Michael J. Cieslinski, Brent A. Fischthal
Panasonic Factory Solutions Company of America
The rapid growth of electronic devices across the globe is driving manufacturers to enhance high-speed mass production techniques in the printed circuit board assembly arena. As manufacturers drive to reduce costs while maximizing production by expanding facilities, updating automation equipment, or implementing lean six sigma techniques, the potential to build scrap product or rework printed circuit boards increases dramatically.
Manufacturers have two general paths to reduce the costs of high-speed printed circuit board assembly production. The first path is to reduce cost by focusing on high quality printing and mounting. The other, increasingly popular option is to utilize low-cost materials. In either case, the baseline must provide a consistent high-speed solder paste printing method, which considers the fill, snap-off, and cleaning processes.
Building on our expertise and testing, this paper will highlight the two trains of thought with specific focus on how low-cost materials affect print performance. It will also explore technologies, which can help provide stable, high-speed screen-printing.
In the end, both paths aim to maximize profitability. As such, understanding how manufacturers can successfully integrate low-cost materials will help ensure high-quality production, reduce costs, and maximize profitability in a high-volume printed circuit board assembly environment.
Our industry does not expect the forecasted use of low-cost materials like solders or masks to decline. Unfortunately, it is not possible for a single method to correct or mitigate all of the problems caused by low-cost materials. However, this study revealed several recommendations to help reduce current inconsistencies and increase mounting quality as much as possible. From our experience, reducing these inconsistencies will also help reduce defect rates; therefore, we will continue to explore the high-speed stable print method as it relates to reducing material-related inconsistencies. It is imperative capital equipment, consumables, and peripheral equipment providers' work together to provide a stable high-speed screen print method focused on using low-cost materials.
Initially Published in the IPC Proceedings