12 March 2021
This topic has been putting the pressure on developers and EMS service providers for years. The trend towards miniaturising components has led to brilliant solutions, but the use of sizes that are barely visible such as the 01005 component design has so far not met expectations in terms of intended use and assembly production.
Sooner or later, you will have to address the trend of incorporating more compact assemblies. I believe the current component designs will soon die out, this primarily due to the increasing multifunctionality of electronic devices which necessitates a more compact design for assemblies.
Matthias Holsten, change consultant for the electronics branch, sees integrating components with such extraordinarily small designs into series production as being problematic for three reasons :
Getting the size right in mass production means that the entire manufacturing process has to be engineered for it. Applying solder paste properly here requires precision work, as does picking up and placing barely visible components, not to mention the extremely delicate process of soldering itself. Making sure that the process is reliable is the real problem.
In his opinion, this is why many EMS service providers still shy away from upgrading and converting their machinery and drag their feet. “However, if EMS service providers don’t get on board in time, their production will soon become uneconomical,” said Holsten, clearly stating his point of view.
We see a promising market for microsystems, such as those used in camera systems in automation technology. However, the entire production sector with its increasing use of automation in factories also offers us and the entire industry the chance to establish a reliable business segment in the long term.
Following this trend, the Electronics activity of LACROIX is introducing the use of miniature components in series production with new machinery. Indeed, two new ASM placement machines have been operating in series production since early February of this year.
This provides more than just the required process reliability. With the shorter assembly and changeover times, we also have noticeably better economic viability and are well positioned with regard to the competition.