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50 SMT007 MAGAZINE I JUNE 2019 of soldering. You can't just use a reflow oven or a wave soldering machine. This technique is very conducive to providing a solution to the current and future assembly challenges. Matties: In terms of streamlining the process, what are some of the measurable benefits that people will get? Barbini: Some benefits include improved qual- ity of the soldering joint, reliability of the prod- uct, increased units per hour (UPH), and min- imized defects with a lower cost of operation in terms of electricity and no inert atmosphere required compared to typical forced convec- tion ovens. When I look at the work that we've done, it's primarily flex-on-flex and automotive batteries, semiconductor devices with pitches of less than 40 microns and die thickness less than 100 microns, and SMT assembly of tem - perature-sensitive components. While the industry is identifying the potential for low- temperature solders to address specific assem- bly challenges, this technique mitigates or even eliminates those challenges with SAC alloys. We are enabling them to get that into a mass pro- duction environment so that they don't have to worry about using all of the techniques that are slower and a little bit more cumbersome. Matties: How long has this equipment been in the marketplace? Barbini: For the past two and a half years. Matties: How many installs do you have cur- rently? Barbini: Now, we have around 40 machines worldwide. Matties: What has the feedback been? Barbini: It's always too good to be true. When we look at semiconductor, their cycle of integrat- ing new technology takes a couple of years. We started with them three years ago, and last week, we installed a new machine at a semiconduc- tor fabrication house where they are now solder- ing their products in mass volume. We are very excited about that, but it takes time to integrate new technology into the marketplace because we're comparing joints that were formed by reflow soldering, which everyone knows really well. Today, we are enabling a paradigm shift using our area laser. We can still get high UPH and as good or better quality than reflow. Matties: This is suitable for what volume of their work? Is 100% of their work running through this, or is it very selective and some- what niche? Barbini: Right now, Laserssel is targeting specific applications. However, we see that depending on the application itself, we can potentially solder an entire board in less time than a reflow pro- cess. While there is a way to solder the entire product, we're not out there to replace reflow soldering; we are here to provide customers with solutions to their current challenges and enable them to solder new types of applications that they never thought they could do before. Matties: What are the general questions that people have about this technology? Barbini: The first question is usually, "Is my joint quality that's being formed going to be better or

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