Press Releases

iTSCi announced that its responsible minerals programme has received a donation from Qualcomm Incorporated, a world leader in 3G, 4G and next-generation wireless technologies, to help break the link between minerals and conflict. iTSCi is a unique and highly successful initiative delivering on-the-ground traceability, due diligence and risk identification, supporting the marketing of minerals and enabling community projects for tin, tungsten and tantalum (3T) mining in four countries of the African Great Lakes region.

“This is a welcome and important contribution to the iTSCi programme from our long-term Associate Member Qualcomm, especially at a time when recent market conditions have pressured upstream funding to a critical level,” said iTSCi Governance Committee member Kay Nimmo. “With this donation Qualcomm continues to show leadership in recognising the responsibility of downstream companies to give more than just verbal support to due diligence efforts of upstream producers.”

“Qualcomm has been committed to efforts to responsibly source minerals from the DRC and surrounding regions since before 2010, when we published our first conflict free minerals policy,” said Paul Guckian, Vice President of Engineering at Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. “We believe it is important to not only continue to promote responsible in-region sourcing, but also to contribute to on-the-ground traceability and development efforts in the Great Lakes Region.”

iTSCi now supports the supply of ‘3T’ minerals from over 1,500 mine sites across the region in accordance with recommendations of OECD Guidance.

The programme supports government tagging and enables traceability of each bag of minerals from sites across DRC, Rwanda, Burundi and Uganda that are regularly monitored for security issues and any potential serious human rights abuses. Data is collated by iTSCi and made available to smelters giving mine-to-metal traceability for downstream user audits. The work includes monitoring of due diligence, incident monitoring and auditing and, through achieving successful marketing of minerals, enables community projects to develop.

Qualcomm made a previous donation to iTSCi in 2014 which helped kick start activity on step-by-step improvement of health and safety in the mining areas through production of a training curriculum. This is now being rolled out and bringing benefits more widely through additional project funding for ‘Scaling up Mineral Traceability (iTSCi)’ from the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs. This is achieved through the iTSCi field teams who engage with community groups, other NGOs and business in the region in order to also support capacity building.

Earlier this year the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) praised the “remarkable progress” made by iTSCi as a leading initiative in the implementation of its Due Diligence Guidance for supply chain sourcing from conflict and high-risk areas. Its report published in April stated that iTSCi “is the only on-the-ground traceability and due diligence programme that has to date been able to demonstrate a clear impact on mineral production and exports.”

Over the last six years around 85,000 tonnes of minerals have passed through the programme, providing livelihoods for tens of thousands of miners and their dependents by enabling them to access international markets for the minerals they produce daily.

Martin Anselm, assistant professor of manufacturing and mechanical engineering technology, was recently named interim director of the Center for Electronics Manufacturing and Assembly at Rochester Institute of Technology. He will assume the leadership role immediately and will lead the training and research operations for the center that focuses on services in semiconductor chip packaging, printed circuit board assemblies and electronics/optoelectronics systems for the electronics packaging industry.

“Within a short period of time at RIT, Martin has successfully established a scholarship portfolio, securing grant funding from numerous organizations including Intel, Universal Instruments, AIM-Photonics and the Department of Labor,” said Manian Ramkumar, interim dean of RIT’s College of Applied Science and Technology. “He has numerous contacts within the electronics industry and is currently negotiating with Intel to secure equipment donation to enhance CEMA.”

Anselm joined RIT’s College of Applied Science and Technology in 2014. His expertise is in electronics failure analysis and root cause analysis, and his research interests include solder joint reliability and advanced manufacturing process development for electronic assemblies. This past summer, Anselm was part of the team that coordinated and presented an advanced manufacturing workforce training for veterans and displaced workers. The training provided occupational skills for the in-demand fields of next-generation manufacturing and technology, optics, photonics and imaging, and electronics assembly in New York state, and part of the long-term strategic planning set forth through the state’s Regional Economic Development Councils.

Prior to coming to RIT, Anselm worked for 15 years at Universal Instruments as a process engineer, manager of the company’s failure analysis services and coordinator of research projects for the company’s Advanced Processing Laboratory. He has held leadership positions with the Surface Mount Technology Association, including training committee chair and on the association’s board of directors.

CEMA offers training and development in electronics packaging as well as undergraduate and graduate degree programs. Faculty and technical associates of the center also customized seminars, in-field training and distance learning. Participants have access to state-of-the-art facilities capable of producing prototype assemblies and providing board design, manufacturing, inspection, testing and rework services.

Melbourne, Florida (PRWEB) November 08, 2016 -- As a leading mid-tier Electronics Manufacturing Service (EMS) provider, MC Assembly has earned a reputation for quality in an industry that must deal with a complex set of variables each day. Faced with very complex PCBA and box builds, the company recently unveiled the approach it takes to keep everything running smoothly in the fast-paced world of electronics manufacturing.

“We’ve invested in a layered approach of service offerings, state-of-the-art manufacturing, inspection and test capital equipment, all managed by a very robust quality management system (QMS) to try to achieve a zero defect culture,” said Jake Kulp, MC Assembly’s vice president for New Business Development.

The secret to the company’s commitment to quality actually begins before anything is manufactured. MC Assembly starts by optimizing their customers’ bill of materials. This is accomplished by minimizing outdated components and offering newer alternative parts that are form, fit and function like the original part but are more stable and sustainable.

MC Assembly can also optimize manufacturing designs through a design for manufacturability (DFM) processes as well as maximizing test coverages through a design for testing (DFT) process to ensure that MC Assembly can validate the work it performs meets each customer’s specifications. MC Assembly also engineers digital work instructions, accurate thermal profiles to run its reflow ovens, and production aids (Poka-yoke) to exact specifications required to make the product right the first time.

Robust inspections are performed on incoming materials with the goal of stopping all non-conforming material at MC Assembly’s docks. Material conformance is again verified when kits are picked and when SMT products are setup on the required feeders for use in the chip shooters and pick-and-place operations. 2D bar codes are applied to serialize the custom PCBs (unpopulated printed circuit boards) for a variety of tracking purposes. Finally, MC Assembly’s paperless factories offer real advantages over their competition that still uses paper prints and work instructions.

“We have placed inline 3D solder paste inspection (SPI) stations on every SMT line, inspecting 100 percent of every solder deposition and verifying they will produce the correct IPC 610 solder joint,” Kulp said. “This has greatly increased first pass yields on the complex PCBAs we build. Considering that a very large percentage of solder mistakes, that are usually found after the solder reflow process have their root causes based in misapplied solder paste, it is easy to justify the investments we have made in these inspection stations.”

Inline color automated optical inspection (AOI) is also placed on every SMT line at MC Assembly. Golden PCBAs are used to train these automatic inspection stations to verify correct parts placement, solder applications and part alignment. Off-line 3D X-ray and 3D AOI tools are used to uncover possible defects such as incomplete BGA solder ball collapse and the head in pillow type of tombstoning that standard color AOI will miss.

MC Assembly engineering attempts to design manufacturing processes where hand soldering is minimized whenever possible. Selective soldering, through the use of wave pallets, floor standing machines and bench-top robotics, are used to decrease the need for hand soldering that can contribute to operator errors. This automation also lowers recurring labor costs, increases scalability and because this process is designed at the bid stage of every new job these quality and cost savings are spread over the entire product life cycle.

“MC Assembly started as a test house in 1984 and that strong tradition of PCBA and box level test carries on today,” Kulp said. “Boards are tested with flying probes, in circuit and functional test methods according to the product’s design. The box builds are tested functionally and often environmentally stress screened to uncover any potential failures. When the final products leave MC Assembly, we’ve used the strictest controls through the manufacturing cycle and validated the product and our workmanship so the product meets our customer’s specifications.”

This commitment to quality and attention to detail has served MC Assembly well over its three-decade history as a leading mid-tier electronics manufacturing service provider, Kulp said.

“Despite the complexity and variety of products we make, this layered approach towards zero defects ensures that quality is built into every shipment we make,” he said. “This approach to quality has earned us the right to build for many world leaders in the markets we serve and when our customers take possession of the products that we have built, they are confident they will perform as they were designed.”

WILSONVILLE, Ore., Nov 8, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Mentor Graphics Corporation (NASDAQ: MENT) today announced that Seica, a leading supplier of automated test equipment for the electronics manufacturing industry, will offer the Valor Process Preparation tool to users of its Pilot® Flying Probe Testers (FPT). The Valor Process Preparation product will help streamline the input of printed circuit board (PCB) design data and generation of test programs for Seica's flying probe testers, thereby accelerating new product introduction (NPI) cycles.

The Valor Process Preparation software offers a complete solution for PCB electrical test engineering, interfacing seamlessly with Seica's VIVA software and delivering all the data required to generate a complete test program. The Valor Process Preparation design for test (DFT) engine enables optimization of test probe locations and automates probe offsets to compensate for differences in pad and solder mask openings, and to determine optimum approach for fine pitch leads. The Valor Process Preparation product supports 25 different CAD and CAM formats including Gerber and ODB++.

"Our Flying Probe Testers are extremely popular in NPI-intensive environments and Valor Process Preparation helps our customers meet the need for both high test coverage and rapid test program generation," said Antonio Grassino, president, Seica. "Valor's integration with our VIVA software creates an optimal flow from design to test."

"The Valor Process Preparation DFT engine applies our accumulated knowledge from the PCB design and manufacturing domains to assist customers in PCB testing," said Dan Hoz, general manager, Mentor Graphics Valor Division. "Our partnership with Seica allows our joint customers to implement a single platform for all of their process engineering needs starting from stencil through documentation, inspection and SMT programming."

Product Availability The Valor Process Preparation solution for Seica's Pilot Flying Probe Testers is available today. For more information visit: Seica is an exhibitor at Electronica 2016 (booth A1-459) in Munich, Germany, from November 8-11, 2016. For additional information on Seica's Pilot Flying Probe Test Platforms, visit

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