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november 2021 • VOL. 38 • NO. 11
Printed Circuit Design and Fab Circuits Assembly logo
First Person
6
The power of association.
Mike Buetow
money matters
16
The perfect storm.
Peter Bigelow
17
Coping with rising lead times and prices.
Ahmad Chamseddine
Tech Talk
18
Flex circuit footprints.
John Burkhert, Jr.
21
Keep an eye on IoT.
Alun Morgan
22
The printed circuit engineering profession gets a patron.
Kelly Dack
40
What EMS can learn from other industries.
James Barnes
41
Reading the customers’ minds.
Robert Boguski
43
Etching defects.
Bob Willis
Departments
november 2021 • VOL. 38 • NO. 11
Printed Circuit Design and Fab Circuits Assembly logo
Features
24
Standards
A decade in, IPC-2581 Consortium members say the pursuit toward widespread adoption of the vendor-neutral standard was well worth the rigorous effort.
by Chelsey Drysdale
Printed Circuit Design & Fab Circuits Assembly November 2021 cover
30
Cleaning
A new study characterizes the relationship between wipe processes and bottom-side stencil flux/paste flow.
by Mike Bixenman, DBA
32
Parts Rework
Can a $400 ball grid array be rescued?
by Vardaan Monga
33
The Inventors
Supply chain has been the story of the past year, and a new face to the industry proposes to help resolve that by connecting electronics engineers with printed circuit board assemblers.
by Mike Buetow
36
Conductive Adhesives
A new study reveals emerging applications for attaching very-fine-pitch parts using low-temperature methods.
by Mike Buetow
IN the Digital Edition
IEEC
Updates in silicon and electronics technology.
by Binghamton University
A look at some of the new offerings this year.
by PCD&F/CIRCUITS ASSEMBLY staff
ON PCB CHAT (pcbchat.com)
Conductive Adhesives
with Matthew Dyson, Ph.D.
Maintenance Reliability Training
with James Kovacevic
The PCB ECAD Market
with Wally Rhines
The State of the Industry
with The Industry Media
POSTMASTER: Send address changes to
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Editorial
Editor in chief
Mike Buetow, 617-327-4702, mbuetow@upmediagroup.com

SENIOR Editor
Chelsey Drysdale, 949-295-3109, cdrysdale@upmediagroup.com

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, sales and marketing 
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vice president, editorial and production
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Printed Circuit Design & Fab/Circuits Assembly is distributed without charge to qualified subscribers. For others, annual Subscription Rates in U.S. funds are: $80 (U.S. and Canada), $145 (all other countries). Single copy price is $8.50. All subscription and single copy orders or inquiries should be directed to Printed Circuit Design & Fab/Circuits Assembly, PO Box 470 Canton, GA 30169, email subscriptions@upmediagroup.com..

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Caveat Lector
Portrait photo of a smiling Mike Buetow
mike
buetow
editor-
in-chief
PCEA Makes Its Move
I

left off last month on the subject of progress. “Are you making progress?” I asked. “In your career? In your life? And if not, do you plan to start?”

We at UP Media Group are planning to start right now. Last month, during our annual PCB West trade show, we announced the signing of a letter of intent to sell certain assets, including this magazine, to the Printed Circuit Engineering Association. More on that in a moment.

In its two short years, PCEA has already established itself as the leading association for printed circuit engineers. The leaders of the Designers Council formed it after IPC, its longtime benefactor, decided to go a different direction. The trade group has ties to SMTA and the European Institute for the PCB Community (EIPC), among others. And it is the certifying body for the PCE-EDU Printed Circuit Engineering Professional curriculum.

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Around the World
PCDF People
Insulectro named Montserrat Barcelo director of supply chain, replacing Jason Shuppert, who was promoted to vice president of operations.
Eriko Yamato Headshot
Panasonic Industrial Devices named Eriko Yamato OEM business development manager. She previously was marketing manager for Oak-Mitsui and is a director of the PCEA.
Kent Balius Headshot
Somacis named Kent Balius front-end engineering manager. He was formerly senior director of automation for TTM and Viasystems, and was an engineering manager at Sanmina.
PCDF Briefs
Altair announced the Altair Material Data Center consortium, designed to help make the Altair Material Data Center (AMDC) a materials information resource to support innovative product design and manufacturing.

Altair signed a channel partner agreement with TrueInsight to exclusively offer Altair’s simulation, data analytics, and AI software solutions.

Around the World
PCEA Agrees to Acquire Certain Assets of UP Media, Including PCB West
SANTA CLARA, CA – The Printed Circuit Engineering Association in October announced it has signed a letter of intent to acquire certain assets of UP Media Group Inc., including its signature publications and industry-leading trade shows. The deal establishes PCEA as the leading association for printed circuit engineers worldwide, with over 2.5 million engagements annually to printed circuit engineers, designers, fabricators and assemblers.

The acquisition includes the annual PCB West and PCB East trade shows; PCD&F/CIRCUITS ASSEMBLY magazine; the PCB UPdate digital newsletter; PCB Chat, the podcast series; the PCB2Day workshops; and Printed Circuit University, the dedicated online training platform.

Under terms of the acquisition, key UP Media Group staff will join PCEA, including Mike Buetow, who becomes president; Frances Stewart, who becomes vice president, sales and marketing; Chelsey Drysdale, who becomes chief content officer; and Brooke Anglin, senior sales associate.

Around the World
Summit Interconnect Changes Hands
NEW YORK – New-York based private investment firm Lindsay Goldberg has acquired Summit Interconnect for an undisclosed sum in a deal closed Sept. 22. Summit, the second-largest printed circuit fabricator in the US, was previously owned by HCI Equity Partners, a private equity firm.

Summit is a leader in quickturn manufacturing of advanced technology printed circuit boards, primarily for aerospace, defense and other commercial sectors. The company has facilities in California, Illinois and Toronto. The Anaheim, CA-based company saw revenues grow 229% from 2017 to 2020.

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Around the World
CA People
Enics appointed Michael Cappello chief business officer.
Matthias Norweg Headshot
Infinite Electronics appointed Matthias Norweg senior vice president of corporate development. He has 20 years’ experience in corporate development, investment banking and venture capital.
Keytronic named Dan Coada director of engineering.
Mark Norris Headshot
Nordson named Mark Norris general manager, Electronic Production Systems Asia. He has been in equipment sales and marketing for more than 30 years with Camelot, Universal Instruments and Nordson.
Tim Young Headshot
Pride Industries appointed Tim Young senior director of talent acquisition. He previously was a recruitment director for Ross Stores and AutoZone.
SMTA announced Mohamed El Amine Belhadi of Auburn University as recipient of the 2021 JoAnn Stromberg Student Leader Scholarship, and Yi Zhou, a graduate student at Georgia Tech, as the 2021 Charles Hutchins Educational Grant winner. STI Electronics president/CEO David Raby received the SMTA Founder’s Award.
Around the World
Tempo Automation to Go Public, Acquire Whizz and Advanced Circuits
SAN FRANCISCO – Tempo Automation on Oct. 14 announced a definitive merger agreement with ACE Convergence Acquisition Corp., a special-purpose acquisition company. Upon closing, expected in the first quarter of 2022, the combined operating entity will be renamed Tempo Automation Holdings and shares of its common stock are expected to trade on the Nasdaq under the ticker symbol TMPO.

The merged company will have estimated pro forma full year 2021 revenues of approximately $146 million.

The companies estimate post-transaction equity value of approximately $919 million based on current assumptions, with up to $391 million in gross cash proceeds to the company, consisting of $230 million from cash in trust by ACE and $161 million from financing from other investors. The majority of the cash proceeds will be used to complete acquisitions of Advanced Circuits and Whizz Systems.

Advanced Circuits is a quickturn PCB fabricator with annual revenues of about $90 million. Additionally, Tempo has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire all of the outstanding equity interests of Whizz Systems, a privately held EMS company based in San Jose and with additional manufacturing in Malaysia. The moves are expected to make Tempo more vertically integrated.

Upon closing, the combined company will be led by the Tempo management team, including president and chief executive Joy Weiss and chief financial officer Ryan Benton. (MB)

Around the World
Exceet to Sell GS Swiss PCB
GREVENMACHER, LUXEMBOURG – Exceet Group signed a contract to sell GS Swiss PCB for approximately CHF 105 million (US$113.2 million). The company manufactures PCBs for the medical technology and aerospace sectors.

The completion of the transaction is not subject to any conditions and is expected to occur as of Dec. 31.

Exceet is expected to have a net cash position after transaction costs of about €110 million (US$127.2 million) after completion of the transaction.

GS Swiss PCB generated revenues of €36 million and operating profit of €9.5 million in fiscal 2021. (CD)

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Around the World
CA Briefs
Continental named Viscom Supplier of the Year 2020.

Creation Technologies completed its acquisition of IEC Electronics.

The European Commission will put forward a European Chips Act, along with dedicated funds from a centrally managed program to boost research, development and manufacturing of microprocessors.

FC Group Invest has acquired UK-based EMS firm Prism Electronics.

France president Emmanuel Macron plans a national investment of 30 billion euros in leading-edge technologies, with electronics cited as one of the five essential levers to secure the conditions for innovation.

Intervala opened a new 217,000 sq. ft. electronics manufacturing facility in Mt. Pleasant, PA.

Intuitive Machines chose Tempo Automation to build its flight- and space-rated PCB assemblies.

Handset OEM/ODM Lava International has filed for an IPO in India.

LG Electronics has overhauled its home appliance manufacturing facility in Changwon, South Gyeongsang Province, to become an “AI-based automation factory,” where robots carry and assemble pieces to make home appliances.

Merck plans to invest more than 3 billion euros ($3.5 billion) through 2025 in its electronics business to capitalize on rising demand for semiconductor and display panel materials.

Around the World
Supply Chain to Get ‘Early Warning System’
WASHINGTON – The US Department of Commerce is establishing an early alert system to detect supply chain shortages in the semiconductor industry, according to reports.

The Microelectronics Early Alert System will consolidate information from producers and manufacturers, with the goal of minimizing disruptions without firms disclosing confidential information to competitors.

The new alert system is part of President Biden’s program to strengthen supply chains. The 100-day supply chain review ordered by Biden in February highlighted the delicate global nature of the semiconductor supply chain. (CD)

Around the World
Celestica to Buy PCI Ltd. in $300M Deal
TORONTO – Celestica will buy Singapore-based PCI Ltd., a design, engineering and manufacturing solutions provider, for $306 million. The deal is expected to close in the mid-fourth quarter of 2021, subject to necessary approvals.

The acquisition will expand Celestica’s capabilities in key markets and strengthen geographic positioning. PCI has five manufacturing and design facilities across Asia.

The transaction price represents an adjusted EBITDA multiple of less than 7x (pre-anticipated synergies). Celestica expects the deal to be accretive to non-IFRS adjusted EPS in the first year.

“PCI is expected to generate about $325 million of annual revenue in 2021 with low double-digit adjusted EBITDA margins and strong cash flows,” said Rob Mionis, CEO, Celestica.

Celestica reiterated its third quarter guidance for revenue in the range of $1.4 billion to $1.55 billion. (MB)

Around the World
Apple, Zestron to Lead IPC Standard Effort for ‘Green’ Cleaners
BANNOCKBURN, IL – Apple is leading a host of companies developing a standard to define criteria for what constitutes a green cleaner for electronics manufacturing. IPC-1402, Standard for Green Cleaners Used in Electronics Manufacturing will specifically apply to cleaners used in the manufacture of electronic assemblies, components and materials, including direct use chemicals to clean components, casings, and materials or to clean manufacturing machines during operation and maintenance.

“The standard will document the rigorous set of criteria for preferred cleaners and incorporates industrial hygiene requirements. The application of IPC-1402 will allow important health and safety requirements to be added to engineering drawings needed for product assembly,” said Matt Kelly, chief technologist, IPC.

The subcommittee is cochaired by Apple and Zestron, and includes representatives from more than 20 international companies and government authorities.

“People come first in everything we do, and we’re proud to lead the industry in the responsible use of cleaners,” said Kathleen Shaver, director of environmental and supply chain innovation, Apple. “We are glad to be working with partners on this new standard, which will help accelerate the adoption of safer materials and improve cleaning practices across industries.”

IPC-1402 is expected to be available in February 2022. (CD)

Market Watch
EDITED by CHELSEY DRYSDALE
US Manufacturing Indices
MAY
JUN.
JUL.
AUG.
SEP.
PMI
61.2
60.6
59.5
59.9
61.1
New orders
67.0
66.0
64.9
66.7
66.7
Production
58.5
60.8
58.4
60.0
59.4
Inventories
50.8
51.1
48.9
54.2
55.6
Customer inventories
28.0
30.8
25.0
30.2
31.7
Backlogs
70.6
64.5
65.0
68.2
64.8
Source: Institute for Supply Management, Oct. 1, 2021
Key Components
APR.
MAY
JUN.
JUL.
AUG.
Semiconductor equipment billings1
50.3%
53.1%
59.2%
49.8%r
37.6%p
Semiconductors2
21.8%
26.2%
29.2%
29.6%r
29.7%p
PCBs3 (North America)
1.16
1.11
1.15
1.29
1.48
Computers/electronic products4
5.18
5.24
5.26
5.27r
5.27p
Sources: 1SEMI, 2SIA (3-month moving average growth), 3IPC, 4Census Bureau, ppreliminary, rrevised
ROI
The Supply Chain Worked Great. Until It Didn’t.
The current crisis was years in the making.
One of the biggest current concerns for the economy, in virtually every country in the world, is the state of the global supply chain. Whether discussing the shortage of chip’s impact on the auto industry or the shortage of paper goods (think toilet paper), all fingers point to a supply chain that is showing signs of fatigue.

To fully appreciate the situation we face, one needs to first look at how the supply chain got to this point.

Historically companies strived for a fully integrated manufacturing capability, so materials, parts, subassemblies, etc., were designed and controlled by the company that produced the end-product they were to be used in. As an example, an automaker would own the steel mill, glass-making facility, radio manufacturer, paint factory, etc., so virtually all parts that went into their automobiles were manufactured – controlled – by one company. Shortages, if and when they occasionally might occur, could be quickly rectified by moving resources around within the parent company to increase supply of needed items.

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FOCUS ON BUSINESS
Coping with Supply Chain Disruptions: An EMS Owner’s View
Extended lead times, fake parts, 300% price hikes: What could be next?
It’s commonplace among electronics manufacturing services companies to develop workarounds for problems that crop up quickly, or to think on our feet to find ways to deal with seemingly insurmountable obstacles. Worldwide supply chain disruptions are not unusual to the electronics design and assembly and design industry. The current situation is exceptional, however, and its causes wide-ranging, but of course we still must get the product built and shipped to the customer. That doesn’t change.

The current shortage of parts came as no surprise: We saw the writing on the wall some four or five months ago. Anticipating problems is critical in this business. We secured large quantities of components that, for example, we knew were becoming very hard to find but also required for current and future customer builds. Indeed, some parts now have lead times of up to two years, such as certain types of FPGAs, microcontrollers, and other types of ICs. Unfortunately, this means larger-than-normal inventory on hand and at our partners’ locations, which is contrary to our “just in time” operational model.

Designer’s notebook
Component Footprint Differences between Rigid and Flex Circuits
Flexible printed circuits have unique requirements for footprints owing to the nature of their application.
Here is another lesson I learned the hard way: taping out an FPC (flex printed circuit) using the usual components and finding it doesn’t really work that way. Several things separate a rigid board from a flex. One of the main tenets behind the different design rules is reducing the risk of the circuit peeling up when it gets flexed. Even without continuous flexing, a flex circuit can be under tension where it is folded, twisted, spindled or mutilated.

Ah, but the flexible section is generally not where we install components. Normally, a stiffener covers part of the flex, and components are on the other side. Therefore, it is rigid, right? Not really. Most stiffeners used on flex circuits have a degree of flex to them. Flex stack-ups are intended to be as thin as possible; it’s one of their advantages. Even stainless-steel versions have some give. Many are made of FR-4 or another layer of polyimide, not all that stout.

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material gains
Getting Up to Speed
Even our wildest predictions for new technologies like the IIoT could be too modest.
“One day there will be a telephone in every major city in the USA.” This outrageous assertion, attributed to Alexander Graham Bell, illustrates the difficulty we face in trying to grasp the full potential of great opportunities. He also suggested – presumably later – that “the day is coming when telegraph wires will be laid onto houses just like water or gas – and friends converse with each other without leaving home.”

And so it is, I’m sure, with the Internet of Things (IoT). It’s just getting started. Of course, great claims have been made, particularly on the number of devices that will become connected. The IPv6 address space permits more connections than we can practically contemplate. But it’s the types of applications and services, the capabilities we will gain by leveraging data from IoT devices, that will change the way we live and work in ways we cannot conceive right now.

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The DIGITAL Route
A Grand Announcement!
The PCEA is about to be reshaped in ways none could have imagined.
What other than a dynamic organization like the PCEA could decide it wants to establish a trade show footprint one month and then muster the creative talents of its executive staff to design a trade show booth to exhibit at DesignCon the next? Oh, and then exhibit at another major trade show like PCB West only a short time after? I’ll tell you, the PCEA has a momentum the likes of which I and many others have not seen in this industry.

I do not use “momentum” lightly. Because like the shiny, spherical bob of a pendulum in a Newtonian mechanics experiment, the leadership of this organization seems to be able to swoop down from their rightward (positive) displacement, pass their zero position goal of achieved success and still have enough momentum to reach their leftward displacement, where they tend to set yet another, even loftier goal. The harmonic motion repeats but, unlike a pendulum, appears to gain energy rather than lose it to physical pseudoforces.

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standards
Data Exchange Was Dead. Then a Deal Was Forged.
A decade in, IPC-2581 Consortium members say the pursuit toward widespread adoption of the vendor-neutral standard was well worth the rigorous effort. by Chelsey Drysdale
Few engineers working in electronics manufacturing today predate the first efforts to develop and implement an industry-wide standard for intelligent electronics data transfer.

As early CAD tools were introduced in the late 1960s and early 1970s, IPC launched a vendor-neutral effort to describe electronics design data from schematic through test.

Meanwhile, Gerber Scientific had developed in the 1960s the common generic (read: unintelligent) format, colloquially known as Gerber, to describe information sent to its photoplotters. In the early 1980s, Gerber adopted and adapted the format for broader printed circuit board manufacturing.

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cleaning
Understencil Wipe Cleaning Yield Improvements
A study of the behavior of flux-stencil interactions.
by MIKE BIXENMAN, DBA
Understencil wiping has gained increased interest over the past several years. Changes in circuit design due to miniaturized components and highly dense interconnects have increased the importance of stencil cleanliness, both inside the aperture wall and on the seating surface of the stencil. A technology that wets the understencil wipe with a solvent-based cleaning agent is being studied to improve print performance and better understand the behavior of flux-stencil interactions. The cleaning agent dissolves the flux component of the solder paste to improve solder ball release from the stencil’s bottom side and aperture walls.

Kyzen and Indium performed a study to characterize the relationship between wipe processes and bottom-side stencil flux/paste flow. A highly dense circuit board and a stencil with nanocoating was used to study the effects of the understencil wiping process. After each print, the stencil was removed from the stencil printer. The apertures were examined to inspect buildup in both the apertures and bottom side of the stencil. FIGURE 1 shows the flux vehicle and some trace solder balls following the first print.

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parts rework
BGA Removal Using Focused IR
By concentrating heat onto the part, the BGA avoids excessive temperature. by Vardaan Monga
Recently, a customer asked if we could remove a valuable BGA from an existing circuit card assembly. About 1,000 of these BGAs could be removed. Our customer is a reclamation company, and they planned to resell the BGAs, which could fetch upwards of $400 each because of the current chip shortage.

The BGA itself is an older version of the Intel Altera family of products (FIGURE 1). While deemed obsolete by the manufacturer, the part is certainly usable, and due to the chip shortage, our customer might understandably obtain a good price for these older parts, which can be used as replacements for newer models.

the inventors
Volthub: Connecting the Supply Chain
A new platform for streamlining procurement takes shape.
by Mike Buetow
Supply chain has been the story of the past year, and a new face to the industry proposes to help resolve that by connecting electronics engineers with printed circuit board assemblers.

Vincent Bedát is a mechanical engineer and recent MBA graduate of the MIT Sloan School of Management. He is also founder of a San Francisco-based startup called Volthub. I came across Volthub as part of an announcement of the finalists for the MIT $100K Entrepreneurship Competition. That program has various aspects to it, but in short it’s a way to match early-stage teams with industry experts and entrepreneurs, and perhaps gain some seed money along the way. Some of the companies that have been part of the competition over the years include HubSpot and Akamai Technologies.

Bedát hails from Zurich, Switzerland, where he also studied, graduating with a master’s in mechanical engineering from ETH Zurich. He then went on to work at the robotics startup Synapticon in Stuttgart, Germany, as a mechanical engineer and eventually project manager.

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Conductive Adhesives
Will ECAs Finally Stick?
A new study reveals emerging applications for attaching very-fine-pitch parts using low-temp methods.
by Mike Buetow.
Electrically conductive adhesives (ECAs) have been touted for decades as a potential replacement for solder. Technology roadmaps by organizations ranging from IPC to the Surface Mount Council often listed ECAs as a “coming” technology, and scores of papers have been presented highlighting possible uses and likely end-products.

In early October, the international research firm IDTechEx released a new study called “Electrically Conductive Adhesives 2022-2032: Technologies, Markets, and Forecasts.” Matthew Dyson, Ph.D., a senior technology analyst at IDTechEx specializing in printed, organic and flexible electronics, spoke with Mike Buetow about the study’s findings.

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Getting Lean
Food-Processing Methodologies Offer Ideas to Chew On
Leveraging centralized resources for efficiencies across three facilities in as many countries.
Some industries have specialized end-market requirements. For example, corporate headquarters in fast food and fast casual restaurants dictate menu items and the equipment needed to support those items by region. Franchisees have choices in equipment configuration and a timeframe in which they need to buy it from a designated food processing original equipment manufacturer (OEM). They typically order very small quantities, however, making it challenging for a food-processing OEM to fulfill orders utilizing a single manufacturing location and centralized stocking model. There are also regional differences in input power voltages, cycles and plug styles. Preferred language for control overlays also varies. This creates a configure-to-order (CTO) dynamic that adds complexity to the variable demand model. Outsourcing adds flexibility to this equation because it gives food-processing OEMs access to shared production resources which help mitigate the production resource utilization inefficiencies that this type of high-mix, variable-demand production can create. It also helps OEMs more easily support a global customer base with minimal investment in production resources.

Regardless of whether the project is outsourced, when these units are manufactured in a single location, the wastes of overproduction, waiting, transportation and inventory are likely to be significant. At the same time, dividing variable-demand, small-lot production among multiple facilities has the potential to create inventory imbalances and production inefficiencies, particularly if the work is divided among contract manufacturers and managed separately by region. Lean manufacturing philosophy provides guidance on finding a balance that supports customer requirements while still leveraging some economies-of-scale.

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Seeing Is Believing
The Customer is Always … Right?
Reading minds is outside our capability.
Running a business is hard. There are many moving parts to contend with, both from the customer’s side and that of the enterprise itself. A knife’s edge of difference enables those parts to work symphonically rather than as a cacophony. The cacophony often prevails. Not for nothing is the practice of good management often characterized as more art than science, especially when “good” is a matter of perspective and bias.

We’re dealing with humans. Most simply want to make a living and provide for those closest to them. For that reason, when studying economics in college long ago, I always found incongruous the assertions of those theorists who tried to reduce human behavior and all its attendant unorthodoxies and irrationality to a series of simultaneous equations. Despite the mathematical elegance, something didn’t fit into such a neat solution. People aren’t abstractions, but I was too young and inexperienced to adequately express my misgivings about the incongruity. Plus, I wanted an A.

Defect of the Month
Poor Fabrication and Rework
Get agreement on what constitutes “rework” – and a capable operator.
This month we look at etching defects and their removal – or presence, as in the case of FIGURE 1. A customer was surprised to find a batch of bare boards with this level of rework.
First, it’s important for customers and their suppliers to define what is considered rework. Excess copper is clearly present under the solder mask and should have been noticed during final inspection, but also long before, during AOI. At that stage, depending on the specification and level of rework required, it may have been better to scrap the panels. If it were a double-sided board, I would scrap the panels. If it were a multilayer board, I would ask the customer if I could rework the boards to reduce delays.

Many skilled operators could have performed this rework much better. Notice the lighter green color in the mask window. This would not be acceptable at any level of international bare board standards.

Example of poor etching
Figure 1. Example of poor etching.
IEEC
State-of-the-Art Technology Flashes
Updates in silicon and electronics technology.
Ed.: This is a special feature courtesy of Binghamton University.
IBM announces 2nm GAA-FET technology. IBM announced its 2-nanometer CMOS technology, developed at its Albany research center. The development has technical firsts: the use of bulk Si wafers with bottom dielectric isolation under the nanosheet stack; reducing leakage and enabling 12-nnm gate lengths; a second-generation inner spacer dry process for precise gate control; FEOL EUV patterning to allow nanosheet widths from 15 to 70nm; and a novel multi-Vt scheme. This technology is expected to give a 45% performance boost or 75% power reduction, compared with the 7nm. (IEEC file #12324, Semiconductor Digest, 6/11/21)
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Molex 5G25
Molex 5G25
Flex-to-Board RF mmWave connector 5G25 meets 5G mmWave applications requiring signal integrity at higher frequencies up to 25GHz. Micro connector enables optimization of high-speed 5G components, while alleviating space constraints. Supports high-speed data transmission; offers protection from harsh environmental conditions. Features signal pitch of 0.35mm, mated body height of 0.6mm, body width of 2.5mm and length of 3.6mm. Combines RF and non-RF signals.
Molex
Sabic SD1100P
Sabic SD1100P
SD1100P high-purity dianhydride powder for polyimide films is for use in 5G flexible circuits, colorless displays and other flexible electronics applications. This 4,4′-bisphenol A dianhydride powder helps produce high molecular weight PI formulations that can improve balance between thermal and mechanical properties. Features lower Dk and Df, reduced water absorption and improved metal adhesion for creating films and varnishes used in copper-clad laminates, coverlays and adhesives.
Sabic
DownStream CAM350 v. 14.6
DownStream CAM350 v. 14.6
CAM350 v. 14.6 includes enhanced support for flex/rigid-flex and embedded component visualization in 2-D and 3-D environments. Upgrades DfM analysis capability to support rigid-flex and inter-layer analysis. Rigid-flex analysis focuses on flexible conductive layers and coverlayers. Analyzes flexible trace layers for conditions that potentially lead to trace fracture such as vias, trace corners, or solid copper areas in bend areas.
DownStream Technologies
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Machines Materials Tools Systems Software
Viscom iX7059 XL
Viscom iX7059 XL
iX7059 Heavy Duty Inspection XL offers rapid handling of inspection objects weighing up to 40kg and 3-D AXI with powerful radiation. Handles encased components and power electronics requirements. Extended longboard option for PCBAs measuring up to 1600 mm.
Viscom
Koh Young Meister D+ True3D
Koh Young Meister D+ True3D
Meister D+ True3D inspection system inspects solder paste, printed bumps, solder balls, components down to 0201M (008004), and die with 10µm bump height and 5µm gap spacing using eight-projector probe. Performs MCM/SiP/chiplet inspection with integrated measurement and defect analysis software built on AI engine. User-friendly GUI and programming wizards. IPC-CFX-2591, IPC-HERMES-9852, and IPC-DPMX-2581 compatible.
Koh Young
Mek ISO-Spector M2
Mek ISO-Spector M2
ISO-Spector M2 inline 3-D AOI has redesigned chassis; accommodates larger boards (510mm x 460mm), including optional angular camera in smaller footprint. Conveyor system with pneumatic drives reduces handling times 27%. High-res 25MP camera with advanced lens optics, FoV of 69mm x 69mm and 4x multi-frequency Moiré projectors.
Mek (Marantz Electronics)
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Productronica Preview: Machines, Materials, Tools, Systems, Software
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Machines, Materials, Tools, Systems, Software typography
Koh Young Meister D+ True3D
Koh Young Meister D+ True3-D Inspection System
Meister D+ True3-D inspection system is for chiplets and system-in-package devices, including die and surface mount components. Inspects solder paste, printed bumps, and solder ball to small components like 0201Ms and highly reflective die. Is for component and die inspection, while delivering accurate inspection from eight-projector probe. Targets MCM/SiP/chiplet inspection with integrated measurement and defect analysis software built on AI engine. Beyond 0201M (008004) microchips, 10µm bump height, and 5µm gap spacing, it detects die defects like micro-cracks, chippings, and foreign material. Supports missing, offset, rotation, polarity, dimension, and co-planarity. Has Moiré technology, 12mp/5µm optics, and 300mm2/sec. inspection speed. User-friendly GUI and programming wizards. IPC-CFX-2591, IPC-HERMES-9852, and IPC-DPMX-2581 compatibility.
Koh Young
Kulicke & Soffa iFlex  Placement Machine
Kulicke & Soffa iFlex Placement Machine
iFlex placement machine includes new XT placement head with side-view camera system for vision on the fly and component heights of 21 to 21mm; larger touch-screen monitors; new SlimFit feeder system with up to 126 spaces for 8mm component rolls; improved framework and safety concept; powerful system controller with latest Windows operating system.
Kulicke & Soffa
Shenmao Introduces PF606-P245X Solder Paste
Shenmao Introduces PF606-P245X Solder Paste
PF606-P245X solder paste has wide reflow window. Can fit into process of complicated PCB designs. Special alloy design improves electronics assembly product life. Developed for high-speed network and communication applications. Provides long-term stability over wide range of temperature conditions. No-clean paste provides consistent printing performance, low voiding, stable viscosity life, and excellent testability.
Shenmao
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Technical Abstracts
In Case You Missed It
Computer Memory
“Ultralow-Switching Current Density Multilevel Phase-Change Memory on a Flexible Substrate”

Authors: Asir Intisar Khan, et al.

Abstract: Phase-change memory (PCM) is a promising candidate for data storage in flexible electronics, but its high switching current and power are often drawbacks. In this study, the authors demonstrate a switching current density of ~0.1MA per sq. cm. in flexible superlattice PCM, a value that is one to two orders of magnitude lower than in conventional PCM on flexible or silicon substrates. This reduced switching current density is enabled by heat confinement in the superlattice material, assisted by current confinement in a pore-type device and the thermally insulating flexible substrate. The authors’ devices also show multilevel operation with low-resistance drift. The low switching current and good resistance on/off ratio are retained before, during, and after repeated bending and cycling. These results pave the way to low-power memory for flexible electronics and provide key insights for PCM optimization on conventional silicon substrates. (Science, Sept. 10, 2021, https://www.science.org/doi/10.1126/science.abj1261)

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