NPI Award

About the Award

CIRCUITS ASSEMBLY'S New Product Introduction (NPI) Awards recognize the leading new products for electronics assembly during the past 12 months. Awards are selected by an independent panel of practicing industry engineers, and are presented by CIRCUITS ASSEMBLY.


Entrants must submit a single, complete entry form for each product and category entered. Entries that fail to comply with the submission requirements will result in automatic disqualification.

All entries must include:

  • A 250-word (maximum) statement describing the product in terms of its creativity and innovation, compatibility with existing technology, cost-effectiveness, design, expected reliability, flexibility, speed/throughput improvements, performance, user-friendliness, and expected maintainability and reparability, emailed to no later than Dec. 11, 2018.
  • A PDF or Word file of corresponding technical product literature and/or product specifications, emailed to
  • A high-resolution (266 dpi or greater) digital image (.jpg, .tif or .eps).
  • Fee of $500 per product entered.


Judges have been chosen by CIRCUITS ASSEMBLY from a pool of experienced, practicing industry engineers with no affiliation to any of the entrants. CIRCUITS ASSEMBLY will tabulate all scores. Judges' scores are final; judges will not be made available to communicate with entrants.

Evaluations will be based on the following:

  • Creativity and innovation
  • Compatibility with existing technology
  • Cost-effectiveness
  • Design
  • Expected reliability
  • Flexibility
  • Expected maintainability/ease of repair
  • Performance
  • User-friendliness
  • Speed/throughput

Awards Ceremony

The 2019 awards ceremony will take place January 29, 2019, on the trade show floor during IPC Apex Expo in San Diego.

Entries must have been introduced to market (any region) no earlier than Jan. 1, 2018 for eligibility.

Entries must comply with all stated rules and requirements. 

Entries must be e-mailed by December 11, 2018. No late entries are accepted.

All winners are announced at the awards ceremony. Winners are not notified in advance.

Winners are selected solely on their product's merits. Prior, existing or pending business relationships with CIRCUITS ASSEMBLY or UP Media Group are not a consideration.

It is the judges' option not to award a winner in a given category.

There is no limit to the number of categories any company enters.

Submit one online entry form per product entered.

Award winners may acknowledge receipt of the award in advertising, promotional material and company stationery.

2019 NPI Award Dates

July 2018

Registration for the 2019 NPI Awards is now open. To register, visit
December 2018
The deadline for entries is December 11, 2018. All entries must include product description (see requirements), corresponding digital image and payment to be considered.
January 2019

The 2019 NPI Award ceremony will take place January 29, 2019, on the trade show floor of IPC Apex Expo in San Diego.
March 2019

An announcement featuring the winners will be published in the March edition of CIRCUITS ASSEMBLY. There is also special advertising opportunities for winners. (Contact for advertising questions.)

Registration for the 2019 NPI Awards is now open. To register, visit Winners will be announced January 29, 2019, at IPC Apex Expo in San Diego.

Entry fees are $500 (US) per product entry.

*All entrants to the NPI program must read the NPI Terms and Conditions.

How does it work?

Entrants must submit a single registration form for each product and category entered. All entries must include a 250-word (maximum) statement describing the product in terms of its creativity and innovation, compatibility with existing technology, cost-effectiveness, design, expected reliability, flexibility, speed/throughput improvements, performance, user-friendliness, and expected maintainability and reparability; a PDF or Word file of corresponding technical product literature and/or product specifications, and a high-resolution (266 dpi or greater) digital image (.jpg, .tif or .eps).

Email information to

The NPI Awards consist of four categories: Equipment, Materials, Software and Process Innovation.


Automation tools (conveyors, feeders, etc.)
Cleaning equipment
Component placement - high-speed
Component placement - multifunction
Component storage
Device programming
Dispensing equipment
Labeling equipment
Process control tools
Rework and repair tools
Screen/stencil printing
Screen/Stencil Printing Peripherals/Consumables
Soldering - reflow (convection)
Soldering - wave
Soldering - selective
Soldering - alternative (vapor phase, hot bar, laser, etc.)
Soldering - hand tools
Test and inspection - AOI
Test and inspection - AXI
Test and inspection - ICT
Test and inspection - SPI
Test and inspection - functional test
First Article Inspection

Cleaning materials
Underfill/Thermal Interface Materials
Soldering materials (paste, bar, wire, core, etc.)
Cored Wire

Software - process control
Software - production
Software - management (ERP, MRP, etc.)

Training Materials

Process Innovation

The Process Innovation category recognizes engineering work done at the assembly (OEM or EMS) level.
What qualifies? An innovation that represents an enhancement to existing equipment or process capabilities. It could be something as simple as making workers pass an ESD check before entering the factory. (This is now commonplace, but when introduced it was an elegant solution for cutting down on ESD issues.)
These innovations should have measurable cost-reduction metrics and/or quality yield improvement metrics.
How would we define process start? The year of introduction of the process is defined by the date the process innovation was first approved by the first assembler using it or by the date a patent application was filed. (It should be recognized that not all companies will choose to patent their innovation, of course.)

To avoid any IP disclosure issues, a company senior executive must authorize release of the information. Authorization shall be made to Mike Buetow, UPMG, at

Congratulations to the 2018 winners!

Automation Tools: Fuji America (Fuji Smart Nozzle Cleaner)
Coatings/Encapsulants: Henkel Electronic Materials (Package-Level EMI Shielding Materials)
Component Placement – High Speed: Europlacer Americas (Atom 4 Pick and Place Machine)
Component Placement – Multi-function: Europlacer Americas (Atom 3 Pick and Place Machine)
Component Storage: Inovaxe (InoAuto Smart MSD Cart)
Cored Wire: Indium (Core 230-RC “No-Spatter” Robotic Cored Wire)
Device Programming: Data I/O (UFS Upgrade Kit for Lumen X)
Dispensing Equipment: Essemtec (Tarantula – Relentless All Terrain Jet Dispenser)
First Article Inspection: Yxlon (Cheetah EVO Plus Scalable X-Ray Inspection System)
Process Control Tools: Kyzen (Kyzen Analyst)
Process Innovation: Panasonic Factory Solutions Co. of America (Panasonic SPV, Paperless Cleaning Technology)
Rework and Repair Tools: Metcal (Connection Validation Robotic Soldering System)
Screen/Stencil Printing Equipment: Juki (G-Titan Automatic Screen Printer)
Screen/Stencil Printing Peripherals/Consumables: Inovaxe (InoAuto Smart Stencil Rack)
Software – Process Control: Cogiscan (Factory Intelligence – Analytics)    
Software – Production: BPM Microsystems (WhisperTeach)    
Soldering Materials: AIM (REL22 M8 High Reliability Solder Paste)
Soldering – Reflow: R&D VaporTech (Smartphase Inline Vapor Phase Reflow System)
Soldering – Selective: Nordson Select (Integra 508.5 Selective Soldering System)    
Soldering – Other: Promation (Quick 9440IR-U Soldering Robot)
Test & Inspection – AOI: Test Research Inc. (TR7700Q 3D AOI System)
Test & Inspection – AXI: Viscom (Inspection System X7056-II)
Test & Inspection – SPI: CyberOptics (SE3000 SPI)
Underfill/Thermal Interface Materials: Henkel Electronic Materials (Bergquist Gap Filler TGF 1500RW Liquid, Peelable TIM for Easy Rework)

Past Winners


Henkel Electronic Materials (Coatings/Encapsulants)    
Kyzen (Cleaning Materials)
Yamaha Motor Corp. (Component Placement – High Speed)
Essemtec (Component Placement – Multi-function)
Juki Automation Systems (Component Storage)
Data I/O (Device Programming)
DELO Industrial Adhesives (Dispensing Equipment)
Kyzen (Process Control Tools)
Kurtz Ersa (Rework & Repair Tools)
Speedprint Technology (Screen/Stencil Printing Equipment)
Fuji America (Software – Management)
ASM (Software – Process Control)
Cogiscan (Software – Production)
Nihon Superior (Soldering Materials)
ITW EAE – Vitronics Soltec (Soldering – Reflow)
Kurtz Ersa (Soldering – Selective)
OK International/Metcal (Soldering – Hand Tools)
EVS International (Soldering – Other)
Viscom (Test & Inspection – AOI)
Dage Precision Industries (Test & Inspection – AXI)
Test Research Inc. (Test & Inspection – ICT)
Akrometrix (First Article Inspection)
Datest (Functional Test)
Kester (Flux)


ASM Assembly Systems (Automation Tools)
Palomar Technologies (Bonders)
Aculon (Coatings/Encapsulants)
Seika Machinery (Cleaning Equipment)
Kyzen (Cleaning Materials)
Fuji America (Component Placement – High Speed)
Kurtz Ersa (Component Placement – Multifunction)
Inovaxe (Component Storage)
Data I/O (Device Programming)
Techcon Systems (Dispensing Equipment)
Seika Machinery (Process Control Tools)
BEST Inc. (Rework & Repair Tools)
Speedline Technologies (Screen/Stencil Printing Equipment)
Datum Alloys (Screen/Stencil Printing Peripherals/Consumables)
Europlacer Americas (Software – Management)
Kurtz Ersa (Software – Process Control)
Cogiscan (Software – Production)
Henkel Electronic Materials (Soldering Materials)
Kurtz Ersa (Soldering – Reflow)
ACE Production Technologies (Soldering – Other)
Kurtz Ersa (Soldering – Selective)
MIRTEC (Test & Inspection – AOI)    
Scienscope International (Test & Inspection – AXI)
STI Electronics (Training Materials)
Henkel Electronic Materials (Underfill/Thermal Interface Materials)


Panasonic Factory Solutions Co. of America (Automation Tools)
Aqua Klean Systems (Cleaning Equipment)
Kyzen (Cleaning Materials)
Fuji America Corp. (Component Placement – High Speed)
Panasonic Factory Solutions Co. of America (Component Placement – Multifunction)
VJ Electronix (Component Storage)
Nordson Asymtek (Dispensing Equipment)
Indium Corp. (Flux)
SCS Coating Systems (Process Control Tools)
FSInspection (Rework & Repair Tools)
Apex Factory Automation (Screen/Stencil Printing Equipment)
Quick Tensioning Systems (Screen/Stencil Printing Peripherals/Consumables)
Mentor Graphics/Valor (Software – Management)
Vi Technology (Software – Process Control)
BTU International (Software – Production)
The Electronics Group of Henkel (Soldering Materials)
EVS International (Soldering – Other)
ACE Production Technologies (Soldering – Selective)
ViTrox Technologies (Test & Inspection – AOI)    
ViTrox Technologies (Test & Inspection – AXI)
Parmi (Test & Inspection – SPI)
STI Electronics (Training Materials)


Dispensing Equipment: Nordson Asymtek (Spectrum II S2-900 Series)
Soldering - Reflow: ERSA (Hotflow 4/26)
Soldering Materials: Henkel Electronic Materials (90iSC Alloy and Loctite Multicore HF212 Flux Medium)
Screen/Stencil Printing Equipment: Juki Automation Systems and GKG Asia (GL Fully Automatic Solder Paste Printer)
Screen/Stencil Printing Peripherals: Aculon (NanoClear)
Component Placement – Multifunction: Essemtec (Paraquda)
Soldering – Selective: Juki Automation Systems and Inertec (Cube)
Software – Process Control: Cogiscan (Factory Intelligence Monitoring Module)
Test & Inspection – AOI: MIRTEC (MV-7 Omni 2D/3D In-Line AOI)
Test & Inspection – AXI: ViTrox (V810 XXL In-Line 3D AXI)
Rework & Repair Tools: Metcal (Metcal HCT2-120 Digital Hot Air Pencil)
Software – Production: Panasonic Factory Solutions (PanaCIM)
Cleaning Materials: Kyzen (Aquanox A8830 Low VOC Aqueous Stencil Cleaning Agent)       
Bonders: Palomar Technologies (8000i Wire Bonder with i2Gi)
Automation Tools: Count On Tools (StripFeeder Modular (.mod) System v. 2)
Adhesives: Henkel Electronic Materials (Loctite TAF-8800 Thermal Absorbent Film)
Test & Inspection – ICT: Seika Machinery (FA1240-51 Flying Probe Tester)
Test & Inspection – SPI: Parmi (Sigma X)
Soldering – Other: EVS International (EVS 500)
Component Placement – High-Speed: Juki Automation Systems (RX-7 High-Speed Compact Modular Mounter)
Device Programming: Data I/O (PSV7000)
Test & Inspection – Functional Test: Nordson Dage (Camera Assist Automatic Bondtesting)
Cored Wire: Nihon Superior (SN100C (031) Pb-free Flux-Cored Solder Wire)


Process Control Tools: Microscan (Mini Hawk Xi)
Screen/Stencil Printing: Speedprint (SP710avi with Advanced Dispense Unit)
Screen/Stencil Printing Peripherals: Count On Tools (ezLOAD PCB Support System for Screen Printers)
Cleaning Equipment: Austin American Technology (NanoJet Aqueous Inline Cleaning System)
Device Programming: BPM Microsystems (2800ISP Semi-Automated In-System Device Programmer)
Dispensing Equipment: Nordson Asymtek (NexJet System)
Test & Inspection – AOI: Mirtec Corp. (MV-9 2D/3D In-Line AOI Series)
Test & Inspection – ICT: Acculogic (Ultimate Accuracy Package for Flying Scorpion)
Test & Inspection – Functional Test: Multitest Elektronische Systeme (InStrip 3D)
Test & Inspection – AXI: VJ Electronix (Vertex II X-Ray Inspection System) 
Test & Inspection – SPI: Parmi (SPI HS70)
Soldering Materials: Nihon Superior (SN100C P604 D4 Solder Paste)
Automation Tools: Count On Tools (Stripfeeder .mod Series)0
Component Placement – Multifunction: Universal Instruments (FuzionXC2-37 Platform) 
Soldering – Reflow: Rehm Thermal Systems (Vision XP 934 Quad Lane Convection Reflow Oven)
Soldering – Selective: ACE Production Technologies (ACE KISS-205 Selective Soldering with In-Line Concurrent Processing)
Cleaning Materials: Kyzen (Aquanox A4639 Electronic Assembly Aqueous Solution)
Labeling Equipment: Cogiscan (Murata Magicstrap for PCB RFID Tracking Integrated with Cogiscan TTC Middleware)
Software – Process Control: Viscom (SPI-AOI Uplink)
Soldering – Other: EVS International (EVS 10K Solder Recovery Machine)
Coatings/Encapsulants: FCT Assembly (NanoCoat Multilayer System)
Rework & Repair Tools: Air Vac Engineering (PCBRM100)
Flux: AIM (NC277 Liquid Flux)
First Article Inspection: CGI Americas (Newly n=1 First Article Inspection System)


Process Control Tools: Cognex (DataMan 500)
Screen/Stencil Printing Equipment: Speedprint (Speedprint SP700avi)
Screen/Stencil Printing Peripherals: Seika Machinery (Sawa Ultrasonic Stencil Cleaner SC-AH100F-LV Low-VOC Model)
Cleaning Equipment: Aqueous Technologies (Trident XLD)
Device Programming: Data I/O Corp. (RoadRunner 3 with FIS)
Dispensing Equipment: GPD Global (PCD Dispensing on MAX Series Platform)
Test & Inspection – AOI: CyberOptics Corp. (QX100)
Test & Inspection – ICT: Datest (SPEA 4060 Flying Probe Tester with Goepel Boundary Scan)
Test & Inspection – Functional Test: Agilent Technologies (Agilent TS-8900)
Test & Inspection – AXI: ViTrox Technologies (V810 In-Line 3D AXI) 
Soldering Materials: AIM (NC259 Solder Paste)
Automation Tools: LPKF Laser & Electronics (LPKF MicroLine 1120 P)
Component Placement – Multifunction: Assembléon America (iFlex) 
Component Placement – High-Speed: Juki Corp. (Sentry)
Soldering – Reflow: Speedline Technologies (Closed Loop Nitrogen Control)
Soldering – Selective: SEHO Systems (AOI System to be embedded in Selective Soldering Machine)
Cleaning Materials: Kyzen Corp. (Aquanox A4638)
Labeling Equipment: Cogiscan (LabelScan Automated Vision System)
Software – Production: Juki Corp. (Juki IS NPI+ Bundle) 
Software – Process Control: Microscan (AutoVISION Machine Vision Software)
Soldering – Other: EVS (EVS 7000LFHS Solder Recovery System Redesign)
Cored Wire: Nihon Superior (SN100C (551CT) Lead-Free Flux-Cored Solder Wire)
Coatings/Encapsulants: Semblant Inc. (SPF (Semblant Plasma Finish))
Rework & Repair Tools: Christopher Associates (Magnus HD Trend)
Soldering – Wave: KIC (KIC 24/7 Wave)
Surface Treatment: Dow Electronic Materials (Circuposit Hole Prep 4126 Sweller)


Process Control Tools: KIC (MVP – Manual Virtual Profiling Fixture)
Screen/Stencil Printing Equipment: Milara (TD2929)
Screen/Stencil Printing Peripherals: DEK (Nano-ProTek)
Cleaning Equipment: Aqueous Technologies (Trident Zero)
Device Programming:
BPM Microsystems (2800 Concurrent Programming System)
Dispensing Equipment:
GPD Global (PCD Dispensing)
Test and Inspection – AOI: CyberOptics (QX500 AOI System)
Test and Inspection – ICT: Datest (SPEA 4060 Flying Probe Tester)
Soldering Materials: FCT Assembly (NL930PT Pin Probable Solder Paste)
Automation Tools: Count On Tools (LED Nozzle Series)
Component Placement – Multifunction: Essemtec (Cobra SMT Pick-and-Place)
Component Placement – High-Speed: Universal Instruments (Advantis 3 Platform)
Soldering – Reflow: BTU (Pyramax with Dual Lane Dual Speed Capability)
Soldering – Selective: Juki (FlexSolderWave FSW620-EF)
Cleaning Materials: Kyzen Corp. (Aquanox A4705)
Labeling Equipment: ASYS Group Americas (Insignum 2000)
Software Production: ASYS Group Americas (Simplex: Natural User Interface)
Bonders: Palomar Technologies (3800 Die Bonder)
Software/Process Control: Speedline Technologies (SPI Print Optimizer)
Soldering – Other: EVS International (EVS 7000LFHS)
Cored Wire: Nihon Superior (SN100C (044) Solder Wire)
Coatings/Encapsulants: Henkel Electronic Materials (Macromelt OM341)
Rework & Repair Tools: VJ Electronix (SRT Micra)
Software – Management: Mentor Graphics (Valor vManage Materials Manager)
Flux: Nihon Superior (NS-F900)
Test and Inspection – AXI: Christopher Associates (Akila XR-3 PCB Inspection System)
Final Finish: Dow Electronic Materials (Aurolectroless SMT-520)
System Modeling and Simulation Tools: National Instruments (NI Multisim 11.0.1)
Design Verification Tools: National Instruments (NI Multisim Component Evaluator)
PCB Design Tools: Allied Electronics (DesignSpark PCB)
Laminates: Rogers (RT/duroid 6035HTC)
Registration and Tooling: XACTPCB Ltd. (XACT X-section)


Automation Tools: Production Solutions Inc. (RED-E-SET Ultra HD)
Cleaning Equipment: Aqueous (Trident Quad)
Cleaning Materials: Kyzen Corp. (Aquanox A4703)
Component Placement-High-Speed: Assembléon (MC-24X)
Component Placement-Multi-Function: Europlacer (XPii-II SMT Assembler)
Device Programming: Data I/O (FlashCORE III)
Labeling Equipment: Polyonics (XF-781 Thermal Transfer Printable Polyimide)
Materials-Flux: FCT Assembly (NC160 Flux)
Process Control Tools: KIC (e-Clipse Thermocouple Attachment)
Rework/Repair Tools: R&D Technical Services (Vaporworks 24 Rev 2)
Screen/Stencil Printing: DEK International (VectorGuard Platinum Dual Layer Stencil)
Software-Production: Panasonic Factory Solutions Co of America (PanaCIM Enterprise Edition)
Software-Process Control: Microscan (TTC Solution)
Software-Management: Valor (MSS)
Soldering-Materials: Cobar Solder Products (Aquasol)
Soldering-Reflow: Speedline Technologies (OmniMax Reflow Soldering System)
Soldering-Selective: Juki Corp. (Inline Flex Solder W510)
Soldering-Wave: SEHO Systems (SEHO Real-Time Fluxer Control)
Soldering-Other: EVS International (EVS 9000 Solder Dross Recovery Solution)
Test & Inspection-ICT: Acculogic Inc. (FLS980Dxi Flying Scorpion)
Test & Inspection-AOI: Koh Young (Zenith 3D AOI System)
Adhesives: Henkel Corporation (Hysol Eccobond CA3556HF)
Laminates: Rogers Corporation (RO4360 Thermoset)
Imaging: WKK Distribution Ltd. (X-Pose SM120 Exposure System)
System Modeling and Simulation Tools: National Instruments (NI Multisim 11.0 Circuit Simulation & Analysis Software)
PCB Design Tools: Sunstone Circuits (PCB123)2009


Automation Tools: ASYS (FIFO Buffer System FPS30B)
Cleaning Equipment: Speedline Technologies (Electrovert’s Aquastorm 100)
Cleaning Materials: Kyzen Corporation (Aquanox A4241)
Component Placement - High-Speed: Juki Corp. (FX3)
Component Placement - Multi-Function: Juki Corp. (JX100)
Device Programming: BPM Microsystems (Flashstream –C)
Dispensing Equipment: Asymtek (DispenseJet DJ-100)
Labeling: Polyonics (Product Sentry)
Materials-Flux: Nihon Superior (NS-F850)
Process Control Tools: KIC (RPI)
Rework/Repair Tools: VJ Electronix (400ST)
Screen/Stencil Printing: Milara (TD2929 Automatic Inline Printer)
Screen/Stencil Printing: Assembléon (Yamaha YGP)
Software-Production: Juki Corp. (Intelligent Shopfloor Solutions)
Soldering-Materials: Henkel Corporation (Multicore LF700)
Soldering-Reflow: Heller Industries (Mark 3.5 Series)
Soldering-Selective: Juki Corp. (Flex Solder Series)
Soldering-Other: EVS International (EVS 7000 Solder Dross Recovery)
Test & Inspection-AXI: Dage Precision Industries (Dage XD7600NT100)
Test & Inspection-ICT: Agilent Technologies (Cover Extend)
Test & Inspection-AOI: Mirtec Corp. (Mirtec MV-3L)
Underfills: Henkel Corporation (Hysol UF3800)
Soldering-Hand Tools: OK International (Metcal MX-5000 Series)


Automation Tools: Inovaxe (InoCart-MSD)
Cleaning Equipment: Aqueous Technologies (Trident)
Cleaning Materials: Kyzen (Aquanox A4625B)
Component Placement–High-Speed: Siemens (SIPLACE X4i)
Component Placement–Multi-Function: Europlacer (iineo)
Device Programming: BPM Microsystems (Flashstream)
Dispensing Equipment: Ovation Products (Stinger)
Labeling: Polyonics (Polyimide Label Stock)
Materials-Flux: Nihon Superior (NS-F850)
Process Control Tools: ECD (Megam.o.l.e. 20 Thermal Profiler)
Rework/Repair: R&D Technical Services (Vapor Works 24)
Screen/Stencil Printing: ICON Technologies (ICON i8)
Software-Management: Optimal (Optel)
Software-Process Control: DEK (Instinctiv V9)
Software-Production: Juki (OPASS)
Soldering-Materials: Nihon Superior/Balver-Zinn/DKL/FCT (SN100C)
Soldering-Reflow: Speedline Technologies (Electrovert IFC)
Soldering-Selective: Juki (Juki 350)
Soldering-Other: EVS International (EVS 1000 Solder Recovery System)
Test & Inspection–AXI: VJ Electronix (Vertex Series "A")
Test & Inspection–ICT: Everett Charles Technologies (Gemini Spring Pin)
Test & Inspection–AOI: Mirtec (MV-7L)
Underfills: Henkel (Loctite 3508)