2009 Issues

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FEATURES

  • Industry Models
    What We Can Learn from Singapore
    A tour of seven facilities in the city-state opens the author’s eyes to an emerging government-industry infrastructure for responding to continually changing market conditions and business needs.
    By Susan Mucha

  • Cover Story
    BGA Reballing Reliability
    During solder ball removal, a manual method using wicking braid resulted in fewer thermal stresses than would be encountered with a flowing solder bath. But a robust nickel layer on the component provides a very effective barrier against copper dissolution during the latter.
    By Ray Cirimele

  • Alternative Energies
    Cell Efficiency is Key to Success of Photovoltaics
    Unlike semiconductors, there appear to be no technical barriers to the acceptance of new PV technologies. Photovoltaics will be governed more by economics than by any performance specifications, and the economics of these devices depend on little more than manufacturing cost and efficiency.
    By Alain Harrus and Jim Handy

  • Reflow Profiling
    On the Use of 3 Thermocouples to Verify a PCB Profile During Reflow
    By simulating changes to the oven – performed by altering belt speeds and a temperature zone from the baseline profile – evidence shows that by putting tight specifications on the two response variables for the temperature profiles of the three T/Cs located on the surface of the laminate’s leading edge, one can effectively verify the board’s characterization profiles are still within specification.
    By Daryl L. Santos, Arun Ramasubramanian and Laurence A. Harvilchuck

FIRST PERSON

MONEY MATTERS

TECH TALK

  • Tech Tips
    Giving fine-pitch a wedgie.
    American Competitiveness Institute

 

DEPARTMENTS

Industry News
Market Watch
Product Spotlight
Ad Index
Assembly Insider

On the Cover: A Pb-free flowing solder bath is expected to cause copper dissolution, but the nickel layer on some BGAs prevents solder from leaching.

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FEATURES

  • Cover Story
    What is Halogen-Free Solder Paste?
    The assembly industry is being pushed in the direction of halogen-free materials. But many questions remain: What are the gauge R&Rs of the test procedures? How critical is 1500 ppm versus 900 ppm? Is this a test that represents the real impact of halogenated fire retardants? Should the halogen content only be tested on the final assembly? What are the impact and danger of the replacements? How pertinent is this to electronics assembly when the real issue is illegal dumping of e-waste? The results of the testing regarding this topic create more questions than answers.
    By Karl Seelig and Michael Burgess

  • Apex Recap
    The Year of Survival
    In 2009’s first test of how the electronics manufacturing industry is holding up, the crowds mostly stayed home from the major North American trade show of the year. Travel bans at several major OEMs clearly dampened turnout, which was down 34% year-over-year. Sensing the pending void (and disgruntled over the inflated costs of the show), exhibitors scaled back on equipment and booth sizes and, in a few cases, pulled out altogether. But even the weight of the financial world couldn’t depress a few shining moments. Plus: Service Excellence and NPI Award winners.
    By Mike Buetow and Chelsey Drysdale

FIRST PERSON

MONEY MATTERS

TECH TALK

  • On the Forefront
    China is building its semiconductor capacity. Could we stand another “Bear” market?
    E. Jan Vardaman
  • Reflow Soldering
    The art and science of profiling.
    Jon Silin and Ursula Marquez de Tino

 

DEPARTMENTS

Industry News
Market Watch
Product Spotlight
Ad Index
Assembly Insider

On the Cover: Some OEMs want to regulate halogens, but critics claim there's no science behind the limits.

 Circuits Assembly April 2009 cover

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  • FEATURES

    • America’s Next Model?
      New Opportunities in Electronics Manufacturing
      The offshore model was built on extremely high volumes with high operating rates, thin margins, and an abusive relationship between customer and vendor. The trend, however, is toward high-mix/low-volume and flexible response. Implementing MEMS, HDI and embedded components requires significant investment and a change in the way the factory floor is run, but could mean more stable business relationships, technology partnerships, and significantly improved margins and yields.
      By Matthew Holzmann

    • Cover Story
      Near-Term Opportunities for Large Area Flexible Electronics
      Large area flexible electronics is expected to become a multi-billion dollar clean-tech industry that will revolutionize how society interacts with intelligent and responsive electronics-based systems.
      By Daniel Gamota

    • Workcell Design
      The In-House Micro Facility
      EMS firms employ dedicated manufacturing cells and teams of dedicated multi-skilled technicians and assemblers – akin to mini factories within the factory. Each cell is optimally designed to support an individual product build process, and focuses exclusively on that customer or project. Assembly equipment in cells is located within close proximity to minimize product transportation and to maintain continuous flow with zero inventory between operations. This eliminates risk and increases predictability for the OEM and the assembler.
      By Dave Fahey

    • STI Electronics
      A Return to Roots
      A recent plant opening took Circuits Assembly to Huntsville, AL, the cradle of the EMS industry, where a soldering pioneer is now engaged in the unusual – but successful – combination of assembly engineering, distribution and training.
      By Mike Buetow

    FIRST PERSON

    MONEY MATTERS

    TECH TALK

    Screen Printing
    No taste for no paste.
    Clive Ashmore

    Better Manufacturing
    Vapor phase reflow rematerializes.
    Phil Zarrow and Jim Hall

    Pb-Free Lessons Learned
    Excess copper dissolution.
    Chrys Shea

    Reflow Soldering
    Processing SnCuNi.
    Ursula Marquez de Tino

    Test and Inspection
    ‘Reworking’ the concept of test.
    Stacy Kalisz Johnson

    Process Doctor
    Refractive reaction.
    Dr. Harald Wack

    Solar Technologies
    Is there room for EMS firms?
    Darren Brown

    The Defects Database
    Lead contamination.
    Dr. Davide Di Maio

    Wave Soldering Troubleshooting
    Root causes for insufficients.
    Paul Lotosky

    Technical Abstracts

    DEPARTMENTS

    Industry News
    Market Watch
    Product Spotlight
    Ad Index
    Assembly Insider

    On the Cover: The next paradigm shift?

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