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The Global Assembly Journal for SMT and Advanced Packaging Professionals

Volume 10 Number 2, February 2010 ISSN 1474 - 0893


Fred Hume Interview Inside


Surface Mount Technology

AOI solutions to reduce defective PCBAs


consumer computer telecom Proven

EfďŹ cicent






by Synapse







Volume 10, No. 2 February 2010

Global SMT & Packaging is distributed by controlled circulation to qualified personnel. For all others, subscriptions are available at a cost of £181.50 for the current volume (twelve issues). No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, transmitted in any form or by any means electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise without prior written consent of the publisher. No responsibility is accepted for the accuracy of information contained in the text, illustrations or advertisements. The opinions expressed in the articles are not necessarily those of the editors or publisher. ISSN No. 1474-0893 © Trafalgar Publications Ltd Designed and Published by Trafalgar Publications Ltd, Bournemouth, United Kingdom Printed by Progress Printing, Lynchburg, VA, USA.

Contents 2

European edition

2010 gets off to a flying star Trevor Galbraith

Technology Focus


Metallization options for optimum chip-on-board assembly Mukul Luthra, Waterfall Technologies


16 BGA assembly reliability—PWB quality is key Tom Clifford, TJB Associates 22 Trace, track and control: high production output at low costs François Monette, Cogiscan Inc. and Matt Van Bogart, Microscan Systems, Inc. Special Features

26 70 72 76 78 87

2009 Global Technology Awards winners feature Technology focus: The rise of solder paste jet printing Meeting the technical and regulatory challenges of global environmental legislation Microscan open day reveals a company on the fast track Interview—Fred Hume, Data I/O Rep & Distributor Review corrections

Fig. 2 – Real Life Example of Pad sizing, Wire  Lengths and Layout 



regular columns


Simple solderability testing of package on package (POP) devices Bob Willis

22 Growth “across the board” Walt Custer and Jon Custer-Topai 80 The HA-/HA-s (highly accelerated whatevers), beware of the unstated caveats Werner Engelmaier Other Regular Features

This month we celebrate the recent Global Technology Award winners—page 26.

6 82 86 88

Industry News New Products Association News International Diary

Global SMT & Packaging – Celebrating 10 Years – January 2010 – 1


Editorial Offices Europe Global SMT & Packaging Trafalgar Publications Ltd 8 Talbot Hill Road Bournemouth Dorset BH9 2JT United Kingdom Tel: +44 (1202) 388997 E-mail: Website: United States Global SMT & Packaging PO Box 7579 Naples, FL 34102 USA Tel: (866) 948-5554 Fax: (239) 236-4682 E-mail: China Global SMT & Packaging Electronics Second Research Institute No.159, Hepin South Road Taiyuan City, PO Box 115, Shanxi, Province 030024, China Tel: +86 (351) 652 3813 Fax: +86 (351) 652 0409 Editor-in-Chief Trevor Galbraith Tel: +44 (0)20 8123 6704 (Europe) Tel: +1 (239) 784-7208 (US) E-mail: Managing Editor Heather Lackey Tel: +1 (866) 948-7778 E-mail:

Circulation & Subscriptions Kelly Grimm Tel: +1 (866) 948-7779 E-mail:


Global SMT & Packaging offers effective print, web, email and video advertising opportunities. Contact your local sales rep today. Americas—Derek Laborie (print & video) Tel: +1 (866) 948-5557 Mobile: +1 (603) 661-5828 Sandy Daneau (digital) Tel: +1 (866) 948-7775 Cell: +1 (603)-686-3920 Europe—Andy Kellard Tel: +44 7766 951665 Asia/Pacific— Debasish Choudhury Tel: +91 120 6453260 Korea— Sang Hun Oh Tel: +82 -(0)10-6833 9597 Asia— Carol Chen

Trevor Galbraith Editor-in-Chief

2010 gets off to a flying start Barely had the ball dropped in Times Square or the chimes of Big Ben finished welcoming in the New Year than I was off on the first of my many trips this year—this time to Brazil, a fascinating country that has enjoyed eight straight years of strong growth, achieving 5.1% in the last quarter without the aid of any stimulus bill. Indeed, Brazil was largely unaffected by the global economic downturn, and as future hosts of the FIFA World Cup (2014) and the Olympics (2016), the country is bubbling with enthusiasm and activity. But the reason for my visit was not to take in the cultural sites, but to follow up on the many reports we had received from customers about the strong manufacturing growth in Brazil and Argentina. After months of intensive research, we were confirming the final details on Global SMT & Packaging’s first major trade show and the only focused electronics manufacturing event in Brazil. GEM (Global Electronics Manufacturing) Expo Brazil 2010 will be held October 5-7 at the Expo Center Norte in Sao Paulo. This state-of-the-art venue is located close to the major international airport and is the premier site for major engineering events in the city. A comprehensive technical and training program is planned to be held alongside the exhibition and we hope to bring you more information on that in the coming weeks. GEM Brazil will be managed by our new director of global events, Delio Destro, and his assistant, Cibele Brognoli Duarte. Both bring a wealth of experience of the electronics manufacturing in Brazil and events organizing. Meanwhile, over on another continent—this time India, we are celebrating the addition of some new team members ahead of the impending launch of Global SMT & Packaging— South East Asia. This quarterly magazine

2 – Global SMT & Packaging – Celebrating 10 Years – February 2010

will be published out of our New Delhi office, in English and will be distributed free of charge to EMS manufacturers in India, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, The Philippines and Hong Kong. With such large commitments as we leave the world recession behind, many of you may think that we are being extremely bold hiring new people and launching major new endeavors at this time. You are right—but it is only through bold initiatives such as this that we will grow and prosper as the world returns to growth. All the economic indicators and the electronics indicators are pointing in a positive direction, although most pundits are predicting a slow growth pattern. I certainly agree, but the recent wave of new enticing electronics tablets, 3D TVs and other gizmos at CES last month gave me even greater hope that, for electronics manufacturers at least, the economic downturn is truly behind us. —Trevor Galbraith


Simple solderability testing of package on package (PoP) devices

Bob Willis Some subcontractors have been asked to build stacked packages where customers do not have a dipping process for PoP assembly or are not confident with the process. They have felt more comfortable with the pre-stacking process being undertaken first.

Simple solderability testing of package on package (PoP) devices Solderability testing of stacked packages that have already been through a prestacking process can be fairly simple to perform. The test may also be applied to single parts prior to stacking or parts due to be stacked. The test method is subjective but can prove very effective, and with care, the tested components do not necessarily need to be scrapped. When the components are originally made, the solder paste or balls are reflowed in a nitrogen atmosphere which will maintain a solderable surface and not increase the oxide formation. In some cases, the stacking process of multiple parts may be conducted in a process with a higher concentration of air. Some subcontractors have been asked to build stacked packages where customers do not have a dipping process for PoP assembly or are not confident with the process. They have felt more comfortable with the prestacking process being undertaken first. A suitable quality PoP dipping paste can be placed on the surface of a glass slide or ceramic tile using a mini stencil with an opening of 0.020” and foil thickness of 0.004”. Alternatively, placing the package terminations of the pre-pasted package on a test substrate previously coated with a defined thickness of the paste is the best solution. Just like the dipping process used in production it provides a similar volume of paste used in manufacture rather than using a stencil. This allows a test of the paste performance for solder balling after reflow inspection can be conducted through the glass around the balls. If a ceramic tile is used, the package must be removed from the tile before balling can be

Figure 1. Example of a package on package device ready for assembly onto the main PCB.

assessed. Although many pastes are designed for nitrogen, suppliers are offering air reflow products, which is what the industry needs. One of the challenges to the producer is that most pastes have very small particle size, increasing surface area and oxide formation possibly leading to increased solder balling and fines. The lower metal content can also increase the level of paste slump during preheating. Solderability testing method Select the PoP package for solderability

4 – Global SMT & Packaging – Celebrating 10 Years – February 2010

assessment and place the component on to the dip paste surface. The thickness and surface of the paste must be defined and duplicate the production conditions. The components are then placed on the surface of the test substrate for testing. Place the slide on the surface of a sample board and, using the same profile parameters, pass the substrate through the reflow process. Care needs to be taken for component floating off the surface of the test substrate. This is more likely on vapour phase than with convection.

Simple solderability testing of package on package (PoP) devices


Sandton Convention Centre, Johnannesburg 9th - 10th March Figure 2. Example of package reflowed on a glass slide with all the solder paste has reflowed successfully with the flux remaining and one solder ball.

Calling all electronics professionals! (that means YOU )

Figure 3. Example of poor flux and paste coated package balls rejected during inspection. There are two options: throw the components away or clean the parts for reuse. Often subcontractors are not provided any contingency by customers!!!!

After reflow, the sample components are lifted from the surface and the balls on the package can be examined for satisfactory wetting. Close examination of the tile will show any evidence of solder balling in the flux surface. Ideally there should be no evidence of solder on the glass or in the flux residues. All the solder should have wetted and full coalesced with the balls. A further reason for conducting this test is for possible use when components have been cleaned after being found as spit-outs from the placement process after dipping in paste or dip flux. A recovery process that may be a reality for some users!! The Package On Package Design, Assembly and Defect Guide CD will be released during the IPC APEX 2010 Exhibition in Las Vegas.

National Electronics Week SA is a brand NEW opportunity for South African electronics professionals.

Bob Willis is a process engineer working in the electronics industry, providing training, consultancy and process/product failure analysis. Bob will be running three new US workshops at APEX 2010 covering PoP, Conformal Coating and Counterfeit Components. In addition he will be running his Package On Package Workshop at SMT in Nurnberg, Germany. Bob offers on site workshops on conventional and lead-free manufacture, he is also happy to assist you set up and optimise production lines for users and also provides conferences and workshops worldwide

Be part of this industry-first; Never seen before in South Africa, NEW SA 2010 is an all-encompassing event delivering dedicated support to components, systems, applications, innovative electronic production and vertical platform Business opportunities, networking platforms, seminars and conferences, this is a first for South Africa – and it’s only weeks away!

NEW SA 2010 is your only opportunity to… …See the latest innovations from a broad spectrum of international exhibitors including Arrow Altech, Avnet Kopp, Europlacer, Juki, Microchip, Mydata, RS Components and Tellumat …Learn new skills and even gain IPC Certification through comprehensive training programmes. …Meet with an international business audience and make valuable new contacts. …Discover dedicated support for every market sector, from Process & Automation to Solar. …Enjoy abundant attractions in the region’s business, hotel and entertainment district.

There’s no time to waste. Visit to learn more.

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official media partner

Global SMT & Packaging – Celebrating 10 Years – January 2010 – 5

Industry News

Industry News Symbol Corp. designs and manufactures custom linear potentiometers. Its position sensors are specifically designed for use in medical, automotive and electronic industries. Spectra Symbol products are in stock and available for purchase on DigiKey’s global websites. Additionally, these products will be featured in future print and online catalogs.,

Metz, Germany, invests in SIPLACE SX line To this day, owner-operated Metz develops and manufactures its products in Zirndorf, Germany—for Metz an important guarantor of consistently high quality “made in Germany”. In line with this motto, Metz decided to invest in a new SIPLACE SX placement machine line to expand its production capacities. In addition to the quality provided by the SIPLACE equipment, Metz based its decision on solid financial factors, because in a direct comparison the SIPLACE SX offered better cost-ofownership and more flexibility for future production adjustments than competitors’ products. European semiconductor industry leading indicator up in October Economic research firm e-forecasting. com announced that the European Semiconductor Sales leading indicator went up 1.6 percent in October to a reading of 171.2, after an increase of 1.6 percent in September. The index was set to average 100 in 2000. The indicator, comparable to the company’s other global regional semiconductor industry indicators for North America, Asia Pacific and Japan, is a forward-looking composite index that forecasts six months ahead, on average, business activity in the region for sales for semiconductors. Semiconductor inventories set to remain lean in Q1 After dramatically cutting bloated inventories in 2009, global semiconductor suppliers are expected to maintain lean stockpiles in the first quarter of 2010 in order to maintain profitability amid uncertain economic conditions, according to iSuppli Corp.

Days of Inventory (DOI) among semiconductor suppliers are expected to decline to 68.3 at the end of the first quarter, down from 68.5 for the fourth quarter of 2009. With DOI already 2.9 percent below the historical average in the fourth quarter, first-quarter inventories are expected to be 6.9 percent less than the norm. While inventory in the first quarter will remain at about equilibrium level with demand, stockpiles will be at very low levels—even bordering on shortages for a few specific devices. Continued tight management of inventories will help the semiconductor industry to attain double-digit percentage growth in 2010. After a decline of 12.4 percent in 2009, worldwide semiconductor revenue is set to rise by 15.4 percent in 2010, iSuppli predicts. Digi-Key, Spectra Symbol announce worldwide distribution agreement Electronic components distributor Digi-Key Corporation and Spectra Symbol signed a global distribution agreement. Spectra

6 – Global SMT & Packaging – Celebrating 10 Years – February 2010

Blakell Europlacer adds new products to Its UK distribution Blakell Europlacer Ltd., added a range of new products to complement its existing product lines, distributed exclusively within the UK. The new product lines include board handling, PCB laser marking, barcode labeling and conformal coating systems from EUNIL, standalone and inline selective soldering solutions from ZIP-A-TEC, and the Red-E-Set universal under-PCB support system from Production Solutions. Landmark total reached Subscribers to the leading tool for managing accountability in the electronics supply chain, E-TASC (Electronics—Tool for Accountable Supply Chains), have submitted over 1000 supplying facilities to the database. E-TASC was created by information and communication technology companies working through the collaboration of the Global e-Sustainability Initiative (GeSI) and the Electronic Industry Citizenship Coalition (EICC). Subscribers enter details of how their supply facilities manage and improve their performance and share this information, confidentially through the online tool, with their customers. By providing the information in standard format and sharing it multiple times with different customers, companies avoid the problem of questionnaire fatigue and focus on building capability and improving performance. YESTech updates brand identity to Nordson YESTECH YESTech, a subsidiary of Nordson Corporation, has begun the process of refreshing its brand identity to be known as Nordson YESTECH. This re-branding effort is part of an overall initiative by its

Industry News

parent company, Nordson Corporation, to streamline its business units as a cohesive Nordson community and better identify its businesses within the marketplace. The transition to the new identity is expected to be completed within 18 months. C3Teknoloji named new SIPLACE sales partner in Turkey To expand its sales and service activities in Turkey, the global SIPLACE team has selected C3Teknoloji, a strong partner with lots of experience in the region. C3Teknoloji, which is headquartered in the Turkish capital Ankara, has accumulated ten years of experience by working closely with a wide range of regional electronics manufacturers.

SEHO’s PowerSelective soldering system breaks sales records in December SEHO Systems GmbH delivered nine Power Selective soldering systems during the month of December. The sales primarily were made in Asia, the United States and Germany. SEHO’s PowerSelective features a modular design for the highest flexibility and offers a very low cost of ownership. SMART SYSTEMS INTEGRATION 2010 The 4th European conference & exhibition on integration issues of miniaturized systems—MEMS, MOEMS, ICs and electronic components will feature more than 70 seminars, 35 poster presentations and 5 keynotes speeches. From 23-24 March, international specialists from research, development and industry will meet in Como, Italy, to

Essemtec strengthen sales team in Benelux Essemtec Benelux’s strong growth and number of inquires has led to the addition of Frank Angillis to their sales team. Many customers in the Benelux may already know Frank Angillis, who has worked several years for other companies in the industry and has over 10 years of experience with Cookson Electronics. He is an experienced process specialist for printing and reflow soldering with a wide knowledge of the requirements of electronics manufacturing companies. Cookson Electronics Alpha® appoints new global business manager for stencils Cookson Electronics appointed Gary Cunning as business manager for their Global Stencils Business. Gary was global product manager & European marketing manager for the Alpha business and has held a variety of positions within the Cookson Electronics Division during his 22-year tenure with the materials science group. Cunning has an MBA from the University of Glasgow and will continue to be based at Cookson’s office in Hamilton, Scotland. New European sales manager for Teknek Douglas Gray has been promoted to the position of European sales manager at Teknek. Douglas has been an area sales manager at Teknek for the past four years and has over 18 years of industrial experience. Previously he was sales director with Plastic Mouldings.

discuss how ideas can be transferred into practice. As in previous years the speakers will come from renowned international research institutes and companies, such as Hitachi, Honeywell, STMicroelectronics, Sorin Group and the European Union. A special session delivered by EPoSS (European Technology Platform on Smart Systems Integration) and a workshop led by MEMUNITY (MEMS Test Community) complete the program. ITM publishes Automated Optical Inspection (AOI) Report ITM Marketing released a newly published report providing a comprehensive analysis of the automated optical inspection (AOI) system offerings. The report is filled with valuable technical information that will empower end-users to make the best purchase decision for their company including price/performance benchmarks, supplier perception ratings and a direct comparison of 44 performance metrics for 27 unique models offered by 11 different AOI suppliers. More information about the report, including a detailed description, table of contents and report metrics, can be obtained by contacting ITM Marketing at (262) 376-0717 or Registration open for Virtual PCB Trade Show and Conference The first and only virtual event for the entire PCB supply chain—design, fabrication and assembly—will be held March 2-4. Attend from your office, home, or wherever there is internet access. Virtual PCB is an interactive, web-based event that uses the Internet to bring together buyers and sellers from around the world. Meet up virtually with industry experts, leading suppliers, plus friends and colleagues. It’s informative and free! Visit www.virtual-pcb. com for more information and registration. automotive roadshow 2010 In June 2010, for the second year in a row, the popular electronics fair will visit car manufacturers and suppliers in Central Europe. The large exhibition truck will stop directly at the premises of the development facilities and open its presentation area of more than 100 square meters. Up to twelve exhibitors will have the opportunity to demonstrate their innovative electronics solutions on-site to interested employees in development, purchasing, and management.

Global SMT & Packaging – Celebrating 10 Years – January 2010 – 7

Metallization options for optimum chip-on-board assembly

Metallization options for optimum chip-on-board assembly Mukul Luthra, Waterfall Technologies, Halton Hills, Ontario, Canada When COB is merged within mainstream SMT, the choice of metallization has to serve both the SMT process and bonding—that choice can be a make or break factor. In the initial migration of die bonding onto organic substrates, the Au/Au and Au/AlSi system was more or less defacto—‘inherited’ from the packaging backend. Driven by cost pressures, alternative metallic systems have come under scrutiny, the options refined and made viable. This paper examines and explains to the SMT professional the strengths, limitations, pros and cons and science behind the goldgold, gold-aluminum, goldcopper, gold-silver, aluminumaluminum, aluminum-nickel and copper-aluminum systems and examines how each produces different metallurgical interactions with the various die pad and substrate metallizations and how the resulting intermetallic structures and growth impact reliability & cost.

Keywords: Chip On Board, SMT, Metallization This Paper was published in the proceedings of the SMTA International Conference on Soldering and Reliability, Toronto, May 2009

Technology acquisition Within the mainstream SMT (surface mount technology) assembly process, wire bonding of bare dies directly on the PCB (printed circuit board) substrate alongside other soldered components has long since been practiced and continues to be deployed across a vast scope and range of COB (chip on board)-SMT applications. These applications range from the very low end, low cost ‘throw away’ items to high performance, complex assemblies. The IC (integrated circuit) backend industry, with its decades of maturity and understanding of metallurgy related in particular to wire bonding, finds itself acquiring and adapting SMT know-how to the field of packaging. It is interesting to note that content of leading technical journals aimed at the IC industry now extending into SMT areas with appearance of articles on subjects such as solder paste & printing and reflow ovens.1-3 The SMT industry however may find it relatively harder to deal with the complexities of wire bonding associated with the COB-SMT merge—this information has been generally acquired through much ‘hands-on’ and trial basis. This paper reviews the metallization options and interactions for COB while considering the needs of the bonding process and soldering. Several real life product examples using COB-SMT are included to illustrate the metallization used covering a diverse range of product positioning. The content is meant to serve the SMT professional familiar with soldering process interactions but requiring an understanding of the COB-SMT merge. Market environment & trends A principal factor driving the phenomenal growth of the electronics consumer segment are mobility and hand held products that have been flooding the market, with each successive generation

8 – Global SMT & Packaging – Celebrating 10 Years – February 2010

Ground Ring Ground Ring

Power Ring Power Ring



Figure Figure11COB layout with bond Figure 1. The most common finger pads arranged in an array around the die.

offering performance and features at prices unimaginably by yesterday’s standards. Associated with this growth are short product life cycles and steady price erosion—a trend that has become deeply entrenched in the consumer mind and taken for granted. This prevailing market ‘flavor’, in particular as associated with mobility products, is a predominant driver of (and in turn been enabled by) the migration from lead frame based packaging towards organic based interconnection trends. A convergence between IC backend processes and ‘traditional’ SMT PCB assembly has surfaced, the boundaries of the two becoming diffused. Apart from the size and footprint advantages, organic based packaging offers a significant spin off—it is a platform readily adaptable by the IC backend towards attaching multiple dies and other active and passive components on a substrate within an IC (ball grid arrays or chip scale packages in the modern context). After over-molding, the resulting assembly creates a highly functional device. SiPs (systems in package) and MCMs (multi chip modules) are examples exploiting this advantage.

Metallization options for optimum chip-on-board assembly

Thus after decades of packaging typically a single die on a metal lead frame, the face of IC backend is being permanently transformed and acquiring the flavor of a PCBA (printed circuit board assembly)-like process, albeit one involving dies and SMT all within the package itself. Other than the final over-mould and ball attach if applicable, the process replicates the COB-SMT concept as deployed within the mainstream SMT industry. COB metallization layout considerations—some basics In the commonest COB layout (Figure 1), bond fingers pads are arranged in an array around the die (fan out only). P (power) and G (ground) rings may be included within the Signal I/O (input/output) bond finger ring. Several P & G rings may be allowable; however when present, rings must be covered by solder mask except of course at the bonding sites. This not only protects the metallization but also prevents any inadvertent shorts. Bond finger pads must respect PCB design rules for line spacing and width. Solder mask openings in the bond finger are only as to allow bonding in the open areas. (Figure 1 bottom left). Further information may be found in Reference 10. Die placement area metallization If electrical conductivity to die is required— then die placement area metallization is needed. Figure 2 shows a typical example of pad sizing, wire lengths and layout based on a real example in a pocket dictionary for one of the dies of approximately 9.5 mm by 5 mm with an I/O count of 184. The pad length shown enables a one time re-bond (rework). For reliability reasons, re-bonds are never done over the previously bonded spots on the pads.4 In high reliability, industrial applications or areas such as packaging, this metallization must provide a barrier to Cu (copper) migration into Si (silicon) die. Au (gold) over Ni (nickel) is used for high end applications with Ni providing the needed barrier for Cu migration but for the low end spectrum Ni alone (without Au) is used and is adequate for low cost applications. As a generic rule in COB, dies for power applications are not advised, due to the significant Cte (coefficient of thermal expansion) mismatch between the Si die and organic substrates4. Over-molded assemblies such as SiPs or MCM are more robust and tolerant to this aspect. Placement metallization may be designed to improve thermal performance if needed

for a specific situation. This would take the form of vias (copper filled) in the placement metallization connected to the bottom and/or inner layers. If electrical conductivity to the die itself is NOT required, placement areas with solder mask become feasible. The significant variable to consider are the compatibly of the die bonding material to the mask, the mask cure condition, absorbed moisture and contamination all of which can affect the surface activation energy and hence the adhesion of the die to the substrate. With solder mask the coplanarity in the placement area becomes an important variable—even a few mils of die tilt can lead to mis-bonds during wire bonding process.4 Bonding variables fishbone diagram Figure 3 shows the variables’ fishbone tree. An SMT professional can readily appreciate that the process itself is far more complex and sensitive to any encountered in the mainstream SMT world. When the variables for both the SMT process and COB are combined, the resulting fish bone diagram appears formidable. Solder joint reliability is to the SMT world as bond reliability is to the bonding process—the latter co-related to bond pull strength. Clearly as evident from Figure 3 the choice of metals and the resulting bond metallurgy play a significant role in attaining this important success parameter. Understanding of both the metallurgical interactions in COB as well as soldering metallurgy is essential in the field of process development and in failure analysis.


Millimeter scale. millimeter scale scale 


Die Size: 200 mils x 270 mils (5 mm x 9.25 mm) Min bond pad size: 3 mils x 3 mils (75 µm x 75 µm) Min pad pitch: 4 mil (100 µm) I/O: 184 PCB Min PCB pad size: 5 mils x 20 mils (This pad length allows one-time rebonding in case of rework) Min PCB pad pitch: 10 mils Bonding Max wire length: 200 mills (5 mm) Wire diameter: 1 mil (25 µm) Wire loop height: 5-15 mils Max die to PCB wire angle: 45˚ (to prevent wires crossing adjacent die pad)

Bonding wires options This section reviews the various bonding wire options in COB applications. Fig. 2 – Real Life Example of Pad sizing, Wire  Figure 2. Real-life example of pad sizing, wire Lengths and Layout  Gold and aluminum bonding wires, lengths and layout. the backbone of the IC wire bonding process for several decades, have been (and continue) to be “default” wire bonding choices since the birth of the COB technology. Today other materials such as Cu wire and Ag surface metallization are also coming into focus although currently their use is not as prevalent in   COB as discussed Figure 3. Wire-bonding fishbone diagram. Figure 3 ‐ Wire‐Bonding Fish Bone Diagram  further

Global SMT & Packaging – Celebrating 10 Years – January 2010 – 9

Metallization options for optimum chip-on-board assembly






Melting Point










Lattice Constant (at 20˚C)

10-10m A




Specific Heat (at 20˚C)

J/g K




Thermal Conductance





Coefficient of Linear Thermal Expansion





Electrical Resistivity (at 20˚C)

10-8 ohm m




Electrical Conductivity (at 20˚C)

10-7 /ohm m




Vickers Hardness





Modulus of Elasticity





Tensile Strength





Lattice Structure

Table 1. Comparison of Bulk properties. [Source : K&S—Bond Wire Characteristics]





Be, Ca, RE, others

Be, Ca, RE, others

Major dopants


P, Pt or Cu

Resistivity (µ Ω cm)



Modulus (GPa)



Strength (MPa)



FAB grain size



Neck grain size

Coarse to fine


Neck strength (% wire)



Intermetallic growth3



Low-loop capability


Very good

1st bond

Lower w/larger bonding window

Higher w/smaller bonding window

2nd bond

Large, robust bonding window

Smaller bonding window

Table 2. Comparison of the properties of 4N versus 2N gold.

on. Amongst the important mechanical considerations influencing bonding wire selections are: 1. Tensile Properties 2. Elongation (EL) 3. Break Load (BL) [Ref: ASTM (American Society for Testing & Materials) Standard F72] Electrical properties are application dependent; however it must be borne in mind that each material produces different metallurgical interactions with the die pad metallization and substrate metallization. Since substrate metallization interacts uniquely with different solder alloys it is therefore an important consideration in

balancing the needs of wire bonding and soldering. Bulk properties comparison of various materials appears in Table 1. Gold bonding wire The ductility of gold provides the flexibility needed for good loop formation. Gold has excellent electrical and thermal properties and being inert (gold is a noble metal) makes it well suited to the bonding process. Gold wire is widely used in bonding applications in both ball bonding and wedge bonding applications producing very reliable bonds to both Al (aluminum) and Au (gold) surface metallization. The needs of flexibility, loop retention and bondability have to be balanced.

10 – Global SMT & Packaging – Celebrating 10 Years – February 2010

Pure gold wire is too soft and is usually stabilized with dopants such as Be (Beryllium) of around 5-10 PPM (parts per million) or Cu (copper) around 1030 PPM. Based on purity, gold wire is classified into various ranges from 99 % (2N gold) to 99.99 % (4N gold). Beryllium doped Au wire is 10-20 % stronger than Cu doped and hence better suited for higher stress applications like high speed automated bonders. Gold wire is typically supplied in an annealed condition to prevent unwanted break offs during initial bond formation. Table 2 is an example of a comparison of the properties of 4N versus 2N gold as developed by one particular supplier for ‘ultra stiff’ gold wire bonding applications3. It is interesting to note the differences in the minor and the major dopants levels (none in the case of 4N wire). Considerations with gold wire bonding Surface cleanliness and contamination are both critical to bond strength. Surface finish of the bonding metallization is critical to prevent bond tool capillary clogging. Some of the trade—offs with gold bonding wire are: a. It is an expensive material b. Uses expensive bonding tools—ceramic for ball bonding, titanium carbide for wedge bonding c. High temperature bonding is needed which is a possible source of die stress. d. Limitations in heating the PCB (organic) substrate metallization Although gold wire bonds can be made without substrate or wire heating, reliable gold bonding requires heating the bonding metallization and wire to a high temp. Ball bonding requires a temperature in the range of 220-250˚C while reliable Au wedge bonding can be accomplished at a lower temp of around 150˚C. Heating a metal lead frame or die pad (for example pre-plated Cu lead frames as used in IC manufacturing) given the form factor, high thermal conductivity and uniform thermal mass is relatively easier compared to organic substrates. Organic PCB substrates variables—lower thermal conductivity, complex thermal mass distribution, size, Cte, and whether the PCB is populated or unpopulated make it non-ideal to create localized heating at the substrate pads. The process may slow down throughput and/or lead to higher stress conditions marginalizing the over-all assembly reliability.

Metallization options for optimum chip-on-board assembly

Figure 4. Al-Si phase diagram.

Al -Si (silcon) bonding wire Small diameter Al wire is often used for wedge bonding and offers relatively good fatigue resistance. As in the case of gold, pure Al is too soft to draw into small wires so it is alloyed with approx 1% Si (silicon) to provide the desired properties of load and elongation. Lightweight Al-Si wire is very reliable but is much lower in cost compared to Au. It is used extensively with low cost wedge bonding tools (tungsten carbide) and since Al bonding can be done at room Temp. It is a process well suited to organic substrates and therefore an ideal default choice in a most low to mid cost COB applications. Figure 4 shows the Al-Si phase diagram. As can be seen, 1 % Si exceeds the solid solubility limits of Si in Al at room temp. Si precipitation can cause stress risers and possible wire fracture and is one of the failure mechanisms associated with heel cracks. Small diameter Al-Si wires are usually heat treated (partially annealed) to disperse Si uniformly. Large diameter wires are heat treated before and after final drawing. Al-Mg (aluminum-magnesium) bonding wire Al alloying with Mg is an alternate to alloying with Si and actually offers certain advantages. Figure 5 shows the Al-Mg Phase diagram. Mg solid solubility in Al is better than the 1 % maximum of Si dissolved in Al. Al with 1% Mg can be drawn into fine wire with similar strength as Al with 1% Si. Al-Mg gives satisfactory bonding and is superior to Al with 1% Si in fatigue failures. It also shows superior ultimate strength after high temperature exposure. Despite the Al-Mg wire alternative

Figure 5. Al-Mg phase diagram.

with some of its advantages its use has remained less prevalent in the industry compared to Al-Si, which has become widely accepted in the industry. Copper bonding wire Cu (copper) ball bonding has seen more recent usage and in particular Cu ribbons have been receiving considerable attention. Cu is economical, has excellent heat and electrical conduction—hence smaller wires possible—and is resistant to sweep during plastic encapsulation. Cu to Cu bond is possible, but with Cu the major issue remains bondability. Since Cu oxidizes readily, bonding in inert atmosphere is needed, which somewhat negates the cost advantages with Cu bond wire. Cu-Al intermetallic growth rate is lower than Au-Al, and provided the initial bondablity issue is addressed via inert gas, Cu offers better reliability than Au wires to Al pads with 0.4-4.0 mil wire diameters. However Cu is harder than Ag and Al (Table 1) and risks die cratering or pad metallization damaged—a harder pad metallization is required for Cu wire bonding. Currently Cu usage is limited to mainly high-end usage (CSPs, QFNs)—it has limited usage in COB applications at the moment. Metallurgical systems The next section reviews the metallurgical interactions in the bonding process, the substrate metallization options together with soldering considerations in the light of the COB-SMT merge.

Gold wire-gold plated pads The gold-gold bond being a mono metal system is extremely reliable. It is not

subject to interface corrosion—there is no intermetallic formation and no bond degradation. Even a marginal Au-Au bond performs well despite time and temperature. As mentioned before Au is best bonded with heat. Cold ultrasonic Au-Au bonding is possible but is less reliable. Thermosonic bonding is preferred and is most common, however thermo compression bonding is possible. Bonding is highly affected by surface contamination. Au-Au bonding is used in high-end COB application and within the IC industry for applications such as SiP and MCMs. Use of plasma etching to improve surface activation is extensively used in the high-end process. Au plating thickness for the bond pad metallization is target application (reliability) dependent. For high reliability bonding an ultra pure, soft Au (hardness 60-80 Knoop) in the range of 30-100 micro-inches is typical. Soldering vs. bonding on gold pads This subsection examines the Au metallization in its SMT soldering aspects and conflicts and options vis-à-vis wire bonding. Au offers excellent co-planarity, fine features, and high-density circuits; it is essential in HF (high frequency) applications. Au can withstand multiple reflows, has good corrosion protection and excellent wetting. The main issues with Au are high cost and hard-to-manage plating process. ENIG: Many segments of the industry have (or are) shying away from the ENIG (electroless nickel immersion gold) process as a surface metallization for fears of ‘black pad’ defect, an issue which has received considerable attention and continues to be debated. With the prevalent use of the

Global SMT & Packaging – Celebrating 10 Years – January 2010 – 11

Metallization options for optimum chip-on-board assembly

Figure 6. IMC growth sequence. [Source: Semicon Singapore 2005—K&S.]

ENP (electroless nickel phosphor) process, which co-deposits phosphor in the Ni plating, the impact of phosphor content in the ENP plating on bond reliability and solderability has been the subject of several studies.8 Traditionally 6-8% P content has been used, but some recent studies show otherwise with use up to 10-12% P content producing a more favorable, corrosion resistant Ni surface morphology, an important variable, making it less prone to attack by the subsequent Au plating layer or by the eventual soldering process.8 In the author’s experience and from a metallurgical standpoint, a well controlled9 and specified ENIG process offers an excellent surface finish for both soldering (with Sn/Pb and Pb free solders) and wire bonding, but the ideal thickness requirements for the gold film are quite different for the two interconnection methods. For soldering purposes, the Au must be a dense (not porous), thin film whereas for bonding it should be thick, pure ‘soft’ gold. The general structure favored for soldering applications is a ‘dense’ gold of around 2-4 micro-inches over an underlying Ni layer of around 200-240 micro-inches6-9. The MIL QQ-N290A Standard specifies 200 micro-inches of Ni between the Cu and Au layer as a Cu diffusion barrier. The IPC 4552 ENIG Standard specifies a minimum Au thickness of 0.05 μm (2 micro-inches) to statistically allow for process variability. It also caution on possible appearance of ‘black pad’ issues when immersion gold thickness approaches 0.25 μm (10 micro-inches). The Au layer acts as a sacrificial film, protecting the underlying metal and needs to be thin enough to be ‘consumed’ by the Sn during soldering, with the resulting AuSn IMCs dispersing into the bulk solder fillet. The bond is thus formed to next layer—Ni or Cu as the case may be—which

must be active other wise the Au purpose is defeated. Soldering to thicker Au films meant for bonding application results in a large percentage of AuSn IMC precipitating at the solder joint to pad interface risking solder joint embrittlement and low cycle life. So with COB-SMT, the ideal practice with Au would be to follow the structure desirable for soldering combined with selectively plated ‘thick’ gold at the bonding sites. This process is costly and used mainly in the high end, ‘pricey’ COB applications (Figure 12). If the product positioning does not justify it, a compromise has to be made in which case the ‘thin’ gold favoring soldering is chosen—it provides a product life cycle commensurate with product expectation. DIG (direct immersion gold): This is a relatively new process to the industry and plates the Au directly over the Cu7. The Au film properties (thickness, porosity, morophology, etc.) apply to the DIG process as in as much as they do to the ENIG; however during soldering the Sn bonds to the Cu forming SnCu IMC which have been documented to have a higher growth rate than the SnNi IMC layer11, hence a lower reliability may be expected compared to ENIG, but it may well meet the life cycle of many products depending on their price position. DIG field experience is limited at this stage in COB applications but it ‘appears’ well suited and cost effective. Gold wire-aluminum die pads Gold-aluminum is very common in wire bonding process for COB applications. However, there are reliability issues over time. It is easily subject to Au-Al IMC layers and Kirkendahl voids. IMC formation is accelerated with operating time and temp. and 5 IMC layers are formed as listed below (Figure 6). Au5 Al2 (tan color) [some studies suggest Au8Al3] Au4Al (tan color) Au2Al (metallic grey color) AuAl (white color) AuAl2 (deep purple color) It is believed that initially AuAl2 forms at the Au-Al interface then transforms to other IMCs with time & temp. Gold-aluminum intermetallic growth In a well control ball bond process, gold aluminide IMC growth shows relatively planar morphology. IMC initial growth

12 – Global SMT & Packaging – Celebrating 10 Years – February 2010

rate is believed to be parabolic settling to about 3-4 μm (micrometer) over time. At high temperatures (175˚C), the Al pad converts to IMC-Au5Al2 (gold side) and Au4Al (pad side) predominate in the IMC layer. Au4Al may also grow by consuming Au5Al2—see Figure 6. Au4Al is susceptible to corrosion by epoxy molding compounds used in COB and may also oxidize. Gold wire-copper pcb pads Gold bonding to Cu copper pads is rarely used in COB but is possible. 3 IMC phases are formed: Cu3Au AuCu Au3Cu Formation of IMC decreases bond strength at high temperatures (200 to 325˚C). Kirkendahl voiding can occur due to Cu migration. Bond strength degradation is dependent on micro-structure, bond quality and impurities in the Cu. Cleanliness is extremely important for bondability and reliability when bonding to Cu. Use of inert gas (argon) shielding improves bondability and reliability, prevents Cu oxidation, and is needed for curing polymer die attach material. Soldering Aspects: While Cu with OSP (organic solderability preservative) would be a good choice for soldering for products aimed at the low end spectrum, OSPcoated pads are not useable ‘as is’ for wire bonding. The alternatives of Cu/OSP pads for soldering and selectively plated (Au , Ag or Ni ) pads for wire bonding, while feasible, again negates the cost advantage and is hard to justify. Use of inert gas is not justifiable by products at this low price point. Gold wire-silver pads The Au-Ag is very reliable for long-term at high temperatures. Au-Ag do not form intermetallic compounds. Au wire bonds to Ag lead frames or Ag-plated pads have been successfully used in high volume production for many years. Ag bondability issues are caused by contaminants like sulphur, which tarnish the silver plating. Au-Ag high temperature thermosonic bonding is done at approx. 250˚C and improves bondability by displacing the tin sulphide films. Use of Ag is currently not prevalent in COB applications for cost reasons and thermosonic bonding requirement. Soldering Aspects: The IAg (immersion silver) process is similar to ISn (immersion tin) except it uses electroless silver deposits. IAg is being promoted as an alternative to

Metallization options for optimum chip-on-board assembly

Figure 7. COB in a toy fan with motion-activated LED lights.

Figure 8. COB in a PC mouse.

Figure 10. COB devices in a microwave oven modules.

Au (due to ‘black pad’ fears with ENIG— see the relevant section further on)—and it can be adopted into COB applications. However, Ag metallization on solder pads is not free of solder joint reliability issues. Microporosity at the Ag-Cu interface occurring from the silver plating process (corrosion of the Cu surface) is being reported and deemed as a reliability threat to solder joints. Ag solderability can easily degrade in contact with Sulphur compounds. Thickness depends on two types chemistry for I-Ag: “Thin” silver, minimum 0.05 microns [2 micro-inches] “Thick” silver, minimum 0.12 microns [5 micro-inches] These thickness values are expected to guarantee a minimum one-year shelf life. Upper thickness limits for both types I-Ag were not established in the initial release of the IPC-4553 Immersion Silver Standard. However I-Ag is not an allowable finish for Class 3 acceptance. Another reason why Ag is being promoted is to eliminate tin whisker issues. Costs are similar or marginally more than immersion tin. Use of Ag is relatively new and not common in the high volume, cost sensitive COB segment. It needs further field experience & volume usage to

Figure 9. COB in a PDA.

Figure 11. COB in mini-disk player and its remote control.

Figure 12. COB devices in a heart-rate monitor.

bondability include: a. Short time between plating and bonding b. PCB storage in an inert atmosphere c. Chemical cleaning before bonding.

understand the long term impacts. Aluminum wire-aluminum die pads Al-Al bonding is an extremely reliable system. Being a mono metal bond, it is not prone to IMC formation and it is not prone to corrosion. Al-Al bond is best done ultrasonically. Al-Al thermocompression bond is possible by high deformation. Al-Al wedge bonding is very predominant in COB applications—it is the mainstay of the low cost, “throwaway” product range and also often used in the mid-end products.4 Aluminum wire-nickel pcb pads Al-Ni bonds are typically made with large diameter wires greater than 75 mm (3 mils). Large wires bonds are less prone to Kirkendahl voids and galvanic corrosion. Ni provides bonds that are more reliable than Al-Ag or Al-Au. Electroless Ni on pads from boride or sulfamate base systems gives reliable bonds Al to Ni pad bonding remains very popular in COB applications-it is low-cost yet reliable. Bondability is affected by Ni surface oxidation and measures to improve Ni pad

Soldering aspects with Ni Pads: Measures mentioned above to improve bondability also apply to improve solderability. electroless nickel coated components have a short shelf-life (less than 24 hrs to meet solderability to Mil 893C specs!) unless protected over by gold. Issues also relate to the P content in EnP plating (Ref ENIG subsection). Storage conditions are important as is FIFO (first in/first out). Use within six months from date of manufacture remains a related concern with Ni. Copper bond wire-aluminum die pads The Cu-Al system is prone to various IMC failures similar to Au-Al system IMC growth in Cu-Al is lower than in the Au-Al system, and no Kirkendahl voiding is seen in Cu-Al IMC. Brittle CuAl2 in IMC layer lowers shear strength at 150-200˚C at 300-500˚C excessive IMC growth significantly reduces bond strength. Cu-Al IMC is impacted by atmospheric composition. Presence of O2 creates Cu oxides which inhibit bondability by growth of void like grooves under bond. Cl (chlorine) contamination

Global SMT & Packaging – Celebrating 10 Years – January 2010 – 13

Metallization options for optimum chip-on-board assembly

and H2O (moisture) can produce corrosion of the Al and Cu-Al IMC layer. Metallization and product positioning—real life examples Several diverse applications of COB-SMT are show in Figures 7 to 12. The Figure 7 PCBA is from a hand-held toy fan with motion activated flashing lights that sells for under US $4. Figure 8 shows the PCBA from a computer mouse selling around US $10. Both Figures 1 and 2, the products use a single-sided BT PCB with Cu OSP solder Pads and Ni over Cu COB pad metallization. Both products are low cost and low profile and made possible by COB-SMT with appropriate materials and metallization typical of products in this low end product category. At the next higher level of product hierarchy, a mid-priced product example, Figure 9, shows the COB in a personal digital assistant (PDA) using a multilayer FR 4 PCB with uniform Ni metallization at both soldering and wire bond sites with AlSi wire bonding process. Moving further up the ladder, Figure 10 is the display and control module from a microwave oven (with a US $100 product sales tag), and Figure 11 shows the main and remote control PCBAs from a mini -disk player. Both products use ENIG pads for both soldering and wire bonding. At the highest level, Figure 12 is the PCBA from a high-end heart rate monitor (a US $150 product) using ENIG at the solder sites and selectively plated soft pure gold at the COB sites. So far the author hasn’t encountered any real life examples using ENEPIG (electroless nickel, palladium, immersion gold)5 or DIG metallization, but that may be because both are relatively new. The common factor in each of the shown products is COB; however, metallization choices in each are dictated by product positioning, product life, reliability expectation and price point. The low end of the spectrum is very cost sensitive and uses metallization that leans in favor of the soldering process. Other examples (not shown here) relate to the IC industry, such as SiPs and MCMs. Common goals in integration. In the denouement, the goal for both IC packaging and the PCB assembler remains the same, that is, the ability to address the market demand with greater value add, increased performance & functionality while lowering cost.

Whichever way it is approached, attaching dies alongside SMT short cuts the final interconnection enabling functional integration with shorter time to market, PCB real estate savings and a slimmer form factor. Most COB applications involve (proprietary) ASICs (application specific integrated circuits), and the COB route provides a much shorter time to market and greater intellectual property protection so the ‘first to market’ can retain market leadership for a longer period. Conclusion COB merged with SMT is a very versatile process deployed currently across the very wide range of applications. That millions of products are being profitably produced and sold using COB is testimony of its robustness. Wire bonding is certainly not out of steam yet given the improvements seen in latest generation of bonders.6 The choice of metallization can help provide the right balance between wire bond reliability, soldering yields, and solder joint reliability. At the mid to low cost spectrum there is tendency to lean towards metallization aligned towards soldering process. Despite this compromise, the wire bonding process, for this product class, proves robust enough for the application. The required metallization for reliable wire bonding is not necessarily the same as that needed for high quality solder joints. In the case of ENIG (and its evolution, the ENEPIC (electroless nickel, palladium, immersion gold) process but limited to SAC alloy soldering) provided the nickel and gold plating control has been carefully maintained7-9 when combined with selective pure thick gold on the wire bond sites provides the highest reliability for both soldering and wire bonding but also incurs the highest cost. At the next lower level, ENIG is an option for both soldering and wire bonding without selective plating on the wire bonding sites. The ENIG metallization yields an excellent solder joint quality and while not ‘the’ best for wire bonding, it proves adequate for mid end product needs. At the low end where cost sensitivity is acute, either OSP over Cu for solderability with selective Ni or Au plating on the bond sites or simply a uniform Ni as a common soldering and bond site finish together with aluminum wedge bonding provides the lowest cost alternative. The target application, its reliability, life cycle, cost and price positioning must all be considered to obtain the optimum balance.

14 – Global SMT & Packaging – Celebrating 10 Years – February 2010

References 1. Challenges of Soldering in a Pb-Free World—Chip Scale Review, Aug/Sep 2006 2. Reflow Options for Wafer-Level Packaging—Chip Scale Review, Apr/ May 2007 3. International Directory of Solder Reflow Thermal Processing Equipment—Chip Scale Review, Apr/ May 20071. 4. Process Challenges And Solutions for Embedding Chip On Board Into Mainstream SMT—Mukul Luthra— SMTA International Conference, 2003, Chicago. 5. Study of EN-P/Pd/Au As A Final Finish for Packaging—Shigeo Hashimoto & Don Gudeczauskas—UIC Technical Center, Connecticut 6. Are Wire Bonders Running Out of Steam? How this Essential IC Assembly Tool is Keeping Pace—Chip Scale Review, March 2007 7. Electroless Gold Plating for Printed Circuit Boards Contacts—C. Uyemura Co. Ltd., Apex L.A. 2007 8. Impacts of Bulk Phosphorous Content of Electroless Nickel Layers to Solder Joint Integrity & Their Use As Gold&Aluminum-Wire Bond Surfaces— Kuldip Johal et al, Atotech USA [SMTA Journal Apr-June 2004] 9. Are you in control of your Electroless Nickel / Immersion Gold ProcessKuldip Johal and Gerry BrewerAtotech USA 10. Die Products Consortium—Chip on Board Tutorial URL:http://www. cob/index.php 11. Soldering in Electronics—R.J. Klein Wassink (ISBN 090115024-X


“Now we can take orders in the morning and deliver finished boards in the afternoon.”

Forget waiting for stencils. With jet printing, it’s now possible to prepare jobs in minutes instead of days. If you do 2-3 setups a day, using more than 50 stencils a year, you’ll quickly understand the benefits. If you also have customers calling for last-minute changes, you’ll understand even better. Completely software driven, a jet printer can easily apply solder paste onto complex and challenging boards with high precision. You can achieve perfect results for QFNs, pin-in-paste, package-on-package (POP) and other new applications – such as jetting into a board cavity. “Jet printing opens up many new design opportunities for customers.” says Andrew Clarke, European Business Manager at AIM, one of the leading solder paste suppliers. Now in use in more than 20 countries worldwide, the MY500 Jet Printer is sparking a movement for change in the electronics industry. To find out how jet printing could benefit you, give us a call.

The new MY500 Jet Printer.

Global SMT & Packaging – Celebrating 10 Years – January 2010 – 15

BGA assembly reliability—PWB quality is the key

BGA assembly reliability— PWB quality is the key Tom Clifford, TJB Associates The quality of the circuit board‘s pad is a critical factor in the reliability of the solder joint attaching the BGA. The solder-joints are hidden, and therefore the resultant BGA solder-joint quality cannot be easily visually verified, in contrast to conventional SMT constructions. This paper provides a gallery of photographs illustrating many types of defects, suggestions for acceptance thresholds, and a review of the consequences of defective BGA pads. Further, this paper discusses quality control protocols, sampling considerations, supplier interactions and inspection methods, all targeted to improve the durability and reliability of high-value electronics assemblies utilizing BGA-type connections. Keywords: BGA, Ball Grid Array, Pads, Defects

Introduction BGAs are rapidly becoming the dominant SMT high-performance package. BGA solder joints are critical to reliability and durability, but those solder-joints are essentially uninspectable because the solder balls/ joints are obscured under the package, This situation is similarly encountered with other hidden-joint constructions, including land grid arrays and QFNs. Defects of the pad can render the solder non-wettable, induce stress-risers and reduce the effective fillet area, etc., all jeopardizing performance and long-term reliability. The importance of inspection, outgoing from the fab as well as incoming by the user, is critical. These defects cannot typically be ruled out simply because a carefully selected sample or batch was selected for, and passed, some high-visibility “qualification” test protocol. These defects arise randomly, in different locations on a board, from board to board, and from lot to lot. Vigilance is necessary. Inspection protocols, at the fab and the user must accommodate appropriate sampling, performed by calibrated eyes, reinforced by real-time communication feedback. Further, the methods of inspection are critical. Magnification level, lighting, focus, clarity and image enhancement/capture are all pivotal parameters and must be defined and shared between supplier and user.

Even more important, the accept/reject threshold for each attribute must be clearly understood throughout the supply chain. The consequence, in terms of final product quality, of each level of each defect is often shrouded in crude “cause” data: e.g. “failure attributed to defective solderjoint”. This “defective solder joint” really failed because the plating popped loose from the PWB substrate, or the solder fillet was resting on a big caramelized resin goober, or a fiber acting as a stress-riser, etc. The user must determine the real root cause, and if it involves the PWB, he must share that with the fab/supplier. This paper does not dwell on the fab’s processes and likely causes of the pad defects. That is typically unknown by the user—irrelevant at that point—and is well known to and under the control of the fab. Note that technology evolves. New geometry, new solder alloys and new board platings and finishes will arise, as will defects that are not exactly those shown below. Nevertheless, the guidance contained herein should be mostly transferable. More importantly: the pace of shrinking geometries is inescapable. Fine pitch BGAs, flip-chips and waferlevel packaging for high-value assemblies will demand more fine-scale finesse in detection, discrimination and control. The paper provides the scope, then the

Figure 2. Fibers trapped under mask. Figure 1. Plating “splash”?

Figure 3. Edge flaking.

16 – Global SMT & Packaging – Celebrating 10 Years – February 2010

BGA assembly reliability—PWB quality is the key

gallery of images with discussions, then QC reasonings and protocols with referee considerations. Scope This paper is primarily a photo-gallery of BGA pad defects, plus interpretations, consequences, and inspection advice. The acronym BGA (ball grid array) is used here to include the basic collapsing-ball plastic BGA as well as non-collapsing ball ceramic BGAs and column grid array constructions. Examples are shown from several board finishes, at pitches down to 0.4 mm (0.016”), but the criticality of a proper receiving pad, plus the reasonings and protocols are applicable to finer pitches, to other hidden-fillet constructions, to HDI bump pads and flip-chip substrates and to

other (increasingly ”green”) platings and finishes. Note also that the defects shown will also occur on pads for other SMT joints, with similar consequences. Those might be more inspectable, but many of these defects will result in compromised joints, even if visually apparently OK. These BGA pad images are offered in this paper because at this writing no industry standard is available to provide appropriate guidance. Defects Plating: surface condition or plating appearance The physical aspects of the pad, besides the size, are obviously important attributes. Lumps and dimples, for instance, can themselves compromise the integrity of the joint, and also can reveal internal weak-

Figure 4. Severe edge flaking.

nesses in the integrity of the pad’s plating which can cause further issues later. Figures 3 through 7 illustrate several types of defects, as well as their degrees of severity Figure 3 shows examples of the “awning” effect, where broken-off fragments of metal could get loose and cause electrical mischief. Figure 4 shows extreme edge-flaking. Figure 5 shows a case of a completely missing pad. Sad fact is that the BGA solder ball might stick to its trace long enough to pass a functional test, but would release/fail later in service. Figures 6 through 11 show other types of surface conditions caused during fab. Figure 6 shows “mouse-bites”, on the pad edge. Figure 7 shows dimples plus a double-level pad condition. Figure 8 shows a couple seriously compromised pads.

Figure 6. Pad “mousebites.” Figure 5. Missing pad

Figure 9. Extreme damage.

Figure 7. Double-plate plus dimples. Figure 8. ??????

Figure 12. Probe damage. Figure 10. Domed solder.

Figure 11. Domed solder.

Global SMT & Packaging – Celebrating 10 Years – January 2010 – 17

BGA assembly reliability—PWB quality is the key

Figure 13. Linear gouge. Figure 14. Severe damage. Figure 15. Scuffed surface.

Figure 17. Solder bump. Figure 16. Minor plating lumps.

Figure 9 some sort of systematic massive damage or condition, eliminating the top of the pad. These conditions, at certain levels of severity, will compromise physical and electrical integrity, short or long term. External damage A damaged pad is clearly a concern. The impact depends on many factors, of course. Some damage (a scuffed HASL surface. for instance) might look dramatic but will reflow nicely with no ill effect). A scuffed silver plating can expose a troublesome base metal, subject to long-term failure. Images, interpretations, and communications are crucial. Figures 12 through 15 show examples of these situations. Figure 12 shows what looks like damage from a clumsy test-probe. Figure 13 shows some sort of deep linear gouge, and Figure 14 show damage that similarly exposes underlayers of base metal. Figure 15 shows a scuffed-surface situation, which might be rejectable. The point of this exhibit is the different appearance of the attribute depending on the lighting. A dramatically different image (in this example, plus a range of others not shown) is seen depending on side-lighting, intensity,

Figure 18. Metal peak?s

diffusion, polarization, etc. Are those light-on-dark, or dark-on-light? Are these black-on-copper, or white-on-gold? Acceptreject decisions might have been crafted naively to specify one or the other. The human eye/brain system can resolve the situation rationally, but AOI systems, or rigid defect-text language could be seriously misleading. Careful consideration of lighting subtleties is crucial for surface and color characterization, permanent-records and decision-making. Metallic contamination Usually the type of contamination can be identified visually, and the distinction between “metallic” and “non-metallic” can serve a useful purpose. Figures 1 and 16 through 18 show what looks to be metallic contamination, from process or tramp sources. These defects can be troublesome in two ways. They can upset the stencil-printing process by holding the stencil up off the board surface, which can impact solder volumes and registration. They can act as stand-offs at/during BGA placement, preventing or proper solder-fillet formation. More directly, in the extreme, they will compromise the mechanical strength and durability of the solder-joint. Figure 1 shows a large splash of a metal

18 – Global SMT & Packaging – Celebrating 10 Years – February 2010

or some material on the pad surface, leaving a probably non-wettable condition and likely compromised joint quality. Figure 16 shows a fairly common lump condition, which at this level is probably not rejectable. Figure 17, a tramp solder blob would probably negatively affect stenciling, but might reflow later with no appreciable ill effect. Figure 18 shows a hard metal point with probable impact on stenciling and solder-joint integrity. Non-metallic contamination This broad category can typically be sub-classified in terminology into specific defect types by appearance; and oftimes by supposed source or cause. However, these, and the other images in this paper, are presented solely as useful exhibits, with no pretense at a suggested terminology standard. In some fortuitous cases, polymeric contaminants will fall off in handling, or will be washed away in a board cleaning process. However, some cling fiercely, and will have their impact later in process or in service. Figures 19, 25 and 27 show some of the worst offenders: the resin (probably adhesive or maskant) will resist any likely bare-board cleaning process and will doubtless resist the flux/solder process, leaving very compromised solder

BGA assembly reliability—PWB quality is the key

joints, good enough to squeak past final functional test before being deployed, as guaranteed early-failers, into service. Figures 20 and 22 show particulate FOD that might dislodge in handling, might be displaced by hot flux/solder, and might leave no deleterious reside; but why take a chance? Figure 26 and Figure 2 from the introduction, show unarguably rejectable conditions: solder-joints will form, if BGA placement isn’t disrupted, but will be seriously compromised, long term. Figure 21 shows a condition clearly originating in the plating process, which cannot be a good thing. Figure 23 is the author’s favorite: a QC stamp, doubtless signifying top quality, which is imprinted right on a soldering surface. Possibly the hot flux/ solder will remove it during assembly, but again, why risk it? Defects related to via-in-pad Unlike many of the FOD and point-defect conditions shown earlier, these VIP-related conditions are more systematic, are directly caused by the particular fab process, and will be recognizably similar in all BGA pads in that lot. That said, they will vary in severity, and acceptance thresholds must be established for new process qualification, routine

process control and final QC, Via-in-pad constructions and processes and materials are numerous, and the resulting reliability implications of the extremes examples are mostly uncharacterized. Deep open dimples can gobble solder, deep dimples full of chemical residue can pump unknowable materials into solder joints, bumps can impact stenciling, dimples and undulating pad contours can disrupt CTE-mismatched solder-fatigue shear planes and also trigger stress-riser situations. Thoughtful engineering considerations, backed by solid data, are necessary to establish proper acceptance thresholds, “Teaching” an AOI system to characterize dimples and lumps can be an interesting proposition. Solder mask defects The application of solder mask (design limits, materials, process control. QC, etc) has been a troublesome SMT challenge, particularly in recent times for BGAs. Figures 31 and 32 are clearly the result of an out-of control mask-application process. Figures 33 and 35 shows a very common and relatively minor case of an unintentional “solder-mask-defined” condition, related to bad registration and

Figure 20. ? something.

possibly inappropriate target dimensions and tolerances. Figure 34 shows a similar condition, made worse by a brittle condition, which leads to flakes of soldermaskant becoming FOD. Quality control reasonings and protocols The OEM—the name on the label—is responsible for the quality of the product. He must ensure that all the tiers in the supply-chain ladder do their respective quality assurance jobs: in-process during fab, at final at the fab, and at incoming by the user. A good baseline sampling view is that each fab batch is different, each board within that batch is different, each location and each pad on the board is different. A single sample-point is never enough. In every case, the inspection protocol sampling must be tailored, iteratively, to accommodate the type and distribution of defects likely to arise in the process as well as the actuals being encountered for that particular technology and design. Often the detection of a specific attribute can trigger a deeper sampling, to further characterize the severity and distribution of the attribute. Also, typically most point defects are rare; but rarity is slim comfort.

Figure 21. Goober in plating process.

Figure 19. Resin smears.

Figure 23. QC stamp! Figure 24. Resin droplets. Figure 22. Something else.

Global SMT & Packaging – Celebrating 10 Years – January 2010 – 19

BGA assembly reliability—PWB quality is the key

One bad pad in a million (1 ppm) on a big, busy two-sided high-value board containing many big BGAs is a good predictor of one field failure in every few hundred boards. Not a good situation. Inspection finesse and training is key. The method depends on many factors, in addition to product volume and the value of the PWB. X-ray can deal with feature sizes and gross edge defects. All else must be dealt with optically, either visual aided by microscopy, or by patternrecognition video systems, “taught” by

visual calibration and establishment of accept-reject thresholds. Specific details and guidance depends on the defects being encountered. The acceptance threshold, (i.e. how severe is too severe?) is not necessarily the same for all similarappearing attributes, nor the same for all product families. Each situation deserves careful consideration. Note also that the appearance of many types of surface defects is profoundly influenced by the lighting: polarization, side-lighting, point vs. ring vs. diffused, focus, intensity, etc.

Simply specifying a “magnification level” is naive and inadequate. These factors, unless acknowledged and controlled, will trigger serious mis-interpretations, in both visual and optical/electronic methodologies. All this must be resolved and communicated effectively between the fab, the user, and any third-party lab or processor. Note that this paper—a gallery of images—does not dwell on the causes and corrections of these defects arising within the fab’s process. Typically the user need not care, and certainly cannot solve the

Figure 26. Trapped fiber. Figure 27. Maskant contamination.

Figure 25. Resin smear.

Figure 29. Via-in-pad.

Figure 30. Via-in-pad.

Figure 28. Via-in-pad.

Figure 33. Maskant defect.

Figure 32. Maskant defect.

Figure 31. Maskant defect.

20 – Global SMT & Packaging – Celebrating 10 Years – February 2010

BGA assembly reliability—PWB quality is the key

Figure 34. Unintentional “solder-mask-defined” condition made worse by a brittle condition.

fab’s process problems anyway. Also, the naming of defects and attributes is typically local and personal and widely-varied ... sometimes descriptive, sometimes causal. Terminology should be regularized. Misunderstandings can trigger unfortunate consequences. The enclosed images do not pretend to provide authoritative terminology, only to offer opportunities that can be named and catalogued between user, supplier, and any spec-writers. Further, these reasonings are not unique

statistical or systematic occurrence within the population. Additional sampling might be needed. For new and/or borderline cases, engineering testing might be needed before accept/reject decision thresholds can be established and communicated. Certainly an enterprise solution includes causal and corrective efforts, but these are well-known and beyond the scope of this paper. Additional information and imagery, including more exhibits and original glossy photos, are available from the author, at Figure 35. Unintentional “solder-mask-defined” condition.

to BGA pads. They apply to all solderable surface features, and to receiving pads at any scale (CSPs, micro-BGAs, flipchip pads, etc). Varied technologies and finishes will engender different defects and decisions, but much of the above material should be transferable. Referee/verification The first task is always to see what you’ve got. That means proper imagery and documentation; followed closely by an appraisal of the

Global SMT & Packaging – Celebrating 10 Years – January 2010 – 21

Title Global business climate: most indicators point north

Walt Custer and Jon Custer-Topai

Growth “across the board” (relative to last year’s disaster) Forward-looking economic data are looking better and better. While we are not “out of the woods” yet, most global indicators support a broad 2010 recovery. Bloomberg’s Professional Global Confidence Index (Chart 1) and The Conference Board’s CEO Confidence Index (Chart 2) both finished 2009 on an optimistic note. Purchasing Managers’ indices for key industrial economies (Chart 3) also indicated that a global manufacturing upturn is well underway. Electronics equipment shipments were up 20% for Taiwan-listed OEMs in December 2009 vs. December 2008 and all other regions are headed back into growth modes (Chart 4). Yes, there will be a normal post-holiday seasonal downturn but its magnitude and duration should be muted (compared to last year’s disaster). Semiconductor shipment growth by region (Chart 5) has now either moved into positive territory or will do so shortly. Manufacturers of SEMI capital equipment (who had very difficult times in 2008 and 2009) are also now seeing increasing orders as their growth mirrors global semiconductor shipments (Chart 6).

Printed wiring board shipment growth (Chart 7) is similar to that of other members of the electronic food chain. All major regions are seeing PCB growth at or near “break even” levels vs. the same period a year earlier. In all cases we must remember that these growth figures are relative to a chasm in late 2008/early 2009 but at least our industry is expanding again. Chart 8 provides my colleague Ed Henderson’s most recent electronic equipment production growth forecast by region by year. Everything looks positive from 2010 to 2012. Not robust growth, but growth just the same! End markets Global markets for electronics will grow 5% in 2010 to US$2.24 trillion.—JEITA

Worldwide IT spending will grow 3.2% in 2010 to US$1.5 trillion. —IDC Mobile Devices • Mobile device shipments will grow from 1.2 billion units in 2009 to 2.25 billion in 2014.—ABI Research


Bloomberg Professional Global Confidence Index 70

Computers & Peripherals • Worldwide PC shipments grew 1.1% y/y (19% q/q) to 79.9 million units in 3Q09.—iSuppli • Global PC shipments will grow 12.6% y/y to 336.6 million units in 2010.— Gartner • Worldwide optical network hardware revenue decreased 2.5% in 3Q09 to US$3.3 billion.—Infonetics Research • Worldwide total disk storage systems market declined 9.6% to US$6.0 billion in 3Q09.—IDC

CEO Confidence Index 70

Confidence in the world economy rose as an acceleration in manufacturing and service industries signaled a sustained recovery from last year's recession, according to a Bloomberg survey of users on six continents. 1/13/10


grow 9% y/y after falling 0.67% to 1.214 billion units in 2009.—Gartner • Global cellphones shipments (excluding white-brand models) will grow 12% in 2010 to 1.33 billion units, including 235 million smartphones.—Topology Research Institute • China’s production of handsets, excluding gray market models, grew 7% to 600 million units in 2009; gray market handset production increased 142% y/y to 145 million units.—AVC




• Worldwide mobile device sales will




40 30




10 0 1





6 7 08


9 10 11 12 1





6 7 09



9 10 11 12 1 2 10

"CEOs have grown considerably more optimistic in their short-term outlook," says Lynn Franco, Director of The Conference Board Consumer Research Center. "Although nearly 60 percent say they've scaled back capital spending plans since January, growing optimism over the past several quarters should translate into increased spending in 2010." Oct 9, 2009

Q4 Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 04 05 06 07 08 09



Chart 1.

Chart 2.

22 – Global SMT & Packaging – Celebrating 10 Years – February 2010

Growth “across the board” (relative to last year’s disaster)

• • • • •

Automotive • Global automotive mobile television shipments will grow from 8 million units in 2009 to 17 million in 2015.— iSuppli • Automobiles with internet access will grow from 970,000 in 2009 to 62.3 million in 2016. – iSuppli • Global navigation system shipments will exceed 500 million units in 2010.— ABI Research

Eastern Europe down 4% Middle East down 5% Japan down 3%. China up 10% South America up 6%

2010 Consumer electronics growth by product—CEA • LCD TV +14% • High-def DVD players +6% (Blu-Ray will be US$18.5 billion market in 2010) • Laptop revenues flat • Wireless handsets + 2% in units to 1.17 billion

Consumer Consumer electronics sales will top US$165 billion in 2010 with emerging markets offering the most growth.

LED-backlit TV shipments will reach 26 million in 2010.—Displaybank

China’s digital still camera sales will grow from 9.7 million units in 2009 to more than 11 million in 2010.—China Electronic Chamber of Commerce

North American Blu-Ray player sales will grow from 7.9 million units in 2009 to 12.8 million in 2010.—CEA

2010 Consumer electronics growth forecast by region—CEA • North America down 3% • Western Europe down 9%

Worldwide e-reader shipments will grow from 4 million in 2009 to 12 million in 2010 and 18 million in 2012.—iSuppli



EMS & assembly EMS industry will grow by about 7% to US$140.3 billion in 2010.—IDC Axiom Manufacturing Services appointed Stephen Young finance director. Celestica: • joined Canadian Solar Industries Association. • received 2009 North American Market Leadership Award in the Aerospace and Defense Electronics Manufacturing Services (EMS) market from Frost and Sullivan. Compal is building its fifth plant and second production base near in Kunshan, China. Darekon acquired Mecanova Klaukkala, Finland’s medical equipment production unit business operations. Diagnosys Systems doubled the size of Florida facility. ECS received resignations from over 100 members within its notebook division. Efore received a power supply manufacturing contract from Chinese


Global Electronic Equipment Shipment Growth

Purchasing Managers' Indices November vs. December 2009




Values > 50 Indicate Expansion

1.6 55.7


Taiwan/China Europe Japan USA 0

3/12 rate of growth in local currency

1.5 1.4 1.3





1.1 52.4



53.8 52.7








0.8 0.7









Europe = Eurostat EU27 NACE C26 (computer, electronic & optical products)


1 4 7 10 1 4 7 10 1 4 7 10 1 4 7 10 1 4 7 10 1 4 7 10 1 4 7 10 1 4 7 10 1 4 7 10 1 4 7 10 1 00 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10


Sources: Institute of Supply Management & Markit

Chart 3.

Chart 4. 20100121


Semiconductor Growth Rates 1.8

3/12 Rate of Change

Global Semiconductor & Semiconductor Capital Equipment 3-Month Shipment Growth Rates on $ Basis

Total $ Shipments to an Area

2.8 2.6


2.4 2.2


3/12 Rate of Change Semiconductors SEMI Capital Equip Series 5

Capital Equipment

2 Chips



1.6 1.4



N America Europe Japan Asia-Pac

0.8 0.6 0.4

159159159159159159159159159159159159159159159159159159159159 90 91 92 93 94 95 96 97 98 99 00 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 Total $ Shipments from All Countries to an Area SIA website:

Chart 5.

1 0.8 0.6 0.4 0.2 1591591591591591591591591591591591591591591591591591591591591591591591591591591 84 85 86 87 88 89 90 91 92 93 94 95 96 97 98 99 00 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10

Sources: SIA; Semiconductor Equipment Association of Japan, CCG est for 3Q & 4Q'09 SEMI

Chart 6.

Global SMT & Packaging – Celebrating 10 Years – January 2010 – 23

Growth “across the board” (relative to last year’s disaster)

Potevio. Elcoteq Monterrey, Mexico, plant received C-TPAT certificate. ElectronicNetwork named Dimosthenis Bardoukas director of strategic purchasing. Encompass Service Solutions received a PCB repair contract from Ardus. Endicott Interconnect Technologies received contract modifications totaling US$66.1 million for card frame assemblies from the U.S. Department of Defense. Finmek ended EMS activities in Santa Maria Capua Vetere. Flextronics: • acquired SloMedical. • acquired Stribel’s European electronics business. • deployed LION (Lean Inventory Optimization Network) solution. • expanded its EMS relationship with Lenovo for European computing products from Hungary. • had trouble finding 900 workers in Zalaegerszeg, Hungary. • joined the Shuttle notebook alliance. • received a 2 million unit netbook order from HP for 2010. Foxconn/ Hon Hai: • entered a Pan-European distribution agreement with Avnet. • assumed role as the manager of the technology-integration team for Taiwan Telematics Industry Alliance. • charged Argosy with patent infringement. • formed a biomedical JV venture with Bionet Corporation. • issued US$1 billion in overseas unsecured convertible bonds. • plans to have 10,000 employees in Mexico by March 2010. • received ODM orders for Android 3G handsets from Orange. • is building the next-generation iPhone. • subsidiary G-Tech Optoelectronics is 20100119

investing NT$500 million (US$15.5 million) to establish a Southern Taiwan Science Park factory for R&D and production of processed glass substrates and components for touch panels. • formed a joint venture with Metro Group. Hanza acquired Elektromekan. Hasec-Electronik invested in a 6,500 sq. m. building in “Röber” in Wutha-Farnroda. IEC acquired Crane subsidiary, General Technology. Integrated Ideas & Technologies added a new 8,000 SF facility for JIT inventory for Metal Fabrication. Inventec: • purchased a 4.9% stake in Huga Optotech for NT$540 million. • is investing US$800 million over five years to establish a production base in Chongqing, China. IPTE sold its automation division and changed its name to Connect Group. Jabil: • entered a consumer electronics hardware manufacturing partnership for XStream. • received a 2009 Market Leadership of the Year Award from Frost & Sullivan. Key Electronics received certification from Lewis Testing Services for its new Class 10,000 clean room. Kitron: • acquired Veru Electronic. • received NOK 28 million in new orders from Kongsberg Defence and Aerospace. • leased a 4000 sq. m. electronic factory in Nordic Industrial Park in Ningbo, China • acquired VERU Electronic GmbH (Grossbettlingen, Germany). Kodiak Assembly Solutions moved to a new 42,000 SF facility in Vista Park. LaBarge received an US$18.9 million

Regional PCB Shipment Growth


electronic assembly’s contract from Sikorsky for the BLACK HAWK helicopter program. Lacroix Electronique Willich, Germany, plant received ISO 13485 certification. Leab closed its Kungsbacka, Sweden, sales office. Lightspeed Manufacturing moved to an 8,800 SF facility in Haverhill, MA. Mack Technologies received a PCBA outsourcing contract from Performance Technologies. MEC hired Rick Cummings as director of business development. Metz added a SIPLACE SX placement machine line. Murrietta Circuits installed a Seica flying probe ICT system for in-circuit testing of finished circuit board assemblies. NBS obtained US$8.2 million in flexible funding from Bridge Bank. NOTE sold its Skellefteå operation to Optronic. OSI Electronics received a US$6 million contract from ITT Corporation for electronic sub-assemblies. Outsource Manufacturing Inc. moved into a new 60,000 SF building. PlasmaTech began marketing its universal wireless remote control and access circuit board to worldwide OEMs. Plexus president and CEO Dean Foate sold 12,500 shares. Quanta invested an additional US$12 million to expand its Sungjiang, China, capacity. Saline Lectronics installed an additional Orpro Vision AOI system. Sanmina-SCI: • is investing €10 million to expand R&D services in Fermoy, Ireland. • Pathum Thani, Thailand facility received Nadcap certification. Shuttle formed a notebook ecosystem alliance to integrate supply chain resources.

Electronic Equipment Production Growth

Current $ Growth Rates Converted @ Constant Exchange Rates 1.9 1.8 1.7 1.6 1.5 1.4 1.3 1.2 1.1 1 0.9 0.8 0.7 0.6 0.5 0.4

3/12 rate of growth in local currency

Taiwan/China Europe Japan N America 0


2008 0.5

2009 -11.3

2010 6.6

2011 8.3

2012 10.0







W Europe





















Japan Four Tigers China

1 4 7 10 1 4 7 10 1 4 7 10 1 4 7 10 1 4 7 10 1 4 7 10 1 4 7 10 1 4 7 10 1 4 7 10 1 4 7 10 1 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 00 01


Sources: IPC, JPCA, Taiwan/China composite; modified SIA chip shipments to approximate Europe

Chart 7.

Henderson Ventures 1/2010

Chart 8.

24 – Global SMT & Packaging – Celebrating 10 Years – February 2010

Growth “across the board” (relative to last year’s disaster)

Segue Manufacturing Services received ISO 13485:2003 certification. Sercomm bought a plant built by Billionton Systems in Suzhou for NT$330 million. STI Electronics: • celebrated its 27th anniversary. • introduced a new Training Materials Catalog at Sunburst Electronics received ISO AS9100 certification. Sunburst EMS added a Hawkeye print verification system to its DEK Horizon 03i automated printer. Suntron closed its Newberg, Oregon EMS plant. Surface Mount Technology purchased and installed a Genesis Platform from Universal Instruments. Sypris received US$5 million in follow-on orders for global satellite communications (SATCOM) and connectivity for commercial and military platforms. tbp added a reflow oven in Geel. Three-Five Systems made a final liquidating distribution to its stockholders and filed Form 15 with the SEC to deregister its securities and cease conducting business operations. TT electronics began offering EMS services for the rail & high-speed transportation markets. Union Day acquired a 41.7% stake in Sinotronics Holdings. Victron appointed Associated Solutions as its Northern California sales representative. Materials & process equipment Precious metals prices will rise up to 21% in 2010.—J.P. Morgan Securities ASYS merged with EKRA Americas. Camtek appointed Nir Dery as VP marketing and Gilad Golan as VP R&D. Chemtura, Albemarle and ICL Industrial Products stopped using DecaBDE. Christopher Associates introduced solder pastes from Koki for ICT performance and fine-pitch printing. Cookson Electronics appointed Gary Cunning as business manager for its Global Stencils Business. Co-Tech raised CCL prices by 5% in December 2009. Data I/O appointed Danutek, part of the Altus Group, as its representative for Hungary. Dow Corning received an US$800,000 Department of Defense contract for optical interconnect technology R&D for military aircraft. Essemtec hired and appointed Frank Angillisto to sales engineer in Benelux. Europe-SMT started selling Assembléon pre-owned machines, refurbishment,

service and spare parts. FINE LINE STENCIL installed a LPKF ScanCheck system at its San Jose facility. Henkel named: • Restronics Southeast as its electronics assembly materials’ representative in Tennessee, Georgia, Mississippi and Alabama • Aligned Solutions for Michigan, Ohio, Western Pennsylvania and West Virginia. Hitachi Cable started volume production of rolled annealed copper foils with special surface treatment for flexible circuits and electrodes of secondary batteries. Huntsman executive VP, general counsel and secretary Samuel Scruggs left the company. Ishihara Chemical introduced a new process that suppresses whisker formation in electroless tin plating. Juki will start production of FX-3 Series high speed chip mounting machines at its Shanghai Plant in March 2010. Lamar Group received ISO 9001:2008 certification. Lazer-Tech added a moving probe tester EMX6151 and a grid tester. National Instruments appointed Phil Hester Sr. VP of R&D. Nordson: • named Michael Hilton president and CEO. • acquired German distributor GLT. OK International appointed: • Rick Nuttall to European electronics assembly products director. • Delia Orvañanos to Territory Sales Manager for Southern California, Arizona and the Mexican border markets in Arizona and California. OM Group purchased EaglePicher Technologies. SGS Consumer Testing Services expanded its REACH testing services to 15 additional substances expected to be added to European Chemicals Agency’s “Substances of Very High Concern” list. Teknek promoted Douglas Gray to European sales manager. Universal introduced the industry’s first 5.0/7.5/10.0mm triple-span radial machine. Veeco appointed former Rohm & Haas CFO David Glass as Executive VP finance and CFO. YESTech changed its brand identity to Nordson YESTECH. ZESTRON: • named Phoenix United Associates as its new sales representative. • opened a Technical and Analytical Center in Kulim, Malaysia.

Semiconductors & other components Automotive chip market will grow 13.5% y/y from US$14.58 billion in 2009 to US$16.55 billion in 2010.—Gartner

DRAM market fell from US$31.5 billion in 2007 to US$23.6 billion in 2008 and an estimated US$20.2 billion in 2009.— iSuppli Global LED revenue grew 10.9% in 2009 to US$7.4 billion and will reach US$14.3 billion 2013.—iSuppli Global NAND flash memory revenue grew 25.5% q/q to US$3.94 billion in 3Q09.— iSuppli Global touch screen IC shipments will grow from 377 million units in 2008 to 794 million units in 2012.—Frost & Sullivan Semiconductor market revenue fell 11.4% to US$226 billion in 2009.—Gartner Silicon semiconductor wafer demand declined by 18.2%, to 6,872 million square inches in 2009.—Gartner Revised Forecast Worldwide semiconductor equipment: • billings increased 69% q/q to US US$4.54 billion in 3Q09.—SEMI • market to increase 45.3% in 2010 after 42.6% decline in 2009.—Gartner Worldwide silicon magnetic sensor revenue will grow from US$821 million (2.8 billion unit shipments) in 2009 to US$1.4 billion (more than 5 billion units) in 2013.— iSuppli Global market for lead-acid, Ni-MH and lithium-ion batteries is expected to reach US$43.6 billion in 2010.— DRAMeXchange Walt Custer is an independent consultant who monitors and offers a daily news service and market reports on the PCB and assembly automation and semiconductor industries. He can be contacted at or visit Jon Custer-Topai is vice president of Custer Consulting Group and responsible for the corporation’s market research and news analysis activities. Jon is a member of the IPC and active in the Technology Marketing Research Council. He can be contacted at

Global SMT & Packaging – Celebrating 10 Years – January 2010 – 25


2009 Global Technology Awards The fifth annual Global Technology Awards recognized the most innovative, efficient and effective equipment, materials and services to be introduced to the electronics manufacturing market between July 2008 and 2009. Presented at Productronica this past November in Munich, the awards ceremony was the most enjoyable, dynamic yet, and was broadcast live to viewers all over the Internet through Global SMT TV. Take a look through the year’s absolute best crop of electronics manufacturing products and services, as selected by a panel of independent judges.

And the winners are... Adhesives/Coatings/ Encapsulents WINNER: Henkel’s Loctite PowerstrateXtreme printable & dispensable Henkel’s new Loctite PSX-P and Loctite PSXD printable phase-change thermal interface products overcome many of the challenges associated with pads and greases. These nextgeneration materials are phase-change materials in liquid form that allow manufacturers to realize the throughput and ease-of-use often synonymous with thermal grease processes. Loctite PSX-P is suitable for automated screen printing systems and is offered in both medium dry and extended try formulations. Loctite PSX-D is a fast-drying paste that can either be needle dispensed or manually screen printed.

26 – Global SMT & Packaging – Celebrating 10 Years – February 2010

2009 Global Technology Awards

Anti-Counterfeiting Services WINNER: STI Electronics’s Contract services STI ELECTRONICS INC. performs a special chemical decap service for customers who want to see if they are receiving counterfeit parts from their supply chain vendors. STI also provides this same service to component manufacturers who want to verify if certain returned components are truly their original manufactured parts. This service provides the ability to chemically decap the integrated circuit from the overmold package and verify at the die level if the die inside the component package is the original manufacturers die. This is a good way to know without a shadow of a doubt if the component in question is counterfeit.

Anti-Counterfeiting Tools WINNER: ABI Electronics/ Cupio’s SENTRY The SENTRY Counterfeit IC Detector solution is in response to a global problem generated mainly by component obsolescence. SENTRY is an easy to use tester, aimed at goods inwards inspectors and designed to measure the PinPrints of components. The information collected is managed through a database and is used to compare known good devices against suspect components. Typically, SENTRY can easily detect missing or incorrect dies, lack of bond wires, inaccurate pin outs and pin impedance variations. Simple pass or fail results are returned after testing, offering a high level of confidence in the authenticity of components.,

Assembly Tools WINNER: Juki’s FX-3 feeder Juki’s new FX-3 motor driven electric feeder can feed sensitively for ultra small components, steadily and fast. With the electric feeder there is no need to stop the machine when replenishing components using the splicing function. This drastically reduces down time, allowing components to be easily replenished at any time. Additionally, the electric feeder requires only a minimum investment for stable production of high quality.

Cleaning Equipment WINNER: Aqueous Technologies’ Zero Ion G3 Specifically cited in MIL-2000A, the Zero-Ion ionic contamination tester is one of the industry’s most popular Resistivity of Solvent Extract (ROSE) testers. The Zero-Ion G3 is the newest, most advanced Zero-Ion ever designed. Unlike other systems which require heated test solution, the ZeroIon performs all tests at ambient temperature, eliminating the need for heaters and their associated safety concerns. Ambient temperature testing also reduces machine start-up times and test solution evaporation.

The Juki team

Global SMT & Packaging – Celebrating 10 Years – January 2010 – 27





2009 Global Technology Awards Winner WINNER AWA R D

WINNER OF CATEGORY: Anti-Counterfeiting Services


For more information

1. Innovation 2. Speed/throughput improvements: 3. Quality contribution 4. Cost benefits 5. Environmental consideration 6. Ease of use/implementation 7. Maintainability/repairability


Juki returned from Productronica a three-time winner, taking home Global Technology Awards in the categories of Assembly Tools, Selective Soldering and Low-to-Medium Volume Pick & Place.

The Juki Trifecta: JX100, FX-3 & FlexSolder

JX100 component mounter The development vision of “high quality placement at a low price” is embodied throughout this machine, making it a best choice for enterprises introducing a mounter for the first time.

FX-3 Electric Feeder Series Juki’s new FX-3 motor-driven electric feeders offer steady, fast and reliable feeding of ultra small components. This feeder requires only a minimum investment for stable, highquality production.

FlexSolder Series Juki offers a new line-up of their popular selective soldering equipment: the FlexSolder Series, with three models to suit your needs: mini wave, high speed stamp soldering, and a combination machine.





Of Cleaning Equipment And Test


Zero-Ion g3 Ionic Contamination (Cleanliness) Tester • Innovation: Specifically cited in MIL-2000A, the Zero-Ion ionic contamination tester is one of the industry’s most popular Resistivity of Solvent Extract (ROSE) testers. IPC-001 and IPC TM650 recognize ROSE testing as an approved method of determining the cleanliness of circuit assemblies. The Zero-Ion g3 is the newest, most advanced Zero-Ion ever designed. • Speed/throughput improvements: Unlike other systems which require heated test solution, the Zero-Ion performs all tests at ambient temperature, eliminating the need for heaters and their associated safety concerns. Ambient temperature testing also reduces machine start-up times and test solution evaporation. • Quality contribution: The Zero-Ion Ionic Contamination Tester meets industrial cleanliness specifications including MIL-STD-2000A, MIL-P-28809, IPC-TM-650, and ANSI/J-STD-001B, IPC-TM650. • Cost benefits: The Zero Ion tester is extremely cost effective. Its price is among the lowest in the industry, yet its performance is second to none.

Ease of use/implementation: A large 19” (48cm) LCD user interface provides clear, organized real-time process information. Intuitive tabbed display screens conveniently organize both stored and real-time process data. Builtin SPC data recording captures all relevant testing data. An integrated SPC database lookup allows users to search for desired data sets, including SPC results by date range, recipe name, board serial number, etc. Cleanliness results may be stored for later viewing or may be printed onto any Windows compatible printer. Additionally, the Zero-Ion g3 may be networked for remote viewing of all SPC data. An optional barcode scanner provides one-touch •

• Maintainability/repairability: The Zero-Ion G3 is controlled by a standard Windows-based PC, eliminating the need for expensive, proprietary control systems. Unlike other PC-based control systems, Zero-Ion G3's PC connects to the Zero-Ion via a standard USB device, eliminating the need for proprietary I/O boards installed within the PC.

• Environmental consideration: The Zero-Ion uses a dynamic technology that provides automatic regeneration of the machine’s test solution, maintaining a high degree of test solution sensitivity, while making it extremely environmentally friendly. Aqueous Technologies Corporation 9055 Rancho Park Ct. Rancho Cucamonga, CA 91730 Ph (909) 944-7771 Fax (909) 944-7775


Balver Zinn’s Josef Jost

Cleaning Materials WINNER: Kyzen Corp’s Cybersolv 141-R Kyzen’s Cybersolv® 141-R is a precision cleaner blend of organic solvents. 141-R was designed for optimum effectiveness on a wide variety of soils typically found in electronic assembly and maintenance cleaning applications including flux, paste, inks, uncured adhesives, waxes, mill markings, greases, oils, finger prints, etc. Cybersolv® 141-R cleans faster than IPA and other competitive products. Production line down-time to restock supplies is dramatically reduced over 40% due to the materials low volatility.

Contract Services WINNER: Alta Manufacturing’s Contract services Alta Manufacturing’s facilities are equipped with state of the art machines. The company is very competitive in the quick turn PCBA market specializing in highly complex PCBs while still maintaining quality service toward a broad spectrum of technologies. Alta Manufacturing’s contract services include quick turn prototype assembly (1 day), volume production, program management, material procurement and management, mechanical engineering, full box build and testing services, resulting in tremendous cost benefits.

Dispensing Equipment WINNER: MYDATA’s MY500 jet printer Because machine settings on the MY500 jet printer are automatic, process engineers can concentrate entirely on the deposit design and location. The ability to inspect and repair the printing result if necessary reduces the risk of mistakes and the amount of rework – which in turn leads to increased profitability. Instead of waiting for a new stencil to be shipped, you simply enter the new CAD data in the software and set up a new program.

Flux Materials WINNER: Cobar/Balver Zinn’s 296-DRX Cobar’s 396-DRX is a no-clean VOC-Free Flux. This RoHS compliant flux fulfils the need for more environmentalfriendly materials, while maintaining excellent soldering performance.396-DRX can be applied with any kind of air atomizing or ultrasonic spray fluxers. Only a minimal amount is required so that optimal settings for the fluxer unit can be selected. The flux removes the oxides and promotes wetting during soldering, making it possible to achieve good hole filling without having to lower the transportation speed.,

34 – Global SMT & Packaging – Celebrating 10 Years – February 2010






2009 Global Technology Awards


396-DRX No-Clean VOC-Free Flux 1. Innovation 2. Speed/throughput improvements 3. Quality contribution

Flux Materials For more information

4. Cost benefits 5. Environmental consideration 6. Ease of use/implementation 7. Maintainability/repairability


2009 Global  Technology  Awards





Winner: Cleaning Materials


dramatically reduced over 40% due to the materials low volatility.

Cybersolv ® 141-R  Precision Aerosol Cleaner • Innovation: Kyzen’s Cybersolv® 141-R is a precision cleaner blend of organic solvents. 141-R was designed for optimum effectiveness on a wide variety of soils typically found in electronic assembly and maintenance cleaning applications including flux, paste, inks, uncured adhesives, waxes, mill markings, greases, oils, finger prints, etc. • Speed/throughput improvements: Cybersolv® 141-R cleans faster than IPA and other competitive products. Production line down-time to restock supplies is

• Quality contribution: Most effective bench top cleaner on the market, capable of cleaning all types of solder paste and many SMT adhesives. Better cleaning means better quality, due to lower residues and fewer failures. • Cost benefits: Cost benefits of this solution include faster cleaning, reduced labor and higher throughput. Lower volatility means more cleaning per dollar/euro/rmb. Aggressive and competitive pricing worldwide provides the lowest cost solution in the market. • Environmental consideration: Cybersolv® 141-R is a biodegradable non-flammable non-

36 – Global SMT & Packaging – Celebrating 10 Years – February 2010


corrosive aqueous solution. It contains no CFC’s or HAP’s. • Ease of use/implementation: The small can size makes for easy handling and use, included nozzle attachment for precision applications as well as a brush attachment for harder to remove residues. • Maintainability/repairability: With this solution there are no repairs or maintenance. Cybersolv® 141-R is a cleaning fluid designed for single use applications.

430 Harding Industrial Drive  Nashville TN 37211  Phone: 615 831 0888  Fax: 615 831 0889


Global SMT & Packaging – Celebrating 10 Years – January 2010 – 37

Winner of the 2009 Global Technology Award for

Contract Manufacturing Services

„„ 1-Day Quick-Turn Prototype Assembly „„ Volume Production „„ Program Management „„ Material Procurement and Management „„ Mechanical Engineering „„ Full Box Build „„ Testing Services

Alta Manufacturing Meeting the needs of customers since 1998. In PCB layout, NPI, pilot and production contract manufacturing located in Fremont, CA and Suzhou China. 2009 Global Technology Award Winner







2009 Global Technology Awards Winner

396-DRX No-Clean VOC-Free Flux Innovativeness Speed/Throughput improvements Quality contribution Cost benefits Environmental consideration Ease of use/implementation 40 – Global SMT & Packaging – Celebrating 10 Years – February 2010


Up to 500 g of high-quality solder are used to build modern diagnostics devices. There are 200 million modern medical devices in the world. Many medical device manufactures place their trust in products made by Balver Zinn.


soldering paste


Global SMT & Packaging – Celebrating 10 Years – January 2010 – 41 /


2009 Global Technology Awards

Hand Soldering/Rework/Repair WINNER: R & D Technical Services’ V-Works 24 The V-Works 24 is designed specifically as a single component rework tool. It utilizes Vapor Phase Technology to transfer heat for removal and replacement of single components and connectors on circuit boards. The V-Works 24 solves many of the problems now plaguing the rework sector of the electronics industry and specifically lead free applications. Hot air and IR rework stations may bring issues such as overheating, shadowing, deflection and reflection to rework. These are non-issues in the new V-Works 24 vapor rework station.

ID Systems WINNER: Polyonics’ Product Sentry ProductSentry™ is a new generation of barcode labels using covert-enhanced Thermoguard® technologies built around its Thermoguard® “harsh environment platform”. Existing WIP information, is now matched with a one-to-one correspondence to its authentication, at the beginning of its manufacturing cycle. In other words, ‘Track and Trace’ technologies now begin in real time, on the factory floor. The system helps protect your products from counterfeiting, warranty fraud, and product diversion downstream, saving a great deal of money in the long run.

Inspection Equipment—AOI WINNER: MIRTEC’s MV-3L The MIRTEC MV-3L is a five-camera desktop AOI system featuring four-megapixel digital color camera technology and 9.8 micron/pixel resolution. The system is extremely simple to program and operate and offers unsurpassed defect detection. THE MV-3L also features Intelli-Beam laser inspection technology, four-point height measurement for coplanarity testing of BGA and CSP devices, and enhanced solder paste measurement capability.

Inspection Equipment—X-ray WINNER: Dage’s XD7600NT100 The Dage XD7600NT100 is the most technologically advanced x-ray inspection system on the market with groundbreaking 100 nanometer (0.1 micron) feature recognition for finite analysis of the most challenging inspection applications.The system is available with a high-power tube combining 10 watts of power and sub-micron feature recognition. Unlike existing high power tubes that have to significantly compromise resolution when used at higher power levels, this new high-power tube retains sub-micron feature recognition at full power.


42 – Global SMT & Packaging – Celebrating 10 Years – February 2010

2009 Global Technology Awards

Pick & Place Equipment— Low to Medium Volume WINNER: Juki’s JX100 The development vision of “high quality placement at low price” is embodied throughout the JX-100 and it is a best choice for the enterprises introducing a mounter first time. The machine can improve productivity and confidence with minimum investment. New mounter JX-100 helps you get rid of manual jobs and enter the list of modernized manufacturers. The JX100 offers a competitive placement speed of 14,400CPH. The JX100 uses recognized and simple data preparation program. The operator can master machine operation in only a short time.

Pick & Place Equipment— High Volume (tie) WINNER: Panasonic’s NPM (Next Production Modular) Panasonic’s NPM (Next Production Modular) integrates screen printing, dispensing, placement, and AOI into one configurable platform. Production can be scaled to exact factory needs with heads and functions changing as production requires. Two plug-and-play heads with no pairing limits work on each stage, maximizing productivity and fully realizing dual lane benefits. Two different boards or different sides of the same board can run using both sides of the machine’s feeders and balancing top and bottom of a board with large part count discrepancies. The NPM-DSP (dual screen printer) features high-speed simultaneous production of two same-type boards or two completely different products as well as non-stop model changeover so the product can be changed on one side while the other continues operation. WINNER: Siemens’ SIPLACE SX The SIPLACE SX leads the way to a new era in innovative SMT production of the future. It is ahead of all traditional machine concepts because manufacturers can scale position capacity and placement performance independently and switch them between machines and lines “on demand”. The main feature of this new concept is rail-mounted gantries that can be added or removed in less than thirty minutes by a single operator. The SIPLACE SX allows manufacturers to transfer capacity between machines and lines, and depending on demand peaks they can purchase or rent additional capacity – either complete machines, or just machine frames or just gantries can feeder slots. This eliminates the need for costly line reconfigurations each time new products and/or demands change.

Printing Equipment WINNER: Fine Line Stencil’s Ultraslic FG The first laser-cut solder paste stencil that has paste release performance comparable to electroform technology. The UltraSlic FG incorporates the latest stencil laser technology along with a new Fine Grain stencil material from Datum Alloys. Acceptable paste release is achieved down to a surface area ratio of 0.45. UltraSlic FG stencils have higher repeatability and cleaner release of solder paste on small/miniature components, resulting in minimized rework at the end of the assembly line. This results in increased yields and tremendous throughput improvements.

Panasonic & Siemens

Global SMT & Packaging – Celebrating 10 Years – January 2010 – 43

Get your product the competitive advantage

A Global Technology Award sends the message that your product or service is an innovation and quality leader in an industry crowded with competing products. Sponsored by Global SMT & Packaging magazine, the Global Technology Awards are entering their year of recognizing and celebrating innovation in the electronics manufacturing industry. Entries are being accepted now through July 9th. Entries are invited from equipment, materials and EMS companies of all sizes. In addition to the award statue, winners receive publicity in a special awards issue of each edition (US,

Europe, China & Korea) of Global SMT & Packaging magazine as well as on the Global SMT & Packaging and Global Technology Award websites and in the Global SMT & Packaging email newsletters. Winners also receive a small poster for use at trade shows and an image and logo for use in advertising, websites and other promotional materials.

Enter now:

2009 Global Technology Awards Winner: Hand Soldering- Rework and Repair

Vaporworks 24

SPEED/THROUGHPUT IMPROVEMENTS - Because vapor phase is even heating, the V-works 24 Vapor Rework Station is one of the fastest system on the market. QUALITY CONTRIBUTION - The system features split mirror and camera vision system for aligning components, and on-board recipe storage for precise rework parameters making highly accurate, quality products.

ENVIROMENTAL CONDITIONS The environmentally friendly V-Works 24 is designed specifically as a single component rework tool. It utilizes Vapor Phase Technology to transfer heat for removal and replacement of single components and connectors on circuit boards. Vapor phase is a proven technology now available in the first ever vapor phase rework station. The system saves components and boards from damage, resulting in reduced scrap. EASE OF USE - The V-Works 24 allows users to utilize the absolute limits to maximum temperatures, small delta at peak temperatures, and the unsurpassed uniformity and heat transfer ability that vapor phase is

12261 Nicollet Ave. S. Suite A Burnsville, MN 55337

See us at Booth 1276 during APEX 2010

famous for to single component removal and replacement. The system features a touch screen operator interface for ease of use. MAINTAINABILITY AND REPAIRABILITY - Semi-automatic cycle for removal and replacement of components allows minimum repairability. C L TE HNOL BA



COST BENEFITS - Hot air and IR rework stations may bring issues such as overheating, shadowing, deflection and reflection to rework. These are non-issues in the new

V-Works 24 Vapor Rework Station, making it a highly cost efficient system. Components and boards are safe from damage, thus saving thousands, perhaps millions of dollars depending on the application.


INNOVATION - Vapor Works was formed to service the single component rework sector of the electronics industry. Vapor Works takes over 40 years of combined vapor phase experience and uses it to create the industry’s first Vapor Phase Rework Station.



2009 Global Technology Awards





Winner: Inspection—AOI Systems



ability to precisely measure the Z-height of any given region of interest. This revolutionary technology yields true co-planarity testing of BGA and CSP devices as well as enhanced solder Innovation: The MIRTEC MV-3L offers advanced (4) paste measurement capability and is NOT available on any yet powerful. A comprehensive Package Type Library mega pixel (9.8) Micron Digital Color Camera Technol- other desktop AOI system! provides simple “Drag and Drop” component programming. ogy in an in-line AOI system. The optional Side Viewer® The Automatic Teaching Tool (ATT) software provides Camera System provides enhanced inspection capability Cost benefits: The continuing miniaturization of components automatic teaching of component locations using CAD through the addition of (2) mega pixel side view digital and increasing complexity of boards makes AOI a critical centroid data. Typical programming time is under (1) hour color cameras. differentiator in achieving higher product yields. The MV-3L per assembly. provides manufacturers with a clear view into the manufacturSpeed/throughput improvements: The (4) Mega Pixel ing process, helping them achieve higher operating Maintainability/reparability: The MV-3L was designed for Digital Color Camera System yields a maximum efficiencies and improved quality at the lowest possible easy accessibility to all hardware and electronic inspection speed of 7.65 square inches per second, cost. subsystems, making maintenance and repairs easier than making the MV-3L system one of the fastest AOI systems ever. Furthermore, the design of the MV-7xi uses “off the in the world. With a maximum resolution of 9.8 microns Environmental consideration: With an industry focus on shelf” hardware for many of the electronic subsystems per pixel, the MV-3L is approximately 25% more environmentally friendly manufacturing, now more including the PC, Vision Frame Grabber and Motion Control accurate that the nearest competitor. More importantly, thanever there is an increasing demand to drive down System. The MV-3L is built to withstand 24/7 production. this same ultra high-resolution camera is used to material waste. MIRTEC AOI equipment is well recognized With typical MTBF of over 4,000 hours of operation, the inspect 100% of the PCB, whereas competitive systems by electronic manufacturing management as a MV-3L is one of the most robust AOI systems on the market! tend to use a lower resolution camera for larger cost-effective process solution that allows them to inspection areas. The Intelli-Beam® Laser System yields streamline the manufacturing process. The MV-3L provides 3 MORSE ROAD • OXFORD, CT 06478 true co-planarity testing of BGA and CSP devices as well as an extensive range of real-world process solutions to PHONE: (+1) 203-881-5559 • FAX: (+1) 203-881-3322 enhanced solder paste measurement capability and is NOT electronics manufacturers, allowing them to minimize available on any other AOI system! material waste as they continue to strive toward zero defect production. Quality contribution: The optional Intelli-Beam® Laser System provides “The Third Dimension in Inspection Capability”; The Ease of use/implementation: The MV-3L software is simple 46 – Global SMT & Packaging – Celebrating 10 Years – February 2010


Award Winning Products and Service

Our Industry Awards Demonstrate Our Commitment to Excellence and to The Success of Our Customers.


MV-3 Desktop AOI Series

MV-7 Inline AOI Series

3 MORSE ROAD • OXFORD, CT 06478 PHONE: (+1) 203-881-5559 • FAX: (+1) 203-881-3322

Global SMT & Packaging – Celebrating 10 Years – January 2010 – 47


Award Winning X-ray Inspection Systems

When Image is Everything choose Award Winning X-ray Inspection Systems from Nordson DAGE The Nordson DAGE XD7600NT100HP X-ray inspection system has once again been recognised as the ultimate in X-ray inspection with a prestigious Global SMT and Packaging Technology Award. This is the 4th Award for this ground-breaking system.

on a 24” HD widescreen LCD monitor, while at the same time providing the location of faults on a highly detailed, full screen display of the X-ray navigation map of the sample on the second LCD display.

The XD7600NT100HP combines the superior digital acquisition technology of the new Nordson DAGE XiDAT 3.0 imaging system with Nordson DAGE’s award winning and easy to use Image Wizard software for world class inspection quality. It is configured with dual monitors. This allows operators to view the all important X-ray image

The system is available with a high-power tube combining 10 watts of power and genuine submicron feature recognition. Unlike existing high power tubes that have to significantly compromise resolution when used at higher power levels, this new Nordson DAGE high-power NT tube retains sub-micron feature recognition at full power.

Nordson DAGE has a comprehensive range of X-ray systems to cover your PCBA and Semiconductor inspection requirements that are specifically designed for the electronics marketplace. To find out more contact us at: or visit our website 48 – Global SMT & Packaging – Celebrating 10 Years – February 2010


The Nordson DAGE XD7600NT100HP is the most technologically advanced X-ray inspection system on the market today with ground breaking 100 nanometer (0.1 micron) feature recognition for finite analysis of the most challenging inspection applications. Equipped with a 2.0 Mpixel digital imaging system, the XD7600NT100HP offers oblique angle viewing of up to 70-degrees around any point in a 16” x 18” (407 x 458mm) inspection area without compromising magnification.

The Award Winning XD7600NT100HP The Ultimate in X-ray Inspection

Computerised Tomography

• Unique Nordson DAGE NT100 sealed- transmissive X-ray tube providing feature recognition down to 100nm (0.1 micron)

The XD7600NT100HP can be equipped with a computerised tomography (CT) option providing 3D modeling and volumetric measurement of solder joints, ideally suited for analytical investigations of solder interconnections for critical applications such as stacked die, MEMS, package-in-package and package-on-package.

• Unique 10 watts power at sub-micron feature recognition • Distortion free 2.0 Mpixel images with >65,000 greyscale levels all displayed on a 24” HD monitor • CT option |

Global SMT & Packaging – Celebrating 10 Years – January 2010 – 49

We won!

UltraSlic FG, the first laser-cut solder paste stencil that has paste release performance comparable to electroform technology, took the printing equipment category of the 5th annual Global Technology awards.

UltraSlic FG incorporates the latest stencil laser technology along with a new Fine Grain stencil material from Datum Alloys. Acceptable paste release is achieved down to a surface area ratio of 0.45. UltraSlic FG stencils have higher repeatability and cleaner release of solder paste on small/ miniature components, resulting in minimized rework at the end of the assembly line. This results in increased yields and tremendous throughput improvements.

Winner 2009 Global Technology Award in the category Printing Equipment:

UltraSlic FG

FCT Assembly’s group of companies are premier suppliers of stencils, precision parts, and lead-free soldering products for the electronics industry with the technical expertise to help troubleshoot your most challenging problems.


Winner of 2008 Advanced Packaging Award


Leader in Precision Cut Parts An innovative laser cutting company specializing in precision thin metal and thin plastic laser ablation. • • • • •

Precision Cut Parts Flexible Circuits High Precision Metal Parts High Precision Plastic Parts High Precision Polyimide Parts

2009 Global Technology Awards

Programming WINNER: Data I/O’s FlashCORE III The FlashCORE III is the first programming engine to support device and image data sizes greater than 4 Gigabytes, while maintaining programming speeds near the theoretical limit of the device. In addition to fast programming speed, the FlashCORE III supports fast data downloads over the Ethernet network to facilitate quick job setup and short changeover times, enabling efficient production. Fast speeds and faster changeovers mean customers can produce more units with fewer machines and less floor space. Quality monitoring can reduce potential defects or mistake consequences. Data I/O proprietary sockets lead to the lowest consumables cost over large production runs of anyone in the programmer industry.

Selective Soldering Equipment WINNER: Juki’s FlexSolder Series The FlexSolder W510 uses the same technology that has been so successful in the past but with a new flexible design, allowing the machine to be assembled anywhere and to allow complete option upgrades in the field. The advantage of the JUKI selective soldering machine over the competitors remains the same as in past machines i.e. the ability to have multiple mini-wave nozzles soldering simultaneously or even better, running separately using 2 different size nozzles. The advantage of this is you can use a nozzle as small as 1.8mm for tight areas (1mm away from SMD or other components) on densely populated boards and a larger nozzle for making single passes on large connectors. This adds much needed flexibility to the process, allowing various soldering options with no changeover.

Software WINNER: Valor Computerized Systems’ vCheck vCheck is the quality management system at the core of Valor’s manufacturing execution suite for dynamic assembly. vCheck includes alarms and Acceptable Quality Level (AQL) trigger points to help continuously reduce the Defect Per Million Opportunities (DPMO) rate in the manufacturing process, and is designed to increase profitability and customer satisfaction by making all aspects of quality testing and inspection visible to any decision maker vCheck enables easy pinpointing of problems as well as automatic suggestion of solutions from its knowledge base, providing significant reductions in the time it takes to analyze problems and locate solutions.

Solar Manufacturing Products (tie) WINNER: KIC’s SunKIC with Spectrum KIC developed a very easy to use tool for the solar industry that has almost unlimited flexibility, so that it will continue to be productive for customers as they are changing the way they want to manufacture their solar cells in the future. One example is that the SunKIC will calculate “the area under the curve” for each profile. This may turn out to be a critical number. If yes, it will be calculated automatically. If no, the customer will not select that dimension, and hence it will not clutter the more important data. The SunKIC with Spectrum will optimize on conveyor speed allowing the manufacturers to run the fastest speed within the limitations of the process window and furnace capabilities. WINNER: KIC’s e-Clipse TC attachment has a significant influence on the accuracy of the thermal profile readings, as well as their repeatability. The e-Clipse TC attachment fixture offers repeatable profile data, convenient TC attachment, and utilizes the user’s existing solar wafers. It features four spring loaded TCs within a lightweight fixture that also holds the solar wafer. The TCs have disk-shaped beads, rather than the traditional spherical shaped beads. These flattened TCs offer a more reliable contact to the surface of the solar wafer, as well as a greater number of repeatable profile readings.

52 – Global SMT & Packaging – Celebrating 10 Years – February 2010


Milara with MWA’s Megan Wendling

Soldering Equipment WINNER: OK International’s MRS-1000 The MRS-1000 modular rework system is designed to simplify the removal and placement of BGA/CSP and SMT components. By integrating advanced rework technologies, it is an extremely versatile system. Comprising a programmable convection tool with a wide array of nozzles, preheater, adjustable tool holder and light magnifier. Capable of handling multiple sizes of PCBs, this manually-assisted rework system is equipped to process components up to 40mm x 40mm. Standard features include: 4 zone profile control, digital display, program storage of up to 50 profiles and simple profiling.

Soldering Materials WINNER: Nihon Superior’s SN100C (040) SN100C (040) is a product that is truly halogenfree with no halogenated covalent bonds, combining the uniqueness of the proven SN100C lead-free solder, environmental benefits and long term solder joint reliability. SN100C (040) provides excellent wetting and smooth bright fillets free of shrinkage defects, with a stable microstructure that accommodates long term and impact solder joint strains. SN100C (040) offers fast wetting for high production on commonly used solderable finishes, i.e. OSP, Immersion Sn, Immersion Ag, ENIG.

Test Equipment WINNER: Microscan’s Visionscape® The innovative Visionscape® Smart Camera inspection system is a cost effective and flexible solution that can be used for PCB quality inspection, device metrology inspection, and full traceability. Small, portable, and high speed, Visionscape® Smart Camera inspection systems are easy to install inside equipment or “over-the-belt”. Job changeovers can be done quickly and easily through a user friendly GUI, making even the most difficult applications easy to program and bring on-line.

Wafer-Level Products WINNER: Milara’s Diamond wafer handling robots The Diamond Series atmospheric robots represent a significant engineering advancement in the design and reliability of wafer handling equipment. Benefiting from technologically superior components, the robots utilize ultra low inertia, high-response brushless servomotors coupled with zero-backlash Harmonic Drive® gears to achieve greatly enhanced dexterity and precision. Two independent arms (R1 and R2) attached to a common royalty axis (T) allow fast swapping or simultaneous transfer of two wafers. Powerful native wafer handling and scripting languages facilitate rapid software development for embedding the robots into an OEM application environment.

Global SMT & Packaging – Celebrating 10 Years – January 2010 – 53


2009 Global Technology Awards Category: Test Equipment/Services and Programming

Innovation: The FlashCORE III is the first programming engine to support device and image data sizes greater than 4 Gigabytes, while maintaining programming speeds near the theoretical limit of the device. In addition to fast programming speed, the FlashCORE III supports fast data downloads over the Ethernet network to facilitate quick job setup and short changeover times, enabling efficient production. Speed/throughput improvements: The FlashCORE III programming engine utilizes a field programmable FPGA for any required device family optimizations, allowing for programming at the speed of the device. It also uses optimized memory management for increased throughput on extremely large devices. This means that customers can still maintain high throughput even when they have to program huge amounts of data. Also, faster job download provides faster job changeovers, which means more time is spent programming devices for production use and less time setting up the machine. Quality Contribution: All algorithms are written and tested to the manufacturer's specifications to ensure the highest quality. The ability to monitor programming results and statistics in real-time from anywhere around the world gives the manufacturer complete control over their quality results.

Customers can also take the statistics produced by the programmer and feed them back into SPC software or ERP systems, etc. for complete traceability.

Cost benefits: Fast speeds and faster changeovers mean customers can produce more units with fewer machines and less floor space. Quality monitoring can reduce potential defects or mistake consequences. Data I/O proprietary sockets lead to the lowest consumables cost over large production runs of anyone in the programmer industry. Environmental Consideration: FlashCORE III programmers are ROHS compliant. Field-upgradeable FPGA designs and software, coupled with a scalable and modular design, means the useful life of the programming system is extended as long as possible. Ease of use/implementation: The FlashCORE family of programmers utilizes a simple, easy-to-use interface. In addition, this user interface can be semi-automated for job setup from an automated system. Also, the FlashCORE III programming engine maintains complete backwards compatibility to the FlashCORE I and FlashCORE II programmers and adapters, meaning customers don’t have to reinvest in adapter creation or software device drivers. Maintainability and repairability: Field-upgradeable software keeps the system up-to-date and maintained. Full communication over the Ethernet, coupled with detailed logging of statistics and machine operation events allows for remote diagnosis of maintenance issues.

For more information, visit

54 – Global SMT & Packaging – Celebrating 10 Years – February 2010


Follow the road to maximum velocity production With Data I/O programmers and the FlashCORE III programming engine, you can quickly program data files of any size into the latest device technologies and products. Key Benefits: Fastest performance for maximized production rates – Read and write speeds near theoretical device limits – Extremely fast downloads over Ethernet Supports latest device types and sizes – MoviNAND, OneNAND, iNAND, e-MMC, and more. – Support for files > 4 GBytes Proven Quality Solutions from the world leader in programming – Works with all algorithms, adapters, and software solutions created for previous FlashCORE programming engines.

For more information, visit

Global SMT & Packaging – Celebrating 10 Years – January 2010 – 55






2009 Global Technology Awards Innovation: vCheck is the quality management system at the core of Valor’s manufacturing execution suite for dynamic assembly. vCheck includes alarms and Acceptable Quality Level (AQL) trigger points to help continuously reduce the Defect Per Million Opportunities (DPMO) rate in the manufacturing process, and is designed to increase profitability and customer satisfaction by making all aspects of quality testing and inspection visible to any decision maker. Speed/throughput improvements: vCheck enables easy pinpointing of problems as well as automatic suggestion of solutions from its knowledge base, providing significant reductions in the time it takes to analyze problems and locate solutions. vCheck minimizes the time that products spend being repaired through its industry leading tools for analyzing and repairing defects.


Valor Computerized Systems Winner: Software Quality contribution: vCheck is a fully featured quality system designed to increase profitability and customer satisfaction by making all aspects of quality testing and inspection visible to any decision maker. Cost benefits: This system was developed specifically for electronics manufacturers who need to minimize the occurrence of non-quality and drive their manufacturing process to optimal performance by balancing quality, throughput and cost. Environmental consideration: Valor’s vCheck features a paperless diagnosis and closed loop repair. The system produces Zzero defects, resulting in no waste and high Overall Equipment Efficiency (OEE).

Ease of use/implementation: vCheck is simple to use and makes it easy to pinpoint problems. For each defect, the system analyzes all similar issues that have been found in the past and recommends the repair action that has been most successful at resolving the defect. Maintainability/repairability: vCheck provides production control capabilities through its quality focused enforced routing – making sure that a defective product is repaired before further assembly or being shipped. If an error is detected in the process an alarm is immediately triggered which guides the operator to where the product should be.

For more information:

Valor Launches Industry’s First End to End Software Suite DynamiX is a comprehensive Manufacturing Execution System (MES) focusing on discrete manufacturing in the electronics production industry leveraging on the unique ability of intelligent real-time connection with all production processes. The DynamiX platform incorporates integrated functionality & flexibility through the use of advanced software interfaces and launches the ground-breaking “DynamiX Portal� for 3D real-time visibility of manufacturing operations. Standard core features across DynamiX include engineering data management, real-time monitoring, work-order Valor North America Tel: +1 949 586 5969

Valor Europe & Middle East Tel: +32 2 401 8500

management, routing control, scheduling, quality management, material management and complete traceability. Specific tools include vPlan for complete engineering data management including multi-vendor line balancing, program optimization and process setup documentation, vManage for SMT/PCB monitoring, material control, verification, traceability, warehouse and shop-floor management, together with vCheck for a complete test solution with repair loop control, AOI/ICT direct interface, a full quality data management and reporting system.

Valor Asia Tel: +86 755 8826 7373 (Shenzhen) +86 21 6249 3418 (Shanghai)

Valor Japan Tel: +81 3 5777 0380

Meet the Winning Team

SunKIC with Spectrum e-Clipse

KIC’s SunKIC and e-Clipse win Global Technology Awards for Solar Process optimization allows manufacturers to process their cells in the sweet spot of the process, which is known to have a positive effect on the efficiency of the cells. KIC developed a very easy to use tool for solar manufacturing that has almost an unlimited flexibility. That way it will continue to be productive for customers as they change the way they want to manufacture solar cells. The new e-Clipse thermocouple attachment fixture ensures repeatable profile data and convenient thermocouple attachment. Four spring-loaded thermocouples are housed within a light-weight fixture that holds the solar wafer. Marybeth Allen accepts the awards on behalf of KIC.

Thermal process tools for the new decade ESSENTIALS Just get me the profile - KIC Explorer Put my process deep in spec - KIC Navigator Verify my profile without a PCB - KIC MVP AUTOMATION Give me an automatic profile every hour - KIC Vision Inspect the process in real-time for every single board - KIC RPI GREEN TECHNOLOGY Reduce my oven’s energy consumption - KIC Auto-Focus Power

Get in spec Stay in spec

KIC World Headquarters 858.673.6050

KIC International Sales - Europe +39.06.4547.3670

KIC International Sales - Singapore +65.6744.4998

KIC International Sales - China +86.512.6763.5171






SN100C (040) Halogen-Free Lead-Free Flux-Cored Solder Wire


1. Innovation

SN100C (040) is a product that is truly halogen-free with no halogenated covalent bonds, combining the uniqueness of the proven SN100C lead-free solder, environmental benefits and long-term solder joint reliability.

2. Speed/throughput improvements:

SN100C (040) offers fast wetting for high production on commonly used solderable finishes, i.e. OSP, Immersion Sn, Immersion Ag, ENIG.

3. Quality contribution

2009 Global Technology Awards Winner Category: Best Asian Product and Solder Materials

SN100C (040) provides good tip separation with reduced incidences of icicles, along with reduced residue cracking for high first pass yields.

4. Cost benefits

SN100C (040) is silver-free, which means a lower raw material cost and a resulting lower cost to the user. Another benefit of SN100C (040) is the high first pass yield and the long-term savings from the higher reliability in service.

5. Environmental consideration

The environmental benefits of halogen-free and lead-free are well recognized.

6. Ease of use/implementation

The eutectic characteristic of the SN100C alloy, and the associated high fluidity and good wetting properties mean that a wide range of tip temperatures can be used with ease.

For more information

7. Maintainability/repairability

SN100C (040) offers low soldering tip erosion and wear, extending the life of the soldering iron tips and resulting in little to no maintenance.

2009 Global Technology Awards

Environmentally Friendly Products/Services WINNER: Stoelting’s Liquid Lock LIQUID LOCK™ is an integrated resource management system for conveyorized inline cleaning systems that reduces operating cost of the cleaning process by saving cleaning agent, water and power, minimizing the environmental impact of the cleaning process. LIQUID LOCK™ “locks” atomized spray in the wash chamber, eliminating the number one cause of chemical solution loss (atomized spray mist exhaust). Extensive lab tests and customer data confirm that the LIQUID LOCK™ technology reduces consumption of cleaning solution by up to 75%.

Best Product—Asia WINNER: ICON Technologies’ i8 Stencil Printer Icon i8 represents something of an industry first. Wielding exceptionally high throughput and immense flexibility, Icon i8 has been specifically developed to meet the significant industry challenges of the fast-paced Asian electronics market. Featuring a high degree of automation to maximize throughput and minimize operator intervention, the Icon i8 reduces product changeover time to a minimal two minutes, resulting in increased speed and throughput improvements. Along with a host of other impressive technical specifications, Icon i8 delivers a rapid 12 seconds cycle time, 350 x 300 mm maximum board dimensions and compatibility with a range of advanced performance options.

Best Product—Europe WINNER: EVS International’s EVS-7000 The EVS 7000 represents a quantum leap forward in the processing of solder dross. The series’ sleek lines confirm the streamlined systems, advanced electronic controls and integrated diagnostics. The EVS7000 offers a capacity of 10 kg/20 lb, and has the ability for single operation de-drossing of even the largest wave soldering machines. Its integrated hopper makes rapid transfer of dross both simpler and safer, and speeds de-drossing times by up to 75 percent.

Best Product—North America WINNER: Cyberoptics’ SE500 CyberOptics redefines inspection speed with the SE500 ‘s a new 100 percent 3-D solder paste inspection system. This system has the ability to inspect the most demanding assemblies with a >80 cm2/sec inspection speed that does not compromise measurement accuracy and repeatability. Building on CyberOptics’ reputation for providing solder paste inspection systems with industry-leading volume accuracy, the SE500 can inspect pad sizes down to 01005 component size, while keeping up with ever-increasing line speeds. Accurate volume measurement of every solder paste deposit is critical to ensuring high quality solder joints in the SMT process.

2009 winners

62 – Global SMT & Packaging – Celebrating 10 Years – February 2010

DIAMOND SERIES The Diamond H4 series Dual-Arm atmospheric robots represent a significant engineering advancement in the design and reliability of wafer handling equipment. Two independent arms (R1 and R2) attached to a common royalty axis (T) allow fast swapping or simultaneous transfer of two wafers. Benefiting from technologically superior components, the robots utilize ultra low inertia, high-response brushless servomotors coupled with zero-backlash Harmonic Drive® gears to achieve greatly enhanced dexterity and precision. The innovative, all-in-one, class 1 clean room compatible design incorporates the motion controller, servo amplifiers, and power supply within the robot’s industry standard footprint. High-strength structural members enable top, bottom or side mount configurations without compromising the system rigidity.


A 32-bit, real-time kernel delivers accurate motion profiling along smooth continuous trajectories, while the distributed control architecture allows a seamless integration with linear tracks, pre-aligners, and other sub-components.

Networkable RS-485 and Ethernet interfaces complement the standard RS-232 and teach pendant connections. Powerful native wafer handling and scripting languages facilitate rapid software development for embedding the robots into an OEM application environment. Comprehensive emulation of legacy robot “macro” commands offers a drop-in compatibility with a wide variety of existing semiconductor Axis tools. Motion range Maximum velocity

WINNER Wafer Level Products T

> 390°

400 °/s



18 inch/s

F E A T Handling UR1, R E±13.6” S 50 inch/s Diamond H4 Series Wafer Robots R2 Excellent structural rigidity The Diamond H4 Series Dual-Arm atmospheric robots represent Modular and highly customizable design a significant engineering advancement in the design and Arm length 13.70” reliability of wafer handling equipment. Benefiting from Vertical travel 13” Fullycomponents, integrated motion controller, amplifiers technologically superior the robotsservo utilize ultraand low supply servomotors coupled with zeroinertia, high-response power brushless High response brushless motors and precise zero-backlash backlash Harmonic Drive® gears achieve greatly enhanced Harmonic Drive®to gears Wafer Size dexterity and precision. Optional absolute encoders eliminating the initial homing

2”(50mm) to 12”(300mm) procedure Handling radial and in-line equipment placement WINNER Seamless integration with prealigner, linear track and other Payload peripheral components Standard RS-232 interface and Ethernet (Telnet) interfaces GLOBAL 2.2 lbs (1.0 kg) per arm to the host computer Technology Advance 32-bit real-time motion control kernelAwards Powerful wafer handling firmware Encoders Comprehensive software tools and utilities Software emulation for legacyIncremental, robot macro commands 10.000 pulse/rev Milara, IOptional nc. 4 Marc Road Medway, MA 02053 USA teach pendant terminal P: +1-508-533-5322 E-mal : Dand iamond @milara .net use General purpose digital inputs outputs for custom Class 1 clean-room environment compatibility Motor type



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66 – Global SMT & Packaging – Celebrating 10 Years – February 2010


The Leader in Intelligent Inspection Systems CyberOptics understands the importance of delivering the highest value to customers. Increased productivity and product quality is our goal. Our SE500 Solder Paste and Flex HR Automatic Optical Inspection systems do just that.

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Be sure to contact CyberOptics to learn how we can help you improve productivity and product quality. CyberOptics Corporation (Headquarters) 5900 Golden Hills Drive Minneapolis, MN 55416 Telephone: 763.542.5000 Fax: 763.542.5100

Global SMT & Packaging – Celebrating 10 Years – January 2010 – 67

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Technology focus: The rise of solder paste jet printing




Technology focus: The

rise of solder paste jet printing

In the face of a developing industry, screen printing using stencils is raising concerns. Long lead times, a lack of flexibility, printing errors and difficulty in coping with complex board designs have opened up a technology gap. Enter solder paste jet printing. As a software-controlled, stencilfree technology, jet printing has quickly established itself on the SMT market. It offers an unprecedented level of flexibility and a significant reduction in customer response times. Users have the ability to optimize solder paste deposits on every individual pcb pad. The result is improved solder joint quality and an ability to tackle difficult packages and the most complex board designs. In 2009, MYDATA’s solder paste jet printer (MY500) achieved 50% sales growth while the screen printer market fell by 63% (PROTEC). It seems that solder paste jet printing has come of age. But what is it about the technology that makes it a genuine alternative to conventional SMT stencil printing? The most obvious difference to screen printing is the fact that jet printing is stencil free. It offers an entirely new approach to solder paste printing for electronic circuit board assembly. A unique ejector mechanism travels over the board depositing solder paste droplets at extremely high speeds. Similar to an ink-jet printer, it is completely non-contact and is

entirely software driven. The software control and additional features provide users with unprecedented flexibility. Response times can be measured in minutes, rather than days. Jet printing is also able to meet increasing board complexity and highest quality demands, providing users with the ability to optimize solder paste deposits for every individual component pad on a PCB. Adding value in the production mix While jet printing has the flexibility to support a range of production set-ups, it is most effective in a high mix production environment. It is designed to keep pace with an assembly line running 30,000 components per hour. It is also capable of applying a wide range of leaded and leadfree solder pastes, as well as surface mount adhesives. In high volume production set-ups, it is well suited to in-line, add-on jet printing. Or it can be used in a secondary line for short-run and prototype production. Like all production-oriented sectors, the SMT industry is in a constant state of transition. Whatever the production mix, every manufacturer needs to respond to the challenges of a changing landscape. Three of the most important issues faced by today’s manufacturers include customer demands for quicker response times, improving solder joint quality and increasingly complex board designs. The

70 – Global SMT & Packaging – Celebrating 10 Years – February 2010

rise of solder paste jet printing can be linked to its impressive response to each of these issues. Meeting shorter response times “EMS companies are increasingly looking for flexible SMT equipment that is capable of handling the constantly changing product mix.” This comment from a spokesperson at the Fraunhofer Institute for Silicon technology ISIT in Germany is today echoed across the industry. Lead times associated with the ordering and delivery of stencils is measured in days. Lost stencils, cutting errors and last minute changes to layout all necessitate reordering. Cleaning between jobs also uses up valuable time. Jet printing provides greater responsiveness and an ability to switch between tasks more efficiently. Response times can be measured in hours. A new order can be taken in the morning and finished boards delivered the same day. With jet printing, CAD or Gerber data is imported off-line and used to prepare a new print job in a matter of minutes. Full software control also means last minute changes to board designs are quick and simple to implement. Jet printing is also well equipped to support lean manufacturing and just-intime production through the ‘intelligent’ use of information, a reduction in down time and elimination of non-value

Technology focus: The rise of solder paste jet printing

adding activities. In this respect, MY500 complements other MYDATA solutions that support lean manufacturing. Jet printing allows production to be broken down into smaller batch sizes to meet downstream production requirements without reducing machine utilization. And with changeovers taking less than a minute, manufacturers have the capability to produce emergency jobs and run prototypes with minimal disruption to ongoing production. Ensuring solder joint quality Solder joint quality is a key factor in ensuring the final quality of any printed circuit board assembly. Even within welladjusted processes, stencil printing is the most commonly cited cause of all soldering errors. One reason for this is that screen printing with stencils always requires a compromise between the optimal amounts of solder paste required by large components compared to smaller ones. While stepped stencils provide a certain degree of optimization, they do so at extra cost and with limitations regarding volume variation and minimum ‘keep out distances.’ In contrast, jet printing provides full control over solder paste application including three-dimensional printing (by dispensing paste droplets on top of each other). Default settings are provided based on CAD data. The user, however, has the freedom to fine-tune the volume, position, area coverage and height of solder paste for each individual pad, component or package on the PCB. This allows for optimized solder paste deposits on even the most complex and densely populated boards. For example, one customer uses jet


printing for a product that carries 69 components on a square centimeter. Quality is further improved by the fact that it is a closed system. Jet printing significantly reduces the number of variable parameters, and, hence, the associated potential for human error, compared to stencil printing. Software control ensures that optimal printing is achieved extremely quickly. On-the-spot revisions to paste volumes can be affected in a matter of seconds. In addition, print programs are automatically stretched and aligned according to PCB fiducials. The noncontact technology also nullifies the effect of any board warpage. Supporting increasing complexity There is an unmistakable trend in the SMT industry toward miniaturized packages and complex board designs with higher component density. These types of challenging applications are a move away from the traditional strengths of screen printing technology. A fact recently reinforced in a report from the International Electronics Manufacturing Initiative (iNEMI), which stated, “Screen printing is reaching its limits when it comes to mixing technologies on a board.” With optimized solder paste volumes, jet printing can reliably handle difficult components such as QFNs and pin-in-paste components. At the same time, it also opens up new design opportunities. One example is the increasing use of cavities in three dimensional boards in order to reduce final assembly height. Jet printing is oftentimes the only automated solution capable of achieving this. Package on package designs represent another difficult challenge. Dipping



components in flux or paste is both messy and operator intensive, and is rarely a satisfactory solution for higher volume production. Jet printing not only automates this process but can also compensate for any component warpage through the optimization of paste height and volume for each solder joint. An ability to handle difficult components and packages means the technology is ideally suited for use as an add-on jet printer, depositing solder paste onto previously screen-printed boards. This allows manufacturers to eliminate costly and time-consuming manual processes. Achieving return on investment Investment in new technology should be carefully matched to current and expected future needs. It is easy to over-invest in raw throughput capacity, ‘just in case’ it is needed. But if the entire production process is not set up to match that level of throughput, expensive equipment will be underutilized. Jet printing can help manufacturers to improve their overall production flow through greater flexibility, shorter set-up and changeover times and increased equipment utilization. It provides the ability to easily and consistently achieve high quality solder joints, even for demanding applications and complex board designs. Add to this a significant improvement in customer responsiveness and jet printing offers excellent potential for achieving an early return on investment. It is little wonder then that an increasing number of manufacturers are choosing to replace their out-dated screen printers with new jet printing technology.


Global SMT & Packaging – Celebrating 10 Years – January 2010 – 71

Report: Meeting the technical and regulatory challenges of global environmental legislation

Report: Meeting

the technical and regulatory challenges of global environmental legislation

Nigel Burtt, Enjaybee Associates ERA Technology, now known as Cobham Technical Services, has been running an annual conference event in the UK concentrating on the effect of environmental regulation on the electronics industry since 1999. The two-day event organised at a hotel near London Heathrow airport held in late November 2009 was thus the tenth of its kind. The continuing demand for such a conference is a measure of the importance and influence of this subject matter. There were 18 presentations delivered on the current status of a variety of regulations originating mainly from the EU, such as REACH, RoHS, EuP and WEEE, but that are now being recognised in legislature elsewhere in world, such as in the USA and China. In November 2009, I attended, as a representative of both the International Association of Broadcast Manufacturers (IABM) and the SMART Group, an excellent two-day conference event on global environmental regulation organised by Cobham Technical Services, perhaps still better known formerly as ERA Technology. The conference was opened by Dr. Chris Robertson, one of the organisers, who began by comparing the mostly nascent environmental regulation ten years ago when ERA Technology first ran this event, with the status today. Back then, he said, the WEEE and RoHS Directives were still merely draft proposals, but the industry was already preparing to move over to lead-free solder in anticipation of enforcement and to promote a “green” brand image, the latter being an aspect which is still very important in guiding corporate attitudes to environmental issues. Where the EU in the 1990’s had

identified the need to tackle the waste stream created by the disposal of electrical and electronic equipment, Chris reminded us that product energy usage and efforts to tackle climate change were now the focus of much global political thought and it would be foolish to ignore this. The first presentation was given by Dr. Johan Nouwen, who works for the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA), the body responsible for the administration of the REACH regulation. Explaining the reasons and mechanisms behind REACH and the benefits claimed was something of a thankless task—especially given some of the comments on REACH in other presentations and during questions from delegates—but having someone from ECHA do so was illuminating. The complaint often voiced about the slow start-up by ECHA was partly answered by hearing that the IT systems they had put in place had been totally over-stretched as they had received 20 times more pre-

registrations than anticipated. In fact Dr Nouwen’s presentation noted that 2.75M pre-registration requests have been received for 143,000 different substances and from 65,000 different companies. This put the huge scale of REACH into stark perspective for me, as this is just the very start of its process. The second speaker was Dr. Phil Hope of the European Chemical Industry Council (Cefic), whose presentation looked at the interaction between the RoHS Directive and the REACH regulation. He was the first of many speakers to discuss the on-going work to “recast” the RoHS Directive. “Recasting” is a process in EU legislation allowing defined sections of a regulatory instrument to be amended, retaining the unchanged portions and repealing the old version entirely once the new text is agreed. The European Commission proposed and published recasts of both the RoHS and WEEE Directives in December 2008, and the

This is a summary of Nigel Burtt’s report on the Cobham Technical Services 2009 event. The full report can be read at

72 – Global SMT & Packaging – Celebrating 10 Years – February 2010

Report: Meeting the technical and regulatory challenges of global environmental legislation

work since then has involved both the Environment Committee of the European Council and the European Parliament. The final texts need to be agreed as a co-decision process between these two. The original proposed recast Directive text called for no new restrictions, but did identify four substances for priority review and suggested that these and any further additions should be reviewed using the same methodology required by the REACH regulations. The MEP, Jill Evans, is the person responsible for drafting the proposed final text (the Council’s “rapporteur” for RoHS.) She agrees with those arguing that this recast should ensure new electronic equipment is free of all PVC and halogenated flame retardants and claims support for this from many consumer product manufacturers who, in turn, are being lobbied on this matter by public green pressure groups. In fact I discovered in writing this piece that she was speaking at an interesting conference, “Greening Consumer Electronics—from Hazardous Material to Sustainable Solutions” hosted at the European Parliament, the same day as we were meeting in London. Her intentions with regards to this were signalled even more clearly by a draft report she submitted to the Parliament in December 2009. Dr. Hope offered a summary of the position that Cefic had submitted in terms of both the recast ROHS Directive and the REACH regulation. They, in common with other industry bodies, supported the suggestion that future substance restrictions should be reviewed using procedures specified by the REACH regulation. Feodora von Franz then spoke, representing TechAmerica Europe, who are also in favour of alignment of RoHS with the procedural elements of REACH when reviewing substances. They have also made very strong representations that the very latest compromise text of the RoHS Directive, current at the time of the conference, where the scope has been expanded to include all EEE unless specifically excluded, was not at all acceptable unless subject to adequate assessment in advance with the involvement of all stakeholders. The next speaker discussed the Ecodesign Directive. Davide Minotti works for the UK government and has direct responsibility for this. An important recent change to EU legislation, he noted, was that the Energy Using Products Directive (EUP) was, as of October 2009, now known as the Energy Related Products

(ERP) Directive, having itself been subject also to a recast process. Some advice on practical steps for compliance with the Eco-design Directive was then given by Paul Ellis, of Kingfisher, a global DIY product retailer, whose presentation was centred on a real-life case study of Kingsfisher’s efforts which found that the voluntary phase-out period, prior to the relevant regulations being implemented, though supported by industry and encouraged by government, actually created more problems because they had to work with their supply chain without being able to point to fully defined product performance requirements. Next to speak to us was Georg Karl, presenting on behalf of COCIR, a medical equipment trade association. He gave a case study example of portable ultrasound equipment where voluntary product changes in progress were already expected to give environmental and financial benefits in advance of and better than the proposed EUP Directive implementing measures. Another case study presentation, this time concerned with the REACH regulation and its effect of the aerospace manufacturing industry, was given by Terry Palmer of Lockheed-Martin in the UK. He spoke of the special challenges for his industry that REACH presents with products that are required to have a lifetime of at least 25-30 years, fully traceable throughout to safety and airworthiness certification standards. Competing companies had co-operated in order to tackle these difficulties, via ADS in the UK, ASD in Europe and AIA in the USA. Together they had created two standards for the collection and verification of REACH data for the global aerospace industry and such was the seriousness of the business risks anticipated that this took just six months to develop and agree. He informed us that these organisations have produced a regularly updated guidance document for the industry which is free to download from their websites. In common with others who had already commented after the ECHA presentation, however, Terry’s case study showed that only 50% responses were received to initial supplier surveys on REACH. On a more positive note, 51% of those who did respond said they already had a compliance process in place and 44% provided additional helpful comments which aided understanding of the issues. Terry explained an escalation procedure that could be employed to

demonstrate due diligence if your supply chain won’t respond in time with the REACH data you need for tracing content of Substances of Very High Concern (SVHC): 1. Start with sub-tier suppliers first, then if they don’t respond; 2. Go up the supply chain to the next level, checking you have the correct supplier contact details each time and if possible establish the corporate REACH contact point in advance before submitting the query; 3. If the supply chain queries fail to provide the answers you need, thoroughly check all your own company history records, internal documents, data and resources held on the item; 4. Then check external resources (e.g. similar parts, substances, or suppliers); 5. Finally, consider testing the item in-house or using an external laboratory for the presence of SVHCs. One option open to the aerospace industry is if the substance or article is necessary for the purpose of a defence application, since the REACH regulation specifically allows Member States to grant an exemption in this case. It is however not mandatory for EU Member States to allow exemptions, nor to recognise an exemption from another Member State—Denmark, for example, had not found it necessary to grant any, thus far. This is a concern in such an industry which often requires international co-operation. The first speaker on day two of the conference was Iain Nichol, a UK government employee with lead responsibility for UK RoHS policy and part of the team working on the recast Directive. He also has responsibility for BIS policy related to the Eco-design Directive. Iain explained the latest status of negotiations on the RoHS Directive in meetings between the European Parliament and the Council. This recast was needed if only because of commitments in the original Directive to consider bringing product categories 8 and 9 (medical devices, and control and instrumentation equipment) within the scope of the Directive. These products were expected to be brought within scope without dissent; however the UK were arguing that the implementation dates for this, and other time-limited changes in the text, must alter and move further out, if the negotiations are protracted and delay the publishing date and final approval of the amended Directive.

Global SMT & Packaging – Celebrating 10 Years – January 2010 – 73

Report: Meeting the technical and regulatory challenges of global environmental legislation

He gave us details of the “New Legislative Framework” (or NLF) which entered into force on January 1st 2010 and said that the recast RoHS Directive would be expected to adopt the approach and mechanisms laid down by this. The NLF also includes a “toolbox” of measures for conformity assessment, referred to as “Requirements for Accreditation and Market Surveillance” (RAMS.) The implementation of these measures is intended to increase the visibility of non-EU manufacturers and minimise the number of non-compliant products on sale. Chris Smith of the National Measurement Office (NMO) in the UK spoke next. NMO are the RoHS Directive enforcement body in the UK and would be using the NLF and RAMS. He explained that hand soldering with tin-lead solder remains the most common cause of noncompliance with the RoHS Directive, but NMO also often find evidence of fraudulent declarations or misinterpreted test reports. Chris cited an example of documentary evidence of compliance presented to NMO in the form of a test report that a company had commissioned but clearly never read, because the report clearly stated that the parts tested were non-compliant. NMO are also the UK body tasked with the enforcement of the Batteries Directive, which came into force in September 2008, and had just been appointed a few weeks beforehand as the body for the EUP/ERP Directive and the Energy Labelling Framework (ELF) Directive. Brian Spencer of OKI Europe then explained that their three main manufacturing facilities in Asia were able to claim officially that the printers they produce are “manufactured at a Carbon Zero facility” thanks to a validated CO2 emission offsetting project. Brian explained the work that OKI had done to meet and go beyond the requirements of global environmental regulation. The expenditure to meet this had been €2.5M in 2008 and was expected to rise to €3M this year. Julian Lageard of Intel pointed out that the EUP Directive actually states that in drafting implementing measures any existing industry voluntary agreements or codes of conduct must be considered if they may achieve the Directive’s objectives faster or at lesser expense than mandatory requirements. He gave an example of a current voluntary code of conduct being drawn up for IT Data Centres, which Intel were participating in.

Dae Young Park then provided advice concerning Asian regulations, explaining that China was currently issuing the most individual regulations of all countries in the world. However, he explained that this fact was misleading because one EU legal text might equate to 20-40 different Chinese pieces of related legislation to achieve the same ends. He compared the size of the REACH regulation at 278 pages with the current equivalent from China, which was just four pages long and had a much narrower scope. REACH, he said, was having a major impact on the amount of global chemical management policy being produced. Around 580 different chemical policies and regulations had been introduced in 2008, but again this data had to be qualified by seeing that 42% of these came just from EU Member States having to bring out or amend existing national legislation to comply with REACH. He showed that Japan, Korea, Taiwan and China were, however, producing chemical regulations that would have similar industrial influence to REACH. Dealing with China’s chemical control regulatory system is difficult even for Chinese domestic industry because around nine different government agencies are involved in producing and enforcing the legislation. The same multi-agency problem exists with China’s version of RoHS. The recent publication of the first draft of the so-called “China RoHS Catalogue of Products,” he said, came from one ministry only and appeared to be just “testing the water,” hence the relatively few products listed so far. He was sure that the list will be added to quickly and the number of affected product categories will increase if this first draft is successfully adopted. Jennifer Wallace, from a global environmental law practice, updated us on the progress of similar legislation in the USA, detailing existing state laws with similar intent to RoHS and noting that such laws were now being proposed at federal level. Recently, the HR2420 Federal Environmental Design of Electrical Equipment Act (EDEE) has been proposed. This is very akin to the RoHS Directive and aims to create a law which would prevent confusion and disparity between the various different RoHS-like State laws. EDEE is strongly supported the Association of Electrical and Medical Equipment Manufacturers. However, a timely reminder of the behind the scenes negotiations that may affect such regulation was made, in that the current text specifically exempts certain

74 – Global SMT & Packaging – Celebrating 10 Years – February 2010

medical equipment, so this body will be keen to have this exemption in place for its members, pre-empting any other law that may come later. Of course, this is happening just as the recast RoHS Directive looks set to bring medical equipment within its scope. Moving on to WEEE, she said that nearly 40 states have similar legislation enacted already or are in the process of doing so, but that federal law is being introduced too. Federal regulation similar to EUP/ERP was also in progress with one recent addition having some measures very similar to the EU’s Eco-design Directive, in relation to external power supplies and battery chargers. Stéphanie Zangl of the Öko Institut spoke to us about her organisation’s reviews of the RoHS exemptions on behalf of the EU. She admitted the granting and review process is very lengthy and bureaucratic. She hoped that the recast Directive would streamline the review, involving industry as early as possible to examine the practical aspects of removing an existing exemption or granting a new one. She also felt it was highly likely that the European Parliament would insist on adding restrictions for halogenated flame retardants and PVC to reduce the amount of this material ending up in the WEEE stream. Adrian Beard of Clariant looked at various industry projects in progress to allow us to move away from restricted halogenated types. REACH, the RoHS recast and consumer and market demand pressures will, of necessity, drive flame retardant manufacturers to produce newer and better types, he claimed. Dr Paul Goodman of Cobham Technical Services looked at various substances that were already banned or being considered for bans and what industry could use instead to replace them. One example he gave was Dibutyl phthalate (DBP), a widely used plasticiser. This is restricted in the USA and was on the REACH SVHC candidate list because it is classified as reproductive toxin. Many of the suggested substitutes were also being restricted, but some possibilities did exist, such as Tri-2-ethylhexl trimelliate (TOTM)—still classed as a lower grade reproductive toxin but already approved in the USA for medical product use. The conference was concluded by Dr. Chris Robertson who thanked all the participants and delegates and said that full conference proceedings would be available for purchase on the Cobham Technical Services website within the next few months.


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Report: Microscan open day reveals a company on the fast track


Microscan open day reveals a company on the fast track

Just a few short miles over the Massachusetts border into New Hampshire is the North East Technology Center for the Renton, WA, headquartered vision systems company, Microscan. The new Technology Center was formally opened in a ceremony presided by company president Jeff Timms and guest of honor Andrew Wilson, editor of Vision Systems Design magazine. Indeed, editors from all of the leading US publications travelled to New Hampshire to join the Microscan team in celebrating the opening of the new center. Microscan has a long history in the barcode and automatic identification technology industry, and in 2008 expanded into machine vision industry with the acquisition of Siemens’ Machine Vision Business Unit. The acquisition occurred in late 2008 when the company was sold to Microscan. As a matter of note, Jeff Timms

was vice president and general manager of the Electronics Assembly Division of Siemens Energy and Automation until the end of 2007. Timms wasted no time in surrounding himself with a pool of talented people from the electronics and automation sectors. He recruited former competitors such as John Macrina (VP global sales), formerly director of Panasonic Factory Automation and Mark Regard (sales manager), formerly a general manager at Universal Instruments. He also brought some of his key people from the Siemens stable, including Al Silva (director of Latin America) and John Cooley (manager of strategic accounts). With this new talent, combined with the historical strength of Microscan, Timms set about to evaluate and focus on growth for the entire company. The strategic goal is to be to become a market leader in data acquisition and control solutions in the business verticals of life sciences, electronics and automotive. To help achieve this, Microscan set out to bolster the product portfolio to add software, middleware and networking solutions, in addition to maximizing the combined intellectual property and know-how to bring new hardware products and solutions to market. As part this, in addition to releasing 11 new products last year, they have developed a strategic alliance with Cogiscan to provide middleware and networking solutions to meet the track, trace and control needs of the entire factory floor. In 2009, while most companies were scaling back and seeking to protect themselves from the global economic downturn, Microscan was aggressively investing in R&D and creative application projects. The team includes 42 engineers, of which four hold Ph.Ds. The company has 85 patents and a further 30 in the pipeline. The demonstrated benefit of this decision was the release of 11 new products to the market in 2009. One key product line introduction

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was the Hawk series of DPM products, which include the MINI Hawk, the QX-Hawk liquid lens full-function imager, and the Mobile Hawk highend handheld imager. In addition, the company released smart camera and GigE camera-based vision solutions with the industry-leading machine vision platform Visionscape®. Jonathan Ludlow Ph.D., product manager for Visionscape said all of Microscan’s smart cameras, frame grabbers and integrated systems used the same Visionscape platform, unlike their competitors. The smart camera has built-in communications (8 I/O’s), is networkable and is IP67 waterproof. The latest release, Visionscape 4.1, can digitize and transmit packets of images up to five megapixels over 100 meters. The Intellifind feature can locate the presence, orientation and read the component numbers in a barcode using edge location or fiducials. To summarize, Microscan is certainly one of the companies that is really hot right now. The company is planning some major new product launches at APEX in April. Make sure and add them to your list of “must-visit” companies at this year’s show. —Trevor Galbraith.

www www Title

Organizer: Mesago Messe Frankfurt GmbH, Rotebuehlstrasse 83–85, D-70178 Stuttgart, Tel. +49 711 61946-79, Fax +49 711 61946-93,

Global SMT & Packaging – Celebrating 10 Years – January 2010 – 77

Title Interview

Interview—Fred Hume, Data I/O

Data I/O are a global supplier of device programmers probably best known for their Roadrunner product that fits into modern pick and place machines the same way a regular feeder does. Trevor Galbraith spoke to CEO Fred Hume at Productronica about how the company managed the economic downturn and what the future holds for Data I/O. The last 12 months have been particularly difficult for most capital equipment companies. How did Data I/O manage the downturn? We had an organization structure in 2008 that was appropriate for our revenue levels at the time, but knew we were top heavy with management for the lower levels of revenue that we could expect in 2009. So, we eliminated three vice president positions and reduced the number of outside directors from five to three. With fewer levels from the bottom to the top, we improved the flow of information and made faster decisions. That change reduced our breakeven. We also reduced our financial exposure by managing down inventories and receivables, which generated cash. We actually generated cash from operations throughout the downturn. Then we increased our investment in state-of-the-art development tools for our engineers. We implemented options to our

enterprise requirements planning system to provide better information for our sales force. We did not resort to mass layoffs. We did not cut working hours, and although we delayed scheduled salary increases, we did not cut salaries. We did not cut back on investment in the company’s key strategic initiatives; instead we increased it. We added people with critical skills, particularly in software, to strengthen our ability to execute our plans. I believe you also introduced a new grass roots strategy to educate your workforce. Can you explain this to our readers? We provided training to our employees on how to interview customers and particularly non-customers. Then we increased the amount of time our entire management team was in the field in front of customers. Every member of our management team (approximately 25%

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of our total number of employees) from supervisor to vice president including purchasing, accounting, engineering, marketing, production, human resources, and administration with the possible exception of one or two individuals has been in the field calling on customers and non-customers so we understand the needs that we are meeting and those we aren’t. That information is shared widely within the organization and it guides our investment to ensure that we are meeting the customer needs today and into the future. Flashcore III is your latest programming platform. What are the theoretical and practical thresholds of this technology? We have a wonderful advantage with our FlashCore architecture. Its inherent design allows us to modify the design to use the latest FPGA technology while still retaining backward compatibility


with our installed base of thousands of algorithms and adapters. FlashCore III, our latest version provides the capability to program the latest NAND Flash devices in approximately one-tenth the time of FlashCore II. As devices get faster, we just upgrade the FlashCore hardware/firmware to stay ahead with the technology. Roadrunner has been Data I/O’s workhorse product for a number of years. What upgrades and changes have you made to keep up with modern pick and place systems? RoadRunner has been a wonderful product for us. As you know, it fits inside of the SMT equipment and operates “inside” the process window, unlike other after-placement programming solutions that don’t and therefore add time to the process and reduce manufacturing velocity. The physical appearance of the RoadRunner hasn’t changed much over the past ten years because the form has to fit inside of the placement machine. We have extended the line with versions to support the latest Fuji NXT and Siemens X-Series, as well as a new version for MyData machines. We introduced a large format version to support the very large microcontrollers used in automotive applications. Beneath the outside cover, the RoadRunner has been changed with the new FlashCore III programmer, the adjustable tape input module, and with improvements to the output transport belt to handle very small devices. What challenges are you facing from new devices coming into the market? One of our biggest challenges is keeping pace with the large number of bad-block management schemes that our customers need for the latest NAND-Flash devices. We now support more than one-hundred bad-block methods, probably more than any other firm. At what point does it become practical for an EMS company to move from manual programming to an automated system? If an EMS company is only programming a few thousand devices a year and is willing to live with inferior quality, then manual programming might be a viable alternative. The problem with this approach is that there are about 40 mistakes that can be made with manual programming from selecting the wrong data file to process errors that allow blank, defective, or mis-programmed parts to get onto circuit boards. This impacts yield at test and often field quality. The manual process provides

no easy way to track yield or other quality measures. Automated programming eliminates the process miscues that reduce yield and quality so scrap and rework are substantially lower. If a company is striving for very low DPMOs it needs to be using automated programming. And automated programming provides the burst programming capacity needed for rush jobs. There are many ICT test machines with a programming capability. Why do we need independent programmers? I love this question. Many companies program at ICT because they think it is “free,” since they are using existing equipment. Large data files, however, may take minutes to program at ICT, and that has a direct impact on manufacturing velocity. Programming then consumes a substantial amount of the ICT capacity and may become a bottleneck on the line. Management of bad-blocks for NANDFlash is particularly tricky for ICT and dynamic data such as serialization adds considerable complexity to the ICT software that has to be written. That complexity has to be supported over the product lifecycle by the internal test engineering department. So there are a lot of hidden costs with ICT programming. Using dedicated programming equipment eliminates the potential bottlenecks and the hidden costs. There are a number of programming houses that undertake contract programming. Why should manufacturers buy their own equipment versus using a contract house? Manufacturers that use contract programming typically carry one to two weeks of additional inventory float. That inventory is at-risk for code changes. The devices may have to be re-programmed if the code changes and if the one-timeprogrammable space has been already programmed the devices may have to be scrapped. The reduced ability to directly control the production flow with contract programming leads to increased safety stocks to buffer forecast uncertainties. So inventory with contract programming is often significantly higher than with programming in house on purchased equipment. Programming in-house allows manufacturing to be more responsive when code changes particularly when validation time is considered. Priorities are controlled locally. Code is also retained in house

minimizing the risk of intellectual property loss. Then, programming in house generally results in the lowest life-cycle cost. I believe you now offer a rental scheme. Can you explain how that works? We have offered rental programs for several years. The customer commits to a minimal rental period, typically a minimum of three months. They also purchase the consumables (mostly adapters) and algorithms as they are used and needed. It is a good program for EMS companies that may need capacity for a short-term contract. Data I/O has weathered the economic downturn better than most. What can we expect to see in the future? During the downturn we maintained our focus on three horizons of growth. As a public company we are evaluated by the market on quarterly performance, so we have to pay attention to it. But without a focus on the longer term we would fail to build long-term shareholder value. So we keep our sights on the intermediate one to two year term as well. Here we focus on the major new products we are developing that satisfy the needs of existing customers and those that take us into new market space. We also keep our eyes on the long-term, three years or more. That is the horizon where we take options on the future. This is the area of corporate development where we consider adjacent markets, explore the impact of emerging technologies, and where we consider acquisitions of technologies, product lines, or even other firms that could transform our business. We refused to let the economic downturn as severe as it was distract us from our intermediate and long-range goals. As a result, our plans remain intact and the company as one team together is executing on those plans. Our customers will reap the benefit of those investments in the form of new solutions for their business problems. That will ultimately return rewards to our shareholders and employees as well. Fred, many thanks for talking to us today. Trevor Galbraith.

Global SMT & Packaging – Celebrating 10 Years – January 2010 – 79


The HA-/HA-s (highly accelerated whatevers), beware of the unstated caveats

Werner Engelmaier “The allure of quick results carries with it the danger of quick, but misleading.”

The HA-/HA-s (highly accelerated whatevers), beware of the unstated caveats I have been writing about accelerated testing of various kinds for a long time; in particular, about the difficulties of interpreting the results obtained with testing conditions much harsher than the actual operation conditions [Refs. 1-4]. Of course, I have not been the only one recognizing the problem [Refs. 5 & 6]. Recurrent issues with inappropriate accelerated testing that are brought to me by clients clearly indicate the need to reiterate the basic concepts of accelerated testing. Hopefully, this will serve to alleviate the misconceptions of what accelerated tests can and cannot do. Unfortunately, the allure of quick results, of getting ‘something for nothing,’ is too strong to eliminate the problem with “highly accelerated (HA)” tests which carry with them together with the promise of fast results the danger of results that are misleading. Traditionally, the functions of testing are of two quite different purposes: (1) to determine the reliability of a product (design) under the operating conditions expected, and (2) to screen out manufacturing anomalies that produce latent defects leading the premature failures during normal operation. The first purpose is best served using ‘Accelerated Reliability Testing,’ also referred to ‘Accelerated Life Testing’ (ALT). Properly carried out, the damage mechanism deemed responsible for anticipated product failures is accelerated by using the same but more severe loading conditions to reduce the test time for properly designed test vehicles. The second purpose is served by subjecting product with suspected latent

defects from inadequate manufacturing to loading conditions to precipitate failure in order for them to be detectable; this allows repairs and/or scraping of the affected product prior to shipping to the customer. The loading conditions for screening tests, often referred to ‘environmental stress screening’ (ESS), is typically not related to product operating conditions, but aimed at causing the latent defects to fail without significantly degrading good product. In the previous paragraphs terminology is used that had best be defined for proper understanding: • Failure Mode: The location, type and appearance of the failure. • Failure Mechanism: The physical process(es) producing the damage leading to failure, e.g., low-cycle fatigue (LCF), high-cycle fatigue (HCF), creep-fatigue, creep, overstress, conductive anodic filaments (CAF), ‘black pad,’ lack of solderability, insufficient wetting, etc. • Physics-of-Failure: The type, source and magnitude of loading that together with the active failure mechanism(s) is causing the failure. • Root Cause: The total information of design parameters, processing details and loading conditions leading to the failure mode(s), failure mechanism(s) and physicsof-failure observations that allow determination of solution options. It needs to be understood, that different failure mechanisms can produce identical failure modes; thus, having the same failure mode is not an indication that the same

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failure mechanism caused the failure. Reliability testing, even accelerated life testing, takes a long time and lots of resources if properly done. This, of course, presents difficulties in keeping the product development cycles short, and puts tremendous pressure on engineers to produce answers—any answer, quickly. This led in the mid-1980’s to developments for “highly accelerated” tests [Refs. 7 & 8], which however were meant for qualification and screening purposes to identify defective components. Hobbs Engineering commercialized HALT around 1988 with testing regimens far beyond Rama Munikoti’s original concept at Northern Telecom. The purpose of many of these tests was to produce failures quickly, sometimes utilizing various step stress loading sequences, that then were used to make the product more “robust.” When I was a student at MIT, there was a contest to package a raw egg in such a way that it could be dropped three stories onto a marble floor without breaking. The winning designs certainly were very ‘robust,’ but there was no real need for this ‘robustness,’ nor would they have been commercially viable. Further, in many cases the HALT tests are so severe and unconnected to real use conditions, that failures are produced that are not pertinent to the reliability of the product, but cause significant confusion as to the actual meaning of them. The cracks in Figure 9 of last month’s column [Ref. 9] were produced in this fashion. This drive to often meaningless ‘robustness’ was—and still is—sufficiently alarming that industry documents were

The HA-/HA-s (highly accelerated whatevers), beware of the unstated caveats

produced to counsel for more appropriate testing [Refs. 10 & 11, see also Ref. 12] or even eliminating the need for such testing altogether with an up-front ‘Design for Reliability (DfR)’ [Ref. 13]. Unfortunately, the perceived need to produce test results and the ‘need’ for quick results has not diminished, and in many cases nowadays even reliability activities are outsourced without the necessary full attention on reliability issues by anybody [Ref. 14]. References: 1. Engelmaier, W., “Test Method Considerations for SMT Solder Joint Reliability,” Proc. 4th Annual Int. Electronics Packaging Conf. (IEPS), Baltimore, MD, October 1984, p. 360. 2. Engelmaier, W., “MIL Specs Drive People in the Wrong Direction,” Electronics, Vol. 58, No. 43, October 28, 1985, p. 57. 3. Engelmaier, W., “Is Present-Day Accelerated Cycling Adequate for Surface Mount Attachment Reliability Evaluation?” IPC Technical Paper IPC-TP-653, The Institute for Interconnecting and Packaging Electronic Circuits, Lincolnwood, IL, September 1986. 4. Engelmaier, W., “Environmental Stress Screening and Use Environments– Their Impact on Solder Joint and Plated-Through-Hole Reliability,” Proc. Int. Electronics Packaging Conf. (IEPS), Marlborough, MA, September 1990, p. 388. 5. Hillman, C., “Why HALT is not HALT,” DfR Solutions White Paper, undated, 3 pages. 6. Blattau, N., B. Esser and J. McLeish, “Five Myths of Reliability,” DfR Solutions White Paper, undated, 4 pages. 7. Munikoti, R., and P. Dhar, “Highly Accelerated Life Testing (HALT) for Multilayer Ceramic Capacitor Qualification,” Proc. 37th IEEE Electronics Components Conf., Boston, MA, May 1987, pp. 129-134. 8. Munikoti, R., and P. Dhar, “LowVoltage Failures in Multilayer Ceramic Capacitors: A New Accelerated Stress Screen,” Proc. 38th IEEE Electronics Components Conf., Los Angeles, CA, May 1988, pp. 355-361. 9. Engelmaier, W., “Failure Definition— Not As Easy As It Sounds,” Global SMT & Packaging, Vol. 10, No. 1, January 2010, pp. 42-46. 10. IPCSM-785, Guidelines for Accelerated Reliability Testing of Surface Mount Solder Attachments.

IPC—Association Connecting Electronics Industries, November 1992. 11. IPC-9701, Performance Test Methods and Qualification Requirements for Surface Mount Solder Attachments. IPC—Association Connecting Electronics Industries, January 2002/ IPC-9701A, February 2006. 12. Engelmaier, W., “How to Assure Solder Joint Reliability with Accelerated Testing,” Global SMT & Packaging, Vol. 7, No. 11, November 2007, pp. 62-65. 13. IPC-D-279, Design Guidelines for Reliable Surface Mount Technology Printed Board Assemblies. IPC— Association Connecting Electronics Industries, July 1996. 14. No author listed, “The Reliability Cycle: Understanding the Booms and Busts of Reliability in Electronics,” DfR Solutions White Paper, undated, 5 pages.

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Werner Engelmaier will be giving some of his reliability workshops at the Reliability Conference in Frankfurt, Germany, May 20-21, 2010; im FED-Kurs in Stuttgart, Deutschland, 26.Mai 2010; at SMT/ HYBRID/PACKAGING 1010 in Nürnberg, Germany, June 8, 2010; and at the Universität Wien at the end of June. He will be available for in-house workshops and consulting in both English and German in the May through June timeframe; for details of the workshops go to; for more information about the workshops and consulting contact Werner Engelmaier has over 44 years experience in electronic packaging and interconnection technology and has published over 200 papers, columns, book chapters and White Papers. Known as ‘Mr. Reliability’ in the industry, he is the president of Engelmaier Associates, L.C., a firm providing consulting services on reliability, manufacturing and processing aspects of electronic packaging and interconnection technology. He is the chairman of the IPC Main Committee on Product Reliability. The TGM-Exner Medal was bestowed on him in 2009 in Vienna, Austria, he was elected into the IPC Hall of Fame 2003, and was awarded the IPC President’s Award in 1996 and the IEPS Electronic Packaging Achievement Award in 1987. He also was named a Bell Telephone Laboratories Distinguished Member of Technical Staff in 1986 and an IMAPS Fellow in 1996. More information is available at www.engelmaier. com, and he can be reached at engelmaier@ globalsmt/VOaE

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Global SMT & Packaging – Celebrating 10 Years – January 2010 – 81

Title Products New

New products A step further in programming ease of use with Vision2009 Vi TECHNOLOGY® launches Vision2009, the new integrated software suite, which goes a step further in simplifying programming. New intuitive “Wizards” guide users through each step of program creation and optimization, reducing the need for advanced training. With Vision2009, there is no compromise between ease of use and inspection quality. Using tools like LibraryPro and the latest enhancements as describe above, the user is guaranteed to catch the maximum number of defects with the minimum number of false calls. Vision2009 is based on Vi TECHNOLOGY’s modular software platform and accommodates all AOI application options including: 2D Post Print, Mixed Mode, Pre Reflow, Post Reflow, Post Wave, backplane inspection, OCV and OCR.

Henkel’s Multicore LF730 raises the bar on lead-free solder paste performance Multicore LF730 is a Pb-free solder paste born from Henkel’s unyielding innovation commitment and arguably setting the benchmark for lead-free paste performance. With the company’s Multicore DAP Plus Type 4 solder powder at its foundation and an innovative flux medium that allows for greater process latitude, Multicore LF730 enables robust high-speed printing even for extremely fine parts, successfully printing thorough apertures as small as 160 microns in diameter and stencils as thin as 80 microns. The new Henkel paste delivers more solder per aperture, but with much less risk of aperture clogging as compared to traditional Type 4 pastes. www.henkel. com/electronics

Setup with SIPLACE SiCluster Professional: More efficient setups lead to higher productivity With its SIPLACE SiCluster Professional optimization software, Siemens Electronics Assembly Systems GmbH & Co.KG (SEAS) expands its wide-ranging portfolio of intelligent setup strategies for electronics manufacturing. In addition to combining products into setup families (clusters), SIPLACE SiCluster Professional is the first program that determines any component overlaps in these family setups. It groups these shared components on “constant component tables”, which remain on the machine during setup changeovers, thus saving a significant amount of time. Particularly in high-mix production environments with small to medium lot sizes, SIPLACE SiCluster Professional can reduce the time spent on setups by several hours while reducing the space and investment requirements for feeders and component carts by up to 33 percent. SIPLACE SiCluster Professional is available as an add-on to the programming software SIPLACE Pro from version 7.1. Specialty coating systems announces new features on SCS Omegameter 600SMD Specialty Coating Systems (SCS)’s Omegameter 600SMD ionic contamination test system, which determines the cleanliness of electronic components, assemblies with SMT devices and printed circuit boards, now features expanded test profile capabilities, storing up to 99 test profiles. Additionally, optional software gives users near infinite memory to store test results that can later be viewed, sorted, printed and/or exported in a spreadsheet for further analysis. www.

soldering machine delivers the lowest total cost of ownership in a compact footprint. With continuous PCB width adjustment, the EWS-310 accommodates boards up to 12 inches or 310 mm in width. Total machine power consumption is at least 10% less than comparable models. The EWS-310 employs a durable “L” finger handling mechanism allowing for efficient, pallet-less board transport.

New wave soldering machine with finger conveyer APS Novastar, LLC, announced the availability of its new EWS-310 wave soldering machine. The EWS-310 wave

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125-19 flexible high-temperature electrically conductive ink Creative Materials have developed a new silicone conductive ink, 125-19, that offers all the properties of typical silicone products while also being screen-printable. The result is a more versatile ink that can be used in a wide variety of production modes and expanded range of applications. Like all silicone inks, 125-19 is highly

New Products

flexible, resistant to high temperatures, and can be used with such substrates as Kapton®, Teflon®, and rubber surfaces. Formulated to be screen printed, 125-19 can also be syringe-dispensed, dipped, and sprayed and is ideal for use with ceramic, glass, and even silicone substrates. In addition, 125-19 offers an overall balance of peel strength, cohesion, lap shear strength, and high-temperature holdingpower.

High-Tech Conversions GREEN MONSTER! stencil wiping fabric High-Tech Conversions’ GREEN MONSTER! is ESD-safe, preventing ESD events that could damage components, cause voids in solder traces and possible

explosions in the presence of flammable solvent vapors. The mere action of rerolling typical white paper rolls during its manufacturing process creates huge amounts of static. The GREEN MONSTER! is a drop-in, ESD-safe solution for any static-generating rolls. GREEN MONSTER! works so well that many companies have reported that there is no need for any solvent. The surface is very aggressive and porosity is just right for ultra-efficient wiping, providing both environmental and financial benefits. www. ECD announces new calibration plan to reduce costs and downtime ECD asked its thermal profiling customers what would improve their ability to always have their thermal profilers in calibration. The answers were consistent, and direct. They want to be reminded when to recalibrate. They want it done faster. They want it done cheaper. And they want a loaner to keep them running while it’s being done. As a result, ECD has developed M.O.L.E. Calibration Contracts With Options. Available for most ECD thermal profilers, the calibration contracts

are increase productivity by saving time, money, and eliminating downtime during calibration. SEHO Systems’ latest generation Dual Lane Reflow Oven SEHO Systems GmbH, a leading

worldwide soldering provider, introduces the new Dual Lane Reflow Oven that features two reflow ovens in one. The new oven features SEHO’s latest technology and provides both high- and low-volume SMT soldering in one reflow unit. The Dual Lane Reflow Oven features flexible

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Smart Sonic’s 440-R® SMT Detergent is guaranteed to safely clean any type of solder paste from any fine-pitch stencil and is the only stencilcleaning chemistry verified for specific parameters of Environmental Safety, User Safety and Cleaning Efficiency by the U.S. EPA’s Environmental Technology Verification Program.

Request your sample today! +1-818-707-3110 Global SMT & Packaging – Celebrating 10 Years – January 2010 – 83

New Products

a range of application heights from .137” to .430” (3.48mm to 10.92mm.) www.

DYMAX launches new high-intensity LED spot-curing system and compatible adhesives DYMAX Corporation launched their new BlueWave® LED Prime UVA highintensity spot-curing system and a new line of compatible adhesives. The unit offers many advantages over conventional spot-curing systems including no consumable bulbs to change, no warm-up, cool cures, and constant intensity up to 50,000 hours. The BlueWave LED Prime UVA generates curing energy using high-intensity LEDs (Light Emitting Diodes) and produces the highest power of any LED spot-curing lamp on the market today. The relatively narrow frequency band produced by LEDs generates cooler curing temperatures for temperature-sensitive substrates and results in reduced power consumption. Specially formulated LED-curable adhesives for use with the new BlueWave LED Prime UVA include ultra-fast (less than 2 seconds) to fast cure to accommodate industrial and medical device bonding, potting, and coating assembly needs. They bond in seconds to a wide variety of substrates including glass, metal, ABS, PC, PVC, and many others.

production in parallel and is compatible for both lead-free and leaded SMT. The system reduces operating costs and saves floor space, with a 47% reduction in required floor space compared to traditional dual-lane production lines. Sunstone Circuits enhances ValueProto PCBs Sunstone Circuits®, the printed circuit board (PCB) prototype solutions provider, has enhanced ValueProto™ PCBs for the electronic enthusiast seeking an affordable option for small quantities of two-layer PCBs. Additional features of the ValueProto service now include expedited shipping to all 50 states, and the opportunity to reduce lead-time by four days with the Quick Build option. These new circuit board prototypes cost as little as $28, are not limited to rectangle shape, and include free UPS Ground shipping.

New Mill-Max SMT spring-loaded connector products Mill-Max is pleased to announce the development of several new SMT springloaded connectors (SLCs). All are offered as discrete contacts and many are available in tape and reel packaging. New Mill-Max part family 0910-0 and 0910-1 through -4 are discrete SLCs specifically designed for production tape and reel assembly. Part 0967 is a horizontal mount SMT SLC designed for low-profile, board-to-board interconnections. These part families offer

84 – Global SMT & Packaging – Celebrating 10 Years – February 2010

Bliss Industries introduces Process Integrator service Bliss Industries Inc., provider of material handling carts and racks for PCB assembly, now offers a no-cost Process Integrator service for process improvement. The service enables customers to use Bliss’ lean manufacturing to the extreme by utilizing Bliss’ Dream Team of representatives. “No other cart company is using its representatives to actually make the factory as a whole more efficient. It requires the best reps in the industry to provide this type of service, and Bliss’ Dream Team of experts delivers on this and more,” said Ken Bliss CEO & VP engineering. Bliss representatives simply go into customers’ facilities and work with their process engineers to identify things that can or need to be improved, and make recommendations by showing how the improvements will offer a return on investment. Christopher Associates premiers solder pastes from Koki for ICT performance and fine-pitch printing Christopher Associates introduces two new solder pastes from Koki Company Ltd. (Tokyo, Japan). S3X58-M650 is an ICT testable, halogen-free product that uses the SAC 305 alloy. Properties include low voiding, high print speeds, and finepitch (?BGA, 0.4 mm pitch) capability. The other Koki paste is S3X70-M407, a lead-free no-clean solder paste for ultrafine-pitch applications. Using a Type 5 powder, S3X70-M407 solder paste has been formulated for 0.2 mm pitch µBGA devices, as well as 0402 (01005) components. Features include excellent wetting in air environments and low voiding.

High-temp gold-tin thermoelectric module for optoelectronic cooling Nextreme Thermal Solutions is now offering an updated version of the OptoCooler HV14 that enables assembly temperatures as high as 320˚C. These assembly temperatures make the HV14 compatible with eutectic gold-tin (AuSn) solder—the industry standard process

New Products

for packaging optoelectronic devices that require tight tolerances. Specific applications include laser diodes, semiconductor optical amplifiers and sensors.

Singulate aluminum and copper pre-scored panels Depanelizing 18” and up to 24” skip scored PCBs is made easy and convenient with the K3000 linear blade PCB singulators. These “Made in the USA” manual PCB depanelizers are available in two versions. Simply place the bottom score-line of the PCB onto the linear blade and pull the circular blade across the top score-line to cleanly separate the PCB panels. An adjustable front and back table can be tilted so that separated panels can slide onto a conveyor line. Both regular FR4 and aluminium or copper pre-scored panels can be separated using this equipment. Also available from FKN Systek is a motorized linear blade PCB depanelizer which separates panels when the operator steps on a foot switch.

Replace costly DeDicateD pcB suppoRt tooling RED-E-SET ® Ultra HD is the latest technology in ultra highdensity board support from Production Solutions. Ultra HD benefits users by: • Replacing expensive custom tooling plates • Providing flexibility between PCB revisions • Reducing changeover time • Eliminating defects due to inadequate board support • Increasing revenue by reducing machine downtime • Eliminating component damage The Ultra HD modules are available in both strip format for adding/removing support depending on board width and our new format, which is board/application specific. Contact Production Solutions to learn how to improve your productivity by replacing costly dedicated PCB support tooling.

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Super Dry® by Totech launches the first modular 0.5%RH cabinet for Moisture Sensitive Device drying Super Dry® by Totec has introduced an innovative new design offering modular expandability and closed loop regeneration. Designed to exceed the formidable challenges associated with IPC J-STS-033B.1 for handling of moisture sensitive devices, the new MSD 1200 Series desiccant cabinets offer a host of unique

design features. These include a modular enclosure offering access from two sides that can be expanded to meet growing production and a powerful new dry unit with closed loop on-demand regeneration. Virtual Industries’ new vacuumtweezer tool Virtual Industries Inc. introduces the Vacula VC-3 heavy

duty vacuum tweezer. The self-contained Vacula pick-and-place tool is activated from the top. Simply depress the plunger, place the rubber suction cup on the package to pick and release the plunger, and the part is now firmly grasped by the tool. Place the part on the desired location and depress the plunger a second time to release it. This ESD-safe unit eliminates contamination from skin oils and handling damage to leads. It is ideally suited for loading burn-in trays or tinning leads, and easily handles larger packages. Prices start at US $57.50.

Global SMT & Packaging – Celebrating 10 Years – January 2010 – 85

Title Association & institutes news

Association & institutes news MicroTech 2010—Disruptive Technologies IMAPS-UK is pleased to announce the release of the preliminary technical programme for the forthcoming APMMicroTech 2010 conference, featuring “Disruptive Technologies” being held at the well known Cambridge University Møller Centre on 28 February to 02 March. The conference will feature Keynote talks, technical presentations, and exhibits that provide leading-edge coverage of developments in all areas of packaging materials and processes. Attendees in the past have included academic researchers, developers, producers, and users of packaging materials from all over the world. For more information, visit

in action, Dr Smallwood shows how the basic principles can be distilled into the seven habits of effective ESD control. He goes on to show how these are reflected in the requirements of the new IEC 61340-51:2007 ESD prevention standard. Automated handling equipment are not yet covered by ESD standards. Jeremy discusses ESD risks in automated equipment and gives guidance on how these can be detected and avoided. Specific issues in device fabrication facilities are also covered. This event is ideally suited to engineers, design, quality and inspection staff, production and test operators. Managers and supervisors would also benefit from a fuller understanding of the impact of ESD within the electronic manufacturing environment and the benefits of reliability testing during the design cycle Have all your ESD questions and concerns answered in a single day!! www.

Practical ESD Control Workshop SMART Group will be holding a Practical ESD Control Workshop on April 20, 2010, at Cooper MTL, Luton. With the ESD Association ESD Roadmap showing that semiconductor components are likely to become more sensitive, and the Industry Council on ESD Target Levels recommending reduction in on-chip protection, ESD prevention is likely to be an increasing concern over the next decade. Although expenditure on ESD control is commonly considered an expense, Dr Jeremy Smallwood argues that effectively done, it can be an investment that can yield substantial returns through saved cost of failures and confidence in product reliability. To book your place or get a more information, download images/stories/events/ESD2010.pdf The principles of static electricity build-up and control are common to device fabrication, and manual and automated product assembly. With his trademark live demonstrations of static electricity

SMART Printing Workshop Receives Praise From Delegates ‘The Road to ZERO Defects’, a printing workshop held at the ITRI facility in St Albans, received very favourable comments from the delegates who attended. This was the first in the ‘Back to Basics Series’, celebrating the SMART Group’s 25th year of celebration. Focussing information from the SMART PPM Monitoring study, it showed that 70% of all end of line defects are associated within the printing process and delegates were taken through 42 recommended audit steps for preplacement. Presentations covered a number of topics including: Solder Paste (Tom Perrett-ITRI), Process Contamination (Craig Brawley-SDI), Printing Platforms (Peter Marshall-Gen3 System), Stencil Specifications (Tony Weldon-Tecan), Solder Paste Inspection SPI/SPC (Jeremy Saise-Marantz) and Stencil Cleaning & Housekeeping-(Peter Marshal-Gen3). As a result of this excellent event SMART Group will continue with the ‘Back to Basics’ Series and will include separate dates covering reflow soldering. materials (to include moisture concerns and popcorn effect), wave & selective soldering with flux selection, and hand

86 – Global SMT & Packaging – Celebrating 10 Years – February 2010

assembly and rework. The printing workshop will also be repeated. For more information, contact Tony Gordon, SMART Group Secretary at 01494 465217 or

U.S. Consulates Help IPC APEX EXPO Exhibitors The U.S. Department of Commerce has chosen IPC APEX EXPO™ as one of a select group of U.S. trade shows to participate in its International Buyer Program (IBP) for 2010. “We’re pleased to be able to provide this exclusive opportunity to our exhibitors to help them expand their businesses globally,” says Kim Sterling, IPC vice president of marketing & communications. As one of only 36 U.S. trade shows in the IBP, IPC APEX EXPO has secured support from Commercial Service officers around the world who will reach out to their local regions to recruit qualified buyers, sales representatives and business partners to the event. Country and industry experts from the U.S. Commercial Service will be on-site during IPC APEX EXPO to help companies with hands-on export counseling, marketing analysis and matchmaking services. In addition to the increased global promotion of the event, a special Export Interest Guide will be provided to all international attendees to give them an easy way to identify IPC APEX EXPO exhibitors who are interested in exporting to specific international markets. Only IPC APEX EXPO 2010 exhibitors may participate in the IBP as suppliers. Information is available at for current exhibitors. Companies that are interested in exhibiting should contact IPC Director of Trade Show Sales Mary Mac Kinnon at +1 847-597-2886 or MaryMacKinnon@ipc. org.

Rep & Distributor Review corrections

Rep & Distributor Review corrections from the December 2009 issue E-Tek Europe Covering the United Kingdom, Hungary, Romania, Ukraine

Lines: A.C.E. Production Technologies (East Europe territories only), Aqueous Technologies, Best, BPM Microsystems, Camalot, Electrovert, EVS International, KIC, Mekko, MVP, Novatec, Optilia, Purex, Seica Test Solutions, Speedline

How do you expect to see business performing in your territory over the next 12 months? I think we are definitely through the worst of this recession, Etek’s range of customers are now almost back to full production equivalent to 2008. Our customers are starting to look at budget for new equipment in Q1 & Q2, 2010. This is really an exciting time to be involved in the European electronics industry. Some of our competitors did not make it through the hard times of 2009, which left a great opportunity to pick up both service & sales personnel to grow Etek’s technical team. Etek has also managed to position itself in 2009 to be prepared for the boom of 2010.

Mike Nelson

What are the technical trends in your industry? At Etek we are seeing a great deal of investment in new equipment starting in October 2009, mainly in AOI, cleaning, contamination testing, screen printing, fume extraction and x-ray. High reliability products have been the least affected during this downturn, but even our automotive and aviation customers are back with a bang....

Blakell Europlacer LTD Covering the United Kingdom Lines: Europlacer, Speedprint, Hexi, Saki, Eunil, EVEST, ASC Int’l, R&D Technologies, Zipatec, Aegis, Red-E-Set, Tagarno

How do you expect to see business performing in your territory over the next 12 months? This is hard to answer...I have visited many manufacturing companies in the last few months, some of whom are very busy and others are finding the current economic climate very challenging. However, our pick and place machines are ideally suited to the way in which UK manufacturing has gone in the past few years, so I believe that we are ideally placed to benefit from the market recovery in the SMT assembly business. Of course as well as manufacturing pick and place machines (Europlacer) and stencil printers (Speedprint), we are now becoming more generally accepted as a distributor of other compleAndy Jones mentary products within the market, from AOI, paste inspection, reflow (vapour phase and conventional) and on to new product lines that we are adding (selective soldering, PCB laser marking and barcode placement). What are the technical trends in your industry? In the last year, technical trends have taken a bit of a back seat in my experience. This year seems to have been a year of consolidation, with companies more interested in maximizing their existing capital investments, and to squeeze as much as possible without spending too much! That being said, there has been some movement toward inspection of product, and we have a great deal of interest in AOI.

Europlacer Distribution France Covering France Lines: A.C.E Production Technologies, BTU International, MIRTEC, PVA, TSM. Europlacer Industries (another Group company) handles Europlacer & Speedprint products in France.

How do you expect to see business performing in your territory over the next 12 months? We believe that the French market will be good in 2010 because for a few reasons. Since October, we’ve seen investments in the electronics industry coming back. The French government is helping smell to medium sized companies finance their investments through a dedicated public structure, OSEO. Subcontractors are seeing their order books increasing again, and they’re starting to have a medium-term view on their production plans. Finally, pick and place machines currently in production are usually seven to ten years old and need to be updated, particularly with the increase in use of 0201 components.

Alain-Michel Ceretti

What are the technical trends in your industry? Big volumes left France for low-cost countries. Today, customers need more “four wheel drive” equipment than Formula 1 machines. A contractor can’t afford refuse business because the volume is too low for his high-speed machine. Flexible machines covering 100% of the component range, including exotic applications, is THE key to surviving the PCB business right now. Small and medium companies will have to invest in AOI in 2010 to remain competitive.

Global SMT & Packaging – Celebrating 10 Years – January 2010 – 87

International Diary Title

International Diary 23-25 February 2010 IMAPS Printed Devices & Applications Orlando, Florida, USA

16-18 March productronica China Shanghai, China en/16545154

24-26 February 2010 Electronics Next New Delhi, India 2-3 March Virtual PCB Online

31 March-April 1 SMT/PCB & NEPCON Korea Seoul, South Korea

13-14 April Printed Electronics Europe Dresden, Germany 20-22 April Expo Electronica Moscow, Russia expoelectronica. ru/eng/

6-8 April IPC APEX Expo Las Vegas, Nevada

88 – Global SMT & Packaging – Celebrating 10 Years – February 2010

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Global SMT & Packaging February 2009 European edition  
Global SMT & Packaging February 2009 European edition  

Chip-on-board assembly; BGA assembly reliability; trace, track and control; solderability testing of PoPs; and more.