What We Can Learn from Singapore
A tour of seven facilities in the city-state opens the author’s eyes to an emerging government-industry infrastructure for responding to continually changing market conditions and business needs.
By Susan Mucha
BGA Reballing Reliability
During solder ball removal, a manual method using wicking braid resulted in fewer thermal stresses than would be encountered with a flowing solder bath. But a robust nickel layer on the component provides a very effective barrier against copper dissolution during the latter.
By Ray Cirimele
Cell Efficiency is Key to Success of Photovoltaics
Unlike semiconductors, there appear to be no technical barriers to the acceptance of new PV technologies. Photovoltaics will be governed more by economics than by any performance specifications, and the economics of these devices depend on little more than manufacturing cost and efficiency.
By Alain Harrus and Jim Handy
On the Use of 3 Thermocouples to Verify a PCB Profile During Reflow
By simulating changes to the oven – performed by altering belt speeds and a temperature zone from the baseline profile – evidence shows that by putting tight specifications on the two response variables for the temperature profiles of the three T/Cs located on the surface of the laminate’s leading edge, one can effectively verify the board’s characterization profiles are still within specification.
By Daryl L. Santos, Arun Ramasubramanian and Laurence A. Harvilchuck
On the Cover: A Pb-free flowing solder bath is expected to cause copper dissolution, but the nickel layer on some BGAs prevents solder from leaching.
What is Halogen-Free Solder Paste?
The assembly industry is being pushed in the direction of halogen-free materials. But many questions remain: What are the gauge R&Rs of the test procedures? How critical is 1500 ppm versus 900 ppm? Is this a test that represents the real impact of halogenated fire retardants? Should the halogen content only be tested on the final assembly? What are the impact and danger of the replacements? How pertinent is this to electronics assembly when the real issue is illegal dumping of e-waste? The results of the testing regarding this topic create more questions than answers.
By Karl Seelig and Michael Burgess
The Year of Survival
In 2009’s first test of how the electronics manufacturing industry is holding up, the crowds mostly stayed home from the major North American trade show of the year. Travel bans at several major OEMs clearly dampened turnout, which was down 34% year-over-year. Sensing the pending void (and disgruntled over the inflated costs of the show), exhibitors scaled back on equipment and booth sizes and, in a few cases, pulled out altogether. But even the weight of the financial world couldn’t depress a few shining moments. Plus: Service Excellence and NPI Award winners.
By Mike Buetow and Chelsey Drysdale
On the Cover: Some OEMs want to regulate halogens, but critics claim there's no science behind the limits.
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
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
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
Greed is not good.
No taste for no paste.
Vapor phase reflow rematerializes.
Phil Zarrow and Jim Hall
Pb-Free Lessons Learned
Excess copper dissolution.
Ursula Marquez de Tino
Test and Inspection
‘Reworking’ the concept of test.
Stacy Kalisz Johnson
Dr. Harald Wack
Is there room for EMS firms?
The Defects Database
Dr. Davide Di Maio
Wave Soldering Troubleshooting
Root causes for insufficients.
On the Cover: The next paradigm shift?