2008 Issues

FEATURES

  • Cover Story
    The Plexus Rx
    The best-performing publicly held EMS company is not Jabil, Benchmark nor Flextronics, but a quiet Midwestern entity with a primarily North American footprint and “too many” engineers. Why Plexus is our 2008 EMS Company of the Year.
    By Mike Buetow

  • Retrospective
    In Memoriam
    Circuits Assembly recalls friends and industry colleagues who won’t see 2009.

  • Solder Joint Reliability
    HIP Defects in BGAs
    Solder joints afflicted with head-in-pillow lack strength, and the components may fail under minimal mechanical or thermal stress. HIP is now known to be caused by certain process variables, including the BGA ball alloy, reflow process type, reflow profile and solder paste chemistry. The role each of these variables plays, and certain mitigation techniques, are identified in this study.
    By Karl Seelig

FIRST PERSON

  • Caveat Lector
    Foxconn goes south of the border.
    Mike Buetow

MONEY MATTERS

  • Global Sourcing
    Relationship ruiners.
    Jennifer Read

TECH TALK

  • Screen Printing
    Post-print inspection.
    Clive Ashmore

  • Better Manufacturing
    What I don’t like about you.
    Dr. H.J. Zapfardt III

  • Tech Tips
    Solder wetting tests.
    American Competitiveness Institute

  • Test and Inspection
    In support of DfT.
    Stacy Kalisz Johnson

  • Wave Soldering
    Drop-ins are out.
    Ursula Marquez de Tino

  • Process Doctor
    Analyzing SEM and EDX.
    Terry Munson

  • Pb-Free Lessons Learned
    The HIP epidemic proliferates.
    Chrys Shea

  • The Defects Database
    Paste residue and solvent incompatibilities.
    Dr. Davide Di Maio

  • Standards
    All marked up.
    John Perry

  • Getting Lean
    Predicting outcomes.
    Robert Hemmant

  • Eastern Advances (410KB PDF)
    Soldering terminations, part 2.
    Sanqiang Cai

  • Technical Abstracts

DEPARTMENTS

Industry News
Market Watch
Product Spotlight
Ad Index
Assembly Insider

On the cover: Plexus has perfected the art of the workcell. (Photo courtesy of Plexus Corp.)

FEATURES

  • Cover Story
    RoHS Conversion for Medical Devices
    Product marketing and component supply chain concerns are pushing many medical companies to assess RoHS conversion. Either way, companies face risks. The risks and considerations to take into account include tin whisker mitigation, analysis and criteria / rating methods; design changes and verification; material availability and cost; and component obsolescence and sourcing.
    By Kim Sharpe

  • Value-Add Service
    Supporting Full-Service Customer Requirements at the Regional EMS Level
    OEMs, especially in medical, automotive, avionics and defense, want greater levels of value-added support from EMS providers. And the transition to RoHS manufacturing is driving a need for better process traceability to support OEM studies of the impact of new processes on long-term product reliability. This article discusses typical OEM process traceability requirements; strategies for automating process monitoring and real-time corrective action throughout the SMT process; benefits of the Process Window Index (PWI) in a multi-customer manufacturing environment; and examples of ways OEMs can team with EMS firms to translate improved process visibility to improved product quality.
    By Jeff Roberts

  • Milwaukee Electronics Co.
    Speed Thrills
    MEC is distinct for its extreme use of Lean at all points within the facilities; the depth of consideration to the roadblocks–not just to process flow, but to customer deliverables; and a startling emphasis on understanding the role marketing plays in customers’ strategies.
    By Mike Buetow

FIRST PERSON

  • Caveat Lector
    Fakes get high-tech.
    Mike Buetow

  • Talking Heads
    Celestica’s Dave Ellison and Peter Tomaiuolo.
    Mike Buetow

MONEY MATTERS

  • Focus on Business
    Defining the service package.
    Susan Mucha

TECH TALK

  • On the Forefront
    R&D not on P/L.
    E. Jan Vardaman

  • Screen Printing
    Broadband printing suggestions.
    Dr. Rita Mohanty

  • Better Manufacturing
    The education foundation.
    Peter Grundy

  • Tech Tips
    Wirebonder pattern recognition.
    American Competitiveness Institute

  • Wave Soldering
    Don’t shrink from these holes.
    Ursula Marquez de Tino

  • Process Doctor
    Applications of FTIR.
    Terry Munson

  • Pb-Free Lessons Learned
    A mystery no longer.
    Chrys Shea

  • NEW!
    The Defects Database

    Defect analysis, online and interactive.
    Dr. Davide Di Maio

  • Getting Lean
    “Wave” goodbye.
    By Chris Munroe

  • Materials World
    Phase change materials.
    Dr. Renzhe Zhao

  • Technical Abstracts

DEPARTMENTS

Industry News
Market Watch
Product Spotlight
Ad Index
Assembly Insider

On the cover: As RoHS spreads its reach, implantable medical devices will eventually need to go Pb-free too. (Cover illustration by Max Delson)

FEATURES

  • Medical Electronics Assembly
    ‘Checking Up’ on Medical Electronics
    Medical electronics assembly demands a different set of criteria than do commercial PCBs. The US FDA requires specific documentation, especially for verification of certain processes. Today’s medical electronics assembly also requires special testing, avoiding obsolete components and a detailed evaluation of a Pb-free product, as a looming EU RoHS Directive is expected to include medical electronics.
    By Zulki Khan

  • Cover Story
    Solder Ball Attachment Using Laser Soldering
    Reballing BGAs due to rework and conversion from RoHS-compliant solders to SnPb (or vice-versa) typically requires subjecting the component to additional reflow cycles beyond component manufacturer recommendations. Laser attachment or laser reballing in an oxygen-free bath eliminates two additional temperature excursions and provides improved component reliability by facilitating the use of standard assembly reflow temperatures without mixed alloys.
    By Joshua Muonio and Richard Stadem

  • Components
    Improving QFN Reliability
    The proper amount of solder is needed to ground the bottom of a QFN package and simultaneously create a toe fillet. Too much solder on the ground plane can cause parts to float; too little means insufficient grounding. This article focuses on the toe fillet and bottom connection, which create a kind of two-pronged connector, providing electrical continuity from both points.
    By Joseph G. Ameen and Gilson V. Geralde

FIRST PERSON

  • Letters

  • Caveat Lector
    Doing business, the standard way.
    Mike Buetow

  • Talking Heads
    Design Chain Associates’ Mike Kirschner.
    Chelsey Drysdale

MONEY MATTERS

  • Global Sourcing
    Outsourcing gets medieval.
    Charlie Barnhart

TECH TALK

  • Screen Printing
    One size doesn’t fit all.
    Clive Ashmore

  • Better Manufacturing
    A mask for all seasons.
    Phil Zarrow

  • Reflow Soldering
    Optimal oven conditions.
    Ursula Marquez de Tino

  • Tech Tips
    Reworking Pb-free PCBs.
    American Competitiveness Institute

  • Test and Inspection
    ICT gets probed.
    Stacy Kalisz Johnson

  • Process Doctor
    Cleaning becomes an event.
    Michael Bixenman

  • Pb-Free Lessons Learned
    The tenacity of Pb-free residues.
    Chrys Shea

  • Alternative Energies
    Adding solar cells to the SMT line.
    Darren Brown

  • Eastern Advances (1.38 MB PDF in Chinese)
    Soldering terminations.
    Sanqiang Cai

  • Technical Abstracts

DEPARTMENTS

Industry News
Market Watch
Product Spotlight
Ad Index
Assembly Insider

On the cover: A laser reballing process can cut two temperature excursions. (Photos courtesy General Dynamics)

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