columns | June 27, 2005
evertiq at the EIPC Summer Conference - Day 2
Paul Waldner maintains that conferences are about meeting people as much as they are about learning from people, so he got everyone on their feet to say hello to one another.
Day 2 - June 10th Markus Willie of Ruwel AG told us that his company has been making flex-rigid boards for 30 years now, and whereas before the application was for the military and avionic industries, now it is more for the automotive and communication sectors as well. It was Schoeller Elektronik started it all in 1974, now they are part of Ruwel. Flex-rigid boards can eliminate many connector or solder joints that are potential sources of failure, and a single flex-rigid board can replace a complete wiring system. They weigh less and occupy less space, have uniform properties, and also allow for a decreasing amount of space being used to best effect. Ruwel have 'Multiflex' which are hybrid constructions consisting of flexible and rigid substrates laminated together in layer counts to choice. Interconnect is through plated via holes, but you do however have to have a symmetrical build-up to minimise bow and twist. Some panels are best constructed during manufacture with a rigid layer that contains a snap-out section that can be removed after assembly. Multiflex boards can be made in sequential build-up and high-density interconnect techniques, so an 18-layer flex board is possible, 'Semiflex' is another possibility, where the flex element is only required for installation, rework or maintenance. Only 10 bend cycles are allowed, but this is usually enough. Finally, he came to 'Yellowflex', which is something new - a halfway house between the two former concepts. Instead of using a flexible copper clad polyimide foil ( or similar) they use a copper sheet selectively coated with a flexible polymer material, which is laminated onto the rigid board material. This build-up can then be processed as a normal PCB. Daniel Kush of Pacothane Technologies was another American who came across the Atlantic, he is from New York. Daniel brought us up to speed with the problems encountered with the use of coverlay films in flexible circuitry. It is the squeeze-out of adhesive that takes place during lamination that causes the problems, and with increasing circuit density the mount of surface area lost to accommodate adhesive squeeze-out is pushing current materials and processes to the point of failure. His company had embarked upon a test programme incorporating all known materials, through set test conditions, but with a number of material combinations, and had concluded that the best of these was to use 1.5mm reinforced red rubber with optimised conformal-release film 125µ thick. Giacomo Angeloni is the R&D Director at Somacis in Italy. In what might arguably be rated as the most inconclusive paper of the conference he went into some detail about the complexity of obtaining accuracy and reference for laser hole drilling in SBU boards. Not his fault, of course, it's the nature of the beast, there are so many different factors that can influence the accuracy that the mind boggles, and the enormity of the problem is not confined to any one phenomenon. The warp and the weft of the material used in the substrate, during both C-stage and B-stage, the Z registration, the X-Y registration, all contribute, in varying percentages, and of course the larger the panel the more the problems are magnified. How best to deal with these problems? Pray for more stable materials, or, if all else fails, go and play football. Marc Hüske of LPKF Laser & Electronics AG brought the question of laser cutting flex and rigid PCB materials to the conference, and when one considers the diversity of shapes manifest in hand-held electronic devices, you can see why such a method is gaining increasing popularity. However, it is not without its problems. Laser cutting offers great advantages, you can cut assembled boards, you don't need tools to cut coverlays, and you can cut any shape you wish, out of any material. However, you do tend to get carbonisation during cutting, which gives conductivity problems, and you will get loss of definition. Wolfgang Alberth of Isola GmbH reminded us that we need to find niche markets, and here it is the flex and semi-flexible markets. Flex has a growth rate of 12% per annum. Really something to be looked at in Europe. Main sector is computers, then display, then communication, etc A $6bn market in 2004. By region Asia produces 56%, Europe only 3%, Japan 32%. One interesting market sector is automotive, and maybe European companies should now be putting more R&D effort into this sector. 90% of the materials used in flex is polyimide, which might a little bit 'over the top' for some applications. Using an alternative film would be more cost effective. Perhaps what we want is a semi-dynamic film. After all, polyimide was not exactly easy to buy last year, was it? This new material has to be double-sided, based on epoxy, and would allow freedom of design. The good news is that this product exists; it is called Duraflex and is produced in some volume at the Isola plant at Bottegone in Italy. Good news all round. It has a Tg of 150oC, cu peel strength of 1.3, and can be used for reel-to-reel production. Thank you, Isola. Halogen-free laminates - worldwide trends, driving forces, and the state of play was presented by Dr. Adrian Beard of Clariant GmbH. OEM strategies, environmental concerns, flame retardants, all play a part, FR plastics are used in 30% of all plastic production, but less than half is halogenated, and BFR is the main plastic used in electronics. There is balance between safety, (flame retardants) and the environment; traces of PBDE in breast milk, for example, have been alarming, and flame retardants have been banned in certain applications. Brominated flame retardants (BFRs) have been found in farmed salmon, but where does it come from? Whilst risk assessment on TBBPA is expected by the end of 2005. End of life, scrap, waste etc., what are the options? Recycling is something of a cottage industry in China, but the impact on the environment is of somewhat larger significance. Environmental discussions have resulted in legislation which has been brought into effect in Europe (WEEE/RoHS) but the situation re Deca-BDE is blurred. WEEE Directive 2002/96/EC demands separation of plastics containing brominated flame retardants. However, discussions which are driven by a mixture of scientific and emotional behaviour are rarely conclusive (the use of nuclear energy in the UK for the generation of electricity as a case in point) so the industry has had to take the initiative and has moved towards halogen free options. However a study on these for the PCB industry was inconclusive, with the inference being that no-one wanted to take a decision. Companies do tend to abide by legislation, however, not only from motives of social responsibility but also to preserve their good name. As a result, many of the world's leading OEMs have now committed to going down the halogen-free route, and there are developments in new halogen-free raw materials, Clariant have Exolit OP, as do Chemtura, Supresta, and new halogen free resins are available from Huntsman, Dow, Bakelite etc. Park, Matsushita have halogen-free laminates for PCBs available, and 20% of Chinese PCB exports are now halogen-free. The USA is now beginning to consider halogen-free products, but in Europe there is little activity. Halogen-free is a market, so halogen-free PCBs should account for 3-4% of the market. Perhaps we should be getting on with it. Erik Bergum is VP Sales for Polyclad in Europe and was on next. How to chose laminates for lead-free was the subject of his paper. Not all laminates are suitable for lead-free, with the higher temperatures that pertain, thermal stress is a factor. Whilst a higher Tg is generally better for lead-free assembly, that is not in itself sufficient. It is the Td, the decomposition temperature that is getting increasing attention. Polyclad put together a team of nine people from all over the world to look at what laminate would 'do the trick' and simplify the process. They have colour coded, so that an immediate 'go-no-go' guide is available. Within that guide lies a range of variables, such as surface finish, lamination cycles, layer count, blind & buried vias etc. There are 5 different materials, with a Tg ranging from 140 - 180oC, and a Td ranging from 320 - 350. Erik showed how each laminate fitted into the possible specification on the colour chart, and it all made perfect sense. Young Gao is a market development manager at the Advanced Circuit Materials Division of the Rogers Corporation. His paper was based upon the impact of PCB material dielectric properties on high-speed digital systems, from a designer's perspective. He drew our attention to the laminate material possibilities, and which ones might suit the designer. High-speed digital transmission is rated at 2.5 Gb/S, and most now run at 5 Gb/S, but systems operating at 10 Gb/S and higher are on the horizon. Whatever the transmission medium, signal distortion exists. This can be due to amplitude reduction and dispersion. The former is measured in dB, and the rise time is measured in picoseconds (pS). So, for better transmission, you need better signal integrity. The 'eye' diagram shows both time and amplitude, from which you can see that the wider the eye, the better the signal. Signals have formerly been in analogue format, up to 2GHz, and microwave >2GHz, but now digital transmission gives better band width, and is more tolerant of distortion. In the selection of a laminate you have to bear in mind that signal loss can be traced to dielectric and the conductor. So, low loss material is important. Thus a laminate with 59pS and 472 mV is superior to one with 112pS and 208 mV, it has a wider 'eye' but with the same input. As an example, Rogers RO4350 without a connector has this wide eye, the same laminate without a connector is has a narrow eye. Rogers have vision. John LingCarter-Lane Consulting, The Reddings, Old Colwall, Worcestershire, England WR13 6HH Telephone & Fax: +44 (0) 1684 540901 Mobile: 07968 190649 Email: email@example.com EIPC chose the gleaming tower of the Scandic Infra City Hotel at Upplands Väsby, where inside all was light, air and open space. The facilities were excellent, and the Dinner and Tour of Stockholm gave the delegates a welcome break for an evening of relaxation and an excellent dinner at the Wärdshuset Godthem restaurant, followed by a look at the city by night, all memorable experiences. Another high-quality EIPC event, and maybe, just maybe, the word is getting out - a 30% increase in the number of delegates is not happenchance.
IPC: Unanimous approval of USMCA needed IPC issued a statement this week expressing support of the recently bi-partisan approval of the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), and a strong desire for legislative approval by Canada, Mexico, and the U.S.
Nordson's CFO to retire in 2020 after 30 years with the company Nordson's Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, Gregory A. Thaxton, plans to retire in 2020 after thirty successful years with the company, with the last 12 years as CFO.
KUKA restructures subdivision due to economic uncertainty KUKA is restructuring a subdivision in the Robotics segment that is responsible for automated manufacturing solutions such as cells and special machines.
PCB industry recovers slightly in Q3 PCB manufacturers in the D/A/CH region were able to increase sales sequentially in the third quarter of 2019 by 1.1%. However, sales figures are 11% lower than those recorded for the third quarter of 2018, reports the industry association ZVEI PCB and Electronic Systems.
Garz & Fricke moves into new HQ in Hamburg-Harburg Garz & Fricke GmbH continues to expand. As of late October, the business operations of the HMI and Panel PC specialist will be transferring to the new headquarters in in Hamburg-Harburg.
TF Massif Technologies taps new CEO British Columbia-based TF Massif Technologies has announced the appointment of Tom Peregoodoff as the company’s new chief executive officer.
DoJ: Google, Fitbit deal under review The U.S. Justice Department is looking into anti-trust issues concerning Google's bid to buy Fitbit Inc.
L3Harris Tech secures U.S. Marine Corps order L3Harris Technologies received a USD 50 million follow-on delivery order for Falcon III AN/PRC-160 HF radios and related equipment from the U.S. Marine Corps .
Metair completes Romanian lithium-Ion battery cell factory South African energy storage company, Metair Investments, says that its Romanian units Prime Batteries and Rombat have completed the installation of the group's first Lithium-Ion battery cell manufacturing and assembly facility in Bucharest, Romania.
£5m award marks ‘topping out’ of Cardiff research powerhouse An GBP 80 million Cardiff University powerhouse for Welsh scientific research has been ‘topped out’ by Bouygues UK – backed by over GBP5 million support from Welsh Government and industrial partners.
Advanced Energy expands with new lab near Frankfurt Advanced Energy Industries, Inc. has opened its Advanced Materials Processing (AMP) Showcase Lab near Frankfurt, Germany.
TTM Technologies unveils NY engineering center On the heels of its acquisition of manufacturing and IP assets from i3 Electronics Inc., TTM Technologies has announced the opening of a new engineering center in Binghamton, NY.
EU Commission to support pan-European battery development Seven member states will provide, in the coming years, up to EUR 3.2 billion in funding to support research and innovation in the common European priority area of batteries.
The pulse of the electronics industry Growth is slowing worldwide and the industry’s outlook is less optimistic than in previous quarters, although it is still generally positive, according to the results of IPC’s fourth-quarter 2019 Pulse of the Electronics Industry survey.
Teradyne delivers J750 semiconductor test system to Ardentec Teradyne has hit a milestone with the 6,000th shipment of the J750 family of semiconductor testers.
Season Group names new SvP for global business development Season Group has appointed Stephen Tsao as the company's new Senior Vice President, Global Business Development.
Zestron appoints new sales director Europe Mr. Adam Meinert recently joined ZESTRON as the Sales Director of Europe.
Sypris Electronics tapped for NASA project Sypris Electronics LLC has been awarded a contract from Collins Aerospace in association with NASA’s Orion Spacecraft project.
NexLogic eyes implantable med-electronics NexLogic Technologies Inc. has announced its entry into assembly and manufacturing of implantable medical devices, a rapidly growing segment in the medical electronics market.
International Wire Group buys Owl Wire and Cable International Wire Group (IWG) has acquired New York-based Owl Wire and Cable from Marmon Holdings Inc.
ZF to set up third research and development centre in China ZF Friedrichshafen AG is establishing a third Chinese R&D centre in Guangzhou southern China. Representatives of ZF and the local authorities have signed an agreement and ZF plans to invest approximately EUR 90 million in the new development center.
Semiconductor market suffers another plunge in Q3 With revenue plunging by a gut-wrenching 14.7% in the third quarter, the global semiconductor market appears destined for a year of double-digit decline, despite some signs of growth in the critical memory segment, says IHS Markit.
Ericsson to pay $1B to resolve US corruption investigations Swedish telecom company Ericsson has reached a resolution on U.S. FCPA investigations by the the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
Bel acquires CUI Inc. power assets Bel Fuse Inc. has closed on its previously-announced deal with CUI Global for the majority of the power business of its subsidiary, CUI Inc.Load more news