Article Highlights
3D Printing and Medical Electronics: A Disruptive Beneficial Technology
12/11/2018 | Dan Feinberg, Technology Editor, I-Connect007
What is ESD and Why Should We Worry About It?
12/10/2018 | Pete Starkey, I-Connect007
Greg Vance on SMTA Ohio Chapter Updates
12/05/2018 | I-Connect007 Editorial Team
Electrolube on Managing Thermal Interfaces and Conformal Coatings
12/03/2018 | Pete Starkey, I-Connect007
Understanding the Benefits of CFX
11/30/2018 | Stephen Las Marias, I-Connect007

Latest Articles

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.

IPC's July Book-to-bill Stays Just Above Parity

(August 26, 2009) BANNOCKBURN, IL — IPC — Association Connecting Electronics Industries announced today the July findings from its monthly North American Printed Circuit Board (PCB) Statistical Program. The combined (rigid and flex) industry book-to-bill ratio in July 2009 retreated to 1.07. Booking to billing ratios for rigid PCBs stayed above parity, though the ratio for flexible circuits dropped below 1.00

Siemens SIPLACE Tour Brings Component Placement Demos across North America

(August 26, 2009) SUWANEE, GA — Siemens Electronics Assembly Systems (SEAS) is taking its new-generation SIPLACE SX placement machine on the road to numerous cities throughout the Americas region beginning in September. The SIPLACE Road Show will include "Real Capacity on Demand" demonstrations, with modular placement and feeder changes shown. The SIPLACE SX pick-and-place system uses a SIPLACE MultiStar (Collect & Pick & Place) head.

Experts Hold Free Forums on Field Failures at IPC Midwest

On Thursday, September 24, 2009, industry experts will provide unique insight into the world of failure analysis in a series of Free Forums on acceptability, reliability and failure analysis held in conjunction with IPC Midwest 2009.

CENS: Taiwan Export Orders Indicate Upturn

(August 25, 2009) TAIPEI, Taiwan — Taiwan's export, the growth engine of its economy, has shown clear sign of upturn, as orders received by the nation's exporters in July reached US$28.61 billion, down 8.77% year-on-year, the lowest decline in nine months, according to the Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA). China Economic News Service (CENS) reporter Philip Liu states that orders from China are up, while exports to the U.S. and Japan continue to be shaky.

Teknek Plans US Expansion

(August 24, 2009) GLASGOW, Scotland — Contamination cleaning company Teknek plans to open a new U.S. facility in Charlotte, NC, in September. The facility will house sales and service, along with a North American fulfillment center and consumable production capacity for Teknek's contamination removal contact cleaning products.

Seika Introduces Spanish-language Line Card

(August 24, 2009) TORRANCE, CA — Seika Machinery Inc. (SMI), a machinery, materials and engineering services provider, now offers its line card in Spanish. Offerings include board assembly, inspection and automated test equipment (ATE), and quality assurance (QA) products from Japanese brands.

1-Source Hiring to Combat Counterfeit and Defective Electronic Components

(August 18, 2009) PORT JEFFERSON STATION, NY — As widespread counterfeiting of electronic components continues to be a major problem, 1-Source Electronic Components, electronic component distributor and supplier, released information on its efforts against counterfeit and defective electronic components, taking place through subsidiary ChipChecker Ltd.

ISO, MIL, CID, AS Certifications

Companies in the electronics assembly business and related supply chains received design, quality, and other certifications recently, covering design, process control, environmental requirements, traceability, record retention, continuous improvement, management practices, goods control, and other factors. These companies can provide certified products to medical, aerospace, space, and military customers.

SMART Group Lines Up Speakers for 25th Anniversary Seminar

(August 12, 2009) OXFORD, U.K. — The line-up of speakers for the SMART Group 25th Anniversary Seminar has been announced, with keynotes in the morning and a choice of three sessions in the afternoon. The event will take place at the Oxfordshire Golf Club, October 22.

Janco Electronics Earns ISO 13485 Certification

Janco Electronics, Inc. (JEI) is now certified for ISO 13485:2003. ISO 13485:2003 is a quality-management standard for medical device manufacturing developed by the International Organization for Standardization.

New JTAG, ICT, Cleanliness, and Other Test Products

(August 11, 2009) — Following are the new products in boundary scan, functional test, ionic contamination, flying probe, combination systems, and other diagnostics and test equipment for the electronics industry.

productronica 2009 Columns: Photovoltaics, Green Electronics, Nanotech and More

(August 11, 2009) MUNICH, Germany — Messe München's online forum hosts productronica 2009 exhibitors, experts in their field, voicing opinions about current electronic manufacturing industry trends. Potential topics include solar, eco-friendly electronics, micro and nanotechnologies, organic electronics, EMS trends, and advanced packaging.

ZESTRON Chooses Southeast Asia Technical Center

(August 10, 2009) MANASSAS, VA — ZESTRON selected its latest Technical Center, located in Kulim High Tech Park, Malaysia. It features over 5,000 sq.ft. of floor space and will be equipped with the latest European, American, and Southeast Asian cleaning equipments such as spray-in-air, ultrasonic etc. for defluxing, misprint, and stencil cleaning applications. ZESTRON will officially open the Malaysian Technical Center by the end of August 2009.

Adrian L. Melnyk Appointed Autosplice President

(August 10, 2009) SAN DIEGO, CA — Autosplice named Adrian L. Melnyk as president of the company's worldwide operations. Autosplice had grown in the past by providing custom solutions for pins and terminals, insertion equipment and printed circuit board (PCB) assemblies. Its future growth is more dependent on the ability to provide engineered solutions to total customer needs where it can be a turnkey supplier.

3M Names Exec VP for Electro and Communications Business

(August 10, 2009) ST. PAUL, MN — 3M named Joaquin Delgado, Ph.D., to the position of executive vice president in charge of its Electro and Communications Business. Delgado also becomes a member of 3M's Operations Committee.

The Gold Record: Capitalizing on a Diverse OEM Customer Base

As the electronics assembly market continues to squeeze out the middle, smaller companies like Canada’s Microart Services are experiencing growth. President Tyler Fisher and Marketing and Sales Manager Kathy Gemmill profile their company, offering insight into how a diverse customer has helped the company double its size.

Robert Boguski Becomes Owner, President of Datest Corp.

(August 7, 2009) FREMONT, CA — Robert Boguski is the new owner and president of in-circuit test (ICT) system manufacturer Datest Corp. Boguski brings 34 years of experience in the manufacture, design, assembly, and test of printed circuit boards (PCBs) and PCB assemblies, as well as 29 years' experience in management.

Molex Closes French Plant, Citing Violence

(August 7, 2009) LISLE, IL — Molex Incorporated (NASDAQ: MOLX and MOLXA) is closing its plant in Villemur-sur-Tarn, France to evaluate its security. Molex asserts that this step was taken to help ensure the safety of employees and security of the facility after an employee and two security guards were injured in a violent incident at the site.

Inovaxe Names Ken Myers VP and GM

(August 7, 2009) SARASOTA, FL — Component storage and MRP software solutions company Inovaxe Corp. appointed Ken Myers as vice president and general manager responsible for all operations. Myers has 20 years of experience in the electronics industry, and received his BSBA from the University of Missouri.

Murata Buys Panasonic Electronic Devices' MLCC Unit

(August 6, 2009) SMYRNA, GA — Murata Manufacturing Company Ltd., supplier of ceramic passive components, purchased the multilayer ceramic capacitor (MLCC) business from Panasonic Electronic Devices (PED). Murata will acquire PEDs' technology, distributors and customers, aiming to increase its international competitiveness.

Cookson Reports 1H09 Revenue Drop

Commenting on the Group's results and outlook, Nick Salmon, Chief Executive, said, "We have faced very tough trading conditions throughout the first half of 2009. However, through the rapid implementation of our cost-reduction programs, all divisions have remained profitable.

Maxwell Technologies, ANSYS Release Ultracapacitor Library in Simplorer

(August 4, 2009) SOUTHPOINTE, PA — ANSYS Inc. (NASDAQ: ANSS) released an ultracapacitor components library from Maxwell Technologies Inc. (NASDAQ: MXWL), an ANSYS customer, for use in Simplorer technology. Automotive, aerospace, and industrial power engineers developing hybrid vehicles and other electric-powered products and systems can easily use the energy-storage device models in their simulations.

iNEMI HFR-Free Leadership Program Launches

(August 3, 2009) HERNDON, VA — iNEMI officially launched its HFR-Free Leadership Program with 22 companies participating. As an umbrella for several projects, program activities will provide a technical evaluation of key electrical and mechanical properties of HFR-free (low halogen) materials to ensure reliability and performance of replacement materials. Projects will also assess technology readiness and supply chain capabilities.

New Products for PCB Design and Device Programming

(August 3, 2009) — These new PCB design and device programming products are focused on design for manufacturing (DfM), collaboration with MCAD mechanical design elements, fast in-system programming, and cost/performance analysis on circuit designs. Products featured come from PCB Matrix, Numerical Innovations, Vishay, Corelis, BPM, Zuken, and Screaming Circuits.

Aqueous Opens Online Cleaning University

(August 3, 2009) RANCHO CUCAMONGA, CA — Aqueous Technologies opened its Aqueous University Online, aggregating information on products as well as links to published defluxing-related technical articles, video presentations, articles, and multiple technical webinars. Aqueous Technologies is a manufacturer of defluxing, cleanliness testing, and stencil cleaning equipment.

2009 PCB Orders Down 30% Year-to-Date, June Book-to-Bill Positive

(July 29, 2009) BANNOCKBURN, IL — IPC — Association Connecting Electronics Industries announced the June findings from its monthly North American Printed Circuit Board (PCB) Statistical Program. Rigid and flex PCBs saw positive book-to-bill ratios, at 1.12 and 1.02 respectively.

Engelmaier Reliability: The Mil/Aero World is Different

The fact that there are huge differences between segments of the electronic packaging/interconnection technology industry was driven home during my recent work with defense contractors involved in space electronics.

Global Consumer Electronics Manufacturer Selects Adept Vision-guided Robots

(July 28, 2009) PLEASANTON, CA — Vision-guided robotics and global robotics services provider Adept Technology Inc. received a $2.5 million order for vision-guided robots from a leading international consumer electronics manufacturer. The electronics manufacturer selected Adept Technology as its automation partner to provide high-speed vision-guided robot systems for precision handling and assembly operations.

Nihon Superior Debuts Solutions for Lead-free Soldering Challenges

Lockheed Martin Selects Cuming Lehman Chambers for GPS Testing

(July 28, 2009) CHAMBERSBURG, PA — Cuming-Lehman Chambers (CLCI) was awarded a contract to construct an advanced PIM Test Facility for Lockheed Martin Space Systems at their Newtown, PA facility. The Passive Intermodulation (PIM) shielded test chamber will support development and testing for several of Lockheed Martin's next-generation technologies including GPS III and MUOS.

Huawei Opens LTE Laboratory in North America

(July 28, 2009) PLANO, TX — Telecommunications network solutions manufacturer Huawei opened a long term evolution (LTE) laboratory in Richardson, TX. Operators and Huawei's industry partners in North America are able to further explore the potential of LTE technology and experience Huawei's latest LTE products at the facility.

How Halogen-Free Affects Soldering Processes

Halogen-free not only affects materials, but also the soldering process. Product Manager Tim Jensen sits down with guest editor Bob Neves and discusses the challenges faced when removing halogens, including a couple of specific defects.

TFI's Gordon Chairs Green Manufacturing Conference

(July 27, 2009) ALAMEDA, CA — Technology Forecasters Inc. (TFI) president Pamela J. Gordon will chair the Green Manufacturing Conference in Rosemont, IL, September 22-23. The conference covers sustainable manufacturing practices and their impact on revenue, competitiveness, and expenses.

Kyzen Opens Malaysia Sales and Support Office

(July 24, 2009) NASHVILLE — Cleaning materials supplier Kyzen opened its Sales and Support Office in Penang, Malaysia. Company representatives will be available to provide direct assistance for regional customers regarding Kyzen's advanced products and technologies.

Jabil Changes Board of Directors

(July 23, 2009) ST. PETERSBURG, FL — Jabil Circuit Inc. (NYSE: JBL) announced that its Board of Directors has accepted Laurence S. Grafstein's resignation as a director and has appointed David M. Stout to serve as a member of the Board.

EMS Market at $294B in 2008

(July 21, 2009) SAN JOSE, CA — Revenue for the worldwide electronics manufacturing services (EMS) market was $294 billion in 2008, a 12% increase over 2007, reports Electronic Trend Publications (ETP). The EMS market will decline in 2009, but growth should return in 2010 and continue for many years. Electronics manufacturing industry revenue will reach $435 billion in 2013.

New Materials: Thermal Interfaces, Encapsulants, Adhesives, and More

(July 21, 2009) — Victrex, Huntsman, Wacker Chemie, Dymax, and other companies introduced new materials for electronics assembly, from underfills to thermal greases, glass-filled polymers, halogen-free resins, silicone rubbers, encapsulants, and more.

Reuters: Samsung Investing $4.3B for Environmentally Friendly Electronics

(July 20, 2009) SEOUL, South Korea — Samsung Electronics will invest 5.4 trillion won ($4.3 billion) in green research and development and facilities to make it a leading eco-friendly company by 2013, report Cho Meeyoung and Rhee So-eui, Reuters.

SMTA Celebrates Its 25th Anniversary

(July 20, 2009) MINNEAPOLIS — This year marks the 25th anniversary of the founding of the Surface Mount Technology Association (SMTA). The Association is holding a special celebration at SMTA International (SMTAI) to recognize the industry's support over the years, and commemorating the occasion with a special website.

IPC Executive Summit: Growth in the New Economy

(July 20, 2009) BANNOCKBURN, IL — The IPC Electronics Industry Executive Summit was designed to equip executives with focused market information and opportunities to best capitalize on new growth areas. Titled "Survive and Thrive in the New Business Environment," the summit will be held October 21–22, 2009, at the Wigwam Golf Resort and Spa in Litchfield, AZ.

Names in the News

(July 17, 2009) — Following are the certification, new facilities, contract wins, and other announcements from global suppliers and electronics manufacturers from California to Bulgaria. BPM Microsystems, Isola, Victrex, High-Tech Conversions, Juki, ZESTRON, U.S. Circuit, Circuit Express, Molex, Newark, Vitronics Soltec, Horizon Die, Bliss Industries, Qualisystems, MIRTEC, Seratel, ACE Production Technologies, Kyzen, Cobar and DKL Metals, and Rogers Corporation share the news.

Microscan, Cogiscan Form Traceability Products Partnership

(July 14, 2009) RENTON, WA and BROMONT, Canada — Data acquisition and control provider Microscan has partnered with Cogiscan Inc., a track, trace, and control solutions provider, for a long-term, high-level agreement including joint product development and cross-selling.

Charlie Barnhart EMS Forecast

(July 13, 2009) MAUI, HI — Charlie Barnhart & Associates LLC released its projections for Q'03 CY2009 EMS industry. The analysts state that labor costs are expected to be generally flat, with marginal changes by region. Margins in all sectors (except automotive) are expected to remain relatively constant. Lead-times are expected to remain relatively flat to slightly down.

iSuppli Trims 2009 Chip, Electronics Forecasts

(July 10, 2009) EL SEGUNDO, CA — Amid lingering economic woes and continuing poor visibility into future demand trends, iSuppli Corp. is reducing its forecasts for global semiconductor and electronic equipment revenue in 2009.

Are We There Yet?

Microtek Laboratories CTO Bob Neves enjoys a global view, spending time in two company locations in China and the U.S. His test lab deals with OEM customers around the world, too. Find out what he's seeing in the industry and his perspective on the economic crisis.

June ISM Manufacturing Report for Electronics

(July 2, 2009) — The Institute of Supply Management (ISM) June Manufacturing Report On Business came out this week, surveying all kinds of manufacturing sectors to provide an overview of new orders, inventories, and the purchasing managers' index (PMI), among other economic indicators. Here are the key points in ISM's report for electronics manufacturing sectors.

Updated Report: EMS Industry Forecast

(July 2, 2009) MONTREAL, Canada — Publications released an update to its 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's core forecast.

iNEMI Members Define "Low Halogen" for Electronic Products

DKL Metals Partners with NPL on Cu Dissolution

(June 30, 2009) WEST LOTHIAN, U.K. — DKL Metals Ltd. has become a project partner in the National Physical Laboratory (NPL) research project and report, "Measurement of Copper Dissolution in Lead-free Solder Alloys."

Economy Affects Equipment Investments Globally: Henderson Ventures Report

(June 30, 2009) LOS ALTOS, CA — Dismal Q'01 economic results are likely to mark the trough of the ongoing global recession. Rescue packages are starting to make a difference, and credit is becoming more available. Inventory divestures will start to slow. While all equipment-production regions will suffer in 2009, Japan will be heavily hit. Henderson Ventures published the following report.

May PCB Orders Outpace Shipments

(June 25, 2009) BANNOCKBURN, IL — IPC — Association Connecting Electronics Industries released the May findings from its monthly North American Printed Circuit Board (PCB) Statistical Program, showing the book-to-bill ratio above parity for the first time in 12 months. The rigid PCB book-to-bill reached 1.03 and the combined flex and rigid circuits book-to-bill hit 1.02.

Technology Forecasters Inc. Expands in Asia

(June 24, 2009) ALAMEDA, CA — Technology Forecasters Inc. (TFI) announces its expansion into Asia and the successful completion of its first year in the Europe, Middle East, and Africa (EMEA) region. TFI provides strategic consulting services in the areas of electronics manufacturing, supply chain, and logistics; conducts corporate customer-satisfaction research; and helps companies design and implement profitable environmental strategies.

Will NPI Prove a Panacea for Ovation Products?

Ovation Products President Neil MacRaild discusses his company's performance in a tough economic climate with Editor Steve Gold. With a focus on quality, lower prices and improved yield, will new product releases prove a panacea for the company?

New Products: Solders and Soldering Systems

(June 23, 2009) — These are the new hand soldering stations, solder pastes, wave solder pots and pumps, fluxes, and other products for the soldering process from companies such as Cooper Tools, Qualitek International, Henkel, ACE Production Technologies, FCT Assembly, Balver Zinn, and more.

IC Assembly Houses in Taiwan See Robust Business

(June 22, 2009) TAIPEI, Taiwan — Taiwan's IC assembly firms are seeing revenues rise quarterly, with Advanced Semiconductor Engineering Inc. (ASE) and Siliconware Precision Industry Co. Ltd. expected to see respective revenues rise 50% this quarter and at least 20% next quarter, reports China Economic News Service (CENS) writer Ken Liu.

Report: Worldwide Converged Mobile Device 2009–2013 Forecast Update

(June 19, 2009) MONTREAL — Publications is distributing an update to the five-year forecast for worldwide converged mobile device (CMD) shipments by device vendors. This report provides continuing research with respect to mobile devices. Findings in this document are based on information gathered from primary and secondary sources over the past three months.

Revised Imm Ag Plating Standard Establishes Maximum Deposit Thickness

(June 16, 2009) BANNOCKBURN, IL — IPC released IPC-4553A, "Specification for Immersion Silver Plating for Printed Boards." The revised specification sets requirements for use of immersion silver as a surface finish for PCBs, adding a maximum deposit thickness based on performance criteria; the minimum thickness requirement was provided in the original release. Revision A also establishes a single thickness range to avoid confusion between "thin" and "thick."

Teknek Issues Advisory on "Copycat" Parts

(June 16, 2009) RENFREW, U.K. — Teknek, contact cleaning equipment maker, issued a global advisory regarding problems with contact cleaning machines. An increasing number of customer reports from U.S.-based users are showing problems with Teknek machines, originating in the use of nonstandard adhesives and other parts.

Nothing New? Not True with SMT

SMT, a leader in reflow technology, is moving into the North American market--assisting current customers with worldwide operations. President Manfred Maehl tells Steve Gold that the current economic climate is not an obstacle for his company, as technology is always attractive.

Munich Electronics Summit Program

(June 12, 2009) MUNICH, Germany — The Munich Electronics Summit, debuting this year at productronica in November, consists of a private meeting for international corporate CEOs and a public forum with a keynote address and CEO Roundtable.

NEDA Launches Online Job Service

(June 11, 2009) ATLANTA, GA — The National Electronic Distributors Association (NEDA) debuted an interactive job board, the NEDA Industry Career Center, With its focus on authorized electronics distribution, the NEDA Industry Career Center offers its members and the industry at large an easy-to-use and highly targeted resource for online employment connections.

Jet Printing Replaces Screen Printing in High Mix Environments?

MYDATA Product Manager Malin Siberg sits down with EMS007 Editor Steve Gold to detail why jet printing is an important innovation and how it can be useful in complex volume applications. The real question is: Will jet printing technology revolutionize the high-mix electronic assembly printing process?

EI Institutes Quickturn Service for High-complexity PCBs

(June 9, 2009) ENDICOTT, NY — Endicott Interconnect Technologies Inc. (EI) developed a dedicated Quick Turn Around (QTA) line, manufacturing various prototype/new product introduction (NPI) PCBs in the early design phase. EI cites increased demand from defense, medical, and other high-complexity/high-reliability electronics sectors.

Juki Intros Feeder Refurbishment Program

(June 8, 2009) MORRISVILLE, NC — Juki Corporation started its Feeder Refurbishment Program to inspect, repair, and calibrate existing placement system feeders at minimal cost and turn-around time. As part of this program the company also will offer fully refurbished Juki feeders for purchase.

Supply Chain Tracker Notes Beginning of Recovery

(June 5, 2009) BANNOCKBURN, IL — The spring 2009 edition of the quarterly business report, Supply Chain Tracker, from IPC — Association Connecting Electronics Industries showed continuing economic contraction. However, it also indicated the first signs of recovery in the electronics industry.

The Gold Record: New EMS Workshop Educates OEMs

A conversation with Charlie Barnhart explores how his company is offering a new educational program that seeks to debunk electronics manufacturing supply chain myths. Will educating OEMs on assembly help improve the purchasing process?

EMS Company Pushes into Prototyping

SMS Technologies is part of a larger EMS operation. Yet, according to Vice President of Sales and Marketing Elliot Shev, the company's approach to high-mix prototyping is helping it win new business and feed the higher production demand--resulting in an approximately $70 million EMS business.

EMS M&A Activity in North America

Jack Calderon, Managing Director at Lincoln International and IPC Board Member, discusses the conditions of the U.S. EMS industry, M&A activity and new markets, like solar. Many of the large, global players in the industry, according to Calderon, are eying the conversion of under-capacity plants to solar modular assembly plants to increase productivity.

Proposals Sought: Market and Technology Outlook for Military Electronics

(June 2, 2009) BANNOCKBURN, IL — On behalf of its members, IPC — Association Connecting Electronics Industries hopes to commission a study or parts of a study on the military electronics market and technology trends, and outlook for the future. The study would inform PCB fabs, EMS providers, and OEMs, as well as the supply chain supporting electronics assembly.

Bliss Industries Intros Green Packaging Method

(June 1, 2009) MILPITAS, CA — Bliss Industries Inc. will implement a more environmentally friendly packaging method on all future cart shipments. Carts and handling systems will arrive fully assembled, with a reduced amount of packing materials.

Professor Rao Tummala to Present Keynote at 2009 International Wafer-Level Packaging Conference (IWLPC)

(May 29, 2009) MINNEAPOLIS, MN — Professor Rao Tummala, Advanced Packaging Editorial Advisory Board Member, will keynote the 6th Annual International Wafer-Level Packaging Conference (IWLPC), October 27–30, 2009 at the Santa Clara Marriott Hotel in Santa Clara, CA.

April PCB Book-to-Bill Shows Glimpse of Recovery

(May 27, 2009) BANNOCKBURN, IL — IPC announced the April findings from its monthly North American PCB Statistical Program. While sales and orders continued to decline, there was a marked improvement in the book-to-bill ratio. It is still slightly below parity, but increased for the third straight month. Rigid PCB orders have exceeded sales for the first time in over a year. The industry is seeing signs of recovery.

Attracting New Customers: The Key to Success

Susan Mucha sits down with Steve Gold to discuss a course on program management certification she taught this year at APEX. The course focused on ways to attract new customers, how to go through the sales cycle more efficiently and how to build account strategy plans that allow companies to grow their customer base.

Assessing Harsh Environments: SMTAI Keynote from JPL

(May 26, 2009) MINNEAPOLIS, MN — The SMTA annual meeting and awards ceremony at SMTA International, October 7, 2009, will feature Peter Barry, mission assurance manager at Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), as the keynote speaker. He will present an overview of the role that mission assurance management plays in JPL projects.

New Products for Reflow Profile Verification

(May 26, 2009) MILWAUKIE, OR — Participants in an ECD survey begun at APEX and continued through April were asked to answer specific questions about their practices regarding thermal processing. While over 90% of respondents were diligent in creating a correct reflow profile, nearly 60% did not display that same diligence when it came to verifying that profile on a regular basis. ECD conducted the study and shares the results.

Henkel Expands in NC

(May 26, 2009) RALEIGH, NC — Governor Bev Perdue of North Carolina made the announcement that Henkel Corp. will expand its Salisbury, NC operations. The company plans to invest more than $23.7 million and to create 103 jobs during the next three years. The announcement was made possible in part by a $206,000 grant from the One North Carolina Fund.

DfR Solutions to Develop PCB Plating QC Standards

(May 26, 2009) COLLEGE PARK, MD — DfR Solutions was selected by the Korea Testing Laboratory (KTL) to develop non-destructive techniques for detecting printed circuit board (PCB) plating defects. KTL selected DfR because of the firm's experience in PCB quality and reliability issues.

J-STD-709 Round-Table: Proactive or Prohibitive?

Tony Senese of Panasonic, Joe Fjelstad of Verdant Electronics and David Torp with IPC sit down with Steve Gold to discuss another challenge for the electronics industry: J-STD-709. This controversial draft standard would impose stringent limits on halogen, bromine and chlorine use in certain electronics products.

ICT Probe Penetrability of Solder Paste Flux Residues

Cookson Senior Research Chemist Karen Tellefsen discusses her paper "ICT Probe Penetrability of Solder Paste Flux Residues with a Vacuum-Actuated Fixture" with Ray Rasmussen during last month's IPC APEX Expo. If you want to improve your testing processes, listen up.

Transitioning from High Volume to High Mix

You're the oldest North American EMS provider mainly serving the automotive market. How do you adapt to a market that no longer has demand for your expertise? Kevin Stone elaborates on how his company successfully transitioned from a high-volume, low-mix manufacturing model to a low-volume, high-mix prototype maker.

Micronic Goes Ahead With MYDATA Acquisition

Participate in the 2010 IPC APEX EXPO

(May 19, 2009) BANNOCKBURN, IL — IPC — Association Connecting Electronics Industries invites researchers, academics, technical experts, and industry leaders to submit abstracts for the 2010 IPC APEX EXPO at Mandalay Bay Resort and Convention Center, Las Vegas, April 6–9, 2010.

Digi-Key Adds Open Source BeagleBoard PCB

(May 18, 2009) THIEF RIVER FALLS, MN — Digi-Key Corporation now stocks Revision C of the BeagleBoard from The product is said to fuel an active open source community with a flexible, fan-less and low-cost embedded development board. Revision C reportedly offers increased design flexibility with twice the memory (256 MB RAM), additional high-speed USB port, and an LCD expansion connector.

IEEE and NATO Standardization Agency Sign Technical Co-operation Agreement

(May 18, 2009) PISCATAWAY, NJ and BRUSSELS, Belgium — IEEE-SA and the NATO Standardization Agency have signed a technical co-operation agreement to share knowledge of each organization's standards development activities and avoid duplication of technical standards. IEEE-SA and NSA will exchange information in the electrical, electronics, computer, and related fields and determine common-interest working projects.

Mydata White Paper: Tackling SMT Enemy Number One

Is screen printing technology able to keep pace with rising quality demands and increasingly complex board layouts? Or, is new jet printing technology ready to fill the gap? A comparison study between the two methods reveals some interesting differences.

The Plight of the Equipment Distributor

Matt Holzmann, President of Christopher Group, tells Steve Gold that his company diversified into PCB assembly years ago--a move that has helped the company remain in good standing during these tough times. The next step for Christopher Group? Solar.

productronica 2009 Debuts Munich Electronics Summit

(May 11, 2009) MUNICH, Germany — Despite a difficult worldwide economic climate, productronica 2009 will host most of the world's leading electronics production manufacturers at its biennial productronica trade fair November 10 to 13 in Munich. The Munich Electronics Summit, held on the first day of the trade fair, will become an annual event linking productronica with electronica. The trade fair also has a new slogan, "Innovation all along the line."

World Electronic Industries 2008–2013 Report

(May 11, 2009) LYON, France — Yole Développement is distributing "World Electronic Industries 2008 – 2013," from DECISION. This latest edition includes new markets like solid-state lighting and energy with photovoltaic panels. Additional updates were made to telecom and medical sections. The current economic crisis has reversed the electronics industry outlook: average annual growth between 2008 and 2013 should not exceed 3% per year.

Smaller Run, Prototyping Success Story

In an exclusive interview with Steve Gold at IPC APEX Expo, Q Corporation's President Ben Swigart explains how his company continues to see growth in a struggling economy due to industry partnerships, diversification and improved distribution.

Something New: The Third Dimension in AOI

The new system is based on technology that overcomes the limitations of the two-dimensional AOI inspection by incorporating the ability to sense and measure the Z-axis profilometry of whole assembled PCB surfaces--including components and solder joints. The three dimensional system eliminates escapes, false calls and inspection errors and is also much quicker to program.

40-100Gbps Transmission Over Copper

This paper, presented at DesignCon 2009, focuses on assessment and design of transmission systems for distribution of digital signals over standard Category-7A copper cables at speeds beyond 10Gbps. Results confirmed that with the aid of a decision-feedback equalizer and powerful coding techniques, 40Gbps transmission is feasible over 50m of CAT-7A copper cable and 100Gbps transmission can be achieved over 15m cables. Authors are Ali Enteshari and Mohsen Kavehrad of Penn State.

Auto Electronics Market: Recovery in 2011

(May 6, 2009) BOSTON — The Strategy Analytics Automotive Electronics service report, "Automotive Electronics System Demand Forecast 2007 to 2016: Tough Times, But Future Gains," predicts that the market for automotive electronics will take until 2011 to exceed the peak hit in 2007.

Aravo Risk Debuts: Software to Control Supply Chain Risk

(May 6, 2009) SAN FRANCISCO, CA — Aravo Solutions introduced a software-as-a-service (SaaS) product, Aravo Risk, for comprehensive supplier risk management. It is designed to prevent catastrophic supplier failures and supply disruptions, improve supplier performance management, and enhance supplier compliance initiatives.

SMT China Magazine Announces VISION Awards Winners

(May 5, 2009) SHANGHAI, China — SMT China Magazine hosted the 3nd annual SMT China VISION Awards Presentation Ceremony on April 21, 2009 in Shanghai. More than 100 guests from participating companies and professionals from the industry attended the ceremony. Fifteen products won top honors and one local company received the Chinese Achievement Award.

Q'02 Facing Soft Market; March PCB Book-to-Bill Released

(April 27, 2009) BANNOCKBURN, IL — IPC — Association Connecting Electronics Industries released the March PCB industry book-to-bill ratios from its monthly North American Printed Circuit Board (PCB) Statistical Program. Rigid PCB orders saw slight improvement, but IPC president Denny McGuirk warned that the next quarter will see continued weakness in the PCB market.

Book Review: Reinvention

Your world is changing all the time. Can you keep up? Do you get scared? Do you feel like no matter what you do you just can't catch a break? More and more people are apprehensive today than ever before. In his new book, Reinvention, business guru Brian Tracy offers a plan for to taking control of your life.

SMTA China, iNEMI Join Forces for Technical Conference

SMTA China Conference Chairman Michael Wong sits down with EMS007 Editor Steve Gold to talk about a new partnership effort with iNEMI. While iNEMI focuses on long-range technical concerns, Wong explains how the SMTA puts practicality at the forefront of its conference offering.

On the Show Floor at Nepcon Shanghai

(April 21, 2009) SHANGHAI, China — Following are the new and flagship products being promoted at this week's Nepcon China, April 21 to 24 at the Shanghai Everbright Center. International companies will exhibit advanced products for the Chinese assembly market, including inspection systems, halogen-free solder materials, rework systems, digital dispensers, XRF solder analyzers, and more.

Micronic Laser Systems Moves to Acquire MYDATA

(April 21, 2009) TÄBY, Sweden — Micronic Laser Systems AB intends to acquire MYDATA automation AB. In the proposed transaction, Micronic would acquire MYDATA from Skanditek Industriförvaltning and the minority shareholders against payment in the form of newly issued shares in Micronic. Combining Micronic and MYDATA will create large potential within the market for electronic packaging using Micronic's and MYDATA's complementary imaging and deposition technologies.

EC Increases Tech R&D Funding

By Jason Palmer, BBC News - (April 21, 2009) PRAGUE — The European Commission announced a large initiative to fund high-risk information and communication technology research. It will increase funding of these future and emerging technologies (FET) by 70% by 2013 to 170m euros annually.

World Printed Circuit Boards Report: 2007 to 2013

(April 20, 2009) DUBLIN — Research and Markets released its latest market database with forecast, given for each component type by application end-user markets. PCB types covered in the forecast include single-sided, double-sided, multi-layer from 4 to 6 layers, multi-layer over 6 layers, and flexible/flex-rigid PCBs.

ThomasNet Launches Online Distributor Support

(April 17, 2009) NEW YORK — ThomasNet released the Distributor Content Syndication technology to help manufacturers improve partnerships with their distributors, targeting faster time to market and consistent and accurate product information across distributor sites.

Present at the Medical Electronics Symposium

(April 17, 2009) PHOENIX, AZ — The SMTA and MEPTEC will cohost the 2009 Medical Electronics Symposia, September 16–17, at Arizona State University in Phoenix, cosponsored by the ASU College of Nursing and Healthcare Innovation. Presenters can submit abstracts through May 29.

iSuppli Market Watch: Can CMs Avoid Pitfalls?

When it comes to contract manufacturers in the mobile handset segment, the downturn has uncovered a number of fatal pitfalls hammering EMS providers and ODMs.

Fein-Lines: Speeding Up Your Computer, Part II

This week, Dan Feinberg builds on his previous column offering tips to speed up your computer--or at least keep it from slowing down. The main culprit of computer malaise? Would you believe the seemingly innocent toolbar?

Imbera Raises $15M to Ramp Embedded Packaging in PCBs

(April 14, 2009) MELBOURNE, FL — Imbera Electronics secured $15 million in series B funding from NorthZone Ventures, Index Ventures, and Conor Venture Partners. The company, which developed Integrated Module Board (IMB) technology for 3D packaging, will bring on-line a new high-volume manufacturing operation in Sangsong-ri, South Korea, and continue R&D for embedded technologies in Espoo, Finland.

Counterfeit Parts Forum Highlights Fight Against Fakes

Counterfeit electronics is a trillion-dollar business that affects OEMs and EMS companies around the world. IPC presented a forum on counterfeit electronics during APEX, featuring speakers involved in the clash with the counterfeiters.

ECD Debuts Thermal Quality Management Program: ThQM

(April 13, 2009) MILWAUKIE, OR — ECD introduced its thermal quality management program, called ThQM, for OEMs and volume manufacturers. It is designed to directly address the dialog required between OEMs and contract assemblers, including OEM requirements, machine recipe development, and thermal profile verification. The program targets efficient and accurate communication about issues that must be communicated to both characterize and verify the reflow or wave soldering process.

Tooling Company Orange County Instruments Formed

(April 13, 2009) IRVINE, CA — Orange County Instruments (OCI) was formed as a provider of small tooling for the pharmaceutical and electronic assembly industries. The company is led by Eji Ito and Frank Murch.

Turning Back the Clock: Extending Component Life

JEDEC moisture sensitivity levels have been pushed out by the conversion to lead-free processing--shortening the length of time that components can be exposed before they must be used. Stu Leech describes a novel method for turning back the clock and extending the floor life of components both in carriers and in reels.

MMI: Top 50 EMS Providers See 2008 Single-digit Growth

(April 9, 2009) BURLINGTON, VT — Manufacturing Market Insider released its annual MMI Top 50, a list of the world's largest EMS providers. Sales of the Top 50 EMS providers for 2008 totaled $158.5 billion, a new high. Despite last year's bad economic news, Top 50 revenue grew collectively by 7.7% in 2008.

Present at SMTA International (SMTAI)

(April 8, 2009) MINNEAPOLIS — The SMTA's 2009 Call for Papers for SMTAI, October 4–8, 2009 in San Diego, CA, has been extended, giving paper presenters and tutorial teachers until April 24 to submit abstracts.

Partnership Targets ESD Management

(April 8, 2009) GLOUCESTER, MA and SUNNYVALE, CA — Dangelmayer Associates and SIMCO Electronics formed a collaborative alliance to better address the issues of electrostatic discharge (ESD) management throughout the product lifecycle from design to customer acceptance.

Consona Releases Cimnet Systems Paradigm 3.6 and Engenix 3.2.0 ERP

(April 7, 2009) INDIANAPOLIS — Cimnet Systems, a Consona Corporation product line introduced Paradigm Version 3.6 (v3.6), Cimnet Systems' enterprise resource planning (ERP) software for the printed circuit board (PCB) industry and Engenix Version 3.2.0 (v3.2.0), a pre-production engineering application.

Reports: Military Electronics, Capital Equipment Investment, Flex PCB Forecasts

(April 7, 2009) — Reports from Henderson Ventures reveal that equipment expenditures are on hold for many electronics assemblers, and the military electronics sector is growing. Overall, global electronic equipment production is predicted to fall by a massive 11.9% this year versus a 0.2% gain in 2008. Research and Markets updates their forecasts for flex and flex-rigid PCBs by region, product, and end-use sector through 2013.

Advisory Board Update: Dr. Hwang Chairs Board on NIST

(April 7, 2009) WASHINGTON D.C. — Jennie S. Hwang, Ph.D., was appointed to the Chair for the Board on Assessment of NIST (National Institute of Standards and Technology) — Electronics and Electrical Engineering Laboratory, U.S. Department of Commerce.

IPC Tracks Global EMS Financial Metrics

(April 7, 2009) BANNOCKBURN, IL — IPC — Association Connecting Electronics Industries launched its Global EMS Statistical Program to measure and track financial metrics quarterly for the worldwide electronics manufacturing services (EMS) industry. The first survey, for Q'01 2009 data, will be online this week.

Quality Sells at APEX: Test and Inspection ROI

(April 7, 2009) LAS VEGAS — Smaller components on denser assemblies, leadless or no-lead packages, the threat of counterfeits, increased test coverage, and the cost of rework and warranties are some of the reasons inspection — solder paste inspection (SPI), automatic optical inspection (AOI), and automatic X-ray inspection (AXI) — companies and test providers were confident at APEX 2009. Here are some highlights from the show.

Combating Counterfeits: APEX Hosts Counterfeit Detection Ideas

(April 6, 2009) LAS VEGAS — APEX typically showcases new products or applications that focus on a common challenge. This year, counterattacks against the increasing influx of counterfeit components, PCBs, and subassemblies were center stage. Inspection systems have evolved into counterfeit detectors; labeling systems have taken on new importance to identify proper parts; and supply chain management has emerged to prevent counterfeits from entering the finished PCB assembly.

APEX 2009: Technical Conference Closes Strong

(April 6, 2009) LAS VEGAS — The 2009 IPC APEX Technical Conference and Expo, March 31 to April 2, 2009, drew many attendees to the educational and collaborative sessions focusing on electronics industry challenges and advances, like high-reliability lead-free, modern PCB cleaning, and counterfeit components.

From the Show: APEX Best Papers

(April 3, 2009) BANNOCKBURN, IL — IPC — Association Connecting Electronics Industries announced the winners of this year's Best U.S. and International Papers at IPC APEX EXPO, held March 31–April 2, 2009 in Las Vegas. The event's Technical Program Committee selected the winners through a ballot process.

From the Show: SMT, PCMI Host Free Panel Today

(April 2, 2009) LAS VEGAS — Gail Flower, editor-at-large of SMT, hosted "Industry Cost Challenges: EMS Solutions," April 2 at APEX. The panel, co-produced with Susan Mucha of Powell-Mucha Consulting Inc., comprised EMS company representatives and a bill of materials (BOM) expert presenting case histories and lessons learned to attack problems in production, supply chain management, board failure, and time to market.

From the Show: Lead-free Soldering Presentation

(April 2, 2009) LAS VEGAS — Keith Sweatman, Nihon Superior Co. Ltd.'s senior technical advisor, will present a paper titled "Hot Air Solder Levelling in the Lead-free Era," during Session 28, Surface Finishes, today at the IPC APEX technical conference, from 9 to 10 am.

From the Show: New Substrate Challenges FR-4

(April 1, 2009) LAS VEGAS — Hollingsworth & Vose, a long-time player in the paper market, is debuting their ViaMat nonwoven aramid organic reinforcement material to the PCB fabrication sector, noting better coefficient of thermal expansion (CTE) than glass, less warpage, and tolerance of high heat applications.

From the Show: Counterfeiting Panel

(April 1, 2009) LAS VEGAS — Jim Williams, Ph.D., chairman and founder of Polyonics, will hold a forum titled "Counterfeit Electronics" today, April 1, from 10:15-11:45 am. The forum will discuss action-oriented supply chain protection in a comprehensive strategy.

From the Show: Free Printing Seminars at APEX

(March 31, 2009) LAS VEGAS — DEK will present three free seminars on the show floor at the IPC APEX Expo, with the first two occurring today. Visit Booth 2412 at 11 am and 2 pm today for seminars on getting more out of the print process and yielding better products while lowering overall costs.

From the Show: Head-in-pillow Defects Presentation

(March 31, 2009) LAS VEGAS — Soldering defects are immensely important to electronics assemblers, particularly those in high-reliability industries. Today at the APEX technical conference, Indium's Mario Scalzo will present on head-in-pillow defects.

SMT Celebrates Products and Services to the Electronics Assembly Industry With SMT VISION Awards

(March 30, 2009) LAS VEGAS — SMT announced the winners of its 17th Annual SMT VISION Awards on Monday, March 30, 2009 during the IPC APEX Expo at the Mandalay Bay, Las Vegas. SMT hailed achievement in 18 categories, recognizing industry leaders in technology, efficiency, and environmental benefits, and quality. Award winning products represent the most innovative and useful tools for the surface mount electronics assembly sector.

Rigid PCB Book-to-Bill Remains Low in February, Flex Moves Up

(March 27, 2009) BANNOCKBURN, IL — IPC released the February findings from its monthly North American PCB Statistical Program, offering a 0.90 book-to-bill ratio. Rigid PCB sales remain well below 2008 levels, but the more volatile flex circuit sales were down only 4.2% year-to-date. "The book-to-bill ratio for PCBs overall has stayed in negative territory for 10 months, and orders are still declining compared to last year," said IPC president Denny McGuirk.

Letter re: "A Suggested Process for Detecting Counterfeit..."

Unfortunately the market in China continues to invest in improving its counterfeiting process and reverse engineering of key components with lead-times associated with them.

Electronics CM Worth $519B in 2014

(March 24, 2009) MONTREAL — Publications released a report titled "Electronics Contract Manufacturing and Design Services: The Global Market." The study found EMS and electronics contract manufacturing to be worth more than $320 billion in 2008.

Technology Supply Chain Business Outlook Survey

(March 23, 2009) SAN JOSE, CA — Venture Outsource is conducting a reader survey to better understand the prevailing confidence in our business environment, expectations of business levels, and pricing trends. The "Technology Supply Chain Business Outlook Survey" findings will be published on Venture Outsource's Website.

SMTA Opens Board of Directors Nominations

(March 23, 2009) MINNEAPOLIS — The SMTA is seeking committed individuals for its Board of Directors. Candidates should have valuable skills and ideas to continue the SMTA's mission of helping members succeed in electronics assembly and related business operations.

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