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Friday, 29 March 2013 16:52

Pb-Free Electronics

“Leveraging Existing Market Knowledge to Ensure a Successful Transition to Lead-Free Medical Products”

Author: Greg Casewell, This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .
Abstract: RoHS legislation will cover medical devices as of 2014, in vitro diagnostic equipment as of 2016, and industrial monitoring and control instruments as of 2017. The importance of planning for Pb-free products is evident, especially considering the high-reliability requirements, long development and product run times in the medical device field. Many products developed today will be sold beyond 2014. Fortunately, the medical electronics industry can benefit from experience gained by other industries that have eliminated lead over the past several years. There are difficulties and risks associated with this significant change, but they can be managed. Experience from consumer electronics shows it is important to dedicate resources to the Pb-free transition effort and to support it from the top-down within an organization. Some companies have also used the opportunity to implement other best practices, such as improved process control and more thorough reliability testing. Eliminating lead also provides the chance to clean house and remove test procedures that are no longer relevant. This presentation addresses the reliability testing aspects of a Pb-free conversion and provides a foundation for developing a Pb-free reliability test plan. (MEPTEC Medical Electronics Symposium, Sept. 2012)

Quality Assurance

“Medical Electronics Technology, Personal Health and the Economy – Drivers for Positive Business Growth Moving Toward Supplier-Owned Quality”

Author: Lisa Bobich
Abstract: In the past, Medtronic received components from suppliers, performed inspection of those components in the incoming/receiving area, and then delivered acceptable components to the manufacturing floor. In April 2011, our facility became a “no rework” campus. As part of this initiative, we have been pushing component inspection back to suppliers, as well as striving to achieve a higher level of quality from our suppliers – supplier-owned quality. The first steps have been to implement an electronic system where suppliers can convey inspection results to Medtronic. Before utilizing this system, appropriate Measurement System Analyses are performed to ensure repeatability and reproducibility of measurements/acceptance criteria. For features where variable data are uploaded, we analyze the capability and evaluate the supplier’s level of quality. For most suppliers, components are accepted based on pass/fail to specifications. The next level of quality is to accept components based on k-values for features/specifications with variable data, which suggests a moderate level of capability for each lot. A high level of quality is to accept components based on control limits; this takes into account the historical measurements of a feature and gives a high level of confidence in the capability of each feature. To achieve the highest level of quality, a supplier would monitor its own feature-level data within narrower control limits and take pre-emptive action to mitigate any trends toward out-of-control. (MEPTEC Medical Electronics Symposium, Sept. 2012)

Thermal Management

“The Importance of Modeling Thermal Package Stresses in MEMS Devices”

Author: John Bloomsburgh
Abstract: At the package level, thermal management in MEMS and ICs is very similar. Reliability, thermal dissipation, signal integrity, and small size/form factor are chief package requirements. Two main differences are that 1) MEMS devices must interact with the outside world, and some MEMS devices will absorb energy from the signals they sense, creating additional heat to be dissipated; and 2) many MEMS are inherently electromechanical components, and the mechanical impact of thermal stresses will have a direct impact on MEMS performance. MEMS design can and must be optimized to tolerate thermal loads. Package-level thermal loads and gradients must be studied and their impacts on MEMS performance minimized. FEA modeling is crucial. (MEPTEC Thermal Management Symposium, March 2012)

“Thermal Design for High Light Flux LED Products”

Author: Brandon Noska
Abstract: LED efficacy has seen significant improvement over the past 10 to 15 years. Packaging has progressed from low-technology, low-power to high-power, high-flux CoB or multichip/multi-emitter arrays. Many examples of high-light flux arrays are in the market due to their inherent design advantages. The concentration of heat is difficult to manage given other design constraints on size and weight. Higher performance cooling technologies are needed to keep designs functional and within the geometric and form factor requirements. Solutions utilizing technologies such as thin vapor chambers, synthetic jets, heat pipes, and fans can enable lighting designers to meet form, fit, and function requirements for applications where space and weight are a concern. (MEPTEC Thermal Management Symposium, March 2012)

This column provides abstracts from recent industry conferences and company white papers. Our goal is to provide an added opportunity for readers to keep abreast of technology and business trends.

Last Updated on Monday, 01 April 2013 10:58


Eastern-US: China’s New Competitor?

Parity emerges among EMS Factories from Asia, Mexico and the US.

For the first time in years we see parity in the Eastern US among EMS factories from Asia, Mexico and the US. This EMS market condition will permit American OEMs (the EMS industry refers to OEMs as customers) to have more EMS pathways to choose from. Now more than ever, such EMS assignments will require deeper investigation relating to the OEMs’ evaluation of manufacturing strategies.

The Human Touch

For those who count on the electronics industry for big feats, it’s been a remarkable couple of years.



Advances in Concentration Monitoring and Closed-Loop Control

Contaminated bath water skews refractive index results. New technology can accurately measure aqueous cleaning agent concentration.

Circuits Disassembly: Materials Characterization and Failure Analysis

A systematic approach to nonconventional methods of encapsulant removal.





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