On April 6 in Las Vegas, CIRCUITS ASSEMBLY handed out its annual Service Excellence Awards for the 18th time. The program recognizes EMS providers and electronics assembly equipment, materials and software suppliers, as judged by entrants’ own customers.

In previous years, the reception was held the day before the exhibit hall opened; this year, the event took place during the show. Participants said they appreciated the convenience of the location and the timing, which allowed customers to witness the proceedings.

Amid cheers, clapping and flashing cameras, EMS firms with the highest overall customer service ratings were announced, including repeat winner Mack Technologies in the large company (more than $100 million) category, Western Electronics in a highly competitive medium company ($20 million to $100 million) category, and returning winner, Krypton Solutions in the small company category (under $20 million).

Other EMS firms were honored in each of five individual service categories. (Overall winners were excluded from winning individual categories.) In the small-company category, Screaming Circuits held the top spot in the areas of dependability/timely delivery and manufacturing quality, and tied with I. Technical Services for responsiveness and technology. I. Technical Services won the value category.

In the medium-company category, Applied Technical Services took highest honors for dependability/timely delivery and responsiveness. NBS Corp. won for quality, technology and value.

In the large company category, EPIC Technologies swept all five individual categories for the second year in a row.

Electronics assembly equipment award winners were Assembléon America for pick-and-place; DEK International for screen printing; Kyzen Corp. for cleaning/processing materials; YESTech for test and inspection; OK International for soldering equipment; Nordson EFD for materials, and Air Vac Engineering for rework/repair. Aegis Industrial Software received top honors yet again in the manufacturing/supply chain management software category.

A donation of $2,500 was made on the participants’ behalf to the Surface Mount Technology Association’s Charles Hutchins Educational Grant. Part of each participant’s entry fee was included in the donation. CIRCUITS ASSEMBLY has contributed more than $55,000 to the fund over the years.

In addition to honoring the SEA winners, CIRCUITS ASSEMBLY and PCD&F gave awards for the 2010 New Product Introduction Award for electronics assembly equipment, materials and software, as well as PCB design and fabrication.

The NPI Award, in its third year, recognizes leading new products during the past 12 months. An independent panel of practicing industry engineers selected the recipients.

The winners included Production Solutions for its Red-E-Set Ultra HD for automation tools. In the cleaning equipment category, Aqueous Technologies took home the prize for its Trident Quad. Kyzen received an award for cleaning materials with Aquanox A4703, while Assembléon received top honors for its MC-24X in the high-speed component placement category.

For multi-function component placement, Europlacer won for the XPii-II SMT Assembler, and Data I/O scored a win for device programming with FlashCORE III.
Polyonics received an award for labeling equipment with its XF-781 Thermal Transfer Printable Polyimide, and FCT Assembly won for NC160 Flux in the flux materials category.

For process control tools, KIC took top honors for e-Clipse Thermocouple Attachment, and R&D Technical Services won for rework/repair tools with Vaporworks 24 Rev 2.

DEK’s VectorGuard Platinum Dual Layer Stencil won for screen/stencil printing, while Panasonic was honored for production software with PanaCIM Enterprise Edition. Microscan and its TTC solution received an award for process control software, and Valor won for management software with MSS.

In the soldering materials category, Cobar Solder Products won for Aquasol. For reflow soldering, Speedline Technologies won for the OmniMax reflow soldering system. Juki was honored for selective soldering with the Inline Flex Solder W510. Wave soldering went to Seho Systems for Real-Time Fluxer Control, and soldering (other) went to EVS International for the EVS 9000 solder dross recovery solution.

For ICT, Acculogic was honored for the FLS980Dxi Flying Scorpion. Koh Young took top honors for AOI with the Zenith 3D AOI system, and Henkel won in the adhesives category for Hysol Eccobond CA3556HF.

For laminates, Rogers received an award for RO4360 Thermoset. WKK held the top spot for imaging for its X-Pose SM120 exposure system. National Instruments won for system modeling and simulation tools for NI Multisim 11.0 circuit simulation and analysis software, and for PCB design tools, Sunstone Circuits’ PCB123 took home the prize.

After a difficult 2009, this show was upbeat and hopeful for the rest of 2010 and beyond. The awards reception was no exception. SEA winners and other participants alike were eager to receive reports providing feedback from their customers, and the sheer number of NPI entrants is a positive sign that in a slow growing economy, companies are still focusing on bring new technologies to market.

Look for 2011 award program information at and in the summer months. CA

Chelsey Drysdale is senior editor of CIRCUITS ASSEMBLY;


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