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Real Time with... SMTAI 2019 Video Interviews
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Real Time with… SMTAI 2019 Slideshow
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Combating ESD: The Silent Assassin in Electronics Manufacturing
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Latest Articles

The Demographics of productronica 2009

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

More productronica Exhibits

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

Component Demand Recovery Strains Supply Chain

World Solder Paste, Solder Preform and Surface Mount Adhesives Market

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

Rework Companies Merge: FINETECH GmbH Acquires Martin GmbH

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

Kyzen Sdn. Bhd. Inaugurates New Facility in Penang

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

EMI and Beyonics to Partner for High-volume EMS

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

InForum's Electronics Forecast Projects 5% Industry Recovery Rate

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

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

YESTech Relocates; Launches Products

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

Relieving Soldering Pain Points

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

iNEMI Roadmap Highlights Environmental Challenges

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

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

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

Digi-Key Corporation Re-Launches Toolbar

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

Valor Integrates KIC Reflow Process Data into DynamiX MES

productronica 2009 Online Columns and Webcasts

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

September Book-to-Bill Above Parity: 1.08

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

Henderson Forecast: 2009 Was Perfect Storm for Communications Equipment

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

Zurvahn, Celestica Form Strategic Alliance

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

Interplex, UMG Technologies Collaborate

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

New Test and Inspection Products

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

Productronica Show Preview: Materials

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

Productronica Show Preview: Equipment

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

SME Releases the Kaizen Event Fieldbook

Endicott Interconnect Fabricates Set-up PCB for Space Application

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

ZVEI Launches PCB and Electronic Systems Association

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

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

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

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

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

Terepac, IMEC Partner for Low-cost Flexible Electronics

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

Solder Attach Method Challenges Traditional BGA Paradigm

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

New Solders and Soldering Products

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

PartnerTech Reports Poor Results on Weak Economy

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

Conformal Coating New Products

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

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

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

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

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

Kyzen Equips Application Laboratory in Penang, Malaysia

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

ECT, ScanCAD Partner on Process Management Work Instruction Software

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

SMTA Technical Program Strongest Ever?

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

New Thermal Management Products

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

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

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

Mentor Graphics, Valor Agree to Merge

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

Participate at APEX 2010

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

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

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

Viasystems and Merix Agree to Merge

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

New Stencil Products

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

Essemtec to Use Production Solutions RED-E-SET Products

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

Elcoteq Signs Letter of Intent with Videocon

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

Official Twitter Hashtag Announced for SMTA International

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

More SMTAI Conference Highlights

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

Role of the Interfacial Intermetallic in Lead-Free Solders

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

Top EMS/ODM Vendors Gain Stability: iSuppli

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

EMS Provider JJS Invests in Logistics, Staff, Equipment

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

IPC Quarterly Report: Early Signs of Recovery

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

Flat Wrap Technology Maturing

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

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

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

Indian Surface Mount Technology Market Report

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

From the Show: Milad Takes Presidents Award at IPC Midwest

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

From the Show: Volunteers Honored at IPC Midwest

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

Koczera Consulting for Automated X-ray Inspection Services Opens

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

SMTAI Conference Preview: Paper Abstracts and Times

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

Simone Bagel-Trah New Chair of Henkel Shareholders' Committee

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

MYDATA Qualifies Alpha, AIM Solder Pastes for Jet Printing

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

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

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

Nihon Superior SN100C University Research Recognized

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

iNEMI Publishes Research Priorities

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

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

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

Leading Indicator Report for OEMs and EMS Providers

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

SMT Inspection Products

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

Research and Markets Releases Bare PCB Manufacturing Report

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

IBM Awards Endicott Interconnect Supercomputing Contract

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

Charlie Barnhart: Recognizing Signs of a Recovery

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

Electronics Supply Chain: Slightly More Optimistic, Still in Recession

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

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

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

PCB Production Reports: IPC Market Research

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

Juki Opens Western U.S. Headquarters

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

European EMS Industry to Drop 13% in 2009

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

Bliss Opens Lean Manufacturing Solutions Center

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

Valor Premiers Customer Support Portal

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

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

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

EMS-OEM Deep Collaboration Key to Successful Outsourcing

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

IPC Midwest Exhibitor Preview I

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

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

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

IPC Midwest: A-Line Live Assembly

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

Copper Hits Lows on Equity Drop

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

IPC Sees Industry Strengthening Out of Recession

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

Taiwanese PCB Makers Post Solid Profits in H'01 2009

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

SME and Purdue Debut Green Certification Program

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

Elcoteq Streamlines Finland Operation; Trims Workforce

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

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

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

Siemens SIPLACE Tour Brings Component Placement Demos across North America

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

CENS: Taiwan Export Orders Indicate Upturn

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

Experts Hold Free Forums on Field Failures at IPC Midwest

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

Teknek Plans US Expansion

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

Seika Introduces Spanish-language Line Card

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

1-Source Hiring to Combat Counterfeit and Defective Electronic Components

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

ISO, MIL, CID, AS Certifications

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

SMART Group Lines Up Speakers for 25th Anniversary Seminar

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

Janco Electronics Earns ISO 13485 Certification

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

New JTAG, ICT, Cleanliness, and Other Test Products

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

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

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

ZESTRON Chooses Southeast Asia Technical Center

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

Adrian L. Melnyk Appointed Autosplice President

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

3M Names Exec VP for Electro and Communications Business

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

The Gold Record: Capitalizing on a Diverse OEM Customer Base

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

Robert Boguski Becomes Owner, President of Datest Corp.

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

Molex Closes French Plant, Citing Violence

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

Inovaxe Names Ken Myers VP and GM

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

Murata Buys Panasonic Electronic Devices' MLCC Unit

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

Maxwell Technologies, ANSYS Release Ultracapacitor Library in Simplorer

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

Cookson Reports 1H09 Revenue Drop

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

iNEMI HFR-Free Leadership Program Launches

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

New Products for PCB Design and Device Programming

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

Aqueous Opens Online Cleaning University

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

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

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

Engelmaier Reliability: The Mil/Aero World is Different

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

Global Consumer Electronics Manufacturer Selects Adept Vision-guided Robots

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

Nihon Superior Debuts Solutions for Lead-free Soldering Challenges

Lockheed Martin Selects Cuming Lehman Chambers for GPS Testing

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

Huawei Opens LTE Laboratory in North America

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

How Halogen-Free Affects Soldering Processes

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

TFI's Gordon Chairs Green Manufacturing Conference

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

Kyzen Opens Malaysia Sales and Support Office

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

Jabil Changes Board of Directors

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

EMS Market at $294B in 2008

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

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

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

Reuters: Samsung Investing $4.3B for Environmentally Friendly Electronics

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

SMTA Celebrates Its 25th Anniversary

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

IPC Executive Summit: Growth in the New Economy

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

Names in the News

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

Microscan, Cogiscan Form Traceability Products Partnership

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

Charlie Barnhart EMS Forecast

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

iSuppli Trims 2009 Chip, Electronics Forecasts

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

Are We There Yet?

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

June ISM Manufacturing Report for Electronics

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

Updated Report: EMS Industry Forecast

(July 2, 2009) MONTREAL, Canada — Publications released an update to its electronic manufacturing services (EMS) industry forecast from 2008 through 2013. It includes forecasts for the EMS and original design manufacturing (ODM) sectors, product segments, and regions. This update also reviews the state of the industry and's core forecast.

iNEMI Members Define "Low Halogen" for Electronic Products

DKL Metals Partners with NPL on Cu Dissolution

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

Economy Affects Equipment Investments Globally: Henderson Ventures Report

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

May PCB Orders Outpace Shipments

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

Technology Forecasters Inc. Expands in Asia

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

Will NPI Prove a Panacea for Ovation Products?

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

New Products: Solders and Soldering Systems

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

IC Assembly Houses in Taiwan See Robust Business

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

Report: Worldwide Converged Mobile Device 2009–2013 Forecast Update

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

Revised Imm Ag Plating Standard Establishes Maximum Deposit Thickness

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

Teknek Issues Advisory on "Copycat" Parts

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

Nothing New? Not True with SMT

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

Munich Electronics Summit Program

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

NEDA Launches Online Job Service

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

Jet Printing Replaces Screen Printing in High Mix Environments?

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

EI Institutes Quickturn Service for High-complexity PCBs

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

Juki Intros Feeder Refurbishment Program

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

Supply Chain Tracker Notes Beginning of Recovery

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

The Gold Record: New EMS Workshop Educates OEMs

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

EMS Company Pushes into Prototyping

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

EMS M&A Activity in North America

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

Proposals Sought: Market and Technology Outlook for Military Electronics

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

Bliss Industries Intros Green Packaging Method

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

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

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

April PCB Book-to-Bill Shows Glimpse of Recovery

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

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.

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.

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.

Micronic Goes Ahead With MYDATA Acquisition

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.

Participate in the 2010 IPC APEX EXPO

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

Digi-Key Adds Open Source BeagleBoard PCB

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

IEEE and NATO Standardization Agency Sign Technical Co-operation Agreement

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

Mydata White Paper: Tackling SMT Enemy Number One

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

The Plight of the Equipment Distributor

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

productronica 2009 Debuts Munich Electronics Summit

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

World Electronic Industries 2008–2013 Report

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

Smaller Run, Prototyping Success Story

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

Something New: The Third Dimension in AOI

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

40-100Gbps Transmission Over Copper

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

Auto Electronics Market: Recovery in 2011

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

Aravo Risk Debuts: Software to Control Supply Chain Risk

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

SMT China Magazine Announces VISION Awards Winners

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

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

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

Book Review: Reinvention

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

SMTA China, iNEMI Join Forces for Technical Conference

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

On the Show Floor at Nepcon Shanghai

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

Micronic Laser Systems Moves to Acquire MYDATA

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

EC Increases Tech R&D Funding

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

World Printed Circuit Boards Report: 2007 to 2013

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

ThomasNet Launches Online Distributor Support

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

Present at the Medical Electronics Symposium

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

iSuppli Market Watch: Can CMs Avoid Pitfalls?

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

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.

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?

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Electronics CM Worth $519B in 2014

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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."

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 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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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