PD18 : Preventing Production Defects and Product Failures

Under today’s manufacturing and market environment, the effort to maximize production yield, reduce cost, and assure product reliability is becoming increasingly important to a company’s competitiveness. Considering the new and anticipated developments in packaging and assembly and with the goal of achieving high yield and reliability in mind, the “how-to” prevent prevailing production defects and product reliability issues through an understanding of potential causes is a necessity.

On Monday, February 13, from 9:00 to 12:00 pm, Dr. Jennie Hwang’s professional development course (PD18) at IPC APEX EXPO to be held at the San Diego Conference Center will address the top seven production defects and issues – PCB pad cratering (vs. pad lifting); BGA head-on-pillow defect; open or insufficient solder joints; copper dissolution issue; lead-free through-hole barrel filling, intermetallic compounds, and tin whisker. The role of intermetallics at-interface and in-bulk (contributing from the PCB surface finish/component coating) in relation to product reliability; the difference between SnPb and Pb-free solder joint in terms of intermetallic compounds, which in turn is attributed to production-floor phenomena and the actual field failure will be discussed. From practical perspectives, tin whisker with emphasis on risk mitigation through understanding the factors that affect tin whisker growth and its preventive and remedial solutions will be outlined. The practical tin whisker criteria for reliability implications in the lead-free environment and the relative effectiveness and the order of priority in mitigating measures will be ranked. Specific defects associated with BTCs and PoPs and the reliability of BTC and PoP assembly will also be outlined.

The course provides a holistic overview of product reliability including the important roles of materials, processes and testing/service conditions, as well as the crucial principles behind the product reliability. The course is suitable to all who are involved with or interested in SnPb and Pb-free manufacturing including designers, engineers, researchers, managers and business decision makers; also is designed for those who desire the broad-based information.

The main topics to be covered in this course are listed below. You are encouraged to bring your questions and issues for solutions and discussions.

Main Topics:
• Premise of production defects and product failure prevention;
• The list of common production defects and issues in lead-free assembly;
• Product reliability – principles;
• Product reliability – solder joint, PCB and component considerations;
• PCB pad cratering (vs. pad lifting) — causes and solutions;
• Open or insufficient solder Joints – different sources, best practices;
• BGA head-on-pillow defect — causes, factors, remedies;
• Copper dissolution – process factors, impact on through-hole joint reliability, mitigation;
• Lead-free through-hole barrel filling — material, process and solder joint integrity
• Defects of BTC and PoP solder joints – prevention and remedies;
• Intermetallic compounds – fundamentals, characteristics;
• Intermetallic compounds – effects on failure mode, solder joint reliability;
• Tin whisker – applications of concern, practical criteria, testing challenges;
• Tin whisker – growth phenomena, contributing factors, risk mitigation, practical remedies;
• Summary

Electronics Manufacturers in China Must Join New Pollution Tracking System

On January 23, 2017, the Chinese government published a list of industries, including computer, communications and electronic equipment manufacturing, that will be required to register under the new critical monitoring system outlined in November 2016.  The system will track companies’ air and water discharges, which may be taxed.

While more than 20 industries must register this year, computer, communications and electronic equipment manufacturers are included in the second wave of companies which must join the system by 2020.

IPC will continue to post updates as they become available.

ECHA Guidance on Substances in Articles Delayed Until Summer

The European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) announced earlier this week that the update of their guidance on Substances in Articles will not be published until July or August 2017.  ECHA had previously indicated that guidance would be released in early 2017.

The delay is needed to allow ECHA to evaluate the nearly 700 comments on its current draft.  Many of the comments received by ECHA requested that the guidance be streamlined and simplified with more focused examples.

The guidance is being revised by ECHA to align the requirements for substances of very high concern (SVHCs) in articles with a European Court of Justice (ECJ) ruling in 2015 which stated that the 0.1% threshold for notifying SVHCs in articles applies to each article incorporated as a component of a complex product, rather than to the entire article.

IPC comments on ECHA’s guidance can be viewed here.  IPC will host a panel discussion on complying with REACH Substances in Articles on Wednesday, February 15, 2017 as part of IPC APEX EXPO.

SEC to Reconsider Conflict Minerals Guidance

On January 31, 2017, Acting Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Chairman Michael S. Piwowar released a public statement directing the SEC staff to consider whether their 2014 guidance is still appropriate and whether any additional relief is appropriate.  The guidance was issued by the SEC after the April 2014 D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals’ finding that a portion of the SEC’s Conflict Minerals Rule violated the First Amendment.

In an additional statement, the Acting Chairman raised questions regarding the effects of the regulation, including the negative impacts of a de-facto boycott.

The Acting Chairman has requested public comments on all aspects of the Conflict Minerals Rule and guidance through Thursday, March 16. IPC plans to submit comments, and encourages its members to do so as well.  Members with questions or issues they would like to include in IPCs comments should contact Fern Abrams at FernAbrams@ipc.org.


Learn what Siemens PLM can do for you at IPC APEX EXPO

Don’t miss Siemens PLM Software at IPC APEX EXPO 2017 on Wednesday, February 15 at 10:00 AM and 4:00 PM, when our experts will be on hand to answer your questions related to our posters describing exciting new technologies and the strategies to implement them.  Look for the Siemens posters in public hallway areas of IPC APEX EXPO.

  1. Additive Manufacturing Reshapes Everything.  New software, hardware and material technologies transform the way products are designed and manufactured. 3D printing helps companies produce new-generation parts that were impossible to make before. Learn about revolutionary technologies that industrialize 3D printing.
  2. Advanced Robotics for Complex Electronics Assembly. In electronics assembly today next generation products are adding manufacturing complexity and increased production costs are driving the need for automation. However, automation is reducing errors while increasing quality and speed, and flexible, adaptable robotics technology is readily available.  Learn how you can easily automate difficult tasks for improved performance.
  3. Green Design and the Benefits of PLM.  Consumers demand greener, more environmentally and socially compliant products to protect the earth and mankind.  Adopting strategies to enable the efficient design of green products can help manufacturers meet consumer and consumer demands, comply with regulations and create winning products.  Learn about the challenges, methods, results and our conclusions about Green Design.
  4. Product Performance Intelligence for Better Products and Customer Experience.  Prevent recalls, improve quality, and deliver better customer experience.  Challenges are growing for electronics companies.  Valuable opportunities exist in these challenges.  Disparate data silos inhibit opportunities. Learn how you can transform data into product performance intelligence and seize the opportunities and deliver proven business value.

Visit the Siemens PLM exhibit in booth #1023. The exhibit will demonstrate how Siemens connects the digital thread from planning and design to production and beyond, creating an integrated manufacturing data model with the intelligence to easily interoperate among departments, systems and sites helping close the loop for improved efficiency for the Electronics Industry.  Visit Siemens PLM web pages for information about Electronics Industry Solutions.

RoHS Exemptions Unlikely to Be Published Before Fall 2017

The EU Commission and Member States continue to meet to discuss the disposition of RoHS exemption renewal requests submitted by industry in January 2015.  During their December 15, 2016 meeting in Brussels, the experts reviewed requests on: Lead as an alloying element in steel (Annex III exemption 6a); Lead as an alloying element in aluminum (Annex III exemption 6b); Lead as an alloying element in copper (Annex III exemption 6c); Lead in high melting temperature type solders (Annex III exemption 7a); Lead in a glass or ceramic other than dielectric ceramic in capacitors (Annex III exemption 7c-I), jointly with exemption request 2015-1; Lead as activator in the fluorescent powder (Annex III exemption 18b), jointly with exemption request 2015-3; Lead in solders for the soldering to machined through hole discoidal and planar array ceramic multilayer capacitors (Annex III exemption 24); and Lead in cermet-based trimmer potentiometer elements (Annex III exemption 34).

The Commission is currently working on preparing the draft legislative proposals for these and other exemptions) which will be sent to Member States for written consultation.  The drafts will likely be published in the spring; final legislative acts could be published in the Official Journal of the EU (OJEU) in the fall at the earliest. Under the EU RoHS2, all existing exemptions were set to expire by July 21, 2016. However, all exemptions for which industry submitted a renewal application will not expire until the EU Commission completes the current ongoing review of the applications.


U.S. EPA Issues Nano Reporting Rule

On, January 12, 2017, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published a rule requiring one-time reporting and recordkeeping requirements on nanoscale chemical substances in the marketplace.

Nanoscale materials have special properties related to their small size such as greater strength and lighter weight, however, they may take on different properties than their conventionally-sized counterpart. Nanoparticles are being used in electronics manufacturing processes and materials.

For the first time, EPA is using the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) to collect existing exposure and health and safety information on chemicals currently in the marketplace when manufactured or processed as nanoscale materials. Companies will be required to notify EPA regarding chemical identities, production volume, methods of manufacture; processing, use, exposure, and release information, and, available health and safety data. EPA will use the information to determine if any further action under TSCA is needed.

The rule, which requires reporting within one year, will take effect May 12.

OECD Public Consultation on Due Diligence Guidance for Supply Chain Issues

The Organization for Economic and Cooperative Development (OECD) is currently developing a general OECD Due Diligence Guidance for Responsible Business Conduct and Companion to the Due Diligence Guidance to provide practical support to companies on the implementation of the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises. Both the U.S. Dodd-Frank and the recent EU legislation reference the OECD Guidelines. The guidance can also serve as a reference for stakeholders to understand the measures businesses are recommended to take with regard to managing their impacts with regard to issues such as conflict minerals.

IPC’s E-30 Conflict Minerals due diligence committee is reviewing the proposed guidance and will advise IPC regarding the consultation.

The consultation closes on February 9, 2017.

ECHA Adds Four Substances to REACH Candidate List

Four more substances will be added to the REACH candidate list in January after ECHA’s Member State Committee unanimously agreed they should be designated as substances of very high concern (SVHC). This will bring the total number of substances on the list to 173.

The four substances are bisphenol A, the perfluorinated chemical PFDA (nonadecafluorodecanoic acid) and its sodium and ammonium salts, 4-heptylphenol, branched and linear (4-HPbl), and 4-tert-pentylphenol (PTAP).

Two additional substances, 4-tert-butylphenol (PTBP) and trimellitic anhydride (TMA), were not unanimously supported for inclusion and will be submitted to the European Commission for consideration.

OSHA Issues Recordkeeping Rule Enforcement Memorandum

Last week, OSHA released a November 10 memorandum which summarized enforcement of a recordkeeping rule that was finalized in May 2016.

Under the memorandum, OSHA says its inspectors can cite employers for discouraging workers from reporting injuries and illnesses without identifying an employee who didn’t make a report. The inspector only has to identify a worker who “would be deterred or discouraged” from making a report in the future.

The rule, issued May 12, requires employers to have “reasonable” procedures for reporting on-the-job injuries and illnesses (81 Fed. Reg. 29,624).

IPC, along with a coalition of industry groups known as the Coalition for Workplace Safety, filed comments opposing the rule.