iNEMI BFR/CFR and PVC-free activities

Circuit World

ISSN: 0305-6120

Article publication date: 20 November 2009



(2009), "iNEMI BFR/CFR and PVC-free activities", Circuit World, Vol. 35 No. 4.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2009, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

iNEMI BFR/CFR and PVC-free activities

Article Type: Industry news From: Circuit World, Volume 35, Issue 4

In April, iNEMI announced its new HFR-Free[3] Leadership Program through which several of the consortium's OEM and supply chain members are working to assess the feasibility of a broad conversion to HFR-free PCB materials. Activities are focusing on conversion to HFR-free and making sure that solutions are based on sound science and do not affect product quality or reliability. Two projects have been launched, and a third one is currently organizing.

The HFR-Free PCB Materials Project plans to identify technology limitations involved in transitioning to HFR-free PCB materials. The team will identify key mechanical performance characteristics and determine if they are in the critical path for the HFR-free PCB material transition. The initial focus will be on delamination, via and PTH reliability, pad cratering and solder joint reliability.

The HFR-Free Signal Integrity Project will focus on ensuring there is no degradation of electrical signals in HFR-free PCB materials. Plans are to investigate permittivity and loss as well as how they are impacted by moisture absorption in new HFR-free materials. For additional information, go to

The PVC Alternatives Project will evaluate alternatives to PVC (including additives) in electronic cable and wire applications using a life cycle assessment approach. The project is expected to launch in the third quarter of this year. For information, go to

About iNEMI

The iNEMI's mission is to identify and close technology gaps, which includes the development and integration of the electronics industry supply infrastructure. This industry-led consortium is made up of more than 65 manufacturers, suppliers, industry associations and consortia, government agencies and universities. iNEMI roadmaps the needs of the electronics industry, identifies gaps in the technology infrastructure, establishes implementation projects to eliminate these gaps (both business and technical) and stimulates standards activities to speed the introduction of new technologies. The consortium also works with government agencies, universities and other funding agencies to set priorities for future industry needs and R&D initiatives. iNEMI is based in Herndon, Virginia (near Washington, District of Columbia), with regional offices in Shanghai, China and Limerick, Ireland.

For additional information about iNEMI, visit:

IPC standards development efforts radiate into solar industry

Driven by its members' needs, IPC – Association Connecting Electronics Industries® has announced that an IPC Solar Standards Committee has been formed and has begun work on standards for the poly-silicon photovoltaic (solar) industry, specifically the assembly of solar panels.

“IPC facilitated the birth of standards for both the printed circuit board (PCB) and electronics assembly industries, so it's only natural that IPC address the need for additional standards in the solar industry,” explained Jack Calderon, managing director, Lincoln International, and a member of IPC's Board of Directors.

An organizational meeting was first held in May in Chicago. Subsequently, a standards committee was formed at a meeting on 17 July 2009 in San Jose, Calif. Committee members include representatives from Jabil, Flextronics International, Celestica, 3M Company, Bürkle North America Inc., Christopher Associates Inc., DEK, Indium Corporation, EFD Inc., Vitronics Soltec and Lincoln International.

At the July meeting, committee members identified seven areas of standardization that will be addressed by the committee and subcommittees:

  1. 1.

    Acceptability guidelines for solar panel lamination.

  2. 2.

    Specification for materials used in tabbing and stringing.

  3. 3.

    Acceptability criteria for tabbing and stringing.

  4. 4.

    In-process test methods for solar panels.

  5. 5.

    Visual acceptance criteria for solar panels – final module assembly.

  6. 6.

    Guidelines for final test with an emphasis on flash test.

  7. 7.

    Design guidelines for tabbing and stringing.

“It's interesting how many of the solar assembly processes, from tabbing and stringing to lamination, have some commonality with the manufacture and assembly of PCBs,” said Thomas Cipielewski, clean technologies technical director, Jabil.

Cipielewski went on to explain that IPC's current acceptability and performance standards, such as IPC-A-600, Acceptability of Printed Boards; IPC-A-610, Acceptability of Electronic Assemblies; and J-STD-001, Requirements for Soldered Electrical and Electronic Assemblies, are known and used by hundreds of thousands of technologists worldwide. “It's exciting that we can develop much-needed standards for this segment of the solar industry,” he said.

“As solar energy manufacturing takes on a global scale, it is critical that comprehensive assembly standards, including DFM, process materials, workmanship, test and inspection, are developed and adopted across the industry. IPC, with active support from its members, is well positioned for this,” explained Dr Dongkai Shangguan, Vice President of advanced technology, Flextronics.

The next meeting of the IPC Solar Standards Committee will be Friday, 30 October 2009, in Anaheim, Calif. Companies wishing to participate in the committee are invited to contact Anthony Hilvers, IPC Vice President of industry programs, at: +1 847-597-2837 or e-mail:

Related articles