December 2011 cover



In Memoriam
2011 will likely be recalled as a transitive year, one in which we took stock of the pros and cons of various geographies and business models as we tried to come to grips with very uncertain economic times. It will also be recalled as the year we lost some of the industry’s biggest names from all ends of the design and manufacturing spectrum, from Steve Jobs to Werner Engelmaier. This month we reflect on their impact on our industry and our lives.

SMT Stencils from a Production Perspective
The SMT stencil market is burgeoning with new materials, coatings and cutting technologies, all of which promise to improve the solder paste printing process. Which of these options really help assemblers keep yields up and costs down, and which are nothing more than techno-snake oil borne of marketing genius? An investigation took a comprehensive look at SMT stencils under volume manufacturing conditions.
by Chrys Shea

Automated Inspection
Implementing Good Test Coverage and Eliminating Escapes
Recent experiments on AOI, AXI and ICT in a production setting revealed multiple test coverages are ideal to ensure no escapes. The researchers found there is room to reduce testing coverage by studying detectable defects and testing yield, and a DPMO prediction can be made for a new assembly program.
by Gaosen Li, An Qi Zhao, Andrew Ho, Wei Wen, Zhen (Jane) Feng, Ph. D., Murad Kurwa, Haolee Yang and Liang Chen




    • Caveat Lector
      Productive Productronica.
      Mike Buetow


  • Talking Heads
    DEK's Michael Brianda.
    Mike Buetow



    • ROI
      On the margin.
      Peter Bigelow
    • Focus on Business
      The real challenge of diversity.
      Susan Mucha



  • Screen Printing
    Drawn to stencils.
    Clive Ashmore

  • Test and Inspection
    ICT costs.
    Sam Wong

  • Technical Abstracts
    In Case You Missed It.

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