A new form of lead-free solder may be on the horizon, according to an article on the PCB Design 007 website, by Harvey Miller of Fabfile Online 3-D Assembly and solder-free are on the way for surface mount technology. Miller says the two are inextricably linked and, together, “they will transform the electronic industry manufacturing infrastructure.”
Pretty big words. Miller believes solder-free and 3-D will:
Cut labor costs;
Increase manufacturing productivity;
Restore and extend equipment reliability; and
Vastly reduce energy usage and carbon footprints.
“But, above all, they will help bridge the circuit performance and density gaps needed to extend Moore’s Law, as lithography on silicon runs out of steam,” says Miller. “We will need that bridge while all those R&D labs search for silicon’s replacement.”
For industrial control applications, or even a simple assembly line, that machine can go almost 24/7 without a break. But what happens when the task is a little more complex? That’s where the “smart” machine would come in. The smart machine is one that has some simple (or complex in some cases) processing capability to be able to adapt to changing conditions. Such machines are suited for a host of applications, including automotive, aerospace, defense, medical, computers and electronics, telecommunications, consumer goods, and so on. This discussion will examine what’s possible with smart machines, and what tradeoffs need to be made to implement such a solution.