Agilent and Speedline to collaborate on Lead-Free-Manufacturing experiments
Aug 03, 2005
Companies to document, share best practices for manufacturing Lead-Free PCBAs
Agilent Technologies Inc. (NYSE:A) and Speedline Technologies Inc. announced they are collaborating in the lead-free process development and characterization of printed circuit board assemblies (PCBAs). Speedline will use Agilent's lead-free-ready inspection systems in a series of experiments to document best practices associated with the transition to lead-free manufacturing.
Legal mandates for lead-free technologies are forcing manufacturers to transition to robust, lead-free processes. Anytime manufacturing processes change significantly, there is a noticeable increase in defects, which lowers production yield and dramatically increases costs.
According to Agilent and Speedline, effective monitoring and process control in the solder steps are required to reduce defects, maintain desired yield and lower costs. Planned experiments include investigating and documenting the effect of various process aspects of the lead-free transition. With Agilent's AOI verification of paste and component placements, the results will establish critical, lead-free process recommendations to be leveraged industry-wide for quick process optimization. Results will be presented as articles and professional papers, beginning at the Surface Mount Technology Association International (SMTAi) conference next month.
"The opportunity to work with a strong player such as Agilent in the AOI market accelerates Speedline's work in lead-free process development," said Pierre de Villemejane, president and CEO of Speedline. "This effort blends both companies' expertise in process and inspection for the PCBA industry's benefit."
"Speedline's leading-edge experiments will be a great boon to manufacturers worried about the disruptive impact of lead-free manufacturing on their stable processes," said Chin-Hong Lee, vice president and general manager of Agilent's Manufacturing Test Business Unit. "By using Agilent inspection tools in conjunction with Speedline's process equipment to provide feedback for characterization, these experiments will give precise and reliable data for fast learning and fast time to production."