SMT & Inspection | May 21, 2010
Lead-free initiatives expand horizons for selective soldering technology
Selective soldering is being increasingly preferred to traditional wave (using pallets) and hand soldering techniques due to the enhanced capabilities in terms of cost, defect reduction, solder quality, and improved throughput.
Lead-free soldering has enabled selective soldering technology to gain more prominence and wider adoption. The industrial, telecommunication, aerospace, and medical segments are some of the areas where opportunities abound for selective soldering. The technology would be appropriate for electronics assembly manufacturers dealing with mixed technology boards. Currently, selective soldering is gaining traction among contract manufacturers. "The automotive segment has been a vital factor in driving innovations in the selective soldering sector," notes Technical Insights Industry Analyst Kasthuri Jagadeesan. "Moreover, as mission critical applications such as military/defense and homeland security require highly reliable electronic assemblies, selective soldering has proved to be an excellent alternative to wave and hand soldering." Although wave soldering is a traditional technology, the element of competition with selective soldering still exists. Some of the applications still rely on the dexterity of the hand; thus, it is difficult to completely replace hand soldering. Press-fit and pin-in-paste are other competing technologies for selective soldering. A large number of manufacturers compete in the selective soldering space. Major market participants include Pillarhouse, ERSA, Vitronics Soltec, SEHO Systems GmbH, JUKI CORPORATION, ACE Production Technologies Inc, and RPS Automation, LLC. There is an increasing pressure to offer distinctive services in terms of pricing, specifications, performance, brand name, sales, services, and training support. Therefore, profit margins may be influenced, driving the market toward consolidation, finds Frost & Sullivan. Due to intensifying competition, manufacturers are devising pricing strategies, but truncated margins are the inevitable fallout. The gravitation toward low-cost machines could trigger a tradeoff between cost and performance. Manufacturers involved in high-volume production can manage to achieve economies of scale; however, for other manufacturers, price reduction would seriously impair profit margins. Significant price variations exist with different categories of equipment, and this is heavily dependant on the functionalities and level of sophistication provided by the manufacturer. Competition from traditional technologies, improving the performance characteristics of the machines, and lack of standardization are some of the challenges associated with selective soldering technology. There is always a need for high throughput, reduced cycle time, and highly precise selective soldering machines. "Selective soldering is a mature technology and over the past years, research and development activities are directed toward new nozzle designs, modular and flexible machines, multipoint fluxing systems, and low-cost machines," says Jagadeesan. "Some of the manufacturers are interested in integrating inspection systems with the selective soldering machines to monitor solder quality." In future, it is desirable to have a single machine with different soldering capabilities fitting into various production profiles and applications. Manufacturers are contemplating complete transition to surface mount components, though through-hole technology has not been eliminated. Selective soldering will continue to find opportunities as long as through hole components are employed in circuit boards. Taking the wide-angle view, savvy participants would be wise to enter into strategic partnerships with original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) or contract manufacturers to enable the market to move forward in high gear.
Tepcomp invests in new additional production line Finnish EMS provider, Tepcomp Group, has made a significant investment at its production plant in Turku. The new surface mount technology production line will significantly improve the productivity and energy efficiency of the plant.
Valoe is on schedule with both production and expected deliveries Valoe says it will start manufacturing IBC test modules in Juva, Finland in June and cell deliveries from Lithuania to customers is scheduled to start according to plan.
AMTE Power and Britishvolt sign MoU for GigaFactory AMTE Power and Britishvolt plans to investigate collaborating to build the UK’s first full cycle battery cell GigaPlant, servicing the automotive and energy storage markets.
ALLPCB’s new SMT factory has launched production On May 10 2020, ALLPCB’s new – self-operated – SMT factory in Guangde, Anhui Province, China was officially put into production.
Schweizer starts production at its new location in China Following a construction period of one and a half years, production has now started at the company’s new high-tech printed circuit board plant in Jiangsu, China.
Jenoptik supplies generators to a US customer Through its Vincorion investment, Jenoptik received a long-term order for generators that an unnamed US customer is integrating into military vehicles.
Rolls-Royce takes heavy hit from COVID-19 – reduces workforce by 9000 The impact of COVID-19 on Rolls-Royce and the whole of the aviation industry is unprecedented. RR has already taken action to strengthen the financial resilience of its business and to reduce cash expenditure in 2020. However, this will not be enough.
Data Link Solutions to provide MIDS cabinet terminals to US Navy The U.S. Navy has awarded a USD 3.2 million production contract to Data Link Solutions (DLS), a joint venture between BAE Systems and Collins Aerospace, for new Multifunctional Information Distribution System (MIDS) cabinet terminals.
Incap restarts production in India In a move to contain the COVID-19 pandemic, the government of India instructed all state governments to introduce a lockdown in March. As a consequence, Incap had to close its factory in Karnataka, India on 23 March.
NAND Flash Revenue Undergoes 8.3% QoQ Growth in 1Q20 NAND Flash bit shipment in 1Q20 was relatively on par with 4Q19, says the DRAMeXchange research division of TrendForce. The overall ASP of NAND Flash products also climbed during the period. As a result, the global NAND Flash revenue for the quarter went up by 8.3% QoQ to USD 13.6 billion.
Gorenje reduces the number of layoffs At the end of April, due to a sharp drop in orders and revenues as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Hisense Europe Group launched a redundancy program in four companies in Slovenia.
NA semiconductor equipment industry posts April 2020 billings North America-based manufacturers of semiconductor equipment posted USD 2.26 billion in billings worldwide in April 2020 (three-month average basis), according to SEMI.
AWS Electronics to wear the Incap name Following the acquisition of AWS Electronics Group by Incap Corporation in January 2020, the company's units in the UK and Slovakia will now be trading as Incap Electronics UK Ltd. and Incap Electronics Slovakia s.r.o.
PCB manufacturer SQP invests in new plasma treatment system As part of the continuous upgrade of the PCB manufacturing processes the Slovakian PCB manufacturer SQP International has invested in a new plasma treatment system.
Nordson delivers solid quarter considering COVID-19's impact on global end markets Nordson Corporation reported second quarter sales of USD 529 million, a 4% decrease compared to the prior year’s second quarter sales of USD 551 million.
Cicor expands its clean room set up in Bronschhofen Swiss EMS provider Cicor Group is currently expanding its site in Bronschhofen with a 60 square metre ISO Class 6 clean room.
Senate Dems to Trump: Release details of TSMC plant deal Democratic lawmakers are pressuring the Trump administration to respond to serious questions about Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co Ltd’s (TSMC) plans to build a USD 12 billion plant in Arizona, which the company announced last week.
SOS LAB completes series A+, inks MOU with ON Semi LiDAR sensor maker SOS LAB has secured series A+ investment funding of USD 8 million as of April.
Expanded US rules sanctioning Huawei to have little impact on memory industry TrendForce believes that the latest updates to the sanctions will have a relatively low impact, in the short term, on Huawei’s shipment of smartphones, notebook computers, and servers – products for which Huawei is relatively well stocked on components.
PCB Connect expands with new office Due to the PCB suppliers’ successful growth in Denmark, the company has now decided to invest further in the Danish Market.
Panasonic, Tesla discuss beefing up Nevada battery plant Panasonic Corporation this week said strong demand for battery cells from its U.S. partner, Tesla, has led to negotiations on the expansion of their joint plant in Storey County, Nevada.
Flex taps new leadership for automotive business Flex has named Mike Thoeny, president, Automotive Business Group, effective June 1, 2020.Load more news