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SSTC. Solder paste suppliers debate future developments at SSTC autumn conference
Solder paste suppliers debate future developments at SSTC autumn conference
This meeting of the Soldering Science & Technology Club, the dissemination group of NPL, The National Physical Laboratory, enjoyed a lively debate by leading solder paste suppliers, Alpha, Heraeus, Kester and Multicore.
After briefly presenting each company's "recent advances and future trends", an open discussion followed.
The day kicked off with Peter Noble (Noble & Moore Consultancy), giving his view of "The future of the electronics manufacturing industry". It was no surprise Peter concluded that the growing strength of the EMS companies will continue, as will the clustering of assembly and equipment suppliers.
Many papers referred to lead-free soldering and Brian Richards (NPL), updated the audience on the state of play with legislation, there are now three EU Directives. He still believes that the driver for change is the marketing of lead-free products, especially from Japan.
Five other speakers were from NPL, with topics ranging from novel approaches to improving electrically conductive adhesives, tack testing of solder paste and a new method of assessing performance of conformal coatings and glob tops. Martin Wickham is well advanced with the project of thermal profiling of electronic assemblies, the next phase includes producing a code of practice.
Samjid Mannan (King's College London) presented a collaborative paper on "Solder paste reflow modelling for flip chip assembly".
The implications of the WEEE directive will be found most difficult by the smaller SMEs.
John Simmonds of Crawford Hansford & Kimber shared his personal experience in moving to a lead-free process.
The participants in the solder paste debate were: Michael K. Lantzsch, Litton Kester Europe; Anton Miric, Heraeus GmbH; Steve Brown, Alpha Fry Technologies and Dr Malcom Warrick of Multicore Solders (Plate 1).
Plate 1 The future of solder paste - debators. From left to right: Dr Chris Hunt - NPL, Conference Chairman; Steve Brown - Alpha Metals; Dr Malcolm Warwick - Multicore; Anton Miric-Heraeus GmbH; Michael Laentzsch Litton - Kester
Their views on the future developments for solder paste were similar, particularly the challenges for increased printer throughput, improved yields, easier process equipment maintenance and longer shelf life, to be fulfilled with both traditional lead and lead-free alloys.