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Universal Instruments’ APL Holds AREA Consortium Meeting

Nov 29, 2012

In October, Universal Instruments Corporation’s Advanced Process Lab (APL) held its third Advanced Research in Electronics Assembly (AREA) Consortium meeting of 2012 at Binghamton University’s Innovative Technologies Complex in Vestal, N.Y. The 25-member consortium, organized by Universal, helps member organizations identify and develop new and emerging technologies, generating applicable knowledge for specific product development and manufacturing processes.

The two-day meeting covered a variety of topics relating to electronics assembly processes, reliability, and materials, as well as served as the consortium’s 2013 planning meeting. More than 60 attendees participated, coming from leading companies throughout the electronics industry, including Alcatel-Lucent, Analogic, Benchmark, Celestica, Curtiss-Wright, DEK USA, Ericsson, Harris, IBM, Indium, Koh Young, Laser Job Inc., Lockheed Martin, Motorola Solutions, Nihon-Superior, Plexus, Qualcomm, Rockwell Automation, and Rockwell Collins.

The agenda featured a series of presentations from researchers funded by the consortium, and one from consortium member Alcatel-Lucent. Research topics were presented by APL experts and funded professors from Binghamton University. Reliability was the key focus on day one, with sessions covering topics such as PCB pad cratering, conformal coat, BGA interposer and vibration testing. Also presented were various aspects of lead-free solder alloys, including their microstructure and fatigue behaviors, as well as an update on an ongoing PCB creep corrosion project. The agenda on day two continued with a presentation on thin-die wafer-level CSP process and reliability issues, a comparison between LGA and BGA reliability, and a look at the mechanical behavior of high-temperature solder alloys. Attendees then broke into groups to plan for the upcoming year before touring the laboratory facilities at Binghamton University.

We were delighted to share and discuss the results of all our tests with so many respected technical leaders from across the industry,” said Martin Anselm, PhD, manager of the AREA Consortium. “This provides a truly unique forum to better understand these assembly challenges.

The consortium continues to address lead-free solder attachment reliability for a wide range of components,” noted Richard Coyle of consortium member Alcatel-Lucent. “Their testing is uniquely comprehensive in that it extends beyond typical failure analysis and establishes the relationship between the solder microstructure and the failure mechanism. This topic is of particular interest to us and the results of these studies have been extremely valuable in helping us to assess our processes and reliability.”

To learn more about the AREA Consortium, including how to become a member, please contact AREA Consortium Manager Martin Anselm at 607-779-5077 or To find out how Universal’s Advanced Process Laboratory can help your organization, contact APL Director David Vicari at 607-779-5151 or


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