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Special Topics: Lean manufacturing & Six Sigma
Lean manufacturing considers the expenditure of resources for any goal other than the creation of value for the end customer to be wasteful, and thus a target for elimination. "Lean" is centered around creating more value with less work.

Six Sigma, using a set of quality management methods, seeks to improve the quality of process outputs by identifying and removing causes of defects and variability in manufacturing. Each Six Sigma project carried out within an organization follows a defined sequence of steps and has quantified financial targets--cost reduction or profit increase.

Kaizen, Japanese for "improvement", focuses on continuous improvement in manufacturing activities.

Statistical Process Control (SPC) is an effective method of monitoring a process through the use of control charts.

Learn about these and other business and process improvement tools and philosophies here.
Articles & Papers
EMS
Monday, June 8, 2009Lean Sigma, an approach that has been in practice for several years, mixes the lean manufacturing concept and problem solving approach with Six Sigma for a more efficient manufacturing process.

Tools & Methods for Lean Production Management in EA
Monday, June 16, 2008Lean manufacturing is far from a new concept, and many within the electronics assembly (EA) industry are already familiar with the principles and concepts behind it.

SPC and usage difficulties in SMT
Tuesday, November 18, 2008The idea of monitoring manufacturing processes using statistical methods goes back to the 1920s when Walter A. Shewhart, an American physicist, engineer and statistician, was engaged by the Western Electric Company in Chicago to find a way to produce their products with a certain quality level. 

Placement optimisation in a lean manufacturing environment
Wednesday, February 6, 2008Tier 2 and Tier 3 EMS companies face increasing pressure from competition in low-cost manufacturing countries to produce assembled boards at lower cost, with increased complexity and to tighter deadlines.

6.10 – Inventory management: combining business intelligence & material handling hardware
Monday, January 8, 2007Most business intelligence (BI) tools and supply chain management (SCM) applications address inventory issues from either a software perspective or a material handling perspective;.
Efficient line changeover: the key to lean manufacturing
Monday, April 6, 2009Changes in the domestic printed circuit board assembly industry have resulted in a dominant shift to a high-mix, low-volume (HMLV) manufacturing environment resulting in a high frequency of line changeovers.

Solder-bearing RF shields streamline PCB assembly, reduce costs, improve quality and eliminate signal leakage
Thursday, October 31, 2013This Tech Bulletin addresses the specific challenges involved with soldering RF shields to PCBs and explains how using solder-bearing technologies to pre-apply solder to the shields can significantly improve assembly processes and productivity, while enhancing quality of the final product.  
This issue has become especially important with the widespread requirements for RF shielding that is used in small form-factor products such as Smartphones, tablets and other handheld devices that require consistent quality within very high-volume production environments.

Nanotechnology and mathematical methods for high–performance thermal interface materials
Monday, June 16, 2008Higher power chips have resulted from a variety of new developments in the electronics industry.

 

Parts management
Tuesday, January 4, 2011Almost 30 years after the fact, we’re still asking PCB designers to “build their own fonts” (so to speak) on a daily basis, to great expense.
 
Videos
Hitachi at IPC APEX Expo 2011
Matt Wyglendowski introduces the new Sigma platform from Hitachi. The focus of the machine is flexibility, high speed placement and accuracy, and offers one of the largest component ranges in the industry.
MYDATA Automation at IPC APEX Expo 2009
Brian Duffey introduces the Flow Line for lean manufacturing.
Valor Division of Mentor Graphics Corporation SMT/HYBRID/PACKAGING 2011
Michael Ford shows off some interesting new materials management products from the Valor Division of Mentor Graphics, which are of incresaing interest to manufacturers during this time of component and materials shortages.
CES14 Audi
Global SMT Columnist Phil Stoten speaks to Marcus Keith, GM, Project Management for AUDI at CES 2014 in Las Vegas
Cogiscan at productronica 2011
Trevor Galbraith interviews André Corriveau, Co-President, Product Management of Cogiscan at productronica 2011 in Munich
Vi Technology at SMT/HYBRID/PACKAGING 2010
Chris Davies, Vi Technology's sales director, shows off the 5K Perform for high-quality, high-reliability detection for boards up to 535 mm square. Equipped with Vi Technology's proven vision technology, it can inspect components down to 01005.
DEK at SMT/HYBRID/PACKAGING 2011
Stefan Techau talks about the three new highlights of their product range: ProActiv, which enhances print quality; Nano-ProTek for coating stencils for improved yield; and HawkEye inspection software.
MVP at APEX IPC Expo
Machine Vision Products had five new product offerings, including the MVP Ultra V which has an accuracy of 3-5 µm, an 8 megapixel camera and a speed increase over its predecessor of 40 percent. The Ultra SPI system is a combination of 2D and 3D with a speed reaching 5" per second. The system uses real-time data resulting in very low false call rates. Another new introduction is the ID Code for bottom side inspection of selective soldering inspection and bar codes. MVP also launched two line management software systems. For more information, please visit: www.machinevisionproducts.com Video Editor: Elisangela Dahlke
WKK TECHNOLOGY PARK
From humble beginnings as a tiny single sided PCB shop in the early 50's, Hong Kong based Wong's Kong King International (Holdings) Limited (WKK) has today become one of the largest electronics industrial equipment distributors in Asia under the stewardship of Chairman and CEO Mr. Senta Wong. Its Electronics Manufacturing Services (EMS) business of WKK Technology Ltd. (WKKT) pulls rank as the world's Top 17th EMS business in 2005, when it made a quantum leap from its 23rd position in 2003. WKK is an EMS company which provides manufacturing services to global customers in the USA, Europe, Japan and Asia Pacific. For us, international certification is critical so there is "common understanding" regarding Quality Level and System which is what WKK strongly stands by. WKK have a specially built leisure facility for their workers and test sources of water and food for their health and wellbeing. They also take care of their people by providing clinical services, convenience store, gymnasium, computer/library, theatre/TV rooms etc. They wholeheartedly encourage everyone to develop whole person skills as they provide ample training and job rotation opportunities. For more information, please visit: http://www.wkkintl.com
From our Columnists
Thermal management, part 2
Friday, August 12, 2011Last month opened this discussion of thermal management, providing background as to the importance of thermal management predicated on transistor density increase, and the rise in on-chip frequencies that are combining to increase thermal energy densities on the IC.
Thermal management, part 1
Wednesday, July 6, 2011As chip features shrink, transistor density increases, on-chip frequencies rise, and so also do the thermal energy densities on the IC.
 
 
Latest SMT Answers questions
There are no questions related to this area at this time. Visit the SMT Answers section to ask your own or explore questions from other process areas and topics.
Latest Products
Innovative filter concept enables long-term cost savings
Thursday, November 27, 2014ULT AG presents an ideally designed filter concept implemented in its extraction and filtration system for laser processes, LAS 260. Due to significantly increased filter life times, users are able to save costs on long-term basis in terms of filter exchange and energy management. Compared with the current state of the art, ULT succeeded in halving filter costs. Consequently, the company introduces an extremely attractive particle filter technology.
Flexible Testing and Programming for all in-line situations
Monday, November 17, 2014Inline Testing and programming of electronic assemblies is now more flexible than ever before, GOEPEL electronics presents the RAPIDO RPS910, a completely new generation of systems for onboard programming of non-volatile memories with Boundary Scan / JTAG testing as an option, to gain confidence in the build quality as early as possible in the production process.
Barry Industries introduces 1kW RF termination to 4.5GHz for basestation, broadcast and radar applications
Monday, November 10, 2014Barry Industries, an ISO9001:2008 certified, ITAR registered manufacturer of high quality thick film resistors, terminations, attenuators and high temperature co-fired ceramic (HTCC) packaging, introduces a RoHS-compliant flange mount RF termination that dissipates 1000W with favorable return loss over a DC to 4.5GHz bandwidth.
Imec manufactures high-quality image detectors for FEI’s scanning electron microscopes
Tuesday, November 4, 2014Nanoelectronics research center imec announced that it has successfully qualified a set of custom high-quality electron detector die products for FEI Company. The dies are manufactured at imec and integrated in FEI’s scanning electron microscopes (SEMs), helping to enhance the tools’ performance and reliability. This milestone achievement is another confirmation of the capability of imec’s 200mm process line, developing and manufacturing custom specialty chip solutions.

Viscom presents new X8068 X-ray inspection system
Tuesday, November 4, 2014Viscom, manufacturers of systems for optical and X-ray inspection, has extended its portfolio in the X-ray inspection range with a new, flexible inspection system. The X8068 universal X-ray inspection system unites the high inspection quality and technology of the proven Viscom X-ray systems with an extended inspection scope for larger electronic assemblies.
Digitaltest announces FailSim
Wednesday, October 29, 2014During the past year Digitaltest has continued to push the boundaries of performance, coverage and ease of use to a new level across all their test platforms. Digitaltest’s new developments include the AMU5 which, provides high performance 5th generation measurement capability for all our systems, New Flying Probe capabilities, enhanced CAD Translation and Quality Management Software.
SolderStar engineers a new profiling platform to ensure quality control of today’s complex technologies
Thursday, October 9, 2014With technologies constantly changing and smaller and more complex designs being developed, it poses a problem in the manufacture of quality printed circuit boards making the use of reflow oven profiling ever more important. With this in mind, SolderStar Ltd, a leading specialist manufacturer in the design and development of thermal profiling equipment for the lead-free electronics industry, has developed the DeltaProbe, a new add-on technology that ensures a quality product.
Intersil announces high efficiency buck-boost and boost+bypass switching regulators for smartphones and tablets
Monday, October 6, 2014Intersil Corporation (NASDAQ: ISIL), a provider of innovative power management and precision analog solutions, announced five new additions to the ISL911xx family of market leading buck-boost and boost switching regulators, optimized to support system power supplies and peripherals such as Wi-Fi or 3G/4G RF power amplifiers.
CyberOptics advances 3D sensor technology with leading-edge capabilities
Tuesday, September 30, 2014Leveraging a 30 year history of pioneering optical technology advancements including digital 3D inspection, CyberOptics now makes a significant step-change in 3D sensing. Delivering advantages that have previously been unachieved in the industry, this technology enables ultra- high quality 3D images at production speeds, using architecturally superior multi-view sensors and Multi-Reflection Suppression technology (MRS).

 
Manufacturers
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