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