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34 SMT Magazine • June 2016 by Stephen Las Marias I-CONNECT007 At the recent NEPCON China, I sat down with Eric Gu, application manager at Nordson Asymtek China, to talk about the challenges and innovations in solder paste dispensing, and factors to consider when using solder paste dis- pensers. Stephen Las Marias: Eric, what are the great- est challenges that manufacturers have when it comes to soldering? Eric Gu: Before, we were normally using screen printing for the solder paste process. But nowadays, products such as mobile phones, cam- eras or smart watches have become smaller and thinner. Therefore, the PCBs inside these prod- ucts have become smaller and smaller, including the chips, the packages, and the components. So the current printing process would be lim- ited by this trend. Also, printing will be limited by the gap. If the components are tall, we can- not do printing. So, it will require solder paste dispensing. That's where we are. We have a needle valve for solder pasting. And also, when dispensing solder paste, you know, there are some alloys in solder paste that may cause needle clog- ging during dispensing. We have an extensive experi- ence on solving these kinds of issue. We have very high level of success in solder paste dispensing. Las Marias: Definitely the shrinking compo- nents are a big factor. But as we go smaller, the solder pastes being dispensed definitely are also becoming dot sized. What is the impact of the ma- terial in the solder on this trend? Gu: Yes. The component is becoming smaller. It will only require to dispense a very small dot and hold a very narrow line, which is a key challenge. Another challenge is that ma- terial inside the solder paste can cause needle clogging. Solder Paste Dispensing: Breaking the Limits of Printing FEATURE INTERVIEW Eric Gu

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