INEMI’s High-Reliability RoHS Task Force has published recommendations for Pb-free manufacturing of complex, thermally challenging electronic assemblies.
These recommendations, which focus primarily on thermal requirements for components, laminate and PWB materials, and equipment, are intended to help ensure product reliability. The recommendations are available on the INEMI website at http://www.inemi.org/cms/pro-jects/ese/High_Rel_RoHS.html.
The INEMI High-Reliability RoHS Task Force consists of electronic product manufacturers (OEMs and EMS providers) whose products are characterized by long service life and high-reliability requirements. For these companies, maintaining product reliability is absolutely critical to survival.
The following companies support the INEMI recommendations for Pb-free manufacturing: Agilent Technologies, Alcatel, Cisco Systems, Celestica, Delphi Electronics & Safety, HP, IBM Corporation, Intel Corporation, Jabil Circuit, Lucent Technologies, Plexus, Sanmina-SCI, Solectron and Sun Microsystems. Most high-reliability products have a Pb solder exemption or are out of scope under the RoHS Directive, and the companies that manufacture these products are evaluating the impact of Pb-free SAC solder assembly on the reliability of these more demanding applications.
The complex assemblies found in high-reliability products often feature broad component mixes and pose many thermal challenges as a result of board thermal properties and the resulting thermal gradients across the assembly.
Pb-free assembly is already challenging for manufacturers due to the higher temperatures required and the resulting tighter processing windows. When assembling complex assemblies, these challenges are exacerbated by the variability of component mass, large size and high layer count of PWBs, the need to rework, and the high likelihood of mixed through-hole, surface mount and back side assembly. The International Electronics Manufacturing Initiative’s (INEMI) mission is to assure leadership of the global electronics manufacturing supply chain. Based in Herndon, Virgina (USA), the industry-led consortium is made up of approximately 70 manufacturers, suppliers, industry associations and consortia, government agencies and universities.
INEMI roadmaps the needs of the electronics industry, identifies gaps in the technology infrastructure, establishes implementation projects to eliminate these gaps (both business and technical), and stimulates standards activities to speed the introduction of new technologies. The consortium also works with government, universities and other funding agencies to set priorities for future industry needs and R&D initiatives.
The task force recommends specific test methods to validate acceptable performance of materials in the appropriate use conditions.
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