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  • Juki Automation Systems Wins a 2008 NPI Award for Its OPASS Technology

Juki Automation Systems Wins a 2008 NPI Award for Its OPASS Technology

Apr 07, 2008

MORRISVILLE, NC - March 31, 2008 - Juki Corporation, a world-leading provider of automated assembly products and systems, announces that its OPASS technology won a NPI Award in the Software category. The award was presented to the company during a Monday, March 31, 2008 ceremony that took place in the Mandalay Bay Resort & Convention Center in Las Vegas before the start of APEX 2008. OPASS, which stands for Offset Placement After Solder Screen Printing, was developed to address the problem of solder paste alignment errors.

With OPASS technology, the placement machine can automatically detect and compensate for misalignment of the solder paste to produce high-quality boards regardless of the process errors beforehand.

�The OPASS system developed by Juki ensures that customers can achieve high first-pass yields regardless of circuit pattern variations between board lots,� said Bob Black, CEO.

While board makers strive to keep variations between lots to an absolute minimum, it is not possible for them to eliminate forward expansion and scaling completely. This means that the pads are not exactly in the same positions as they were on the previous lot. When the boards are fed into the stencil printer for solder paste there can be slight offsets from the solder paste print to the pad location. In larger parts that can be a very small percentage of the pad size, but in smaller parts like 01005, 0201 or even 0402, the solder could be halfway off of the pad.

Likewise with ceramic or flexible boards, print repeatability can be difficult to achieve, causing further solder paste alignment problems. There also is cause for concern on double-sided boards because boards tend to contract after the first side reflow process. With the increased use of lead-free solder, the properties of the self-alignment effects have changed.

Through extensive research and cooperation with high-volume manufacturers, Juki has found that placing small components centered on the paste and not the pad will reduce the defect rate. OPASS addresses this issue.

When OPASS is integrated into the electronics assembly machine, it eliminates the need for other equipment such as AOI machines to correct for solder paste alignment problems and provides a comprehensive solution to meet the future market trends of component miniaturization, high-density placement and lead-free assembly.

�The OPASS technology demonstrates Juki�s innovation in providing solutions in SMT assembly. While others have announced links with solder paste inspection systems and AOI systems costing $100K to $150K to address this issue, Juki has developed an in-machine solution costing less than $15K,� said Black.

Premiering in 2008, the NPI Awards program is an annual celebration of product excellence in electronics surface mount assembly. Premier products based on the finest examples of creative advancement in technology are chosen by a distinguished panel of industry experts.

Juki Corporation�s experience as the market leader in industrial sewing machines was the stepping-stone for the entry into the printed circuit board assembly market in 1987. Since then, Juki has delivered more than 20,000 automated assembly systems worldwide and is currently shipping an average of 200 assembly machines per month. This extraordinary achievement makes Juki one of the world�s leading providers of automated assembly products and systems. In addition to its core technologies, Juki�s Electronic Assembly and Test Systems Division develops and manufactures advanced electronic systems and computer software for data entry, mail processing and other electronic equipment.

With the purchase of Zevatech�s assets in November 1999, Juki Automation Systems now brings Juki�s reputation for top quality and reliable service also to the North and South American and the European electronics assembly markets. Juki recognizes the challenges of the new century and is prepared to respond to the globalization of electronic manufacturing. With a sophisticated knowledge base, advanced technologies and a high commitment to its customers, Juki is poised for continued growth in the 21st century.

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