Archives

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FEATURES

PLATING
Black Pad Revisited

Black pad is often the root cause of solderability issues. How do you differentiate it from other soldering defects?  And why should you care?
by Martine Simard-Normandin and Christina Banks

PURCHASING
Industry 4.0 and Supply Chain Disruption

A pure electronic data interchange (EDI) model works well for projects that are up and running, assuming no constraints. The challenge comes when component demand exceeds capacity – and it is.
by Wally Johnson

SOURCING
Navigating Supply Chain Disruption: One EMS Provider’s Approach

With lead times for some parts out to 63 weeks, understanding planning tools and methods becomes more critical than ever.
by Priyanka Dobriyal

'Pushing the Cart': 25 Years of Zestron
As it reaches its silver anniversary, the cleaning company's CEO, Harald Wack, reflects on the inspirations of his father and Zestron founder Oskar Wack.
by Mike Buetow

 

FIRST PERSON

 

MONEY MATTERS

 

TECH TALK

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FEATURES

NTI-100
Automotive Driving Fabricator Gains

For fabricators whose major customers were Apple and Samsung, growth was hard to come by in 2016. But suppliers to the auto sector were revving up.
by Dr. Hayao Nakahara

FACTORY 4.0
Lights-Out Electronics Assembly

Running PCB assembly lines without operators for an extended period of time is the holy grail of manufacturing. A look at the state-of-the-art technologies to put that goal within a robot’s reach.
by Ranko Vujosevic, Ph.D.

LEADERSHIP
The Women’s Leadership Program is Not Just for Women

Speakers for the annual SMTAI event discuss their backgrounds, mentors, and why engineering was the right field for them.
by Priyanka Dobriyal

 

FIRST PERSON

 

MONEY MATTERS

 

TECH TALK

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FEATURES

SALARY SURVEY
Among Designers, Compensation, Job Satisfaction on the Rise

If PCD&F’s latest data are any indication, more than half of today’s PCB designers plan to work in the field for no more than the next 10 years. The good news: Salaries are at their highest point yet – and so is job satisfaction.
by Chelsey Drysdale

CLEANING
Evaluating Rinsing Effectiveness in Spray-In-Air Cleaners

In general, spray-in-air systems include wash, rinse and dry cycles. Engineered cleaning agents are critical to the process. In addition to the ability to solubilize the residues, they exhibit low surface tension averaging about 30 dynes/cm, whereas pure DI-water has an average surface tension of 70 dynes/cm. Given the low-standoff heights of components on today’s PCBs, low surface tension is required to enable the cleaning agent to penetrate underneath components for contact and solubilize the residue. The rinse cycle is critical to the process, for the rinse water must penetrate the same low standoff components in order to “rinse” or remove the residue-laden cleaning agent. However, rinsing uses pure DI water. Given the surface tension of water, how effective is this process?
by Umut Tosun and Jigar Patel

 

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MONEY MATTERS

 

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CLEANING
Failure Analysis of PCBA Contamination

In general, ionic contamination requires a few catalysts to grow: ions, moisture and a power source. Failure analysis of PCBA contamination starts with understanding the makeup of the contamination.
by Scott Mazur

ZOLLNER
Coming to America

Germany’s Zollner, the largest privately held EMS in the world, has been inching into the Americas for years. Has its time to shine finally come?
by Mike Buetow

 

FIRST PERSON

 

MONEY MATTERS

 

TECH TALK

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FEATURES

DfX
PCB Designers Hold Smart Factories Ransom

Many companies have ended up “just living with” multiple, repeated PCB fabrication and assembly issues for years, regarding them as a given. If smart factories are to work, however, this has to change. Here’s how.
by Michael Ford

ADDITIVE PROCESSING
Savings and Efficiencies with Printed Silver Flexible Circuits

Historically, a designer’s only recourse as electronics packaging became denser was to incorporate flexible PCBs to route traces around 3D structures. Innovations in printing and component attach are seeing light, flexible printed silver circuitry in high-density applications where more costly traditional etched copper circuits were once exclusive.
by Greg Kuchuris

SOLDERING
Mitigation of Head-in-Pillow Defect

HiP (or HoP or ball in socket) is a solder joint defect that occurs mainly with BGA, CSP and package-on-package components. Most common causes of HiP defect relate to poor wetting or component warpage. Fortunately, there are solutions.
by Jennifer Nguyen

GETTING LEAN
The Truth Behind Lean Materials

A common myth about Lean materials is they are not effective in high-mix scenarios. Advanced Lean material computerization can shave 30% of the logistics costs.
by Michael Ford

 

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EMS TOP 50
Automotive and Automation

In a year of stalled outsourcing – even mighty Foxconn took a step back – two sectors continued to drive EMS forward. Who were 2016’s individual winners and losers?
by Mike Buetow

DISPENSING
Improved Maintenance and Reliability for Large-Volume Underfill Processes

Noncontact streaming technology has brought a new level of robustness to the high-volume underfill process. With no z-axis motion required, streaming has mitigated the effects from needles required in auger dispensing, and removed parts’ wear-and-tear from the equation.
by Sunny Agarwal

 

FIRST PERSON

 

MONEY MATTERS

 

TECH TALK