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Response-To-Pause: Solder Paste Printing in SMT

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  • Phil Zarrow interviewed Indium Corporation's Dr. Ron Lasky on solder paste's performance regarding response to pause.

    Phil Zarrow: Ron, we’ve discussed that performance of solder materials can affect productivity, and hence profitability. Can you give us an example?

    Ron Lasky: Yeah. I was working with a certain customer that had a problem with their solder paste that we call poor response-to-pause. As you’re aware, probably several times a day, the assembly line has to be shut down to replenish components. And, in that pause time, some solder pastes can stiffen up. And then we turn the line back on and you make a stencil print, that first print is bad. And you have to wipe that board and reprint it again. You lose probably about two minutes, maybe every two hours.

    Phil Zarrow: And how can this affect the bottom line?

    Ron Lasky: Well, it doesn’t really sound too bad. People are thinking. ‘Well, you know, something happening every two hours for a couple of minutes.’ That ends up being eight minutes in a shift, then you’re talking about, this is a three-shift operation, so it ends up at the end of a week being several hours. And I use the cost-estimating software that I developed, ProfitPro™, to show that even if they purchased a new solder paste, a better solder paste, that costs two-cents more a gram, the saving of this two minutes every two hours throughout a year actually improved their profits by $200,000. I mean, people just look at that and they say, ‘It just can’t be.’  But, two minutes, every two hours, when you’re on a three-shift operation, six days a week, 52 weeks a year, ends up a lot of lost time. And productivity is precious.  And time is precious. And every little second you lose means you’re losing profit.

    Phil Zarrow: So additional resources for aspects of how the materials affect productivity…

    Ron Lasky: Well, I talk about this a lot on my blog, and if they have any specific questions, they can contact me, rlasky@indium.com.

    Phil Zarrow: Very good. Ron, fascinating as always. Thank you.