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SMT & Inspection | January 27, 2006

"Technology must change within 5 years"

DEK has set out a vision for the future that demands wafer level accuracy, six-sigma repeatability and first time print as fundamental capabilities for next generation screen printing in SMT and semiconductor assembly.
“Without each of these capabilities, assemblers will not succeed commercially,” said Rich Heimsch. “There is no alternative route to achieving the very high resolution, high-speed and low levels of defects or rework necessary to win and retain customers and operate profitably. It is crucial as long as margins and product and technology lifecycles continue to rapidly diminish.”

Explaining that around five years now represents a complete generation, in technology terms, Rich Heimsch, president of DEK International, described DEK's over-arching goal to deliver technologies for future generations, ahead of customer demand. “Tomorrow's EMS sector needs technology partners that can correctly identify coming trends, and perfect new solutions and techniques ahead of the curve. This will be the key to retaining existing customers and winning new business to consistently grow market share.

“We are continually evolving the tools of each new generation,” continued Heimsch, who says process solutions providers must also use technology to streamline setup, optimisation and management of advanced processes, and to reduce the influence of operators' judgement on productivity and end of line yield. “Our sector must deliver, in this respect, to allow assemblers to quickly introduce new products and advanced processes including wafer level processes such as chip scale packaging, flip-chip assembly and direct chip attach.”

One way in which DEK is achieving these goals is by innovating intuitive software residing between the user and the machine itself. DEK's Instinctiv™ and Interactiv™ software tools support remote monitoring and diagnostics, on-board error recovery and internet-based help, to enable faster setup, changeover and troubleshooting of complex, precision processes. In practice, users are finding that this function-rich software layer enables first time print when setting up a new process. By reducing the setup process to a series of menu selections requiring minimal experience on the part of the operator, Instinctiv allows operators to setup complex processes that traditionally require the experience and confidence of senior technical staff. This allows assemblers to introduce new products more quickly and ensure faster turnaround, while also reducing the cost per unit produced.

Alongside the Interactiv software, which is DEK's Internet-based support package, DEK's new Instinctiv user interface combines with DEK's latest machine control infrastructure based on Controller Area Network (CAN) technology to support remote diagnostics. This ISCAN™ (Intelligent Scalable CAN) infrastructure supports sophisticated communications with all machine subsystems, sensors and actuators across a network, enabling remote diagnostics. ISCAN also eliminates the traditional wiring loom thereby also reducing machine build time and enhancing reliability.

According to DEK, future progress will also require solution providers to challenge accepted wisdom on aspects such as motion control and inspection, and to innovate radically new solutions. Rich Heimsch outlined another example where this approach has directly influenced product development at DEK. “By distilling the inspection process down to the purest quality objective, that of isolating defective units implementing high-speed verification, we created the new DEK Hawkeye™ system. Hawkeye secures powerful savings in cycle time for our customers, while preventing faulty boards from passing through to downstream processes.”

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