EW – Production Edition – AM AI Production, Nordson Adapter Assemblies & More
Vincent Charbonneau posted on January 03, 2018 | | 1910 views

AM Artificial Intelligence and Materials Engineering

Applied Materials (AM) hosted a presentation and Q&A with Dr. Jeff Welser of IBM at a recent technical event in San Francisco. Welser is Vice President and Director of IBM Research’s Almaden lab in San Jose, and spoke about the key to unlocking commercial value from AI in materials engineering and electronics production.

According to Welser, beyond the current trend of using GPUs as accelerators, future advances in computing logic architecture for AI will be driven by a shift toward reduced-precision analog devices, which will be followed by mainstream applications of quantum computing. Neural network algorithms that GPUs are commonly used for are inherently designed to tolerate reduced precision.

In addition, addressing the processor-to-memory access and bandwidth bottleneck will give rise to new memory architectures for AI, and could ultimately lead to convergence between logic and memory manufacturing process technologies. IBM's TrueNorth inference chip is one such example of an architecture in which each neuron has access to its own local memory and does not need to go off-chip to access memory.

For more information, visit AM’s website.

ASM Implementing the Hermes Standard in SMT Production

ASM Assembly Systems, in conjunction with 28 industry partners, has begun to coordinate the first steps of the implementation of the Hermes Standard. To automate an electronics factory and integrate data and process flows in a smart SMT factory, being able to track the PCBs as they go through the line is a must. The TCP/IP- and XML-based protocol of the Hermes Standard makes it possible to transport circuit boards through all stations of the line with full traceability and no loss of data while minimizing the need for reading devices such as barcode scanners.

As an example of the products shown by various vendors, ASM presented an application at its in-house show during Productronica 2017: Applying printed barcode labels to boards can lead to uneven surfaces and unstable printing processes. ASM now makes it possible to apply the barcode via a label feeder installed in one of the line's SIPLACE placement machines.

When the AOI system reads this label at the end of the line, manufacturing information from the preceding processing steps such as printing, SPI, placement and reflow can be assigned retroactively to each board and stored in a database thanks to the Hermes Standard. Process engineers and automatic systems like the ASM ProcessExpert can then use this board-specific data for process analyses and optimizations.

For more information, visit ASM’s website.

LPKF Laser Cutting of PCBs

LPKF has introduced the MicroLine series utilized during the laser cutting of printed circuit boards (PCBs). Laser-assisted processing of substrates in PCB production and the separation of assembled printed circuit boards can increase the quality and efficiency of the overall production process.

UV lasers are ideal tools for processing substrates under minimal thermal or mechanical stress in the surrounding material. The UV laser systems in MicroLine 2000 and MicroLine 5000 are specialized machines for micro-precise cutting, drilling, separating or material removal of organic and inorganic substrates. The thermal influence zone in the surrounding material is negligible, so that a high packing density can be achieved. In addition, the MicroLine systems are burr-free and virtually dust-free. This produces ideal results for microelectronics.

Additional technical specifications are available on LPKF’s website.

Nordson Optimum ESD-Safe Dispensing Components

Nordson has launched a line of Optimum ESD-safe dispensing components. The system includes dispense tips, syringe barrels (available in five sizes) and adapter assemblies. These components are designed specifically for precision fluid applications used in manufacturing mobile devices, wearables, medical devices, fiber optics, automobile electronics and other products.

The ESD-safe (aka electrostatic dissipative) dispensing components provide the accurate, consistent and repeatable micro-deposits required as electronic devices shrink in size with an increasing density of electronic components. Nordson’s Optimum ESD-Safe dispensing components prevent static buildup that can damage fragile substrates, such as semiconductors and PCBs – minimizing costly rejects in the electronics manufacturing process.

Information concerning pricing and availability can be found on Nordson’s website.

SCS Conformal Coatings Webinar

Specialty Coating Systems (SCS) discussed how conformal coating can increase the reliability of critical electronics (including PCBs, sensors, LEDs, MEMS, semiconductor products and elastomeric seals, to name a few) during a recent PennWell webinar.

The webinar focused on Parylene coatings – how they are applied, their properties and benefits, and the industries and applications where Parylenes commonly provide reliable protection. The presentation also reviewed advances in adhesion technologies, which have significantly increased bonding to difficult surfaces (e.g., highly polished metals and a variety of polymers), and the use of Parylene as a structural, nano-scale material.

To view the webinar, visit SCS’s website.

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