SMT007 Magazine


Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 47 of 109

48 SMT007 MAGAZINE I MAY 2020 dering to wave soldering, which took a decade or so. Then, we went from wave soldering to surface mount. While that was a slow transi- tion, it seems to have sped up. The mindset with regard to the industry now being open to change in soldering is something that will greatly accelerate the acceptance of photonic curing and soldering. Stan Farnsworth: We realized that we could take the equipment that we use to make the nano- materials and pivot that technology into a new product. That is our photonic curing product under the Pulseforge® brand. Those tools use flashes of broad-spectrum light energy from near IR down to UV. Dr. Rudy Ghosh is with us today as well. He's the technical program lead for solder- ing. He is one of the senior members on our applications team and is leading the charge with developing the technology of the solder- ing. Working with some of our partners, we realized that the photonic curing tools could be used for soldering. Over the last couple of years, we got to the point where the tools could deliver the right kind of energy profile for sol- dering. We've been working very closely with our partners at the Holst Center in the Nether- lands. They need to be mentioned as being the early developer. Dr. Rudy Ghosh: One of the biggest challenges that are our technology partners and custom- ers have faced is connecting these components to the substrate. Working with partners, we have realized that—for a lot of these things— the solutions pretty much have to come from us. That's why we have worked with our tech- nology partners to make photonic soldering a key solution and even further make printed electronics ubiquitous. Farnsworth: We sell to R&D, and we sell a differ- ent, related platform for production. It's prob- ably not a big surprise that most of the pro- duction implementations have been in Asia. We see more R&D tool sales in Asia as well. But for some time, the R&D tool sales were pri- marily in the United States and Europe with occasional production tool sales. Asia is where most of the production tools are located. Ghosh: It might be a good point to separate out photonic curing versus photonic soldering. They are both light-matter interactions. How- ever, the timescales and energy densities that are required are very different. Matties: How would you describe that trend? Where does it cross over? Farnsworth: We began floating the idea of this to folks that we were working with. We then started talking about it at some of the printed and flex- ible electronics conferences, maybe as much as two years ago, to see if there would be any kind of reception to this. We found a lot of interest. That was an important part of our market. We encountered two or three major oppor- tunities in consumer electronics and medical devices that had relatively near-term prod- uct launch dates they were trying to hit. They were having some challenges engineering the solutions that their marketing teams felt were needed. We weren't far enough along to be Stan Farnsworth

Articles in this issue

Archives of this issue

view archives of SMT007 Magazine - SMT007-May2020