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30 SMT Magazine • January 2016 lect a company that takes inspection very seri- ously. Some EMS companies will do inspections at every station along the manufacturing pro- cess and every board is tested. Non-conforming parts are identified and errors marked for cor- rection and captured for statistical process anal- ysis for quality control purposes. What testing equipment and mechanisms are in place? Number 8: Cleaning Studies now show that a major cause of fail- ures in the field is from printed circuit boards that are not completely clean. There is a gap in the market caused by new technologies that make it more difficult to ensure circuit board in - tegrity. Today's chemistries in fluxes and solder, plus the extremely low board height of compo- nents, make cleaning more difficult. It is not enough to put the boards through a wash cy- cle. It takes a special combination of chemicals, temperature, wash cycles, and timing to get the boards thoroughly clean. Look for a company with customized and sophisticated cleaning and analysis techniques to ensure that even ultra- low levels of contaminants that are byproducts of the soldering process are removed to enhance the production of the delicate circuits. Number 9: Concern for the Environment and Personnel Is the company environmentally friendly? What attention is given to electrostatic dis- charge (ESD) protection and cleanliness? The floors should have ESD protection and the op- erators should all observe practices to ensure that ESD is not an issue. How are chemicals and wastes disposed? The EMS should comply with all local and government regulations. Is it an ergonomic environment for the workers? How long have most of the workers been there? What is the company's history for accurate and on-time delivery? If the workers are happy and there is little worker turnover, there is more chance that your job will be com- pleted accurately and on time. An EMS provider is your partner and should toP 10 FaCtors to CoNsidEr whEN sElECtiNg a mEdiCal Ems ComPaNy feature

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