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This Month in SMT007 Magazine: The Skilled Worker
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Latest Articles

Data I/O to Showcase PSV7000 at APEX

“The PSV7000 is our fastest ramping automated system and has become the preferred programming solution for leading automotive electronics manufacturers worldwide, with 8 of the top 9 automotive electronics companies purchasing at least one PSV7000 since its introduction.” states Anthony Ambrose, President and CEO of Data I/O Corporation.

RPS to Exhibit Multiple Systems at IPC APEX

RPS Automation LLC has made plans to display four systems from their Selective Soldering line at the upcoming IPC APEX EXPO in San Diego, February 24-26.

Indium's Jensen to Present Webtorials for PCB Assembly

Indium Corporation’s Tim Jensen, senior product manager for engineered solders, will share his expertise during two Surface Mount Technology Association (SMTA) Webtorials on March 18 and 25 from 1-2:30 p.m. EST.

Nordson EFD Demos Fluid Dispensing Systems at MD&M

Nordson EFD, a Nordson company, the world's leading precision fluid dispensing systems manufacturer, will demonstrate its new series of automated fluid dispensing systems at MD&M West in Anaheim, California on February 10-12, 2015 in booth #3335. Nordson EFD's new systems combine precise dispensing with fast and easy programming and are easily integrated into any manufacturing operation. These closed-loop systems ensure that the dispensing process stays in control. Customers will benefit fro…

Opportunities for 3D Printed Structural Electronics

Today's 3D printers have many limitations, but the boundaries are being pushed and exciting developments are continuously being made. One of the most promising recent developments in the world of 3D printing is multimaterial printing, which holds the key to the emergence of 3D printed electronics.

ZESTRON to Hold 5-part Cleaning Webinar Series

ZESTRON has announced the first installment in the 2015 5-Part Cleaning Webinar Series titled "Defluxing in a No-clean and OA world".

The Power of Counterfeit Component Detection, Prevention, and Mitigation Training

The counterfeit component landscape is changing, and there is a need to continuously improve and stay on top of current detection training techniques for the prevention and mitigation of counterfeit electronic components.

2015: Changes in Assembly and Acceptance Criteria Specs and Training Programs

The recent adoption of the newest versions of the JSTD-001 and the companion document IPC A 610 late in the summer of 2014 means that there are several changes ahead for those inspecting boards during assembly, accepting boards at incoming inspection, building boards and training associates on applying the revised standards.

The Rise of Structural Electronics

Structural electronics is one of the most important technological developments of this century. It forms a key part of the dream, first formulated 30 years ago, of computing disappearing into the fabric of society. It also addresses, in a particularly elegant manner, the dream of Edison in 1880 that electricity should be made where it is needed.

CES 2015: Preview and Predictions

Looking back over the last five years of CES and analyzing predictions and items featured by the large exhibitors, you'd likely assume the 2015 show would feature more advanced 3D TVs, as they were predicted to take over the market...wrong!


Component Selection for Easier Design and Manufacture of Electronics

In the world of high tech, simplicity is arguably one of the foundational objectives of most of the technologies that surround us today. Certainly this is true in terms of how product designers are trying to create interfaces that allow even the most non-technical users to get what they need from electronic products with a minimum of hassle.

SMTA: Call for Papers for 2015 Events

SMTA announces abstracts are now being accepted for several events taking place in 2015. All submissions must be non-commercial in nature and focus on technology research rather than a company product.

Rework Challenges for Smartphones and Tablets

The implementation of surface-mount devices is crucial for smartphone manufacturers, offering increased component density and improved performance. Mobile products generally use an epoxy underfill to adhere components to the PCB to meet the mechanical strength requirements of a drop test. Reworking glued components is the most difficult application in the electronics industry, and must be addressed as a process.

High-reliability, Pb-free, Halogen-free Solder

This paper from Ian Wilding and Gavin Jackson addresses the performance of a specifically designed lead-free solder alloy for increased reliability in high-temperature thermal cycling. It also documents the challenges and breakthroughs in developing halogen-free or zero-halogen solder fluxes compatible with the lead-free alloy specifically designed for higher reliability.

Assembly and the Quest for Solder Alloy-Free Electronics (SAFE)

"As first brush, the title's suggestion that solder can be eliminated from the assembly process may appear absurd. Everyone related in any way to this industry knows solder is the universally accepted way of connecting components to printed circuits in electronic assemblies. Thus, the fact that many knowledgeable people in the industry might scoff at the notion solder can be eliminated comes both without surprise and a certain amount of resignation," writes Joe Fjelstad.

Sanmina: Automation in Production Lines

With so much discussion about the increasing amount of automation in the world of electronics assembly Editor Richard Ayes asked Gelston Howell, senior VP at Sanmina, to provide perspective on the state of manufacturing automation. Howell discusses the current state of automated electronics assembly systems, the inherent risks and challenges, and the future of robotics in manufacturing.

The Essential Pioneer's Survival Guide: Reshoring Made Simple

Companies are realizing the pros of offshoring are no longer what once they were and that the cons are becoming more significant. Is reshoring really commercially viable? This reshoring opportunity, coordinated with the seemingly unstoppable current market trends, can either be taken advantage of now, or if delayed, could represent the final loss of onshore manufacturing opportunity.

Assembly with Solder - An Unblinking Look at

While soldering holds many benefits in terms of offering a means of mass assembly of components to PCBs and is fundamentally simple, its application is much more complex and fraught with opportunity for defects to be generated, but it is also the demon we have elected to live with, for as the old saying suggests: "Better is the devil we know."

BEST, Inc.: Branching Out to Bare Board Rework

Bob Wetterman, president of BEST, Inc., joins Guest Editor Mark Thompson to discuss the company's move into reworking unpopulated boards, building products that facilitate faster rework and repair, and IPC certification and training.

Forensics Uncovers Elusive Defects & Saves PCB Designs

Products and their supporting PCBs and packages have shrunk so much that it is considerably challenging to detect extremely small problems. But a forensic approach can help you uncover defects that traditional methods may miss says NexLogic's Zulki Khan.


Sustainability: What and Why?

Joe Fjelstad writes, "The resources of our planet are limited and thus are diminishing as we continue to unleash and ramp-up a seemingly never-ending flow of products to both serve and amuse us with output of the global electronics industry likely to be nearing the top of the list of 'offenders.' In that regard, we are becoming victims of our own success, to one degree or another."

Thru-hole Lead-free Soldering and Rework Concerns

Despite the industry's switch to SMT from thru-hole for almost three decades now, thru-hole has not disappeared yet, and don't expect it to any time soon. The most common way to solder thru-hole components en masse is by wave soldering. For tin/lead, the wave pot temperature for soldering thru-hole components is generally maintained at 260°C.

Supplier Selection Key to Assembly Reliability

As with any electronic assembly, or electronic device for that matter, the quality of the raw printed circuit board is the most critical link in the product reliability chain. According to Steve Williams, the key to managing this risk is the supplier selection and qualification process.

Advanced Through-Hole Rework of Thermally Challenging Components/Assemblies: An Evolutionary Process, Part 2

The conversion of high-end server and network applications to lead-free is being hastened by government regulations and the limited availability of tin-lead components. The successful transition of low-end and mid-range server applications to lead-free has come largely through wave solder process optimization and the use of alternate lead-free alloys for mini-pot rework.

Plasma Polymerization: A Versatile and Attractive Process for Conformal Coating

This paper discusses the plasma coating process and the equipment used. The application of this type of coating to electronic assemblies and high-frequency RF applications, and the results of tests to demonstrate the protection offered by these coatings, is also addressed.

Moisture Sensitivity Concerns in PCBs for Lead-free Assemblies

During the early stages of lead-free implementation, we were concerned with lead-free alloy selection and reliability issues. Now a new issue has cropped up — PCB delamination and moisture sensitivity and steps necessary to control them.

From the Show: A Hands-on APEX Session

On the first day of APEX, IPC and three instructors from BEST decided to bring a more pragmatic approach to a PCB repair topic taught in the technical program. Along with 24 participants, the instructors from BEST led a hands-on reballing session. After a lively, highly participative 60-min. question and answer session on the fundamentals of reballing, the reballing process, and its various attributes, participants eagerly began the hands-on session.

A New Method for Reworking SMT Components

A recently developed new stenciling process overcomes metal stencils and hand soldering deficiencies, resulting in better first pass yields and faster rework times--all while simplifying the rework process.

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.

STEP 10 Rework and Repair: The Complete BGA Rework Process

Robert Avila and Wade Gay, Finetech, describe the steps to BGA rework, aided by video clips of rework in action. There are at least five steps in successfully completing the cycle for BGA rework. These steps, which include component removal, site cleaning, reballing, and soldering, do not change, independent of whether or not the BGA is on a PCB that is large, small, thin, or thick, etc.


Step-by-Step - Step 10: Rework & Repair

Modern PCBs, with higher component density and shrinking component and trace/space dimensions, can be successfully modified, reworked, and repaired even while being processed in today’s lead-free and mixed-alloy rework-and-repair environments.

APEX NEWS 2007

On the show floor at IPC Printed Circuits Expo/APEX/Designers Summit, the more than 400 exhibitors provided product information, process knowledge, and interactive tools to a constant flow of attendees.

SMT Welcomes Advisory Board Members

SMT Magazine welcomes Laura J. Turbini, Ph.D., and Harald Wack, Ph.D., to its Editorial Advisory Board. The Board offers insight on the industry, future trends, and market technology; members write columns such as "Speaking of Process Optimization," "Speaking of Cleaning," and more. Turbini and Wack will join 10 other industry experts that analyze the SMT industry from every possible angle.

Surface Mount Battery Retainer

The 11.6 coin-cell retainer is a top-loaded, low-profile retainer designed for automated SMT placement. Keystone Electronics Corporation states that the lightweight surface mount battery retainer suits high-density PCB packaging.

Design for Manufacture

As more companies embrace design for manufacture (DFM) as a method to increase both profits and throughput, a concept known as design for excellence (DFX) has come to the forefront. When properly implemented, DFX will ensure that a product can be manufactured and tested.

Tombstoning Reduction Via Phased-reflow Soldering

A drop-in replacement for standard lead alloys, whereby a small amount of Sn62 wets both sides of the termination before the Sn63 melting point is reached. The lower melting point on sn62 tack solders parts to the board and virtually eliminates this common defect.

New Electronics Industry Award Named After Company Founder

Vishay Intertechnology, Inc. announces that Dr. Felix Zandman, founder, chairman, CTO and business development officer, has had a new award named after him by the Electronic Components, Assemblies & Materials Association (ECA). The Dr. Felix Zandman Award was officially presented on March 20 at the CARTS (Capacitor and Resistor Technology Symposium) event in Palm Springs, Calif., in conjunction with the 25th anniversary of CARTS USA.

New Acoustic Capabilities Aid Flip Chips

In the past, flip chips have achieved higher I/O counts repeatedly to take advantage of their compact design.

Solder Paste vs. Flux-only Attachment for BGA Rework

Proper rework procedures, which should mimic the original manufacturing process to ensure the reliability of the reworked device, have taken a backseat to expediency.

Maximizing Lead-free Wetting

This article examines the findings of several studies using quantitative wetting gauges to measure solder-paste wetting to PCB surfaces.


Mixed Technologies Converge - Changing the Assembly Scene

Commercial markets for pervasive high-tech products dominate the electronics scene and are forcing assemblers to respond to the miniaturization and convergence of diverse technologies.

Three-Five Systems Names New Regulatory Affairs Director

Three-Five Systems (TFS) announces that it has named Leslie Honda to the newly created post of regulatory affairs director.

Looking Forward to Day 2

This is the fifth in a series of articles about APEX, held January 22-24, 2002 in San Diego. It provides a guide to the activities of the second day of the show.

Looking Forward to Day 1

This is the third in a series of articles about APEX, held January 22-24, 2002 in San Diego. It provides a guide to activities taking place during the first day of the show.

Process Control for Solder Paste Deposition

The authors review solder paste inspection, the sensor technologies used to acquire 2-D/3-D inspection and measurement data, methods of using measurement data to identify problems and solutions, and guidance on developing an AOI strategy.
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