Electronics Assembly Technology – 2nd Edition

Soldering & Surface Mount Technology

ISSN: 0954-0911

Article publication date: 1 August 2004




Ellis, B. (2004), "Electronics Assembly Technology – 2nd Edition", Soldering & Surface Mount Technology, Vol. 16 No. 2. https://doi.org/10.1108/ssmt.2004.21916bae.001



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2004, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Electronics Assembly Technology – 2nd Edition

Wolfgang ScheelElectrochemical Publications Ltd,IOM939+xvii pp.Figures: 611 (40 colour plates)Tables: 158 References: 1,408GBP 109.00, USD 218.00 plus p&p

Keywords: Assembly, Electronics technology, Books

Let me start by making it quite clear that this book is a translation from the German, Baugruppentechnologie der Elektronik – Montage, which is in its second edition. It has never been published before in the English language. It is a peculiar book, written by a group of very eminent Germans, each specialising in a fairly narrow field of activity. They have a very great in-depth knowledge of each subject, but it would appear that none of them has a wide knowledge base covering the whole theme of the book, because there are a number of subjects that one might expect in a tome of this size but which are glossed over or simply omitted. This does not mean that the book is worthless – far from it – but it does mean that a beginner would need some other sources of information to gain a whole picture.

It seems strange that a book of over 950 pages should have only nine chapters, although the first one is numbered zero! I feel that the authors of the Guinness Book of Records would be interested in chapter 4, which starts on page 130 and ends on page 501. I have known many technical books with fewer pages than this chapter!

Although the book has been translated from German, the standard of English is excellent – one has to look hard to find a few sentences that may have a slightly more Teutonic turn of phrase than would be normal. On the other hand, one or two technical terms have been translated literally rather than using the current jargon of our industry. This is not a serious fault because the meaning is obvious. Perhaps, the most easily seen Germanic influence is the citing of many DIN standards.

Let me quickly go through each chapter, in order.

Chapter 0: Introduction. This is a short chapter, summarising the current state-of-the-art.

Chapter 1: Electronic components for through-hole and surface mount technologies. This is a very comprehensive chapter of over 30 pages describing all types of active and passive components. It also has a very interesting section on the trends involving different component types.

Chapter 2: Types of electronics assemblies. This is quite a simple, short chapter (24 pages), summarising the many different kinds and methods of assembly. At the end of the chapter, there is a useful list of abbreviations (incorrectly called acronyms) of the types which are currently in use.

Chapter 3: Mounting of electronics assemblies. This is where the meat of the book really starts, with a 56 page chapter. Through-hole technology is dismissed in less than a single page. The principles of the various machines used for assembling surface mount technology devices are described in full, followed by a dissertation on placement accuracy including fiducial recognition. After this, a discussion on the economics and costing of assembly precedes a section on computer and software structures for driving the machinery.

Chapter 4: Bonding technologies for electronics assemblies. This is the infamously long chapter which, in my opinion, would have been better divided into several chapters. I say this for two reasons: it would avoid undue to-ing and fro-ing and, more simply, to make it into a more logical and easily referred-to set of documents. In fact, italmost falls naturally into three sub-chapters, if it weren't that the initial section, entitled Fundamentals of bonding, contains information relative to each of the sub-chapters. Of course, soldering forms an important part of this chapter, with a total of about 190 pages. The following 75 pages cover adhesive bonding. The last sub-chapter is on wire bonding. Each one of these three sub-chapters is very detailed with many tables and graphs.

Chapter 5: Diagnostics of electronics assemblies. This chapter has a misleading title because diagnostics is the art of diagnosis, in turn the process of determining the nature of a disease. In reality, the chapter is all about testing, including that of healthy assemblies. The first 44 pages aredevoted to destructive test methods, such as mechanical stressing, metallographic sectioning and accelerated ageing tests. The following 100-odd pages cover non-destructive test methods embracing a large amount on optical methods – including outside the visual spectrum of electromagnetic radiation, in-circuit testing and so on. This chapter also has a list of abbreviations, correctly termed this time!

Chapter 6: Technical reliability of material connections. The main part of this chapter is devoted to the reliability of the solder joint. It enters into the subject in great mathematical detail, some of which is beyond my comprehension. This is a very important subject, especially with the advent of lead-free solder, and this is probably amongst the best treatises that I have come across outside of specialist metallography books.

Chapter 7: Design for production of PCB assemblies. When I first saw the chapter title, I said to myself, "At last! A book introducing the notion of concurrent engineering!". I was disappointed. Half of this chapter is about footprints, albeit very important, and the other half is about warp and twist. There is nothing about board layout, electromagnetic compatibility, routing or of the other many subjects whereby, thedesign of the board influences the manufacturability. I don't really understand why this chapter was not put at the beginning of the book; surely the design of an assembly must precede the physical act of assembly itself!

Chapter 8: Standards for assemblies. I don't think that I need to enter into much detail here, other than to say that this chapter is the most internationally oriented within the book.

The book is completed by an appendix with several pages of good quality colour plates, a list of symbols used in formulae and equations and an extremely good index. The notion of separating the colour illustrations from the text is annoying, because the text does not always refer you to the appendix and you can look in vain for the figure, until it strikes you that it may be at the end of the book. I have a suggestion for the publishers if they continue to use this economical method; they should complement the text with a thumbnail captioned monochrome illustration on the same page, with a reference to the full-size colour illustration page number.

Each of the chapters, with the exception of chapter 3, has a massive list of references (chapter 3 has but one, while chapter 4 has 937!). This is extremely valuable although it must be said that many of them are in the language of Goethe, for those of us who understand only Serbian, Chinese or English.

Physically, the book itself is produced with the high standards that we have come to expect from the publishers. The paper, typography, the binding and the quality of the many line drawings are all impeccable.

I don't believe that this is a book meant for the shop floor operator. The title includes the word "technology" and it is designed for technologists with a good basic grasp of the subject, wishing to deepen their knowledge of the matters covered therein.

Brian EllisCyprus

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