Clive Ashmore

Our expert troubleshoots three common problems.

Regular readers of this column and certainly most process engineers are acutely aware of the multitude of problems that can arise in the stencil printing process if it is not optimized. With numerous inputs and variables – shown in the fishbone diagram (FIGURE 1) – the number of things that can go wrong are many, but that shouldn’t portend that things will go wrong. Stencil printing, as I’ve said before, can be simplified into having the right amount of material at the right time in the right place. Therefore, too little or too much material, or improper timing or location, can result in defects. On the flip side, knowing how to avoid or correct the most common printing defects can mitigate against proliferation and secure successful results. This month, we look at the basics, discuss the top three printing-related defects and the problems they cause, and share advice on how to resolve them. (Caveat: There are multiple potential causes and cures; here, we discuss the most common.)

Problem: Insufficients (too little material).
Potential result: A dry joint or a faulty/unreliability interconnect in the field can cause a broken circuit, often brought on by temperature or vibration stress.
How to avoid or correct:

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