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SMTA International Show Preview 2019: At the Show, Day 2

SMTAI Masthead

It’s now Tuesday. As an editor, I’ve attended a lot of keynotes in my time, but the one this morning was exceptional. Thanks to SMTA for bringing Adam Steltzner of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab to the conference. He spoke about the experience of designing and building the landing system for the Curiosity Mars Rover, launched and deployed in August of 2012. The presentation was full of inspiring and poster-worthy statements, but I especially liked his characterization of curiosity as humanity’s super power; and his advice to teams to ‘hold on to the doubt’ because the answer to a problem is often in the problem. If you engage in curiosity-based decision making, rather than anxiety based decision-making, you spend more time studying the problem, leading to better outcomes. Great talk.

And in a discussion with Marie Cole of IBM later, we both noted how many women were in the group shot of the engineering team that accomplished that amazing feat. So Go, Ladies!

Thanks to all the patient people at the show, including the folks at Indium, Kester, Rehm, Saki, PACE, Nordson in all its divisions, Zestron, iCAPE, Koh Young, CalcuQuote, and SEHO for explaining their new products and service offerings.


Below is the official show preview. Eric and I are at the show at Booth 943. Stop by! We just spent time at the Women’s Leadership Program. What a great event! I enjoyed discussions about Work-Life Balance, hosted by Debbie Carboni, KYZEN Corporation; Introverts vs. Extroverts, hosted by Jennifer Bly, Intel Corporation; Planning for the Future, People and Technology, hosted by Brian Toleno, Ph.D. Microsoft Corporation; and Seeking University Graduate Talent, hosted by Martin Anselm, Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT).

Ahhh, it’s fall in the U.S. Midwest, and time for SMTA International at Rosemont. The weather is cool and crisp. Pumpkin Spice Cheerios are available in the local Jewel. And the Richardson’s Corn Maze 2019 is open! It’s right down the road from Rosemont, and this year, the World’s Largest Corn Maze is 28 acres and includes almost 10 miles of trails through living corn stalks. The design for this year is to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 program, and includes the NASA logo, and other symbols and catch phrases from the program, including three stars to honor the lives of the Apollo 1 astronauts that lost their lives. It’s well worth a visit.

Coincidentally, the SMTA International Keynotes have the same theme!

Tuesday’s Keynote is The Right Kind of Crazy: A True Story of Teamwork, Leadership and High Stakes Innovation, by Adam Steltzner, NASA

With a rich and varied background, Adam Steltzner had many of the needed skills to lead the landing team for the Curiosity rover. That said, his team would struggle for almost a decade with design challenges and set backs. How did he keep the team focused and on task? What makes a team gel and enables truly innovative thinking? How do team dynamics drive that process forward or inhibit it? And how can organizational culture create an environment for sustained performance? The challenges he and the team faced and the lessons learned from those struggles can help audiences understand how to better lead their high performing teams, manage innovation and drive towards excellence.

A history-making Ph.D. rocket scientist, Adam Steltzner is recognized as one of NASA’s leading – and most unique – innovators. For nearly a decade, Adam led and inspired the breakthrough team that invented the ingenious “sky crane” landing system that so spectacularly landed the Mars rover, Curiosity on the Martian surface 300,000,000 miles from Earth in 2012. Next, Adam will lead NASA’s Mars 2020 Project that will gather core samples of Mars for scientific discovery.

On Wednesday, the Keynote is titled, To the Moon! Orion’s Next Giant Leap into Deep Space, by W. Michael Hawes, DSc, Lockheed Martin Space.

NASA’s Artemis program has a bold charter to land American astronauts, including the first woman and the next man, on the Moon by 2024. To achieve this feat, the Orion spacecraft has been designed, developed and tested by Lockheed Martin to gear up for our nation’s next giant leap into deep space. Dr. Mike Hawes, Lockheed Martin Vice President for Human Space Exploration and Orion Program Manager, will provide a behind-the-scenes look at Orion’s development and technology innovations that empower this next generation spacecraft to take astronauts to explore farther than humankind has ever ventured.

W. Michael Hawes, DSc, is the Vice President Human Space Exploration and Orion Program Manager for Lockheed Martin Space. Dr. Hawes joined Lockheed Martin in July 2011 after concluding a 33-year career with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), and was selected to head up Lockheed Martin’s Orion Program Office in 2014.

The Exhibition takes place Tuesday and Wednesday, September 24 and 25, with doors opening at 10:00 am.

Koh Young America will highlight its industry-leading Full 3D inspection solutions and next-generation closed-loop Koh Young Process Optimizer (KPO) at Booth 609. Conference attendees are encouraged to visit booth 609 and learn how industry-leading 3D measurement systems and closed-loop process solutions from Koh Young America can help improve production throughput and yield.

8030-3 3D SPI Solution The 8030-3 Solder Paste Inspection (SPI) solution and analytics to eliminate false calls and boost throughput. We will also highlight our flagship aSPIre3 with a feature set suitable for myriad challenges in demanding production environments in-line at booth 823 with Fuji America. These systems continue to raise the benchmark standards in the industry.

Zenith 3D AOI Solution The award-winning Koh Young Zenith Automated Optical Inspection (AOI) solution will complement the revolutionary SPI equipment. Consisting of multiple models targeting different production needs, Koh Young will highlight the Zenith platform – the world’s best-selling and first True 3D AOI. The hardware technology and measurement algorithms within the Zenith series work together to identify defect sources and provide accurate inspection of components, joints, and more, regardless of the model.

KY-P3 API Solution Using its world-class 3D AOI measurement technology as the foundation, Koh Young designed the KY-P3 to overcome longstanding industry challenges with automated pin inspection. Combining its advanced high-resolution optics with innovative vision algorithms, the Koh Young KY-P3 provides accurate pin inspection for single pin, array, forked, press-fit, and other pin arrangements. Following its vision to “Measure Everything, Everywhere,” the new Koh Young KY-P3 delivers true 3D inspection capabilities for automotive, industrial, and other verticals, including backplanes and connector assembly processes.


PACE Worldwide will exhibit in Booth #208

pacesmtaSeveral new products will be highlighted including the new Arm-Evac 150 Digital Fume Extractor. The Arm-Evac 150 captures hazardous fumes locally and is suitable for benchtop soldering and electronic rework applications as well as handheld machining operations and light, limited use of solvents, adhesives and other light and medium duty industrial applications. The low-cost Arm-Evac 150 Fume Extraction System comes complete with a self-supporting SteadyFlex ESD-Safe Arm/Nozzle assembly, Wireless Remote Control and 3-stage Filter Cartridge … everything you need to set up one operator. PACE will also showcase the TF 1800 BGA Rework System, which incorporates a groundbreaking and recently patented top-side Inductive-Convection heater, resulting in faster throughput and greater process control. PACE’s ADS200 will also be demonstrated at the show. The ADS200 is a high power (120 Watts), yet low-cost professional soldering station for serious cell-phone repairers, electronics techs, engineers, DIYers & production solder techs. For more information, please visit our website at


CalcuQuote, a software and service provider to the EMS industry, is exhibiting at Booth 709.

calcuquote show

With a suite of softwares for electronic contract manufacturers (ECMs) including their flagship product QuoteCQ, an end-to-end RFQ Management Software, CalcuQuote has recently expanded their offerings for contract manufacturing to include a purchasing product, ShopCQ.

“At CalcuQuote, we have focused our mission on helping moving the EMS industry forward,” said Chintan Sutaria, Founder and President of CalcuQuote. “We continue to put emphasis on being involved at the local and national level with SMTA and are thrilled to be exhibiting for the 5th consecutive year at SMTA International Expo.

Want to schedule a time to meet with the CalcuQuote team? Schedule a time here!


 ZESTRON is pleased to announce two speakers at the conference.

Visit ZESTRON at booth #623, or please click here to schedule an appointment, for further discussion on Technical Cleanliness or other cleaning application needs.

michaelMichael Kövi, Application Engineer, ZESTRON Europe, will be presenting, “Handling Technical Cleanliness in Electronic Production” at SMTA International. Mr. Kövi’s presentation will be on Thursday, September 26th, during session MFX7 – Cleaning: Challenges.

This paper provides overviews of the latest developments in standardization, implications for adopting a technical cleanliness approach, monitoring and validation procedures, and a brief introduction to risk assessment of particle contamination.

The second presenter, Terry Price, PhD, will be presenting, “pH Neutral Cleaning Agents: Technology and Performance” with Axel Vargas of Lockheed Martin at SMTA International on September 24th.

terryEffective electronic assembly cleaning is greatly challenged due to component miniaturization, larger component packages, higher lead counts, reduced conductor spacing, tighter pitch and lower standoffs. Added to these geometry challenges, greater use of lead-free solder paste and the increasing trend of multiple thermal cycles result in difficult to remove burnt-in flux residues. However, these challenges are overcome with the use of engineered aqueous-based cleaning agents.


Saki Corporation will present its 3D automated optical inspection (AOI) system and BFX-Editor automated x-ray inspection (AXI) off-line programming and debugging software at Booth 430.

sakiSaki’s 3Di Series has scalable resolutions of 7µm, 12µm, and 18µm, closed-loop functionality, and a sturdy frame with a dual-drive system resulting in accuracy, stability, and reliability. It comes with the newly released Saki Self-Programming (SSP) software, which doesn’t require programming or a golden board and, in a matter of minutes, completely programs and verifies the inspection process in real time, eliminating variables and operator error. SSP software makes inspection faster and easier, especially for EMS companies with high-mix, low-volume environments such as NPI. Visitors to the Saki booth will be able to see a live demo of Saki’s latest 3D-AOI system and this new self-programming function.

In addition to its 3D-AOI software, Saki will introduce its x-ray programming system for its inline 3D AXI volumetric measurement and inspection system. The system identifies and classifies defects, including 100% of head-in-pillow defects, voids, and dry joints, and enables land grid array (LGA) inspection and measurement. Its off-line programming and debugging software, the BFX-Editor, lets you create, edit, and debug inspection programs on your PC and generates inspection data prior to production.

Indium Corporation will feature its ultra-reliable, void-reducing Indium8.9HF Solder Paste for automotive applications at SMTA International, September 22-26, Rosemont, Illinois, USA at Booth 515.

Indium8.9HF is a proven solder paste series that delivers no-clean, halogen-free solutions designed to produce low-voiding, enhanced electrical reliability, and improved stability during the printing process. It is specially formulated to accommodate the higher processing temperatures required by the SnAgCu, SnAg, and other alloy systems favored by the automotive electronics industry.

Indium8.9HF provides unique oxidation barrier technology that eliminates HIP defects and graping, making it perfectly suited for automotive applications. It also enhances the reliability of automotive products by:

  • Exceeding all requirements for enhanced electrical reliability and SIR performance
  • Improving thermal conductivity and thermal reliability with industry-proven low-voiding performance
  • Resisting premature flux spread to prevent surfaces from oxidizing
  • Meeting HKMC MS184-01 testing criteria Type B—one of the automotive industry’s most stringent reliability criteria

For information on Indium8.9HF and its use in the automotive industry, visit or visit booth #515.

Visit Nordson ASYMTEK at Booth 511

Nordson ASYMTEK, a Nordson company, will present more ways to create reliable, efficient conformal coating and dispensing processes at SMTA International in Booth 511.

Nordson ASYMTEK SC Select Spray Coating LRThe popular Select Coat® SL-940 conformal coating platform will feature a new flow control system, being introduced at SMTAI. With an enhanced spray process and flow stabilization, the resulting conformal coating system delivers closed-loop flow control at new levels of accuracy with highly consistent performance.

“Our customers are looking for solutions that are reliable and accurate,” explained Russ Horne, regional sales representative, Nordson ASYMTEK. “We continue to develop more features and systems that our customers will use to manufacture safe, high-quality products, like automotive and medical devices and IoT electronics.”


Rehm Thermal Systems will showcase its technology at Booth 1039

Rehm Thermal Systems produces energy-efficient manufacturing equipment for the electronics and photovoltaics industry. As a manufacturer of reflow soldering systems (convection or condensation) and drying and coating systems, we are today a technological and innovation leader in the economically advantageous area of module production. In the field of solar power Rehm offers high-quality equipment for the metallisation of solar cells. For our clients we tailor-make applications related to soldering, coating and hardening for electronics modules. Some of the major sectors in which our thermal systems find application include the automotive, medical, aerospace and power electronics industries and the military.

SEHO Offers Complete Solutions for Soldering Processes and Automated Production Lines at Booth 309

The StartSelective is thought through down to the last detail, from its compact design, ease of operation and many technical highlights. With a footprint of only 2.5 m², the StartSelective provides maximum quality and reproducibility of soldering results for assemblies up to 20″ x 20″ and an outstanding return on investment.

SEHO StartSelectiveWhile all process steps are fully automated and monitored, loading and unloading of assemblies is done manually.

The bottom-side preheat section of the StartSelective is equipped with pulsar heaters over the full area, which can be activated individually depending on board dimensions. Pulsar heaters feature a high energy density and quick reaction time. This enables a remarkable reduction in energy consumption.

An additional top-side IR preheating ensures permanent and controlled heat support during long cycles.


ICAPE Group Invites Attendees to Booth 332

icapeSince 1999, ICAPE Group has been producing Printed Circuit Boards and Customized Technical Parts in China. Now in more than 70 countries, 1700 customers trust the quality services of the group. Each month, ICAPE Group delivers 22 million PCBs and 5 million Technical Parts. With its teams of 340 people worldwide and 75 strategic partners in Asia, 25 in Printed Circuit Boards and 50 in Technical Parts, ICAPE Group brings the best supply solutions



And don’t forget to stop by Booth 943 and say howdy to EMSNOW! Have a great show.