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Industry's Most Baffling Defects No Match For Free Process Defect Clinic At IPC Apex Expo 2012

Dec 02, 2011

Manufacturing and quality engineers looking for solutions to process challenges will find answers at the NPL Process Defect Database Clinic at IPC APEX EXPO®, February 28-March 1, 2012, at the San Diego Convention Center. Organized by IPC and the National Physical Laboratory (NPL), the free clinic will be held in the exhibit hall to assist event attendees with assembly and soldering process problems, RoHS compliance issues, solderability concerns, field failures and other process-related issues. IPC APEX EXPO registrants may bring board assemblies for examination or process problems for discussion and walk away with solutions.

With the assistance of inspection equipment, the NPL Clinic will assist attendees in understanding their process problems and offer guidance and suggested solutions. “Defects are too often erroneously attributed to a particular process,” says industry guru Bob Willis. “If the true cause of failure is not determined, the defect will return. If you can turn a defect on and off - then voilà - you know you’ve found the real culprit.

New this year, mini seminars led by Willis and NPL staff will be held in the booth. “How to …” sessions on conducting dye and pry on area array packages, testing boards for outgassing, testing component solderability, and monitoring PCB solderability in production will augment the learning experience; and in many cases, experts will reveal how these can be done for little or no cost.

Willis and Christopher Hunt, Ph.D., principal research scientist, NPL, will also present a free BUZZ session in the afternoon of February 28. Tin Whiskers, Delamination, Copper Dissolution, CAF, Coating Adhesion will cover some of the most interesting and innovative research work conducted at NPL in the last couple of years and participants will receive copies of any of the NPL research reports free of charge.

Gearing up for IPC APEX EXPO, Willis will host a free one-hour webinar, Soldering and Assembly Defects - Causes and Cures, on January 12, 2012 at 12:00 pm Central time. He will share manufacturing challenges, helpful solutions and ways to investigate root causes, including how to use the NPL process defect database to solve process problems 24/7. To register, visit

Registrants of IPC APEX EXPO 2012 can make appointments with the NPL Process Defect Database Clinic through the online show planning tool, My APEX EXPO at or visit the clinic during show hours. In addition, questions can be submitted in advance by e-mail to

In addition to hosting the live presentation of the NPL Process Defect Database Clinic at IPC APEX EXPO, IPC posts a “defect of the month” series on its website, The series features short videos created by Willis that are based on the database.

Exhibits-Only registration is free to pre-registrants and includes free access to the NPL Process Defect Database Clinic and its mini seminars, BUZZ Sessions, New Product Zone and all free special events as well as the largest exhibition in North America for printed board design and manufacturing, electronics assembly and test.

To register for IPC APEX EXPO or for more information on all the activities taking place including the industry’s premier technical conference, professional development courses, and standards development meetings, visit

IPC ( is a global trade association based in Bannockburn, Ill., dedicated to the competitive excellence and financial success of its 3,000 member companies which represent all facets of the electronics industry, including design, printed board manufacturing, electronics assembly and test. As a member-driven organization and leading source for industry standards, training, market research and public policy advocacy, IPC supports programs to meet the needs of an estimated $2.02 trillion global electronics industry. IPC maintains additional offices in Taos, N.M.; Arlington, Va.; Stockholm, Sweden; Moscow, Russia; Bangalore, India; and Shanghai, Shenzhen and Beijing, China.

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