Article Highlights
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The Importance of Product Testing for Quality, Reliability and Durability
01/17/2018 | Patty Rasmussen, East West Manufacturing
Assigning IDs Within the Internet of Things
01/16/2018 | Hubertus Grobbel, Swissbit AG
Improving Design, Manufacturing and Assembly Teamwork
01/15/2018 | Syrma Technology
Tips & Tricks: Assembly Panelization
01/12/2018 | Ken Horky, Peterson Manufacturing

Latest Articles

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 BeagleBoard.org. 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 — Electronics.ca 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.

China Grants P. KAY Metal’s MS2 Patent

The President of MS2 and one of the inventors, Larry Kay stated, "We are gratified that China has recognized the uniqueness of our process. We trust that the international community of electronic assemblers will honor these patents in China and throughout the world as they are issued globally."

Semicon China: Asymtek Looks to Retain Leadership Position in Chinese Market

Asymtek was the first company to bring jetting technology into the industry, and the first to bring it into the Chinese market. Find out from Greater China General Manager Frank Wang how his company is fending off domestic fast followers and used equipment vendors while developing new jetting applications for multiple end uses.

Upcoming Boston Technical Events

(March 20, 2009) BOSTON — The SMTA Boston Chapter will cohost a technical presentation with IMAPS on April 21, preceding the opening of the SMTA Boston Academy, April 22-23. SMTA/IMAPS will present "Manufacturing & Reliability Challenges with QFN Packages in Pb and Pb-Free Environments." The Boston Academy will include seven courses on SMT, packages and components, PCBs, and lead-free and REACH.

IPC's David Bergman on China's New Re-Flow Oven Standard

Standards translation has been going on for a long time inside China. But a new reflow oven standard will be the first one developed in China and translated for the rest of the world.

Scientists Research Tin Pest and Whiskers

(March 17, 2009) LONDON — Scientists at the National Physical Laboratory (NPL) in the U.K. will begin research on lead-free solder alloys, specifically how dangerous tin pest and tin whiskers affect lead-free assemblies. NPL received funding from BERR and is looking for industry partners in the research.

Sunburst Prepares for Growth: Adds Capacity and Production Capabilities

"Sunburst's latest capital equipment investment reflects our commitment to meeting the changing technology needs of our customers in high-reliability electronics industries. Additionally, this investment is part of Sunburst's strategy to proactively plan for growth slated for 2009 and beyond."

New Services and Capabilities: Board Fab to LED Attach

EMS providers and PCB fabs announced new capabilities on their lists of services, including Molex's automated LED bonding capabilities, NBS's ITAR registration, Sunburst's added placement range, and Electronic Interconnect's SMT PCB design and manufacturing services. Also, TechBridge Solutions formed to offer low-cost electrical engineering and PCB layout.


IPC APEX Expo Preview: Innovative Technology Center, Task Groups, and More

(March 10, 2009) BANNOCKBURN, Ill. — IPC — Association Connecting Electronics Industries' 2009 IPC APEX EXPO, March 31–April 2, 2009, at the Mandalay Bay Resort & Convention Center in Las Vegas, will host meetings, task groups, presentations, and the Innovative Technology Center (ITC) to showcase pressing issues and new ideas for electronics assembly.

1800 DINGGUY and Photo Stencil Develop Stencil Repair Technology

(March 9, 2009) COLORADO SPRINGS, CO — Damage to stencils occurs from dropping something on the surface such as squeegee blades or print cartridges to bumping the print area during storage. This can occur frequently on the production floor and during preparations for a product run. 1800 DINGGUY and Photo Stencil created a technique to repair creases, dents, and other coining. Users can perform the repairs themselves on-site.

IPC Issues Call to Action on RoHS

(March 6, 2009) BANNOCKBURN, IL — IPC — Association Connecting Electronics Industries issued a call for assemblers and electronics companies creating products for the EU market to weigh in on the proposed changes to RoHS. Proposed revisions could make exemptions more difficult to obtain and add compliance requirements, such as eliminating TBBPA.

Universal Instruments Corporate Update: No Sale

(March 6, 2009) BINGHAMTON, NY — Amid published rumors of a possible sale or investor change, Universal Instruments Corporation (UIC) representatives stated that the company is not being sold or bought out, but has made some changes to better adapt to changes in the global economy. Patriarch Partners LLC, which has been an investor in the equipment company since 2006, increased its presence.

Orpro Vision Acquiring Orbotech's Assembly AOI Business

(March 2, 2009) HAMELN, Germany — Orbotech Ltd has signed an agreement to sell its European and American assembly business (automated optical inspection — AOI systems) to the Italian company Orpro Services s.r.l that belongs to Fin.Pro S.p.A., beginning this April. Orpro Services will operate the business as an independent company under the name Orpro Vision with headquarters in Hameln.

January PCB Book-to-Bill Drops to 0.89

(March 2, 2009) BANNOCKBURN, IL — IPC — Association Connecting Electronics Industries saw its January findings from the monthly North American Printed Circuit Board (PCB) Statistical Program drop for rigid and flex PCBs. Flex circuits and rigid PCBs combined hit a book-to-bill ratio of 0.89, with flex staying fairly strong but rigid PCBs dipping significantly year-over-year.

Incap's 2008 Revenue Up 13% YoY

Incap Group's revenue amounted to approximately EUR 93.9 million, 13% higher than the previous year (2007: EUR 83.0 million). Because of tight competition on the contract manufacturing market, great pressure was directed at sales margins. However, the price level of certain products could be increased through price adjustments agreed upon with the customers.

Zuken Intros 3D Modeling

(February 25, 2009) MUNICH, Germany; and WESTFORD, MA — Zuken collaborated with Mechatronics to enhance cooperation in electronics and mechanical designs, enabling parallel MCAD/ECAD design via the Board Modeler software tool. Board Modeler docks in Zuken's electronic systems and PCB design suite CR-5000.

Highlights: IPC/JEDEC Lead-free Conference

(February 23, 2009) BANNOCKBURN, IL — Werner Engelmaier and SMT Editorial Advisory Board members Ray Prasad and Jennie Hwang, Ph.D., are among the technical experts examining critical issues for lead-free implementation, process, and reliability in workshops held at the IPC/JEDEC "Transitioning to Lead Free — Strategies for Implementation" conference in Santa Clara, CA., March 3–5.

Passive Electronic Components: World Market Outlook

(February 23, 2009) MONTREAL — The Paumanok Publications research group of Electronics.ca Publications released a report on the passives market, considering capacitors, resistors, and inductors, and the components' materials. The report was designed for end-users of passive electronic components that need to update their supply chain information for passive parts on an annual basis.


Take the iNEMI Survey on Boundary Scan Adoption

(February 20, 2009) HERNDON, VA — The International Electronics Manufacturing Initiative (iNEMI) is surveying the electronics industry to gauge the current adoption rate of boundary scan and identify any impediments to widespread use.

Participate in IPC Midwest

(February 20, 2009) BANNOCKBURN, IL — IPC — Association Connecting Electronics Industries issued a call for participation for the IPC Midwest Conference & Exhibition, September 23–24, 2009 in Schaumburg, IL. The conference will be held on September 23 and professional development courses will take place on September 24.

Rapid Tooling Intros SMT Print Tooling Services

(February 20, 2009) PLANO, TX — Rapid Tooling Inc. now provides SMT Print Tooling services. Dedicated tooling eliminates set up variation, reduces change over time, and reduces defects.

Dispensing at the SMD Technique Independent of Viscosity

Methods for automatic compensation and correction of changed characteristics at dispensing.

IPC APEX Expo Preview: Technical Courses and Tutorials

(February 17, 2009) BANNOCKBURN, Ill. — IPC — Association Connecting Electronics Industries is preparing for the 2009 IPC APEX EXPO, March 31–April 2, 2009, at the Mandalay Bay Resort & Convention Center in Las Vegas. In total, 35 sessions with nearly 100 papers will present the industry's leading research and findings to stimulate new thinking and inspire the next generation of innovation.

Reverse Trend in Regional Sourcing: IPC

(February 13, 2009) BANNOCKBURN, IL — In a survey conducted by IPC, 42% of responding companies cited changes in their customers' sourcing patterns from Asia back to North America or Europe in the past two years. Executives and marketing professionals at EMS, PCB, and supplier companies in North America and Europe were polled for the survey during November 2008.

Ernst & Young Report on Supply Chain Management

(February 10, 2009) HOUSTON — Ernst & Young released a report, "Global Supply Chain: Balancing Cost Reduction and Performance Improvement," which includes responses from 250 supply executives from global companies. Ernst & Young assert that the slower economy demands increased supply chain efficiency.

Heraeus Intros No-clean Tin/lead Solder Paste

(February 10, 2009) WEST CONSHOHOCKEN, PA — Heraeus released a tin/lead solder paste, F377, the result of a two-year development cycle that employed early customer involvement and design for Six Sigma tools. Formulated as a completely new platform, F377 surpasses performance benchmarks by using modern raw materials statistically proven in real-world testing to produce the most desirable and stable results.

IPC Midwest Looks for Speakers

(February 10, 2009) BANNOCKBURN, IL — IPC Midwest, September 23–24, 2009, in Schaumburg, IL, is recruiting paper presentations and classes in various aspects of PCB design and electronics assembly. Abstracts are due by April 14 to IPC — Association Connecting Electronics Industries.

Lead-Free Educational Seminars at SMTA Academy in Anaheim

DfR Solutions CEO Dr. Craig Hilllman speaks with EMS007 Editor Steve Gold about his two courses being presented at the SMTA Academy in Anaheim, California this week. The seminars will cover lead-free regulations that impact medical electronics manufacture, as well as failure mechanisms that are unique to lead-free electronics.


Henkel's Achievements Internationally Recognized

For Henkel, sustainability means ensuring that the company meets the needs of society and the requirements of its stakeholders--without jeopardizing the development opportunities of future generations--both through its brands and technologies and in its role as an employer.

Agilent Focuses on Test, Sheds AOI/AXI Inspection Units

(February 9, 2009) SANTA CLARA, CA — Agilent Technologies Inc. will exit the automated optical (AOI) and automated X-ray inspection (AXI) systems business, effective in March 2009. Company representatives cited a longer-term business strategy to focus on electronic test, referring to electronics test as a core competency for Agilent.

Viscom X7056 AOI/AXI Expanded PCB Size Range

(February 6, 2009) DULUTH, GA — Viscom released a new version of the X7056RL, adding support for larger PCB sizes up to 24 × 20". The inspection system performs automatic optical inspection (AOI) and automated X-ray inspection (AXI) simultaneously. This is designed to improve throughput and increase detection of hidden defects, according to the company.

Aqueous Acquires AAT's MicroJet Defluxing Systems

(February 4, 2009) RANCHO CUCAMONGA, CA — Aqueous Technologies Corp. has acquired all marketing, sales/distribution, and service rights for the MicroJet family of conveyorized (in-line) defluxing systems manufactured by Austin American Technology in Burnet, TX.

Bliss Industries to Host Silicon Valley Chapter SMTA Meeting

"Bliss Industries has been a member of the SMTA for many years and it is our turn to contribute to this great organization by hosting a meeting and working to increase membership in the chapter," said Ken Bliss CEO & VP Manufacturing, Bliss Industries, Inc.

January Manufacturing ISM Report On Business

(February 3, 2009) TEMPE, AZ — Economic activity in the manufacturing sector failed to grow in January for the 12th consecutive month, and the overall economy contracted for the fourth consecutive month, say the nation's supply executives in the latest Manufacturing ISM Report On Business.

Consumer, Automotive Electronics Drop

(February 2, 2009) LOS ALTOS, CA — Henderson Ventures reports that the consumer electronics sector, excluding cell phones and computers, will face declines in 2009. Game consoles will be a bright spot, however. Automotive electronics will continue to fall globally in 2009, moving into negative territory. Slumping vehicle demand and price pressures are to blame, Henderson asserts.

IPC December PCB Results: Book-to-Bill Ratios Dip

(February 2, 2009) BANNOCKBURN, IL — IPC released the December findings from its monthly North American PCB Statistical Program, showing that the rigid PCB book-to-bill and the total industry book-to-bill ratios fell to about 0.90. Flex circuits showed a jump to above 1.00. The rigid circuits book-to-bill has been below parity for nine months, reflecting stagnant growth, said IPC president Denny McGuirk. The 2008 numbers showed a 1% gain over 2007.

SMTA Announces Certification Dates and Locations for 2009

The SMTA Certification program is unique, as it recognizes and certifies the entire SMT assembly process at an engineering level. The 2009 offerings span the U.S. and are also offered internationally in Canada and China.

DNP Develops Slim Leadframe

(January 29, 2009) TOKYO — Dai Nippon Printing Co. Ltd. (DNP) developed a package leadframe to slim down the semiconductor package mounted on electronic devices. The leadframe enables known good die (KGD) semiconductor packaging with a thickness of 0.15 mm, using precision plating processes.


Flextronics Announces Third Quarter Results, Takes Nortel Charge

During the quarter the company recognized a distressed customer charge of approximately $145 million associated with the filing for bankruptcy by Nortel. This charge is comprised of $47 million of provisions for pre-bankruptcy accounts receivable and $98 million for the write-down of inventory.

Sparton Strengthens Leadership Team

Sparton Corporation announces that it has appointed three new members to its leadership team to help strengthen the company's financial and operational performance.

Advisory Board Update: Harald Wack named President of ZESTRON Worldwide

(January 27, 2009) MANASSAS, VA — ZESTRON appointed Harald Wack, Ph.D., to president of ZESTRON's worldwide operations, taking over for his father O.K. Wack, Ph.D. Harald Wack is an SMT Editorial Advisory Board member and has led ZESTRON America for the past seven years.

Proposed RoHS Revisions Released

(January 27, 2009) BRUSSELS, Belgium — The European Union (EU) Commission released its review of the RoHS Directive without any additional banned substances. The Commission does not intend to add Tetrabromobisphenol (a) (TBBPA) as an additional substance to be monitored or restricted under RoHS.

Surface Mount Transistor Sockets Join Mill-Max's Thru-hole Line

(January 27, 2009) OYSTER BAY, NY — TO-5 and TO-100 transistor sockets target easy field insertion and removal. Inside each transistor socket are brass alloy receptacles assembled with a Mill-Max, four-finger #30 contact.

SMTA Adds Technical Committee Members

(January 26, 2009) MINNEAPOLIS — The SMTA announced nine new members to the distinguished technical committee, which assembles the SMTA International (SMTAI) conference. Planning is underway for the SMTAI 2009 event, October 4–8, 2009 in San Diego, CA.

STI Offers IPC-7711/7721B CIT and CIS Training Courses

(January 26, 2009) MADISON, AL — STI Electronics Inc. will now provide IPC-7711/7721B CIT and CIS training courses, which were beta tested in the U.S. and Europe.

Counterfeit Component Photographic Guide Now Available

The 10-page Counterfeit Component Photographic Guide was originally produced to accompany the Practical Failure Analysis Workshops run jointly with ITRI in St. Albans, UK. The photographic guide is ideal as a reference source to reduce the impact of counterfeit components and is provided as an Acrobat pdf file.

APEX Update: Designers Summit and Management Meetings

(January 23, 2009) LAS VEGAS — IPC — Association Connecting Electronics Industries released descriptions for several of the major events at IPC Printed Circuits Expo/APEX/Designers Summit, March 30 to April 2 in Las Vegas. The PCB Executive Management Meeting, EMS Management Council Meeting, and Designers Summit are detailed.

Get Ready for APEX: Preview of Technical Sessions and Noteworthy Events

(January 19, 2009) LAS VEGAS — IPC's flagship tradeshow and conference for the electronics industry, IPC Printed Circuits Expo/APEX/Designers Summit, is scheduled to take place March 31 to April 2 at the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas. These are some of the technical presentations, keynotes, and panels to attend while at the show.


Benchmark Electronics Announces Strategic Alliance with Cray

Benchmark Electronics, Inc. announced today that, through a joint effort with Cray Inc., it helped support Cray in its efforts to deliver a supercomputer system for Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee which set a new world record for computer speed. The system sustained performance of over a petaflop (a quadrillion mathematical calculations per second) on two scientific applications.

NBS Acquiring CA-based EMS/Mechanical Provider

(January 15, 2009) SANTA CLARA, CA — NBS began proceedings to acquire CompServ, an electronic/mechanical services provider. CompServ specializes in engineering builds, quick-turn production, and volume manufacturing. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Flextronics Gives Update Following Nortel Bankruptcy Announcement

"Flextronics has been working to reduce its exposure to Nortel for some time now. During our November 2008 Analyst and Investor Meeting, I discussed in detail that Flextronics has organizationally aligned its operating and capital resources in such a way to mitigate the impact of business changes of any one customer," said Mike McNamara, Flextronics CEO.

Bretthauer Appointed CEO of LPKF Laser & Electronics

(January 13, 2009) GARBSEN, Germany — The supervisory board of LPKF Laser & Electronics AG has appointed Ingo Bretthauer, Ph.D., as CEO of LPKF AG beginning Februrary 1, 2009. Bretthauer will serve with current board members Bernd Lange and Kai Bentz. He will focus on global sales.

SMTA Calls for SMTAI, IWLPC, and Other Conference Presenters

(January 12, 2009) MINNEAPOLIS — The Surface Mount Technology Association (SMTA) is accepting abstracts for several of its 2009 technical and educational programs, including The International Conference on Soldering & Reliability, the AIMS Harsh Environment Electronics Symposium, SMTA International (SMTAI), and the International Wafer-Level Packaging Conference (IWLPC).

SMT Equipment Global Strategic Business Report

(January 9, 2009) DUBLIN — Research and Markets released a report analyzing the worldwide markets for SMT equipment, including screen printers; placement equipment; reflow and wave soldering systems; cleaning equipment; optical, X-ray, and laser inspection machines; and repair and rework equipment.

iNEMI Collaborates with Industry on Environment

(January 9, 2009) HERNDON, VA — iNEMI is organizing new initiatives to address environmental issues. iNEMI sponsored forums in 2008 to focus on strategic environmental topics for the electronics industry. In response to this input, iNEMI has identified and is developing new collaborative efforts.

R&D Initiatives Boost Flex Electronics

(January 8, 2009) LONDON — Frost & Sullivan reports that the flexible electronics industry is set to bring about changes in the design and conceptualization of electronics devices in the consumer, medical, and military sectors. The emerging field has implications in reducing costs owing to printed manufacturing techniques developed for volume production.

IPC Updates PCB and Laminate Report

(January 6, 2009) BANNOCKBURN, IL — IPC issued its "World PCB Production and Laminate Report for the Year 2007," presenting the PCB production and laminate market by region and product type worldwide. Highlights include an overview of the PCB industry, production details by region, special analysis of flexible printed boards, laminate market details by region, and historical trends in worldwide PCB production.

Report: World PCB Automatic Test Equipment Markets

(January 6, 2009) DUBLIN — Research and Markets released "World Printed Circuit Board Automatic Test Equipment Markets 2008," detailing the worldwide markets for automatic test equipment. This research service focuses on ATE used by the electronics industries: in-circuit test (ICT), functional test (FT), boundary scan, and manufacturing defect analyzers (MDAs).


Valor Acquires PCB Matrix

(January 6, 2009) YAVNE, Israel — Valor Computerized Systems acquired the assets of PCB Matrix Corporation, a provider of EDA library generation tools for both land pattern and schematic symbols. Valor will expand its PCB design software line with the purchase, adding land pattern and schematic symbol generation.

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.

WKK Technology Signs License Agreement with Nihon Superior

Wong Kong King (WKK) Technology Ltd. is pleased to announce that it recently signed a license agreement with Nihon Superior for the right of manufacturing and selling of the lead-free solder, SN100C, in China.

Silicone-Free Interface Material for High Thermal Conductivity

(December 30, 2008) MAHWAH, N.J. — MH&W International introduced Keratherm U 90 thermal interface material (TIM) for use where contamination concerns prohibit the use of silicone-based thermal pads, but where high levels of thermal conductivity are needed for sufficient thermal transfer in hot electronic devices.

Jabil Signs Manufacturing Supply Agreement with Day4 Energy

Under the terms of the multi-year agreement, Jabil will purchase from Day4 Energy certain equipment required for the manufacture and supply of the modules and produce Day4 Energy's brand of modules for residential and commercial applications.

Book-to-bill Hovers below 1.00 in November

(December 29, 2008) BANNOCKBURN, Ill. — IPC announced that the combined rigid and flex PCB book-to-bill ratio dipped slightly in November, hitting 0.94. The ratio has hovered below parity since a two-month stretch in March and April 2008, where it hit 1.01.

Flexible Circuit Advocate, Timothy Meehan, Passes

(December 29, 2008) SAN FRANCISCO — Tim Meehan, president of Eclectic Technologies Inc., a flexible circuit consulting firm, passed away. Meehan helped promote, develop, and expand flexible circuit technology. He was among the first to promote and extol to flex circuit manufacturers the advantages of adhesive-less flexible base materials.

MYDATA Debuts MYTRACE Traceability Software

(December 26, 2008) STOCKHOLM — MYDATA released MYTrace traceability software, which quickly and simply traces mounted components to PCBs. It is designed to reduce time and resources dedicated to tracking components in a facility.

LaBarge Acquires Pensar Electronic Solutions LLC

LaBarge expects Pensar's management and employees to stay with the company. Pensar's single facility in Appleton will become part of the LaBarge organization and will begin operating immediately under the name LaBarge, led by General Manager David Steel who formerly served as president of Pensar.

The Shaughnessy Report: Hillman on Avoiding PCB Design Failures

Today, designing a reliable PCB is tougher than ever. But Dr. Craig Hillman, CEO of DfR Solutions, is taking designing for reliability to a new level. Craig discusses common PCB design failures and ways to avoid them, as well as the physics of failure.


Research and Markets Releases Flexible PCB Report

(December 18, 2008) DUBLIN — Research and Markets put out a report on the market for flex circuits, titled, "Total World Flexible Printed Circuit Board Market." The study covers challenges to the flex PCB industry, drivers, restraints, product segments, technology trends, and other elements.

Worldwide EMS Will Grow, at a Slower Pace

(December 17, 2008) FRAMINGHAM, Mass. — Following two years of double-digit revenue growth — 20% in 2006 and 16% in 2007 — the worldwide EMS industry (including ODMs) is expected to end 2008 with growth of 9.3%, reaching $291 billion in revenues, according to research firm IDC. In 2009, IDC expects the EMS industry to grow by 7.8%, assuming demand for electronics does not fall farther than expected.

Equipment Services Debuts SMT Feeder Calibration, Repair, Refurbishment Services

(December 16, 2008) BENICIA, Calif. — Equipment Services LLC (ESL) began offering complete SMT feeder calibration, repair, and refurbishment services. The company cites losses in production time, machine operation, and replacement feeder expenses caused by malfunctioning or improperly calibrated feeders. The service also is designed to improve lean manufacturing operations.

P. Kay Metal Discusses Partnership, New MS2 Application

Dan Feinberg and Larry Kay, of P. Kay Metals, welcome Michael Carano, of OMG Electronic Chemicals, as a major new distribution partner for the company's proprietary dross elimination technology. The group discusses this new partnership and announces plans to introduce MS2 for the HASL process.

SMART Group Elects Bryant as New Chairman

At a committee meeting held December 3, 2008, Keith Bryant, European Sales Manager of Dage X-Ray Systems, was elected Chairman of SMART Group, taking over the position from outgoing Chairman, Paul Salmon.

Techcon Debuts IMP Dispensing Valve

(December 9, 2008) GARDEN GROVE, Calif. — Techcon Systems, a product group of OK International, introduced the TS7000 interchangeable material path (IMP) series rotary valve. It is designed with no dead fluid volume, field replaceable feed screw/cartridge assembly, interchangeable with TS5000DMP feed screw auger inserts, flexible motor, syringe, and a needle mounting option.

Nujira Enters Production Contract with Sanmina-SCI

Oliver Digel of Sanmina-SCI said, "Nujira is an exciting venture because it has a solution that delivers both environmental and business benefits to cellular network and broadcast transmitter operators at a time when they are renewing their infrastructure."

EU-wide REACH Enforcement Project Coordinated

(December 8, 2008) HELSINKI — The Forum for Exchange of Information on Enforcement held an early December meeting in Helsinki to discuss enforcement of REACH in EU member states after the end of the pre-registration period. The Forum adopted the project manual for the first coordinated REACH enforcement project which will be carried out in 2009.

Printing Electronics Report

(December 8, 2008) BOSTON — IDTechEx published a report, "Printing Electronics Sharply Improves Performance," by Peter Harrop, Ph.D., chairman, outlining the advantages of thin films over traditional electronics. Self-powered electronics is progressing rapidly as use of thin films, increasingly printed, improves performance by ten to one hundred times, states Harrop.

IPC-9252A Specifies Requirements for Electrical Testing of Unpopulated PCBs

(December 5, 2008) BANNOCKBURN, Ill. — IPC released IPC-9252A, "Requirements for Electrical Testing of Unpopulated Printed Boards." Developed by the IPC Electrical Continuity Testing Task Group, Revision A is a complete rewrite of the original standard. It defines levels of appropriate testing and assists in the selection of the test analyzer, test parameters, test data, and fixturing required to perform electrical testing on unpopulated printed boards and innerlayers.


Federal Electronics Receives ITAR Registration

Federal Electronics, Inc. has received official International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) registration from the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Political-Military Affairs, certifying the company's dedication to adhering to regulations controlling the export and import of defense-related articles and services.

Fitch Ratings: 2009 Concerns for U.S. Technology

(December 4, 2008) NEW YORK — Fitch Ratings put out its outlook for a majority of U.S. information technology (IT) sectors as negative for 2009. Sectors such as EMS and IT distributors will be affected by an economic downturn from a profitability standpoint, but this decline has historically been offset by working capital improvements, Fitch asserts.

Centipede, Topline Partner on Test

(December 4, 2008) SAN JOSE, Calif. — Centipede Systems, manufacturer of connectors and sockets for electrical test, is partnering with TopLine to develop a cost-effective test evaluation tool. Centipede and TopLine will produce evaluation kits for alternative contactor technologies aimed at high-performance burn-in test for semiconductor devices.

Manncorp Debuts Benchtop Production Line

(December 2, 2008) SAN DIEGO, Calif. and WILLOW GROVE, Pa. — The "Starter Lab" turnkey line from Manncorp targets low-cost precision prototyping or low-volume SMT assembly. It also is used by technical schools and colleges. The line includes a precision stencil printer, a computer-controlled pick-and-place unit and a lead-free reflow oven.

Research Report: EMS Rankings in Europe

(December 2, 2008) MONTREAL — Electronics.ca Publications released "The European EMS Industry: An Analysis of the Top 50 European EMS Providers," providing an overview of the major European EMS providers. The report serves companies across the electronics supply chain including industry analysts from the financial, management, and government sectors.

Avnet Acquires Nippon Denso Industry

Harley Feldberg, global president of Avnet Electronics Marketing, commented, "This acquisition expands our presence and enhances our competitive position in one of the world's largest markets for electronic components." The transaction, which is expected to close by December 29, 2008, should be immediately accretive to earnings and supports Avnet's return on capital goals.

Participate in APEX 2009

Henderson Evaluates Computer Sector

(December 1, 2008) LOS ALTOS, Calif. — Modest PC prospects are forecast for 2009, according to the Henderson Forecast Summary from Henderson Ventures. The analyst firm also sees falling average selling prices (ASPs) as one reason for shrinking computer revenues in 2009.

Saki To Acquire MacroScience to Expand AOI and X-ray

(December 1, 2008) Japan and Hong Kong — Japanese AOI manufacturer Saki Corporation signed a sale and purchase agreement with Schmidt Electronics, an Asia-Pacific conglomerate of advanced electronics and IT technology, acquiring a percentage in MacroScience Technology Limited (MSTL). Saki hopes to add X-ray technology to its inspection portfolio via the acquisition.

Nepcon China Moves to Shanghai World Expo Venue in 2011

In 2011, the NEPCON China Exhibition will be held at the Shanghai World Expo Venue (WEV). This new venue will offer exhibitors and visitors unparalleled facilities--unlike any other electronics industry event in the region.


October PCB Results Maintain Level

(November 25, 2008) BANNOCKBURN, Ill. — IPC — Association Connecting Electronics Industries announced that the book-to-bill for rigid PCBs dropped incrementally to 0.95; the overall PCB book-to-bill results for North America in October 2008 rose slightly to 0.96. Rigid PCB orders and shipments declined a bit more than normal in October, due to weakening demand, but year-to-date growth over last year is positive, and the flexible circuit segment showed strong growth in October.

WYTAN to Merge with View Systems

Gunther Than, CEO of View Systems, says, "View's cutting-edge technologies and new products in development paired with WYTAN's manufacturing, assembly expertise and comprehensive engineering experience in the electronics industry will yield a beneficial partnership."

Sono-Tek Presents Ultrasonic Atomization Technology

(November 24, 2008) MILTON, N.Y. — Sono-Tek debuted two ultrasonic systems for dispensing and depositing nano materials on target substrates to the nanotechnology market, targeting use on aerospace, homeland security, energy, biomedicine, and electronics manufacturing applications.

electronica 2008 Highlights

(November 20, 2008) MUNICH, Germany — electronica 2008 attendance was stable this year despite the difficult financial situation facing many exhibitors and attendees, reported event coordinators Messe München International (MMI). Of the 2,800 exhibitors, 58% were international. Around 72,000 people attended.

Simclar Announces Revenue Drop

The decrease was mainly due to the worsening global economic environment which has particularly impacted the telecommunications infrastructure sector which accounts for some 60% of the company's business. In addition, the previously reported production problems in the Mexican facility had an adverse impact on shipments in each of the two quarters.

Essemtec Premiers Pick-and-place for 3D-MID

(November 19, 2008) AESCH, Switzerland — Essemtec developed a system to dispense and place in three dimensions, targeting 3D-MID technology. Molded interconnected device (MID) applications are the current focus of the automotive and medical device industries. In such products, circuits are applied directly onto the surface of injection-molded plastic parts or are integrated as part of products. In a 3D-MID, SMD components typically are on multiple levels.

A.C.E. Opens Selective Soldering Development Lab

(November 19, 2008) SPOKANE, Wash. — To promote better selective soldering results from proper equipment usage and process development for products, A.C.E. Production Technologies established its Selective Soldering Process Development Lab. The company is using knowledge accumulated by its process development engineers for challenging assemblies.

Stoelting Approves Compatibility with ZESTRON Cleaning Agents

(November 19, 2008) MANASSAS, Va. — Stoelting and ZESTRON completed material compatibility testing for cleaning equipment and products, conducted with the CBW Series, the TRITON in-line cleaning equipment, as well as the stand-alone wash system and Liquid Lock. At various concentrations and temperatures, compatibility existed between all wetted parts, which are exposed directly to VIGON and ATRON cleaning agents.

Sanmina-SCI California Facility Receives AS9100 Aerospace Certification

"Earning the AS9100 certification at our Livermore facility highlights Sanmina-SCI's commitment to its defense and aerospace customers," said Jim Cocke, Senior Vice President of Sanmina-SCI's Defense and Aerospace Systems Division.

XDry Adds Staff, Workspace

(November 18, 2008) LAS VEGAS — XDry Corporation opened a new facility in Montreal to support sales and service in the Americas. This brings separate managed warehousing, inspection, and testing facilities for its desiccant dry cabinets together. Coupled with the change XDry appointed a warehouse manager and office manager.


Mouser Launches European Catalog and Websites

(November 18, 2008) MANSFIELD, Texas — Mouser Electronics Inc. debuted a European components and boards catalog initially available in English and German with other languages to follow. The company concurrently took live local Web domains, soon to be launched in local languages.

IPC Releases Free Land Pattern Calculator

(November 17, 2008) BANNOCKBURN, Ill. — To help PCB designers work with greater accuracy and efficiency, IPC — Association Connecting Electronics Industries partnered with PCB Matrix Corp. to include a free Land Pattern Calculator with IPC-7351A, "Generic Requirements for Surface Mount Design and Land Pattern Standard."

Closed-loop Preheater Control for Linear Ramp Profile, Selective Soldering Control

(November 17, 2008) STRATHAM, N.H. — Preheating an assembly prior to selective soldering aids good soldering results, Vitronics Soltec asserts. Preheating must be controlled so that each assembly reaches the specified preheat temperature at a measurable and linear ramp rate. Vitronics Soltec released the mySelective 6748 with closed-loop preheater management feature to control board preheating dwell time and temperature for board- to-board repeatability and optimized process control.

Adeptron Reports Profitable 3Q08 Results

The company reported that third quarter sales increased by $1,456,000 or 18% over the third quarter of 2007 to $9,636,000. Gross margin improved to 15.5% compared to 10.5% for the same period last year.

Kitron's 3Q08 Revenue Up 24% YoY

Kitron's revenue in the third quarter was 24% higher than in the same period in 2007 and amounted to NOK 483.7 million (NOK 390.2 million). The company reports that revenue increased the most within the Defence/Marine, Data/Telecom and Industry segments.

Lean, Mean Dual-Lane Machines

Twenty-first century electronic manufacturing is transitioning from lean to mean, as assemblers demand multiple techniques to reduce cycle times and maximise utilisation, while also boosting flexibility.

Advice for Reducing Material Waste

(November 11, 2008) NEW YORK — David R. Butcher from Industrial Market Trends, Thomas Publishing Company, outlines the industrial manufacturing world's response to energy costs and the price of raw materials. He notes that rising costs on both fronts have made 93% of midsized manufacturers nervous about raw materials costs, and 67% are worried about energy costs.

IPC Releases REACH Guidebook

Seika Intros SAWA Ultrasonic Stencil Cleaner

(November 11, 2008) TORRANCE, Calif. — Seika Machinery Inc. launched the SC-5000 tabletop ultrasonic stencil and misprint cleaner as part of its SAWA platform of products. The system features cleaning head, generator, foot pedal, 32 × 32" tray and 30 foam pads.

Sparton Disappointed with 1Q Fiscal 2009 Sales

Richard Langley, Interim CEO and President, stated that, "We are disappointed at the lower than expected sales. We are very pleased with the successful and consistent execution of the sonobuoy contracts this year, as well as the increase in the Aerospace sales and favorable forecast for future sales in the Medical market as well."


Cooper Tools Debuts Soldering Tip Recycling

(November 10, 2008) APEX, N.C. — Cooper Tools created a recycling program for worn-out soldering tips. By recycling the copper and iron from used tips, end users will benefit the environment and preserve natural resources. For every two pounds of worn-out tips turned in for recycling, Cooper Tools offers a voucher toward new Weller tips. Any brand of soldering or desoldering tip is eligible.

ACI Hosts Free Nanotechnology Workshop

(November 10, 2008) PHILADELPHIA — The American Competiveness Institute (ACI) will host "Competing in the 21st Century: The Nanotechnology Edge," November 12 at ACI in Philadelphia. Stephen J. Fonash, Ph.D., founding director of the Penn State Nanofabrication Facility, a national R&D user facility and one of the charter institutions of the National Science Foundation's (NSF) National Nanotechnology Infrastructure Network (NNIN), will speak.

TFI Discusses Success Sharing

(November 7, 2008) ALAMEDA, Calif. — Technology Forecasters Inc.'s Kent Romanoff, environment strategic business advisor, posted a blog on success sharing, a financial arrangement whereby the business that has been engaged to provide a mission-critical product or service shares the risk of failure and the benefits of success with the company that is purchasing these services.

EMS Business to Stay Afloat During Recession

The global electronics contract manufacturing business will not escape the impact of the current economic downturn, but it will continue to expand and even experience a mild rebound in three years, according to iSuppli Corporation.

DuPont Teijin Films Joins Holst Centre Systems-in-Foil Research Program

(November 6, 2008) EINDHOVEN, the Netherlands — DuPont Teijin Films joined the systems-in-foil program of Holst Centre, a research initiative of the Flemish and Dutch research centers IMEC and TNO. DuPont Teijin, as a major substrate vendor, completes the ecosystem of industrial players for its systems-in-foil program line.

October Manufacturing Report: Electronics Sectors Grow

(November 4, 2008) TEMPE, Ariz. — Economic activity in the manufacturing sector failed to grow in October for the third consecutive month, and the overall economy concluded 83 consecutive months of growth, say the Institute for Supply Management (ISM) in "Manufacturing ISM Report On Business." Computer and electronic products was one of only two sectors to show growth. Contraction was reported in other industries such as paper products and fabricated metal industries.

Advisory Board Update: Dr. Hwang Joins RNT Board

(November 4, 2008) HUNT VALLEY, Md. — Reactive NanoTechnologies Inc. (RNT), a developer and manufacturer of a foil to control release of heat energy for advanced joining applications, appointed Jennie S. Hwang, Ph.D., to serve on the RNT Board of Advisors. In this role, Hwang will advise RNT on technical and business matters in the electronics assembly industry.

IPC Partners With Auto Industry on IPC-A-610D

(November 3, 2008) BANNOCKBURN, Ill. — In response to numerous inquiries from the automotive industry, IPC — Association Connecting Electronics Industries will host a meeting with European automotive industry leaders including Porsche, Volvo, and Volkswagen to investigate adding automotive-specific requirements for electronics used in cars, trucks, and military vehicles to IPC-A-610D, "Acceptability of Electronic Assemblies."

Florida CirTech Debuts Improved ENIG Processes

(November 3, 2008) GREELEY, Colo. — Genesis Materials Technology (GMT) improved the ENIG resistance of Florida CirTech's water-based AQ2000 LPI solder mask. AQ2000 LPI now is able to withstand the harsh chemical conditions found in the ENIG process. Florida CirTech additionally released a catalyst killer, CK300, to minimize skip and background plating during ENIG processing.

Henderson Report: Handset Growth to Slump

(October 31, 2008) LOS ALTOS, Calif. — The Henderson Forecast Summary from Henderson Ventures shows mobile handsets suffering from limited new-user pools and economic fears in the consumer sector throughout 2009. Rebounding financial markets in 2010 will fuel near-10% growth.


Changing the Future

If you know what the future will bring, you can change it. That was the theme of Herbert Meyer's keynote address as he kicked off the IPC Executive Market Technology Forum at the Gaylord Palms Hotel in Orlando, Florida.

SMTAI 2009 Call for Papers

(October 30, 2008) SAN DIEGO, Calif. — SMTA is inviting the industry to submit papers for the technical conference of SMTA International (SMTAI), October 4–8, 2009, in San Diego. Abstracts are due to the SMTA by March 27, 2009, for paper presentations, half-day courses, and full-day courses.

Business Objects, Valor Partner for Dashboard Solution

(October 28, 2008) YAVNE, Israel — Software provider Valor Computerized Systems will enable its customers to monitor their manufacturing operations in real-time through dashboards linked directly to the manufacturing floor. The new capability is enabled by integrating technology from Business Objects.

September PCB Book-to-Bill Stays at 0.95

(October 27, 2008) BANNOCKBURN, Ill. — IPC — Association Connecting Electronics Industries announced the September findings from its monthly North American Printed Circuit Board (PCB) Statistical Program. "Orders and shipments in September showed the usual end-of-quarter increase," said IPC president Denny McGuirk, "but the growth rate appears to be slowing."

Research Updates on PCBs, RoHS, Economy, and PCs

(October 27, 2008) — Nikkei Business reports on PCB fabricator outlooks; IPC expresses its concerns and expert advisory on RoHS revisions; Christopher Associates speaks on the economic status for manufacturers watching Wall Street; and Electronics.ca Publications released "Personal Computers — A Global Industry Outlook."

OK International Debuts Soldering and Rework Systems to Increase Throughput, Control

(October 24, 2008) GARDEN GROVE, Calif. — OK International launched the Metcal MX-5000 Series soldering and rework system with increased power and an enhanced handpiece with energy and tip-saving features. The series targets high-performance hand soldering on complex assemblies.

Quasys Takes Over Datacon Feeder Lines

(October 24, 2008) CHAM, Switzerland — After the transfer of all product rights from BESI/Datacon (formerly Laurier Inc.) to Quasys, the Laurier feeders will now be manufactured by Quasys in Switzerland.

Indium Intros Rosin-free No-clean Cored Wire Solder

(October 23, 2008) CLINTON, N.Y. — Indium Corporation debuted CW-501, a colophony-free (free of rosin), no-clean, cored wire solder for use with lead-free alloys. Indium developed the product by adapting its solder paste alloys, and notes that rosin is an allergen.

MEPTEC/Advanced Packaging Announce Symposium Final Program

(October 23, 2008) SAN JOSE, Calif. — MEPTEC, the MicroElectronics Packaging and Test Engineering Council, and Advanced Packaging have finalized the program for their upcoming symposium titled "Packaging Developments and Innovations: From System Design to Integrated Delivery," to be held on Thursday, November 13, 2008, at the Wyndham Hotel, San Jose, Calif.

IPC's International Test And Inspection Conference Nov. 10-12

IPC - Association Connecting Electronics Industries has developed a three-day test and inspection conference. "IPC International Test and Inspection Technology Conference: Reducing Time to Market" will take place November 10-12, 2008 in Santa Clara, California.


DYMAX Acquires Dispensing Company Tridak

(October 20, 2008) TORRINGTON and DANBURY, Conn. — DYMAX Corporation acquired Tridak (Danbury), adding to its lines of standard and custom dispensing/filling equipment. Tridak's products suit dispensing and filling adhesives, pastes, solvents, lubricants, or other materials.

Microscan Completes Acquisition of Siemens' Machine Vision Business

(October 17, 2008) RENTON, Wash. — Microscan finalized its purchase of Siemens' Machine Vision business, adding about 60 technology patents and 10 product lines to its precision data acquisition and control solutions portfolio.

IPC and SMTA Release Cleaning Symposium Agenda

(October 14, 2008) ROSEMONT, Ill. — The IPC — Association Connecting Electronics Industries and SMTA will co-present their cleaning symposium, "High-Performance Electronics Assembly Cleaning" on October 28–29, 2008, at the Crowne Plaza Chicago O'Hare hotel. The docket includes keynotes on residues' impacts and on equipment design, and sessions on standards, cleanliness assessment, lead-free cleaning, equipment and material advances, and the role of conformal coating.

Christopher Associates Releases HDI Market Data

(October 13, 2008) SANTA ANA, Calif. — Matthew Holzmann, president of Christopher Associates, presented the keynote address to the IPC's HDI Technology Conference in Dallas, Texas, on the demand for high-density interconnect substrates in North America. With assistance from multiple sources, including Prismark Partners, Holzmann outlined existing and potential markets as well as current market conditions for these products. The major points of Holzmann's keynote are summarized here.

Preview the Upcoming Mexitrónica Show

(October 13, 2008) GUADALAJARA, Mexico — Mexico's National Chamber for Electronics, Telecommunication, and IT Industries (CANIETI) in partnership with ROC Exhibitions Inc. will present Mexitrónica, October 21–23, 2008, at Guadalajara, Mexico. The exposition and conference drew more than 6,000 attendees in 2007. Following are some of the highlights for the conference and show floor.

Scan & Design PCB Reverse Engineering Firm Hands Business Over to Photodata

(October 10, 2008) BRIGHTON and HITCHIN, U.K. — Scan & Design of southern England will transition its business assets and customers to Photodata Test Services Ltd. at the end of this month. The company is closing after more than 10 years providing PCB scanning for reverse engineering of bare boards to CAD databases.

iNEMI: Sustainability Must Be Relative

Arizona State University Professor Brad Allenby challenges the industry to avoid focusing too much on "sustainability," and, instead, understand the total impact of electronic products on the global community, most of which is good.

Study Shows Flip Chip and WLP Growth

(October 7, 2008) AUSTIN, Texas — The growth of flip chip and wafer-level packaging (WLP) is a bright spot in the electronics industry, according to TechSearch International's recently released study, "2008 Flip Chip and WLP Market Trends and Forecasts." The study projects a compound growth rate of more than 14% for flip chip units and 14% for WLPs between 2007 and 2012.

electronica 2008 on China, India, and Eastern Europe in the Global Electronics Market

(October 6, 2008) MUNICH, Germany — Messe München released a white paper to discuss the desirability of China, India, and Eastern Europe to the electronics industry from the perspective of six industry leaders. The white paper, available in advance of electronica 2008, shows how executives regard these regions with respect to low-cost manufacturing, rising energy costs and wages, worker flexibility, regional infrastructure, environmental regulations, and IP security.

IMEC, Taiyo Nippon Sanso Collaborate on Green LEDs

(October 6, 2008) LEUVEN, Belgium and OSAKA, Japan — Nanoelectronics research institute IMEC and semiconductor company Taiyo Nippon Sanso Corp. (TNSC) will jointly develop manufacturing technology for high-efficiency LED devices. This is TNSC's first collaboration with an advanced research center based in Europe.


Sonoscan Announces Advanced Thickness Measurement Method

(October 2, 2008) ELK GROVE VILLAGE, Ill. — In a joint effort with a large component supplier to the cellular and video industries, Sonoscan developed an acoustic micro imaging technique that accurately measures the thickness of the bondline of the heat spreader adhesive in advanced microprocessor assemblies. The technique remains effective when the bondline is too thin for individual echoes to be separated.

Nextreme Creates Thermal Management Business Unit

(October 2, 2008) DURHAM, N.C. — Nextreme Thermal Solutions opened a thermal and power management products business unit to serve the electronics industry. Nextreme will focus more aggressively on thermal management products for telecommunications and photonics markets with the business.

ECD Plans October U.S. Launch for V-M.O.L.E. Thermal Profiler

(September 30, 2008) PORTLAND, Ore. — Following a quick ramp-up and successful launch in Asia, ECD plans to bring its production verification thermal profiler, V-M.O.L.E., to customers in North America. The system complements ECD's MEGAM.O.L.E. 20, providing a method for assemblers to ensure reflow profiles stay in spec during production, following initial new product introduction (NPI) and process development.

Virtual Industries Intros Compressed-air Tweezer

(September 30, 2008) COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — Virtual Industries Inc. debuted its compressed-air-powered STEALTH-VAC vacuum tweezer tools for parts handling. The STEALTH-VAC operates on 30 to 70 psi compressed air or nitrogen.

IPC Midwest Wrap-up

(September 29, 2008) SCHAUMBURG, Ill. — IPC Midwest closed its second annual show last week with higher attendance and an added live assembly line — A-Line — which IPC plans to run again next year. Following are some of the show impressions and announcements heard around the exhibit floor last week.

August PCB Book-to-Bill Holds Steady at 0.95

(September 29, 2008) BANNOCKBURN, Ill. — IPC — Association Connecting Electronics Industries reported the August findings from its monthly North American Printed Circuit Board (PCB) Statistical Program, showing that the combined rigid and flex PCB book-to-bill maintained its position at 0.95. The book-to-bill ratio has hovered between 0.94 and 0.96 since May 2008.

From the Show: Mirtec AOI in the U.S.

(September 24, 2008) SCHAUMBURG, Ill. — Today at IPC Midwest, we met with Mirtec USA Inc., the U.S. branch of global inspection provider Mirtec Corp. The company celebrated its four-year anniversary in the U.S. this month, and discussed how their customer base in the U.S. has changed in that short time. When Mirtec USA was formed, the company had three systems sold in the country. Today, there are more than 285 operating here.

From the Show: IPC Midwest Grows in Size and Cooperation

(September 24, 2008) SCHAUMBURG, Ill. — Not all tradeshows are bustling with activity. Sometimes a hurricane or a natural weather disruption can really wreck havoc on an event, but this year's IPC Midwest in the Renaissance Schaumburg Convention Center met with friendly skies and 80°F weather.

From the Show: Misumi's Configuration Tech Seminar

(September 23, 2008) ROSEMONT, Ill. — On my way to IPC Midwest in Schaumburg, Ill., I made a slight detour to take in the Configuration Tech Seminar hosted by Misumi USA Inc. at National Manufacturing Week (NMW) in Rosemont. The seminar offered a straightforward and useful comparison of stock, configurable, and custom parts that would be of interest to all those EMS providers and original design manufacturers (ODMs) branching out into final product assembly for their OEMs.

Bliss Industries Intros ESD-safe Lift Table

(September 17, 2008) MILPITAS, Calif. — Bliss Industries Inc. debuted the Easy Lift, an ergonomic handling surface for electronic assemblies with 20" of adjustable work surface.


ISO Plans Energy Management Standard

(September 16, 2008) WASHINGTON — ISO project committee PC 242, which is to develop an international standard on energy management, held its first meeting in early September. The future ISO 50001 will establish a framework for industrial plants, commercial facilities, or entire organizations to manage energy.

Automatic Wave Loader Lowers Costs

(September 16, 2008) PLEASANT PRAIRIE, Wis. — PROMATION developed a new platform for its automatic wave loading system that reportedly results in a cost reduction. The SDTF is an edge carry, drop, tilt, and feed automatic wave loading system that has been designed to accept PCBs from a flat line (0°) and then drop, angle, and transfer the PCB into the wave solder machine.

Enthone Acquires Ormecon in PCB Finishes Market

(September 8, 2008) WEST HAVEN, Conn. — Enthone Inc., a business of Cookson Electronics, acquired Ormecon GmbH of Ammersbek, Germany, for an unannounced sum. The purchase adds to Enthone's PWB surface finishes product lines, including new coating technologies.

SMTA Board of Directors Elected

IBM Engineer Looks at Lead-Free Successes, Failures in Quest to Develop Better Supply Chain Practices

As the electronics manufacturing community struggles with high-reliability issues associated with lead-free processes, Matt Kelly, an IBM engineer, hopes his work will be a catalyst for sharing knowledge in a horizontal supply chain.

SMTAI: What is the Value of an SMTA Membership?

Indium President Greg Evans believes the SMTA not only features a strong technical training focus , but that the association helps his employees become stronger leaders. Find out why a major assembly materials suppliers continues to support this grass roots organization.

Nepcon South China: Interview with P. Kay Metal's Hardy Huang (Chinese)

Hardy Huang, the Sales Manager for P. Kay Metal China, sits down with EMS007's Edy Yu to discuss the company's work in China. In addition, the two talk about the IP issue in China and how P. Kay Metal handles these issues.

Nepcon South China: A Different Approach to China's SMT Capital Equipment Business

What happens when an industry veteran recognizes that Chinese equipment makers can become competitive with global brands? China Direct's founder, Todd La Marche, and his colleague, Olivier Grascoeur, explain how their company has bridged that perceived gap.

Nepcon South China: Behind the Scenes at the SMTA China Conference

SMTA China Conference Chairman Michael Wong reveals how the latest conference was put together. His passionate interview also offers a better understanding of the challenges SMTA China is facing and how it is differentiating between technical and vendor presentations.

Nepcon South China: Electronics Assembly Material Needs in South China

EMS007 China Editor Edy Wang chats with Kelly Huang of Indium Corporation about what materials issues South China EMS and ODM customers are facing.


Nepcon South China: Shifting Product Development from R

Yearly product introductions are tough for some companies to achieve, let alone dual product introductions within six months. ECD introduced a product last spring with R&D in mind. This fall, the company is introducing the V-M.O.L.E., a thermal profiling unit that takes what was developed last spring from a lab tool to one that meets performance needs in a high-volume setting. Vice President of Marketing and Sales Grant Peterson takes viewers through his company's NPI process and reasoning.

IEEE 1149.7 Standard Cuts Space, Cost for Embedded Systems

(September 2, 2008) HOUSTON — The IEEE working group for standard 1149 developed a two-pin compact test and debug solution to reduce strict pin-count, package size, and power constraints. Texas Instruments Inc. is driving ratification on IEEE 1149.7.

Dell Offers Information to Supply Chain in Hopes to End Lead-Free Hassles

Dell Senior Manager Dr. Randy Schueller needed to address server board field failures. His research led him to the realization that lead-free HASL, a seldom-used surface finish, was the best way to solve Dell's problems. His 2007 award-winning paper was written not only to document his work, but to help his suppliers better understand why they might benefit from investing in lead-free HASL. Schueller also discusses his company's perspective on immersion silver.

Evolving Technologies Summit Looks at Embedded and Solderless Technologies

Verdant Electronics President Joe Fjelstad relates some of the topics covered in SMTAI’s Evolving Technologies Summit. Are embedded technologies finally becoming commercially viable? Will solderless assembly emerge from the lab into production? Keynote Speaker Fjelstad offers his observations and opinions.

2008 SMTA Hutchins Grant Awarded to PBGA Reliability Student

(August 28, 2008) MINNEAPOLIS — The 2008 Charles Hutchins Educational Grant recipient, Lei Nie, a graduate student in the field of mechanical engineering at the University of Maryland, has been selected by the SMTA Grant Committee for her project entitled "Reliability of Reballed and Reworked Plastic Ball Grid Arrays in SnPb and SAC Assembly Process."

SCS Debuts Adhesion Promotion Technology

(August 28, 2008) INDIANAPOLIS — Specialty Coating Systems (SCS) announced a new adhesion promotion technology, AdPro Plus, developed to improve adhesion of Parylene conformal coatings to various substrates. Strong adhesion of Parylene is critical to enable the coating to provide maximum benefit to the application.

electronicIndia 2008 to Showcase Over 1,000 Exhibitors

electronicIndia 2008 is scheduled for September 2-5, 2008 in Bengaluru, India. The major unique selling proposition (USP) of the exhibition is that it is a complete electronics show.

July Book-to-Bill Steady

(August 27, 2008) BANNOCKBURN, Ill. — IPC — Association Connecting Electronics Industries released its monthly North American PCB Statistical Program report, showing that the combined rigid and flex PCB industries posted a 0.94 book-to-bill ratio in July, maintaining a higher rate of activity than the same time last year.

Allied Adds Next-day Kitting Service

(August 27, 2008) FORT WORTH, Texas — Allied Electronics has expanded its value-added services to include next-day kitting service. Customers can now order kitted products, such as Amphenol Industrial 97 Series connectors, and have them shipped within the next business day.

Essemtec Premiers Automated Printer with Sideways-moving Loading Drawer

(August 27, 2008) AESCH, Switzerland — Essemtec AG debuted SP200-AV2, a new model of its automated stencil printer SP200. The printer is an advanced version of the previous-generation system and reportedly offers increased robustness, precision, and ease of use.


Seica, Corelis Partner for Test Integration

(August 26, 2008) STRAMBINO, Italy and CERRITOS, Calif. — Seica Inc. and Corelis Inc. formed a partnership to deliver and support an integrated system based on Seica's Pilot flying probe system and boundary scan products from Corelis. Seica Pilot and Corelis ScanExpress system integration is the partners' initial offering.

Solar Cells Fueling Electronics Industry's Future?

Celestica Manager of Advanced Process Development, Irene Sterian, organized an Alternative Energy symposium during SMTAI that drew strong interest. Presentations were given from industry companies already making their presence felt in the photovoltaic field. Find out what transpired and why keynote speaker Jeff Doubrava, of Prismark, believes electronics manufacturing companies must not ignore the solar market when making plans for the future.

Will the Indian Plasma TV Market Survive?

Sony has stopped selling plasma TVs in India, while other TV producers cut prices just to boost sales.

Indium Corporation Announces Promotions

Indium Corporation announces the promotions of Anita Brown to Marketing Communications Manager for its worldwide operations and Andy Seager to the position of Sales Channel Partner Manager.

Industry Says 'No Way' to Fay at SMTAI in Orlando

Despite the worst efforts of Tropical Storm Fay, which included cancelled flights at Orlando International Airport, SMTAI proved that a strong international conference can overcome just about any obstacle.

From the Show: SMTAI Exhibits Floor

(August 20, 2008) ORLANDO, Fla. — SMT checked in with many of the busy exhibitors at SMTAI in Orlando to find out what products they carry to suit the high-reliability/high-mix southeastern U.S. market, as well as the many national and international attendees walking the show floor.

Fein-Lines: Copper Dissolution Interview, Part III

Dan Feinberg concludes his interview with Michael Carano, Global Business Development Manager of Cleveland, Ohio-based OMG Electronic Chemicals, tackling the topic of copper dissolution with lead-free solder--an issue that is certainly not new to the industry.

A Video Mulligan: The SMTA/CCA Annual Golf Get-Together

Players from both the SMTA Los Angeles/Orange County Chapter and the IPC CCA converged on Seal Beach in California for a day of fun, friends and favorite charities. Watch this exclusive coverage of this one-of-a-kind networking event.

Cal-Comp's Net Earnings Decline 7% in 1H08

Thailand-based EMS company Cal-Comp Electronics saw its after-tax profits decline 7% on year to 1.24 billion baht (US $36.77 million) in the first half of 2008, according to the company.

Advanced PCB Industry Report 2007–2008

(August 15, 2008) MONTREAL — This report details the global activity in PCB production, with particular focus on China. Advanced PCB manufacturers, including those producing high-density interconnect (HDI) boards, embedded memory, and other formats. It lists top producers and development trends in key end-use industries.


Woody to Keynote Day Two of IPC/SMTA High-Performance Electronics Assembly Cleaning Symposium

Industry-leading associations IPC and SMTA announce that Linda Woody will keynote day two of the jointly sponsored High-Performance Electronics Cleaning Symposium at the Crowne Plaza Chicago in Rosemont, Illinois on October 28-29, 2008.

Essemtec Flex/Film Placement Machine Gains Twin Vacuum Table

(August 14, 2008) AESCH, Switzerland — Essemtec developed a dedicated twin vacuum table for its FLX2011-MKL placement machine to facilitate handling of flex boards and film substrates. The table also is able to double productivity.

IIT Develops Prototyper for Double-sided PCBs

(August 14, 2008) POST FALLS, Idaho — Integrated Ideas & Technologies Inc. launched a prototype assembly tool that allows manufacturers to assemble double-sided surface mount PCB assemblies at their desks. The AssemblyPro fixture is designed to complement the IIT Desktop stencil, eliminating use of screen printers.

HP Senior Engineer Discusses Lead-Free Issues, SMTAI Symposium

Dr. Gregory Henshall discusses lead-free alloy questions and an SMTA International symposium that will address some of these issues, including new solder alloys and long-term reliability concerns.

Plexus to Close Massachusetts Plant

Plexus Corporation announced its intention to close its Ayer, Massachusetts manufacturing facility. The company plans to transition products manufactured in this facility to other Plexus facilities, primarily in Neenah, Wisconsin.

Inovaxe to Demonstrate INOKIT at SMTA International 2008

Inovaxe announces that it will demonstrate INOKIT software in booth 819 at the upcoming SMTA International.

The Gold Record: SMTAI Solar Symposium to Shed Light on Industry's Future

Celestica’s Manager of Advanced Processes, Irene Sterian, speaks with Steve Gold about a Solar Symposium she is leading in Orlando, Florida on August 18, 2008. Sterian believes it is critical for industry leaders to participate in this unique event, especially as the electronics and photovoltaic industries converge.

Virtual Industries to Showcase Key Technologies and Products at SMTA International 2008

Virtual Industries announces that it will exhibit TV-1000 TWEEZER-VAC, DTV-2000 TWEEZER-VAC and VSPT series of small parts tips in booth 326 at the upcoming SMTA International 2008.

VJ Electronix to Display Vertex Series-CT X-Ray System in Orlando

VJ Electronix announces that it will showcase its Vertex Series-CT X-Ray System in booth 825 at the SMTA International 2008.

IPC Launches Online Exhibits

(August 5, 2008) BANNOCKBURN, Ill. — IPC — Association Connecting Electronics Industries introduced the IPC Midwest Online Exhibit Hall — Beyond the Show Floor. The virtual exhibit hall takes visitors beyond the show floor with special features that provide relevant industry information in an easy-to-access and navigate format.


Christopher Associates Intros Low-cost Solder Dross Recovery

(August 5, 2008) SANTA ANA, Calif. — North American distributor Christopher Associates debuted the KDS-101 benchtop solder dross recovery system from Koki Tec Corporation (Saitama, Japan). The KDS-101 reportedly offers a safe, simple, and inexpensive method to recover purified solder from dross in all soldering operations, especially PCB fabrication and assembly.

Valor Intros Software Collaboration with EMS Providers

(August 5, 2008) YAVNE, Israel — Valor Computerized Systems Ltd. is launching an initiative promoting the development of software for improvement of electronic design and manufacturing, titled "The Valor Innovation Circle."

Semicon West 2008: ECI Expands Packaging Presence, Enters Solar Market

ECI President and Chief Executive Officer, Marianna Rabinovitch, discusses her company's Semicon West 2008 advanced packaging product offerings and the company's push into the photovoltaic market.

Photo Stencil Names Interim CEO

(August 4, 2008) COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — Photo Stencil announced the resignation of CEO Keith Favre, and the appointment of its chief operating officer (COO), Todd Woods, as interim CEO.

Industry Veterans Form Solar Group

(August 4, 2008) DANBURY, Conn. — Marc Chason; James J. Hickman, Ph.D.; and Gene H. Weiner formed Quantum Solar Group LLC to help members of the PWB, SMT, and electronic assembly industries and their suppliers of chemicals, materials, and equipment understand the burgeoning photovoltaic industry and the new commercial opportunities provided through variations of familiar processes and technologies.

Auto Electronics Focus of electronica 2008

(August 4, 2008) MUNICH, Germany — electronica 2008 will be a world showcase for automotive electronics, with an expected 1,200 automotive electronic exhibitors, an automotive conference, and discussions on the "Ultra Low Cost Car (ULCC)" concept.

Semicon West 2008: DEK Introduces New Wafer Coating Process

DEK has introduced a new printing machine that aims to compete with the more costly dry film lamination process. Jeff Schake, Senior Advanced Technology Specialist, explains to Steve Gold the system's advantages--including that the entire wafer backside coating process utilizes standard equipment.

India to Develop $10 Laptops

The India Ministry of Human Resources Development plans to develop a very low-cost access, low-power device designed to link Indian technology and other institutes.

Intel's Barrett Sees No Slowdown in World PC Market

Intel Corporation expects no slowdown in global demand for personal computers despite economic problems in the U.S. and in other countries, Intel Chairman Craig Barrett said on Wednesday.

China Invests in Zambia's Copper Belt

(July 31, 2008) LUSAKA, Zambia — Chinese investment in Zambian copper mines and smelting plants has led much speculation into the availability and cost of this raw material used in copper-clad laminates (CCLs), lead-free solders, bonding wires, PCBs, and other essential electronics production materials.


Report: 2008 Worldwide Component Distribution

(July 31, 2008) MONTREAL — In 2006, the market for electronic components supplied through distribution grew in all regions of the world. For 2007, although this growth continued, it was not reflected in all countries. It was, as a whole, a difficult year for the distribution market, asserts market analyst firm Electronics.ca Publications.

Test Socket Targets Small Pad Sizes

(July 31, 2008) ROSENHEIM, Germany — Multitest released a new generation of test socket, nanoKelvin, available in standard and plunge-to-board design without limitations for its Kelvin capability.

Asymtek Executives Discuss New Product, Manufacturing Methodology at Semicon West

John P. Byers, President of Asymtek, and Greg Wood, Vice President, Sales, discuss their latest product release and what measures the company is taking to remain competitive while manufacturing equipment in Southern California.

REACH Out of Reach?

Like a bolt of lightning, the results of a recent survey from IPC on REACH Preparedness in the North American and European Interconnect Industry are striking--revealing that more than 40% of manufacturing and purchasing personnel have no understanding of the REACH regulation as it affects their companies.

Stadium Asia Achieves Medical Manufacturing Approval

Stadium Asia has achieved a significant manufacturing approval for the medical market at its China manufacturing facility. ISO 13485:2003 focuses on maintaining product safety, risk management, inspection and traceability, documentation and validation of processes for sterile medical devices.

Advisory Board Update: Hwang Joins Committee on Forecasting Future Disruptive Technologies

(July 28, 2008) WASHINGTON — Jennie S. Hwang, Ph.D., was appointed to the newly established Committee on Forecasting Future Disruptive Technologies, organized by NRC, National Academies, and the U.S. DoD.

Semicon West 2008--Jabil Opening New Markets

The Vice President of Global Business Units for Jabil, Tony Allan, speaks with EMS007 Editor Steve Gold about entering the medical market and what high-mix, low-volume means to his assembly operations.

Rigid PCBs Down, Flex Up in June

(July 25, 2008) BANNOCKBURN, Ill. — IPC — Association Connecting Electronics Industries found that the monthly North American PCB Statistical Program data shows the rigid PCB book-to-bill ratio dipping again to 0.94, while the flex industry ratio climbed again to 1.02. The combined industry ratio fell to 0.95.

BPM Improves Flashstream Programming

P. D. Circuits Discusses Supply Chain Challenges

David Wolff, President and Founder of P. D. Circuits Inc., discusses the company's 'from the ground up' approach to managing supply chain data.


First 'Meet the Bloggers' Event Held at Semicon West 2008

Indium Corporation used Semicon West as a place to bring bloggers and their readers together. This video interview with Director of Marketing Communications Rick Short details the merits of blogging and what happens when cyberspace is replaced by a physical meeting place.

Up Close with Paul Walter of Dage at Semicon West

Steve Gold speaks with Paul Walter, Managing Director of Dage Corporation, at Semicon West about current market conditions and how EMS suppliers must rely on finding innovation and new products to overcome obstacles.

DEK Names President

(July 22, 2008) WEYMOUTH, U.K. — DEK International appointed Michael Brianda to the position of company president, with immediate effect. Previously serving as global sales & marketing director, Brianda has been with DEK for 12 years.

Entry-level Ultrasonic Stencil Cleaner Series

(July 22, 2008) CANOGA PARK, Calif. — Smart Sonic launched a line of lower-cost ultrasonic stencil cleaners, designed for SMT assemblers cleaning low volumes of stencils. The Series 500 stencil cleaners target more consistent cleaning of fine-pitch stencil apertures and reduced stencil damage caused by manual cleaning.

Ticona Intros Eco FR Polyesters

(July 21, 2008) FLORENCE, Ky. — Ticona Engineering Polymers, the engineering polymers business of Celanese Corporation, added two Riteflex thermoplastic polyester elastomer (TPC-ET) grades to its portfolio of XFR halogen-free flame-retardant polyesters for use in eco-friendly applications.

KRA Increases Value-added Capacity, Capabilities

(July 21, 2008) DENVER — Distributor K.R. Anderson Inc. (KRA) increased value-added capacity and capabilities through its Andfab Division. The company added staff and equipment to the fabrication services business.

Elcoteq Cuts 2008 Forecast

The main reasons for the change in the forecast are the weaker than expected development in manufacturing volumes in the Personal Communications Business Area and a temporary decrease in volumes during the third quarter due to changing customer structure.

ACI Adds Samsung Stencil Printer

(July 18, 2008) HORSHAM, Pa. — Samsung and Dynatech Technology have added the Samsung SMP400 stencil printer to the American Competiveness Institute's (ACI's) EMPF demonstration factory. The six-sigma capable printer joins the Samsung SM421 advanced flexible mounter with STF100S feeder.

Corelis Finalizes Transition to EWA

(July 18, 2008) HERNDON, Va. — The appointment of George B. La Fever as Corelis president and CEO finalizes the transition of the boundary scan/JTAG/in-system test system provider Corelis Inc. into EWA Technologies Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of the EWA corporate family of high-technology companies.

ACI Provides Navy's Benchmarking and Best Practices

(July 18, 2008) PHILADELPHIA — Scientific R&D providers the American Competitiveness Institute (ACI) received a five-year, $100 million contract from the U.S. Navy's Office of Naval Research (ONR) to manage and operate the "Benchmarking and Best Manufacturing Processes Center of Excellence."


Michael Brianda Appointed DEK President

DEK International has announced that Michael Brianda has been appointed to the position of company President. Previously serving as Global Sales and Marketing Director, his new role sees him continue an impressive career trajectory that began at DEK over 12 years ago.

EMRISE Wins Navy's Testing Equipment Contract

(July 17, 2008) RANCHO CUCAMONGA, Calif. — EMRISE Corporation, a multi-national manufacturer of defense and aerospace electronic devices and communications equipment, received the initial production release and plans immediate shipment of the first $300,000 of its Halcyon telecommunications test equipment under the terms of a previously announced $800,000 supply contract with the U.S. Department of the Navy.

Survey: Green Initiatives in the Supply Chain

(July 17, 2008) FRAMINGHAM, Mass. — A survey conducted by market intelligence firm IDC showed that manufacturing, wholesale, and distribution industries are demonstrating growing commitent to the environment. The analysts found that, from surveying 250 decision makers at small and midsize enterprises, commitment toward the adoption of applications that would support more environmentally friendly supply chain initiatives is on the rise.

Semicon West 2008 Report--Flextronics Pushing into Solar Market

In this video interview with Steve Gold, Flextronics Industrial Division President E.C. Sykes sheds light on the push into providing equipment for the photovoltaic manufacturing market.

Manncorp Debuts "Hi Output" Turnkey Assembly Line

(July 16, 2008) SAN DIEGO, Calif. and WILLOW GROVE, Pa. — Manncorp is offering an automated turnkey line for mid- to high-volume flexible SMT assembly. The Hi Output Line assembly line includes a four-head pick-and-place system, in-line automatic stencil printer, an eight-zone reflow oven, and pass-through conveyor system.

Sono-Tek Ends Q'01 Up 31%

(July 15, 2008) MILTON, N.Y. — Sono-Tek Corporation announced sales for the three months ending May 31, 2008, increased 31%. Sales increased versus last year in spite of softness in some markets.

Krayden Offers LED Products

(July 15, 2008) DENVER — Distributor Krayden Inc. added a line of Dow Corning products for LED lighting manufacturers, including LED protection and assembly products, LED packaging products, and LED thermal management. Dow's products for LED assembly range from adhesives and encapsulants to conformal coatings.

Free E-Book a Practical Guide to Lean Manufacturing

BR Publishing has launched its latest e-book, Survival is not Mandatory: Everything a CEO Needs to Know about Lean, by Steven Williams of Plexus Corporation. This book, is now available as a free PDF e-book download to anyone who wants one. Once downloaded, the e-book can be printed, e-mailed to friends or saved on hard drive for future use.

PROMATION, OMTEC Partner for Custom Handling

(July 14, 2008) PLEASANT PRAIRIE, Wis. — Handling solutions provider PROMATION and OMTEC, a manufacturer of pop-up ball transfer solutions, partnered to create a progressive line flow solution for a premier computer manufacturer. The solution required PROMATION to design and build a moderately priced system that would accept and transfer carriers weighing up to 80 lb between assembly stations.

iNEMI Roadmap Workshop Seeks Participation from the Industry

The foundation of all iNEMI activities is its roadmap, and this is an initiative in which anyone in the industry may be involved -- membership is not required. The 2009 Roadmap is currently in development and iNEMI is hosting a roadmap workshop in Shanghai on July 28, 2008.


IEC Electronics Receives $3.7 Million Military and Defense Order

IEC Electronics Corporation reports that it has received an order from one of its military and defense customers valued at more than $3.7 million. Deliveries will commence during the company's fourth quarter ending September 30, 2008 and will be completed by April 2009.

REACH: Going Beyond The EU

RoHS, the EU Directive on the Restriction of Hazardous Substances, was a European requirement that became a de facto international standard for electronic parts and products. Even with many exemptions including some major product categories, the supply chain changed and RoHS became the international norm. A similar occurrence will happen for REACH.

Audio Interview: Matt Holzmann's JPCA Show Wrap-up

In this week's Gold Record, Matt Holzmann shares his observations on the new PCB fabrication and assembly equipment unveiled at JPCA.

LaBarge Awarded $2.7 Million Contract From BAE Systems

LaBarge, Inc. has been awarded a $2.7 million dollar contract from BAE Systems to continue to produce the Ethernet Switch Unit (ESU) for its A3 Bradley Combat Systems vehicles. The ESU functions as a router and a switch for electronic data sent to devices in the vehicle's local area network (LAN).

PMCI Presenting SMTAI EMS Tutorials

(July 8, 2008) ORLANDO, Fla. — Powell-Mucha Consulting Inc. (PMCI) will present tutorials focusing on EMS branding and strategic planning at the upcoming SMTA International Conference in Orlando on August 21.

Lead-Free Lesson...Definitely Not Free

As the electronics industry struggles though its second year of RoHS and the lead-free mandate, it is clear that definitive answers to many of the more significant challenges of lead-free are not yet here. In fact, targets continue to move as newer problems make their presence known.

KIC Intros Nine Thermocouple Profiler

(July 7, 2008) SAN DIEGO — KIC introduced a new profiler model to the KIC Explorer platform. The KIC Explorer 9 channel uses the modern KIC Explorer hardware and features a total of nine thermocouples using standard type-K TC connectors.

Dynasil Acquires RMD Assets

(July 7, 2008) WEST BERLIN, N.J. — Photonics supplier Dynasil Corporation of America acquired the stock of Radiation Monitoring Devices, Inc. and specific assets of RMD Instruments LLC for approximately $20 million including $12.5 million of cash and 4.6 million shares of Dynasil common stock.

Water-free Defluxing Agent

(July 7, 2008) MANASSAS, Va. — ZESTRON America introduced a solvent-based defluxing agent for water-free and low-temperature cleaning applications. ZESTRON DS 100 is designed to remove flux residues at low temperatures from electronic assemblies, ceramic hybrids, power modules, and leadframes in self-regenerative closed-loop cleaning systems.

Dan Hoz Appointed as Valor CEO

The new leader will be expected to grow the company organically while also developing acquisition strategies.


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