Book Reviews

ImageBy Lee H. Goldberg
Newnes Publications
25 Chapters, 339 pages

Lead-Free assembly and soldering is covered in one chapter and is also featured in one of the appendices. Lead-free is reasonably well detailed, and the book provides a practical examination of the subject from one of the major players: Nortel. Nortel has concluded that the lead-free process is viable with existing equipment and that a tin/copper alloy provides a reliable alternative.

Having conducted experiments with disassembling parts, I enjoyed the chapter dedicated specifically to this issue. The Brunel University outlines the projects they conducted during the late 1900s that focused on material and fixings. The university demonstrates how feasible it is to recycle each of the products used in the process.

Two chapters specifically examine lead-free legislation, and each considers the value and shortcomings of various standards that have been proposed. One major focus of these chapters is the ability to return products at end of life. Unfortunately, some countries do not have the infrastructure to make recycling possible. Selection of the materials used to produce products for the marketplace is the key to success. A discussion on the selection of plastics examines the cost, how they may be used and whether or not they can be recycled.

The book is well worth the cost. Only one small criticism: the book could have been better illustrated. Many authors and contributors seem to forget the value of quality illustrations to support each chapter.

Read more ...

ImageBy Jennie S. Hwang
Electrochemical Publications
31 chapters, 879 pages, list of tables, figures, illustrations and photographs

This first textbook on lead-free soldering is massive—over 800 pages filled with a wide selection of tables, graphs, photographs and great micrographs in chapter 20 that cover intermetalic compounds. The book is filled with plenty of useful information. I say, "Well done!" to the team at Sandia National Laboratories (Albuquerque, NM).

Hwang is well known in the industry and has taught many workshops and seminars at shows such as APEX and NEPCON. She has also worked with several universities and technology groups. Hwang has authored several textbooks that have featured lead-free material, but none have the detail found in her newest endeavor. She also found time to contribute an interview on the SMART Group Web site this year in the Engineering Spotlight.

The book opens with a chapter on current pressures facing environment and issues that are forcing change in manufacturing industry. The second chapter outlines the lead-free technology currently used and the technology that will be required in the future. These chapters set the scene for a discussion concerning environmental policies and the conflicts often found with such policies. An early chapter in the book also looks at existing patents—it's amazing just how many exist for alternative alloys and which companies have filed them.

Hwang has rightly included a chapter on alternatives to solder with a contribution from Ken Gilleo of Cookson Electronics (Foxboro, MA). Anyone who has had the opportunity to sit in on one of Gilleo's workshops knows he has an incredible wealth of experience and his knowledge comes through in the text. The chapter reviews different systems explains advantages and disadvantages. He compares solder and adhesive limits and provides application examples for the reader to consider.

Hwang discusses ternary and binary alloys in separate chapters—each material is discussed by looking at the materials and results on stain and stress measurements, phase transition and wetting issues. To be fair, I must say that you need to be a materials scientist or metallurgist to understand these sections or argue their validity.

My only real criticism would be the lack of a practical "how-to" section that covers assembly issues. Sammy Shina's chapter focuses on the assembly process, with a full debate on an experiment on lead-free soldering but, what the reader is given, are the results of a study, rather a discussion on process and equipment. The chapter does provide a blueprint for companies considering an experiment and how that experiment could be conducted successfully. The book ends with a chapter on comparison, selections and recommendations that give readers the appropriate information to move forward. References are made to solderability issues, tin whiskers and reliability of components.

Don't be intimidated by the daunting number of graphs and tables. Take the time to read a section or two—you'll find this book a good addition to your lead-free library.

Read more ...

ImageBy Charles A Harper
McGraw Hill
14 Chapters, terms, abbreviations and over 600 pages with references for each chapter

Charles Harper is a common fixture at the major electronics events and continues to be involved in the fast moving electronics assembly industry through his company, Technology Seminars. Charles has edited or authored ten books in the field of electronics, but is best known for this handbook.

The third edition of this interconnection bible, features many well recognized experts and the chapters cover each aspect of printed circuit board (PCB) manufacturing, assembly and equipment design processes. The less fashionable areas, such as connectors, wire terminations and hybrids are also covered with updates from the previous issues of the handbook.

Of particular interest are the chapters on PCB technology that illustrate the basics of fabrications for plated through hole of double, multilayer, flexible circuits and current trends in microvia techniques. Omissions include the important issues of solder finishes and the overall future production processes.

One chapter is devoted to surface-mount technology, much of which focuses on the use of ball grid arrays (BGAs). Useful advice is given on each of the manufacturing techniques such as printing and placement with advice on x-ray inspection and process defects.

A chapter by Joseph Fjelstad, on chip scale packages (CSPs) and direct mounting of die to the boards, is very interesting and extremely well illustrated. The use of CSPs is on a growth curve and provides many of the advantages that direct flip chip cannot. Joe has highlighted specific issues related to the manufacturing techniques for the components. The chapter could have benefited by a small section on PCB design for the use of these parts.

Jennie Hwang contributes a section devoted to soldering technology with a small section on lead-free. The topic of lead-free will be covered in more detail when she releases her new book devoted to environmentally friendly assembly in a couple of months.

Overall, the book offers references that should suit all engineers who need a general book on up-to-date technology.

Read more ...

ImageBy Martin Bartholomew
Electrochemical Publications
162 pages

This is one of the first textbooks to be released on the use of encapsulants and underfills, and it makes a good companion to the flip chip books by John Lau. Other technology reports exist, but Martin Bartholomew, from Multicore, has provided a very useful reference source.

The book covers materials, applications and assembly issues, and provides helpful illustrations at each stage. It does, however, fall short of providing good photographs of products and the assembly techniques. The text would have benefited from more examples of products that are well documented in the industry.

Read more ...

ImageBy Robert S. Mroczkowski
McGraw Hill
14 Chapters, 300 pages

Very few books dedicated to connectors exist. In fact, this is only the second book that I am aware of in the industry and the first that is a dedicated manual. The book covers, in detail, the many forms of interconnection with special attention paid to electrical and mechanical aspects. More discussions of applications would have been beneficial since the assembly issues were not fully addressed. It would have been helpful to have a section from AMP on pin-in-hole reflow for conventional parts since it is so pertinent right now.

The chapter on crimping and IDC assembly is one of the best I have seen. More space should, however, have been given to preparation of cables for all types of the compression joint. With this topic added, the book could then be used as a training manual for production staff as well as an engineer's manual.

The section on press fit was very interesting, but did not cover the use of different solder finishes on boards. The type of solder to be used is now a topic of debate. What should we use? Copper, tin/lead or gold? This title is, on the whole, a great reference book.

Electronics Manufacturing with Lead-Free, Halogen Free & Conductive Adhesive
By John Lau, Ricky Lee, Ning Chang Lee and Wong

Read more ...

Page 3 of 4