• Nepcon China
    China Goes ‘Upmarket’
    Among Chinese suppliers, the learning curve is clearly shortening, making the annual Shanghai show a must-see. But can what some call the world’s leading SMT show fend off a competitive challenge?
    By Mike Buetow

  • Inovar
    Out of the Garage
    The snow-capped mountains of Cache Valley provide an eye-pleasing backdrop to a cresting EMS company.
    By Mike Buetow

  • Cover Story
    Improving Production Line Performance
    Balanced lines are thought to be standard for efficient production, yet in some cases, the total buffer capacity has to be spaced unevenly. The latest research shows why deliberately unbalancing the buffers may be beneficial.
    By Dr. Sabry Shaaban and Dr. Sarah Hudson

  • Productivity Tools
    Manufacturing Steps Onto the Enterprise IT Stage
    The concept of a single, comprehensive information solution collapses when one enters the manufacturing, quality and process engineering offices, and certainly the factory floor. This has led to a new category of “enterprise level” tools called manufacturing operations system (MOS) software.
    By Jason Spera

  • Wave Control
    Measuring and Controlling Wave Height and Dwell Time
    When something changes in the process, the solder wave is often the culprit. A novel direct measurement, closed-loop system can resolve problems regulating critical parameters such as wave height and dwell time.
    By Ken Kirby


  • Letters

  • Caveat Lector
    As the earth moves.
    Mike Buetow

  • Talking Heads
    iNEMI’s Dr. Haley Fu.
    Mike Buetow


  • Screen Printing
    Correlating 2-D and 3-D SPI.
    Dr. Rita Mohanty

  • Better Manufacturing
    Feeling heat over China.
    Phil Zarrow

  • Wave Soldering
    Copper dissolution gets the yank.
    Ursula Marquez de Tino

  • Tech Tips
    Soldering SAC-finished parts with SnPb solder.
    American Competitiveness Institute

  • Test and Inspection
    Quick looks at the latest in boundary scan.
    Ted T. Turner

  • Process Doctor
    Quick analytical tests for surface cleanliness.
    Ravi Parthasarathy, Dr. Harald Wack and Dr. Helmut Schweigart

  • Pb-Free Lessons Learned
    Diagnosing fab problems.
    Chrys Shea

  • Getting Lean
    The design scale.
    Chris Munroe

  • Eastern Advances (324KB PDF in Chinese)
    Why you need DfX.
    Keyan Zhao and Sanqian Cai

  • Technical Abstracts


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On the cover: Correctly designed unbalanced lines can increase throughput. (Photo by Tom Mc Nemar)

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