Printed Circuit Design & Fab Circuits Assembly December 2021 cover
December 2021
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December 2021 • VOL. 38 • NO. 12
Printed Circuit Design and Fab Circuits Assembly logo
First Person
6
Changing seats.
Mike Buetow
money matters
16
The best of plans.
Peter Bigelow
17
Time to toss the tariffs.
Greg Papandrew
18
Resetting after the pandemic.
Susan Mucha
Tech Talk
20
Getting to the core of vias.
John Burkhert, Jr.
24
A host of learning opportunities.
Mike Buetow
25
VR and AR go industrial.
Alun Morgan
26
Selecting a flex circuit fabricator.
Mark Finstad
42
Paste goes I40.
Clive Ashmore
43
A thought before dyeing.
Bob Willis
Departments
December 2021 • VOL. 38 • NO. 12
Printed Circuit Design and Fab Circuits Assembly logo
Features
27
QMS
A quantitative correlational study evaluates how to implement and sustain ISO 9001 and Lean Six Sigma, using survey data from North American printed circuit board fabricators.
by Patrick Valentine, Ph.D.
Printed Circuit Design & Fab Circuits Assembly December 2021 cover
32
RF Design
Whether it be from device-to-device or through Wifi, the need for proper radio frequency (RF) sensitive circuits is ever-increasing. From proper grounding to material selection, common best practices for optimal RF results.
by Orlen Bates
35
EMS
Invertronica is an electronics conglomerate, consisting of electronics design and engineering (Tecrea), parts distribution (LosComponentes.com), and fabrication and assembly (Colcircuitos). Jorge Cardona, its chief executive, describes the markets and manufacturing environment in Central America, and why Colombia is a nearshore possibility for US OEMs and EMS companies looking for low-cost partners.
by Mike Buetow
40
RETROSPECTIVE
A look back at friends and colleagues who left us in 2021.
by STAFF
ON PCB CHAT (pcbchat.com)
Soldering Materials and Selection
with PAUL SALERNO
HDG Users Group Update
with LARRY MARCANTI
DfX
with CHERYL TULKOFF and GREG CASWELL
INDUSTRY 4.0
with DAVE TRAIL
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Editorial
Editor in chief
Mike Buetow, 617-327-4702, mbuetow@upmediagroup.com

SENIOR Editor
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design technical Editor
Pete Waddell

editorial office
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PCD&F CONTRIBUTING EDITORS
Akber Roy, Peter Bigelow, John Burkhert, Mark Finstad, Bill Hargin, Nick Koop, Greg Papandrew

Circuits Assembly CONTRIBUTING EDITORS AND ADVISORS
Clive Ashmore, David Bernard, Robert Boguski, John D. Borneman, Joseph Fama, Susan Mucha, Chrys Shea, Jan Vardaman, Ranko Vujosevic

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vice president, editorial and production
Mike Buetow

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Caveat Lector
Portrait photo of a smiling Mike Buetow
mike
buetow
editor-
in-chief
As the Chair Turns
T

wenty-one years.

That’s how long I’ve sat in this chair as an editor for this publication.

That’s 21 years of writing editorials. Never missed an issue. Many times, I’ve written them on planes, heading to or from someplace afar. (I may work from home, but traveling from Boston to China, as I have done many, many times, still means ample commuting time.)

I wrote one on my honeymoon. I wrote one from the recovery room after my first child’s birth. (With little else to do, I spent the time counting all the circuit boards in the equipment around me. Yes, I’m a nerd.)

There may even be a reader or two who was born about the same time I assumed this role in January 2000, first as editor in chief of PC FAB, to which my boss Pete Waddell then added Printed Circuit Design, and finally, in 2005, CIRCUITS ASSEMBLY. (Now I feel old. Thanks a lot.)

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Around the World
PCDF People
A headshot picture of Robert Kurti grinning
Elmatica promoted Robert Kurti to chief information officer. He joined Elmatica in 2016 as IT manager, after supporting the US and NATO coalition forces for six years.
Nano Dimension named Frank Silva sales manager.
Siemens EDA hired Paul Lapointe solution architect.
Taiyo America named Bernhard Schmuki technical sales engineer.
Around the World
DuPont to Acquire Rogers in $5.2B All-Cash Deal
CHANDLER, AZ – DuPont has entered into a definitive merger agreement to acquire Rogers Corp. in an all-cash transaction that values Rogers at approximately $5.2 billion.

Rogers’ shareholders will receive $277 in cash per share, representing a 33% premium over Rogers’ closing share price on Nov. 1, and a 46% premium to the one-month volume-weighted average share price.

Rogers’ board unanimously approved the agreement and recommends shareholders vote in favor of the transaction.

Around the World
Ventec Finalizes Holders Asset Buy
LAMINGTON SPA, UK – Ventec International finalized an asset purchase agreement with Holders Technology on Oct. 21. The transaction completes Ventec’s acquisition of a range of PCB assets owned by Holders Technology’s German and UK operating subsidiaries.

Under the terms of the agreement, Ventec will integrate some of Holders Technology’s specialist materials into its current portfolio of PCB base material solutions. The complementary product lines include entry and backing materials for drilling and routing applications, lamination accessories (release films) and copper foil for lamination applications. No financial terms were disclosed.

Around the World
Mitsubishi Materials, U-MAP to Develop AlN Ceramic PCB for Power Modules
TOKYO – Mitsubishi Materials is jointly developing an aluminum nitrite ceramic printed circuit board for power modules with U-MAP, a materials venture from Nagoya University.

Until now, Mitsubishi has provided insulated PCBs with high reliability by joining different materials such as metal and ceramic. Meanwhile, U-MAP has discovered adding Thermalnite can provide AlN ceramic substrates with high thermal conductivity and high mechanical characteristics.

By combining these technologies, the firms aim to develop an AlN ceramic PCB, offering higher heat dissipation performance and reliability than the Si3N4 ceramic PCB.

The PCB is expected to aid in a more compact and higher-power-density power module. In addition, improvement of heat dissipation will allow other components and materials used for power modules to be smaller. (CD)

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Around the World
CA People
Arch Systems named Jon Gruett senior sales consultant.
Jennifer Fijalkowski Headshot
AIM Solder appointed Jennifer Fijalkowski as technical marketing engineer. She has a bachelor’s in chemical engineering from the University of Rhode Island and is a certified Lean Six Sigma Green Belt.
MacDermid Alpha named Steve Williamson business director – East region.
Jack Harris Headshot
PDR named Jack Harris as North American sales manager. He has with more than 35 years’ experience as an independent representative and factory sales management executive.
Cameron Carr Headshot
Flex hired Cameron Carr as chief strategy officer. He spent the past decade at Microsoft, more recently as head of competitive strategy for the US.
Charlie Kempner Headshot
Insituware announced Charlie Kempner as North American sales manager. He was previously a business development executive with Neo Tech and Rocket EMS, among other firms.
Around the World
Cicor Adds to European Footprint with Axis Acquisition
BRONSCHHOFEN, SWITZERLAND – Cicor Group acquired 100% of the shares of Axis Electronics for an undisclosed sum.

With this acquisition, Cicor expands its European footprint into the UK. Cicor plans to integrate Axis into the global engineering and manufacturing network of the Electronic Solutions division.

Axis is a UK-based electronics manufacturer, focusing on the aerospace and defense sectors. Cicor will reportedly become a top-five EMS provider in aerospace and defense in Europe and will continue operations in Bedford, UK, retaining all 180 employees there.

The acquisition is expected to increase Cicor’s sales approximately 15% on an annualized basis.

The closing of the transaction is expected in 2021 and is subject to customary closing conditions. (CD)

Around the World
Nano Dimension Acquires Essemtec
SUNRISE, FL – Nano Dimension has signed and closed a definitive agreement to acquire Essemtec for $15.1 million in cash, with up to $9.7 million more to be paid over 14 months based on pre-agreed performance-based formulas.

Essemtec posted 2020 revenue of $17.2 million. Revenue for the eight months ended Aug. 31 was $15.4 million. Backlog as of Sept. 17 was approximately $6.9 million.

“It is an exciting combination of two technology leaders serving the PCB and wider electronic industry segments,” said Franz-Xaver Strueby, CEO, Essemtec. “The combination of Nano Dimension’s strength in the Americas with Essemtec’s strong presence in Europe will enhance both product lines. Additionally, I believe the merger of the technologies will yield enormous influence and transformational momentum in the world of 3-D printed electronics and assembly.”

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Around the World
CA Briefs
Apple added 100 more suppliers to its clean-energy pledge, bringing the total to 175.

Apple is looking to diversify its assemblers for the Mac series to include not only Quanta Computer and Foxconn but also a few China-based suppliers, according to reports.

Daburn Electronics, a manufacturer of wire, cable and electronic components, announced the acquisition of EMSE, a medical air and vacuum system design and manufacturing company.

Graco opened its South China Innovation Center in Dongguan City, focused on serving the electronics industry.

H2 Equity Partners will acquire distributor Acal BFi for total cash considerations of GBP 50 million.

Infestos has acquired 86% of the shares of Neways.

Intel, Samsung, and TSMC have threatened to pull the plug on US factory plans unless government subsidies are on the table.

LeeMAH Electronics installed an ITW EAE Electrovert VectraES wave soldering machine in Texas.

Naprotek has completed its acquisition of SemiGen, a privately held maker of RF/microwave components.

Around the World
CIRCUITS ASSEMBLY Reopens SEA Registration
CIRCUITS ASSEMBLY Service Excellence Awards
ATLANTACIRCUITS ASSEMBLY has reopened registration for its annual Service Excellence Awards (SEAs) for EMS providers and electronics assembly equipment, material, service, and software suppliers. The 2022 program returns to its original format after a focus group of past participants emphasized the value of the feedback they receive from their customers.

Now in its 30th year, the SEAs honor companies for excelling in the critical area of customer service, permitting participants to benchmark customer service against their peers. It is the only industry awards program that uses direct customer feedback to determine best-in-class.

“Datest offers testing, engineering, analytical, and other value-added services, all geared to speed, flexibility, and results,” said Robert Boguski, president, Datest. “We need a mechanism for obtaining meaningful feedback from customers on a regular basis. We also share that feedback with our AS9100 auditor. The CIRCUITS ASSEMBLY Service Excellence Awards are ideal for capturing those honest reactions that make us a better company.”

Around the World
Scope Industries to Focus Solely on EMS
PERAK, MALAYSIA – Scope Industries will divest its oil palm plantation to focus solely on its electronics manufacturing services business, according to reports.

Scope is adding production capacity through the building of a fourth plant in Perak. The RM16 million ($3.8 million) plant will add 154,000 sq. ft. of EMS production space, for a total of 299,000 sq. ft. The plant is expected to be operational in July 2022.

Scope has recently expanded into completed electrical and electronics product assembly for customers in the US, South Korea and India. Products include smart speakers, air purifiers and payment terminals at gas stations. The company plans to add temperature controllers to its product list.

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Around the World
Hanza Buys Helmut Beyers, Resumes Expansion in Germany
STOCKHOLM – Hanza Holding has acquired Helmut Beyers, an electronics manufacturer in Mönchengladbach, Germany, with approximately 150 employees.

The deal marks a restart for the EMS company’s expansion in Germany, which was temporarily put on hold during the pandemic.

Hanza said it paid a price corresponding to the equity in the company, which according to preliminary financial statements amounts to EUR2.7 million ($3.14 million). An additional purchase price linked to an expected increase in sales from the current level for fiscal 2022 and 2023, up to a maximum of EUR2.5 million ($2.9 million). Transaction and integration costs are estimated to total approximately SEK10 million ($1.16 million), which are mainly expected to be charged to the fourth quarter of 2021.

Around the World
GPV to Expand Manufacturing in Sri Lanka
NEGOMBO, SRI LANKA – GPV last month broke ground on a new manufacturing plant in Sri Lanka.

The site will add 11,300 sq. m. of production space to its current operations once completed in the first quarter of 2023.

The EMS company had paused the plan because of Covid-19.

“Our new factory will be a state-of-the art facility fitted for electronics manufacturing with room to grow, as well as room to develop cable harness manufacturing. Our many employees also look forward to the upgraded functionality,” said Chandana Dissanayake, managing director, Sri Lanka.

“A strong presence on the Asian continent is important for us, as well as for our globally oriented customers,” said GPV CEO Bo Lybæk. “GPV Electronics in Sri Lanka is fully certified within ISO 9001/14001/45001, and from here, we provide technology services, with special focus on our Swiss and German customers. The expansion in Sri Lanka is the first step in our master plan to expand and thereby also make room for our continued growth.” (CD)

Market Watch
EDITED by CHELSEY DRYSDALE
Hot Takes
  • Two-thirds of manufacturers were forced to raise prices in 2021, and 71% expect to have to do so again in 2022. Shortages and supply chain and other issues have led manufacturers to increase costs by an average of 14.5% this year. Firms expect to raise prices another 7-8% next year. (IPC)
  • North American EMS shipments in September were down 9.9% year-over-year and 0.8% sequentially. (IPC)
  • Global shipments of traditional PCs (desktops, notebooks and workstations) reached 86.7 million units during the third quarter, up 3.9% year-over-year. (IDC)
  • Contract prices of NAND flash products are expected to undergo a marginal drop of 0-5% sequentially in the fourth quarter as demand slows. (TrendForce)
ROI
Planning is Always Challenging.
This Year It May Be Worse.
A counterargument to cutting staff and inventory.
One of those rituals that takes place around this time is developing the business plan and related budgets for the new year. Deciphering the crystal ball, discerning optimism from reality in the sales forecast, determining budget capital investments and human resource needs, and so on, is always a complex task. The very unusual pandemic/post-pandemic world we are now in makes it even more so.

As we look to 2022, we see some unusual and especially onerous hurdles: a more strained supply chain, deteriorating consumer sentiment, increasing inflation, and segments of the economy still reeling from the worst days of the pandemic. While no single hurdle can be compensated for, the combination of threats can tempt the planner to take a conservative approach and decide it’s time to hunker down.

Board Buying
Tariffs Are Hurting the US Electronics Industry
Government-imposed inflation hurts the overall domestic market.
The Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) is considering whether to reinstate Section 301 tariff exclusions that expired late last year on certain Chinese-origin products, including some printed circuit boards.

If granted, the exemption will pertain – as it did before – only to 2- and 4-layer rigid PCBs made of epoxy-glass. The tariff will continue to apply to single-sided and higher-layer counts, flex circuits, and other substrates such as aluminum or ceramic.

While 2- and 4-layer boards represent only a narrow portion of the PCBs manufactured in China, an exemption continuance will provide some relief to many OEM and EMS companies struggling with supply chain challenges.

The tariff aims to encourage “reshoring” by making domestic PCB manufacturing more appealing.

FOCUS ON BUSINESS
Preparing for the Pivot
Be quick with customer forecast review meetings when orders slow.

I believe 2022 will be a pivotal year for most electronics manufacturing services (EMS) providers. Material lead-time and availability issues are slightly improving, and supply-chain executives are cautiously optimistic about a return to normal in mid-year as demand levels out and additional chip manufacturing capacity comes online. That said, a return to normal brings its own set of challenges, if past cycles of this nature are considered. It is particularly important for EMS program managers to start considering the issues likely to come with a mid-year pivot:

  • Forecasts on some products may drop substantially. While component manufacturers, distributors and EMS companies typically have checks and balances to identify situations where customers have increased forecasts as a hedge against allocation, uncharacteristic demand spikes make those controls iffy at best. Most EMS companies have orders into 2022 and exceptionally high levels of inventory in-house. Any downward trend in forecasts should trigger a forecast review meeting with the customer to determine how rapidly orders and inventory levels need to be adjusted.
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Designer’s notebook
Regarding the Use of Core Vias in a PCB Design
Buried and blind vias solve most HDI routing studies.
A popular answer to a high density interconnect (HDI) problem is to start with a simple printed circuit board and then proceed to add on layer after layer. This is known as a sequential lamination process. For the sake of balance, the layers are always added to the top and bottom in pairs. A notation we use describes the sequence.

A typical example is a board that starts with N number of layers in the initial pressing and has three additional lamination steps after that. Each additional pressing adds two layers: one above and one below the previous step. The shorthand for that type of construction is 3+N+3 or simply a 3N3 stack-up.

We could get more detailed and substitute the actual number of layers in the first pressing for the N and call it, for instance, a 3+4+3 board for an even 10 layers. The fact is the fabricator is more concerned about how many layers are added afterward than how many are used in the first step (FIGURE 1).

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The DIGITAL Route
Live or Via Zoom, Knowledge is All Around Us
A bevy of tech talks are available to industry engineers, regardless of their location.
As readers of this space may know, the Printed Circuit Engineering Association is acquiring the assets of UP Media Group. Once that happens, I’ll become president of PCEA. Going forward, this column will focus on the ways PCEA is addressing issues of concern to our membership and the industry at large.

For the past year-plus, this column has been written by Kelly Dak, our erstwhile communications director, and Stephen Chavez, our chairman. In the next couple months, the PCEA is transitioning from an all-volunteer organization to one with a fulltime staff, which will allow the board of directors to focus on higher-level strategy. Steph’s role, then will no longer be tied to monthly communications but rather leading the board in charting the goals and direction of the association. And filling the gaps is where I come in.

Material Gains
VR and AR Can Improve Lives as Well as Business Performance
Harnessing our technologies to assist humanity.
There is a a technological solution for most things these days, and in this case virtual reality (VR) has been put forward to help new employees explore their working environment, find the locations of essential amenities, and experience lifelike introductions to the various activities and departments. The process can be completed quickly and efficiently, without the logistical challenges and delays that occur in the real world. It’s also as cost-effective and easy to onboard a group as it is an individual, and can save section heads and other presenters from repeatedly taking time from their main duties to address the newcomers.

VR is not new, of course. What’s happening is cases for using it in an ever-expanding variety of activities are becoming stronger as computing power and affordability increase. When a viable business case can be perceived, software application developers can get started, and a new market can begin – with all the new opportunities for technical and commercial development that come with it.

The Flexperts
How to Select a Flex Circuit Supplier
All the pieces that add up to the right fit.
“I am developing a flexible circuit for my application and will soon be ready for prototypes, followed by production a few months later. A lot of flexible circuit suppliers are out there. How do I know if a vendor is reputable and will meet my needs?”

Many variables must be considered when picking a flexible circuit supplier. Do your homework and find a vendor that is a good fit for the project. It is advisable to also select a vendor that will support your program from prototype through production. Multiple vendors could build to the same Gerber files and overall specifications, but the end-product could have differences due to processing and material variations between suppliers. Switching fabricators midstream can introduce significant risk at a critical time between prototype and production. Following are the items I recommend learning about a vendor before making your sourcing decision:

Circuit application/performance class. This is more about the IPC performance class rather than specific application, but mil-aero, implantable medical devices, and so on generally are specified as IPC Class 3, while most everything else is Class 2. IPC Class 3 is the highest reliability and overall performance class and is usually specified when the product is used in a life-critical application. Class 3 product typically requires more stringent processing controls, QA, and documentation. Suppliers that primarily serve Class 3 users typically “stay in their lane” and build all products to Class 3 performance level regardless of the requirement.

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QMS
Critical Success Factors for Implementing and Sustaining Quality Management Systems
Does sustained ISO 9001 and Lean Six Sigma deliver success? by Patrick Valentine, Ph.D.
Sustaining quality management systems and continuous improvement strategies is critical for retaining a competitive advantage in the printed circuit board industry. Implementing and sustaining both ISO 9001 and Lean Six Sigma provides quality improvements, enhances organizational performance, creates efficiencies, increases market share, improves financial performance, and reduces product reliability risk. This quantitative correlational study evaluates critical success factors for implementing and sustaining ISO 9001 and Lean Six Sigma. Survey data were collected from the North American printed circuit board (PCB) industry. Canonical correlations were used for data analysis. A statistical correlation was found between critical success factors for implementing and sustaining ISO 9001 and Lean Six Sigma. Three canonical variates were extracted and interpreted.

Quality has become a key process indicator for manufacturing and service companies. Quality is a strategic priority for all modern businesses.1 Improving and sustaining quality is a critical organizational strategy to retain customers in today’s globally competitive environment. Quality management is used to proactively find solutions to current and future cost and risk problems.

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RF DESIGN
Radio Waves are All the Rage
From proper grounding to material selection, common best practices for optimal RF results. by Orlen Bates
In our everyday lives, we are more connected than ever.

Your car keys wirelessly unlock your car when you get near it. Your phone connects to Air Pods while you listen to Spotify at the gym or stream the latest hit TV show. The smart home device in your living room streams podcasts, answers questions, and writes your shopping list on voice-activated command. All these daily activities have one thing in common: radio signals. Whether it be from device-to-device or through Wifi, the need for proper radio frequency (RF) sensitive circuits is ever-increasing.

Radio frequency design has a myriad of applications in the field. Some use cases are more critical, such as military or medical use, while others are for general public consumption. Regardless, in all cases it is imperative the design functions as promised without incident. Doing so will ensure a successful and reliable end-product that breeds a lasting impression with the consumer.

EMS
Nearshoring EMS from Latin America
An interview with Colombia’s largest EMS company.
by Mike Buetow
Colombia is the 28th largest country by population and the 38th largest by nominal GDP. Residing as South America’s connection into Central America, it is in the same time zone as the Eastern US during daylight saving time.

Invertronica was founded in early 2003 in Colombia and includes several companies involved in the design, prototyping and manufacturing of electronics products. Those companies include Tecrea, an electronics design and engineering unit; LosComponentes.com.co, a parts distributor, and Colcircuitos, the largest EMS company in Colombia. It can move fast: 24 hours from design to assembly.

Jorge Cardona, chief executive of Invertronica, describes the markets and manufacturing environment in Central America, and why Colombia is a nearshore possibility for US OEMs and EMS companies looking for low-cost partners.

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RETROSPECTIVE
In Memoriam
A look back at friends and colleagues who left us in 2021.
Isamu Akasaki, 92, Japanese physicist invented the first efficient blue LED and shared the 2014 Nobel Prize in physics.

Robert “Bobby” Baker, 60, Sanmina/SCI senior buyer.

Dan Bostan, hardware engineer for Cisco, Stoke, Allegro Networks, Atoga Systems, and Brightlink Networks.

Brian Brossart, 57, industrial engineer at Benchmark Electronics.

Richard Calvin, 59, former QA test engineer with Mentor Graphics.

Doris M. (Cyr) Carrier, 89, PCB inspector.

Henry Catalano, Jr., 78, circuit board designer for Parametrics.

Debi Coleman, 69, original Apple controller and CFO, and later CEO of Merix.

Eduardo (Ed) Gabriel da Silva, 84, design engineer for the first business computers at Burroughs Counting Machines, and later manager of PCB design team at Xerox.

Ethel Lee Hall Doyle, 76, retired electronics assembly supervisor for Hughes Network Systems.

Cynthia Ann Edwards, 78, retired circuit board technician.

Kim Marie (Williamson) Emerson, 59, worker for several circuit board companies, most recently CE Precision.

Richard Flanders, Jr., 73, ex circuit board technician, GenRad.

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SCREEN printing
Industry 4.0 Takes on Solder Paste Replenishment
Automating paste application saves time and money.
Increasing productivity through process automation, software intelligence and multitasking capability are the foundation of Industry 4.0. Executing manufacturing tasks with exponentially more efficiency and precision ultimately drives cost lower and quality higher. This is proven across operations within numerous industries. As one of the critical sub-processes in SMT manufacturing, stencil printing is an area where substantive gains in quality and cost-efficiency can be made. Often overlooked is the smart factory approach to solder paste replenishment, though it is integral to a true closed-loop system.

Obviously, in order to print, material must be on the stencil in front of the blade. Currently, the predominant method for achieving this condition is manual application. A line operator physically scoops paste out of the jar and places material on the stencil. This seems like an appropriate use of operator resources, as they are positioned on the line anyway, but, in the “little and often” methodology for screen printing processing, this approach is counter to process stability, optimized throughput and cost-efficiency. Manual application of paste could be carried out more frequently to comply with “little and often,” although that would require a machine stop, which may impact throughput and, therefore, cost. Conversely, the operator can apply a large volume of paste on the stencil to accommodate more prints, which may alleviate some of the throughput concern, but could have an adverse effect on process stability.

Defect of the Month
Dye and Pry, or Pull and Look
X-ray can’t catch all failures.
This month we we look at solder joint separation from pads with dye and pry testing, which is of course intended, and in FIGURE 1 shown as a perfectly good solder joint. (Well, until I covered it with dye and broke it, that is.)
During reflow training or process trials, simply prying a package off the board after soldering is a quick way to confirm successful reflow of area array parts, and the “dye” in dye and pry is not required. We use dye when evaluating joints after thermal exposure or, more likely, mechanical testing, or if there is a known failure not visible by x-ray.

In recent years, prying parts has lost favor to pulling parts from the board. For the majority of larger packages, however, prying with a wood chisel works fine for users with a little experience.

Pry testing a BGA
Figure 1. Pry testing a BGA.
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Off The Shelf
off the shelf typography
Machines Materials Tools Systems Software
Stackpole RMCA Resistors
Stackpole RMCA Resistors
RMCA series is AEC-qualified and has long-term reliability for automotive applications. Reportedly has exceptional test performance to all AEC tests, as well as an improved expected failure rate by a factor of 10 or more.
Stackpole Electronics
Hirose FH75 FPC/FFC Connector
Hirose FH75 FPC/FFC Connector
FH75 series automotive flexible printed circuit/flat flexible connector supports MIPI D-PHY specifications. Delivers high-speed data transmission up to 1.5Gbps. Has 0.5mm pitch and height of 2mm. Offers high contact reliability in severe environments and uses two-point contact design with two independent springs that provide wiping action to prevent contact failure from dust, dirt and other contaminants. Operating temp. is up to 125°C. Meets automotive requirements including resistance to shock and vibration, hydrogen and sulfur gasses, humidity and corrosion. Uses flip lock with FPC tab and housing side catches that offer retention force of 51.4N. Available in 40-position version that is halogen-free and RoHS-compliant.
Hirose
Vishay vPolyTan T50 Capacitors
Vishay vPolyTan T50 Capacitors
vPolyTan T50 surface-mount polymer tantalum molded chip capacitors are for high-temperature, high-humidity operating conditions. Offer high-temperature operation to +125°C and withstand temperature humidity bias testing of 85°C, 85% RH for 500 hr. For decoupling, smoothing, and filtering in harsh environments of industrial, military, aerospace, and edge computing applications.
Vishay
Off The Shelf
off the shelf typography
Machines Materials Tools Systems Software
ITW EAE Edison II ACT Printer
ITW EAE Edison II ACT Printer
Edison II ACT (Automatic Changeover Technology) printer provides progressive stages toward full automation. Requires no additional skills to operate. Uses Edison printer and pairing cart designed to automate changeover of solder paste cartridges, support tooling, squeegees, and stencils.
ITW EAE
Saki 3XiM110 AXI
Saki 3XiM110 AXI
3Xi-M110 inline 3D-AXI system comes with new software said to reduce cycle time up to 50%. Has x-ray imaging mode and optimized control and motor speed. Delivers high-speed 3-D volumetric inspection, maintaining inspection accuracy. Planar CT technology detects solder joint defects and microstructure abnormalities in high-density PCBs.
Saki
Weller Tools WSW Solder Wire
Weller Tools WSW Solder Wire
WSW Solder Wire is designed for hand and robotic soldering. Reduces tip consumption. Reduce splash feature increases direct user safety while keeping workbench clean. Reportedly has 100% continuous flux core, combined with pure metal melting; avoids rework and enables long-term durable solder joints without cracking. Comes in reel sizes of 100g, 250g and 500g.
Weller Tools
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Technical Abstracts
In Case You Missed It
3-D Printing
“Accelerated Discovery of 3D Printing Materials Using Data-Driven Multi-Objective Optimization”

Authors: Timothy Erps, et al.

Abstract: Additive manufacturing has become one of the forefront technologies in fabrication, enabling products impossible to manufacture before. Although many materials exist for additive manufacturing, most suffer from performance tradeoffs. Current materials are designed with inefficient human-driven intuition-based methods, leaving them short of optimal solutions. The authors propose a machine learning approach to accelerating the discovery of additive manufacturing materials with optimal trade-offs in mechanical performance. A multi-objective optimization algorithm automatically guides the experimental design by proposing how to mix primary formulations to create better performing materials. The algorithm is coupled with a semiautonomous fabrication platform to substantially reduce the number of performed experiments and overall time to solution. Without prior knowledge of the primary formulations, the proposed methodology autonomously uncovers 12 optimal formulations and enlarges the discovered performance space 288 times after only 30 experimental iterations. This methodology could be easily generalized to other material design systems and enable automated discovery. (Science Advances, vol. 7, no. 42, science.org/doi/10.1126/sciadv.abf7435)

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