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42 SMT Magazine • May 2016 Dahle: Asian countries are extremely pragmat- ic. They're saying, "We need to do this to save money." Take automation, for example. The Eu- ropeans and the Americans are more into the technology and the sophistication of it. They're sort of interested in the same thing but from two different perspectives. The Asian side is very much financial driven. If you think about it— I've been in this industry since the late 1980s— there's been a tremendous improvement in ma- chineries. They're faster, they're more accurate, they're more reliable and they're more efficient. I think that what we're looking at now is sort of a new revolution where it is about how you utilize that equipment to invest in. How you can run an efficient operation when they constantly have to produce new and different products. How you can ensure these automotive manufacturers that their electronics will not fail. They need to know how it was produced, and that's the transparency and traceability. All of these new demands—we need to be able to do and in a cheaper way. By the way, this isn't going to happen overnight. This is going to take many, many years. As all that technol- ogy matures over the next few years, you're go- ing to see a steady progress and the end result is that it's going to drive a lot of value for the manufacturers. Las Marias: Bjorn, going back to providing more data in the manufacturing lines, we recently con- ducted a survey on data. One of the pain points was getting the right data. What's your comment on this? Dahle: Data for the sake of data is useless. This is all a means to an end. You have to look at what it is that you're trying to achieve. That's the data you want, and being able to analyze and share that data is the key. One thing that we're focused on is you have to separate be- tween machine data and process data. They're both very valuable. But with an oven, for ex- ample, you can get hundreds of readings a sec- ond from each zone, the temperature of the conveyors, etc. It is very valuable, but it doesn't answer the ultimate question for an oven--and that is, what is the profile that I'm creating right now on this assembly, and is that profile acceptable? That's where we come in and we analyze that data. I even heard a comment that there's con- cern with some of the tier one EMS companies who are in the process of creating and collect- ing so much data that they foresee in the future that they won't even be able to get that through their trunk line. It could be overwhelming. You need to sort of, in my view, start at the output. What is it you're trying to achieve and then how will you achieve that? That's the data that is of interest. That perhaps will filter out lots of the data that may not be necessary. Las Marias: Thank you very much, Bjorn, for your time. Dahle: I appreciate the opportunity. Thank you so much. SMT Martin Thuo, an assistant professor of materials science and engineering at Iowa State University and an associate of the U.S. Department of Ener- gy's Ames Laboratory, and a group of researchers have found a way to make micro-scale, liquid-met- al particles that can be used for heat-free soldering at room temperature. The project started as a search for a way to stop liquid metal from returning to a solid. Thuo and his research group, including Simge Cinar, a postdoctoral research associate; Ian Tevis, a former postdoctoral researcher who is now CTo at an Ames startup called SAFI-Tech; and Jiahao Chen, a doctoral student; experimented with a new tech- nique that uses a high-speed rotary tool to sheer liquid metal into droplets within an acidic liquid. The group created liquid-metal particles contain- ing Field's metal (an alloy of bismuth, indium and tin) and particles containing an alloy of bismuth and tin. The liquid metal particles, which are 10 micrometers in diameter, could have significant implications for manufacturing. Micro-sized, Liquid-metal Particles for Heat-free Soldering Making SYStEMS SMaRtER to gain viSibilitY, tRacEabilitY, and REducE Handling ERRoRS

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