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18 SMT007 MAGAZINE I MAY 2020 How Engineers Can Use SPI Tools for Verification Feature Interview by Nolan Johnson I-CONNECT007 Koh Young's Ray Welch and Brent Fisch- thal detail how engineers can work with SPI tools to verify how small they can go in com- ponent size with their solder paste application, and how the company's SPI equipment is help- ing not only to verify but also to help drive the development collaboration between solder paste and stencil printer manufacturers, and inspection tools and software. Nolan Johnson: What trends and advancements do you see right now in solder and solder appli- cation in the manufacturing process? Ray Welch: You may be familiar with Chrys Shea's new SMTA miniaturization test vehi- cle (MTV). I've worked with her and Indium recently, using this new test vehicle; she's try- ing to give people a tool to be able to challenge themselves to print smaller and smaller. That test vehicle goes down to 008004 chip com- ponents. I don't know of any customers that we have that are printing that small yet, in terms of chip components, but we have peo- ple who are printing near wafer-level prints for RF devices and cellphones. I was working with Indium because they were trying to ver- ify their new pastes and how well they per- form for the smaller parts. We've been work- ing with our industry partners to help them understand how to use our SPI to be able to get accurate measurements for the smaller and smaller parts. Johnson: This sounds like a bit of back and forth, building operator skillsets while also verifying that the machines can do that kind of feature size. Welch: Yes, Chrys and I went to MPM in Hop- kinton, Massachusetts. Indium was there, and they wanted to verify several of their new pastes for printing the smallest part at this time. The challenge for us was to make sure that we could measure such small parts, and we can. We performed a DOE, and everything worked out quite well, both in terms of sol- der paste performance and the Koh Young SPI system. Since then, I helped Indium remotely

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