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Best Practices In Electronics Manufacturing

Electronics manufacturing has many facets that cannot be taken for granted. No matter what product you are creating, there are four best practices that anyone involved in the electronics manufacturing industry should adhere to. If you don’t follow electronics manufacturing best practices you could end up with a faulty product and some very unhappy customers.

  1. Don’t settle for the status quo:

    Are your design specs, boards and components efficient or could they be even more effective? There’s always room for improvement when it comes to the manufacturing of electronics and you should make sure your product is as efficient as it could be. This may mean reducing the number of components used, streamlining part of the process, and even taking apart the product completely to determine what areas can be made better. Think of it this way your product will have a warranty, sohow much will it cost you to replace faulty parts on a regular basis? The more confidence you have in your product because you were able to make it perfect before it went to market, the less troublesome repairs you’ll need to perform in the future. You’ll build customer loyalty and only need to replace parts rarely instead of all the time.

  2. Cutting corners gets you nowhere:

    Since you’re already trying to make the best product you can, cutting corners will only lead to problems. Purchasing sub-par parts or working in unsafe conditions because it’s cheaper can cause injury or a shutdown of your entire operations. You might save money at the beginning but you’ll pay for it in the long run.

  3. Stay local:

    If you can work with local contractors, manufacturers and engineers, you are contributing to the local economy and keeping Canada on the map when it comes to the electronics manufacturing industry. The same goes for the equipment rentals and big-ticket items used to make your product. The only time you should look into manufacturing overseas is if there is such a high demand for your product in that area that you need to open up local operations to keep up.

  4. Consider batch sizes:

    Your goal is to be efficient, which means you need to consider the batch sizes of your manufacturing runs. It will be a waste of your time and money to constantly have to switch between a large order and a smaller order. Stick with smaller batch sizes first and then move on to larger ones as demand increases.

A blue electronics board

X-ray inspection is generally used to detect shorts under area array components. But x-ray images can also provide a valuable insight into the quality of joint formation of the arrays. We have been able to show that the relative sizes of the balls in x-ray images before and after reflow can reliably detect the following defects :

  • No reflow / insufficient reflow
  • Blocked stencil aperture
  • Insufficient paste deposit

The actual diameter of the ellipsoid formed after reflow under an area array component provides  valuable information for solder joint quality assessment. A typical example :

Zone “-3” zone “-2” zone “-1” zone “0” Target zone “+1” zone
Ellipsoid diameter (mm) 0.80 0.91 0.95 0.98 1.10
 Solder joint condition No reflow Blocked paste stencil aperture Insufficient paste deposit Good reflow Dishing

In conjunction with visual inspection methods and other X-ray signature identifiers , the method developed in this investigation  provides indicators for process development and serve as a tool for solder joint quality evaluation during production. The proposed process can be implemented using an entry level X-ray machine.

Read the full article here

Stencil

What is the best aperture geometry for depositing paste on round ball grid array pads on PCB’s. To find the answer we need to rephrase the question. For the same volume of paste deposit what is the best shape which gives the largest clearance between the deposits. For stencil of thickness “s” a round aperture with diameter of “d”  will deposit (3.14*(d/2)^2*s )=0.78*d^2*s paste by volume. To have same volume of paste from a square aperture the size of the sides of the square need to be 0.88*d. So choosing a square aperture will give us better clearance between deposits as with square aperture the clearance will be increased by 0.12*d

stencil_diagram


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