April 2009 Issue Print E-mail
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Wednesday, 01 April 2009 08:50

 Circuits Assembly April 2009 cover

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    • 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




    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


    Industry News
    Market Watch
    Product Spotlight
    Ad Index
    Assembly Insider

    On the Cover: The next paradigm shift?

    Last Updated on Thursday, 23 April 2009 13:54


    Eastern-US: China’s New Competitor?

    Parity emerges among EMS Factories from Asia, Mexico and the US.

    For the first time in years we see parity in the Eastern US among EMS factories from Asia, Mexico and the US. This EMS market condition will permit American OEMs (the EMS industry refers to OEMs as customers) to have more EMS pathways to choose from. Now more than ever, such EMS assignments will require deeper investigation relating to the OEMs’ evaluation of manufacturing strategies.

    The Human Touch

    For those who count on the electronics industry for big feats, it’s been a remarkable couple of years.



    Advances in Concentration Monitoring and Closed-Loop Control

    Contaminated bath water skews refractive index results. New technology can accurately measure aqueous cleaning agent concentration.

    Circuits Disassembly: Materials Characterization and Failure Analysis

    A systematic approach to nonconventional methods of encapsulant removal.





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