IRVINE, CA – Terran Orbital (NYSE:LLAP) has announced the official opening of a new 60,000-square-foot satellite manufacturing space, adding to existing manufacturing capability at its Irvine, California facility.
The company said the addition, which expands the total size of the manufacturing complex in Irvine to approximately 98,000 square feet, will enable it to boost satellite production from an estimated 10 satellites per month to more than 20.
The expansion includes two advanced Printed Circuit Board Assembly (PCBA) lines, a state-of-the-art testing facility equipped with a large shaker table and a Thermal Vacuum (TVAC) chamber, a wire harness facility, and new automated module testing facilities.
“This new factory addition will significantly improve both the efficiency and capacity of our entire production system,” commented Terran Orbital co-founder, chairman and CEO Marc Bell.
Currently, the company is manufacturing 42 satellite buses on behalf of Lockheed Martin (NYSE:LMT) for the US Space Development Agency’s Tranche 1 Transport Layer Program, a mesh network in low Earth orbit that will support America’s military operations and other satellites and constellations.
Terran Orbital is a leading manufacturer of satellite products primarily serving the aerospace and defense industries. The company provides end-to-end satellite solutions by combining satellite design, production, launch planning, mission operations, and on-orbit support to meet the needs of the most demanding military, civil, and commercial customers.
DALLAS, TX – StenTech® Inc., the leading multinational SMT Printing Solutions company, is pleased to announce the installation of a brand-new, state-of-the-art laser system at its facility in Guadalajara, Mexico. This investment in the latest iteration of the StencilLaser G6080, manufactured by Germany-based LPKF Laser & Electronics, marks a significant milestone for the SMT industry in Mexico and underscores StenTech's commitment to its valued local customer base in Jalisco.
The StencilLaser G6080 is a flagship laser system, renowned for its best-in-class technology, serving the most demanding stencil users in the SMT industry. The system features a custom carbon fiber architecture, ensuring superior positioning accuracy and sidewall quality while maximizing productivity. Capable of cutting both stainless steel and nickel stencils with material thicknesses ranging from 20 um to 1 mm (0.8 to 40 mil), this cutting-edge laser technology empowers StenTech to deliver exceptional stencil solutions that meet the highest industry standards.
"We are excited to introduce the latest LPKF StencilLaser to our Mexico operations," said Brent Nolan, CEO of StenTech. "This cutting-edge laser system represents the newest and most advanced technology deployed in the country, reaffirming our dedication to providing our valued customers in Jalisco with the best solutions available in the market." LPKF's North American President, Stephan Schmidt, expressed his enthusiasm for the global partnership with StenTech, stating, "We truly value the collaboration with StenTech and its commitment to elevating quality standards in the SMT industry. The StencilLaser G6080 is a testament to the continuous pursuit of excellence shared by both companies."
In addition to its latest investment in industry leading technology, StenTech's Guadalajara facility also offers an array of cutting-edge capabilities, including Advanced Nano Coating, tooling solutions, and unparalleled customer service. The combination of these advanced offerings positions StenTech as a trusted partner for the most demanding stencil projects, meeting the unique needs of its customers across various industries.
StenTech's continued commitment to deploying LPKF technology ensures that its customers benefit from the most innovative and reliable stencil solutions in the market. The investment in the StencilLaser G6080 further strengthens StenTech's position as the leader in the stencil industry, dedicated to delivering superior quality and customer satisfaction.
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CAMBRIDGE, UK – Can digital and/or high throughput manufacturing be applied to circuit boards? Can stretchable electronics be produced without sacrificing processing capabilities? Flexible hybrid electronics (FHE) is an emerging manufacturing methodology that aims to resolve both of these questions. By combining aspects of printed and conventional electronics, specifically conductive inks patterned on a flexible substrate with mounted components such as integrated circuits (ICs), it represents a compelling 'best of both worlds' solution.
Matching Value Propositions to Applications
At its core, FHE is an alternative approach to circuit manufacturing. As such, FHE circuits can, in principle, be used wherever comparatively simple PCBs are needed (i.e., not complex multilayer circuits). Of course, replacing an established incumbent technology requires a compelling advantage that is typically application-dependent - do not expect FHE circuits to displace the PCB in most consumer electronics anytime soon.
Relative to existing flexible PCBs, FHE offers 3 distinct value propositions: Additive digital manufacturing, conformality/stretchability, and compatibility with roll-to-roll (R2R) manufacturing. The key to successful commercialization is finding a product-market fit where one or more of these value propositions either justifies switching or to facilitate a new application that would not otherwise be possible.
Additive Digital Manufacturing
Since conductive ink can be printed using digital methods such as inkjet or the emerging laser-induced forward transfer (LIFT), FHE enables additive digital manufacturing. FHE is thus well suited to prototyping and very high-mix low-volume (HMLV) manufacturing - it could also potentially be deployed to facilitate versioning and even 'mass customization', the latter of which is difficult to envisage without digital manufacturing.
Additive manufacturing is less wasteful than more established subtractive approaches and is thus especially advantageous when components and, hence, conductive traces are widely spaced. One such example is mounting LEDs on sheets for large area lighting, which can also be produced by R2R manufacturing.
Conformality/stretchability is a key value proposition of FHE. Whereas flexible PCBs often employ rigid islands for mounting packaged ICs and other rigid SMD components, FHE circuits can be more flexible since many components (e.g., sensors) can be printed. Furthermore, conductive inks that are either stretchable or can withstand bending enables a shorter bending radius and even stretchability.
The flexible (and potentially stretchable) form factor makes FHE ideally suited to wearable technology, including electronic skin patches and e-textiles since it improves wearer comfort relative to the current rigid boxes that contain conventional electronics. Challenges include washability and sustainability concerns relative to reusable rigid electronics mounted within a removable box.
For large-volume manufacturing, conductive traces can be printed using rotary analog methods such as flexography, gravure, and rotary screen printing. This enables very rapid deposition via R2R manufacturing, reducing costs. Cost benefits are especially significant if traces can be printed onto existing surfaces (such as packaging labels), eliminating the need for a dedicated structure.
Given the large volumes required and relatively low value-add per item, minimizing costs is essential for electronics to be adopted for smart packaging/RFID. While most RFID tags currently use stamped aluminum foil for antennas, printing with copper inks will reduce costs and improve sustainability. R2R FHE production is forecast to expand to more sophisticated smart packaging circuits with greater functionality, such as sensing.
IDTechEx's report "Flexible Hybrid Electronics 2024-2034" evaluates the status and prospects of FHE circuits, which we forecast to reach a market size of around US$1.8 billion by 2034 - more if the associated infrastructure, software, and services are included. Drawing on years of following the printed electronics industry and 40 interview-based company profiles, the report outlines trends and innovations in the materials, components, and manufacturing methods required. It explores the application sectors where FHE is most likely to be adopted, drawing on current activity and in-depth discussions with contract manufacturers and potential adopters. Granular market forecasts break down the opportunities for FHE circuits across 5 application sectors (automotive, consumer goods, energy, healthcare/wellness, and infrastructure/buildings/industrial) into 39 specific opportunities, such as skin temperature sensors and printed RFID tags.
To find out more about this IDTechEx report, including downloadable sample pages, please visit www.IDTechEx.com/FHE.
MANASSAS, VA – ZESTRON, the leading global provider of high-precision cleaning products, services, and training solutions in the electronics manufacturing and semiconductor industries, is thrilled to announce its participation in the upcoming Surface Mount Technology Association (SMTA) International Conference and Exhibition, scheduled to take place from October 9th-12th, 2023. The event, held at the Minneapolis Convention Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota, will provide an ideal platform for ZESTRON to showcase its cutting-edge cleaning technologies to a diverse audience of industry professionals.
Attendees visiting ZESTRON's booth can learn about the company's comprehensive range of cleaning solutions and analytical services that cater to various stages of the electronics manufacturing process. Whether implementing a new cleaning process, optimizing an existing one, or adhering to new regulations, ZESTRON partners with their customers to provide long-term reliability for critical applications.
ZESTRON's commitment to sustainability will also be a highlight at the exhibition. ZESTRON places a strong emphasis on developing environmentally friendly cleaning solutions that not only optimize performance but also adhere to the highest standards of eco-friendliness.
Visit ZESTRON at booth #1401 during SMTA International to learn more about their advanced cleaning solutions and engage with their expert team.
For more information about ZESTRON and their participation in SMTA International 2023, please visit our website or contact us here.
GREAT NECK, NY – Thermaltronics USA, Inc.is excited to announce its participation in the upcoming EXPO MRO in Juarez, Mexico, from October 11-13, 2023. The event is a prime opportunity for attendees to explore the game-changing soldering solutions offered by Thermaltronics. The company’s representative in Mexico, ITEC LATIN AMERICA, will be present at booth 208 to showcase Thermaltronics’ innovative Curie Point Soldering systems and award-winning Soldering Robots.
Gerardo Rodriguez, the principal at ITEC LATIN AMERICA, expressed his enthusiasm for the exhibition, stating, “We are thrilled to introduce the dynamic Juarez, Chihuahua market to Thermaltronics’ advanced Curie Point Soldering systems and Soldering Robots. With its proximity to the US border and the presence of numerous US companies with factories in the region, we anticipate a highly positive response.”
The EXPO MRO holds strategic significance as it offers an ideal platform for showcasing Thermaltronics’ precision, accuracy, and repeatability in soldering technology. The exceptional features of Thermaltronics’ Soldering Robots, including a dual head operating system, position the company at the forefront of solving soldering challenges faced by local manufacturers.
Thermaltronics’ commitment to delivering cutting-edge solutions aligns seamlessly with the needs of the electronics manufacturing industry. The company's innovative Curie Point Soldering systems and Soldering Robots redefine industry standards, offering unparalleled performance, efficiency, and reliability.
For more information on Thermaltronics’ groundbreaking soldering solutions and other products, please visit www.thermaltronics.com
PLYMOUTH, WI – Kurtz Ersa Inc., the world leader of electronics production equipment, to announce the appointment of Ethan Jones as a Sales Manager for the Rework and Inspection team. Operating from the Indianapolis, IN area, Jones will play a pivotal role in expanding the company's presence across the United States and Canada regions.
Jones brings with him nearly three years of valuable sales experience gained in the medical industry, and he is eager to apply his expertise to this new and exciting field. Having completed three years of engineering courses at Purdue University and earning a management degree from Purdue, he possesses a unique blend of technical knowledge and managerial acumen that will be instrumental in fostering relationships with both existing and prospective clients.
"We are thrilled to have Ethan join our team," said Todd DeZwarte, Director of Sales, North America –Rework & Inspection at Kurtz Ersa Inc. "His background in engineering and experience in sales make him a valuable addition to our Rework and Inspection division. We look forward to leveraging his skills to further strengthen our market presence and provide exceptional service to our customers."
Jones’ appointment reflects Kurtz Ersa's ongoing commitment to enhancing customer relationships and expanding its reach within the electronics production equipment industry.
As always, Kurtz Ersa remains global, ahead and sustainable. For more information about Kurtz Ersa, visit www.ersa.com