WHAT IS THE FUTURE PACKAGING?
Each year new trends emerge in the world of technology, with new products waiting their turn for commercial release. As the digitalization of everyday life progresses faster and faster, manufacturing across industry areas is also affected. In electronics assembly, this transformation is accelerated even more by the ongoing goals of optimizing product quality and quantity. Thanks to the possibilities of almost seamless traceability of all materials and processes involved in the supply chain and the consequently dramatically lower failure rate, process windows can be coordinated more tightly, ensuring more responsible and efficient use of machines and materials.
No matter the barometer used to predict future technology booms, one thing is clear: The best insurance against surprises in the technology market is establishing a broad range of production services. This means, firstly, investing in the right manufacturing equipment and, secondly, making effective use of state-of-the-art IT processes.
The great business drivers of recent years, namely, automotive and power electronics, are certain to remain stable markets for suppliers in the coming years. But other market mechanisms in this industry area will also increase in significance. Giants like Google and Apple are fostering the development of relevant assemblies with initiatives like idea challenges, which allow them to maximize development output for minimal financial investment. Where the innovations are manufactured in the final instance, depends not only on the unit price, but also on the networks between manufacturing centers and customers. The impetus of value creation is likely to shift from suppliers to integrated manufacturing partners.
For this reason, achieving cutting-edge component manufacturing requires developing excellent networks between both suppliers and customers, but above all also on an ability and willingness to respond flexibly to customer requests and to distribute all relevant quality requirements evenly throughout the supply chain. Moreover, assembly types have different quality requirements. Component tolerances typical in a RF device would make a disposable sensor for wearables prohibitively expensive and, vice versa, sophisticated components cannot be reliably manufactured using low-cost components and processes. Of course, such demands present the supply chain and manufacturers’ individual warehousing resources with enormous challenges.
The production line at SMT 2016 is addressing these questions. The technical emphasis will be on how to ensure a manufacturing environment is in the best position possible to quickly adapt to the manufacturing prerequisites of different products. We will demonstrate in real time how individual machines and devices can actively adapt to a product. The production line extends from component storage and supply through to quality-assured manufacturing and testing.
Because cost-efficient manufacturing is indispensible even for small and micro devices, we will demonstrate how, using an attached panel molding assembly, subsystems can be pre-produced and encapsulated in a production line and then be fed back into the same production line as a component for further series manufacturing processing.
This a key means of maintaining maximum flexibility in manufacturing portfolio. Such add-on equipment can be integrated to produce customized sub-assemblies or system-in-packages (SiPs). Although subassemblies and SiPs comprise commercially available components, their function can be precisely determined by the manufacturer, who can then provide these assemblies to major customers as a means of improving efficiency.
Using solutions such as the above, the thirty-one leading technology and machine suppliers participating in the Future Packaging joint booth will show how the challenges of the modern electronic assembly market can be met cost-effectively. Visitors will be treated to a first-hand look at all stages of SiP manufacturing and PCB assembly on-site at the trade fair.