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Test and Inspection Articles
ITM Publishes Automated Optical Inspection (AOI) Report (Dec 11, 2009)

ITM Marketing released a report providing a comprehensive analysis of the automated optical inspection (AOI) system offerings for the electronics assembly industry.

AOI and SPI: Can Inspection Equipment Makers Successfully Do Both? (Nov 23, 2009)

Several inspection companies debuted new models at productronica 2009 in Munich, Germany, with traditionally solder paste inspection (SPI) companies entering the automated optical inspection (AOI) market, and vice versa. While inspection companies have steadily pushed for optical inspection earlier in the SMT assembly line (pre-reflow), this move was markedly widespread, with Koh Young, Mirtec, Marantz, Viscom, and others looking to capture market share outside of their core inspection sector.

New Test and Inspection Products (Nov 17, 2009)

JTAG Technologies released JTAG Live; Surface Mount Technology Corp debuted the SMART platform; Pickering Interfaces introduced RF Matrix LXI switches; Vi TECHNOLOGY upgraded its inspection offerings; Marantz entered solder paste inspection (SPI); and ASSET debuted IC test.

Test Program Set (TPS) Migration: ROI for Functional Test Upgrade (Nov 3, 2009)

Test program set (TPS) migration solutions address the problem of legacy automated test equipment (ATE) systems that support validation of military/aerospace systems experiencing end of life (EOL) issues. Robert Peet, SEICA, will review a cross section of ATE systems from both a hardware and software perspective, with specific emphasis on the challenges and solutions for test program sets using LASAR™ simulation. Migrating existing TPS from legacy systems* to current technology can be done at considerably reduced time and cost with modern TPS software migration tools. These allow for easy conversion and migration of functional test (FT) programs, with minimal debug. By retaining features such as guided probe, fault dictionary, and many others, test programs developed as far back as the 1970s are easily ported to state-of-the-art testers without losing functionality. Legacy programs can also be enhanced (post-migration) with new software tools. Modern migration tools, combined with hardware advances, can improve test coverage and diagnostic capabilities.

Test and Inspection Round Up: The Equipment Users' Needs (Nov 2, 2009)

In Part I of this article, we asked test and inspection equipment providers for their perspectives on equipment evolution and contemporary challenges. In Part II, we ask what test and inspection customers want from their equipment, and look at examples of difficult test/inspection problems and how to solve them.

Surface Mount Technology Industry News
FINE LINE STENCIL to Install LPKF ScanCheck System in San Jose Facility (Dec 11, 2009)

Stencil product manufacturer FINE LINE STENCIL, a division of FCT Assembly, will install an LPKF ScanCheck system in its San Jose, CA stencil facility. The LPKF ScanCheck system can be used to examine stencils and masks made with any technology including laser cut, chemical etch, or electro-forming. The system checks for three parameters and detects apertures that are missing, placed incorrectly, or are the incorrect size, based on the Gerber artwork files. Accurate stencil apertures can prevent printing defects in SMT assembly.

Qualcomm's Viterbi Receives IEEE Medal of Honor (Dec 10, 2009)

Global technical professional association IEEE announced that IEEE Life Fellow Andrew J. Viterbi, co-founder of Qualcomm Incorporated and developer of wireless technologies that became the international standard for third-generation cellular phones, has been named the 2010 IEEE Medal of Honor recipient. The Medal of Honor, IEEE’s highest award, will be presented June 26, 2010, in Montreal, Quebec, Canada as part of IEEE’s annual Honors Ceremony.

Juki's Japan Headquarters Move to Tama City (Dec 8, 2009)

Juki Corporation completed construction of its new headquarters and R&D facilities in Tama-shi, Tokyo. The expanded facilities combine the company’s headquarters and R&D functions to speed process development and enhance operational efficiency.

Smartphone Shipments to Reach 235M Units Next Year (Dec 7, 2009)

Global shipments of cellphones (excluding white-brand models) are forecasted to grow 12% to 1.33 billion units in 2010, including 235 million smartphones, after holding steady in 2009, reports Quincy Liang of China Economic News Service (CENS). The prediction was made by the Topology Research Institute (TRi), a private market-research firm in Taiwan.

Present at a Major 2010 Electronics Tradeshow Conference (Dec 4, 2009)

IPC APEX EXPO (April 6–9 in Las Vegas) and SMTA International (October 24–28 in Orlando, FL) are accepting abstracts for the technical conference programs.

Current Issue
Volume 23, Issue 6
November 2009
Test and Inspection Videos
Gabe Gonzalez, SPEA, shows SMT a flying probe ICT system that tests to specifications for fast, economical component-level test.; board test; component verification; flying probe; ICT; in-circuit test; test; Jon Dupree, YXLON, describes the importance of X-ray inspection for new packages, sophisticated PCBs, and harsh-environment assemblies.; Computed Tomography; CT; embedded PCB; harsh environment; HDI; packages; X-ray inspection; Brian D'Amico, president, Mirtec, demonstrates laser AOI and other features on their inspection systems.; AOI; automatic optical inspection; laser inspection; lifted leads; Mirtec; Christian Munoz, Hirox, shows us their new digital microscope with plastic prism, inspecting a reflowed BGA.; BGA inspection; digital microscope; Hirox; low-cost inspection; SMTAI; Michael Konrad, SMT advisor, shows us Aqueous?s Trident cleaning equipment. The system prewashes, washes, dries, and cleanliness tests at each rinse cycle. ; aqueous; cleaning; cleanliness test; defluxing; PCB cleanliness; SMTAI; trident; Agilent?s sj5000 is featured, performing an AOI scan on a post-reflow assembly. The company also is highlighting lead ringer technology. ; Agilent; AOI; lead ringer; optical inspection; PCB inspection; post-reflow; pre-reflow; SMTAI; Al Cabral, marketing manager, VJ Electronix, demonstrates solder rework and X-ray inspection with the company's new machines.; 2D X-ray; manual inspection; rework; VJ Electronix; X-ray inspection; Paul Walter, Dage, shows Gail Flower their quick-view CT, dual-monitor operator interface, and XD7500 NT inspection system. ; AOI; apex; AXI; computerized tomography; CT; Dage; inspection; x-ray; Steve Glass, RMD, demonstrates their handheld XRF elemental analyzer's new features: an ergonomic stand, solder analysis capability, and "Quick Mode."; apex; components; lead-free; rmd; RoHS; Screening; solder analysis; XRF; Mike Foster of Dynatech/Samsung walks Gail Flower through the SM series complete SMT line at the show. Featured equipment includes screen printer, pick-and-place systems, and more.; apex; Dynatech; pick-and-place; printer; samsung; smt line; Volker Pape, founder of Viscom, traces the company timeline and reveals details of the 3088-II mid-range inspection system to Gail Flower.; AOI; apex; AXI; inspection; optical; viscom; x-ray; Paul Ruo, National Sales Manager for Aries, talks to Gail Flower at Semicon West 2008.; Aries Semicon West 2008 packaging; Jim Price of Sony Manufacturing Systems America debuts the SI-P850 screen printer and SI-V200 AOI system to North American assemblers at the show.; AOI; inspection; Printing; screen printer; Sony Manufacturing Systems; Peter van den Eijnden, JTAG, praises the APEX atmosphere and tells Gail Flower about JTAG/boundary scan's capabilities. ; apex; boundary scan; JTAG; test; Don Miller, YESTech, walks us through 3D AXI advances, and the emerging inspection market for conformal coatings.; 3D X-ray; apex; conformal coating; inspection; YESTech; Barbara Duvall, Seica, introduces the Pilot V8 flying prober's features to managing editor Meredith Courtemanche.; apex; flying probe; Seica; test; test point access; Dage's Paul Walter, Managing Director, talks to Gail Flower at Semicon West 2008.; packaging Dage Semicon West 2008; SMT examines the latest AOI, AXI, X-ray and XRF inspection systems, as well as next-generation testers for ICT, functional test, and boundary scan. Reliability concerns are addressed with SIR and ESD testing.
Surface Mount Technology White Papers

Featured White Papers

How "Free" is Your Halogen-Free Solder Paste?
With all the talk of halogen-free in the electronics industry these days, it’s hard to believethat there is actually no official halogen-free legislation – ...
Sponsored By:  Henkel Corporation
Sustainability Commitment A Key Driver for Product Development
There's a lot of talk about sustainability these days. While some firms have truly embraced a plan to drive toward more environmentally responsible products and ...
Sponsored By:  Henkel Corporation
Using Hansen Space to Optimize Solvent Based Cleaning Processes
What is an optimized cleaning process? Is it based solely upon removing the residue, or is it more? Of course it is more. We do not want to remove the labels or ...

Recent White Papers

Tightening Up Type 4
Though the majority of assemblers are using Type 3 solder paste for most of today’s mainstream applications, the prevalence of finer-pitched devices is growing. ...
Sponsored By:  Henkel Corporation
SMT Blog
by SMT Magazine

SMT Magazine's editorial team discusses industry events, trends and important news for electronics manufacturers, IDMs, OEMs and related companies.

Technology for a New Year

Each year brings its own challenges and opportunities. During a recessionary period, people get creative. Though we have struggled for financial security, new ideas and applications in electronics will bring forth growth in the upcoming year. For example,...

Eastern European Near-sourcing on the Rise

Much has been made of the attendance numbers at productronica 2009 this year in Munich, Germany. As economic reports have trumpeted a better 2010, and electronics manufacturers have started to see a ramp in RFQs and orders, productronica’s attendance...