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60 SMT Magazine • May 2015 production, coupled with a higher cost solder paste, could easily shorten that time. Nonethe- less, ROI for the enclosed media print head is relatively quick, across the board, based on ma- terial savings alone. Conclusion Enclosed media printing technology is a suit- able replacement for metal squeegee blades par- ticularly for demanding fine pitch applications and mixed low and high volume paste consump- tion applications. The ability of enclosed media printing to successfully meet the volume fill re- quirements of ever-shrinking aperture sizes and lopsided aspect ratios is sufficient justification. Additionally, the paste savings over squeegee blade printing are significant, so much so that in the current economic climate these cumula- tive savings can contribute to a relatively quick payback on the equipment investment and have a measurable effect on the bottom line. SmT References 1. "Minimizing Solder Paste Printing Varia- tion," George Babka, Assembléon America Inc., Circuits Assembly Magazine, Nov 2009, Vol. 20 Issue 11. 2. "Effect Of Squeegee Blade On Solder Paste Print Quality," Rita Mohanty, Bill Claiborne. Speedline Technologies, Franklin, Massachu- setts, and Frank Andres, Cookson Electronics, South Plainfield, NJ. June 2010. 3. "Troubleshooting the Stencil Printing Process," Chrys Shea, Shea Engineering Servic- es, SMTA Houston Chapter, slide presentation. Michael Martel is in marketing with Speedline Technologies inc. figure 2: enclosed media payback, in weeks. ENCLOSED mEDIa PRINTING aS aN aLTERNaTIVE TO mETaL BLaDES continues Feature

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