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RoHS | July 10, 2008

iNEMI recommends approaches for managing Pb-Free alloy alternatives

The International Electronics Manufacturing Initiative (iNEMI) has outlined a set of recommendations to help the electronics industry manage Pb-free alloy alternatives. iNEMI’s recommendations support the guidelines developed by the EMS Forum to address these same issues.
Although SAC 305/405 have been the most commonly used Pb-free alloys to date, they do not meet all of industry’s needs for all applications, and new alloy solutions continue to be introduced.

iNEMI recommends the following to help manufacturers manage the use of multiple solder alloys:
• Drive convergence of Pb-free alloys
• Develop an industry-standard assessment methodology
• Establish performance guidelines
• Update standards
• Identify and differentiate alloys

“The industry’s experience with Pb-free processing is still in its infancy and there is much to be learned,” said Jim McElroy, CEO of iNEMI. “It is inevitable that industry will continue to innovate and will develop new solder formulations and fluxes as our experience with Pb-free grows. However, the use of multiple alloys poses several challenges in the manufacturing process and industry needs some way to manage these challenges and limit their impact.”

iNEMI members supporting these recommendations include: Agilent Technologies, Celestica, Cisco, Delphi Electronics & Safety, Flextronics, Hewlett-Packard, Intel, Jabil Circuit, Motorola, Plexus, Sanmina-SCI, Sun Microsystems and Texas Instruments.

“Managing the lead-free solder alloy alternatives is a complex yet critical issue to the industry, and it is imperative for the global industry to take a methodical and holistic approach, balancing the need for innovation and considerations for cost, performance, processes and logistics, as well as standardization,” said Dr. Dongkai Shangguan, Vice President of Technology for Flextronics, Chair of the iNEMI Board Assembly Roadmap and Coordinator of the EMS Forum.

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