternatives, solder alloys, printing processes, and other relevant SMT assembly topics. Presenters include Chris Mahanna, Robisan Laboratory; Mike Bixenman, Ph.D., Kyzen; S. Manian Ramkumar, RIT; and many others from global companies.

EMS-OEM Deep Collaboration Key to Successful Outsourcing

An EMS has to be actively involved in the OEM's product value chain to synchronize its way of working with them. Having a deep collaboration with OEMs can add to a better understanding of cost structures and supply chain issues.

IPC Midwest Exhibitor Preview I

(September 1, 2009) SCHAUMBURG, IL — Following are some of the many new and flagship products that will be exhibited later this month at IPC Midwest, September 23–24 in Schaumburg. The exhibition will include AOI systems from Mirtec and YESTech, selective soldering tools from Juki and ACE Production Technologies, solder paste inspection (SPI) from CyberOptics, and printing platforms from DEK, among a host of other exhibits.

EMS Providers Jaltek, Zollner, and Zurvahn Expand Services, Facilities

(September 1, 2009) — Zurvahn expanded its Zurvahn Technology Center (ZTC) to provide engineering design services and quick-turn prototyping; Zollner Elektronik and EIT partnered to maximize U.S.-based offerings and global manufacturing; and Jaltek IDMS invested in new SMT, reflow, and inspection equipment for more flexibility in prototyping.

IPC Midwest: A-Line Live Assembly

(August 31, 2009) SCHAUMBURG, IL — For the second year, IPC will run an SMT assembly line at IPC Midwest, September 23–24 in Schaumburg. Follow a product from screen printing to component mounting (through hole and surface mount), and then through reflow, learning about the processes, equipment (and end-item cleaning) that were used to manufacture the assembly from experts on the tools.

Copper Hits Lows on Equity Drop

(August 31, 2009) NEW YORK — Reuters reports that U.S. copper futures extended a pull-back from last week's 11-month highs on August 31, as a sharp plunge in Chinese and U.S. equity markets curbed economic recovery hopes, and a firmer dollar combined to drag prices down to one-week lows.

IPC Sees Industry Strengthening Out of Recession

(August 31, 2009) BANNOCKBURN, IL — IPC found in Survival Strategies and Success Measures in the Electronics Industry how companies are weathering the recession, the recession's impact on their relationships with suppliers, and how they measure success. The survey includes data from electronics OEMs, EMS companies, and PCB manufacturers and suppliers.

Taiwanese PCB Makers Post Solid Profits in H'01 2009

(August 28, 2009) TAIPEI, Taiwan — Strongly rebounding demand for notebook PCs and liquid crystal display (LCD) TVs worldwide is driving Taiwanese printed circuit board (PCB) makers to rev up production, according to China Economic News Service (CENS). Taiwan's PCB fabricators have effectively fueled their profits for the first half of this year since the second quarter.

Elcoteq Streamlines Finland Operation; Trims Workforce

Elcoteq has decided to combine two current business areas, Home Communications and Personal Communications, under a new Strategic Business Unit (SBU), Consumer Electronics. Personnel reductions related to the organizational changes affect approximately 150 employees.

SME and Purdue Debut Green Certification Program

(August 27, 2009) DEARBORN, MI — The Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME) is collaborating with Purdue University's Technical Assistance Program to develop the Green Manufacturing Specialist Certificate. The curriculum focuses on such topics as sustainable manufacturing, energy efficiency, water conservation, recycling, design for the environment (DfE), and pollutants.

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