• Nickel Stencils
    Improvements in Pb-free Stencils
    When screen printing with Pb-free solder pastes, stencils made from pure nickel or a nickel alloy help to achieve paste transfer efficiency comparable to the levels achieved using SnPb pastes with stainless steel laser-cut stencils. Combined with the efficiencies of a framemounted interchangeable foil stencil system, nickel is the optimal medium for process repeatability and productivity.
    Clive Ashmore and Michael Zahn

  • Placement Software
    New Tools for High-Mix Manufacturers
    Though the speed and accuracy of modern component placement systems still factor greatly in equipment evaluation, software is emerging as a differentiator. Here, a major EMS company discusses how use of new software helped it cut NPI setup by 1.5 to 2 times.
    David Garfield and Steve Bowen

  • Cover Story
    Key Issues in Supporting Customers Not Transitioning To Pb-Free
    Many OEMs need to sustain leaded products for reasons of cost or reliability. This article looks at challenges associated with products that are not transitioning to Pb-free and suggests considerations for both the EMS company and the OEM.
    Curt Williams

  • Case Study
    Finding Hidden Placement Problems
    High-mix, low volume EMS companies spend large amounts of time in machine setup and changeover. Using a special technology that measures machine accuracy, one EMS provider was able to improve its placement machine accuracy.
    Kary Voegele

  • DfM Trends
    Practical Steps to Reduce Total Cost of Ownership
    From R&D to boxbuild, the telecom equipment supply chain is highly complex. Yet many OEMs fail to bring their EMS providers into the process until a new product is ready for volume production. Here’s how to fix that.
    Petra Ebner


  • Caveat Lector
    A Speedline solution.
    Mike Buetow

  • Letters

  • Talking Heads
    Kyzen's Tom Forsythe.
    Mike Buetow


  • Global Sourcing
    Labeling China.
    Chelsey Drysdale


  • Screen Printing
    Process verification and tracking.
    Joe Belmonte

  • Better Manufacturing
    Reliable Pb-free joints: An oxymoron?
    Phil Zarrow

  • Tech Tips
    Attachments to "die" for.
    American Competitiveness Institute

  • Wave Soldering
    Pb-free coatings and alloy combinations.
    Gert Schouten

  • Test and Inspection
    Custom test plans.
    Shebetey Alkhasov

  • Process Doctor
    Rescuing failed hardware.
    Terry Munson

  • Technical Abstracts


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On the cover: How to accomodate OEMs that are sticking with lead solder. (Photo by Gino Santa Maria, 2006)

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