• Webinars and Panel Discussions​

    A series of weekly webinars and/or panel discussions. Trevor Galbraith invites technical experts from around the world to commentate and opine on a range of technical subject and/or processes.

    Should OEM’s bring manufacturing back in-house?

    Protection and lack of supply chain and manufacturing visibility are driving OEMs to reconsider their outsourcing strategies, especially given the efforts to be more sustainable and reduce the length of their supply chain and carbon footprint. Is it time to reverse this process?

    Storage Solutions, Counting Systems and AVI’s

    If you don’t know what you have and where it is located, you cannot achieve JIT manufacturing and you lack the flexibility to handle a volatile supply chain. This panel discusses the biggest revolution in materials handling in recent years.

    High reliability in harsh environments

    As electronics manufacturing expands into new applications, an increasing number of harsh environment applications ranging from EV to Down-hole and Aerospace. This panel will discuss materials and strategies to protect electronics assemblies in these conditions.

    Eliminating counterfeits from your supply chain

    Counterfeit components have proliferated through the Covid pandemic and have become ever-more sophisticated. This panel will discuss a range of counterfeit detection and avoidance techniques.

    Thermal Management in Confined Spaces

    Continued miniaturisation is increasing the challenges for designers and manufacturers to manage thermal loads within assemblies. This panel will discuss materials and methodologies to mitigate these challenges.

    Using X-ray in an EMS production enviroment

    The increasing miniaturization and use of BGAs has made x-ray a “must-have” in any modern EMS factory. This panel will discuss the options and benefits of inline versus at-line x-ray inspection.

    What impact does Advanced Packaging have on “Factory of the Future”

    Advanced Packaging companies and large tier one companies are ‘ahead of the game’ in implementing Factory of the Future, but what can small to mid-sized companies learn from them?

    ESD Challenges and Strategies: What you need to know.

    ESD can cause serious damage to sensitive components on board assemblies, if not carefully manages. This panel will discuss best practice for establishing an ESD strategy in your factory.

    Digital Twin and establishing a Design for Manufacturing (DFM) strategy

    The use of digital twin as a tool to digitally map your board design, materials and processes helps reduce design turns and the time for NPI to reach production. This panel will discuss tips on how to optimize the process using digital twins.

    Component sourcing and supply chain visibility

    As the chip shortage starts to ease later in the year, what are the lessons learned from the recent supply chain shortage and how should OEMs and manufacturers be better-placed to manage these shocks in the future? This will panel will discuss the current status and the future trends and challenges.

    Cleanliness of PC Assemblies and SIR Testing Techniques

    Ensuring cleanliness consistency and the dependability of SIR testing results relies on a variety of factors including the substrate material, test coupon design, paste and coating used etc. This panel discusses how to setup and optimize SIR test coupons to achieve accurate and repeatable results.

    Selective Soldering Do’s and Dont’s

    Bridging, webbbing and solder balls are all common defects in the selective soldering process. This panel will discuss how to avoid these and many more defects and process-related challenges.

    The fundamentals of solder paste technology

    Solder is a critical interconnection material in the electronics manufacturing process. This panel will seek to provide a fundamental guide to all the characteristics that continue to make solder the interconnection of choice for todays PCB assemblies. This will include paste types, powder sizes, the role of flux chemistries, temperature and much more.

    Automating the Materials Flow Within the Factory

    The most common area for automation and optimization in the factory is the materials flow, using component storage towers, x-ray counting systems and AGV’s to deliver materials around the factory. The benefits are obvious – if you can maintain a tighter, more accurate control of your inventory, you can plan better, save money and reduce bottlenecks in your production. This panel will discuss some of the systems and methodologies to automate and optimize the materials flow.

    Advanced Print & Paste Deposition Techniques

    Solder and solder paste can be applied to materials using a variety of techniques, ranging from stencil printing, jetting, sintering and preforms to wafer-bumping, sputtering and direct die attach. This panel will discuss the variety of methods, their use cases and strengths and weaknesses.

    Town Hall Debate: A Supply chain in crisis

    The current supply chain is in crisis and has many ramifications for the electronics industry. What are all the issues and how will this play out? This esteemed panel will discuss the challenges and likely scenairios ahead.

    The Challenges of Manufacturing & Testing 5G Boards and Chipsets

    5G boards are heavier and more densely populated with a large number of chipsets and BTC devices. This panel will discuss the manufacturing challenges for producing reliable and sustainable 5G assemblies.

    Wave Soldering – Do’s and Dont’s

    There are still many companies making thru-hole boards for consumer applications, using wave soldering systems. Setting up these systems and controlling the batch chemistries is key towards achieving consistent and reliable interconnections. This panel will discuss best practices.

    Making x-Ray part of the manufacturing process

    Inline X-Ray inspection continues to proliferate to address the growing number of BTC devices. What is the optimum configuration for these systems and should they be supplemented with an at-line machine for in-depth troubleshooting. This panel will discuss the options.

    Automating the automatic inspection process

    Inspection is performed at various points on the production line and acts as the eyes and ears of a data-driven decision process. For manufacturers seeking data-driven continuous improvement, where should they focus their efforts and what process parameters should they be measuring to improve their first pass yield. This panel will address many of these questions.

    Component counting systems – a critical building block in factory automation

    The ability to know exactly where your inventory is, track MSD devices across multiple lines and jobs is critical to optimizing factory operations and saving cost. This panel wil discuss the many benefits and options to consider when specifying counting systems.


    Failure Analysis for BGAs and bottom-terminated components

    Failure Analysis labs have a variety of tools they can use to determine field failures. This panel will discuss the best available techniques to determine the likely causes of BTC devices failures.

    Cleaning and surface preparation – what you need to know

    Removing volatiles and contaminants from the PCB is becoming increasingly difficult with miniaturization. This panel will examine wet and dry cleaning technologies, cleanliness requirements for EV and 5G applications, cleanliness testing options and the challenges posed with miniaturization.

    Soldering for Harsh Environments

    Manufacturing PCBAs for harsh environment applications poses a number of challenges. This panel will focus on soldering materials and reliability of BTC devices and connectors.

    Robotic Soldering – When does it make sense?

    Robotic soldering is quickly becoming more affordable and effective in electronics assembly. This panel will discuss the latest developments and benefits of introducing this key technology.

    Conformal Coatings – Applications and best practice

    Conformal coatings are expanding by application, but process knowledge on how to apply coating and avoid defects or field failures is a key concern. This panel will discuss best practices on handling, storing, and applying coatings to gain optimum adhesion and coverage.

    Eliminating Paste-related Defects in the Printing Process

    Many industry reports state that 60-70% of defects emanate from the printer. The vast majority of these are paste-related. This panel will discuss the many ways of limiting paste-related defects in the manufacturing process.

    Thermal Interface Materials (TIMs) – Driving the heat out of the process

    Miniaturisation, 5G and other emerging technologies are increasing the need for better thermal management of sensitive package devices on the boards. Thermal Interface Materials (TIMs) are devolping at a rapid pace to meet this need. This panel will discuss the options for materials and application technologies.

    Integrating legacy equipment into a Smart Factory

    The journey towards a Smart Factory requires the integration of existing and legacy equipment. What are the options and what data should you be trying to extract. These questions and more will be answered by our expert panel.

    Supply Chain Challenges in a Post-Covid World

    Semiconductor shortages, second-sourcing and tracking component availability are all becoming part of the norm in a post-COVID world. Add to this the political drive towards regionization of the supply chain and it becomes increasingly difficult for EMS companies to navigate these waters. This panel will try to add some clarity and suggested strategies to this debate.

    Void Formation in Solder Joints – Causes and Cures

    Voiding in solder joints can impact the tensile strength and conductivity of the solder joint. This panel will discuss the causes, cures and best practice to avoid or limit voids in the assembly process.

    Optimizing Box Build to Reduce Footprint, Scrap and Improve Quality

    The box build area within most factories are labor intensive and inefficient. Introducing automatic handling, inspection and assembly improves throughput, quality and reliability, while reducing cost. This panel will discuss strategies for optimizing parts of the box build assembly process.

    Dispensing and jetting materials in electronics assembly

    Dispensers are increasingly being asked to dispense an increasing list of materials, ranging from solder pastes to encapsulants, underfills, coatings and more through needles, valves and jets into smaller and more challenging geometries on the board. This panel will discuss tips and best practice on how to achieve reliable interconnections.

    Optimizing modern pick and place system for high-mix manufacturing

    Increasing customization and smaller job lots are driving an increase in high-mix manufacturing. This panel will discuss strategies to optimize the changeover process and limit machine downtime.

    Rework – best practice hand soldering, desoldering and BGA reballing

    There are many tips and tricks involved in successfully desoldering, reballing and soldering BGA packages and other bottom-terminated components. This panel will share their respective expertise on the topic.

    Thermal Profiling – optimizing the reflow process

    Low temperature solders, miniaturization and the growing range of new flux chemistries all increase the need for tighter tolerances on the reflow profile. This panel will discuss the challenges and solutions for addressing these issues.

    Step stencils and alternatives for large, odd-form components

    When to use and when to avoid step-stencils will be discussed in this panel, along with tips on how to optimize printing with step stencils.

    Line management tools for optimizing production flow and yield

    Controlling and optimizing production equipment, materials flow within the factory and to the line and expanding automation in the final box build arena are critical to the Factory of The Future. This panel will examine the latest solutions as we head towards the reality of a ‘lights-out factory environment”.

    Selective soldering do’s and don’ts

    Selective soldering has replaced or augmented wave soldering in all, but a handful of cases. The increasing complexity of boards, miniaturization and the increasingly high-mix environment, all present process challenges. This panel will discuss the do’s and don’ts of choosing and working a selective soldering system.

    Low temperature solders – revisited

    Following the highly successful panel discussion in June, we are revisiting this topic to learn more about some of the latest techniques, materials and processes to meet the challenge of working with low-temp solders.

    Potting, Encapsulating and Underfilling

    Potting, encapsulating and underfills are all essential procedures in the assembly process. With miniaturization makes accurate, void-free processing important to maintain adequate support, protection and reliability. This panel will discuss the do’s and don’ts of these processes.

    Effective test strategies for assembled boards

    Post-reflow there are a variety of test procedures to check the efficacy of the assembled PCBA, ranging from AOI to ICT, Boundary Scan, Functional Test and Flying Probe. This panel will discuss the benefits of each test methodology and tips on how optimize test procedures for assembled boards.

    Automating the materials flow within the factory

    Social distancing, factory relocation, increasing skews etc. are all driving the need for further automation of the materials within the factory. How should companies plan and implement these changes and how do strategies differ for high mix/low volume to high volume/low mix.

    Cleanliness of PC Assemblies and SIR Testing Techniques

    As the demand for board cleanliness rises with the increased miniaturization of assemblies, the need for fast and accurate cleanliness testing increases. This panel will explore the options.

    Advanced print and paste deposition techniques

    Achieving 100% paste volume in the print process directly correlates to solder joint reliability. This panel will discuss the do’s and don’ts of printer setup, stencil design and paste deposition to increase solder joint reliability in the assembly process.

    Preventing warpage in PCBs and semiconductor packages

    Increased thermal stress across a smaller board real estate with tighter geometries is increasing the opportunities for warpage during the manufacturing process. This panel will discuss the challenges and strategies on how to prevent warpage.

    Is the Void Avoidable?

    Voiding in Bottom Terminate Components is a challenging industry problem. There are many approaches to limit and mitigate the effects of voiding. This panel will take a deep dive into the options.

    Electronics Town Hall

    Should we bring manufacturing back from China, and if so, what needs to change to make this happen?

    The basis of any relationship is trust and in recent months many countries have had their trust tested to the limit with the Chinese government.

    Flagrant disregard for Intellectual Property rights, covert operations within major Chinese companies and even students working internationally, cover-ups over the Coronavirus pandemic and the refusal to supply much needed PPE and other Just-in-Time provisions has dented our trust in China as a trading partner.

    China remains a key market that few major companies can ignore, but recent events are driving many countries to look for strategies to reshore critical manufacturing and mitigate their risk exposure. But no matter where you relocate your manufacturing, the majority of PCBs and components still comes from China. What needs to change?

    Making x-Ray part of the manufacturing process

    Ever since bottom-terminated devices were introduced onto printed board assemblies, there has been a need for x-ray. Now, with lead-free solders, miniaturization and the rise in high reliability electronics, these systems are an essential part of the mix. How can they most effectively be included as an integral part of manufacturing process?

    Failure Analysis for BGAs and bottom-terminated components

    Defects in BTCs are particularly difficult to diagnose because they are hidden and can only be viewed using x-ray. This panel will discuss the range of defects found in BTCs, methods for diagnosing and testing these devices.

    Automating the automatic inspection process

    In recent years inspection system have become considerably more sophisticated, offering a range of tools and capabilities that help operators identify potential defects quicker and earlier in the process and provide real-time metrology and traceability. Using these tools to improve the manufacturing process is providing real benefits to manufacturers. This panel will discuss the various upgrade paths manufacturers should consider and where they are likely to obtain the best performance results.

    Thermal Interface Materials (TIMS) – Driving the Heat out of the Process

    Increasing miniaturisation and reduced board real estate are driving the industry to look for ever more effective TIMs to evacuate the heat away from sensitive devices. This panel will examine and discuss the various thermal interface materials available and their use cases and effectiveness.

    Trevor Galbraith is joined by Richard Boyle (Henkel), Tim Jensen (Indium Corporation) and Matt Wrosch (EMD Performance Materials).

    Cleaning and Surface Preparation: What you need to know

    Reduced geometries are driving the increased need for cleaning. The higher density of components is making surface preparation and surface tension more important. This panel will discuss some of the options.

    Recent advances in low-temperature solders

    Low-temperature solders were developed for some very specific applications. However, the increased reliability and reduced stress on the board and it’s components is making them more appealing to a wider range of applications.

    Robotic soldering: When does it make sense?

    There are definite advantages to using robotic soldering; increased reliability, zero downtime and others. But it needs to be weighed against the programing time, volume of each production run etc. This panel will discuss the strengths and weaknesses.

    Automation and energy conservation in the reflow process

    Reflow ovens are one of the most expensive pieces of production equipment to run. They consume large amounts of electricity and in many cases nitrogen. This panel will discuss methods to reduce energy costs and optimize nitrogen consumption.

    How far have you really progressed towards a Smart Factory?

    Despite the reams of pages that have been written about the transition to a smart factory, the actual implementation has been relatively small, with all but the largest companies taking a holistic approach. This panel will discuss some strategies and how to lay the groundwork for what lies ahead.

    Panel Debate: Coronavirus Supply Chain Disruptions

    COVID-19 has caused severe supply chain disruptions and has affected almost every facet of our daily lives. What will the landscape look like after this disease passes and how will the electronics manufacturing industry adjust to mitigate the risk in the future.

    Eliminating Paste-related defects in the printing process

    Industry Standards for SMT Manufacturing

    Industry Standards provide the backbone upon which all other machines, processes and systems can interconnect in the factory. IPC and SEMI are at the forefront of the Standards within the electronics manufacturing community. This session will present three Industry Standards for i4.0 and for use in the Smart Factory, including the new Digital Twin Standard from IPC. This series of presentations were recorded at the eSmart Factory Conference in San Jose on March 4-5th and at a Webinar on April 14th, 2020.

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