Archives

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FEATURES

HOLE RELIABILITY
Conductive Inks vs. Nonconductive Inks for Via Fill

Just 15 years ago, filling a via was considered a specialty process limited to a small group of product applications and almost exclusively to one material: conductive ink. Today, many nonconductive inks are superior in performance, and much less expensive, than their conductive cousins.
by Roy Akber

PB-FREE ASSEMBLY
Hybrid Assembly Qualification and Process Control

The key to any hybrid assembly process is the original verification or process control of the thermal profile for the production build, and ongoing checks to verify the thermal profile is within the temperature controls set by the BoM review. Second, a robust product result qualification must be established to ensure the quality output is equal to or better than existing product, and product destructive analysis is conducted to ensure sphere collapse and lead intermixing is present.
by Scott Mazur

JABIL CIRCUIT
For Jabil, Blue Sky is Ahead

While other EMS companies duke it out for a larger piece of the electronics outsourcing pie, Jabil has mapped an ambitious strategy to win over nontraditional customers like Hyatt and Disney. A trip through the new Blue Sky Center shows why some 300 of its finest engineers have relocated from its 101 locations around the world to San Jose, where the full breadth of Jabil’s formidable array of products and services are on display.
by Mike Buetow

RETROSPECTIVE
In Memoriam

A look back at friends and colleagues who left us in 2015.
by Mike Buetow

 

FIRST PERSON

 

MONEY MATTERS

 

TECH TALK

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FEATURES

CONFORMAL COATINGS
Competitive Analysis of Parylene Coatings Based on Metrology

A study comparing the quality and performance of four Parylene C coatings investigated whether variations in surface roughness, contact angle, and crystallinity values affect environmental protection performance. Despite differences in the coatings, similar results were seen throughout.
by Sean Clancy, Ph.D.

THE FUTURE
Electronics 2020: What Will the Industry Look Like?

Robots, DNA-based circuits, 3D printers, supply chain migration: These are just some of the challenges – and opportunities – the electronics industry is facing today. What leading electronics experts see in the design and manufacturing landscape the next several years.
by Mike Buetow

 

FIRST PERSON

 

MONEY MATTERS

 

TECH TALK

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FEATURES

DfM
Refining Lean NPI at Optimum Design Associates

The third phase of a multi-year study of the implementation of Lean NPI at a small-tier EMS reveals that moving DfM earlier in the process catches errors sooner than ever before, allowing them to be quickly and inexpensively rectified.
by Randy Holt

SCREEN PRINTING
Improving Stencil Printer Accuracy

Variations in different elements in the printing process, e.g., PCB fiducials, stencils, and other factors, ensure there is no printer “too accurate.” How machine design and engineering considerations for a new printer hold up under accuracy testing.
by Michael L. Martel

 

FIRST PERSON

 

MONEY MATTERS

 

TECH TALK

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FEATURES

COVER STORY
China in Charge

The winners in 2014 in terms of revenue gains were flexible circuit manufacturers that built for Apple, but the annual NTI-100 ranking of the largest board fabricators reveals a quiet but steadier trend: the emergence of the domestic Chinese players.
by Dr. Hayao Nakahara

SUPPLY CHAIN
US or Mexico: Which Option Makes Most Sense for Your Project?

US and Mexico manufacturing costs are at or below those of China when total costs are considered. For those considering a North American manufacturing solution, there are five key considerations.
by Joe Villanueva

 

FIRST PERSON

 

MONEY MATTERS

 

TECH TALK

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FEATURES

LINE BALANCING
A History of Placement Programming and Optimization

A look under the hood at SMT optimization algorithm strategies reveals where it has all gone wrong and suggests the possibility of a completely fresh approach.
by Michael Ford

REFLOW SOLDERING
Soldering With Vacuum Profiles

Soldering with targeted use of vacuum can contribute to a considerable reduction of the number of voids and void content.
by Helmut Oettl

TALKING HEADS
‘The New Rules Are Better Rules’

Soldering with targeted use of vacuum can contribute to a considerable reduction of the number of voids and void content.
by Helmut Oettl

 

FIRST PERSON

 

MONEY MATTERS

TECH TALK

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FEATURES

WASTE MANAGEMENT
Managing Your Environmental Waste

Electronics manufacturers create many types of waste within a facility, and understanding environmental regulations can be cumbersome. Users can stay informed through workshops, websites and environmental compliance updates, with the overall goal to understand if specific waste is hazardous or nonhazardous and how to properly dispose of it.
by Scott Mazur

LASER DEPANELINGLAZER DEPANELING
Depaneling of Circuit Boards

Standard panel sizes simplify fabrication processes and sometimes can also benefit assembly when multiple boards can be processed as one item. There are multiple solutions for removing.
by Ahne Oosterhof and Thomas Nether

 

FIRST PERSON

 

MONEY MATTERS

TECH TALK