ENABLING THE DIGITAL WORLD

Bringing science to the art of stencil printing

29.07.2019

ASM DFM HealthCheck

It is a well-known fact that more than 60% of defects on an SMT line are introduced during the stencil printing process. Attempts to improve this have proven challenging as many in the industry still consider stencil printing to be more of an art than a science.

A look at the fish bone diagram below might help to explain this perception; in order to achieve a good print, more than 100 factors must be considered. Through its DEK printers and Process Support Products (squeegees, wipes, stencils etc…) ASM already addresses more than 70 % of these factors. However, achieving a stable printing process in production has until now required a skilled and experienced process engineer. In line with ASM’s strategy to offer innovative Industry 4.0 solutions which enable SMART process control and “zero tolerance for defects”, ASM ProcessExpert optimizes the printing process fully automatically; by making recommendations for a stable process based on the stencil design ASM ProcessExpert improves yield and productivity. ASM ProcessExpert works in combination with a DEK printer and consists of:

1. The highly accurate ASM ProcessLens, Solder Paste Measurement (SPM) inline machine.

2. ASM ProcessEngine, an intelligent software supported by an exhaustive, industry-unique process knowledge database, performing offline stencil design analysis, recommending starting process parameters, analyzing real time measurement results of ASM ProcessLens, taking control of a DEK printer, stabilizing, optimizing and pro-actively keeping the solder paste printing process under control.

The DFM HealthCheck is the mandatory first stage of the ASM ProcessEngine implementation and is a tool that performs the following functions:

  • Analyses the stencil design thoroughly.
  • Recommends the best process settings (squeegee length, stencil material and coating, solder paste type, PCB support tooling and clamping).
  • Recommends start-up printing parameters (print speed, print pressure, separation speed and clean rate) to decrease solder paste printing variation.
  • Identifies areas with potentially high levels of variability where issues may occur and provides tooltips to support the user in implementing solutions to obtain a stable solder paste printing process for the chosen stencil layout

It is therefore no longer necessary to conduct time consuming and costly print trials at the production line. The user can “get it right the first time” with a stable process achieved during the first NPI run.

During New Product Introductions (NPIs), on average, customers require 3 stencil iterations and often suffer delays due to tooling type changes. DFM HealthCheck, which is also available as a stand-alone solution, helps to avoid these extra costs and delays. Furthermore, the Virtual Printing feature allows the user to input different process parameters and observe the expected impact on the process stability. Through the Virtual Printing feature, the user can visualize the impact of using parameters other than the recommended ones. All this can be achieved without an experienced process engineer, instead making use of ASM ProcessEngine’s proprietary knowledge database acquired through decades of supporting our partners achieve excellent print quality and stability on DEK printers.

Parts 2 and 3 of this article series will cover the remaining segments of ASM ProcessExpert – ASM ProcessEngine and ASM ProcessLens. To find out more and watch a video on ASM ProcessExpert solution, please click on the link below.

https://www.asm-smt.com/en/products/inspection-solutions/asm-processexpert/

For more information, please contact smt-solutions.sg@asmpt.com.

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Good planning is the basis for efficiency, flexibility and quality in electronics production. As the industry’s technology leader, we offer a broad portfolio of best-in-class products. Our solutions stand out with their perfect interaction of hardware, software and service components – powerful, smart, and ready to raise your production to a new level.

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