September 2010 cover


Automating the Documentation Process
“Documentation is much bigger than just design, fab and assembly,” experts say. A look at best-in-class processes that reduce the amount of time spent on drawings and notes by creating a “living” document.
by Mike Buetow

Best Practices for Double-Sided Mixed-Technology Boards
Plated through-hole assembly remains in use for some heavy power connectors, transformers and other devices where strong mechanical bonds are required. Reason: Heavy parts are prone to falling off during soldering.
by George Henning

A Critique of IPC-A-610E
The industry standard for visual acceptance criteria for post-assembly soldering and mechanical assembly requirements has been revised. A master trainer assesses the revised guidelines, looking at the many changes to package-on-package and leadless device packages, flex circuits, board-in-board connections and newer style SMT terminations.
by Bob Wettermann

Solder Materials
Present and Future Solder Technologies
Next-gen product relies on advanced powder technologies, better flux formulations, and dual-function materials such as epoxy fluxes. How powders, activator chemistries and fluxes are evolving for production use.
by Neil Poole, Ph.D., and Brian Toleno, Ph.D.

SMT Cleaning
Post-Reflow Residue Results Following pH-Neutral Cleaner Application
A study of 40 leaded and Pb-free solders compares alkaline to pH-neutral cleaning agents.
by Harald Wack, Ph.D., Joachim Becht, Ph.D., Michael McCutchen and Umut Tosun


  • Caveat Lector
    Mike Buetow



  • Sherman’s Market
    Foxconn’s suicide cluster, in context.
    Randall Sherman

  • Global Sourcing
    Low cost: the death of innovation.
    Richard Platt

  • ROI
    Standard mistakes.
    Peter Bigelow



    • On the Forefront
      LEDs’ bright future.
      E. Jan Vardaman

    • Selective Soldering
      A primer on nozzle types.
      Alan Cable

    • Tech Tips
      Ball attachment with preforms.
      ACI Technologies Inc.

    • Test and Inspection
      Eight steps to great ICT coverage.
      Jun Balangue

    • SMT Troubleshooting
      Reflow-related bridging.
      Paul Lotosky

    • Defects Database
      Finer powders, more solder balling?
      Dr. Davide Di Maio

    • Process Doctor
      Cleaning’s building blocks.
      Dr. Harald Wack

    • Solar Technologies
      The solar show circuit.
      Andy Ure

    • Materials World
      Soured by graping?
      Jie Bai

    • Technical Abstracts
      In Case You Missed It.
      Mike Buetow



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