Power Electronics

Lead-Free Workshop Transfers Knowledge to Production Floor

Sponsored by Engent, KIC, Henkel Technologies, Speedline and VJ Technologies, the first of its kind hands-on lead-free workshop held last week at Engent’s leading-edge manufacturing facility was, according to participants, an overwhelming success. Different from other lead-free seminars, this novel approach to lead-free education combined traditional classroom instruction with hands-on application, allowing attendees to test their knowledge on the production floor by building and re-working a lead-free assembly using the latest profiling tools, advanced lead-free materials, sophisticated equipment and next-generation analytical tools.

Randy Cherry, lead process engineer at Tellabs, traveled from Illinois to attend the workshop and says, “The unique format of this course definitely made it worth the trip! I was able to learn from leading market experts and had the opportunity to build a printed circuit board assembly using the latest lead-free materials, components and state-of-the-art equipment – all factors that I know will ensure the success of our company as we make the lead-free transition.”

With the July 2006 compliance deadline fast approaching, electronics manufacturers must educate themselves on all of the lead-free considerations as related to their individual requirements. Wading through the plethora of often-contradictory lead-free information and understanding issues such as thermal process management, materials interactions, alloy reliability, reflow and wave process implications and re-work considerations is a daunting task. This workshop helped alleviate some of the anxiety associated with lead-free manufacturing by providing discussion and practical application of all of these issues.

This lead-free course appealed to electronics professionals on all levels. James Seagle, process engineer at Z-World, and his colleague, Guy Martindale, senior process engineer, came to the event with very different agendas. Seagle, who has spent 11 years in electronics assembly and has recently attended upwards of five lead-free seminars, wanted the chance to apply his understanding of lead-free manufacturing. “The hands-on approach of this workshop was very beneficial to me,” says Seagle. “While the technical data presented in other seminars has been good, this workshop let me test my knowledge and take it to another level on the production floor.” Martindale, on the other hand, came to Z-World from the board fabrication industry and, coincidentally, his first day on the job was spent in the lead-free workshop. “This is a crash-course for me,” says Martindale. “But, there is no better way to learn something than by experiencing it. I think the production aspect of this workshop was invaluable.”

Building on the success of this event and recognizing the urgency of the topic, Engent, KIC, Henkel Technologies, Speedline and VJ Technologies plan to host another hands-on lead-free workshop this fall (dates TBA).

For more information, contact Doug Dixon at 626-968-6511 or by e-mail at [email protected]

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