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30 SMT Magazine • October 2017 by Stephen Las Marias I-CONNECT007 For this month's issue of SMT Magazine, I in- terviewed Olivier Pirou, Chief Operating Offi- cer of Vi TECHNOLOGY, during the NEPCON South China exhibition in Shenzhen to learn more about achieving the perfect solder joint from the point of view of an inspection systems provider, and how manufacturers can strategize to achieve a zero-defect line. Stephen Las Marias: Olivier, from your perspec- tive as an inspection technology provider, what should a perfect solder joint look like? Olivier Pirou: We have an IPC standard describ- ing what is the acceptable quality level of a sol- dered joint, and more generally speaking, what is a good printed circuit assembly. Beyond the quality aspects, especially in very stringent en- vironments such as automotive or harsh indus- trial conditions, your solder joint will need to be the most reliable possible. It's a combination of geometrical features, and mechanical struc- ture of the long-term reliabilities in a joint. Las Marias: What are the parameters for perfect and/or reliable solder joints? Pirou: Many parameters are involved in the printing process, the pick-and-place process, the reflow process, to make the perfect assem- bly. All those conditions are even getting more complex, where a lot of different materials are involved, being consumables or component supplies, and operating conditions within the factories that are different from one to another. The approach that Vi TECHNOLOGY is tak- ing to enable the zero-defect line – we should probably say the Six Sigma line – is to make sure that each individual process operates with- in controlled process limits. For that, we need outstanding Quality sen- sors, I would call them, after each process—the printing process, the pick-and-place process, and the reflow process, to make sure that all the relevant parameters are monitored, all the FEATURE INTERVIEW

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