The International Electronics Manufacturing Initiative (iNEMI) has launched a new project to provide industry guidelines to help make the growing proliferation of lead-free alloys easier to manage. According to iNEMI, many BGA suppliers are changing the alloys used for lead-free solder balls to improve mechanical shock performance. Suppliers are also promoting a variety of wave solder alloys to address concerns about copper dissolution, barrel fill, common wave defects and the high cost of alloys. As a result, the variety of lead-free alloys is increasing. Several of these alloys have lower levels of silver and therefore a higher melting point (up to 10C or higher), which may require a change in printed circuit assembly manufacturing processes.
The first phase of this project will focus on the analysis of existing knowledge and assessment of critical gaps and on driving standards to help manage supply chain complexity and risk.