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KIC's RPI Wins a 2009 NPI Award

Apr 08, 2009

San Diego � March 2009 � KIC announces that it has been awarded a NPI Award in the category of Process Control Tools for its RPI in-line inspection system. The award was presented to the company during a Monday, March 30, 2009 ceremony that took place in the Mandalay Bay Resort & Convention Center in Las Vegas before the start of APEX 2009.

The RPI is an in-line process inspection system for SMT reflow ovens. The system is embedded inside the reflow oven and on a daily basis, it will generate two charts: DPMO and Process Yield for the thermal process.

The RPI complements the working of AOI and X Ray systems, especially for BGAs and other Area Array Packages. The AOI system is not designed to look at joints hidden under the component's body as in the case of BGA, PoP and other such components. X-ray inspection will see through the component body onto the joints. The RPI, however, �inspects� the process that these joints endured, and will reveal whether the thermal process was conducted to spec. There are numerous defects associated with solder joints that have been processed out of spec. Examples include inadequate wetting, too large or too small grain structure, and even certain types of opens and cold soldered joints. The RPI inspects the core of the issue that, to a large degree, determines the joint quality or defects: Were the products processed within the relevant thermal process parameters?

Finally, rather than overwhelming the manager or engineer with data, the RPI generates only two datapoints (DPMO and Yield) in a simple chart to tell if the thermal process is healthy or not.

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.

Based in San Diego, KIC is the industry leader in automated thermal management tools and systems for reflow, wave, cure and semiconductor thermal processes. The company pioneered the development of oven profilers and process development tools, and then worked to create the next generation of thermal systems to help manufacturers optimize and monitor thermal processes.

In addition to KIC Explorer, products include the KIC�24/7 continuous monitoring system, the KIC Vision automatic profiling system and more. With the introduction of cutting edge tools, the company continues to stay on the leading edge of process optimization and real-time thermal management systems, and has won numerous industry awards.

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