Monday, October 19, 2009

IPC Midwest: Friends, Fellowship, and Live SMT Assembly

It was a better-than-expected IPC Midwest tradeshow and conference in Schaumburg, IL this September. The A-Line live electronics assembly line attracted interest as each piece of automated equipment performed its task to build a mixed-assembly board with both through hole and SMT components. The process of assembly on a tradeshow floor never fails to draw a crowd, and this year the A-Line at Renaissance Schaumburg Hotel & Convention Center drew a line-up of visitors following the operation and waiting for a chance to snap up a finished board, still a bit warm from solder reflow.

As in last year’s A-Line, The Morey Corporation, long known for electronics manufacturing services (EMS), organized the set up. The Bare Board Group PCB distributor donated the boards. Microscreen stencils were used for paste deposition. The Capital Equipment Exchange Company set up a Speedline MPM AP Excel screen printer. Qualitek International donated the solder paste and flux, adding their support. PROMATION’s conveyors and handling equipment connected the equipment. Fuji America operated its XPF small-footprint pick-and-place system that can be flexible even at high speeds and with a wide range of components from 01005s to 68 mm2. Ace Production Technologies donated their KISS-104 automated selective soldering machine to solder through-hole components. ASYS used their BLS 01 laser marking system to mark codes and images into solder resist. Aqueous Technologies operated the Trident III automatic defluxing and cleanliness testing equipment, using Kyzen’s Aquanox A4241 aqueous cleaning solution to clean the assemblies.

It’s always amazing that a full assembly line works together so cooperatively and efficiently, even in the fast and temporary set up of a tradeshow floor.

There were plenty of new products and news at the tradeshow as well. Asymtek had the DispenseJet DJ-100 high-speed equipment for jet dispensing. CyberOptics showed the SE500, a fast, accurate solder paste inspection (SPI) system. Fuji America had its large-board all-in-one placement system XPF-W at the show. Juki demonstrated the FlexSolder W510 selective solder machine, said to handle dual mini waves for simultaneous use. MYDATA showed its MY100SX pick-and-place. Panasonic had a NPM (Next Production Modular) line. Zestron America highlighted its VIGNON N 501 pH-neutral defluxing agent.

IPC Midwest wasn’t the huge show of yesteryear, but it was quite productive, exciting and enjoyable. Hey, a great event in the Midwest just shouldn’t be missed.

Gail Flower, editor-at-large

1 comment:

  1. You must have ben at a different show than I was.