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78 SMT Magazine • March 2015 nologies, starting with laser cut and reaching to electroformed and electroformed NiEx stencils, which are used for very fine pitch SMT and wa- fer bump applications. It was discovered that the smoother walls associated with electroform stencil technology provide better paste transfer and that good paste transfer can be achieved at lower area ratios. The electroformed product lines can address additional application needs such as .1 mil increments in stencil thickness re - quirements. In fact, good paste transfer has been achieved with area ratios as low as .42 with elec- troformed stencils. For 2015, we will see the gamut of stencil types. Laser cut stencils will be used for more R&D and simple low-volume products where the components are larger; the solder paste deposit doesn't have to be as exacting, and where the boards are relatively uniform. Laser cut stencils have become quite commercialized and can be purchased in many places at a relatively low price. They fill the need for companies that want the short sCooP aDaPTInG STEncILS TO manUFacTUrInG chaLLEnGES In 2015 continues

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